Sticking with FUSO
Anthony, who is looking forward to the challenge of transforming his one-man band into a larger business, says he was initially drawn to FUSO after hiring a Canter 616 tipper.
“I was so impressed, I asked the hire company for [First Commercials salesman] Dan Beavis’ number and gave him a call,” says Anthony.
“Dan was really helpful from the get-go and, after I explained the main purpose of the truck was to move my three-tonne digger, he pointed me in the direction of the 816. Daniel handled everything for me, from having the body modified to sourcing my aluminium ramps.”
To ensure it was fit for purpose, the deck was extended by 700mm, allowing Anthony to comfortably transport his digger throughout the Wellington and Kapiti Coast regions where he does the bulk of his work.
“I’m based in Waikane on the Kapiti Coast, so it’s easy to jump over the hill to Featherston or Carterton; I might even be taking the truck up to Auckland soon for a job with one of my regular clients,” he says. “I’d say my work is split 50/50 between contracting and working directly for clients, and most of it comes through word of mouth.
“There’s not a lot I won’t do, from laying drains to cutting slip sites and access ways on forestry sites. I consciously decided to not be a specialist, as that is what a lot of other people are doing. It’s a point of difference and means I can stay flexible. If I need bigger gear for a certain job, I’ll hire it.”
For most jobs, Anthony says that the Canter – which has racked up 9,000km in its first four months on the road – and his 3T digger are all he needs.
“It’s a good-sized truck – big enough that I can haul a decent load – up to 4.4 tonnes – but small enough that I can access residential sites and navigate the narrow, winding Akatawara Road on the way to the Wairarapa.
“It’s perfect for jobs like building driveways or digging swimming pools and service trenches.
“The cab is also very roomy and it’s easy to manoeuvre; it’s just a pleasure to drive. I also don’t like automatic transmissions in smaller truck, so I’m a big fan of the five-speed manual gearbox.”
As the only truck in its class with a limited slip diff, the 816 is equally at home on or off the road, while the 110kW engine packs plenty of punch.
“It loves eating up Wellington’s hills – even fully loaded!” says Anthony, who now considers himself a FUSO stalwart.
“My brother runs his own drainage company and I worked for him prior to setting up my own shop. I’ve been telling him he needs to get one of these himself!”
Looking ahead, Anthony says he plans to grow the business to the point where he employs a handful of staff with a fleet of four or five FUSO trucks.
“I’ve just been really happy with the whole experience – from dealing with Dan when I purchased the truck to its performance on the road. I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t stick with FUSO.”
GVM/GCM: 7,500kg / 11,000kg
Power/torque: 110kW / 370Nm
Service intervals: 30,000km