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Pistons & Pivots

Pistons & Pivots - Brad Lever's Mountain Goat Fuso 4X4

Words Deniz Merdano
Photos Deniz Merdano
Date Aug 10, 2021
Reading time
Presented By
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Pistons and Pivots features cool vehicles with character, and a little about their owners and the bikes they ride.

If you've got a vehicle and bike that fit the series, we'd love to help you share them with a wider audience, and you can take a crack at winning some prizing from Maxxis (tires are hard to come by in the days of Covid, so Maxxis has kindly offered to pay for two trail association memberships - one for you and a friend or two for you!).

You can enter in one of two ways:

  1. Send photos and articles to submissions@nsmb.com. Make sure to include 'Pistons and Pivots' in the subject line.
  2. Or simply post a few vehicle and bike photos and details to Instagram and use the hashtags #pistonsandpivots and #nsmb.

We'll pick a few winning submission and feature them on the site, and the person that submitted it will earn a membership to their local trail association as well as one other (for another trail association or to share with a friend) courtesy of Maxxis.


Not another Tacoma. There is a calming, reliable and universally digested boringness to all the off the shelf trucks we see on the roads here in North America. As a sharp-eyed scouter of all things exciting on wheels, I am constantly trying to one up myself. I ache in anticipation of the banality of another photoshoot with a vehicle from the Big T.

Its not that I don't like the machine. They are reliable as hell, relatively good looking and fit the purpose of hauling bikes around on the rugged roads of British Columbia really well, while staying manageable in the mall parking lot. I would love to own a 4Runner myself at some point but the Toyota Tax, which has never been higher, is too hard to swallow for a cheapskate like me. There are people out there with a more creative agenda, looking for rare, off-kilter vehicles to build their dreams on, even though these thoroughbreds always have high price tags and inconveniences attached.

Brad is one of those creatives that set out to find a truck platform that not only turned heads, but also earned it's keep in the driveway. Brad's 2010 Mitsubishi Fuso is a full-time working truck that is also an apocalypse-ready expedition vehicle in disguise.

Brad's day involves building up and tearing down elaborate shooting locations for movies and shows. Do you need a UFO crash site with a flying saucer and carnage? He'll build it. Do you need BC Place turned into a desert landscape for a big scene? He is the guy.

The Fuso never stops, neither does Brad... The folding bed can turn into a flatbed in a minute and take over 9000 lbs of payload.

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2010 Mitsubishi Fuso 3-ton

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Fuso sits well off the ground.

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Rare sight in these woods, but a common sight in Europe and Asia

The Mountain Goat Fuso is a unique vehicle on the streets. How did it come about? what year is it?

Brad - The Mountain Goat is the result of my desire for the ultimate truck: big capacity and bigger capabilities.

Tell us about the upgrades and special tricks it has up its sleeve.(suspension, bed, wheels etc)

Brad - As the trucks stands, the Mountain Goat is equipped with a 4” lift, 37” tires, super single conversion from factory dualies, locking differential, air ride seats, bull bar, 18,000 lb winch, 13x7’ flat deck w/collapsible aluminum side and rear gates, headache rack, off-road lighting set up, and 3/16 aluminum belly/tools boxes. It also has roof rack and basket, which includes slash guards waiting to be mounted (slash guards protect the windshield from large branches…when you’re out blazing trials).

Any cool places it has taken you so far?

Brad - We spend a lot of time climbing around the West Cost mountains.

Lets talk about your bikes. What do you ride and why?

Brad - For off road I’m currently riding an Ibis Ripmo,

and for on road a Pinarello Dogma F10. Both because they’re light, nimble, fast, and they seem to handle anything thrown their way with great poise.

How has mountain biking impacted your life?

Brad - Mountain biking has brought a new level of excitement and vigour to my life. I crave endorphins and adrenaline, and mountain biking delivers both in spades.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Brad - Just that I love living on the West Coast, there’s no better place to be.

