July 18, 2019

Curtainside Daily scores on payload and economy

Dan Gilkes finds much to admire with Iveco’s off-the-shelf curtainsider.

Iveco sits alone at the very top of the conventional van market, as the only manufacturer to offer a conventional panel van with a gross weight right up to 7.2-tonnes. The biggest Daily is also available as a chassis cab, for use as a tipper or dropside perhaps, or as this curtainsider.

The Daily Curtainside is available through Iveco’s DriveAway ready-bodied range, making it easy for customers to order the complete vehicle, with its JC Payne curtainside body in place. Not only does this speed up the body building process, it also offers a very competitive price for the completed vehicle.

You might wonder why you would opt for a Daily at 7.2-tonnes when Iveco already makes a perfectly acceptable EuroCargo truck with a 7.5-tonne gross weight. There are a number of good reasons.

The first one is weight, or more specifically payload. Equipped with similarly sized bodies and equally powerful engines, a 7.5-tonne EuroCargo offers around 500kg less payload than the slightly lighter Daily. In addition, Iveco’s own figures suggest that over the same delivery route, the Daily’s 3.0-litre diesel engine will be up to 25% more economical to run.

Trailer option

Then of course, some companies simply prefer to operate a vehicle that looks more like a big van than a small truck. Not that this Daily is small, based on the longest available 5.1m wheelbase, the curtainsider offers companies a huge load area. If that’s not enough for your operation, the Daily can also be hooked up to a 3.5-tonne trailer.

There are a wide range of engines available to Daily buyers, with the choice of a six-speed manual gearbox or the Hi-Matic eight-speed automatic transmission. The highest horsepower version of the 3.0-litre engine that we have here is only offered with the Hi-Matic box.

While its 205hp power rating might grab the headlines, it is the engine’s 470Nm of torque that really make the Daily a pleasure to drive. The combination of strong pulling power with the smooth changing automatic transmission make it easy to handle the Daily in town or on the open road.

As with most automatic boxes, there is the option to work the gears yourself if required, by moving the gear lever forwards and back to change down or up. Unless it’s to bring in more engine braking when descending a steep hill or slowing for a roundabout though, the transmission is best left to its own devices.

The box also offers the choice of an Eco mode or a Power mode, which alters the gearchange points. Here too though Eco seems to fit the majority of situations.

The Daily cab is a familiar place to spend the day and Iveco put many of the smaller niggles right at the last update. This included lifting the top of the windscreen, making it possible for taller drivers to actually use the sun visors without completely blocking the road ahead.

Iveco offers a host of options for Daily, to allow customers to tailor the truck to their specific operation. There are also a number of specific mission packs and functionality packs that bring together a group of options under a single trim.

The latest Daily cab feels far sturdier than some earlier generations, with tough plastics and fabrics that look as if they are built for longevity. Visibility is good, though with a body of this size a reversing camera would have been a good addition, to make manoeuvring in tight spaces a bit easier.

Though undoubtedly a fair sized vehicle, the 7.2-tonne Daily feels much like its smaller stablemates to drive, which is again perhaps one of the reasons for its growing popularity. Certainly, with a decent entry price, good economy and a substantial allowance for body and payload, the biggest Daily makes a strong case for itself.