Hino 500 Series Models and Hino Traq

They arrived together – the new Hino 500 Series models and Hino Traq telematics and monitoring system. What better opportunity to test-drive the two new offerings side by side? Using the Traq system to see how well or how poorly Diesel News Editor, Tim Giles, performed out on the road, but, more importantly, how the trucks fared.

The FG 1628 is a Japanese truck through and through. With 280hp on tap and an Allison 3000 six-speed, running in a 4×2 configuration with an average load on, this is an easy drive. The Allison helps with the quality of the drive and tries manfully to get the most out of the exhaust brake when slowing the truck.

The FG tested is the steel sprung model and feels considerably harsher than the heavier air suspended 6×4 models. Simply adjust the suspension on the Isri 6860 seat and the problem seems to go away. Manoeuvrability of this model is excellent and, because the cabin is set quite low, the visibility around the truck is great, on a crowded street in the middle of Brisbane.

Surely, it’s possible to put the controller for the Allison on the dashboard. The driver doesn’t need access to the controls all of the time, so it doesn’t need to be very close at hand, at all times. The two mirrors on the passenger side seem to be a little too close to the A pillar and can impair visibility at some busy road junctions.

At the end of the test-driving the people at Hino made the data the drive had generated in driving the trucks available. Tracking is much more than simply knowing where a truck is these days. The amount of information available is only limited by the amount of data going around in the CANbus on board the truck.

Driving the 4×2 model around the city streets of Brisbane saw the truck manage a creditable 28.13 l/100km in trying conditions. Drilling down deeper into the CANbus data in the output, shows a picture of the routes taken, broken down into the sections between stops. Here we can see the effects of the different road conditions and driving styles.

On two of the three sections of the route, the maximum speed was only just over 60 km/h. The data divides between time at low, ideal and high rpm levels. The best fuel consumption came in a section where the engine spent the most time in the low rpm range and the highest came in the section where high rpm nearly matched low rpm running.

The excellent fuel consumption from the 280hp 4×2 was possible because the high rpm count was extremely low, the engine hardly ever worked hard, even though it was running from traffic light to traffic light at slow speeds.