South Africa’s transport system has always faced many challenges, amongst which is having adequately safe means of transporting labourers and equipment.
We have all seen the proverbial image of workers sitting at the back of a vehicle that is laden with equipment on a busy road. This concerning safety hazard has been the cause of avoidable carnage on our roads and has necessitated the recent 13th Amendment to the National Road Traffic Act which outlines that people and equipment may not be carried on the back of a goods vehicle at the same time – unless they are separated by a partition. This is where Isuzu Trucks has taken the lead in offering standard crew-cab models for both medium and heavy-duty trucks.
Isuzu Trucks’ straight-forward, no-compromise solution is an integrated crew-cab that seats up to seven people in the same degree of safety as the driver with seat-belts for every passenger. Isuzu Trucks’ N-Series crew-cab models NMR 250 and NPR 400 can seat 6 and 7 respectively – both including the driver. The NPR 400 crew cab model has a significant feature not found on any medium-class truck providing unique technical advantage – an automated manual transmission designated as an AMT. A seamless Isuzu AMT gear-shift turns an average driver into a good driver. This allows a driver to focus safely on ever-changing road conditions in heavy traffic synchronising with engine technologies to further improve fuel consumption through automatic gear selection. Eliminating clutch replacement also reduces downtime and total lifetime ownership costs. It also means increased safety for driver and crew.
In terms of practical application, numerous industries can benefit from Isuzu’s crew-cab models, including municipal operations, artisan operatives, small fire-fighting operations, garden services, large production and events companies, construction workers and forestry industries. When staff know and feel that their safety is a priority, this can raise morale and subsequently, productivity. All Isuzu’s models come standard with ABS braking systems and are manufactured to global safety standards under the ISO 9001 certification.
The NPS 300 4×4 Crew and the NPS 300 4×4 SWA (single wheel application) crew cab models opens another market to the local operators. These models are ideal for government and municipal use and any industry which requires transportation of both labour and goods. Currently, the NPS 300 4×4 Crew models are used in forestry and fire fighting applications.
The heavy-duty Isuzu F-Series range offers the Isuzu FSR 750 Crew in manual or AMT derivative. It is a 13,500kg GVM truck offering fully-homologated seating for seven – a driver and six passengers. The electro-hydraulic cab tilt mechanism allows quick access for any maintenance. The 13,500kg GVM on the FSR 750 includes a very useful body and payload allowance of approximately 9,300kg – actual payload could range from 7,000 to 8,000 depending on cargo body mass.
Craig Uren, Isuzu Truck South Africa Chief Operating Officer, says, “The crew cab was developed as a solution in response to our customer’s challenges around safety of workers. As more industries become increasingly cognisant of safety standards and seek to comply with the recent 13th Amendment to the National Road Traffic Act, we see the crew-cab models going from strength to strength.”