IVECO leaves no stone unturned

IVECO’s Marco Quaranta explains the complex testing and manufacturing of the company’s latest iteration of its iconic waste industry truck – the ACCO.

In what would become a 31-year post with Australian vehicle manufacturer IVECO, Marco Quaranta began his career with the company in 1987 in Turin, northern Italy. 

In 1995, the Italian salesperson was married, but had no children and saw an immense level of freedom in travelling the world and a willingness to experience a new culture. In an auspicious moment, a phone call from human resources changed Marco’s life dramatically. 

“IVECO Australia was looking for an Italian and English speaker for its dealer network development and other areas. The whole operation was meant to last two years, but as can usually happen, I was offered another position in Asia,” Marco explains.

“I never really considered returning and since then I have been a citizen of the world.” 

Around 2006, Marco returned to Australia as National Sales Manager before being promoted to his current role of Australia and New Zealand Product Manager. 

“During my career I had the opportunity to change my role every two to three years so I covered 11 roles across different departments – it was like changing jobs without changing the company,” he says.

With IVECO being a subsidiary of CNH Industrial, one of the largest capital goods companies in the world, the opportunities were endless for Marco. 

“If I had to decide to redo my career, I would do it exactly the same way.” 

Now as Product Manager, Marco collects the requirements of vehicle body builders, including their desired outcomes and positioning in the market and integrates these with current and future regulations and disseminates this to engineers. 

Of Marco’s many passions, one was his involvement with the now-retired Lloyd Reeman, known as the pioneer of the company’s iconic refuse collection vehicle – the ACCO. His reasoning is borne out of a fervour and dedication to support local jobs and Australian manufacturing. 

“We are one of the last three automotive manufacturers in Australia,” Marco says.

“Being part of a project providing local support to suppliers – 200 employed in our Dandenong factory – to the world of industrial entities is a great source of pride.” 

The only thing as strong as his passion for producing rugged and durable commercial vehicles, Marco jokes, is his zeal for an Italian espresso.  

In October, IVECO announced the next generation ACCO model would be manufactured at its Melbourne production facility.

POST-WAR FLEET

The venerable ACCO dates back to the post World War II era of 1952 when the International Harvester Company of Australia produced the country’s first locally designed and built truck in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong. 

Originally developed for the Australian army as a tough 4×4 rigid, it wasn’t too long before the truck was redeveloped for the highly demanding and often safety conscious waste industry. In 1972, the “ACCO A” was released, featuring an all-new cabin and proven structure still maintained in the current model of ACCOs. 

“It’s one of the few vehicles in the market in the world that has a book written about it. There is so much passion from the customers,” Marco says.

“Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to lead a project on the new ACCO, that was something really rewarding.” 

NEXT GENERATION

In October, IVECO announced the next generation ACCO model would be manufactured at its Melbourne production facility alongside its other truck models – the Stralis X-Way and Stralis AS-L.

The company also revealed the new ACCO would share architecture with the recently unveiled Stralis X-Way, which was designed for vocational and construction applications. Production will commence around February 2019 with orders available now. 

IVECO will continue to offer a factory dual control system. With technical validation completed, the company is now consulting with the waste industry to develop a number of body mounting and chassis layouts to suit a variety of bodies. In doing so, extensive efforts have gone into ensuring the new model lives up to the expectations of its predecessor – durability, lean architecture and rugged design, to name a few – while racing ahead of Australian regulations with clean Euro6 engines.

The design of the new ACCO has been shared with engineers around the world, including its largest engineering department in Germany. The new ACCO combines the latest technology from Europe with extensive local testing to ensure it matches rugged Australian conditions and waste industry expectations.

With two prototype units built in Madrid, Spain, the vehicle was initially tested at IVECO headquarters in Turin before being shipped to Australia for further research and development and engineering.

Available in 6×4 and 8×4 configurations, the ACCO will be equipped with IVECO front axles, tapered two-leaf parabolic suspension and rear IVECO 8 bag electronically controlled air suspension (8×4 models also receive front electronically controlled air suspension), with Meritor tandem drive axles featuring active traction control and driver controlled diff locks.

Marco says that one of the strong points of the ACCO through the years has been high quality information sharing with operators and body builders, and the new Euro6 makes no exception. Body builders such as Bucher Municipal, Superior Pak, Solo Resource Recovery and J.J. Richards & Sons have already shared their ACCO compactor drawings with IVECO, which allows the company to adapt its chassis to their requirements. 

