Hop,Skip and a Jump
Story: Dave McLeod | Photos: Gerald Shacklock - Video: Trevor & Hayden Woolston
Okay, so this is the first New Zealand test of FUSO’s brand new heavy-duty truck – the Shogun HDT Euro 6.
Fuso NZ and Daimler Trucks alike see it as a game-changer – THE most important new model in the make’s revival, both here and in Japan.
To me it’s best summed up as the story of a hop, Skip and a jump. Okay, so I confess that part of the reason for this is just pure happy coincidence: Doing a test on a truck based just up the road from where I live (on Auckland’s North Shore) is a cool novelty.
Golden Contracting, which has been running this pre-production prototype truck to help Fuso NZ put the finishing touches to the new model, is based in Silverdale – the proverbial hop, skip and a jump away from home.
And then I meet the boss – the man entrusted with providing feedback to FUSO to refine its engine and transmission settings to best suit NZ conditions…Mark Golden. Alias Skippy, or Skip.
And so to the jump. Reputedly a leap…or even a quantum leap, in fact. That’s the measure of improvement of this model over its predecessor, the HD Euro – according to Fuso NZ, according to Daimler Trucks….and according to those who’ve already driven it (like NZ Truck & Driver editor Wayne Munro – who briefly drove it in Japan last year).
It is, the way FUSO Trucks in Japan sees things, The Next Big Thing in Japanese heavy-duty trucks – “a huge game-changer,” says senior exec Ilan Elad.
“The most advanced, the best Japanese truck ever built,” reckons Fuso NZ MD Kurtis Andrews.
Elad says it’s the first example of FUSO taking full advantage of being part of the Daimler Group – really making the most of the best of the global giant’s technologies.
Thus it has the use of a 10.7-litre Detroit DD11 engine from Daimler’s global heavy-duty engine platform – aka a Mercedes-Benz OM470, but in the Japanese make called a FUSO OM470.
The engine, which achieves the Euro 6 exhaust emissions standard using a mix of selective catalytic reduction (SCR) and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) technologies, delivers the same power and torque as the HD Euro’s OM457 12-litre engine…but is lighter and smaller and uses less fuel. It also includes a Jacobs engine brake, producing 338 kilowatts/460 horsepower.
The DD11/OM470 produces up to 338kW/460hp at 1600rpm, along with 2213Nm/1633 lb ft of peak torque at 1100rpm. Torque’s also near that peak from 1000-1500 revs.
FUSO has promised that NZ will eventually also get a 382kW/520hp version of the new-generation Shogun, courtesy of a DD13/Merc OM471 addition to the lineup.
When it comes to transmission options… it’s strictly automated manual time – the Mercedes-Benz G330 12-speed that’s installed in this prototype (but is actually designated as the chosen offering only for the Shogun FV2446 Hi Top linehaul model), or the G230 variant, which has a lower GCM rating than the G330 (55 tonnes, rather than 60t)....
It’s been a few years and a few beers since I last caught up with one of Mark (Skip) Golden’s trucks – 13 years, in fact, since we tested a new 430hp Golden FUSO Shogun, fitted with an 18-speed Roadranger.
Compared with what we’re driving today FUSO has certainly come a long way, as we head into the new breed of the make’s heavy-duty truck being launched in NZ.
Today’s truck, as is obvious from its camouflage paint job, is an evaluation truck – brought into NZ to trial its new technology before the launch.
After the issues Fuso had with the FUSO HD Euro model it seems like a good idea – and who better then to put one of the evaluation units with but a longtime FUSO operator like Skip.
This new model is another example of the spread of the European influence into the Japanese market. In this case we see world products like the Daimler Group’s 10.7 litre OM470/DD11 engine and the G330 12-speed AMT found in top-end Mercedes-Benz products.
I take the wheel in Wellsford, to head south on SH16 with a full load of aggregate on board. There’s no hiding from tough roads on this test, as Skip has already taken the unit, fully loaded, both ways over the Matakana Hill.
Climbing up into the cab’s a breeze, even with my newly-fitted “bionic” left knee still not fully operational. The combination of three well-spaced, wide and deep steps and full-length grabhandles up both sides of the door makes it easy....
Hayden Woolston adds to Trevor’s view: “To me the exterior of this new model looks very similar to any other FUSO. There isn’t much looks-wise to get excited about. But what I really want to get to know is how all the new tech in this prototype works.
“The first job is to tilt the cab to get a look at the 10.7 litre engine – this made easy with an automated lift. Some European trucks I’ve come across still have a manual cab lift.
“The climb into the cab is easy, thanks to good steps, well-placed grabhandles and a door that opens to nearly 90 degrees. I also feel comfortable inside, with very little need for cab familiarisation. Everything’s at my fingertips on the steering wheel and the stalks on the left and right of the column.
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