Lighter Isuzu FY range a smooth package

By: Matt Wood


Isuzu’s decision to strip weight off its FY range of trucks has paid off, as Technical Editor Matt Wood found out.

Lighter Isuzu FY range a smooth package
The loss of weight from Isuzu's FY range has been worth the wait.

 

Isuzu Australia waded into the vocational twin-steer market with the release of the FY range of 8x4 and 10x4 vehicles in late 2012.

These multi-axle heavy duty models were clearly aimed at the high capacity agitator market which is mainly dominated by North American and in some cases European brands.

However, industry standard in the cement industry calls for a wet tare weight of 8,000kg including the driver.

It became clear that the big Isuzu needed to lose some heft to really compete against some of the more traditional choices in the agitator industry.

The chassis of the FY was shortened by 713mm, smaller batteries with the same output were used and the battery box was integrated into the air tank bracket.

The centre seat in the cab was also removed as well as an extra air tank. To complete the quest for less kilos, the FY uses special lightweight LVL1 Alcoa wheels that are 3kg lighter than standard Alcoas and are shod with lightweight Yokahama rubber.

 

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

I met up with the lighter FY recently and took it for a spin around the Melbourne metro area.

Under higher mass limits (HML) this 8x4 should be able to go out to 28,000kg in most states, and this particular truck was fitted with a 7.5 cubic metre Cesco agitator bowl.

That equals a decent whack of cement on board indeed.  A 9.8 litre EGR engine powers the FY. It uses a di-oxy catalyst to meet Euro 5 emissions without using active regeneration.

Quoted horsepower for the 10-litre engine is 350hp (265kW) with 1422Nm of torque.

To that end I still felt it was a bit anaemic performance wise but where the driveline really stood out was in terms of noise and driver comfort.

Like most agitators the FY uses a live drive PTO and in conjunction with a different drive train the result can be a truck that howls under load.

The FY however is very smooth and exceptionally quiet for what it is.

Gear changing duties are taken care of by a heavy duty six-speed Allison 4430RDS auto, and all four axles come courtesy of Meritor while the rear air suspension is Hendrickson.

 

INTERIOR

The cab of the FY is well appointed and is a lot of metal for what is essentially a short run metro vehicle.

The DAVE (digital audio visual entertainment) unit in the dash provides all the expected connectivity that you’ll find in most Japanese trucks these days including optional satnav.

However, this unit was also fitted with an optional tyre pressure monitoring feature that was a pretty tricky little addition.

A blind spot camera and a reverse camera with microphone were also fitted to the test truck.

The only real niggle with the cab is that it is a bit high off the ground for an agi that will be jumped in and out of on multiple occasions throughout the working day.

That said cab access is excellent with wide opening doors and easy to locate grab rails, it’s just a fair way up compared to some of the competition.

 

RIDE

Ride from the load sharing twin steer set-up was excellent and avoided that old twin-steer habit of bouncing the cab off every bump twice.

This system uses a dampened rocker between the two steer axles and is very smooth and very manoeuvrable.

The FY is a smooth package for metro tasks and the loss of weight has been worth the wait.           

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