When is a van not a van anymore? When it’s a tip-truck, of course, and that’s exactly what we have here: the 2016 Iveco Daily cab-chassis three-way tipper.
This unique offering on the market takes the impressive – but not huge-selling – Iveco Daily van and lops the back box off in favour of a cab-chassis configuration.
But that’s just the start, because the vehicle tested here features a three-way tip tray function that is designed to make light work of dumping heavy loads. As you can imagine, it's pitched as an ideal accompaniment to landscaping, demolition and construction companies.
Three-way tipper? It sounds confusing at first, but it’s actually very simple. The tray can tip either to the kerbside, to the driver’s side, or to the rear of the vehicle. And changing between these three options is as simple as removing a pin and moving it to where you want it to be.
The tray itself measures 3700 millimetres long, 2100mm wide and has 400mm deep sideboards. The sideboards are ingenious, with the functionality of being able to flip up to allow fill to drop out over the tray’s smooth edges, or they can be flipped down like a conventional tray-back ute. The full-sized headboard ensures that loose loads won’t damage the cab, too.
There are eight tie-down points that are recessed into the tray so they’re out of the way when you don’t need them, though you can lift them up if you need to attach a cover for your load or just tie loose items down.
Now you may expect a huge payload for a tip-truck, but the Iveco’s is 1500 kilograms in this specification. That’s because it has a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4495kg to make it driveable on a regular car license (because it’s sub-4500kg). You can get a beefier version with more load capacity – but that requires the driver to have a light-rigid truck license (5200kg).
The tip function of the Scattolini tray is controlled by way of a wired remote control that sits behind the driver’s seat. It has a safety switch to ensure it doesn’t operate without the operator knowing, and has simple controls – up or down.
And because the electro-hydraulically-driven tipper system – which lifts in 25 seconds – doesn’t rely on the engine to drive the hydraulic ram, it means that if something goes wrong with the tipper you can still drive to get the problem fixed.
Speaking of problems, our Daily didn’t exactly nail the brief. With about 1500kg of load onboard, the hydraulic ram didn’t extend to full height (it went to the fourth of five increments). This didn’t just happen once, or twice, but three times – and we’ve heard similar complaints from other drivers. With the load positioned in the middle of the tray the tip function went to the fourth increment but no further. That meant some shovel work – about a tonne's worth, in truth! – and once the load, which at that point was likely about 500kg, was positioned rearward of the ram, it lifted the rest out.
But the surface of the tray wasn't the most conducive to allow dirt to drop straight out. Perhaps woodchips or sand would be better suited to this type of tipper. Also, beware when using the side tip function, because the Daily gets quite a lean on.
The Daily 50C17 (as Iveco calls it) is powered by a 3.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder power unit producing 125kW of power at 2900-3500rpm and 430Nm of torque from 1500-2600rpm. It can be had with a six-speed manual gearbox, but our test vehicle has the acclaimed (optional) eight-speed automatic transmission.
It’s a drivetrain that never feels as though it’s struggling for grunt, and the linear nature of the way it revs is truly impressive. There’s a minimal amount of low-rev lag before the torque wave hits, and it’ll rev smoothly up to that peak power edge at 3500rpm comfortably.
The eight-speed automatic is exceptional – it makes light work of, er, hard work, though if it’s revving hard the engine is quite noisy (a lot louder than, say, a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter).
The engine will hold its gears a little longer with weight on board – we loaded it up to its maximum payload, and it never felt underdone in terms of available torque.
We did notice a lengthening of the brake pedal, as the four-wheel disc brakes tried hard to compensate for the extra mass on board. It wasn’t dire, but we’d not like to be tackling a long-distance
The independent front and rear suspension is a mature and considered set-up that offers a comfortable drive experience whether you’re loaded up or empty.
It rides with composure and a decent level of comfort, too, even over rough surfaces. And while you can’t take speed-humps with the sort of speed you would in a spongy SUV, it is surprisingly amenable when empty.
With weight on board the suspension settles down considerably, particularly over sharp-edged bumps like speed humps.
The steering, too, is good – not too heavy, not too light – and decidedly accurate for parking manoeuvres. At high speeds it remains accurate and is nicely progressive, too.
And while the 'Tipper' is rear-wheel drive, there’s a rear diff lock if you ever need that extra peace of mind.
Inside, this workhorse is quite a nice workspace.
The three-seat cabin features a fixed twin passenger bench and an independent pneumatic (air suspended) driver’s seat with sponginess adjustment, height adjustment, lumbar adjustment and slide and backrest tilt, though taller drivers may find they can’t sit far enough away from the steering wheel. And the wheel itself has only reach adjustment, but not tilt/rake movement.
The middle seat features a clever fold-down desk section that includes a removable clipboard, and the clever storage doesn’t stop there. Flip up the base of the middle seat and there’s a massive under-seat storage box for loose or valuable items, and the Daily has a trio of dash-top storage bins, an overhead folder holder, large closable door pockets and plenty of loose item storage caddies.
There’s a touchscreen media system that appears to have been borrowed from Fiat, and it is simple to use and easy to navigate. The Bluetooth phone and audio streaming works a treat, too, and there are two USB inputs and an auxiliary jack as well.
Safety is taken care of with an electronic stability control and hill-hold assist, as well as six airbags – dual front, front side and curtains. But, annoyingly, there is no rear-view camera, and sensors aren’t standard either.
As for cost, Iveco has just updated the Iveco Daily Tipper with new standard equipment including items you see here – a nudge bar, tow kit and satellite-navigation.
Iveco is selling the Daily Tipper from about $64,000 driveaway, with the model we’re testing going for $68,000 driveaway.
Competitor vehicles include cab-chassis versions of the Renault Master, Volkswagen Crafter, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Fiat Ducato and Ford Transit – most of which are cheaper, but none of which have factory-fit tip-tray options available.
And when it comes to cost of ownership, the Italian company claims to offer peace of mind for business owners with its comprehensive online Total Cost of Ownership tool. It includes parameters such as distance per year, fuel costs, interest rates and more.
Further, the Iveco Daily comes with a competitive three-year, 200,000km warranty covering all parts and labour.
If you’re after a tip-truck that you can drive straight out of the showroom to a worksite on a car licence, you can’t really choose anything else. And the fact the warranty covers the tipper and the vehicle itself should be enough to get you to dig it – but hopefully it doesn't require you to do too much actual digging.
Click on the Photos tab for more images by Christian Barbeitos
Thanks to the guys at Lower Mountains Landscape Supplies for their help on this shoot.