Friday, 28 August 2009


MITSUBISHI SAYS: It’s quite a bizarre sight watching a six tonne truck driving up the 45 degree incline of a sand dune. And Bob Davidson is paying close attention. Bob is perhaps one of the last of a dying breed of men. Men who can build and fix, just about anything. A trained engineer, he got into plastic injection moulding before ill-health pushed him into an early retirement. These days he tinkers with 4x4s, customising them to his exact needs and then takes extended African safari adventures.

He’s been all over the continent, many times. And now he’s chosen the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 4x4 as the platform on which to build his new motorhome. And by looking at Bob’s other vehicles, you can guess that the motorhome is going to be an exquisitely engineered masterpiece, custom built and tailor made to offer him every comfort on the road, the Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 4x4 will make sure he can get to every corner of this beautiful continent, and beyond.

That’s why Bob was paying particular attention to the performance of the Mitsubishi FUSO at the Atlantis Dunes recently, as one of the attendees at the Mitsubishi Paarden Eiland and Sandown Commercial Vehicles Belville, Client Day. As the smaller Mitsubishi Triton Double Cab bakkies, short and long wheelbase Pajero’s zoomed all over the soft sand dunes, the FUSO Canter 4x4 more than ably followed them up and over most of the inclines.

There’s no wonder the FUSO is one of the world’s most popular medium sized commercial trucks. And there is no doubt that the FUSO Canter 4x4 is capable to overcome the roughest terrain. That’s why it is the preferred vehicle for most of Africa’s Overland Safari operators.

As Mark Coxon, dealer principal at Sandown Commercial Vehicles Belville, puts it, “we’ve really focussed a lot of energy on the 4x4 FUSO Canter. So it was a great opportunity to give the vehicle as much exposure as possible. Atlantis provides an ideal opportunity to demonstrate to our customers the capabilities of the FUSO Canter, driving all over the sand dunes. With word of mouth, you never know who would be interested in a new all-purpose overlander.

“But the event was about more than that,” he continues. “We took the time to interact with our customers and give them an opportunity to try out the whole of Mitsubishi’s 4x4 range.” Most of the Sandown Commercial’s customers spend their time behind the wheels of Fuso’s and Freightliners, so the client day gave them the chance to hop in a Pajero or a Triton and have some “lightweight” fun.

“It was a great initiative from Sean Kelly at Mitsubishi Paarden Eiland.” Mark continues. “And we’re more than happy to be involved. It gives us an opportunity to introduce Sean to our fleet customers and vice versa. We all benefit from the interaction.”

“It's simple stuff, really,” he says. “Just to get out there with our customers and have fun. And we all left learning something new about 4x4ing. We'll definitely do more of these days. There's another one planned for September.”

So while the rest of the attendees at the Client Day were learning about the finer, low-range capabilities of the Mitsubishi 4x4 range, manoeuvring the Pajeros and Tritons around the shifting sand dunes, the FUSO Canter was more than keeping pace. And because of the re-designed cab, those riding in the FUSO had much more space to kickback, as well as more cross-cab access – providing greater comfort on those long journeys. The FUSO Canter features ABS braking and environmentally friendly non-asbestos brakelinings as standard features.

But all of that technical jargon tends to fall by the wayside when you see how ridiculously capable the FUSO Canter 4x4 is. There was no hiding the smile on Bob Davidson’s face at the end of the day, when clapped his hands together and said, “I think I’ve made the right decision!”