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

Powered by a turbocharged, direct injection diesel engine that produces 205kW and 1 100Nm, the vehicle is said to be suitable 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, but includes some local content. The plant was recently upgraded at a cost of more than R3-million.

According to spokesmen for the brand, 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 is said to have 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 than by launching what will soon be an icon in the industry, the Fuso FJ 26-280C.”