There are 3.5-tonne dropside trucks galore on the market today but few can match the proportions of the Iveco Daily on test here – it’s massive.
With a loadbed measuring 14ft long by 6ft wide, you could almost fit a swimming pool in the back.
Iveco has been steadily building its market share over the past couple of years and – along with other manufacturers – is now offering a host of off-the-shelf options, saving fleets the hassle of buying a chassis cab and having it converted elsewhere.
Iveco’s brand is entitled DriveAway and it includes everything from dropsides through to tippers, refuse collectors, freezer vans and tautliners.
Our test model was finished off by body specialist Ingimex.
It features Iveco’s new 3.0-litre common rail diesel unit and weighs in at £20,850 ex-VAT.
Iveco only has the Daily on offer in its commercial vehicle range up to 3.5 tonnes – the company doesn’t bother with the light end of the market.
It leaves other maufacturers to cater for the florists, the butchers, the bakers and the candlestick makers.
Its unique selling point is sheer grunt.
And like everything about this vehicle – including the chunky chassis underneath and the dashboard in the cab, which looks as though it may have been hewn from a single piece of plastic – that’s huge.
Our test model may seem gigantic but it is in fact at the bottom end of the range. Iveco can offer Dailys right up to 6.5-tonnes if necessary.
Thus fleets with heavyweight jobs to do are increasingly turning to this marque.
In the front
Entry is by remote plip unlocking and there is a fair height to climb to reach cab level.
The Daily gives a fine view over the tops of most traffic queues.
Our test version featured a hydraulic suspension driver’s seat which costs £85 extra and is well worth the money.
It adjusts in all directions and is fantastically supportive.
The dash has already been mentioned – it gives the Daily a real truck-like feel – although, rather curiously, the speedo was calibrated in kilometres per hour.
However, there are no points for the in-cab entertainment, which comprises a radio/cassette player.
When are van makers going to drag themselves into the 21st century and install standard CD players?
In the back
No-one can fail to be impressed here.
The proportions have already been mentioned and build quality is superb.
The underframe is fully galvanised and features 100mm steel bearers and 150mm longitudinal members.
The aluminium sides are powder-coated and the deck is resin-embossed plywood, which is replaceable if necessary.