Safety First Fuso for Geelong Food Relief

A Geelong food charity has taken a safety-first approach and chosen a Fuso Canter.

All Fuso Canters barring the 4x4 model come standard with a Safety Pack that includes Advanced Emergency Braking. It is the only light duty truck in Australia with this critical safety technology, which uses radar to detect a possible collision and automatically brake the truck if the driver does not. The system can even detect pedestrians and initiate braking.

Geelong Food Relief CEO Collin Peebles says it was clear the Fuso Canter was the best choice when the volunteer-backed organisation needed to buy a new truck to pick up and deliver food and other items.

"We were looking at having a vehicle that has the Safety Pack feature that this Canter has because we have had a number of incidents of recent out on the road and the safety of our workers is paramount," Mr Peebles says.

"We take every opportunity to ensure that our workers are safe and comfortable out there," he says. Geelong Food Relief helps more than 35,000 people suffering from food insecurity in the Geelong region with the help of 90 volunteers.

Choosing the right truck was especially important for the organisation given its reliance on those who give up their time to help others.

"If they feel loved and feel safe, they will come and help us get the job done," Mr Peebles says.

The Canter 515, which has a class-leading tare weight, can be driven on a car licence and has an easy to use automated Dual Clutch Transmission. These are all big pluses for Geelong Food Relief, says Mr Peebles.

"Previously, we had an issue getting volunteers on the road with the necessary medium rigid licence. This truck gives us the ability to guarantee that we can have vehicles getting the work done on the road every day," he says.

The Canter 515 also has Independent Front Suspension, which helps deliver a car-like ride, and a 3.0-litre turbo diesel engine.

"I’ve driven a lot of vehicles and it really is a nice truck to drive. It’s comfortable and has good performance," Mr Peebles says. "I was quite surprised," he adds.

He says the Canter’s five-year/200,000km warranty was especially appealing, along with the sharp pricing of the truck that was purchased from Fuso Port Melbourne.

"We are a not-for-profit charity and money is tight, so a good price and low running costs are very important for us," he says.

The Canter arrived in time for a busy period for Geelong Food Relief, which provides more than 1 million kilograms of food across the region every year.

It operates two mini marts in Geelong and also delivers to 45 mini food banks around the region. The charity receives donations and rescues unused food as well as purchases some bulk amounts to top up its supply direct from an Aldi distribution centre.

There are 40 assessment agencies in the region run by the likes of The Salvation Army, United Care and St Vincent de Paul, who are able to give food vouchers to those who are deemed to be suffering from food insecurity. These people can then visit the mini marts in the region and use their tokens to purchase a good amount of food and other items.

For more information about the Geelong Food Relief charity, visit geelongfoodrelief.org

Geelong Food Relief CEO Collin Peebles with the Canter 515
Geelong Food Relief Centre