The Iveco organisation has had at its disposal some good trucks with good reputations, the strongest of which was the Acco, which is still a strong seller in vocational applications, but where to with the Acco? The Iveco brand has also developed a strong range of trucks from the European market and had access to product coming out of the International brand in the US.
“We have a lot of expertise and experience in waste in particular and we do have a product for the industry,” says Michael May, Iveco Managing Director. “We have transitioned from an Acco based on a North American product which has been market leader for as long as we can remember, to something which is safer and cleaner, based on the X-Way. It really is getting some traction for us, it is a Euro-6 product, but we have more competition in this space now.
“A lot of companies in the waste segment have built their business success on the back of vehicles like the Acco. They can work on it, they understand it, there’s a real knowledge base around how to look after these products.
“The take up on our current Acco dual control product built here locally, in Euro-6 and based on an X-Way platform, is good. It’s been a transition which has been a little bit quiet, but it has been successful. We have had really good intake this year on that product, which is really promising for us.”
It would be almost impossible for the new model to return to the place and position that the original Acco has held for so long. From 1972 until just recently this particular model dominated several sectors of the truck market, just because it was such a simple solution to what can be a difficult problem. Industries like the waste and cement industries have very specific needs from their trucks in terms of tare weight, turning circle, chassis lengths and chassis layout.
As it happens, Euro-6 was a step too far for the old Acco and there was no choice for Iveco but to go for a completely different design. The solution they have come up with ticks all of the boxes in terms of specifications which the customers are asking for.
However, the impending discontinuation of the old Acco models had been on the cards for some time and this gave rival manufacturers the opportunity to develop a product which would match those specifications and also make inroads into some of those applications where Acco had been dominant for so long.
“I still think we can be the default choice for customers in the sector,” says Michael. “It comes down to what Acco offers and also the inbuilt flexibility with the bodybuilders, which we have developed. The waste industry continues to evolve, our market is very unique. I think that we can leverage the connection with all of the engineering skills that we have got here, and our ability to be to adaptable and agile.
“With the large bodybuilders we can still maintain that mantle of, ‘this is the default truck’. Are we alone? No, we definitely are not. We are alright, we can stand on her own feet and we are still strong with this product. It’s gaining more and more traction, which is good.”
On the new Acco, the tare weight is slightly higher, there is new technology on board which is required in order to meet Euro-6 emission requirements. Iveco is working hard with the bodybuilders and going through a process of moving the placement of certain components in order to work with the bodybuilder requirements and in order to maximise the productive capacity of the new trucks.