The Australian Mining Review - - 4WD TRAINING -

JA­PANESE auto man­u­fac­turer HINO has re­cently launched its 4x4 300 Se­ries light duty trucks to the Aus­tralian mar­ket.

The 300 Se­ries marks HINO’s first en­trant into the light duty cat­e­gory of ve­hi­cles, aimed at com­ple­ment­ing its medium (500 Se­ries) and heavy (700 Se­ries) ve­hi­cle lines.

Aus­tralia, with its rugged and di­verse ter­rain, was cho­sen as the first mar­ket to launch its new cat­e­gory.

“We have been test­ing pro­to­types of the 4x4 here for over three years, with real-world cus­tomers whose feed­back has en­abled us to re­fine the spec­i­fi­ca­tion of a truck built specif­i­cally for the Aus­tralian mar­ket,” HINO prod­uct strat­egy man­ager Daniel Petro­vski said.

“The 300 Se­ries 4x4 is a spe­cialised ve­hi­cle and this sort of ap­proach has gen­uinely ben­e­fit­ted what we can now of­fer our cus­tomers.”

Mr Petro­vski said real world test­ing of the ve­hi­cles gave the pro­duc­tion team valu­able in­for­ma­tion on how to ap­proach the mar­ket.

Spe­cific to the min­ing in­dus­try, they chose ex­plo­ration drilling con­trac­tor Kennedy Drilling to field-test the ve­hi­cles across Aus­tralia.

“Kennedy Drilling spe­cialises in RC, RAB and air core drilling and has an area of op­er­a­tion that is ba­si­cally all of WA out through NT, over to QLD and down through South Aus­tralia,” Mr Petro­vski said.

“They cover more than half of the coun­try, and a lot of that is off-road, or se­vere off-road, tow­ing trail­ers and op­er­at­ing through the scrub – it is es­sen­tially one of the harsh­est op­er­a­tions that we could find.”

Kennedy Drilling main­te­nance su­per­vi­sor Wade Brans­grove said he was im­pressed with the se­ries’ air in­take abil­ity driv­ing through dusty ter­rain.

“The low air in­take on the test truck sucked up the dust but the most im­pres­sive thing for me was that the in­take never by­passed,” Mr Brans­grove said.

“I’ve seen a lot of fil­ters get to that point, they start to crush and let dirt passed and there goes your en­gine.

“I pur­posely let it do 10,000 kilo­me­tres be­fore even check­ing if it could cope – and it could.”

Built for Aus­tralia

“If you’re go­ing to en­ter a new cat­e­gory in the Aus­tralian truck mar­ket for the first time, you want to do it with a prod­uct that sets a new bench­mark for that cat­e­gory and that’s what we’ve done with the new 300 Se­ries 4x4,” Mr Petro­vski said.

Both Sin­gle and Crew Cab vari­ants are pow­ered by a 4-litre HINO N04C-UT tur­bocharged diesel en­gine.

The N04C utilises com­mon-rail fuel in­jec­tion tech­nol­ogy com­bined with a Vari­able Noz­zle Tur­bocharger (VNT) to de­liver a max­i­mum power of 165hp (121kW) and 464Nm of torque.

It’s an en­gine that’s de­signed to per­form and to de­liver the right mix of use­able per­for­mance on high­ways, dirt roads and in se­ri­ous off-road 4x4 ap­pli­ca­tions.

4-wheel-drive (4x4) is se­lected by a com­bi­na­tion of man­ual lock­ing front hubs and the press of a dash-mounted but­ton to en­gage with 4x4 in the trans­fer case which sends drive through the front drive shaft.

Like­wise, ‘low’ range can be se­lected with the press of a dash-mounted but­ton to en­gage the trans­fer cases class lead­ing 2.2:1 low range re­duc­tion ra­tio.

The trans­mis­sion and trans­fer case ra­tios have been spe­cially se­lected and recog­nise the broad range of ap­pli­ca­tions in which the Hino 300 Se­ries 4x4 is likely to work in.

“This means the Hino 300 Se­ries 4x4 with its first gear trans­mis­sion ra­tio of 6.369:1 and the trans­fer cases low range 2.2:1 ra­tio will crawl across the most rugged ter­rain,” said Mr Petro­vski.

“Con­versely, it is equally as com­fort­able cruis­ing at 100km/h with the en­gine run­ning at a con­ser­va­tive 2440rpm.”

Mr Petro­vski said that safety was def­i­nitely not an af­ter-thought in the de­sign and man­u­fac­ture of the 300 Se­ries.

“The 300 Se­ries has four wheel ven­ti­late disc brakes as stan­dard and ve­hi­cle sta­bil­ity con­trol (VSC) is a part of that disc brake so­lu­tion,” he said.

“It keeps the ve­hi­cle on the cor­ner or where you’ve got it pointed.

Ba­si­cally it looks at your cen­tre of grav­ity, how you’re mov­ing around a cor­ner and it will take the steps needed to help you get around that cor­ner safely; that may mean de-pow­er­ing the en­gine or in­di­vid­ual brake ap­pli­ca­tions.

“It’s about be­ing able to of­fer our cus­tomers a one-stop shop so­lu­tion, where HINO can pro­vide a com­plete range of truck­ing re­quire­ments, from light duty 4x4, our medium duty 500 se­ries, right up to our heavy duty 72-tonne GCM trucks.”

Ben­e­fits to min­ers

Mr Petro­vski said the 300 Se­ries would eas­ily stand up to hard ac­ces­si­bil­ity and the heavy loads nec­es­sary in min­ing and ex­plo­ration du­ties.

“It has more power and torque than any other com­peti­tor, more gears (6 speed man­ual) and a trans­fer case with a lower low range,” he said.

“What that com­bi­na­tion does is give you bet­ter “crawla­bil­ity” and slow speed ma­noeu­vring in first gear low range.

“It also has great six gear two-wheel drive high range with 100km/hr cruis­ing speed, low en­gine RPM and a nice quiet cabin ride.

“Min­ing cus­tomers are al­ways look­ing for a truck with a great pay­load.

“Our HINO 4x4 en­ters at the top of the light duty mar­ket with 7.5 tonnes GCM.”

Mr Petro­vski said that with the ad­di­tion of the 300 Se­ries to the Aus­tralian mar­ket would give cus­tomers a su­pe­rior range of re­quired ve­hi­cles.

“The ben­e­fits of adding the 300 se­ries to the mar­ket is that we are able to pro­vide our cus­tomers a con­sol­i­dated prod­uct of­fer­ing.

“It’s about be­ing able to of­fer our cus­tomers a one-stop shop so­lu­tion, where HINO can pro­vide a com­plete range of truck­ing re­quire­ments, from light duty 4x4, our medium duty 500 se­ries, right up to our heavy duty 72-tonne GCM trucks.”

*An Aus­tralian Min­ing Re­view jour­nal­ist was at the launch as a guest of HINO Aus­tralia.

All im­ages: HINO.

Aus­tralia is the first mar­ket to re­ceive the 300 Se­ries trucks.

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