FRR 110-260 FREIGHTPACK MEDIA REVIEW: TRUCKSALES

By Geoff Middleton, Trucksales

20 November 2019

 

2019 ISUZU FRR 110-260 FREIGHTPACK: REVIEW

As part of the 2019 Isuzu Media Drive Day, we got a good, solid run in one of the latest F-Series Ready-to-Work Freightpacks.

Isuzu’s Ready-to-Work range has been a roaring success. In fact, since the first Tradepack was launched 15 years ago, Isuzu has sold literally thousands trucks across the Ready-to-Work range.

Originally only available in the N Series, Isuzu introduced us to the F Series Freightpack at the Brisbane Truck Show. The pre-bodied Freightpack trucks are available in 10-pallet, 12-pallet and 14-pallet configurations with either four- or six-cylinder engines and with  automated-manual or full-auto transmissions.

At the 2019 Isuzu media drive day, we got to test a wide variety of N Series and F Series Freightpack trucks, but the one I spent most time in and the one that I found a personal favourite was the FRR 110-260 with a 10-pallet Freightpack body.

What do you get in a Freightpack?

Basically, the Freightpack is a curtain-sider – and there’s nothing new about that. But it is a ‘factory’ build and it does have some pretty neat features that set it apart from the run-of-the-mill curtain-sider.

Firstly, being a factory-backed build, the whole truck including the body carries the full Isuzu warranty and parts are readily available from the broad Isuzu dealer network.

The package offers quick-release latches on all curtain-siders which, we were told, saves around 90 seconds per load. Isuzu says this equates to a saving of around 15 minutes per day.

Also, integrated into the AV unit in the cab, is not only a reversing camera but an internal load-bay camera that allows the driver to see exactly what’s happening in the back of the truck. Night time? No problem – the Freightpack comes with LED strip lighting that lights up the load area like daylight and it’s controlled by a switch on the dash.

I got to try the load bay camera to see how much load our Freightpack was carrying and I found I could easily count the concrete blocks we had in the back acting as our load.

The gates are all single-pallet width, common to all Freightpacks, and are available at all Isuzu dealers.

At the launch, Isuzu Sales Manager Les Spaltman summed up the reasoning behind the Freightpack: “We’ve applied our successful Ready-to-Work strategy to the lighter end of the general freight market and now we’re targeting the medium and heavy-duty rigid markets with these tightly specced and highly practical F Series Freightpack models,” he said.

“We’ve specified key GVM, engine and transmission configurations, providing flexible freight workhorses for a variety of operations.

“The trucks are fitted with a range of time-saving and convenience-enhancing features and like all our Ready-to-Work models, they can be put straight to work direct from your Isuzu dealer.”

The FRR 110-260

The FRR 110-260 which, incidentally, is now available in Crew Cab form, is powered by the 6HK1-TCC engine which is a 7790cc 24-valve six-cylinder mill that puts out 256hp (191kW) and 761Nm of torque at 1450-2400rppm. It uses EGR and DPD for emission control to Euro 5 standard.

It can be had with either a six-speed manual or Allison six-speed full auto. The truck we had on test had the auto option which is really well matched to the engine, taking full advantage of the torque. With the auto, both fifth and sixth are overdrives (.74 and .64 respectively) with fourth being 1:1. On the manual box, only sixth is an overdrive (.722) with fifth being direct.

Both have a 4.333 diff and this means that the auto is actually longer legged than the manual.

GVM for the FRR is 11,000kg and GCM is 20,000kg and height with the Freightpack is 3.6 metres, so no, you won’t fit under Melbourne’s Montague Street Bridge.

Inside, the FRR driver gets an Isri 6860 air suspension seat while the passenger gets an adjustable fixed bucket and there’s a centre seat with a folding seat back.

The steering column is tilt and telescopic adjustable so it’s easy to get into a comfortable driving position.

There is a sleeper of sorts (ADR42 compliant), but I’d suggest it’s only for the more slightly built of us and preferably for a quick nap rather than a good night’s sleep.

