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Trucks rolling off Seddon Atkinson's Oldham assembly line have a reputation for durability and high-payload earning potential. We've tested a 325hp Strato to see if it lives up to the legend.
Seddon Atkinson roadtests are something of a rarity in Commercial Motor It's not that the folk in the Woodstock factory don't like us testing their trucks. It's just that niche manufacturers like SA can't boast the large demo fleets of bigger builders. As a result we usually have to borrow an operator's truck. So it is with this week's roadtest: the Strato 32.325C eight-legger.
In April 1994 lveco's EuroTech cab replaced the large Cabtec shed on Seddon's heavy trucks, following the Italian company's acquisition of Pegaso. Otherwise Seddon Atkinson's 8x4 chassis is largely unchanged. The smaller, lighter cab is better suited to the Oldham company's aim of supplying products fine-tuned to the British market so the Strato 32325C makes a sensible alternative to Iveco Ford's EuroTral(ker.
The Iveco Ford product offers a classic Continental approach with its "integrated" driveline, while the Seddon Atki' is the traditional Brit' with its Cummins/Eaton/Rockwell driveline inside a light frame.
Alan Kendrick is the man we must thank for this week's test. A Foden man of late, Kendrick runs the Strato on a set of alloy z wheels fitted after the truck was commissioned—this is made easy by Seddon's use of
ce long wheel studs on all its axles a 5 Steel wheels are standard; spacers make up
the gap, preventing stud thread damage when they are fitted.
Apart from some tyre changes and the addition of some options the truck is almost as it would leave the factory today. Almost, but not quite: Seddon now uses a pushrod gear linkage in place of the Cablecraft cable linkage (CM 14-20 Dec). Given the varying quality of this installation we can only applaud Seddon's move although it must be said that Kendrick's machine has one of the better installations we have driven.
• PRODUCT PROFILE Under the Big-A-badged Iveco Group cab sits Seddon Atkinson's Strato 32.325C chassis on rubber suspension. The standard spec sheet offers the charge-cooled 325hp engine along with an Eaton Rh 1609A nine-speed gearbox.
Kendrick's options include an Eaton Twin Splitter 12-speed, air horns, sun visor, illuminated headboard, beacons, Jake Brake and Tecalemit automatic chassis lube. The Wisbech Bulk Systems body also hides a PM Electronics on-board weigh system with a read-out on the dashboard.
Alloy wheels are also optional as factory fitted original equipment.
The 10-litre Cummins L10 engine develops 325hp (242kW) at 1,900h-pm and torque is list