Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America's big news for the 2008 model year centers around its medium-duty trucks, the company announced at the NTEA annual New Truck Model Conference in Dearborn, Michigan. And none was bigger than the FK260.

Bob Aquaro, VP of product development for Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America (MFTA), said the FK260 is the most popular model, replacing the FM260.

It comes with a 25,995-lb gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), a 38" frame height that has been lowered 3", a new 253" wheelbase that can accommodate body lengths of up to 30', a 6M60 Fuso engine, 243hp and 513 lb-ft torque, and full air brakes.

“This truck was developed for many markets at the same time — the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan already have it, and the Europeans will have it,” Aquaro said. “That is the primary reason why you see air brakes on it — because in Europe, stopping-distance requirements are more severe than in the US. They're not very attainable with air hydraulic brakes, but they are attainable with air brakes. So in order to streamline our manufacturing and make the truck more global, we ended up with this truck. We're proud of it. It was a collective effort.

“The other thing was that we were able to reduce the weight by 900 pounds. From a user standpoint, that's an extra 900 pounds' worth of carrying capacity.”

Its air-suspension version is equipped with a dump valve that will lower the truck an additional 2.5" with the air bags dumped.

The FM330 (32,900 GVWR) has a 40" frame height, lowered from 43", an Allison MD3000 RDS or Fuso 6-speed manual transmission, 6M60 Fuso engine (243 hp and 513 lb-ft torque), and comes in body lengths of 18' to 28' and with full air brakes.

The FK/FM medium-duty models include a new cab that reduces aerodynamic drag up to 25% in flatbed applications and 4% in van bodies.

New and improved on the FE models:

  • 2007 emissions (reintroduced Class 3 with OBDII ).
  • New front bumper.
  • Cruise control with programmable max speed (in automatic transmission only).
  • PTO control with programmable set speed.
  • New J wheelbase for FE145 (20' bodies with gates).
  • New K wheelbase for FE180 (22' bodies with gates).
  • New engine position (48mm rearward, 23mm upward).
  • Increased cooling system capacity and change in radiator position.
  • Reduced frame height.
  • Return of optional tandem-mount auxiliary fuel tanks.
  • Keyless entry.

MFTA has eliminated manual transmission in its Class 3 and 4 trucks, and in the Class 6 FK 200 (19,850 GVWR).

“There are smaller and smaller and smaller markets for manual transmission,” he said. “It's 98% automatic in some cases — and when you get into the city, it's 100%.”

On the FE125 (12,500 GVWR), the company is going to an 18' application in three wheelbases: 114.6", 134.3", and 152.4". There is a standard side-mount fuel tank (curb side), and an optional in-frame tank in all wheelbases.

“One of the most important things for bodybuilders and dealers is the change in the required minimum setback,” he said. “We've moved from 4.5" of minimum setback to 7.9", with the resultant effort a usable CA.”

On the FE145 (14,500 GVWR), the company eliminated a 164" wheelbase and added a 176" wheelbase, which will accommodate up to a 20' body and broaden the range of applications: movers, furniture haulers, etc, who “cube-out” before “weigh-out”.

The FE145 crew cab has a Fuso 4M50 4.9-liter diesel engine with common rail injection, 185hp, and 391 lb-ft, along with EPA '07 emissions. It has an Aisin MY600 six-speed automatic transmission only and one wheelbase (165.4"), with a standard side-mount fuel tank (curb side).

New for the Class 5 FE180 (17,995 GVWR) is the adoption of the 189.4" wheelbase, which permits mounting of 22' vans (with most tuck-under lift gates) and broadens the range of applications. Dry-van interior heights increase to 96"/97" with typical substructure component heights.

He said air conditioning is standard on all trucks because of market demand from Fuso customers and because it improves driver retention and productivity.

Aquaro said he believes MFTA is the only manufacturer that is using silicon carbide in its diesel particulate filters (DPF). He said it is more expensive than than cordierite but is better because it holds more soot and requires fewer regeneration efforts, and it also allows MFTA to make its DPFs smaller and lighter than other manufacturers' DPFs.