Astra BM Astra Anonima Sarda Trasporti, Astra are an Italian manufacturer who were founded in 1948 and have been part of the Iveco group since 1985. The Anonima Sarda Trasporti (ASTRA) was founded in 1946 by Piacenza-born mechanic Mario Bertuzzi. He had the idea of reusing mechanical components of US Army military vehicles left behind after the Second World War and reconditioning them into dump trucks. The new company was based in Cagliari (Sardinia) and it received the go-ahead from the Italian Government as soon as the WWII was officially over. Some years later, in 1951, the ASTRA headquarters was transferred to Bertuzzi's hometown, Piacenza, on a 15,000 square-meter site. It took the Italian plant no less than 9 years to finally produce its first dump truck, using US axles and gearbox as they assembled the new BM1. Its utility was rather logical on the Italian market, as the whole nation was caught in a rebuilding process following a destructive WWII. During the next decade, the company strengthened its dump truck range, keeping a close eye on the market and its increasing needs. Once ASTRA moved into a brand new 140,000 square-meter facility, Bertuzzi's company launched new and improved models like the BM 12, BM 16, BM 18, BM 19, BM 20, BM 21, BM 22, BM 25 and BM 35 bumper. Some 5 years later, the Italian manufacturer started plans for a new chassis-cab project, the BE 8440 and BE 10660. Still, it was only a decade later that ASTRA hit the dump truck market with a brand new line of products, the SERIE 300. Following great success for the next couple of years, ASTRA agreed on participating in the famous Paris-Dakar Rally with the BM 309 ASTRA model. Nevertheless, as the market kept changing and people were asking for something better, the Italian company was forced to work on a new version of the SERIE 300. Therefore, the BM 501 bumper appeared in 1984, featuring both mechanical and automatic transmissions. In 1986, ASTRA was acquired by IVECO Group and became one of the most powerful 'players' on the construction-vehicle market in both Italy and internationally. Only 3 years later, the company launched two brand new series: the SERIE 6000 and SERIE 6500. Both series featured advanced technologies as compared to the BM 501 bumper or the previous SERIE 300 – the most important of which being the fiberglass components. Two years after replacing the BM name with the HD (from Heavy Duty), ASTRA Iveco launched a brand new HD7 Series, with engines having a power range from 340 to 520 HP. In 1999, the same HD7 Series would benefit from automatic gearbox and become the first off-road vehicle to use automatic transmission. Also, the company continued on their motorsport tradition and competed year after year in worldwide truck series. The HD7/C came to complete the HD7 Series in 2000, featuring Euro 3 Iveco Cursor engines. Not only that, but the company also launched a brand new type of vehicles, the Articulated Dump Trucks (ADT) during the October SAIE in Bologna. The new series was bringing 2 new models into play: the ADT25 and the ADT30 (the numbers meaning the maximum supported load, of 25 and 30 tones respectively). One year after acquiring the SIVI Company in 2003 (Italian brand best known in the special vehicles sector), the ADT Series was renewed with a couple more models, the ADT35 and the ADT 40, featuring the ultimate Iveco Cursor 13 engines. Finally, in 2005, the HD7/C Series was updated to the all-new HD8 Series.

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(Land Locomotion – Mechanical Vehicle Mobility LL-MVM)
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