Hooniverse Weekend Edition: The Mitsubishi Fuso FK260. Can I possibly write anything interesting about this thing?

Yes it’s time again for another DieselFumes posting, and this time I will outline the Mitsubishi-Fuso FK260. It is set up to be a standard delivery vehicle, one that you see time and time again on the highways and city streets all across America. So what makes the Fuso so special. Ahhh, you must make the jump….

The Mitsubishi Fuso FK and FM series is one of the last Cab Forward Trucks still available for sale within the United States. This truck allows the operator to carry a greater volume of cargo using the same footprint as a conventional truck. That is one reason why you still see Cab Forward Semi’s over there, and not here in North America. There is one other disadvantage the Cab Forward trucks suffer with, and that is ingress and egress. With the “Big Mac” dietary supplements most truck drivers consume, getting in and out of a typical Cab Forward truck is difficult at best. This is the number one reason why you see less and less larger Cab Forward Trucks. However, Fuso is stubbornly sticking to this formula.

Once you climb inside the cab, you are rewarded with a much roomier driving environment compared to the standard cabs offered by International, Freightliner, Hino, and Paccar. There is enough room behind the seats that you can actually recline the backs, or store suitcases and emergency items without taking up valuable floor space. The interior of this Fuso is also pleasant, with a cool light blue color infused throughout the surfaces and the seat fabrics. Mitsubishi Fuso (along with a couple of other Japanese Truck Lines) has stated that this color is in fact calming, but I feel it looks like a late 80’s Malibu. One thing that I did notice is how cohesive the controls are, including an automotive styled instrument panel, overhead storage bins, ergonomic switchgear, and comfortible seats (probably one of the most comfortable seats in any truck I’ve driver EVER).

These trucks are an engineering tour-de-force. The power-train includes a SOHC Turbocharged and Intercooled Direct Injected six cylinder Diesel displacing 7.5 litres (or 460 Cubic Inches), that produced 243 horsepower – and I admit that doesn’t sound like a lot – as well as producing 514 Lb/ft of torque at only 1,200 RPM. That was more than enough to keep this truck, well, trucking at close to 80 MPH on the freeway while I was at the wheel. The transmission is an Allison 2200 RDS five speed overdrive unit, and shifts were Lexus smooth. The transmission are nearly bulletproof and have always maintained an enviable reliability reputation. It’s no wonder that the Allison is offered on every truck line available in North America.

I have to say this: Driving this FK260 is like driving an oversized car, it is that easy to drive. While I was evaluating this truck, I had the A/C cranked, the CD was playing a Beethoven concerto in the background, and I was merging onto the freeway in rush hour traffic with almost no trouble at all. The cabin is quiet (except when the engine cooling fan kicks on to a distinct, but still manageable roar), the seats are comfortable, the visibility is excellent, and tilt and telescoping steering wheel if just perfect, the mirrors offer a commanding view, and there is enough power to merge with traffic. What more could you ask of a Truck anyway?

So, how much lettuce does it take to own this truck? MSRP puts this thing at close to $75,000 for just the chassis, and the box is $11,000 on top of that. The reality is that this truck can be had for closer to $70,000 with everything you see here. That includes the box, Heater Mirrors, AM FM CD, Air Ride Drivers Seat, Middle Seat/Center Console, Power Windows, Power Door Locks, Full Air Brakes, Floor Mats, A/C, and other sundry items. Mitsubishi Fuso also offers a generous warranty, including a 3 year/unlimited mileage warranty on the whole truck (except the body that will be covered by the body manufacturer), and a 5 year or 250,000 mile powertrain warranty on the engine, standard transmission, and rear end. The Allison has a separate warranty.

So who else is left in the Cab Forward Market? Isuzu and GM doesn’t make this size Cab Forward any longer. Mack makes one for the Sanitation Industry only, as does Peterbilt, CCC, Condor, and Autocar. There are specialty units for dedicated Fire and Emergency Equipment that could be called Cab Forward Units. That leaves Mitsubishi Fuso, and (wait for it) UD. The question is this: Does a Cab Forward Truck of this size (20,000 to 33,000 GVW) have any real advantages over a Freightliner, International, or a Hino? Discuss below!

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  1. Hopman Avatar

    Absolutly!!!! Yes!!! Especially when you're dealing with congested urban areas (Boston, NYC, ect) having the shorter footprint can make a difference in tight situations.
    On another note, the old argument about them "riding like crap" is moot. The suspensions and seats are better, so thus, the ride is better.
    I wish Kenworth and other Class 8 truck builders still made cabover semi's. I want a K100 and an Argosy so bad!

  2. skitter Avatar

    The cabover vs. conventional, Europe vs. America split is a result of regulatory differences for tractor trailers. Europe regulates overall length, America regulates trailer length. While a few feet out of a non-articulated truck can make a noticeable difference in turning radius, by the time you get to the axles on a 48' or 53' trailer, a couple feet in the tractor wheelbase is worth as little as a few inches. These few inches may be critical, but the prevalence of conventional tractors makes this doubtful; certainly that small difference in trailer maneuverability (at least while moving forward) is seen as less important than other advantages of a conventional layout.

    1. ZomBee Racer Avatar

      The Surface Highway Transportation Assistance Act of 1982 relaxed the weight and length standard on interstates that had been in effect I believe since the 30's. Instead of overall length of the truck-trailer, now just the trailer is regulated (max. 53').
      It is amazing to see how completely the flat-nose HCOE (High Cab Over engine) trucks have disappeared off the interstates. I miss seeing them, especially since I was a HUGE "BJ & the Bear" fan.
      "I'm BJ McKay, and this is my best friend bear"… hooooonk-hooonk!
      <img src="http://www.the-truckers-page.com/slideshows/misc/Tennesse-%20HHH%20with%20BJ%20&%20THe%20Bear%20Truck.jpg&quot; width="500">

  3. HycoSpeed Avatar

    "So what makes the Fuso so special. Ahhh, you must make the jump…."
    This line totally got me to clicky, so nicely done.
    My question is, how long before I can buy one used at a U-Haul auction for under $1000 and turn it into a car hauler?

    1. Hopman Avatar

      UHaul doesn't run these. They've got Chevy 4500's with big blocks.

  4. ptschett Avatar

    For the on-farm applications where I've driven trucks of this weight class, I don't think the cab-over format would be much of an advantage, except maybe for a cattle-feeding truck where you could see exactly how close you are to an in-the-way cow.

  5. kvhnik Avatar

    I own a Daihatsu Hijet that looks just like this but in about 1/2 scale. I love the extra forward vision but not the idea of being the first one on the scene of the accident. Not a problem for me as mine is off road only. I'm not sure how I would feel at highway speeds. But then, this is a much, much larger vehicle.
    P.S. Nice article but do the Hooniverse proof readers take the weekend off?

  6. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar

    Those seats are nearly the same colour as my Volvo's, but with a diner-carpet pattern on 'em. The truck has working air conditioning and a CD player, too, so it's two steps ahead of my car already.
    I never looked at trucks as in-depth as I should have, it seems. Hmm…

  7. MattC Avatar

    I used to drive the Isuzu smaller cab over box trucks for an office supplier (while in College). I likes the smaller length, overall general comfort, but disliked the prevalent turbo whine that required turning the radio volume way up to compensate. We also had a larger Mitusibishi box truck (24 maybe 26 ft) that was a manual and rode much better than the Isuzu. As states before, It does help in tighter city enfironments and I am sure the new Mitsu had been refined since I was driving them

  8. MattC Avatar


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