Hino opts to play it safe

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By JAMES STAN­FORD

HINO is look­ing to set an Aus­tralian safety bench­mark with its next gen­er­a­tion 300 Se­ries light duty truck.

The lo­cal arm of the Toy­ota sub-brand is plan­ning to in­tro­duce elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol (ESC) for the new 300 Se­ries truck when it ar­rives here in Au­gust.

Hino has just re­leased im­ages of the new gen­er­a­tion model in the US and while the look is fresh, it is the prospect of new safety gear that could make more of an im­pact.

The new 300 Se­ries will be made avail­able from the fac­tory with ESC, a safety fea­ture that can brake in­di­vid­ual wheels in or­der to try to keep the ve­hi­cle from slid­ing out of con­trol.

Un­til now, the elec­tronic safety fea­ture has been lim­ited to larger pre­mium trucks, but Hino is keen to change that.

Hino Aus­tralia’s prod­uct chief Alex Ste­wart says the com­pany is push­ing hard to have its 300 Se­ries trucks fit­ted with ESC.

‘‘In the same way that we led the mar­ket with ABS brakes on our light duty truck we’d like to lead the mar­ket on things like ESC with light duty trucks,’’ Ste­wart says.

‘‘With the case of elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol for light duty trucks is not a mat­ter of if, it’s just a mat­ter of when.’’

Some light duty trucks are not even fit­ted with anti-skid brakes, but Ste­wart says safety tech­nol­ogy is im­por­tant and Hino has pre­vi­ously pushed to in­tro­duce it.

‘‘If we added sta­bil­ity con­trol to our light duty truck range it would un­doubt­edly be mar­ket leader in terms of safety, def­i­nitely,’’ he says.

Hino has just in­tro­duced a 700 Se­ries heavy duty truck that runs ESC in Aus­tralia. The sys­tem is only cur­rently avail­able on one SH mode.

All SH trucks have an elec­tronic brake con­trol sys­tem and discs on all wheels. The SH 2045 comes with ESC, which Hino calls Ve­hi­cle Dy­namic Con­trol, as stan­dard as well as trac­tion con­trol.

This truck also comes stan­dard with four-bag airbag sus­pen­sion, which Hino says helps im­prove safety by re­duc­ing fa­tigue.

Hino’s 300 Se­ries light duty truck, with its elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol, will be one the safest on the mar­ket

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