The Magazine for LCV Fleet Operators
Ford is rolling out what it’s calling its toughest Transit ever – a new 5.0-tonne derivative, offering customers a net payload Ford unleashes new heavyweight Transit

Five-tonner designed for workhorse conversions

Ford is rolling out what it’s calling its toughest Transit ever – a new 5.0-tonne derivative, offering customers a net payload of up to 2,383kg on panel van or 2,558kg on factory-fitted flatbed. 

It is expected to appeal particularly to heavy-duty operators in utilities and construction, as well as opening up “significant conversion potential” for emergency services and public transport. The additional 300kg it delivers over the previous most-capable Transit variant will meet the demand for a heavier-rated donor vehicle for conversions including tippers, ambulances, police vans, and mini coaches with 19 seats or more. 

“We know payload is a key factor for businesses’ productivity, which is why Ford’s new flagship Transit is the most capable, heaviest-rated van we’ve ever built,” said Hans Schep, general manager, Commercial Vehicles, Ford of Europe. 

“We listened to our converter partners and their customers who need this extra capability for their businesses, whether it’s a tipper, an ambulance or larger minicoach. The 5.0-tonne Transit’s durable design and flexibility make it an ideal choice whatever their speciality.”

The 5.0-tonne option will be available across a broad range of chassis cab variants with a choice of three wheelbases, four frame lengths, and single- or double-cabs with seating for up to seven occupants (including driver). Maximum chassis cab load capacity is 2,886kg for body conversion and payload, which equates to up to 2,558kg net payload when equipped with a factory-fitted flatbed body. 

All 5.0-tonne Transit variants are rear-wheel drive and fitted with Ford’s HDT powertrain with the 170PS 2.0-litre EcoBlue diesel engine producing up to 390Nm of torque. It is coupled to a six-speed manual gearbox or 10-speed automatic transmission.

The new Transit introduces to Europe for the first time an uprated 3,500kg rear axle that has already proven its robustness and durability in North American Transit models. If specified with the 10-speed automatic gearbox, a new 2,100kg front axle is also fitted, which offers an additional 225kg load capacity over the standard version.

The 5.0-tonne Transit is also available as a L4 high roof “Jumbo” van, with up to 2,383kg net payload, 15.1m3 load volume and enough floor space to carry five Euro pallets of cargo. 

New reinforced bodysides support durability when carrying heavier cargo; the existing flat load floor, tiedown points, integrated rear bumper step and 4,217mm load length are carried over to facilitate loading and carrying standard-length items such as pipe or board. 

Customers requiring bespoke engineering solutions benefit from Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) network of 165 converters in 13 countries. All QVM converters guarantee their work to the same level as the standard Ford warranty, protecting customers’ investment and ensuring quality ongoing support.

“We listened to our converter customers who need this extra capability for their businesses”

The heavyweights
There are a few competitors at 4.5 tonnes gross weight, including Vauxhall’s Movano and the Renault Master, while Fiat Professional’s Ducato goes up to 4.25-tonnes as a panel van. However, once you get to a 5.0-tonne gross weight, the number of manufacturers in play falls rapidly.

Volkswagen Crafter/MAN TGE
The Volkswagen Crafter and its MAN cousin the TGE, can both be had as 5.0-tonne vans and chassis cabs. They are offered with VW’s 2.0-litre engine at 122hp and at 177hp, with the higher-powered model offered with a choice of manual or eight-speed automatic gearbox. All models at this weight are rear-wheel drive and payloads range from 2,427-2,572kg in panel vans. Towing limits are 3.5-tonnes.

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Mercedes-Benz will also sell you a Sprinter with a gross weight of 5.0-tonnes, in either panel van or chassis cab form. The vans offer payloads of 2,298kg through to 2,508kg, depending on body length and roof height. Engines on offer include the 2.2-litre motor at 143hp or 163hp, or Mercedes’ 3.0-litre V6 with 190hp.

Iveco Daily
As a truck manufacturer it is perhaps not surprising that Iveco offers the biggest van on the market, with Daily available right up to 7.0-tonnes GVW. The van and chassis cab can also be had at 5.2-tonnes, as well as the more popular 3.5-tonne limit. The Daily 4×4 is offered at 5.5-tonnes and 7.0-tonnes, to suit a range of off-road operations. There are a host of body sizes and chassis lengths on offer, with panel vans right up to 19.6m3. Power comes from a 3.0-litre diesel engine in heavier models, with 160, 180 or 210hp on offer. There is also a Compressed Natural Gas version with 140hp available on some weights.

Isuzu Truck
If you actually need a small truck, then Isuzu offers its N55 and N65 chassis, at 5.5 and 6.5-tonnes respectively. Similar to the firm’s 3.5-tonne Grafter, the 5.5-tonne model has a choice of narrow or wide cabs, both with twin rear wheels. Power comes from Isuzu’s 3.0-litre diesel engine, at 150hp.