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Canter goes with the flow

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A leading service provider to the water and drainage industry has entrusted a key role to its first Mitsubishi Fuso Canter. Transport bosses at Aquajet (GB) Ltd had been wrestling previously with the "disastrous" unreliability of 7.5-tonners supplied by another Japanese manufacturer. Not only does their new Canter boast a market-leading payload, it also came with an impressive reputation for strength and reliability.

Aquajet is based in Retford, Nottinghamshire, and works throughout the UK across a wide range of sectors for a portfolio of clients that includes highways authorities, water companies, The Environment Agency and other flood defense bodies.

The firm, which recently landed a prestigious sewer jetting contract with Anglia Water, bought its Canter from Nottingham Mercedes-Benz agent Mertrux -- the German manufacturer's dealer network is also responsible for sales and servicing of the popular Mitsubishi Fuso light truck range in Britain.

A 7C18 model, it has a 180hp 5.0-liter engine and an unusual body, which is the work of Abba Commercials, of Dover. This combines a 'workstation', which is fitted immediately behind the cab and features a bench and handwashing facilities, as well as storage for tools and equipment, with a 13ft long deck with dropsides.

The new truck's primary role is that of a 'wet well cleansing support' vehicle. Aquajet uses 26-ton and 32-ton vacuum tankers with high pressure jetting and suction units to undertake servicing work at sewage pumping stations -- the Canter accompanies these vehicles, carrying two men and up to 80 meters of six-inch hosing that can weigh as much as three tons, as well as lockers for the breathing apparatus and other equipment used by the company's operatives when entering manholes and other confined spaces.

However, the Canter fulfils other tasks as well; Aquajet's contracts arm, for example, uses it to transport mobile pumps.

Logistics Manager Davy Barnett is responsible for a fleet of more than 40 specialist vehicles, including a 6x4 Mercedes high pressure jetting unit and Mercedes Sprinter vans equipped with special cameras for surveying pipes and culverts.

He recalls a trip to the 2008 CV Show in Birmingham, which certainly paid dividends. "Our previous 7.5-tonners were proving pretty disastrous in terms of reliability, but we wanted a vehicle of similar size. On the Mitsubishi Fuso display outside the hall we spotted a tarmac-carrying vehicle with an Abba flat-bed body in Ringway colors, and realized that in terms of layout, with a few minor modifications, it was exactly what we needed."

Barnett continues: "We're very pleased with our first Canter. It has a payload that's just shy of four tons, which is exceptional, and is clearly strong and well built, as well as being backed by a reassuring, unlimited mileage three-year manufacturer's warranty."

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April 2009

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