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If you are looking for ultimate carrying capacity, without using a truck, Iveco’s biggest Daily has much to offer. Heavy haulage

If you are looking for ultimate carrying capacity, without using a truck, Iveco’s biggest Daily has much to offer.

Getting more than 1 tonne of payload in a standard 3.5 tonne van is getting harder to achieve, as manufacturers have to add more equipment to meet environmental and buyer demands. Yet there are plenty of operators that want to carry far more than that, but would rather not be moving up to a truck.

One possible answer is Iveco’s 7.0-tonne Daily. Available in a wide range of lengths and roof heights, or as a chassis cab for conversion, the big Daily is perhaps as far as you can stretch the van description.

Powertrain
Lighter Daily vans can be had with a 2.3-litre diesel engine or the heavy-duty 3.0-litre motor, with outputs ranging from 116-210hp. Unsurprisingly the 7.0-tonne model is restricted to the 3.0-litre engine, which can be had at 180hp or a range-topping 210hp. The van can also be supplied with a compressed natural gas (CNG) version of the 3.0-litre, offering 136hp.

You can have a six-speed manual gearbox if you like, but the majority of Daily buyers now opt for the excellent eight-speed Hi-Matic automatic transmission. This smooth-changing box makes life easier for the driver and can offer improved fuel consumption, thanks to its broad spread of gears. Daily is available as a 4×4, even at this weight, but the majority of Iveco vans are rear-driven, with twin rear wheels as standard for the 7.0-tonner.

Load carrying capacity
Daily is offered on three wheelbases, this being the longest at 4.1m and with three roof heights. There are five body lengths available, with two offered on the longest wheelbase. The ultimate Daily boasts a massive rear overhang and an enormous 19.6m3 of load volume, while this slightly shorter version boasts an impressive load length of 4,680mm and a load volume of 18m3.

The flip side of the load space coin is payload and the big Daily doesn’t disappoint here either. With a gross weight of 7.0-tonnes, this van can haul just over 4.0-tonnes, which is more than you would carry on a comparable 7.5-tonne truck.

In the cab
As a truck manufacturer, Iveco tends not to offer a fixed menu of trim levels and specifications, letting customers pick the options that best suit their operation. That said, Daily buyers can choose from two equipment packs, three functional packs and the delivery-spec Mission pack, to tailor the van to their operation. There are also a host of options available.

Suffice to say our test van was well equipped, with a decent selection of option boxes ticked, including air conditioning, electrically heated mirrors, suspension seating and cruise control.

The current Daily has a comfortable, spacious cab environment, with clear instruments and easy to reach controls. The two-tone black and blue dash livens the interior and it’s a comfortable place to spend the day. 

The van boasts a rather odd-shaped steering wheel, that carries plenty of switches for infotainment, cruise and other controls. However, the optional sat-nav screen isn’t the largest that you’ll see in a van these days, though it is clear and easy to read.

On the road
The Hi-Matic transmission offers Eco and Power settings, along with the ability to manually select gears if required. Even running at around 6.0-tonnes, the 180hp engine has more than enough power to operate in Eco in most situations, though flicking to Power can provide a bit more acceleration if needed. 

The Daily is equipped with an electric parking brake, that needs to be manually released before moving off. But otherwise, the Hi-Matic van is simple to drive, with good visibility from its high-riding driving position. 

Given its weight, the big Daily is of course restricted to 56mph and drivers will need a digital tacho card to record their progress. However, it cruises calmly on the motorway and makes reasonable progress on cross-country routes.

You can specify air suspension for the rear axle if required and this would certainly be a popular option for people-carrying models. For a panel van though, the steel suspension rides smoothly and the big van always feels in control and easy to manoeuvre.

Indeed, that is probably the most critical factor of the 7.0-tonne Daily. Despite its enviable carrying capacity, it still looks and feels like a big van, rather than a truck. 

Conclusion
For some buyers that last fact is perhaps one of the most important. The big Daily can drive into residential areas and urban streets without looking like a truck has arrived. For others it will be the Iveco’s carrying capacity, which we know from experience is combined with better fuel consumption than a 7.5-tonne truck.

Looking at the steadily rising sales figures, you might expect to find these larger Daily vans on every street. In reality many heavier van chassis become small buses, rather than load haulers. But for those that need ultimate carrying capacity within a van profile, the Daily 7.0-tonner is in a class of its own.

Van User Rating : 4.5

Iveco Daily 70C18HA8 V Hi-Matic
Basic price £50,120  Engine 3.0-litre Power 180hp Torque 430Nm @ 1,500-2,800rpm

Weights (kg)
GVW 7,000 Kerb weight 2,977 Payload 4,023

Dimensions (mm)
Load space length 4,680 Load space width 1,800 Load space height 2,100 Load volume (m3)  18 

Cost considerations
Fuel consumption N/A CO2 N/A Service interval 2 year/37,000 miles Warranty 3 years/unlimited miles