Fiat Ducato Maxi Professional | Gassit Garage | Long Term
Youngy finally gets his wish, and AMCN gets loaded
Nearly my whole life has been taken spent either riding bikes or driving vans to take bikes somewhere to ride them. I only took my driving test so I could legally take vans crammed full of bikes to places near and far. 35 years on from passing that test I’ve still only ever owned one car, and that was for just three months. The rest of the time my only four-wheeled transport has been a van of one type or another. My motto is: “A man (or woman) with a van will always have ‘friends’ and never be homeless.”
Ever since I started at AMCN almost three years ago I’ve been like a scratched record polluting the office air with my bleating on about how a bike magazine as busy as this needs the biggest and best van possible. Not a toy van, a proper ‘bike van’.
Well how bloody happy am I now to have this beauty on the fleet? Pretty bloody, that’s how happy!
Our new Fiat Ducato Professional can easily transport four bikes plus heaps of other gear, and could even take up to six small- to medium-sized bikes with careful positioning and the appropriate tie down points in place. With a payload of over 2000kg, this sort of cargo cramming strategy doesn’t take the Fiat over it’s legal load, even with big-boned cruisers and tank-like tourers on board. The rear barn doors open right around to the side of the van and are large enough to accept the tallest of high-screened adventure bikes. Sliding doors on both sides make loading and tying down a far easier chore than with a single side entry.
With a three-litre turbo diesel under the hood it’s got the requisite grunt to haul a full load around town with the flow of traffic, and purrs along the highway with enough left in the go tank to overtake slowpokes when needed. Cruise control, air con, dual airbags, Bluetooth connectivity, plus a solid bulkhead with window to check on the load are all standard features, as well as parking sensors and reversing camera which is viewed through a five-inch colour touchscreen which also controls the radio/CD player, steering wheel controls, phone calls and SMS. Although I’ll admit I’m still getting familiar with all the in-cab electrickery, what I’ve experienced so far I like very much.
Comfort is big ‘must have’ for a van. It helps alleviate the annoyance of not making the journey on two wheels. The Fiat has enough driver seat adjustability to fit eclectic array of humanity found at Horror HQ, and has the comfort thumbs up from all our creatures, great and small.
Next task for our new Fiat Ducato Maxi move-maker is to collect the priceless AMCN archives from our previous office, and with 65 years of history to cart over, thank Gassit we’ve finally got a van big enough to do it!