Isuzu F-series, N-Series 4x4 truck

N-series NPS, NLS
Isuzu N-series NPS, NLS 4x4 truck
2011 MY NPS 250-300 4x4
2011 MY NPS 250-300 4x4 Crewcab
2011 MY NLS 200 AWD tipper
2011 MY NLS 200 AWD crew
Iuzu NLS AWD Prove

F-series FTS
2012MY FTS 800 4x4 auto
2012 MY FTS 800 4x4 crew auto
2011 MY FTS 800 4x4
2011 MY FTS 800 4x4 Crewcab
ISUZU FTS 800 4X4 AUTO The Australian truck market leader has extended the appeal of its eight-tonnes-payload capacity 4x4 truck with the option of an automatic transmission. OTA played in the mud and came away with some reservations.

F-series FSS
2011 MY FSS 550 4x4
2011 MY FSS 550 4x4 Crewcab

Isuzus 4x4 F-Series is the preferred vehicle of choice by many rural fire authorities and is also popular with councils and those who have to work off the beaten track.
The original FTS 800 had conventional leaf springs and a part-time 4WD system and so wasnt driver and crew friendly, but progressive upgrades see the current model with taper-leaf front springs and full-time 4WD. Ride quality is still firm, but not as jarring as before and driveability is eased by the full-time 4x4 system.
Other improvements to the FTS 800 include driver airbag and seatbelt pre-tensioner, an ISRI 6860 drivers seat and cruise control.
Like the manual-transmission model the FTS 800 Auto is available with a short-sleeper cab or a crew cab. The automatic transmission is an Allison LCT 2500, five-ratio box that links electronically to a proved Isuzu 7.8-litre turbo-diesel, with outputs of 176kW (235hp) and 706Nm.
The standard manual transmission is an Isuzu six-speed manual (five ratios synchronised) with a tall overdrive top gear (0.72:1) and a constant-mesh first gear with 6.6:1 gearing. The manual-box FTS 800 has excellent crawl capability thanks to a low-range reduction of 1.9:1 and final drive ratios of 5.57:1. Overall crawl gearing is 70:1, allowing walking pace progress up and down steep grades.
To show off its new automatic-transmission 4WD truck Isuzu put on a drive day at Victorias Australian Automotive Research Centre, near Anglesea in Victoria. The weather was drizzly rain that turned clay slopes into skating rinks.
The test truck was a single-cab tray model, loaded to 12.9 tonnes.
When venturing off-road in the FTS 800 the truck needs no 4WD selection, but the driver can lock the centre differential for additional traction and then choose low range for stump-pulling toque and crawl capability. The standard rear axle differential is a self-locking No-Spin that requires no driver intervention.
The manual box FTS 800s weve driven in the past were easy enough to operate, with the only possible difficulty for novice drivers being the need to double declutch and match revs to pick up first gear on the move.
The automatic box shifted superbly on this test, but theres no such thing as a free lunch: in exchange for hands-free and foot-free shifting the automatic transmission sacrifices some low-speed capability. With a torque converter stall ratio of approximately 1.8-2:1 the auto model has overall gearing reduction thats almost identical to the manuals, so uphill climbing ability is about the same. We found it possible to idle the loaded auto FTS 800 up slopes that were too steep to stand on, but it was a different story when descending those grades.
Torque converter stall doesnt apply when running downhill, so the effective gear reduction changes to only half that of the manual vehicles and so it tried to run away on downgrades that would see the manual creeping down in low gear. In the auto it was necessary to use the service brakes to control speed
OTA reckons that operators who work in very steep conditions like the Victorian High Country would be best served by the manual-transmission FTS 800, but those who dont need powerful downhill gearing have the choice of both boxes.

(Land Locomotion Mechanical Vehicle Mobility LL-MVM)
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