As the world’s fore­most diesel en­gine builder, Isuzu’s trucks are fa­mous for driv­ing on dirty diesel across Africa. We dis­cuss five more mod­els on

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

FOL­LOW­ING the news in Wheels of the shady prac­tises that al­low very poor-qual­ity diesel to be dumped in African coun­tries north of the Beit­bridge bor­der post, we looked at ve­hi­cles that can han­dle such fuel and still work. These range from the MAN and Fuso trucks built in In­dia, to a Chi­nese bakkie pow­ered by an Amer­i­can truck en­gine.

MAN’s trucks and buses

Ger­man truck builder MAN makes the CLA se­ries of medium trucks with ton­nages from 15 to 37 tons gross ve­hi­cle weight in In­dia.

The CLA range comes with what MAN de­scribed as “mod­est yet re­li­able en­gines and ro­bust chas­sis”, thanks to en­gines with high sul­phur tol­er­ance and ro­bust ZF gear­boxes.

The CLA se­ries is pow­ered by a Euro 4, six-cylin­der in-line en­gine with 6,9-litre cu­bic ca­pac­ity.

The unit boasts 223 kW (300 hp) at 2 300 rpm and fea­tures a torque of 1,150 Nm at 1 200-1 800 rpm.

An 8x4 chas­sis or bus chas­sis have long proven to be suc­cess­ful in day-to-day cus­tomer use.

Daim­ler’s con­tenders

The Fuso FA9–137 was the first ve­hi­cle to be im­ported by Fuso Trucks South­ern Africa from the Daim­ler In­dia Com­mer­cial Ve­hi­cle (DICV) plant in Chen­nai.

The made-in-In­dia Fuso trucks have been en­gi­neered to Daim­ler spec and the DICV plant has gar­nered a rep­u­ta­tion for op­ti­mis­ing re­search ac­tiv­i­ties, prod­uct de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­tur­ing pre­ci­sion at the state-of-the-art pro­duc­tion plant at Ora­gadam, near Chen­nai.

The FA9–137 is based on the Can­ter light-duty truck and in­cor­po­rates a newly de­vel­oped 4D37 diesel en­gine, boast­ing dis­place­ment of 3,9-litre cu­bic ca­pac­ity, and makes 100 kW (134 Hp) at 420 Nm.

All over with Hino

Hino and its smaller Dyna trucks need no in­tro­duc­tion, es­pe­cially as mil­lions gained their driver’s li­cence in all-for­giv­ing Dyna 4-093.

But the best am­bas­sador for Hino must be Nomad Africa Adventure Tours.

This 20-year-old adventure tours com­pany re­cently in­vested in a fleet of new Hino trucks, which it op­er­ates through­out sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa.

The fleet is ex­pected to cover more than 3 000 000 km this year, made up of about 850 tours. Nomad Adventure Tours trucks have al­ready trav­elled more than 30 mil­lion kilo­me­tres over the past 20 years, trans­port­ing more than 95 000 happy trav­ellers on about 10 000 tours.

First Au­to­mo­tive Works

Open-cast min­ing is no­to­ri­ously rough on ve­hi­cles, which makes Northern Province trans­port con­trac­tor Wil­lie de Beer’s com­pli­ments for the fuel ef­fi­ciency of the FAW tip­per trucks high praise in­deed.

De Beer’s FAW 28.280 tip­pers move some 4 200 tons of sand, grit and loose stones a day.

The We­ichai WDB615.50 en­gine makes 1 160 Nm between 1 400 and 1 700 rpm which goes to the rear wheels via a man­ual nine-speed FAW gear­box to move 28t GVM. De Beer re­ports a 22% drop in fuel con­sump­tion since mov­ing to FAW.

Fo­ton Tun­land

The Fo­ton Tun­land is very much a lesser-spot­ted bakkie in South Africa, lan­guish­ing far be­hind the Hilux, Ranger and Isuzu in sales, but its Euro 4 Cum­mins ISF en­gine is happy to burn 500 ppm day in and day out. Wheels has also tested one model, which made con­sid­er­ably more than the claimed 120 kW and 360 Nm on a hot day.

A five-year or 150 000 km war­ranty, a three-year cor­ro­sion war­ranty and road­side as­sis­tance is in­cluded in the price. The 4x2 dou­ble cabs also have the ben­e­fit of a two-year or 40 000 km ser­vice plan. The ser­vice in­ter­val of 10 000 km means that less costly and abun­dantly avail­able 500 ppm diesel fuel may be used.



Hino’s trucks work as tourist trans­porters all over sub­Sa­ha­ran Africa.


Fo­ton Tun­land’s Cum­mins en­gine is happy to drink 500 ppm diesel.


Fuso’s trucks are tough enough for Africa’s roads.


MAN’s trucks cope eas­ily with high-sul­phur diesel.


FAW’s tip­pers flour­ish in open-cast mines.

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