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There is lots of lockable storage space built around the bed. This one also is big enough to nap in. Just don't let your buddy lock you in there as a prank.

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All the recovery gear. If you are not getting stuck with 37" tires, you are not trying hard enough

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Modular rain system with 2000lbs load capacity. Brad uses these to secure his workload.

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Worklights to turn night into day

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18.000lbs winch Brad uses to move things in and out of the bed. He routes the winch cable over the cab to drag the load in.

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More lights

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2010 Mitsubishi Fuso FG

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The utilitarian build of the Fuso is brutal and beautiful all the same

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you may not be going fast, but you can go anywhere in Brad's Fuso

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More custom storage in the cab.

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Simple and functional.. hose it down after work kind of cab

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The Fuso is fully plumbed for air. With the 3ton axles and 9000lbs payload, the ride is very harsh. Brad installed air cushioned captain's chair. Next is onboard tire inflation

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The Mountain goat runs on 37" mud-terrains. The rear duallies were converted to single wides wheels. 37x13.5R17

Backstory

When Brad found the Fuso for sale on Craigslist, it had a Camper Trailer with its wheels removed on top of the bed. It was well done and fully functional because the fellow wanted to take his wife and drive down to South America and live off the grid. He had done all the hard work himself, at his property but failed to calculate one crucial step.

All it took his wife was a cruise around the block to say "Hells No" to that idea. The Fuso's cabin is built for day to day work and lacks the luster and passenger comfort of a world traveling RV. It is brutally straightforward and simple and the addition of the air seats was necessary vfor Brad.

Brad however wanted a burly work truck that would pay for itself, so he told the seller he would buy it if he could leave the camper behind and take just the truck. The seller agreed and apparently put the axles back in and sold it separately. Brad, with his fabrication connections, got all the boxes and the folding bed built to his specifications. The frame is pre-drilled for a dumping bed and all the accesories you can imagine attaching to a lightweight truck. As the Dual rear wheels are not very offroad friendly, Brad converted to singles and put on the meatiest tires he could without going absolutely broke in the process. It was still about $1000 for tires, per corner.

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Freehubs for everyday drivability and fuel economy

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3ton axles...

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One of the easiest vehicles to get under, and in the engine bay. The whole Cab tilts forward giving access to the entire engine

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Driveshaft catcher prevents you catapulting incase of a failure.

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Enough room for a hottub.. It would be amazing after wet rides.

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As expensive as they are, bikes are held down with straps.. it just works.

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Everyday tools for Brad

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how you lift the bikes up on to the tall bed.

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Ibis Ripmo Brad bought used and has fallen in love with

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Northshore ready steed.

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Hook a pedal over the rail and strap it down.

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Industrious fender...

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Cane Creek Helm fork

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for going really fast..

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Fast, agile and fun

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Imagine a time with no disc brake road bikes....

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Deep dish Campy Wheels

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18.000lbs winch and a bull- bar

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Brad is 5'9"... Fuso is a giant

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You can see Brad's work here.

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Comments

oldmanbike
+1 tmoore Grif JVP Morgan Heater hotlapz finbarr Angu58 DadStillRides Lu Kz mrbrett Evil_bumpkin Nologo mtnfriend kain0m bananas stuff
OldManBike  - Aug. 10, 2021, 6:34 a.m.

Brutal timing running this the day the UN climate catastrophe report was released, guys.

Reply

denomerdano
+15 Cr4w Konrad mrbrett Lu Kz Mark Forbes Tremeer023 Metacomet Cam McRae Nologo kcy4130 NotMeAtAll Tjaard Breeuwer Lowcard Chad K mtnfriend bananas stuff tmoore
Deniz Merdano  - Aug. 10, 2021, 7:26 a.m.

I hear your anger and frustration, but I believe it's directed at the wrong recipient. 

Yes it's a big modified truck, but it is one that has been re-used and re-purposed three times. 

A one that has a bluetec certified clean emissions engine. It is also used as a work truck and not a pleasure toy.

Same with the carbon bikes that are on it. Bought used and repaired.