Instrumentation is comprehensive and there’s a sat nav and cruise control as standard.

Storage is adequate with overhead bins and door pockets and a central box. There are a couple of drink holders that pop out from the centre of the dash, but they won’t hold larger bottles. I’d prefer to see a couple of larger drink holders as well, maybe in the doors or at least closer to the driver.

The driver and left-side passenger get air bags for safety and other safety measures include ABS, the newly released stability control and hill-start assist.

On the Road

There are a couple of steps to get up into the FRR and you wouldn’t miss them because they’re painted bright yellow, as is the grab rail which assists the ascent and descent. The doors are large and open wide so it’s simple for all sizes to get in.

Once in, it’s dead easy to get comfortable and the vision from the driver’s perch is great. The A-pillar is relatively thin and the windscreen broad and deep.

Crank it up and the big six jumps to life smoothly and with only a slight rumble.

During the test we only had around three tonnes on board so getting off from the lights was a breeze and we could easily cruise through the traffic.

One of the first things I noticed was how quiet the FRR was. It was akin to being in one of the big European trucks with the level of noise so low we could hold a decent conversation as though we were in a sedan car.

The steering was nice and direct and the manoeuvrability was great – as I found out at the end of the drive when I was asked to reverse it back into the dealership and park it amid the rest of our drive fleet.

Although the FRR I drove was only a 10-pallet truck with an 11-tonne GVM, it felt like a bigger truck. Not that it felt big, more that it has big-truck attributes. It was comfortable, vision was excellent, and I found it easier to set the cruise and let the truck do the work rather than having to really drive it through the hills and secondary roads on our drive program.

In fact, I felt I could easily sit in the truck all day doing intrastate runs and it wouldn’t be tiring.

At 100km/h on the highway the engine was ticking over at 1900rpm, which is a fair way from where the power and torque drop off at 2400rpm.

Our drive program took us on journey of around 300km around Victoria – the kind of trip one might be doing for small intrastate deliveries, or for cattle or horse transport.

The braking system is a drum affair at all four corners and not as modern as some but it is a dual-circuit air-over-hydraulic system that worked well on our test and will doubtless be easy and inexpensive to maintain.

The washup

At the end of the day, the Isuzu FRR 110-260 is a very versatile truck. The engine/gearbox combo is a beauty and seems very well matched. Sure the engine’s not as modern as some of the Euro 6 offerings, but it is an honest and well-proven engine that’s pretty economical and will last extremely well.

The rest of the truck is a proven formula and well put together. The fit and finish in the cab is first class and we think this truck will last and prove fit for purpose, whatever that purpose may be.

 

Specifications:

Isuzu FRR 110-260

Engine: Isuzu 6HK1-TCC Six-cylinder 24 valve SOHC

Displacement: 7790cc

Compression Ratio: 17.5:1

Bore x Stroke: 115mm x 125mm

Max power (DIN-NET): 191kW (256hp) at 2400rpm

Max torque (DIN-NET): 761Nm (561 lb.ft) at 1450 – 2400rpm

GVM: 11,000kg

GCM: 20,000kg

Fuel: 200 litres

Induction system: Electronically controlled variable nozzle turbocharger with air-to-air intercooler

Fuel injection: Direct injection high pressure common rail system

Emission control system: Cooled EGR with exhaust Diesel Particulate

Transmission: Allison LVT2500 six-speed automatic, 5th Gen with adaptive shift

Axle front: Isuzu F041 4100kg

Axle rear: Isuzu r077 7700kg

Suspension front: Single taper leaf springs, double-acting dampers, stabiliser bar

Suspension rear: Multi-leaf main spring, multi-leaf helper spring

Brakes: Drum/drum dual circuit air over hydraulic, ABS, air controlled exhaust brake

Tyres: 235/75R17.5 132/130M Michelin X Multi Z

 

This article was originally published on Trucksales on 20 November 2019.

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