“Some of them not only are body builders, but they are also operators, so they are contractors of waste collection for councils. They not only know the vehicle layout and performance, but they also understand the world of collection and how a vehicle has to perform in terms of speed, braking, turning circle and manoeuvrability.” 

IN-FIELD SIMULATION

Testing has been integral to ensuring the system is equipped for hard-edged Australian roads, with a view of understanding the various conditions and nuances of local community application.

“The new ACCOs have been driven extensively with new innovations like dual control and steering and new cab suspension. We’ve then built two prototypes in Dandenong that have been extensively tested at the Australian Automotive Research Centre in Anglesea, Victoria,” Marco says.

The vehicles go through a demanding stop, acceleration and braking routine up to 2000 times per day, meaning the stress test on the components is much higher than any application. The vehicles are equipped with a power take-off which engages and disengages every time the truck stops. 

“We have simulated the application with stop and start hundreds of times a day for almost two months,” Marco says.

In terms of environmental friendliness, the vehicle comes with the latest in Euro6 selective catalytic reduction that has a passive regeneration particulate filter to prevent downtime, additional fuel consumption and longer interval maintenance. 

“We don’t even know when Euro6 will be mandatory in Australia, but we already have basically every single product available only in Euro6 or Euro5. So this means we are ready for a future and we don’t even know when it’s coming,” he says.

“In the past emissions level evolutions meant penalties for the customer in terms of price and efficiency. With Euro6 everything has changed. The manufacturer of a vehicle and engine can no longer perform a technical development with only the emission in mind as the cost of ownership has to stay within a certain acceptable level.” 

ACCO models will feature SCR Euro6, Cursor 9 engines between 310 and 360 horsepower and 1300 and 1650 newton metres of torque, with emission control handled via IVECO’s Hi-eSCR system. The engines will be matched to the Allison Generation Five 3200 Series, six-speed fully-automatic transmission.

Aside from the adoption of new cleaner, more efficient Euro6-rated Cursor engines, the new ACCO range has also made significant gains in the area of safety, which, according to Marco, will position the model as one of the safest available in the heavy duty truck market.

Included as standard is adaptive cruise control, anti-lock braking system, electronic braking system, advanced emergency braking system (AEBS), electronic stability program (ESP), axle load indicator, electronic battery cut-out, LED daytime running lamps and rear LED lights. Land departure warning is also a feature. Marco says demand for safety is growing, particularly for vehicles operating within communities at all hours of the day.

“The ACCO comes with everything possible and existing for accident prevention,” Marco says. 

“The features I see as more important in waste is AEBS as the vehicle is able to calculate the reaction time of the driver, and if the time is too long, the vehicle takes action to brake on their behalf. So this can mean all the difference between impacting at high speed or not impacting at all.” 

He says ESP is also important for calculating the centre of gravity around areas such as narrow roundabouts. If the movement jeopardises the stability of the vehicle, the system takes action and recentres the vehicle to avoid rollover. Marco adds daytime running lamps also makes a vast difference to visibility.  

Another familiar feature includes three-piece steel front bumper with headlight mesh protection providing added durability and lower maintenance costs if these components are damaged in the field. 

ERGONOMICS 101

Inside the cabin, the operator is treated to an ergonomically designed workspace with modern instrument cluster and an intuitive dashboard layout. Marco says access to the cab is easy with the distance to steps well within regulations. The door opens at 90 degrees with a fully adjustable steering wheel. 

Additional comfort features include a variety of standard and optional equipment with automatic climate control, ISRI air suspension seat for driver and passenger comfort and heated and motorised mirrors. 

Marco says the engine has been redesigned for low friction and heat rejection with a turbo charger called variable geometry turbine available in some versions to provide additional fuel savings. 

Importantly, IVECO has a network of local dealers and workshops strategically located in key areas, plus the bodybuilders and operators to support its products.

“Not only are we part of this group which holds several operations in Australia, but with the Stralis X-Way and more products coming, the future is secure and viable for the short and medium-term,” Marco says. 

In the meantime, Marco says the old ACCO remains a popular choice for buyers and will continue to be so in the coming year. His passion for working on innovative trucks hasn’t changed either, with a bright future ahead in supporting Australian manufacturing and the next generation of safe, environmentally friendly, cost-effective and durable, heavy-duty trucks.

This article was published in the December issue of Waste Management Review.