Same with the photoshoot location, in an abandoned old Canada Post warehouse and not an alpine meadow.

I sure am just as frustrated as you are for the condition we are leaving our environment in and I will personally try harder to be greener. and at NSMB we will try to be more proactive about showcasing environmental issues in the industry..

Reply

oldmanbike
-6 Deniz Merdano Dan Conant Nologo NotMeAtAll Lowcard mrbrett Chad K mtnfriend kain0m bananas stuff
OldManBike  - Aug. 10, 2021, 4:39 p.m.

Deniz, you say my anger and frustration are directed at the wrong recipient, so I'll try to be clearer. It's not directed at the dude who drives this thing around with his bikes. It's directed at NSMB for promoting it.

Reply

TannerValhouli
+9 Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman Nologo kcy4130 NotMeAtAll 4Runner1 mrbrett Chad K Spencer Nelson mtnfriend bananas stuff stiingya Dan Conant
TannerValhouli  - Aug. 10, 2021, 6:20 p.m.

I made an account for the specific reason to tell you that charging your phone/running your computer on electricity in order to comment this is incredibly poorly timed in wake of the UN climate report.

Reply

oldmanbike
+1 Deniz Merdano Cam McRae NotMeAtAll taprider Nologo Lowcard bananas stuff
OldManBike  - Aug. 10, 2021, 7:15 p.m.

Anything that gets someone to create an NSMB comments account is on the side of the angels.

Reply

jff
-1 bananas stuff
jff  - Aug. 23, 2021, 11:32 a.m.

I just made an account partially to tell you that this is the classic lame response... It's a cool rig and is being used for work, which is all cool and genuinely nothing against the owner.

However, @Deniz I have to say that while this series is entertaining, it is also often promoting the monster-truck shuttles...and maybe it is time we all just turn it down a little. Should have. 20 years ago.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+2 Deniz Merdano Cam McRae mtnfriend stiingya
Pete Roggeman  - Aug. 10, 2021, 7:34 p.m.

This is a much longer conversation than we can have here, but all of us participating in recreational mountain biking are part of the problem. Forget the truck, tally up the carbon cost of the materials, production, packaging, and transportation that goes into bringing a bike to market, and we're digging a very deep hole just to be able to play on bikes in the woods. By being here, we're all either complicit or very naïve abiut the impact mtb has on the planet. So you might as well tell us to turn the lights off up in here. 

I appreciate the concern but if you look at from a wider perspective, the truck fades into the periphery. True, we could choose not to promote that kind of vehicle but I think Deniz makes good points about that, and anyway, we're not going to hide our heads in the sand. 

We are, however, in the middle of several discussions about articles that take on the greater impact of mtb as a whole and I think we're all in for a bit of a shock.

Reply

oldmanbike
0 Dan Conant Timer Lowcard bananas stuff
OldManBike  - Aug. 11, 2021, 9:56 a.m.

Yeah, I basically agree with all that. Mountain biking isn't a green sport and none of us are pure here. But I don't think that means it's a great look to wave our pom poms at driving bikes around in rigs that make Hummers look like Priuses.

Reply

notonthenorthshore
0
bananas stuff  - Sept. 18, 2021, 8:03 a.m.

its a clean diesel. being used for work. as opposed to a hummer, which is neither clean nor, most of the time, being used for work.

Ddean
-1 mrbrett Dan Conant bananas stuff
Ddean  - Aug. 11, 2021, 9:46 a.m.

NSMB should only highlight off road vehicles in this segment that can go deep into the back country, and get back home, on hydrogen or solar power!!!!

Dont bother reading the segment from now on if you cant afford a $200k truck!!!!

Reply

Masacrejoe
+9 tmoore mrbrett Lu Kz solar_evolution Deniz Merdano hotlapz stiingya NotMeAtAll kcy4130
Michael Klein  - Aug. 10, 2021, 7:48 a.m.

But this is the kind of vehicle we’re all going to need, when all the roads are flushed away by extreme weather.

