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Getting the Mix Right

The Australian trucking public first got a glimpse of the Fuso Shogun at last year’s Brisbane Truck Show. It was a new name for a radically changed truck compared to its predecessors. This is the culmination of the full Daimlerisation of the Fuso offering in Australia.

Traditionally, the Japanese have not fared that well in the heavier end of the truck market, especially in the prime mover segment. The requirements of the Japanese domestic market tend to create a design which works well as a heavy rigid truck or a relatively light prime mover.

This works in Japan and sells well there, but Australians are looking for something designed to handle longer distances and ticking a few more of our boxes when it comes to sophistication. 

Both the Daimler Trucks organisation and Volvo are involved with a Japanese truck maker. Daimler fully owns Fuso Trucks and Volvo is developing trucks for UD, even after recently selling the brand to Isuzu.

The two global giants seem to have come to very similar conclusions when integrating the Japanese heavy duty truck into a global truck maker and pulling componentry from all over the world. They have both decided Australian truck buyers are very happy with the basic chassis design of their Japanese heavy trucks, but are looking for more sophistication in the driveline and electronics involved.

An 11-litre engine based on a European original, coupled with a European AMT, seems to be the preferred option. Add to that all of the latest safety equipment and electronic control and monitoring found at the top end of the truck market.

For the Fuso Shogun this means the power comes from the Fuso OM470-T4 engine at 10.7 litres. This puts out 455hp (335kW) at 1600 rpm and has a torque rating of 2200Nm (1622 ft lb) at 1100rpm.

The OM470 is a tried and true engine out of the Mercedes Benz camp which has been used in many of the brand’s trucks in recent years. Another version of the engine is sold as the Detroit DD11 in the US market. It retains maximum power across a range from under 1500 to over 1800 rpm and the flat top of the torque curve extends for 1000rpm out to 1500rpm.

These figures tell us there is a great deal of flexibility in the performance of this engine. The fact that maximum power takes over just as maximum torque begins to fade and the rev levels increase means this truck is up to the job – even as a 11-litre tasked with doing a job previously handled by a 13-litre.

One of the contributing factors to getting the mix right and enabling this set-up to handle the task at hand is the use of an excellent AMT. The transmission being used here is the Fuso Automated Manual G230-12, developed from the gearbox found in Mercedes Benz as the Powershift and as the Detroit DT12 in the Freightliner product.