Meet Fuso’s big boet
R3 mln investment will see affordable truck assembled at East London plant
THE smaller trucks in the Daimler group, Fuso, have added the biggest lorry from Japan to the brand’s local offering.
To be assembled in East London, the FJ 26-280C comes to South Africa by popular demand from fleet operators who need a construction-tough vehicle that can be operated for maximum profitability.
Executive director for Daimler Trucks Southern Africa Jasper Hafkamp said by assembling the Fuso FA and FJ series trucks at the East London plant, Daimler is simply putting into action what it promised would be the next logical step after the launch of the Regional Centre Southern Africa last year.
“We are building Fuso trucks in southern Africa, by southern Africans, for southern Africa,” said Hafkamp.
MBSA had invested over R3 million into the East London plant to ensure the staff are ready to build the lorry.
Gladstone Mtyoko, divisional manager for Commercial Vehicles at the plant said the line workers intend to keep their reputation of building pioneering trucks that set the benchmark.
Naeem Hassim, head of Fuso Trucks South Africa said the smaller lorries in the Daimler stable have always been renowned for their reliability and value for money as well as for being the pace-setters when it comes to service support.
He said the newest member of the family goes even further by ensuring a tough and durable chassis, extended service intervals from 15 000 to 20 000 kilometres and a wide-reaching southern African dealer footprint. The chassis’ cross members add additional strength and they are shot-peened and powder coated to increase surface strength and to prevent corrosion. Under the chair, the robust Fuso FJ 26-280C boasts a directinjection diesel engine, rated at 205kW at 2 200 rpm with the torque levelling out at 1 100 Nm from 1 200 to 1 600 rpm.
Hassim said this makes the 280C’s engine ideal for powerhungry applications like tippers or concrete delivery. A Power Take-Off (PTO) point is one of the standard features.
A nine-speed transmission with a crawler gear provides the right ratios to negotiate complex terrain for off-road applications.
The load is carried by multi-leaf bogie type rear suspensions that are robust, resulting in longer life and the ability to haul heavier loads.
Standard front and rear antiroll bars increase the vehicle’s stability, while a differential lock assists to reduce one wheel from spinning, making the truck safer and easier to operate in conditions that offer little or no grip.
Hassim said while the truck is tough on the outside, the comfortable interior was built to reduce driver fatigue, complete with three-way adjustable seats, as well as a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel that allows the driver to choose an optimum driving posture.
The extended day cab includes a fold-down bunk where the driver can rest during breaks. Occupants also benefit from the standard air-conditioning and rear windows that open for ventilation or to shut out noise.
The recommended retail price for the Fuso FJ 26-280C chassis cab is R925 000, excluding the tipper or cement mixer that clients want to fit on the chassis.
Fuso trucks are known for being small and reliable with low operational costs, but the latest member, the large FJ26-280C, does away with the ‘small’ part in this reputation.