Hino un­shack­led

The Ja­panese win a com­pet­i­tive edge, writes James Stan­ford

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Big Wheels -

JA­PANESE truck brand Hino has given its Aus­tralian line-up a ma­jor over­haul by in­tro­duc­ing an au­to­matic heavy-duty model and launch­ing Euro 5 light-duty trucks.

Toy­ota’s truck di­vi­sion has fi­nally re­leased an au­to­matic ver­sion of its 700 Se­ries heavy-duty truck.

Un­til now, the big daddy of the Hino range was avail­able only with a man­ual trans­mis­sion, though its ri­vals of­fered the op­tion of self-shift­ing trans­mis­sions.

Hino Aus­tralia pres­i­dent Steve Lot­ter says: ‘‘Our per­for­mance has been limited by the lack of an au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion.’’

Now the 700 Se­ries SS 2848 stan­dard and high-roof mod­els are avail­able with an op­tional 16-speed AS-Tronic au­to­mated man­ual trans­mis­sion.

The au­to­mated shifter is sourced from Ger­man trans­mis­sion ex­pert ZF and is al­ready used by Iveco, MAN, Freight­liner, Ken­worth and In­ter­na­tional. ZF has so far sold more than 300,000 of them.

The ZF trans­mis­sion is a two-pedal sys­tem. Some trans­mis­sions have a clutch pedal driv­ers use for take-off and when pulling up, but the ZF trans­mis­sion is fully au­to­mated. Driv­ers can leave the trans­mis­sion in au­to­matic or change gears man­u­ally.

The ZF AS-Tronic is also avail­able with a re­tard­ing sys­tem called ZF In­tarder, which Hino says is usu­ally avail­able as an op­tion but is stan­dard on the 700 Se­ries.

It slows the en­gine through the trans­mis­sion, of­fer­ing the driver five stages of re­tar­da­tion.

The avail­abil­ity of the au­to­mated trans­mis­sion for the 700 Se­ries co­in­cides with a model up­grade, in­clud­ing a new-look in­te­rior and the ad­di­tion of an ISRI 6860 driver’s seat. The 700 Se­ries also now comes with an in­te­grated front un­der-run pro­tec­tion bumper.

Hino has also launched its Euro 5-rated 300 Se­ries range of light-duty trucks. It uses the diesel par­tic­u­late ac­tive re­duc­tion sys­tem (DPR) as well as the ex­haust gas re­cir­cu­la­tion sys­tem.

The DPR works by col­lect­ing soot par­tic­u­lates and burn­ing them off at high tem­per­a­tures, which is said to re­duce par­tic­u­late emis­sions by a whop­ping 95 per cent.

In most sit­u­a­tions, the DPR sys­tem op­er­ates by it­self, with the only dif­fer­ence be­ing a slightly higher en­gine speed, but in some con­di­tions the sys­tem de­mands the driver stop and do a man­ual burn, tak­ing 15-20 min­utes.

Hino is con­fi­dent the Hino sys­tem will not suf­fer such prob­lems.

All 300 Se­ries mod­els run the 4.0-litre in­ter­cooled com­mon rail diesel en­gine and no changes have been made to the power and torque fig­ures. That means a power out­put of 100-110kW and a torque peak of 358-397Nm, depend­ing on the model.

Trans­mis­sions in­clude a fivespeed man­ual and a six-speed man­ual and six-speed au­to­matic.

Bet­ter op­tions: (above) the Euro 5-com­pli­ant Hino 300 and (left) the heavy-duty 700 Se­ries with (inset) the op­tional au­to­matic.

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