When you look at the Isuzu truck range, it is not obvious as to why the brand has been market leader for 30 years, although it has led the way on tailor made trucks.
In many ways, it is not the trucks which have achieved this milestone, it is the organisation behind them, with its capacity to keep constantly developing and adapting trucks and the specifications to best suit the Australian truck buyer.
This means that the range is constantly evolving, with new ideas coming down the pipeline to be released over the next few years. Diesel took the opportunity to test drive a number of the new options and models which have come on stream this year. It is an opportunity to see how Isuzu are travelling and and test out the latest specifications and technology.
Isuzu are extending the tipper segment of the ready to work range up the weight scale as well, with the introduction of the FSR 140 260 Tipper. Its GVM of 14 tonnes can be derated to 12 tonnes upon request, and a GCM of 20 tonnes, this new FSR truck breaks new ground for pre-bodied tippers and sees Isuzu continuing to extend the ready for work offering in dealership yards.
These introductions substantially extend the existing tipper options available, making a ready built tipper option available from a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4.5 tonnes all of the way through to 14 tonnes. The new, heavier tipper has a cubic capacity of 5.2 cubic metres and a payload over 7.5 tonnes.
“We spoke directly with our customers, and the key message was clear, greater payload, greater capacity and longer body length,” says Les. “Specifically, our customers wanted a robust tipper body that could easily float a typical medium-duty excavator to and from jobs.
“At 4.4 metres long the body on the FSR 140 260 Tipper delivers on this, along with a 7.8 tonnes payload and 5.2 cubic-metre load capacity.”
Another successful ready to work range for Isuzu has been the Vanpack which provides a simple pantech body fitted on the rear of an N Series truck, making it ready to go in a wide range of distribution applications. Many operators running this kind of trucks are simply looking for a simple and flexible mobile storage space.
New truck buyers will often find that buying a chassis and then getting a body fitted can be a traumatic process. The truck itself may be available, but truck bodybuilders, especially in the crowded small body builder space are, are often overloaded with work will have waiting times for bodies stretching out into many months.
Tailor made trucks on the road
With all of this new kit out on the road, a driver can only get a small taste of how these new trucks handle and what difference they will make to potential buyers. However, testing a series of new, loaded Isuzu trucks does reinforce aspects of the reasons for Isuzu’s continuing dominance in the Australian truck market.
These trucks are of a consistent quality, not only of design, but also of their finish. These trucks drive well straight off the bat. Their consistent design also means any driver stepping from one point in the range to another will have no problems adapting to the new environment, in trucks all of the way through the N and F series ranges.
Trying a selection over one day’s driving allows the driver to divine the nuances, those subtle differences, which can be so important in exactly matching a truck to an application. There are things like the car-like drive feel and ride in the models fitted with an independent front suspension. Luckily, the new trucks fitted with stability control did not get to go show the new system’s effectiveness, this kind of test driving does not need to take things that far.