School Me on Heavy Trucks

DzlToy

Explorer
The USDM and ROTW markets are quite different, to say the least. Here, there is no after market support for the FG and MFTA has pulled out of the US market completely. Further, Fuso is the straggler in the US COE market, in general and only a very small percentage of an already small market, chose the FG. Options are non-existent for configuring this truck for 'over land' use. Further, the FG was only offered here in a regular cab, with one, possibly two, wheel base choices.

The domestic truck market, to include Ford, Chevy, Dodge, Toyota and others have a massive after market here, by comparison. Here, an FG is not offered with lockers, R/P choices, air seats, parabolic suspension, bead lock wheels, off set differentials, lift kits, super single conversions, engine or transmission tuning or any of the other goodies that the Aussies get, either from the dealer or from third-party suppliers. It has zero support here.

In stock form, the 3.0L turbo diesel makes 161 HP and 295 foot pounds of torque, coupled to a DCT (Dual-Clutch Transmission), which is simply not acceptable for anything other that city driving. There is no low range offered in the US, neither is there a manual transmission, manual transfer case or non-gadget-laden engine option. As MFTB is a subsidiary of Mercedes, and the DCT is one of their products, it is complete with the typical German car problems throughout, i.e. high parts and service cost, dealer only parts, poor reliability, and so on. Contrast this with something like a 70-Series LandCruiser, the pillar of reliability in most of the world. While we do not get those trucks here, I know dozens of people with hundreds of thousands of trouble-free miles on Toyota trucks. This cannot be said for a US FG.

The Fuso has a stepped frame section in the front, small tires, a massive wheel to body gap, a low hanging transfer case, centered differentials and a weak frame. I have driven an FE tens of thousands of miles and did not care for it at all. The fuel economy and ride are simply awful. The interior and electronics are out of the 80s, there is no cruise control or navigation, the radio sucks, the shifter is clunky, ad infinitum. Buy a half ton, three quarter ton or one ton truck or move up to something like an F550, a Kodiak or an MDT if you need something larger.

Ford, Chevy and Dodge all offer gasoline and diesel trucks with massive payload and towing capacities, a huge catalogue of factory options from which to choose and there is a nation wide dealer network to support your truck, as you travel. A bone stock 3/4 ton pickup truck has 400+ HP and 800+ foot pounds of torque, a comfortable interior, a real transfer case, limited slip or locking axles, regular and crew cabs, chassis cab options, multiple wheel bases and frame lengths, etc., etc., etc.

It is for these and many other reasons that Fuso is out of business in North America.

YMMV
0.02
 

Wazak

Member
It's much the same in the UK regarding a 4x4 Fuso, in either late 2017 or early 2018 I enquired with 2 local Mercedes dealers about the purchase of a new Fuso 4x4 and the respnse I got was nothing!
Sometime in 2018 Mercedes did an advert for the Mitsubishi fuso entitled Fuso can, xan I added a reply saying may be Fuso can, can BUT Mercedes can't,can't. I think that it was 12 months later that I got any response from Mercedes asking which dealerships I had contacted. I never replied!.
Having said that we have just had a look at a 2015 Fuso 4x4 with manual transmission that we are hoping to purchase. Pinkies crossed it will soon be ours.
 
Here in Europe it's simply the only small stock 4x4 you can get, see that I tried an Isuzu that was my priority option and there was no way
 

nickw

Adventurer
If looking for a truck platform, in gas, that has good payload for a camper why not just buy a domestic 1-T pickup? I'm sure the folks overseas building campers use the Japanese rigs, in part, because that is what they have available.

The Japanese trucks that are gas use the GM Vortex 6.0 engine to begin with. The ones that are converted to 4x4 use domestic axles also. I'd go buy a 1T Ford w/7.3, easy fit for what you are after it seems. World is your oyster when it comes suspension mods.

Alternatively you could buy a Ram w/6.4 and push the easy button w/AEV parts.
 

DzlToy

Explorer
If you would like something truly unique, call Doug Busbee at Busbee's Truck Parts and ask to purchase one of the two Hino 500s he has there. I have only seen one other in the States. I believe they are 1022 Series and have literally been sitting in a field for more than a decade. Thus, both are projects; you won't plop a camper box on the back and hit the road, however, you will have something that most people in the U.S. don't even know exists.

IIRC, one is a regular cab and one is an Xtra Cab, so use the money that you save by not having children to build yourself a one-of-a-kind expedition rig. No room for five in that cab.
 

hidn45

Member
If looking for a truck platform, in gas, that has good payload for a camper why not just buy a domestic 1-T pickup? I'm sure the folks overseas building campers use the Japanese rigs, in part, because that is what they have available.

The Japanese trucks that are gas use the GM Vortex 6.0 engine to begin with. The ones that are converted to 4x4 use domestic axles also. I'd go buy a 1T Ford w/7.3, easy fit for what you are after it seems. World is your oyster when it comes suspension mods.

Alternatively you could buy a Ram w/6.4 and push the easy button w/AEV parts.

The biggest advantage of the COE over "conventional" trucks of the same class is the much shorter overall length, not to mention smaller turn radius. All depends on how your priority list lays out....
 

nickw

Adventurer
The biggest advantage of the COE over "conventional" trucks of the same class is the much shorter overall length, not to mention smaller turn radius. All depends on how your priority list lays out....
COE may be shorter but also taller...again, tradeoffs
 

andy_b

Active member
COE may be shorter but also taller...again, tradeoffs
Overall height of the finished camper is usually limited by the camper body itself, so probably moot. The ride quality of COE trucks should also be considered - this is definitely a spot in which USDM trucks have an advantage, even in an air-suspension seat equipped cabover.
 

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