Iveco’s top-of-the-range Powerstar 7800 continues to prove itself as a worthy contender for road train applications with some of the 2012 pilot vehicles now having criss-crossed the nation and amassed hundreds of thousands of kilometres in treacherous conditions.
Among the early adopters is Greg Robertson who runs a successful livestock haulage operation out of Toowoomba. Having previously enjoyed strong performance from other Iveco models, Greg took delivery of the first available truck and promptly put it to work hauling two and three trailers.
The truck regularly travels large distances as far north as Cape York and to Perth in the west, and is fast approaching the 500,000 kilometre mark.
When the laconic Queenslander says the big Iveco “is doing all right” he means it’s very successfully doing the job asked of it, and definitely as good as the North American trucks Robertson’s Transport has on fleet. Greg has around 20 prime movers in his stable along with 50 trailers.
The Powerstar 7800 provides an enthralling combination of design input and technology from Australia, the United States and Europe – it’s a mix that has proven to work well, particularly in the latest Powerstar range.
The driveline is American, in the case of Greg’s Powerstar, under the bonnet lies a Cummins 15-litre engine producing 600 horsepower and 2050 Lb/Ft of Torque. The EGR engine has performed exceptionally well in the stifling heat and offers the convenience of not requiring Adblue for emissions control. This is an important consideration for operators working in remote areas where urea is often unavailable. An additional benefit of the EGR powerplant is a tare weight advantage.
The engine is coupled to the iconic Eaton Roadranger 18-speed overdrive transmission which feeds the power to the Meritor axles.
For comfort and styling, the Powerstar is equipped with the best from Europe and offers an extremely spacious, comfortable and well appointed cabin that even draws praise from Greg.
“The cabin’s great, there’s a lot of space, particularly if you’re a big bloke – the drivers have commented very positively on this,” Greg said.
Ensuring the package is well suited for Australian conditions has been the task of Iveco Australia, who engaged a team of senior engineers over several years to refine, hone and tailor the product in the years preceding the model’s 2012 release As well as being manufacturerd in Melbourne, the Powerstar uses a considerable quantity of Australian-sourced components and has been extensively tested in the demanding local market.
The end result is an offering that combines the proven American driveline with superior driver comfort, a locally-developed, class-leading engine cooling package to go with the class-leading wheel cut angles for improved turning circle and manoeuvrability while towing triple trailers.
As a 50-year veteran of the livestock industry Greg takes a philosophical approach to running his successful transport business.
“We keep our trucks for around five or six years if they’re good,” Greg said.
“They’re not worth keeping any longer than that – they get too much of a battering out here. There’s no point rebuilding engines and gearboxes because the toll’s too great on the rest of the truck.”
Mondays are quite busy for the Robertson Transport mechanics, a lot of the trucks are back at the depot undergoing checks and inspections.
With the vehicles often out in the bush for weeks at a time Greg can’t afford breakdowns, particularly when fully loaded with cattle – it’s lost income and reputation.
By all accounts the Powerstar 7800 has performed very well in this regard, and neither reliability nor durability has not been an issue. Such has been the truck’s performance that Greg will consider adding further Powerstar models to his fleet in the future.
“It’s done all right, I’d take a look at another Powerstar when we add to the fleet,” Greg said.
Iveco Australia manufactures and imports commercial vehicles spanning the light, medium and heavy duty truck segments and, under the Iveco Bus brand, buses and coaches. The commercial vehicle range includes on and off-road models beginning with car licence vans, through to road train prime movers rated at up to 140 tonnes GCM. The Acco and Powerstar vehicles, developed and produced specifically for the Australian market, complement Iveco’s worldwide best sellers such as the Daily, Eurocargo, Trakker and Stralis. Iveco vehicles are ably supported by a dedicated network of 46 dealerships and service outlets strategically located nationwide, offering aftersales services that include extended warranties, roadside assistance and programmed maintenance contracts.
Iveco’s Australian manufacturing base in Dandenong Victoria, represents a major investment in the local truck and bus industry. Iveco directly employs more than 600 people nationwide and thousands more Australians in related industries, from retailing operations to component suppliers.
Iveco is a brand of CNH Industrial N.V., a World leader in Capital Goods listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CNHI) and on the Mercato Telematico Azionario of the Borsa Italiana (MI: CNHI). Iveco designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, off-road trucks, and vehicles for applications such as off-road missions.
Iveco employs close to 21,000 individuals globally. It manages production sites in seven countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania and Latin America where it produces vehicles featuring the latest advanced technologies. 4,200 sales and service outlets in over 160 countries guarantee technical support wherever an Iveco vehicle is at work.
For more on Iveco visit: www.iveco.com
For more on Iveco Australia visit: www.iveco.com.au
For more on CNH Industrial visit: www.cnhindustrial.com
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