Canters deliver fare gains on Scottish ferries 06 February 2012

Waltons of Oban is benefitting from the short length of its fridge-bodied Fuso Canters, in being charged less than other commercial vehicles on ferries to and from Scotland's Western Isles.

Indeed, the 3.5-tonne vehicle crosses for the £48 cost of a car, rather than the £140 fee payable for many vans that cannot meet the ferry operator's 5.0-metre length rule.

According to proprietor Eric Walton, these savings make a crucial difference to the viability of his operation. "Without the Canter our costs would be a lot higher; in fact, the business just wouldn't work," he says.

Vehicle lengths are minimised by the Canter's cab-over-engine design, and both of Waltons' were also specified with the shortest available wheelbases – 2,500mm in the case of the smaller 3.5-tonne Canter 3C13 and 2,750mm for the 5-tonne Canter 7C15.

Looking at the rest of the specification, power for both trucks comes from a clean-burning, fuel-efficient 3.0-litre engine that not only meets Euro 5 emissions limits but also the EEV (enhanced environmentally-friendly vehicle) standard.

Both vehicles have also been fitted with dual compartment insulated box bodies, with movable bulkeads, by Tekbo, of Glasgow, and Thermo King refrigeration units.

The operator has just ordered two more Canters, a 6.5-tonne 6C15 with 2,750mm wheelbase and a 3.5-tonne 3C13 TF model from the new range to be launched in 2012.

John Challen

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