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Prime Mover Magazine

Cubic Defence bolsters fleet with Isuzu trucks

Cubic Defence – a subsidiary of QLD-based multinational, Cubic Corporation – took delivery of two Isuzu FTS 800 4x4 trucks as part of an Australian Defence Force (ADF) contract on 30 August 2016.

“We’re based all around Australia with a head office in Townsville and we provide simulation and instrumentation support to defence and aerospace projects,” said Cubic Defence Operations Support Manager, Adrian Overell.

“We deliver niche instrumentation services for defence training operations, which means we need good vehicles for long highway drives and very difficult cross-country locations,” he said.

“When we support the ADF, we go where they train, so we drive these trucks literally all over Australia. A good, versatile vehicle that could take us to the top of a mountain, or drive along outback highways for days on end was an absolute necessity.”

The Isuzu FTS 800 4x4 model reportedly has a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) of 13,900 kg, 176 kW of power at 2,400 rpm and 706 Nm of torque at 1,450 rpm as well as six-speed Allison LCT2500 automatic transmission with fifth generation electronic controls and adaptive shift.

“Our Isuzus operate on dirt-tracks but also in serious off-road conditions,” said Overell. “We transport Ground Relay Stations (GSRs) to collect data from extremely remote and inaccessible locations.

“We need to get these GSRs to the top of small mountains near military training centres to get the best coverage possible.

“These places don’t have roads, often just a very bad track. We needed vehicles that could drive across this terrain safely, carrying a 3,000kg load and a large crane, before unloading itself and returning.”

The FTS, a full-time four-wheel-drive, is reportedly suitable for the Australian outback with its centre differential lock, cold riveted ladder frame with parallel side rails and high tensile weldable steel side-members.

“I drove trucks in the military for 30 years, so I’m used to driving extremely high-spec, military-grade trucks,” said Overell. “With Cubic, I now look at Isuzu’s commercial trucks for similar kinds of work.”

“They’re not military grade, so they don’t have quite the same capacity, but the Isuzus always meet what we need them to do. And in terms of comfort and driveability – they’re so much better.

“The air-ride seats, suspension, steering geometry and the air-conditioning make it such an enjoyable vehicle to drive.”

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