The medium-duty segment is the unsung hero of Australian road transport. Amid recovering heavy-duty sales and a booming ‘final mile’ category, it is adding extra capacity to both ends of the spectrum and has become a vital tool to service regional and metropolitan Australia – so much so that it is often taken for granted.
The Fuso Fighter is a case in point. A ‘quiet achiever’ in the 10-24 tonne Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) category, it is one of the most versatile trucks in the business. In the ‘FK’ guise alone – covering GVMs from 10.4 up to 16 tonnes – it comes in 14 different variants. Another 10 models make up the ‘FM’ range, a wide-cab alternative to the FK with a 16-tonne GVM. Two more models – in various wheelbase configurations – make up the ‘FN’ spec, a 6×2 and a 6×4 with a 24-tonne GVM each.
Our test vehicle – a 6×2 FN bluntly named 2427 – falls into the last category. The wide-cab truck with a 6,530mm wheelbase is fitted with a curtain-sided Alltruck body and D’Hollandia tailgate – a typical specification for local distribution work that is aimed directly at customers in the parcel delivery and beverage industries.
While seemingly ‘standard’, the Fighter has all the hallmarks of a smart and safe business tool: Low profile 275/70 tyres, for example, make loading and unloading easy, while rugged, non-slip steps guarantee safety when entering and exiting. For passive safety, an integrated front under-run protection system is located behind the front bumper, too.