Friday 9 November 2012
WHEN the new completely revised Fuso Canter was launched in October 2011 there was no four-wheel drive version in the line-up.
But given the way European winters have brought traffic to a standstill over the past couple of years, it was only a matter of time before the sensible Germans introduced the 4x4 option to the European market.
Production at the Tramagal plant in Portugal is due to commence now on the Canter 6C18 4x4 model. This has a permissible gross vehicle weight of 6.5 tonnes, a 2-metre width Comfort cab and an output of 129 kW (175 hp).
The all-wheel drive system can be engaged and disengaged on the move and therefore offers good fuel efficiency. A rear-axle differential lock is fitted as standard. The transmission is a 5-speed manual unit and the rear-axle ratio is 1:5.285.
Customers have the choice of a comfortable single cab and a crewcab (with 3 and 7 seats respectively) with wheelbases of 3415 mm and 3865 mm. The chassis load capacity ranges from 3500 kg to 3735 kg. Thanks to the geometry of the all-wheel-drive system, the angle of attack is 35 degrees, as opposed to 18 degrees on the Canter 4x2 – while the angle of departure is 24 degrees as opposed to 11 degrees. Ground clearance is increased from 219 mm to as much as 320 mm.
The off-road capability of the Fuso Canter 4x4 makes it the ideal choice for all applications where operation away from surfaced roads is also required, for instance, on construction sites, in the energy supply sector or in service with the fire brigade. For municipal authorities it lends itself to use as a winter service vehicle with a snowplough and salt spreader. Its two-metre width means that it can also negotiate narrow openings easily.
Recognising that rear wheel drive will be sufficient for most everyday needs, the sheer flexibility of being able to engage four wheel drive at the flick of a switch when driving off the public road on to a muddy construction site or across a moor to erect a phone mast will have its appeal. Its high payload capacity, favourable maintenance costs and optionally available start/stop function will also make the Canter 4x4 ideally suitable for a limited, but worthwhile sector of the construction and services industries.
The traditional, practical strengths of the Canter remain unchanged: good manoeuvrability (turning circle of the Canter 4x4: 13.5 m or 15.1 m, depending on version), the space-saving cab-over-engine layout, the rugged design, the unobtrusive positioning of the shift lever in the instrument panel, the enhanced safety thanks to the strong cab design and the lower brake wear as a result of the standard engine brake.
Worldwide, the Fuso Canter is the best-selling Daimler truck model while a comprehensive European service network will ensure high service back up.