The introduction of the new 500 Series Standard Cab has seen Hino trucks get smarter and reveals another step into the future with the Japanese truck maker. Diesel News takes a turn behind the wheel of Hino’s latest release.
The march of technology in the trucking world continues to speed forward. The first 10 years of this century saw engine and driveline technology move forward in leaps and bounds as regular reductions in exhaust emissions forced engine makers to come up with solutions to bring particulates and high NOx levels down.
More recent years have seen a relentless increase in the power of electronics and computer control bringing us closer to the eventual goal of an autonomous truck. Of course, the arrival on our roads of such a truck is a long way away now, but every year sees more and more sophisticated systems becoming common in the trucks on our roads.
Every now and then there is a major step forward when a new technology comes on stream and moves from being an expensive option to something expected by the truck buyer. Another step into the future is when technology being sold in some of the top end, top power trucks migrates across into trucks which perform the more mundane and lighter duties which predominate in trucking.
The case in point here is the decision by Hino to offer a suite of state-of-the-art electronic technology as standard on a medium duty truck. This is not a small step in sophistication; this is the company making a statement about moving the truck industry ahead. Technology which is available in the expensive heavy duty prime movers around the world as an often expensive option is now being supplied to anyone who buys a medium duty truck from Hino.
The move may be the Japanese truck maker taking an opportunity to use its lucky position in the global Toyota network to leverage off the millions of dollars put into research into technology for its car and truck empire, but it is also a bold move. Hino has laid down a marker and is challenging others in the market to match its ambition in creating a market leading truck.
The surprising thing is this new sophisticated electronic architecture is not the only innovation on the Hino 500 Standard Cab, there is also a new and very different engine. The new A05 engine is a surprise, a new four cylinder engine introduced into a part of the truck market where the consensus has been to fit six or at least five cylinder engines.
Hino has taken one of its larger six cylinder engines, fitted in some heavy duty applications in Japan and reconfigured it as a four cylinder set-up to suit the medium duty market. The A05 engine is a small truck engine with a big engine sensibility. It is equipped with heavy duty engine equipment and runs at a remarkably low rev range for this segment of the market, maintaining useable torque levels well below 1,000rpm.
At the top of the horsepower range in these trucks is the 260hp, this adds a twin turbo to the mix to extend beyond the 240hp of most of the A05 engines. The 260hp engine puts out 884Nm of torque, meanwhile the 240hp version, which is going to be the bread and butter engine for most of this part of the Hino range, puts out 794Nm.
One of the advantages of having a heavy duty style engine is the inclusion of an engine brake in the toolbox. This is a classic Jake brake and this is the first time a genuine engine brake has joined the normally ineffectual exhaust brake used in this segment of the truck market.
The engine has been designed to meet the requirements of the Japanese ‘post-post new long-term’ exhaust emission standards. This level of exhaust emission is equivalent to Euro-6. The new 500 is ready for the next level of emission standards (ADR 80/04) in Australia whenever they arrive in the 2020s.
A much improved Allison transmission is also included in the driveline to transform the performance of this truck and get the most out of the new engine. Early indications, as the first of the new Hino 500s come into the market, is that the new Allison is going to be the transmission of choice for at least 75 per cent of buyers. Most of the rest of the trucks have a manual transmission, with a very small number of truck buyers preferring to use the Hino automatic manual transmission (AMT), but there are enough to ensure it stays in the option book, for now.