Carrying made easy
The JMC Carrying SWB is an affordable workhorse that has a unique selling point – it requires only a standard code B driving licence. GAVIN MYERS puts the drop-side version to the test
How many trucks are available at less than R240 000 and feature standard luxuries such as air-conditioning, power steering and windows, and a radio/CD player? JMC offers its Carrying SWB Single Cab Lux drop side at R239 880 – which appears to offer exceptional value.
Its unique selling point, though, is a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 3 495 kg, a tare mass of 1 865 kg, and a payload of 1 630 kg. When these figures are considered it means that the Carrying can be driven by anybody with a basic code B driving licence.
The single cab is also available in standard spec and with a van body, while a long-wheelbase version with dual rear wheels and a 2,8-t payload is also on offer. This model, however, requires a code C1 licence.
The critical dimensions of the SWB drop-side version are an overall length of 4 735 mm; wheelbase of 2 940 mm; rear body length of 3 100 mm; width of
1 600 mm; and height of 380 mm. Permissible front and rear axle loads are 1 704 and 2 075 kg respectively.
Powering the Carrying is a 2,8-litre turbodiesel engine that produces 84 kW at 3 600 r/min and
235 Nm at 2 300 r/min. This drives through a five-speed synchromesh gearbox to the single rear wheels fitted with 6.5-15 10PR tyres. Braking is by hydraulic front and rear drum brakes. An exhaust brake is available only on LWB versions.
Those are the vital specs, but how does the Carrying SWB perform in the real world? To help us find out, Rouberto Building Materials in Randburg came to our aid, allowing us to transport various loads to some of its customers.
We discovered that the sides of the Carrying’s rubber-lined load bay feature nifty latch locks and are easy to open – although they do not fold flat past the hinges. This could result in the welds breaking should a careless forklift driver bump it, for example.
Loaded up to its 1,6-t capacity with bricks, sand, cement and paint – and with all the necessaries checked – we set out on a typical local delivery route.
With a full load the Carrying proved just as easy to drive as when it is unladen – with a significantly improved ride and more stable handling (unladen, the Carrying is jittery and tends to wander). The
235 Nm is sufficient to lug the load even in a higher ratio at low revs.
With its hydraulic power steering and compact 5,2-m turning radius, the Carrying is easy to manoeuvre within tight spaces.
Practically speaking, the cab features numerous small cubbies and the middle seatback folds forward (but not flat) to reveal a tray. The cab is fitted with predominantly hard-wearing materials, though some of the plastic fittings feel a bit flimsy and likely to break.
There are a few other negative aspects, though. The engine is fairly loud, rough and unrefined which, combined with the confined cab, limited range of seat adjustment (although the steering wheel is adjustable), and hard ride quality, can be tiresome on the driver.
JMC backs the Carrying with a five-year/120 000 km warranty, four-years of 24-hour roadside assistance and a three-year/90 000 km service plan (service intervals are set at 10 000 km). As an affordable entry-level option, the Carrying SWB represents good value and it seems to have proved itself in a segment with just a few select rivals.