There is more to running a workshop than meets the eye. Professional technicians and their management need to handle the task in a collaborative manner to get the best out of the team. Diesel Workshop has been speaking too one particular example in South West Sydney.
Running the workshop for Adtrans, based in Smeaton Grange in South West Sydney is the task for Greg Mann. In his late 50s, Greg Mann comes across as an affable bloke who calls a spade a spade and really knows his stuff in regards to truck workshop management. That’s hardly surprising considering he has 38 years of workshop management experience under his belt. Read more
Hino opens a care centre to provide assistance for its customers, making it the first Hino distributor worldwide to offer such a facility. The purpose-built centre at Hino Australia’s head office in Sydney will serve as the contact point for customers reaching Hino Australia through email, phone and social media channels.
“As part of our investment in customer support and our growing Hino Advantage suite of business solutions, the new Customer Care Centre is possibly the most vital addition to our offering,” said Bill Gillespie, Hino Australia General Manager, Brand and Franchise Development. “The Customer Care Centre is more than a call centre: it is a complete support solution for all our customers and their businesses through every stage of truck ownership.
“Being able to accept and respond to all enquiries within the walls of our head office represents the ongoing focus that places our customers at the centre of our operation. The advantage for businesses is connecting them directly to the nerve centre of Hino knowledge and the peace of mind that we have the solutions to keep them on the road for longer.”
Designed and built by Sydney-based company Enfold Projects, Hino reckons the centre embodies its customer support ethos to create an inviting and uplifting work environment.
“The investment in professional designers and developers to create the care centre space shows the commitment to our customers by giving them a state-of-the-art, purpose-built contact point,” said Gillespie.
In case you missed it, the topic of fitting KERS on trailers was one of the most interesting presentations at the ComVec Conference in Melbourne, organised by Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia. Here is a similar presentation from earlier this year by the Adgero CEO, Mack Murray, in Amsterdam.
The KERS system concept was introduced in Formula One racing back in 2009:
The pioneer in Australia, first to introduce a hybrid truck, was Hino:
Of course, the trailer mounted system is a simpler technology, quite different from the hybrid trucks we see working in Australia and around the world. Here is the Volvo hybrid working in the garbage industry in Rotterdam:
It’s a wrap being fitted to the trailer as part of the Toyota 86 Racing Series team before setting out to transport the team’s car and all of its equipment around the country. The team has been supplied with a Hino 700 Series SS 2848 ProShift 16 high roof as part of its sponsorship of the team and event.
Since the introduction of the wrap, not too many years ago, the potential of fitting an innovative and non-permanent design to a truck or trailer has seen many businesses move away from the traditional sign written truck.
Here’s a truck from the iconic Eddie Stobart fleet in the UK getting the full treatment:
This video demonstrates just how much more impact can be achieved using a wrap on a box body compared to the older style it used before:
Here’s how to get a Streets ice cream delivery truck redesigned in under two minutes:
The Dakar rally provides us with some spectacular footage as trucks rampage through the deserts and mountains of South America. This year’s event was no exception, with the Russians dominating the race, coming in first, second and third in their Kamaz trucks. MAN managed fourth place with another Kamaz coming in fifth. Strong contenders Iveco started badly, losing a lot of time, but finished well, winning the final stage to finish sixth overall. The Hino team came in 16th overall, but first in the under 10 litre class, completing the course powered by a nine litre engine. Read more
Hino service, parts and sales staff from around Australia have competed in the finals of the 2014 Hino National Skills Contest. Running since 2008, the contest takes the top 22 service technicians, parts interpreters and sales representatives to Sydney to take part in the finals, after competing during the year across various disciplines to earn their place in the finals.
Parts and service contestants completed practical exercises carried out in the national training centre to test their diagnostic service and parts interpreting skills on a range of Hino trucks. Parts contestants also took part in a role play exercise.
Sales contestants were tested in the form of a ‘Mastermind’ style TV game show, hosted by Network Ten motorsport commentator Greg Rust. He asked a series of multiple choice questions testing their knowledge of Hino products and those of its competitors. This was followed by a role play exercise where contestants were tested on their ability to provide the right Hino solution for a fictional customer.
The National Service Award for 2014 went to Martyn Alexander of Newcastle Hino, the Parts Award went to Ryan Macauley of CMI Hino Adelaide and the Sales Award went to Andrew Harris from CMI Hino Adelaide.
“Providing Total Support to our customers’ businesses is our core strategy, and providing our customers with the benefit of timely and efficient service carried out by well trained staff is the end goal of holding this annual skills contest,” said Greg Bleasel, Hino Australia Senior Divisional Manager, Product Support. “We want our people to be the best of the best, and we believe providing first-rate training, assessment and development for our staff is vital to the continued success of Hino in Australia.”