Reply

cam@nsmb.com
+17 Kerry Williams Grif YDiv Michael Klein 4Runner1 Mammal Zero-cool Cr4w OldManBike Deniz Merdano Pete Roggeman NotMeAtAll kcy4130 Andrew Collins Chad K mtnfriend bananas stuff
Cam McRae  - Aug. 10, 2021, 10:18 a.m.

They neglected to consult us about the timing of their report.

Reply

pete@nsmb.com
+3 Cam McRae Dan bananas stuff
Pete Roggeman  - Aug. 10, 2021, 7:27 p.m.

Didn't you get the PR, Cam? Me neither. I guess we haven't been spending enough time in Brussels and Geneva.

Reply

syncro
+9 mrbrett Dan Michael Klein AJ Barlas Deniz Merdano Timer Cam McRae mtnfriend bananas stuff
Mark  - Aug. 11, 2021, 3:54 p.m.

If this truck was primarily for pleasure use and spent most of it's time mall crawling and taking the mtb for a ride I'd agree you'd have a good point. But it's a WORK truck, that's needed for the owner's line of WORK, and used to do WORK related things that require a truck of this size. I hate to shout, but that point was clearly made a number of times in the article. The fact that it's a clean diesel makes it even better. I totally get the argument you're trying to make, but this isn't that situation.

Reply

AJ_Barlas
+1 bananas stuff
AJ Barlas  - Aug. 12, 2021, 7:18 a.m.

This!

Reply

craw
+3 Deniz Merdano Metacomet grcgrc
Cr4w  - Aug. 10, 2021, 7:34 a.m.

Now that's a truck.

Reply

Konrad
+8 Mark Forbes Deniz Merdano Cr4w 4Runner1 Cam McRae Pete Roggeman Nologo NotMeAtAll Dan mtnfriend bananas stuff Morgan Heater Flatted-again stiingya
Konrad  - Aug. 10, 2021, 7:50 a.m.

It's better to refurbish and reuse an older vehicle than to buy a new more fuel efficient and less emissions vehicle.

Reply

SprSonik
+15 Tremeer023 Deniz Merdano Morgan Heater Cr4w 4Runner1 Zero-cool Pete Roggeman Nologo NotMeAtAll Dan Velocipedestrian Timer Cam McRae Chad K mtnfriend bananas stuff stiingya
Mark Forbes  - Aug. 10, 2021, 9:37 a.m.

Not enough people understand the concept of keeping things longer and taking care of them. We are taught to buy new as often as we can afford to. Bad for the planet and your finances.

Reply

Timer
+2 mtnfriend bananas stuff
Timer  - Aug. 12, 2021, 2:31 p.m.

This applies even more to mountain bikes. Looking at the rate people buy and discard bikes and components every season, ours seems to be an extremely wasteful sport.

Reply

morgan-heater
0 Flatted-again Cr4w 4Runner1 stiingya Dan Conant Nologo NotMeAtAll kcy4130 mtnfriend bananas stuff
Morgan Heater  - Aug. 10, 2021, 10:56 a.m.

Inaccurate. Especially in the case of a large diesel truck. Life-time tailpipe emissions vastly exceed manufacturing associated emissions. This is a common red herring raised by well meaning people seeking to salve guilt and by oil industry shills.

Reply

denomerdano
+2 Cam McRae mrbrett NotMeAtAll bananas stuff stiingya Morgan Heater
Deniz Merdano  - Aug. 10, 2021, 2:22 p.m.

Im not sure if its an emmisions only argument..

The new resources that need to be exploited. New facilities that have to be built, new materials that are required to build from scratch cant be neglected... That metric i am curious about, which would be almost impossible to calculate.

Reply

morgan-heater
+2 JVP Dan Conant DadStillRides bananas stuff
Morgan Heater  - Aug. 11, 2021, 10:16 a.m.

Difficult, but not really impossible. Smart people devote their professional lives to doing just that. Researchers have developed pretty robust cradle to grave carbon intensities for most materials, and manufacturing processes.

