Managing Commercial Vehicle Operating Costs
April 9, 2018

Powerstar Trucks officially unveiled their new medium range of trucks. The launch of new Powerstar FT Series was recently held at the Pietermaritzburg Assembly Plant in KZN and Gerotek Testing Facility in Pretoria.  Ever Star Industries (ESI) is further strengthening their product portfolio of medium trucks in 4×2 configuration, complementing the well-established Powerstar brand of heavy and extra-heavy trucks.

“We’re immensely excited with the new FT Series addition into our stalwart Powerstar brand,” says Bob Wang, Chief Executive Officer of Powerstar’s parent company ESI. The FT Series debuted at the Automechanika Exhibition in Johannesburg Expo Centre in September 2017. This follows a joint venture between the two holding companies whereby ESI takes on board the Foton medium truck range and rebrands these under ESI’s top brand, Powerstar.

“Powerstar’s success lies on the extra heavy side of the vehicle spectrum, it was important for the company to take its time in selecting the right partner with which to introduce itself to the lighter end,” adds Wang.

The FT range will be offered in two variants, the FT3 and FT5, with Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) ratings of 7.5t and 8.7t respectively. The FT range also features Cummins engines and ZF transmissions.

“We have had numerous requests from our customers for smaller trucks and with the new FT trucks we will offer our customers a more versatile and efficient solution, especially for the light and medium to occasional long-haul distribution applications as well as the tipper and waste market” adds Wang.

ESI are now able to offer their customers a complete range of vehicles from 7.5t to 40t GVM, across the distribution, construction and long-haul segments.

Rodney Selesnick, senior head: sales and marketing, adds “The Powerstar FT range is in the same high-quality technology bracket as our other Powerstar’s. The range is powered primarily by Cummins engines, feeding torque through ZF transmissions, and will also be assembled at the ESI Assembly Plant in Pietermaritzburg, which is ISO 9001 certified, following the same exacting quality standards as is for the current Powerstar range.” The FT range is also equipped with a 3-seater day-cab which makes an excellent intercity distribution vehicle offering good payload potential.

The smallest variant in the FT range is the FT3 with a GVM of 7 500kg. With a tare weight of 2 560kg a body and payload capacity of 4940kg is achieved. Powered by a Euro 3, 3.8ℓ Cummins ISF rated at 115kW, the common-rail engine has a generous 500Nm of torque over a wide 1200-1900rpm range. This allows for a drivable truck and low fuel consumption. Shifting is done through a 6-speed ZF Ecolite manual transmission. The transmission can also be fitted with a Power Take-Off (PTO), depending on customer requirements.

The second variant in the FT range is the FT5. The FT5 uses the same engine and transmission as the FT3, but differs from the FT3 through higher-capacity front and rear axles, for a GVM of 8700kg. This gives the FT5 a body and payload capacity of 5 860kg.

“The vehicles have been homologated and endured  intensive conducted testing with Cummins to ensure the engine and drivetrain are working properly together,” Selesnick notes.

Across the entire FT range safety has been addressed by the fitment of Wabco ABS air-operated disc brakes on the front and drums at the rear. In addition an auxiliary exhaust brake is also standard on both variants. Driver comfort is also a priority with the fitment of an air-conditioner, electric mirrors and electric windows as standard, as well as a radio. Powerstar has also partnered with select bodybuilders to provide a turnkey solution and to ensure the bodies supplied are right for the vehicle.

ESI places its full backing behind the new FT Series, with a 2 year/unlimited mileage warranty on the entire vehicle. Service intervals are set at 15 000km and can be serviced at certified Powerstar FT dealerships.

As part of the ESI dealer network, current Powerstar customers are supported with over 30 service centres around the country and dedicated Powerstar sales executives at full dealerships who ensure correct vehicle specification and a comprehensive aftersales support.   

“The FT slogan “better built, better backed”, is our promise to our customers and we truly believe this new range of trucks will be very successful.  We will also continue to assess a greater range of medium trucks for South Africa” Wang concludes.

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