FAW’s new commercial vehicle, built with South Africa in mind

Brian Joss – FAW Vehicle Manufacturers SA has launched the FAW 6.130 FL medium truck, specifically configured for the southern and central African markets.

The range follows in the footsteps of the successful FAW 8.140 heavy truck range on which it is based, although reconfigured with a 2.8-litre Cummins ISF engine, shortened chassis and 3.5-ton payload, and shares a number of components with it, including the cab.

Jianyu Hao, CEO of FAW SA, explains the rationale behind the introduction of the new  FAW 6.130 medium truck range.

“Our decision to introduce this truck was based on customer demand and market opportunity. Our market analysis confirmed the need for a vehicle as durable and rugged as our heavy and extra-heavy trucks but reconfigured with a smaller engine and reduced payload compared to the highly successful FAW 8.140 range.

The FAW team paid special attention to cost efficiency combined with the best possible payload and the best turnaround time, without forgetting FAW’s quality build standards for durability and reliability.

“The new FAW 6.130 FL carries all the hallmarks that FAW trucks are renowned for, namely strength, reliability, easy operation, and most importantly, delivering on the promise of a ‘truck built for Africa, in Africa’” Hao says.

Imported from parent plants as SKD kits, the cab, chassis, axles and other sub-assembly components, together with the imported Cummins ISF engine, are all neatly assembled in FAW South Africa’s Coega-based plant.

Since its opening in 2014, this plant has employed over 100 new employees, all of whom have been freshly trained and up-skilled for the FAW 6.130 FL production.

As demand for the new range and the existing heavy and extra-heavy FAW trucks increases, new job opportunities will be created. The total capacity of the plant is 5 000 units annually.

The FAW 6.130 will be available in a number of body derivatives – a drop-side, a tautliner option, a van body, a tipper and a rollback and a dry-freight insulated body. Customers may choose to buy the chassis cab and fit their own truck bodies to suit many other applications, up to a GCM of 10 tons.

The suspension is of the straight ladder-type with semi-elliptical leaf springs, together with front double acting shock absorbers. Semi-elliptical leaf springs are fitted at the rear.

The axles, graded for a permissible 2.5 ton in front and 4.5 ton at the back, provide ample carrying capacity.

The new FAW cab is a forward 45° tilt, cab-over engine design. It is based on ergonomic principles and provides easy servicing access. The digital instrumentation panel and all controls are placed well within reach of the average-sized South African driver. Materials used are durable and smooth, yet comfortable and sturdy. The 2-metre wide cab allows for a three-person-seat, with a foldable middle section. Radio and USB connection are standard fitments.

The FAW 6.130 FL is fitted with power steering for comfort and driveability.

The front windscreen, as well as slanted side windows, offers an exceptional scope of sight, while mirrors are neatly positioned and of ample size to provide a good view to the side and rear of the vehicle, all enhancing driveability and safety.

In a business environment where total cost of ownership is always top of mind, it has become imperative that the most cost-effective combination drivetrain be engineered to deliver the best levels of efficiency and durability.

Adding to its international pedigree the FAW 6.130 FL is fitted with the Euro 3 Cummins ISF 2.8-litre engine to the medium-weight truck category.

This engine, fitted with a turbocharger, is water-cooled and intercooled.

Benefits of this particular powerplant include exceptional performance, low operating costs, low weight, low noise and low emissions capabilities.

The 6-speed synchromesh manual transmission is a great match.  Torque is a healthy 310 Nm between 1 600 and 2 700 r/min, while a solid output of 96 kW is on tap at 3 200 r/min. These performance levels make the new Cummins engine and transmission ideal for weight sensitive and space-constrained drivetrains.

Advanced thermal engineering has made the ISF engine capable of running at higher operating temperatures, reducing the size and cost of the vehicle’s cooling package. The modular architecture of the engine allows for easy access and single side servicing, reducing operating costs.

A waste-gated turbocharger provides excellent performance across the whole r/min range, as well as good response through higher low-end torque.

The FAW 6.130 FL offers a wide range of different applications, depending on the body configuration.

As a van it  will provide a stable and safe conveyor of protected cargo, be it in express deliveries, general distribution or for dry weight cargo like bakeries.

Running as a tautliner unit the FAW has the manoeuvrability to work in tandem with any application handling palletised loads.

As a roll back this truck can pick up and transport a passenger car to its destination.

When matched with a dry freight or an insulated body, the FAW truck is suitable as bakeries and other sensitive goods transportation.

The Spartan-based facility is a dedicated national parts distribution centre, supported by the branches in Durban and Cape Town, which act as hubs to support all FAW representatives and self-service operators.

Since the FAW 6.130 FL shares many components with the FAW 8.140 FL, parts availability is assured, and adequate stockholding is in place.

Jianyu Hao explains: “One of the reasons for our success has been successful partnerships with so many other world class regions and organisations. We take our partnerships very seriously and we see our business relationship within Africa as one of the most important of these partnerships.  The FAW 6.130 FL is a ‘true-blood South African’, built locally and uniquely engineered for the African environment.”

CAPTION: Going places: the FAW 6.130 FL medium truck.

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