One of the main things any truck buyer is looking for is durability and Japanese trucks have proven their durability in the Australian truck market and an answer to the question, what does the Aussie truck buyer want? The ability to just keep plugging away with little fuss is what all of the Japanese truck makers are renowned for. The attention to detail and build quality out of Japan is a known quantity.
With the introduction of the Fuso 510 prime mover, the brand has come up something its Japanese rivals do not have in the market, a B-double capable intrastate truck with over 500hp under the hood.
Here in Australia we love our horsepower and torque and we will not buy a truck if it doesn’t have the right number in front of it. By coming through with a 13-litre engine rated at 510 hp in the Fuso Shogun there is no doubting the suitability of this truck to be to handle top weight single trailer work and occasional B-double hauling.
Out on the highway the sophisticated electronics start to come into their own. This truck uses the data from the camera at the top of the windscreen and the radar in the front bumper to run the active cruise control keeping the truck at a constant speed, but also keeping its distance from the vehicle in front when necessary.
This truck is going to be used in a lot of urban applications and the combination of the Fuso 12-speed AMT and this Proximity Control Assist Cruise Control (PCA?) makes running along the highways in busy traffic a much more relaxed affair than constantly braking and then going through a lot of gear changes. The fact that there’s 510 hp under the bonnet makes life a lot easier.
The engine, transmission and the cruise all come from the Daimler stable and would be familiar to drivers of the latest Freightliner or Mercedes Benz trucks. The need for simplicity means this truck doesn’t have the top-of-the-range in this department, it seems to be one iteration behind. for example, the cruise system does not have the topographical data included, to take account of inclines and modulate the AMT to suit the terrain.
All this means is that the driver needs to intervene when approaching the foot of an upgrade and get the revs up or take the foot off the gas by knocking off the cruise control when approaching the crest of a hill.
It does have Eco-roll, however, and this is now a mature function, disengaging the AMT’s clutch and dropping revs down to 600rpm. Where earlier versions only activated in perfect conditions for rolling, these latest iterations take every opportunity to stop using diesel for as long as possible.
The transition from power-on to coasting is often seamless and the quietness of the engine in the truck’s cabin, means the only way to realise the system has activated is when the driver sees the needle on the tachometer drop from 1300rpm to 600rpm.