Reply

sverdrup
+10 Dan Conant Andrew Major Dan taprider kcy4130 AJ Barlas Mammal DadStillRides mtnfriend Morgan Heater
sverdrup  - Aug. 11, 2021, 1:08 p.m.

Deniz - Morgan is correct.  You are describing a life cycle analysis.  Complicated, yes, but very much an established field.  Here is a simple example:

https://www.carbonbrief.org/factcheck-how-electric-vehicles-help-to-tackle-climate-change

I am curious if the discussions that Pete mentions above about future articles might incorporate some of this information regarding our mtb habits.  I get the feeling this audience would really engage with it.

For what it's worth, I am both a climate scientist and car enthusiast - and very much enjoy this series.  We are complex creatures.

Reply

DanL
-1 bananas stuff
DanL  - Aug. 11, 2021, 5:51 p.m.

This is excellent reading, thank you

Reply

kain0m
+1 bananas stuff
kain0m  - Aug. 19, 2021, 12:12 a.m.

Battery Electric vehicles are a great way to hurt the environment today. MAYBE they'll be net-negative in the long run, but that is 15 years out. Many EVs in the rust belt will never last long enough to reach that.

And then there is the whole "green electricity" lie - about solar, wind, and hydro power being zero carbon. Big picture, they are less carbon intensive than other forms of power, but far from "zero". Especially solar power has a huge up-front energy cost, which at this point is provided mainly by chinese coal plants.

Emissions and global warming are a fantastically complex topic - but I am afraid battery EV's are nothing more than a shiny band-aid on the actual problem. The have the potential to reduce carbon emissions, but only in the best-case scenario. A Tesla operated in Germany emitts more NOx than a Diesel car would be allowed to, and about 80-100g of CO2 per km (which is comparable to an economy car...). And then there is the whole peak-power issue and overrating the grid to compensate for that - leading to gargantuan efforts in infrastructure, causing more CO2...

NB: I work in the development of fuel cells for EVs. The situation is marginally better there, but the only solution is a drastic reduction in individual traffic, combined with high taxation of international transport, reduction of planned obsolescence, etc. As long as we ship most of our goods halfway around the globe, just to throw them away after far too short of a period, we are never going to even make a dent in the climate with EVs of any kind.

Reply

notonthenorthshore
0
bananas stuff  - Sept. 18, 2021, 8:05 a.m.

manufacturing does more harm to the environment every year than cars will ever do. sure, this thing ain't green, but neither are new trucks of a similar type. add to that this is a work truck, so would need to be replaced with something similar, and its really pointless to go off on this.

Reply

Vikb
+6 Tremeer023 Deniz Merdano 4Runner1 Andrew Collins sverdrup bananas stuff
Vik Banerjee  - Aug. 10, 2021, 9:40 a.m.

At least the bikes the truck is hauling are meat powered!

Reply

clockwork
+3 Deniz Merdano DadStillRides mtnfriend
clockwork  - Aug. 10, 2021, 8:19 p.m.

I hope you mean locally sourced vegetable powered?

Reply

Vikb
+5 Andrew Major Mammal Chad K DadStillRides bananas stuff
Vik Banerjee  - Aug. 11, 2021, 4:16 p.m.

Brad looks like meat to me. If he's actually a vegetable then I am learning something new.

Reply

morgan-heater
+1 stiingya
Morgan Heater  - Aug. 10, 2021, 10:58 a.m.

I'd be super surprised if those bikes stayed in the back on rough roads with the stiff springs on that truck. That would freak me out. Also, I guess you only get to ride with one friend?

Reply

OLDF150
+4 Grif NotMeAtAll Timer bananas stuff
Kerry Williams  - Aug. 10, 2021, 11:42 a.m.

Actually, I bet you can ride with about 9 friends.  You just have to lay down the other 8 in the bed and then use a couple tie down straps to keep them safe to the destination.

