Electrician Bob Van Os finds Hyundai is a firm favourite
Changing a vehicle regularly is not a regular occurrence for Australia’s tradesmen. For some, even washing their trusty conveyance can be a chore that is often forgotten, and, of course, there are some tradies that see the suggestion of servicing on a regular basis as something that only others do.
Electrician Bob Van Os realised the time had come to replace his reliable Toyota HiAce and looked around for a suitable van as a substitute to a vehicle that had started life with Telstra before finding a new life on the electrical circuit.
“I didn’t even know Hyundai made vans when I first started looking for a replacement to the old HiAce. It had been a good old van, but I was tired of bouncing around in a basic van, and it was getting a little long on the tooth,” said Bob.
“I had a test drive in an iLoad, owned locally, and thought it was a big step up from the HiAce. The power and performance from the diesel engine was a big improvement over the HiAce and the ride comfort was certainly a lot better. It was also a lot nicer to drive. The big question was how to incorporate all the equipment and parts I carry with me,” he added.
After visiting the local Hyundai dealerships, Bob settled on a white, diesel-powered iLoad van with five-speed manual transmission. With a regular load that sees weights running at the three tonnes mark for the iLoad, he added auxiliary airbag support to the rear springs and also looked at the best way to distribute his daily inclusion of ladders, conduits, pipes, cables and spare parts.
“I added a sliding drawer that is mounted on the floor of the van and slides out through the rear tailgate,” said Bob. “This was supplied by Cargo Drawers Australia, of Canberra, and has been a fantastic addition. The drawer has a payload of 400 kg and it slides out effortlessly, giving me access without having to bend forwards and lean into the cargo area,” he added.
In addition to the sliding cargo drawer, the Hyundai also includes a wide, non-slip rear step with grab handles either side of the tailgate opening, and Hyundai supplied roof racks on which are mounted the conduit carriers.
“Even when fully loaded, the performance comparison with the HiAce is amazing. I can now climb the hill at Mount Ousley, near Wollongong, in fourth gear in the Hyundai easily. The HiAce was only able to manage the climb in second gear with the engine screaming its head off,” he added.
Now achieving second place in the annual Australian van sales segment, the Hyundai iLoad, in Bob’s case, is powered by a four-cylinder, 2.5-litre CDI diesel engine that produces 125 kW at 3,800 rpm and peak torque of 392 Nm rated at 2,000-2,500 rpm.
The engine design includes the use of common-rail direct fuel injection, a variable geometry turbocharger with intercooler and either a five-speed manual gearbox or five-speed automatic transmission. Optionally available is a 2.4-litre, petrol four-cylinder engine that produces maximum power of 6,000 rpm and peak torque of 228 Nm rated at 4,200 rpm and uses sequential multi-point fuel injection.
With a turning circle of 11.22 metres, the iLoad features hydraulic, power assisted steering, four-channel, four-sensor anti-lock (ABS) braking and electronic brake force distribution (EBD). The kerb weight for the diesel van is 2,084 kg with a GVM of 3,160 kg, offering a payload of 1,132 kg. Fuel economy for the combined fuel cycle of the diesel manual is 8.5 l/100 km, 9.6 l/100 km for the diesel auto and 10.1 l/100 km for the petrol manual version. Brakes are disc front and rear, and the emissions level is shown as 225 g/km (diesel manual).
Running on 215/70R16 tyres with steel rims, the safety features include driver and passenger SRS airbags, automatic door unlocking on impact, a four-ring strengthened body with rigid cabin and crush zones front and rear, impact absorbing bumpers and side-impact anti-intrusion bars in the front doors. Security features include central locking, an engine immobiliser and keyless entry with burglar alarm.
Hyundai provides a broad selection of genuine parts and accessories to tailor an iLoad for specific load carrying. As well as two-bar and three-bar roof rack systems, Hyundai offers a full technician kit that includes a ladder holder (six pegs, six pads and two straps), conduit holder, key locking security cables and a worklamp mount. The maximum permissible load on the roof system is 125 kg distributed across a three bar system. Also available are cargo floor mats in rubber, a wooden flooring system throughout the cargo area, and other options such as reverse park assist warning.
“I’ve had the iLoad now for one year and completed 10,000 km. Since I’ve bought mine, other sparkies have also had a look at it, and about three of four have bought their own. It’s a great van,” said Bob.