After a considerable trial period and evaluation of several automated transmission types, Hino Australia has released the production version of its own ProShift automated manual transmission to selected models in its 500-Series medium-duty truck range.
The new six-speed transmission, aptly known as ProShift 6, is initially available as an option on FC 1022 and FD 1124 versions of the 500-Series range.
Designed and manufactured by Hino in Japan, ProShift 6 typifies modern automated transmission technology by dispensing with a clutch pedal and combining the durability of a manual transmission with the ease of a fully automatic transmission.
Hino claims the automated shifter can deliver a fuel consumption reduction of 10 to 15 per cent when compared with an identical vehicle fitted with a traditional torque-converter automatic transmission.
According to Hino Australia’s product strategy and dealer development manager Alex Stewart, ProShift has been released in response to the emerging needs of medium-duty truck operators in Australia.
“Hino’s Australian operation, in conjunction with Hino Motors Limited Japan, conducted extensive research, engineering development and durability evaluation prior to launching the ProShift 6 transmission locally,” he said.
“By 2015 we are expecting automated manual transmission and torque-converter automatic transmission models (combined) to account for more than 40 per cent of all medium-duty trucks sold in Australia.
“Operators are trending towards these transmissions as congestion grows on metropolitan and outer-urban delivery routes.”
Hino now offers AMT variants in all three model ranges – light, medium and heavy-duty, with its 300-Series Hybrid models fitted with the ProShift 5 transmission and the ProShift 16 shifter optionally available on its heavy-duty 700-Series.
The addition of ProShift also completes a medium-duty trifecta for Hino with manual transmissions, torque-converter automatic transmissions and AMTs now able to be optioned on selected variants in the 500-Series range.
Alex Stewart said Hino engineers had made a number of significant upgrades to the ProShift 6 transmission in preparation for the Australian market.
“Australian versions of the FC and FD are more likely to be operated over a variety of routes, from metropolitan to highway, compared with overseas markets where this class of truck is usually not operated on longer routes,” he said.
“Engineers have developed the Australian version for maximum durability and efficiency at all road speeds, utilising a unique final drive ratio and optimised computer shift control.
“Australian versions are also fitted with a larger-capacity oil sump.
“ProShift technology has been developed and proven in the Japanese domestic market over the last 10 years,” he concluded.