Reply

denomerdano
+3 NotMeAtAll Morgan Heater bananas stuff
Deniz Merdano  - Aug. 10, 2021, 2:24 p.m.

You can toss a couch and about 6 bikes in the back with plenty of space between them for shuttles..

Reply

mrbrett
+2 Zero-cool bananas stuff
mrbrett  - Aug. 10, 2021, 11:53 a.m.

This guy seems pretty capable and mechanically inclined - I'd guess if the bikes are moving too much he would just add a strap or two.

Reply

salespunk
0
Salespunk  - Aug. 10, 2021, 1:28 p.m.

I would be shocked if he actually drives with the Pinarello strapped down like that.  Plus the local Italian road group is probably hunting him down right now.

Reply

denomerdano
0
Deniz Merdano  - Aug. 10, 2021, 2:25 p.m.

I don't think he drives the Dogma around . Maybe only to the service shop..

Reply

Skeen
+4 Cam McRae kcy4130 mtnfriend bananas stuff
Skeen  - Aug. 10, 2021, 5:17 p.m.

Well there is no denying that is a sick rig.

Reply

cheapondirt
+4 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae Deniz Merdano bananas stuff
cheapondirt  - Aug. 10, 2021, 7:34 p.m.

The perfect work truck doesn't exi-

Reply

grcgrc
+6 Pete Roggeman Cam McRae Deniz Merdano kcy4130 Timer bananas stuff
grcgrc  - Aug. 10, 2021, 8:28 p.m.

Certainly the most interesting vehicle in this series IMO. This is a Tool. Certainly more interesting to me than any standard car/truck/suv.

Reply

stiingya
-3 mrbrett Mammal Spencer Nelson
stiingya  - Aug. 10, 2021, 10:08 p.m.

If they turned the back into something useful like a camper it would be awesome!!! I mean it's cool it carries his tools, gets him where he needs. Just silly to have a HUGE truck that can hold two people and has a HUGE bed that doesn't get used for anything except pretending to carry 2 bikes and obviously costs a shit ton for fuel...?

Reply

denomerdano
+3 Pete Roggeman Mammal ollyh
Deniz Merdano  - Aug. 10, 2021, 10:20 p.m.

Actually, on any given day, truck bed is full of raw materials to build movie sets.  Thousands of pounds of it... It rarely carries bikes...

Reply

blackhat
+4 Deniz Merdano Velocipedestrian Mammal mtnfriend ollyh OldManBike
blackhat  - Aug. 11, 2021, 5:02 a.m.

The non-bike use the truck experiences was referenced like 5 times in the article.  And not in a particularly subtle way.  If you just look at pictures then great, but if reading is too much effort maybe the same work ethic should be applied to writing?

Reply

kcy4130
0
kcy4130  - Aug. 11, 2021, 10:06 a.m.

That is gorgeous! I love it. I love everything about it. Makes me wonder if using those two stage leaf springs would improve the ride quality when its unloaded or lightly loaded. Helper leaf springs they might be called, pretty common on large commercial flatbeds. Not just for a more comfortable ride while unloaded or lightly loaded (which he already fixed with a suspended seat), also improves traction and thus handling and safety. But I've never seen an off road vehicle with them, might lead to weird articulation. But with that heavy of spring, articulation wouldn't be great anyhow, and is less of a concern with locking diff anyhow. Anyways, that thing is awesome!

Reply

solar_evolution
+2 AJ Barlas ollyh
solar_evolution  - Aug. 11, 2021, 10:07 a.m.

"The utilitarian build of the Fuso is brutal and beautiful all the same." 

I had to chuckle when I read this and looked closely at the picture. The switches, gauges and steercolumn stalks are almost identical to those in my Evolution VIII. The graphic on my ACD switch is almost the same as the Differntial lockout switch on the fuso.

Love this series, keep them coming!

Reply

mammal
+1 ollyh
Mammal  - Aug. 12, 2021, 11:04 a.m.

That dash reminds me of my Grampa's Deutz tractor (in a very good way).

Reply

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