As the right hand drive versions of Iveco’s new S-Way are still on their way through the ordering process, only left hand drive versions are being delivered in the UK.
That’s great news for Kent-based, international just in time haulier, Alcaline. It might be the only good news with a no deal Brexit looming, however.
The company has a fleet of 200 vehicles and two helicopters and don’t often run to maximum weight capacity for their 4x2s, instead ‘cubing out’ their trailers through sheer volume. Running in Europe means they’re governed by a maximum 4-metre overall vehicle height and have therefore ordered low-ride tractors compatible with its fleet of ‘Mega’ trailers. These trailers have a lower, thinner floor allowing operators to maximise their loading height with a 3m load bay. As a result, the trucks sit closer than normal to the ground with a very low fifth wheel.
The New Iveco S-Ways
The trucks, supplied by Haynes Trucks in Maidstone have been wrapped in a distinctive, updated version of Alcaline’s livery, one black, the other silver. Otherwise identical, both are low-deck AS440S51T/FP 4x2s running on all-round air suspension.
Alcaline chose IVECO’s largest-capacity Euro VI D-compliant engine, the inline six-cylinder 12.9-litre CURSOR 13 diesel, producing 510-horsepower. Coupled to the engine is the 12-speed HI-TRONIX automated transmission, working together with IVECO HI-CRUISE, the GPS-based predictive drive system which utilises navigation data to expect forthcoming changes in topography to ensure the vehicle always runs at optimum efficiency.
Most of Alcaline’s trucks are ordered in left-hand drive to make life easier for the drivers as they spend the majority of the time driving on the continent. These are mostly run ‘double-manned’, with Alcaline actually employing double-figure numbers of husband and wife driving teams. This helps save them critical hours on a normal run between its Turin depot in Northern Italy and the company’s Kent base, allowing them to make the entire journey in one shift. With a fresh driver awaiting in Kent, it enables next-day deliveries from Turin to places in the Midlands, like Birmingham.
High Spec for Long Distance Work
With that in mind, its trucks are often ordered to a highly functional level of specification, these two are no different. As its drivers can spend weeks away from home at a time, a key consideration when choosing new trucks is driver comfort. With the new AS Sleeper-cab, the IVECO S-WAY now stands proud as the market leader for internal space with a standing height of 2.15-metres. The 250-litres of internal storage is complemented by four capacious external lockers offering an additional 380-litres, two of which are also accessible from inside the cab.
Externally, the trucks feature painted aerodynamic side-skirts and the Premium Style Pack, adding an external sun visor, cab-coloured plastics, aluminium air tanks and pneumatic horn. It also features the new integrated parking cooler, necessary for nights away in warmer climates. This is fitted in conjunction with automatic climate control air conditioning and situated under the front grille, no longer requiring roof-top mounting and thus improving exterior aerodynamics and overall fuel consumption.
Internally, both have been specified with the T-shaped, single-piece lower bunk and Wide upper with fold-out ladder. This can be folded flat to the back wall, used with an integrated net as additional storage while on the move and lowered to create further living space. Additionally, the premium fridge and freezer combination offers 50 litres of chilled storage respectively with handy drinks bottle hatch and additional USB and 230v power outlets.
Increasing driver appeal became a high priority for IVECO during the development phase and Alcaline’s Transport Manager Alex Borlase believes this has been achieved. “It’s a visual thing on the outside and a space thing for the inside, S-WAY certainly seems appealing to the drivers… Before we took delivery, I’d been asked by a lot of drivers if they could have them,” he says, adding, “I could have put drivers in these S-WAYs ten times over already.”
Elsewhere is HI-COMFORT heated and cooled drivers seating, dual diesel tanks offering a 1,010-litre total capacity, and Efficiency Plus Pack incorporating GPS Predictive drive, Eco Fleet and Top Fuel Pack. This, along with improvements in the body’s aerodynamics help IVECO S-WAY reduce fuel consumption by up to 4% over its predecessor, ensuring fewer stops on Alcaline’s time-sensitive deliveries.
The capacitive 7” infotainment system incorporating a truck-focussed TomTom LIVE navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, DAB radio & Bluetooth, allows drivers to monitor their own efficiency and connect their smartphones to enable remote control features through the IVECO MY EASY WAY app.
The IVECO MY EASY WAY app allows drivers to take control of their truck, altering ambient lighting settings from the bunk, adjusting the parking cooler from a service station café or even locking/unlocking the doors and opening/closing the windows. Other features allow them to monitor the vehicles performance, their efficiency and predictive vehicle servicing requirements. The connectivity box can also allow transport managers back in the office to keep an eye on the running of their fleet and with a connection to IVECO’s central control room, possible problems can be averted ahead of time and with the help of over-the-air updates.
Minimising downtime is key to Alcaline’s operations and played a major part in the decision to order the trucks. With important automotive parts in transit, any delays risk a halt in production, potentially costing customers tens of thousands of pounds per minute.
Closing the Deal
“Haynes Trucks have been really good. Kevin Young, who sold us a very good and reliable Stralis XP came by with an S-WAY demonstrator which had a great presence on the road and improved upon everything we liked in the previous truck”, comments Alex.
“Their aftersales team are great too; I’ve only ever had to send the Stralis in for routine maintenance but their booking lead-times etc are always short and they can’t do enough for you.”
Efficient service is paramount, with each vehicle expected to cover at least 200,000 kilometres per year, there’s little time for its wheels to not to be turning.
“It’s fantastic to see the IVECO S-WAY already proving itself as the perfect truck for both driver and operator alike. We are especially proud of the reputation our trucks have already earned within such an exigent business as Alcaline’s,” comments IVECO UK’s Heavy Business-line Director, Gareth Lumsdaine.
“IVECO S-WAY represents real value in an industry with tight deadlines and even tighter margins. Our connected features collaborate with strong R&M packages to keep TCO low while maximising productivity. It’s a fantastic-looking, comfortable and engaging truck that I think drivers will be proud to hold the key for.”
The IVECO S-WAY is arriving on UK shores now in right-hand drive, with dealers remaining on-hand for enquiries by phone or email throughout the national lockdown. Euro VI/d HI-SCR 8.7, 11.1 and 12.9-litre CURSOR diesel engines are available, offering 330 to 570-horsepower. NP (Natural Power)-badged gas-fuelled alternatives producing 270 to 460hp will follow.