The trucking industry in Australia first saw the new Ready-to-Work Freightpack range when it was officially previewed at the 2019 Brisbane Truck Show. The Ready-To-Work concept has a long history in the Isuzu camp with the first introduction being of ready to work tippers, followed by the Tradepack and Traypack options then the Vanpack and now Servicepack.
The concept is a simple one, the customers simply walks into the Isuzu dealership and can buy, virtually off-the-shelf, a truck which is set up to work as a tipper or in many other applications. The breadth of options mean there is an off-the-shelf Isuzu truck available in many situations.
The Freightpack takes the concept a little further and a little higher up the weight range. It is based on the F Series and sees a number of models available with bodies from 10 pallets up to 14 pallets. There are five Freightpack models available in the Isuzu medium duty range from a small FRR 240 hp AMT all the way up to an FVL curtainsider at 300 hp with an Alison automatic transmission.
The curtains on the Freightpack have just three buckles which make for quick opening and closing of the curtains for multi-drop delivery drivers. These are serious buckles, known as the Lightning Latch, providing enough tension to keep the curtain in place out on the road.
When driving these trucks, the curtains stayed tight and there was very little noticeable flap at 100 km/h out on the highway. Throughout the road test the curtains retained the correct tension and the system proved itself in some windy conditions.
The bodies, in the new Ready-to-Work Freightpack range, also come with movable gates which are attached to a rail on the body’s roof and can be moved along the body and stacked at either end, out of the way of the freight. The dimensions of the gates have also been adjusted to better suit normal pallet widths. Standard 1500mm gates are a mismatch for smaller pallets. These gates are 1080mm wide, making them lighter and easier to handle as well as lining them up with the elements in the load itself.
These changes to the curtains and gates look like they are going to be able to make loading and unloading quicker and easier than on some other body types.
Safety is highlighted with yellow markings on steps and handles for the driver when climbing up onto the cargo floor. This yellow theme is repeated on the steps and handles when climbing in and out of the truck itself.
There is also a reversing camera at the rear of the body and an interior camera inside, both linked up to the entertainment screen in the cabin. The interior lighting in the body is also smartly effective with the LED lighting not only lighting up the cargo area, but when the curtains are open, the lighting illuminates the area outside the truck and the ground from which it is being loaded.
“We’ve applied our successful Ready-to-Work strategy to the lighter end of the general freight market and now we’re targeting the medium and heavy-duty rigid markets with these tightly specced and highly practical F Series Freightpack models,” says Les Spaltman, Isuzu National Sales Manager. “We’ve specified key GVM, engine and transmission configurations, providing flexible freight workhorses for a variety of operations.
“The trucks are fitted with a range of time-saving and convenience enhancing features and like all our Ready-to-Work models, all can be put straight to work direct from your Isuzu dealer.”
Year-on-year the ready to go models are becoming a larger part of overall Isuzu sales, now up to 25 per cent, as the formula proves to be effective and has become accepted by Isuzu customers. We can expect more variants into the future, with more due expected to arrive during 2020.
At the same time, Isuzu is upping the ante in the safety stakes on some models in the F Series range, as well as introducing the new Ready-to-Work Freightpack range. This time around the FRR and FRD models with a GVM around 11 tonnes will be offered with Stability Control as standard, as of 2020. This technology has been successfully deployed in N Series range and is now working its way up the weight scale.