Beast of burden
Agricultural haulage specialist Dannevirke Carriers was one of the first companies in New Zealand to trial an Enduro 4x2 FA917 from Fuso’s new workhorse range – managing director Alan Castles was so impressed, he bought it.
The 9,000kg GVM truck is fitted with an 8-10 cow stock crate and can carry 20-30 bales of wool with the crate removed. The truck will run around 35,000km/year servicing the region’s smaller stockholdings and properties that “you couldn’t get a big truck into”. Stock is brought back to its yard and reloaded onto larger trucks heading to sales or the works.
Alan says everyone in the company has had a drive of the new Enduro “and we’re all very happy with it”.
“It’s got a good, solid chassis, enough horsepower [170hp/520Nm] it’s comfortable to drive and it’s fuel economy is currently running at around 4.5L/km,” he says.
“The layout of the truck is really good for us, it’s got heavier springs and is wider than our current Canter so the stability is brilliant. When you’re carting livestock, it’s a living load so they can move around a bit, our drivers have enjoyed the difference.”
The stability comes from the truck’s Fighter chassis, which is built around a Canter drivetrain. Another benefit is that with a six-speed manual transmission and full air S cam brakes, the FA917 is a good truck for new drivers to learn in.
“Jumping into a big truck with a large load of stock can be tough on new drivers, especially going up and down hills. This unit has most of the features of a big truck without the weight, so it’s a good chance for them to get a feel for how to manage the gears and that type of thing.”
The FA917 is the latest addition to a fleet of ten trucks that has grown from the single unit that Alan and his son-in-law Phil Peffers started the company with back in 2000. With no fixed plans for growth at the outset, Dannevirke Carriers has grown organically over time, servicing the local region from the Ruahine Ranges over to Akitio on the east coast and down to Masterton.
“We’ll stick at the size we’re at for now,” says Alan, whose son and daughter both work in the business. “There’s some pretty tough country out the back, but we’re happy servicing local businesses rather than running long-haul. We’ve got good customers, good staff and we enjoy it.”
GVM / GCM: 9,000kg / 12,500kg
Power / Torque: 125kW / 520Nm
Transmission: 6spd Manual
Service intervals: 30,000km