Bunbury-based log haul company, Plantation Logging Co, has evaluated an Iveco Astra over 120,000 kilometres and been impressed as it consders replacements to its truck fleet.
The largest pine tree harvester in Western Australia in in the process of upgrading trucks from another European manufacturer following what it calls longevity issues on a short lead application over 80 kilometres.
With steep tracks, often slippery with mud after rain the Astra 8x8 traction has proven up to the task in the demanding conditions.
Plantation Logging Co Managing Director Jeff Loton said the Astra was considered when the business had decided it was time for another alternative to drag a heavy dog trailer around.
“With a 520hp (2400Nm) engine, the Astra has an extra 40hp available compared to the other trucks we use, despite having more power, fuel efficiency is on par," he said.
"Our driver really enjoys having access to additional power, it’s noticeable in how the truck performs,” said Loton.
“The Astra’s transmission (16-speed Eurotronic AMT) also has another four gears to provide better spread of ratios for the conditions.”
Assigned to work ten to 12 hour shifts, five days a week, the Astra is set up as a rigid, pulling 68 tonnes on a low profile six axle dog.
Logs are delivered to pine and blue gum plantations and sawmills in the Bunbury region.
The Astra, according to Loton, has several benefits over the other vehicles on fleet being used for this same application.
It features, should the conditions require it, a hub reduction to all axles.
A high tensile steel chassis combined with a parabolic spring suspension provides improved articulation and traction.
The cabin features a spring suspended cabin, electric windows, air conditioning, a detailed multifunction instrument cluster, ergonomically-designed dashboard and 3-way adjustable, air suspended driver’s seat.
Purchased from Perth-based Iveco dealership AV Trucks, the Astra, according to Loton, will soon have others to accompany it in the fleet.
“A lot of our work is done on a contract basis and a couple of these contracts are due for renewal within the next 12 months,” he said.
“If we’re successful we’ll certainly be looking at bringing more Astras into the business.”
The N Series is the bedrock of the overall Isuzu range and delivers the major share of Isuzu’s sales that has kept the brand at number one. The constantly evolving N Series has recently had a number of features added including some 4x4 models with two pedal AMT transmissions.