Iveco South Africa finally launched its Stralis X-Way range of vehicles, which are specifically designed to cater for the construction industry, and customers were not disappointed. MARISKA MORRIS attended
In the heat and dust alongside the dirt road of the ADA Training and Outdoor Centre in Hartebeespoort, the construction industry gathered to experience the long-awaited Stralis X-Way range first hand. Although Iveco South Africa provided a preview of its range at Nampo in May, it officially launched the Stralis X-Way vehicles on September 17 and 18 with an exclusive customer event.
The launch opened with Julian Dango, business director of Iveco South Africa, in conversation with former Springbok rugby player Bakkies Botha. The duo discussed what Iveco South Africa could offer its clients. Dango noted that all the European original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) sell good products with little to set them apart.
“There is a shared supplier base of about 70 to 80 percent between the European OEMs. A number of us might, for example, get our gearboxes from ZF,” he explained. Instead, Dango believes it is the heritage of each brand that sets it apart. The heritage of Iveco South Africa is rooted in relationships, specifically client relationships.
“We believe we are closer to the customer because of our leaner organisation. The customer deals directly with management. We also don’t care about the size of our customer’s current fleet. It is more about their growth potential. We want to grow together,” Dango said.
The Stralis X-Way range is meant to give Iveco South Africa the opportunity to show the construction industry what it can do, while providing a vehicle ideal for the current difficult economic circumstances in the sector. Dango noted: “We are jumping into a segment in which we haven’t really invested before. We need to show what we can do.
“The construction industry is struggling. Especially in these times, business owners need to have the right partner and a product that is efficient and ensures the best payload.”
This lies at the heart of the Stralis X-Way range design, which is described as the “perfect crossing” between on- and off-road works. Elvis Mutseura, product manager at Iveco South Africa, explained: “The Stralis X-Way trucks have the lightest tail weight in the market. On the short-wheel base, 7,7-t vehicles, there is a body and payload capacity of 18 t.
“Thus, a six-cube mixer can legally carry a full six cubes of wet concrete. The longer wheel-base freight carrier has an 8,5-m body, which can easily carry 16 palettes with a 15-t payload capacity.” He added that with this lighter weight – an estimated 500 kg to a tonne – the vehicle has an increased payload with lower fuel consumption because of its efficient drive line.
The vehicles in the Stralis X-Way range are each equipped with a 7,8-litre engine, 12-speed direct-drive gearbox and single-reduction rear axle. Mutseura noted: “This makes for a very efficient drive line, which, combined with the low tail weight, improves fuel efficiency. On the outbound trip, the customer can enjoy maximum payload.
“On the return trip, the vehicle is lighter, which means it consumes less fuel. That is an advantage that the customer can enjoy throughout the lifespan of the vehicle and counts a lot towards money in the customer’s pocket.”
In addition, Iveco South Africa is able to service its customers across sub-Saharan Africa to Tanzania and in Madagascar and Mauritius. Martin Liebenberg, head of sales at Iveco South Africa, pointed to the long service intervals required on the vehicles. The freight carrier needs to be serviced every 40 000 km and the mixer every 500 hours.
“Customers will be taking their vehicles to service centres less often, which obviously makes them much more productive,” Liebenberg explained. The range also includes a tipper.
Following the various presentations, customers had the opportunity to test drive all the vehicles available in the range. True to the Iveco brand, the Stralis X-Way vehicles were a pleasure to drive with ample power, comfortable seating and simple drive technology. Customers and driver trainers, who were assisting with the test driving, complimented the new range.
The Stralis X-Way vehicles truly offer the construction industry the ideal tool to navigate the challenging economy with a crossing between on- and off-road.