A complex market
The quarry and construction vehicle market only accounts for a small part of the heavy vehicles with GVW over 16 tonnes. But this does not prevent it from being extremely complex, because of the many applications: vehicles with 2, 3 or 4 axles or all-wheel drive; a wide range of power deliveries (from 270 to 480 Hp for Iveco); trucks and tractors; light or oversized models; and special variants for special outfits. To which we must add the national peculiarities, because quarry and construction vehicles usually operate in the countries where they are registered, and are subject to weight and size limitations deriving from old Highway Codes, which can be higher than the standardised European limits. And finally, the type of land, the geographical features and climatic conditions demand different configurations in terms of drive axles and power deliveries.
Construction site vehicles are basically trucks. The most popular outfit is certainly the tipper body, but there are also some very specific applications, such as cement mixers that carry concrete ready for use. Many have platforms, often fitted with handling cranes. Numerous applications are designed with public works in mind: utility trucks for firms, public offices and local authorities; emergency vehicles for the fire service or civil defence; vehicles to carry raw materials which cover part of their journey off the road where the going is rough. This is the case when transporting timber, or crates for the agricultural sector.
Two families of use
The quarry and construction range comprises two classes of vehicle.
On one hand, vehicles whose payload has been optimised to allow them to travel mainly on the road, respecting legal weight limits; these vehicles only cover the final stretch on more or less uneven dirt tracks. They tend to be 25/26 tonne 6×4 vehicles and 32 tonne 8×4.
On the other, vehicles used off road with higher tonnages, which are subject to huge stress. The tracks are barely marked, with steep slopes and varying grip that puts enormous strain on the transmission organs, particularly the drive axles, suspension and steering. In this case, sturdiness is the prime consideration. These vehicles are designed primarily for excavation work, competing with specialist vehicles, offering advantages in terms of versatility, purchase and maintenance costs, and the ability to travel on regular roads.
The Italian exception
The best example of an exception is Italy, which considers as exceptional loads construction site vehicles carrying raw materials that are not dangerous, so-called “works vehicles”. The permitted weights are: 20 tonnes for a 4×2, 33 tonnes for a 6×4 or 6×6, 40 tonnes for an 8×4 and 56 tonnes for articulated combinations. On the other hand, they have a speed limit and must have a flashing light on the cab roof.
With the new Trakkers, Iveco further develops the concept introduced with its previous quarry and construction ranges: two families of vehicles with different drive lines, chassis and suspension. The common denominator is the cab, since the demand for comfort is identical in both types of use.