Test Drive

Doin’ the Dirty? Why not try Fuso’s new 510 Tipper

One of the stars on the Daimler stand at the Brisbane Truck Show was Fuso’s Shogun 510 S Tipper. With its black on white livery and ‘510HP’ emblazoned on its doors and visor – along with possibly the best-looking bull bar ever made – the truck attracted a lot of attention from those in the market for such a vehicle.

Fuso make a lot of noise about the 510 and with good reason. There is no other Japanese truck putting out over 500 horsepower. 

Put those horses and its 2500Nm of torque together with the lowest tare weight of any tipper over 500hp and you have a nice combination.

Low tare means more weight can be carried and that opens up the opportunity to tow heavier gear such as excavators, trailers and heavier combinations in general.

Fuso tell me that the truck is finding a lot of homes with people looking to use a truck for heavy duty applications. 

They have also had reports back from customers who say they’re actually getting better fuel economy from the 510 than the lower powered Fuso 460’s in their fleet.

The truck is perfectly suited to the demands of tipper work.

With a GVM of 26,000kg and GCM of 63,000kg, the Daimler-derived engine transfers its power via a 12-speed automated manual gearbox with auto, economy and heavy modes. Add in crawler mode and rocking-free mode and you have a truck perfectly suited to the demands of tipper work.

Given the confines – particularly in the city – where many of these trucks will work, safety is paramount and the Shogun supplies in spades: Active Brake Assist, Pedestrian Detection (because they’ll be staring at their phones and won’t see you), Active Attention Assist (in case your politically incorrect eyes wander), Proximity Control Assist, Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Anti Slip Regulator, Hill Hold and the usuals, as in ESP, ABS and more, and you have a truck that will do its utmost to keep you out of trouble.

While not fitted to the short wheelbase show truck, longer versions come standard with Side Guard Assist, a radar system that monitors the blind spot on the left-hand side of the vehicle. 

In the short wheelbase versions where there is not the room to install the system, you’ll have to make do with the transom window which in itself should be a standard feature on every truck.

It’s more than likely that you’ll be working this truck in the city and suburbs, so it’s a bonus that the active cruise has stop and go functions, meaning that when the vehicle in front stops, so do you. And when it moves off again within a specified time frame, so does the Shogun. 

Beyond that time a simple dab on the loud pedal and the truck does its own thing. It all adds up to making your working day as stress free as possible.

The Brisbane Truck Show Shogun 510 was the brainchild of Daimler Trucks Gold Coast’s SEQ fleet account manager, Jon Hamilton.

The Shogun is the only Japanese truck putting out over 500hp.

He saw the massive number of infrastructure projects currently happening in and around Brisbane – and this is before the 2032 Olympics to be held in the city, which will only exacerbate the demand for job specific vehicles.

The Shogun is built to Tier 1 specification, required by many of these infrastructure projects, which means an operator can walk in off the street and have a ‘job ready’ vehicle.

Step number one was of course to source a tipper body for the truck and Hamilton went looking for top quality. That led him to AA Diesel Truck Bodies in Dandenong, Victoria. 

Whilst at the other end of the country, Hamilton believes that they make the best and it’s hard to argue with him. It’s certainly better built than the tipper I had on my little red pedal car back in 1950-something. Seriously though, it is a beautiful piece of engineering.

What Jon is doing is basically pre-preparing trucks like this so that someone can walk in, get a Tier 1 truck and go straight to work on any of those big projects. It’s often small things like a buzzer going off when a door is opened.

It is the attention to detail that is putting the Fuso Shogun on the radar for many who’ve not looked at a Japanese truck in the past. 

The five-year warranty, along with service intervals of 50,000km or 12 months is certainly doing the brand no harm either.

This bullbar is a thing of beauty.

The bullbar fitted to the 510 and manufactured by Whitlock Bullbars at Hallam, Victoria, is literally a work of art. Take the time to have a close look at the accompanying photo and I’m sure you’ll agree.

Now, none of the above matters if the truck is not a good drive, and I’m here to report that it is. 

Driving the tipper through the Gold Coast ‘burbs and up into the hinterland I drove along narrow, winding, poorly sealed roads, up steep hills and a couple of drops that made me feel like I was on a roller coaster. 

Those 510 horses make light work of any terrain, powering up any hill with a very effective three-stage Jacobs brake retarder to haul the truck up quickly down those steep drops.

Inside, the cab is quiet with no wind noise entering and everything falling intuitively to hand.

The interior makes for a great “office”.

In keeping with the workhorse nature of the truck – and like most – there are a lot of hard plastic surfaces between the seats, but they are well put together with no gaps or creaking and offer a plethora of storage spaces. 

Together with the rest of the cab, the result is a pleasing environment in which to spend one’s days.

Back in the suburbs I find a narrow laneway to back the truck into. This was my chance to replicate something the truck would do on building sites.

My Daimler companion was keen to remind me that this particular Shogun had been sold but with only a couple of inches spare either side, this sometime truckie had no trouble placing the 510 exactly where I wanted it – a relief to my travelling mate.

If you’re in the market for a tipper to do the job, and you want to take it straight to the job site and get into it, have a serious look at the Shogun 510s. 

These trucks have got all you could ever need, and then some.

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