Iveco’s ‘big car’ – Big Rigs

IVECO is aiming its latest Stralis prime mover at the regional and interstate sector. It s a highly competitive market, with the currrent slowdown squeezing margins even tighter. But Stralis has a cab offering that would swing a lot of deals Iveco s way if it can just get drivers behind the wheel. Getting on board a Stralis is made easy with three large steps in front of the wheel.

Once in the seat, there is an overall impression of a big car, with similar padded trim and minimal dials and gauges. On the dash there s just a speedo and a tacho, plus smaller fuel and engine temp gauges. A rectangular screen delivers any other information, including exceptions when the truck s data suite detects a problem.

Driving controls couldn t be easier. A lever action park brake, then three buttons for the ZF transmission D, N and R. The air seat has a bewildering array of adjustment while the steering wheel has buttons for menu, phone, sound system volume and menu navigation.

On the right of the steering column is a lever for cruise control, and a two-stage auxiliary brake. Most functions can be operated while keeping both hands on the wheel. To the left are light switches for back of cab, driving and fog lights and the main beam rotary switch is underneath those. Interior lights are alongside the gear selection buttons. The main console is heavily skewed towards the driver, and includes hazard lights, windscreen shade/blind, air suspension height adjustment and the roof hatch control.

Beneath are large air vents, which deliver plenty of cold air on max air-con, plus drink and bits-n-pieces trays, with ashtray and 12V power supply below that. But there s no USB port, either for the sound system or for charging devices. A climate control system looks after temperature and the whole section is topped off with a large tray with a non-slip surface, which is perfect for phones and even iPads. The AS-L cab is stand-up height and there are two bunks.

The bottom bunk has a control panel on the right-hand side of the cab that allows you to work the main dome light, power windows, roof hatch, door locks, radio, CD player and windscreen blind without getting out from under the doona. It also has a clock and alarm function. A bright map light is also on a stalk and is plenty for reading. There s a fold-down shelf for a laptop or small TV, plus a handy 12V power outlet. The curtains for the side windows and those separating the bunk area from the driving seats are thick and heavy, so glare and noise from the parking area won t be a problem.

Under the bunks are a larger-than-esky size storage compartment, plus a separate slide out fridge box big enough for several meals, plus a couple of drinks. Overhead storage is cavernous, and each section has its own hinged lid for security.

Clearly the Stralis cab has been designed by people who know what it s like to be on the road day and night.

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