The new version of the Fuso Canter, which was launched in 2011, didn’t feature a 4×4 version in the range, but that changed in late 2012. The Fuso Canter 4×4 is produced at the company’s Tramagal factory in Portugal. It has a total gross vehicle weight of 6.5 tonnes, a 175hp engine and a two-metre wide Comfort cab. The new 4×4 drive system can be switched on or off as required. This drive selection can be accomplished without stopping, a useful feature that saves time and also money. The driver is not tempted to remain in four-wheel drive when it is not required by road conditions, perhaps because it is inconvenient to stop the truck. There is also a standard fit differential lock on the rear axle.
The Fuso Canter 4×4 is fitted with a five-speed manual gear box and the rear axle ratio is 1:5:285. Up front, Fuso Canter 4×4 customers have a choice of a standard single cab with three seats, or a crew cab with seven. The latter is obviously particularly useful for transporting working teams quickly around difficult off-road terrain, where valuable time would otherwise be lost. Chassis load capacities range from 3500kg to 3735kg and wheelbases vary from 3415 to 3865mm. The angle of attack is greatly improved over the Fuso Canter two-wheel-drive models, increasing from 18 degrees to 35 degrees and from 11 to 24 degrees on the angle of departure. Ground clearance has also been increased from 219mm to a maximum of 320mm.
The off-road capabilities of the Fuso Canter 4×4 give it a natural niche in a variety of markets. It is a great choice where work will take the truck both on tarmac and off road on a daily basis. This will appeal greatly to operators in the construction, utility and agricultural markets. It is also sure to find favour with local authority and government agencies, such as fire brigades, road gritters and snowplough operators. At only two metres wide, it is also pretty manoeuvrable in tight spots.
The Fuso Canter 4×4’s ability to switch between two- and four-wheel drive simply by flicking a switch without stopping is a particular attraction. It also comes with an optional start/stop function. With rear-wheel drive sufficient for most everyday conditions, the ability to change to a 4×4 configuration so easily when on-site or in the field is a time saver. This is not the Fuso Canter 4×4’s only trick, however. It also boasts excellent maintenance costs and a great payload capacity, giving it great earning potential, albeit in a smaller niche market.
Neither has the Fuso Canter 4×4 lost the usual strengths of the Canter range. It is still easy to manoeuvre and has a tight turning circle of as little as 13.5 metres, depending on the wheelbase variant. It is also rugged, with the strong over-engine cab saving a great deal of space. Instrument layout inside is still simple and brake wear is minimised by the presence of a standard engine brake. It is no wonder that the Fuso Canter is Daimler’s best-selling truck and the Fuso Canter 4×4 is a welcome addition to that stable.