Thirteen years ago, John Benson purchased his first 3.5 tonne Canter to support B&N Brickwork, his construction business out of Compton, near Guildford, Surrey, and after over a decade of reliable, low-cost service, he knew its successor would also bear the three-diamond FUSO logo.
“I’d had my previous Canter since 2002,” said John. “It was a lovely little truck and certainly did me proud, covering just under 100,000 miles and never needing a new clutch. In fact, the only problem I ever had was the result of a fault on the battery terminals, which was easily and inexpensively resolved.”
His new Canter, outfitted with a tipping body and a large, lockable tool box immediately behind the cab, has an economical 3.0-litre, four-cylinder powerplant with engine brake as standard. At 110 kW (150 hp), its output is significantly improved compared to previous versions, as is torque – 370 Nm is available over a broad engine speed range – and is designed to meet the demands of building contractors like John and his business B&N Brickwork.
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Established in 1983 with his partner Andy Newman and supported by John’s wife Tessa, B&N Brickwork undertakes everything from new builds and renovations, to loft conversions and kitchen, bathroom, wet room and brick fireplace installations. It also offers garden services covering the construction of walls, steps, patios and driveways, as well as disabled access ramps.
“It was a lovely little truck"
Agility and efficiency
Because this type of work often requires carefully manoeuvring in and out of tight spaces, John greatly values the Canter’s agility and responsiveness.
“The lock is very good and because there’s no bonnet, you can turn it on a sixpence. That’s a big help, not least because getting in and out of my yard is a bit tight – I hired a vehicle by a mainstream manufacturer while I was waiting for my new truck to arrive, and the contrast was stark; it was the clumsiest thing I’d ever driven.”
However, since the smallest Canter is built around a ladder frame chassis unlike most of its 3.5-tonne rivals, it combines this manoeuvrability with the sturdy characteristics of a proper truck rather than a van.
“As well as being very agile, the Canter also has a fantastic driving position,” John said. "You sit right over the front wheels, which means visibility is excellent.”
Enhanced service for years to come
With its fuel-efficient engine, ground-breaking DUONIC automated transmission, enhanced safety features and more spacious, better-equipped cab, B&N Brickwork’s latest-generation Canter is sure to get the job done for the next decades to come.
“If my new Canter also proves anything like as durable and reliable as its predecessor, then I’ll be very happy indeed.”