FUSO Canter ticks all the boxes for MT Mills
The FUSO Canter's rugged build quality and muscular towing capability persuaded Devon-based contractor MT Mills to invest in a trio of 3.5-tonners.
Proprietor Mark Mills founded his business 20 years ago but this is the first time he has operated vehicles bearing FUSO's three diamonds badge.
MT Mills' offices are in Newton Abbot and its new 3.5-tonners arrived via the Exeter branch of Mercedes-Benz Dealer City West Commercials – the German manufacturer's franchised network also sells and supports the popular Japanese light truck range.
The attractive finance agreement offered by City West Commercials was also key to the acquisition, as was the promise of fast, efficient back-up from the Service and Parts team at the Dealer's recently refurbished, 24-hour workshop in Exeter.
The trucks are all Canter 3C13 models with Comfort day cabs. Their fuel-efficient, 96 kW (130 hp) 3.0-litre engines deliver an impressive 300 Nm of torque at low revs and feature the Idle Start/Stop function and an engine brake as standard.
Exeter Coachworks fitted tipping dropside bodies to the strong, ladder frame chassis, as well as large toolboxes which are mounted immediately behind the cabs and have lockable roller shutter doors.
MT Mills undertakes a wide range of building, groundworks, highways and utilities project for customers throughout the South and South-West. It enjoys preferred supplier status with both SSE Contracting, for which it carries out trenching and street lighting/signage works, and South-West Highways, for which it installs new and replaces existing street furniture.
Other major customers include Hanson Contracting, Lafarge Contracting and Amey, while it also works for numerous public sector bodies, including Devon & Cornwall County Council, and Exeter and Plymouth City Councils.
"The Canter is a highly versatile vehicle and I’ve every confidence that our new trucks will prove to be reliable, durable workhorses which are far better-suited to our type of work than van-based vehicles," commented Mark Mills. "You certainly see a great many Canters of all ages in civil engineering use on the Continent, where they’re obviously very popular."
He continued: "I’ve driven our new trucks myself and found them to be comfortable with a nice driving position, as well as highly manoeuvrable – the fact that the engine is beneath the cab means there’s no bonnet, which makes a big difference.
"The Canter also offers around 300 kg more payload potential than the five other, similarly-sized tippers that we also run. What's more, its exceptionally high, 3.5-tonne towing capacity is proving very useful when we need to move mini-diggers and other plant between sites.
"To avoid damage we try not to take them off road too much but the ground clearance seems pretty good, which can only help, while the twin rear wheels means there’s plenty of traction too."
Mr Mills added: "These are still early days in our relationship but City Commercials seem to be very efficient and professional, while the Mercedes-Benz Financial Services deal was competitively priced."