Iveco Daily: weekend workout

By: Greg Bush


Iveco’s monster-sized twin-cab Daily 4x4 is an impressive-looking unit, but even more so when it’s geared up for the next Daryl Beattie Adventure

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Daryl Beattie is a bit of a legend in the 500cc MotoGP arena. Since retiring from the track, he’s maintained his zest for life with Daryl Beattie Adventures, which gives trail motorbike riders the opportunity to explore Australia’s outback in a group situation.

Beattie also runs concurrent passenger tours with a couple of Iveco Daily 4x4s.

Shortly before his current escapade, Iveco was keen to hand me the opportunity to take one of Beattie’s well-specced Daily 4x4s for a weekend spin. This was not your regular Sunday drive vehicle, however.

I picked up the twin-cab Daily 4x4 from Iveco Trucks Brisbane at Rocklea on a Friday afternoon, politely barging my way through the peak hour traffic. This ‘monster’ has the height of a truck, easily dwarfing the regular 4WD vehicles, the drivers below suddenly having their presence on the road diminished.

Compared to other Australian capital cities, Brisbane is fairly hilly, which proved ideal to test out the Daily’s ‘Hill Holder’ system on the way out of town. No rolling backwards at the lights with this unit, much to the relief of nervous car drivers sitting behind.

Up the Bruce Highway and into its 110km/h zone, the Daily’s three-litre direct injection diesel engine rolled along nicely, although with its speed limiter you’d be hard pressed to cop a speeding fine – even if you tried! It did, however, attract admiring glances from general motorists, probably wondering whether it was serious truck or a plaything.

HEAD FOR THE HILLS

Around 100km north of Brisbane is the tourist destination of the Sunshine Coast. Away from the coast and its beaches, there’s the greenery of the hinterland with its quaint little pubs, cafes and arty retail outlets. Beyond that, there’s dirt and gravel roads through thick forestry areas, some of which are surprisingly deemed okay for cars.

I headed for Yandina, a small town on the old section of the Bruce Highway. Turning left, I drove west towards Cooloolabin Dam, built in 1979. Shortly after leaving Yandina, it’s goodbye to the blacktop, although once you hit the steep uphill slope there is a long stretch of bitumen, built in the ’70s to make life easier for the dam building trucks.

Cooloolabin itself is a small community of scattered farm houses and dwellings whose residents are seeking to escape the rat race.


Read more on our Iveco Eurocargo and Daily double review, here


Once up the top of the hill, it’s pretty well smooth sailing along the gravel to the dam before the terrain switches to thick vegetation. As I mentioned, cars drivers are not discouraged from tackling this part of Cooloolabin Road, although I wouldn’t recommend it. The road’s rocky terrain was compounded by seemingly endless crevices, the result of recent heavy rain.

No problem for the Daily 4x4, however. With more than an abundance of grunt, it lapped up this poor excuse for a road in style, while the fully suspended ISRI seat helped cushion the blow from nature’s speedbumps.

The thick tree line was intruding onto both sides of the road when I reached a T junction. Turn left along Mapleton Forest Road or right into places unknown. I turned right, confronted with a sign warning that this section was not suitable for anything less than a 4WD.

Apart from its narrowness and the occasional muddy quagmire, this track was fairly sedate. Sure, it was jungle-like and the family sedan would have a good chance of being bogged, but compared to the main gravel route it was easy going for the Daily.

No need for the diff lock at all.

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SCRATCHING THE SURFACE

After a kilometre or so, I found a clearing large enough to turn around – hoping to not scratch the Daily’s camo paint job – and headed back towards the T-junction and Mapleton Forest Road. Again, this constant winding road was much rougher than the 4WD-only track; it’s rocky and gouged surface making for an exhilarating ride while testing out the Daily’s parabolic spring suspension and hydraulic telescopic shocks.

Emerging into civilisation, I resisted the temptation to call in at the Mapleton pub, a popular watering hole along the top of the range, and headed home.

Driving this Daryl Beattie Adventures-bound truck was a delight, and I could see why it would be popular with forestry workers and rural fire services.

Sure, I didn’t give it the workout it was capable of, but I felt the need to return it fairly unscathed as it had a more pressing engagement coming up.

SPECS

Make/model: Iveco Daily 4x4 twin cab

Engine: Three-litre direct injection diesel

Transmission: Six-speed synchro overdrive manual

Power/torque: 180hp (134kW) with 430Nm

GVM: 4,495kg (optional 5,500kg)

Emissions standard: Euro 6

 

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