Isuzu Trucks is showcasing its latest range of vehicles at the Johannesburg International Truck & Bus Show (JIMS) in October.The company is pulling out all the stops to promote its current range of trucks, highlighting applications such as water tankers which can be customised according to the requirements of individual municipalities. Among the highlights on show will be:
FSR 800 Water Tanker
Since water is such a scarce commodity in South Africa, vehicles like the FSR 800 Water Tanker are becoming increasingly popular as a solution for providing relief in drought-stricken areas, watering municipal parks or gardens and providing grey water for use in large road and infrastructure construction projects.
Isuzu Trucks has put much thought into the multi-purpose design of the FSR 800, allowing it to be used in a wide variety of applications. The manufacturer says it can be compared to a set of lego blocks, with components being added, modified or taken away, according to the application.
Sizes can also be adjusted according to each municipality’s specific requirements, although this customisation must be indicated on the RT57 tender documents before production starts.
“The amount of engineering behind a tanker is quite comprehensive because of the unique applications for which they’re used,” says Anton Du Plessis, national sales and distribution at Isuzu Trucks. “For example, you can’t just store water; the tank on the back must first be specially prepared and chemically treated so that the water is drinkable. By extension, if a tanker is going to be used for transporting grey water, costs can be cut by bypassing the treatment process.”
In the coming months, Isuzu Trucks predicts the need for water tankers will increase as municipalities strive to supply water to rural communities and agricultural areas affected by low rainfall. With changing weather patterns, drought conditions result in a huge demand for tankers to supply water for both drinking and irrigation purposes, says Du Plessis.
Isuzu Trucks advises that customers consider several key factors before submitting an order for new trucks. The first is whether the vehicles contracted will be single- or multi-purpose. For example, the basic component of a water tanker is a flat-bed truck body. Based on the carrying requirement, the capacity of the tanker needs to be calculated along with the weight of the water it will contain, so that a truck’s permissible payload is not exceeded.
The FSR 800 Water Tanker being exhibited on the Isuzu Trucks stand is a 7 000-litre unit, although larger tankers have a capacity of up to 12 500 litres. Smaller-capacity vehicles are also available to serve the needs of local authorities with lesser requirements.
NPS 4x4 crew cab
Also targeted for municipal or government application is the NPS 4x4 crew cab. This is another instance in which a vehicle can be customised for specific purposes, with Isuzu Trucks being able to fit a cherry-picker (crane and basket), for example.
This design innovation was achieved by considering the needs of powerline workers at Eskom, or those in the agricultural or parks sectors. As a result, a range of applications is available for the NPS, beyond its general forestry and fire fighting uses.
These four-wheel-drive units are ideal for servicing rural areas where roads have deteriorated or are yet to be constructed. The fact that the NPS is also a crew cab makes it, according to Du Plessis, “one of the best-kept secrets in the market”. It can carry up to seven people (including the driver) in a safe and comfortable environment.
Regulation 247 of the National Road Traffic Act, which was changed in May 2007, stipulates that a truck cargo body has to be enclosed to a height of at least 350 mm above the surface where a person is seated, and at least 900 mm above where a person is standing. It further requires that the material strength of the sides must be of “sufficient strength to prevent such person from falling from the vehicle when it is in motion”. The N-Series crew cab conforms to all of these safety requirements.
Another model that will be exhibited is the FRR rollback, which has a ramp and can be used for recovery, construction and for carrying forklifts.
This vehicle was inspired by the insurance industry, which requested a move away from tow trucks because of paint and other damage being caused by towing. The spin-off in the trucking industry is that the rollbacks can now be used in a host of applications, from engineering through to transporting commercial vehicles, tractors and forklifts.
The fourth Isuzu Trucks that will draw fleet managers’ attention at JIMS is the GXR 40-360, which is similar to a big-rig, but for smaller applications. This 4x2 truck-tractor is ideal for a 40 ton GVM payload and is capable of pulling a trailer in short-to-medium distribution operations.
The GXR 40-360 is part of Isuzu Trucks’ new FX series launched last year and is powered by a 268 kW (360 hp) engine and incorporates a Telmer retarder, which acts as an auxiliary braking system. This prolongs brake life and reduces maintenance costs.
“Our focus,” says Du Plessis, “is to maximise operational excellence for the customer and improve operating costs. All our trucks meet Euro II emissions standards and we believe we have a fantastic range on offer that caters to most of government’s requirements.” z