Stephen Gray Transport has added a new Fuso Shogun 360 to its small fleet of new trucks.
The Tasmanian transport operation is situated at Smithton on the far North East Coast of the state.
The business was founded 40 years ago with a second-hand truck worth about $5000.
It covers all types of freight delivery, from refrigerated cargo to containers, cars and tractors, servicing Burnie, Devonport and Launceston.
Business has been so strong of late that the company has decided to add a new heavy-duty truck.
With a mix of European and Japanese trucks in his stable, Stephen Gray began the selection process with an open mind.
The truck he ended up with was a Fuso Shogun 360 provided by Blake Williams at Burnie CJD, who delivered the truck with his own ute on the back so that he could drive it back.
The tilt-slider body comes from CTE Custom Truck Equipment in Dandenong, Victoria, and it handles various cargo that includes 20ft containers, telehandlers, 4WDs, cars and a huge array of everything else that needs shifting, with ease.
The truck was specified as a 6×2, a brave decision on an island that gets more than its share of rain. Gray, however, said traction is not an issue as long as you don’t stray onto surfaces that you shouldn’t be on.
So why go 6×2 instead of the traditional 6×4?
“Choosing a single rear axle rather than a tandem increases my payload by around 600-700kg, which is a lot,” said Gray.
“It also reduces wear and saves fuel, so it makes a lot of sense for me.”
Gray said fuel economy was excellent, loaded or not.
The engine meets the strict Euro 6-equivalent JPNLT emission standard, which is more stringent that the current Euro 5 mandated emission level in Australia.
It is teamed up with a 12-speed Automated Manual Transmission with a responsive crawler mode.
A 1998 FV549 Fuso previously used in operations left a memorable impression.
“I loved that truck and hardly put a spanner on it and I had it for 14 years,” Gray said.
The warranty was significantly better than the other trucks Gray was considering.
“I’m of the view that if you buy a new truck, you shouldn’t have to put your hand in your pocket, other than for servicing, for years,” he said.
Like all Shoguns, the 360 comes standard with a full suite of active safety features. These include the latest generation Advanced Emergency Braking System that now uses camera and radar camera technology to provide enhanced pedestrian sensing capability, making it able to stop completely for a moving pedestrian in the event the driver does not respond to an audible warning.
This system is standard on all Shogun models, as is radar adaptive cruise control.
Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS), a driver airbag, Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Hill Start System (HSS) assistance function continue as standard elements of the Shogun safety package.
After a few months of service Gray can’t speak highly enough about the new Shogun.
“Ten out of ten,” he scored it. “I wouldn’t hesitate to get another one.”