After a period in which truck sales figures have been depressed, the latest sales numbers for May, published by the Truck Industry Council, are not giving us signs of recovery, and are still down on last year’s figures. After a period where heavy duty showed signs of recovery while medium and light duty remained in the doldrums, the situation now sees all segments staying around the same levels and slightly below where they were 12 months ago. Read more
A restructure of the management at Hino has taken place, after the departure of Alex Stewart to take over as General Manager at Foton Trucks. Responsibilities have been reallocated within departments and two new roles are to be filled by Bill Gillespie and Daniel Petrovski.
Gillespie has been made the Divisional Manager Brand and Franchise Development. He comes to the company from a management career in the car sector, working for Nissan, Toyota, Kia and Peugeot, and running his own business Obeya Consulting.
His new role is will see him responsible for a number of areas within the Hino organisation, in dealer development, after-sales management, corporate brand development, marketing and customer care duties. Gillespie has worked with Hino Chairman and CEO, Steve Lotter, at Toyota in the past.
“After a lifetime of work in the passenger vehicle market, I’m looking forward to the challenges in the truck industry,” said Gillespie. “I’ve timed it well, we’ve got very competitive products in the light, medium and heavy duty segments, plus the advantage of Hino’s hybrid trucks and the new high horsepower models in the 300 Series range. I’ve worked successfully with Steve Lotter in the past, I can see nothing but a bright future for Hino in Australia and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
Petrovski is being promoted to the role of Manager Product Strategy after seven years with Hino. The product strategy role oversees product planning and strategies, engineering, development and homologation for Hino Australia, as well as working with both Hino Japan and local third-party suppliers.
“The new position consists of a number of business critical functions,” said Petrovski. “My team and I work closely with our sales and marketing divisions, our dealers and our customers, identifying the most suitable product line-up and model mix for our customers’ unique needs. This area of the business is basically the funnel between the Hino’s factory engineers and the Australian market.
“I appreciate that Hino Australia has helped and encouraged me to develop my career within the organisation to the point where I can now provide Australian market expertise and local knowledge direct to the Hino engineers in Japan, for the development of Australian market specific vehicles.”
Hino, in Japan, have unveiled a hybrid truck designed to use the electrical energy produced by the hybrid unit during regenerative braking and while the truck is cruising to power a refrigeration unit on a truck body. The joint venture between Hino and component manufacturer Denso is said to be a world first.
The new system is to be released on to the Japanese truck market this month, fitted to a Hino Profia (known in Australia as the 700 Series). Improved fuel economy is expected as the fridge unit does not require a separate fuel supply. The unit is said to run quieter than conventional refrigeration units on trucks. It also reduces weight by 150 kg. The option of a plug in power supply can be used when the truck is parked up for long periods without the engine running.
“While Hino’s hybrid technology has been improving truck fuel economy for some time, Hino’s engineers are constantly looking for better ways to improve the efficiency and performance of its vehicles,” said Alex Stewart, Hino Australia Divisional Manager Product Strategy, Marketing and Customer Care. “The fuel savings resulting from this innovation means that the new Hino Profia’s (700 Series) fuel efficiency beats Japan’s 2015 standards by five per cent.
“And the reduced ongoing running costs from simplifying the refrigeration system will make for an even better cost-performance proposition for owners and operators. Hino has a long-term commitment to producing hybrid vehicles that deliver driving performance, fuel economy and low emissions without any operational downside, and the expertise that has come from this is now leading to even greater things.”
One of the stories missed in the coverage of the recent Dakar Rally is that of Yoshimasa Sugawara, who was competing in the race for the 32nd time. At 72 years old, he was competing in a development truck for Hino, coming in second, in the under 10 litre truck class.
Simply finishing the gruelling 9,200 km event after thirteen days struggling through the Andes Mountains and deserts in Argentina and Chile is a great achievement for the Dakar veteran, competing as part of the Hino team, in their 23rd successive year in the rally.
Yoshimasa’s son Teruhito Sugawara was the winner of the under 10 litre truck class, coming in 12th overall in the truck division. Both father and son came home in their Hino 500 trucks, and their one-two result saw Hino win this class of the truck rally on the fifth successive occasion.
72 year old Yoshimasa was driving an experimental truck using the newly developed Hino AO9C 8.9 litre engine. This engine has a phenomenal 600 hp at its disposal from the relatively small capacity engine, 115 hp more than the engine used in the Hino 500 which won the event.
“I took part in this year’s Dakar rally as a test driver for our new truck, and I’m very happy with the results,” said Yoshimasa Sugawara after the race. “I am particularly moved by the fact that my son and I were able to achieve a 1-2 finish in the Under 10-litre class.”
One of the features used to improve performance over the length of the rally was an adaptation to the common rail fuel injection system to improve parameters in the control unit to take account of changes brought on by competing at altitudes of over 3000 metres. These changes give the driveline more torque over a wider rpm range.