Isuzu is expanding its Ready to Work truck line up adding a number of new curtain side tautliner body ‘Freightpack’ models to its ready to work range, which last year accounted for around 25 per cent of the top selling maker’s total sales.

Isuzu’s range now numbers 40 Ready to Work models with the new F Series Freightpack models, which were previewed at the Brisbane Truck Show, adding to the popular N Series Vanpack models.

The five new Freightpack models include two 10 pallet, two 12 pallet and one 14 pallet variants all equipped with either Isuzu’s AMT or Allison automatics, with all of them featuring high quality curtain side bodies with Lightning quick release latches, LED interior strip lighting halo step lights, single pallet width load gates and both a reversing camera and a load area camera as standard.

Isuzu’s national sales manager, Les Spaltman, says the Freightpack range has been carefully honed to meet target market expectations.

“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 an heavy duty rigid markets with these tightly specced and highly practical F Series Freightpack models,” said Les Spaltman.

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

“The trucks are fitted with a range of time saving and convenience enhancing features and like all Ready to Work models, all can be put straight to work direct from the dealer, “ he said.

Isuzu pointed to government data that shows that the freight task between 2011 and 2031 will increase by around 80 per cent which will in turn drive the demand for more trucks and equipment to move freight to satisfy the growing population and consumer hunger.

Isuzu COO Andrew Harbison says there is no end in sight to freight task growth and that the market is constantly evolving.

Truck and Bus News got to sample all of the new Freightpack models in a drive day around Melbourne and all performed extremely well.

The ten and 12 pallet variants are powered by either the 5.1 litre 240 horsepower four cylinder with AMT or the eight litre six cylinder 260 horsepower with Allison auto while the top spec 14 pallet offering is powered by the 300 horsepower six mated to an automatic.

Isuzu also is aiming to win more traditional ute users over to the light truck sector with the lure of better legal load and towing limits on car driver licence compliant models in its ready to work Traypack, Tipper and Servicepack models.

The company’s product planning and engineering manager Simon Humphries said that utes are simply no longer cutting the mustard in terms of weight and towing capacity.

“Tradies and other operators need to be aware if one of their employees has an accident in an overloaded ute then there is likely to be no insurance cover and   there will be implications when it comes to workplace health and safety and Workcover compliance.

“Most utes only have a 3.5 tonne towing capacity while most Isuzu light trucks have a 4.5 tonne towing capacity, “ he added.

“It is safer and a lot easier to move to a light truck particularly given the fact that the price difference is negligible,” said Humphries.

Humphries said that the company’s Ready to Work range had been ‘researched and determined to be the most packages’ for the applications they were targeting.

“We have done a lot of research into what is going to sell and Isuzu’s global product strategy development ensures we are focussing on customer needs,” Humphries added.

Humphries also pointed to the fact that as well as being able to put the Ready to Work trucks on the road virtually immediately they are also fully supported and warranted bumper to bumper by Isuzu.

‘If Isuzu is selling a Ready to Work model they are covered bumper to bumper so customers have just one point of contact for warranty issues,” he said.

Isuzu also said it is working on a full electronic safety suite for its medium duty trucks to match Hino’s 500 series models, which have dramatically closed the gap on Isuzu’s market leading line up since they were launched early this year with an extensive electronic safety package as standard.