Eighty-five years ago, the first Fuso vehicle, the B46 Bus, rolled off the production line in Kawasaki, Japan. Since then, the Fuso family has expanded its comprehensive offering and recently introduced its new FJ 26-280C to the southern Africa’s construction sector.
During the launch at the manufacturer’s plant in East London, it was highlighted that Fuso trucks have always been renowned for their reliability, quality, value for money, and for being the pace-setters when it comes to service support.
“The newest member of the family goes even further by ensuring a tough and durable chassis, extended service intervals from 15 000 to 20 000km and a wide-reaching southern African dealer footprint.”
The robust Fuso FJ 26-280C boasts a direct-injection diesel engine, rated at 205kW/2 200rpm with the torque levelling out at 1 100N.m between 1 200-1 600rpm. Fuso says that this makes it the engine of choice for power-hungry applications.
The unit’s fuel injection and higher boost pressure on the turbocharger ensure the complete burning of fuel, reducing emissions and increasing fuel efficiency. In addition, durability is increased while the oil-lubricated fuel pumps reduce wear.
The workhorse ticks all the necessary boxes in the construction sector, notes the manufacturer, including a 9-speed transmission with a crawler gear that provides the flexibility required to negotiate complex terrain for off-road applications. The capable truck also proves its mettle as it offers a power take-off (PTO) as one of its standard features. This is a regular requirement in the construction industry, as the PTO supplies power to other mounted equipment.
In addition, the FJ 26-280C enhances its functionality by offering multi-leaf, bogie type rear suspensions that are robust, resulting in longer life and the ability to haul heavier loads.
Safety was also paramount when the truck’s designers were putting pen to paper. The standard front and rear anti-roll bars increase the vehicle’s stability, while the 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.
The new FUSO was designed to be rugged for a longer product lifecycle, thanks to the thicker and deeper long members in the chassis. The chassis cross members add additional strength and they are shot-peened and powder coated to increase surface strength and to prevent corrosion.
While the FJ 26-280C 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.
Fuso Trucks Southern Africa used the launch to also expand its contribution to the southern African economy by announcing the increase of completely knocked down (CKD) production of its Fuso trucks at the state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) plant in East London.
“By producing the Fuso FA and FJ series trucks in our East London plant, we are simply putting into action what we promised would be the next logical step after we launched the Regional Centre Southern Africa last year. We are building Fuso trucks in southern Africa, by southern Africans, for southern Africa,” said Jasper Hafkamp, Executive Director for Daimler Trucks Southern Africa.
“This is irrefutable proof that further reiterates our commitment to the southern African market, as part of our over-arching brand growth plan. The construction industry is one of the key indicators for economic growth, and what better way to underline our intentions than by launching what will soon be an icon in this industry, the Fuso FJ 26-280C,” he added.
MBSA invested in excess of R3 million in the East London plant to ensure it was ready for the increase in Fuso CKD production, and this positively impacts the community as well as small, medium and micro enterprises as some of the vehicle’s parts used will be sourced locally.
Gladstone Mtyoko, Divisional Manager for Commercial Vehicles at the plant, said: “Our East London manufacturing plant continues to build from its proud heritage and long manufacturing footprint of almost 70 years in the region. Through our commercial vehicles manufacturing division, we have built reliable trucks and constantly set and maintained high standards in safety, quality and future-proof technologies.
“It is exciting to expand our product portfolio to where we increase the CKD production of Fuso trucks from our shores. This includes the new and dynamic FJ 26-280C in our production line and thus adds to our long list of achievements. We further intend to keep our status of being a pioneer and a benchmark commercial vehicles manufacturer through our various brands, innovative solutions and inspired people,” concluded Mtyoko.