Body of work
The Fuso Built Ready Canter range now extends across six models and can be wheeled straight out of dealerships to get customers working immediately.
The feature advantage of the Built Ready Canter range is they can be purchased with various bodies already fitted to suit a number of applications which saves customers from potentially long wait times and the complications of dealing with separate body builders.
The Built Ready Canter tippers are sourced directly from Japan, while all the other Built Ready bodies have been developed with leading truck body builders and are made in Australia.
Spending some wheel time in examples across the full spectrum of the Ready Built range brings us to the conclusion that Fuso have tapped into the market in a very smart way by offering tough trucks that are up to their respective tasks yet are extraordinarily easy to drive.
The units with manual transmissions present no more challenge to drive than a manual car especially with the hill start anti-roll back function, which holds the brakes until the clutch pedal begins to be released.
The Duonic AMT models also now have hill hold feature, which works off a time delay once the accelerator is applied.
Both systems enhance safe driving in heavy traffic and also allow the driver to concentrate on other matters rather than getting the pedal functions perfectly synchronised when starting off uphill, especially when loaded.
The dual clutch Duonic automated manual transmission is intuitive and smooth and almost instantly selects the most appropriate gear for the conditions at the same time as maximising fuel efficiency from the power and torque characteristics of the 3.0 litre engine.
The dual clutch engineering is sophisticated and refined and exhibits none of the sometimes confused operation that plagued some European vehicle manufacturers in the earlier days of this technology.
The most popular model in the Built Ready range is the 515 Wide Cab Pantech, which is a great fit for suburban deliveries and the small truck rental market.
The bodies are available in either 20mm fiberglass reinforced plastic panels or lighter honeycomb fiberglass construction. Both styles use aluminium for the roof.
The package also features a 3mm chequerplate floor, an interior LED light, square tube internal tie rails and a D’Hollandia tuck-away electro-hydraulic tailgate lift.
Independent front suspension, a tight turning circle and the six-speed Duonic transmission contribute to a car-like driving experience.
Operators requiring refrigerated transport are offered the 515 Canter City Cab and Thermo King fridge/freezer combination.
The Thermo King v500max refrigeration unit has 240volt standby power and can operate as low as minus 20 degrees.
Helping to maintain temperature are the styrene sandwich walls and roof as well as cold curtains fitted to the rear and side openings.
The Canter 515 Wide Cab and City Cab versions are available with an alloy tray that is just over 4.5 metres long and is replete with drop sides, removable racks, rope rails and integrated access steps.
Fitting into both the transport and ‘tradie’ applications this Canter presents a very viable alternative to ute and trailer combinations with its larger load area dimensions and higher weight capacity.
The Canter 615 City Cab tipper has its capacity increased by 500kg and is now the only ‘narrow’ Japanese tipper to be available with a 6-tonne gross vehicle mass (GVM).
This is made possible due to the tippers’ integrated strengthened box section chassis which support the tipper body and lifting mechanism, obviating the need for a separate sub-frame which saves weight, adds to payload and assists stability by slightly lowering the centre of gravity.
The 815 Canter Wide cab tipper has also undergone a recent upgrade, adding 1,000kg to its payload and 14 per cent more to its cubic capacity effectively raising it to 2.4 cubic metres.
The lifting ram operates with a higher pressure and provides a five-degree increase in the tip angle and now takes it to 60 degrees.
The GVM of the 815 model is 7,500kgs with a 4,500kg certification available to enable it to be operated by passenger car licence holders.
The GVM of 11,000kgs makes it suitable to tow trailer-mounted excavators.
All Canter tippers are equipped with limited slip differentials and rear lug tyres to optimise traction in slippery conditions.
The Fuso Built Ready cab-chassis are covered by Fuso’s five-year vehicle manufacturer warranty, while the bodies are covered by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
In developing its Ready Built range Fuso has aimed to make it easier for its customers to do business across quite a wide range of applications.
“We know that our customers would rather be out there getting the job done than waiting for a body to be built up,” Fuso Director Justin Whitford tells us.
“We have been working on this program for quite some time because we wanted to get this right.”
By all accounts and from our own experience with the range, Whitford and his team have certainly achieved that.