Fuso has expanded its range of workhorses by introducing the FJ 26-280C, a locally-assembled, heavy-duty truck aimed primarily at the construction sector

Capable, efficient, tough on the outside but comfortable on the inside – that’s the verdict regarding Daimler’s recently launched Mitsubishi Fuso FJ 26-280C.

The model, powered by a turbocharged, direct injection diesel engine that produces 205kW and 1 100Nm, has been designed for rugged applications. Its nine-speed transmission includes a crawler gear that provides the flexibility necessary to negotiate off-road terrain, while a Power Take-Off (PTO) System – which can be used to power supplementary equipment – is a standard feature.

The model is built at Mercedes-Benz South Africa’s East London assembly plant from Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kits imported from Japan, with some local content added. The plant – which also assembles the FA series – was recently upgraded at a cost of more than R3-million.

According to Fuso spokesmen, to promote durability the chassis of the FJ26-280C incorporates thick and deep long members, while shot-peened and powder coated cross members add strength and reduce the possibility of corrosion.

Rear suspension is of the robust, multi-leaf, bogie type, while front and rear anti-roll bars are said to increase the vehicle’s on-road stability. A differential lock which aids traction in conditions that offer limited grip is a standard feature.

The interior has been designed to promote comfort and reduce driver fatigue. Among its features are a three-way adjustable seat and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. The extended day cab includes a fold-down bunk. Occupants also benefit from air-conditioning and rear windows that can be opened for ventilation.

Jasper Hafkamp, Executive Director of Daimler Trucks South Africa, said the construction industry was one of the country’s key indicators for economic growth. “What better way to underline our support for the sector than by launching what will soon be an icon in the industry, the Fuso FJ 26-280C?” he said at the vehicle’s unveiling, held at the company’s factory 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 – irrefutable proof that further reiterates our commitment to the southern African market, as part of our over-arching brand growth plan.”

Gladstone Mtyoko, Divisional Manager for the plant’s commercial vehicles operation, said the facility continued to build on its proud manufacturing heritage, having been in existence for almost 70 years.

“Over that time we have built reliable vehicles and constantly set and maintained high standards in safety, quality and future-proof technologies. It is exciting to expand our product portfolio to include FA- and FJ-series models. We intend to maintain our status of being a pioneer and a benchmark commercial vehicles manufacturer,” she said.

  • The recommended retail price for the Fuso FJ 26-280C chassis cab is R925 000.