THE CLASS 4 FE 140, a medium-duty cabover with 14,050-lb GVWR, is the newest addition to Mitsubishi Fuso's 2006 fleet, replacing the FE 120 (12,000 GVWR).
“It's essentially a 14,500 vehicle,” said Bob Aquaro, vice president of product assurance. “The front and rear GVW axle ratings are exactly the same as a 14,500 vehicle. You will notice there are some changes in the lug nuts — it uses a five-lug wheel versus a six-lug wheel in a 14,500. We suspect this will be a very popular vehicle for sales purposes. It's priced down closer to the Class 3 world than it is in the Class 4 world. It's very competitive with Class 3 competition. Essentially the customer is getting bigger bang for the buck because he's picking up extra GVW. Believe it or not, we've already started to run out of some of these.”
The FE 140 is available in three wheelbase lengths, 114.6", 134.3", and 152.4", and can accommodate body sizes of 12', 14' and 16'. Front and rear axle ratings are 5,510 lb and 9,880 lb respectively, and maximum body-payload is 8,315 lb. A 33.1"-wide straight ladder frame makes body mounting easy, and frame rails made from 51,200 PSI yield-strength steel with an RBM of 415,232 lb-in per rail provide rugged reliability.
The turning diameter is a tight 35.1', smaller than many two-seat sports cars, and both front and rear suspension feature stabilizer bars, for improved handling. With power steering, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows and door locks, and a Mitsubishi Fuso exclusive dash-mounted shifter, this truck is exceptionally maneuverable and easy to drive. The cab is also spacious and comfortable inside, fully trimmed, and exceptionally quiet, to help reduce driver and crew fatigue.
The cab is available in five colors (Natural White, Arcadia Silver, Jupiter Green, Mars Red, and Shannon Blue), with blue/gray cloth seats standard.
Powered by Mitsubishi Fuso's workhorse dual-overhead-cam, turbocharged, intercooled diesel engine rated at 147 hp/347 lb-ft of torque with the standard 5-speed manual transmission and 175 hp/391 lb-ft of torque with the optional Aisin 6-speed automatic, the FE 140 is perfect for landscaping, delivery, and contractor work trucks.
The FE 140 comes standard with an exclusive five-year limited powertrain warranty. For FE and FG models, including the FE 140, the limited powertrain warranty covers all major driveline components for five years or 175,000 miles, whichever comes first. This warranty is in addition to the standard three-year limited bumper-to-bumper warranty offered on all Mitsubishi Fuso medium-duty trucks.
One of the new options is an Engine Protection System that is designed to shut down the engine in case of high coolant temperature or low oil pressure.
“Sales internationally are good on this,” Aquaro said. “Some states have passed mandatory engine shutdown requirements. It varies state by state, and even local regions. Communities have decided that diesel engines idling for two hours is not a good thing. This device also has the capability of an idle-limiting system. It's being considered by the California Air Resources Board as being mandatory sometime down the road.”
Aquaro gave some general rules of thumb for wheelbase changes:
No shorter than the shortest OEM wheelbase offered for that series.
No longer than the longest OEM wheelbase offering for that series.
No FG wheelbase changes.
“That's a very difficult chassis to deal with,” he said. “If you start messing around with it, you're going to have some grief.”
Wheelbase changes on Allison-equipped chassis must duplicate factory offerings in all aspects (ie, driveline length and working angles).
“If you have any doubt at all, call us,” he said.
Aquaro said LEDs are growing in popularity, but create a problem — a solvable problem, but a problem nonetheless.
“We use a solid-state flasher that is set up for incandescent lamps,” he said. “Why do we do it? It's indestructible. But from the LED side, it's not the best flasher in the world. People are installing them and getting rapid flash rate when the LEDs are substituted, and the vehicle doesn't meet DOT regulations. You can install a modified Mitsubishi flasher (FE/FG — FP100373 or FK/FM — FP100374). Then, unless you're five-foot tall, you're probably not going to be able to get your hands under the dash to easily replace this. Body guys have put them in and left the original flasher in the truck.”