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Recognising the demand for ready to work light trucks in the Australian market IVECO has put together the latest version of the ‘Tradie-Made’ based on the Daily 45C17 cab chassis.

Since it was launched in 1978 more than three million examples of the IVECO Daily have been sold globally in various guises.

The latest Daily ‘Tradie-Made’ is a limited edition package which includes a locally built alloy tray. A similar combination was offered several years ago and achieved with it sufficient sales success to warrant a repeat in 2020.

Buyers will gain a confidence-boost and reduce long term costs as this latest package includes an additional two years extended warranty on top of the standard 3 year/200,000kms, delivering a total of five years’ factory cover. The Tradie-Made package also comes with five years free servicing up to a maximum of five services.

The Tradie-Made’s Euro 5 engine is the IVECO 3.0 litre diesel producing 170hp (125kW) at 2,900-3,500rpm and 430Nm (317 ft/lbs) of torque between 1,500 and 2,600 rpm.

This version of the 3.0 litre engine is equipped with a variable geometry turbocharger in order to deliver usable torque at low revs and promote good fuel economy throughout the rev range.  The engine has low friction piston rings and IVECO specifies high quality engine oils to reduce internal friction and improve fuel consumption. The engine’s ‘smart’ alternator makes its own contribution to fuel efficiency by eliminating unnecessary load and it also maximises battery life.

The Tradie-Made has as standard IVECO’s Hi-Matic version of the ZF eight-speed full automatic transmission which has a self-adaptive shift strategy. This transmission delivers noticeable smoothness and invariably ensures that the correct ratio is selected to suit the instantaneous circumstances of load, terrain and driving style.

In full auto mode the ultra-fast gear changes (under 200 milliseconds) to ensure seamless power delivery to the wheels. There is also the option to push the lever across to over-ride the automatic function and manually select gears which can be handy on descents.

The Hi-Matic features both ‘Eco’ and ‘Power’ modes and as we have come to expect from such technology, when Eco is selected the transmission changes gears at lower rpm, while Power mode holds the vehicle in each gear for a longer time to provide stronger acceleration or for tackling inclines when loaded.

The 3,750mm wheelbase of the Daily Tradie-Made accommodates the locally built alloy tray which has external dimensions of 4,223mm length and 2,218mm width. The tray features recessed latches for the split drop-sides and tailgate plus quick lock hinges.

There are 24 internal load restraint points as well as tie rails on the sides and a tube headboard and rear window protector. A tubular alloy step is also included at each front corner to enable safe and easy access to the tray.

Interior comfort is provided in the form of the suspended driver’s seat with folding armrest and the wide passenger bench seat can readily accommodate two adults. The cabin has automatic climate control air-conditioning and the dash features the IVECONNECT multi-media system incorporating GPS and Bluetooth phone connection and audio streaming with a set of controls mounted on the steering wheel. Cruise control is also standard with the Tradie-Made pack.

The 16 inch dual rear wheels and the truck-style C-section chassis and multi-leaf spring rear suspension allow for a Gross Vehicle Mass of 4,500kgs which qualifies the Tradie-Made to be operated by a holder of a passenger vehicle licence and this Daily still can handle a payload of up to 2,000kgs.

Standard safety features include airbags for the driver and passenger plus dual side curtain airbags. Four wheel disc brakes incorporate ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and IVECO’s ninth Generation Stability Control and Hill Start Aid.

Daytime running lights and fog lights at the front contribute to safety in all light and weather conditions and a buzzer alarm at the rear warns bystanders when the vehicle is reversing.

There are currently many options in the Australian light commercial vehicle space, ranging from 4x4 dual cab utes to large European and Asian vans, plus the smaller specification versions of cab-over trucks which fit into the sub-4, 500kg GVW envelope. Potential buyers need to consider long term practicality and cost and a vehicle such as the Daily Tradie-Made is certainly worthy of a decent look.

With the Tradie-Made the driver and passengers get to experience an almost car-like ride which is substantially different from any equivalent cab-over light truck alternative.

In keeping with its name, the Tradie-Made ready-to-work package will find favour with the likes of plumbers and brickies, and at the same time should provide a practical option for operators handling smaller loads of freight where a tray top is a better alternative to a van.

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