Although there are a lot of changes in the new Hino 500 standard cab and when compared to it’s predecessor, there are two major items which stand out. These are the features which are going to push the Hino medium duty truck closer to the top of many shopping lists.
It difficult to judge which of the two aspects of the new truck will have the most impact. The new five litre engine seems to be something which will impress many drivers. It is a development from the nine litre engine which came in with the wider and heavier 500 Series trucks launched last year. Hino have cut it down from 6 to 4 cylinders and reduced the stroke to bring it down to a five litre engine.
The engines heavier pedigree is reflected in the kind of torque levels available from the engine. It will come to Australia in both 240 and 260 hp versions. Each will reach maximum power at 2300 RPM and have torque, maxing out at 1400 RPM, which is 794 Nm in the 240 and 882 Nm in the 260. This engine produces more torque than the current seven litre engine being sold with these models. In fact, it matches to torque available from the eight litre engine in some of the 500 Series wide cab models.
In the limited driving available at the Hino Hamura test facility in the west of Tokyo the depth of the torque available was obvious. The engine would lug up from well below 1000 RPM with a full load on board, effortlessly. The combination of the larger, heavier block and the twin turbos managing the airflow, makes this an impressive engine.
The engine has another innovation for a Japanese truck in the Australian market, a jake brake. Instead of the, usually, ineffective exhaust brakes we have become used to from Japanese product, here we have a genuine engine brake which can aid retardation, protecting brakes and improving performance.
Hino’s Great Leap Forward
The new engine is an evolution in the development of engines in Hino trucks. Similarly, innovations introduced into the electronic platform could also be seen as an evolution. However, it is not just the equipment and its capabilities which is being changed, Hino are changing the way truck manufacturers and customers will think about Japanese Trucks into the future.
This step change is based on an evolution in the electronic architecture of the truck. This is, all new, the new electronic system is a generational change. It is an architecture on which the next generation of electronic equipment and aids for the operator and driver will need to operate.Making this change at this time Hino are signalling a change in the way they think about truck development.
In the past, the Japanese truck manufacturers have specified equipment on trucks to meet the requirements of the Australian market, without needing to go very much further. On the other hand,Australian truck buyers looking at European product have been offered leading edge electronic safety systems and other vehicle management systems, way beyond what they are listing as their requirements.
The Hino organisation has decided to take a European attitude to specifications within the new 500. The designers have gone way beyond the ABS and stability control offered in the past. The safety systems offered may come with a different set of acronyms from their European counterparts, but we are dealing with what is, basically, a very similar set of safety inclusions.
“Not content with simply leading the market with the standard inclusion of vehicle stability control and reversing camera, the 500 series standard cab will be the first Japanese truck in Australia to offer the next level in active safety technology,” said Hino Australia’s Manager of Product Strategy Daniel Petrovski.
Pre-Collision System, Safety Eye, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection along with Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure are going to be fitted as standard across this section of the Hino range. And we can expect these systems to appear on the rest of the range as it gets renewed over the next few years.
“PCS is a true Active Safety system that, via the combination of camera and radar technology can detect potential collisions with another vehicle, a pedestrian and/or other object,” said Daniel. “PCS continuously scans the road in front of the truck and assists the driver to actively minimise the type of accidents that regularly occur through poor vision, driver distraction or poor judgement.
“A common accident scenario that we believe PCS will reduce is a rear-end collision with another vehicle – for instance, on a single lane road where a driver may not notice that the vehicle ahead is slowing or already at a standstill. In this case, PCS detects the vehicle ahead via Safety Eye, and warns the driver both audibly and visually on the LCS Multi Information Display.
“If the driver fails to react to the imminent danger, PCS can, as a last resort, engage Autonomous Emergency Braking to apply the brakes to minimise the vehicle’s speed and subsequent damage to the vehicle in the event of an accident, or in some circumstances, assist the driver to avoid the collision altogether.”