The Iveco Stralis 450AT 6×2 tractor has long been admired as a highly competent fleet-spec rig, but married to the Active Time cab with optional high-roof configuration it is a capable performer for owner-operators too. The top bunk, which was a £320 option when new, is a good, solid berth that would easily accommodate the second of a two-man crew and that high roof line gives enough headspace for the tallest of drivers to stand up. This is helped by a flat central engine cover which aids movement around the cab.The driver’s seat on the Iveco Stralis 450AT is still one of the best around, giving ample support and boasting adjustments that let any driver quickly find a comfortable working position. The proof of its quality is the absence of any aches and pains after a long day behind the wheel. The good driving position is helped by a fully adjustable steering wheel which is itself ideally sized to allow a clear view of the dash. Layout of the main driving controls is nicely executed, with Eurotronic selector, handbrake and hazard-lights switch all laid out together within easy reach of the left hand. The display is colourful not just for aesthetic reasons, but to aid instant understanding from the quickest of glances.
The Iveco Stralis 450AT Active Time cab is decked out in soft-touch trim, a pleasing material that is still hard-wearing and easy to clean, a factor that becomes more important in used models. Storage is good too, with large units beneath the bottom bunk, above the windscreen and dotted around the cab. Insulation is first class, leading to a quiet and more relaxed drive. All told, the tare weight is 8,220kg, leaving a healthy 22.4 tonnes of earning capacity.
Underneath the first-rate Active Time cab beats the heart of the Cursor 10 engine. This Euro 5, 10.3 litre turbocharged six-cylinder unit is certainly a well-regarded power plant and rightly so as it has a history of excellent fuel returns. It pumps out its maximum 450hp between 1,550 and 2,100rpm and delivers 2,100Nm of torque between 1,050 and 1,500rpm. This EEV unit is smooth and willing, pulling easily away and maintaining velocity with no discernible effort. It is linked to a 12-speed ZF gearbox via the Eurotronic AS 2300 TD automatic system. This is a solid system, if a little conservative on the changes, but these can be hurried along with a little flick of the right-hand steering wheel column stalk.
The power steering is light and allows you to place the Iveco Stralis 450AT in exactly the position you want on narrow winding roads. The crisp handling is aided by a standard set-up of steel parabolic springs to the front and air bags on the middle and rear axles. This system is complemented by anti-roll bars and shockers at front and rear, while the middle axle has a pneumatic lift. Braking is provided by a full-air, all-round disc system, helped by the Cursor 10’s engine Turbo-Brake.
The Iveco Stralis 450AT is a truck that delivers. It hits all the right notes on driver comfort, payload (and earning power) and especially fuel consumption. With sensible prices and a good reliability record, it could make an excellent second-hand purchase.