Baby Isuzu "Pocket Rocket" Prime Mover


Isuzu FRR 525 Isuzu FRR 525

A 2007 single drive Isuzu FRR 525 prime mover is carting empty containers in Melbourne

It’s got to be one of the cutest little semi-trailer units in Australia: a 2007 single drive Isuzu FRR 525 pulling a bogie axle McGrath skel.

There aren’t many prime movers with a gross combination mass (GCM) of just 16 tonnes, but that’s just enough for what this small workhorse has to do.

For the past three years the little goer’s owner Frank Vrionis has specialised in moving empty shipping containers around Melbourne’s port area and the flat inner west.

"What we have here in Melbourne are the pocket rockets, just for the empty containers," Vrionis tells Owner//Driver.

"It seems to be a Melbourne thing as far as I know. The container yards are close to the wharves so you don’t need big trucks and the expenses are a lot lower."

The FRR has a Sitec 220hp (162kW) six cylinder, 7.8 litre engine and a six-speed synchro manual gearbox.

"This Isuzu here, it’s like a car, just a little bit bigger," Frank says. "You drive it like a car, the gears are like a car – it’s not like a road train prime mover."

The unit has two 150 litre fuel tanks, but doesn’t really use much despite doing nearly all its work on local city roads. Frank says he gets about 1,200 kilometres out of each fill, which works out at a very respectable 25 litres per 100 kilometres.

Frank says he gets onto the Westgate Freeway occasionally, for no more than 10 kilometres, and the Isuzu is at home there too: "The Isuzu’s not bad on the freeway either because it’s geared that way. On the freeway it’s not high-revving, it’s not revving its brains out."

The Isuzu has a small bunk but Frank only uses it to place his esky and baskets of stuff on.

"It’s been a good truck, very reliable, it does what you want it to do," says Vrionis.

Check out more about Frank Vrionis’ Isuzu in issue #251 of Owner//Driver, and dont forget to subscribe by clicking here.

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