The new Fighter FK 1124 is a little bit of this and a little bit of that, it is one of those models that borrows some elements from the next size up and some from the next size below, to create the kind of hybrid the market is starting to look for. It suits a growing task in the transport industry.
What was the market looking for, which it couldn’t find from Fuso? It liked the smaller cabin and the driver’s seat lower to the ground. All-round visibility was important and the transom window in the passenger door was another element required.
The market was also looking for some items found in heavier trucks, however, such as full air braking. There was also a need for something that is becoming ‘de rigueur’ in many medium-duty trucks, the Allison automatic gearbox. In this case, the LCT 2500 five-speed fitted the bill.
The result of this vital development process is the Fuso Fighter 1124 Diesel News took out for a test drive. Configured as a flat top and loaded with a couple of pallets of bags and two IBCs full of water, this model was carrying the equivalent of a typical load.
These trucks will be found hauling odds and ends, palletised goods, steel, machinery – literally anything which will fit on – around metropolitan and country areas. Often, these trucks will be either owned by or contracted to the business that produces or sells the product being shifted. The basic layout is extremely adaptable.
On the dashboard, the LCD screen is bright and big enough. It can show the driver useful, live information, including fuel economy, which can be seen in a number of different ways but, from experience, the graphical display showing a historical graph was handy.
The Japanese truck manufacturers do not do LCD displays well, as a rule. This one in the Fighter, however, seems to be the best of the bunch. It’s just a bit more like others from elsewhere designed for Western eyes.
The entertainment system used is the same across the whole Daimler Trucks offering, and it works well and is easy to use – even for this driver who has to jump in and out of a different truck every week and try to connect the Bluetooth to answer the phone. On this truck, it was also linked to a reversing camera fitted to the rear of the tray, another visibility aid.
Storage is adequate, with two areas of flat shelving on top of the centre and passenger dash. Folding down the central cab seat back reveals a useful array of places to put all of the paraphernalia associated with truck driving. Arrayed across the wide parcel shelf behind the seat are a number of clever units – three flat boxes with lids that match the shape of the shelf and provide useful long-term storage options, while retaining the ability for the driver to just throw daily odds and ends onto the shelf.
Drinks holders are easy to find and found to do the job. The A pillar handles are well designed to aid ingress and egress for the driver.
How did it do?
A truck like the FK 1124 has a modest aim. It is destined to be a workhorse for an operator. This particular model is likely to be handling unglamorous short-haul runs with a wide range of goods back and forth across the city or from country town to country town.
As such, it does the job really well with little fuss. The driver does not need to be specialist to get the best out of the truck. This engine and the auto box do the work of getting it right.
A full day behind the wheel driving in and out of a number of Melbourne suburbs and around the massive industrial areas of eastern Melbourne was unstressful. This driver got out of the truck at the end of the day with few complaints.