As we have seen for many years, the truck market is always looking for more power in its trucks. The desire to have just a bit more oomph every time a truck is replaced doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.
As a result, we have seen a new engine from Hino appear as an option in the heavier end of the new 500 range. In fact, both engines now available are new to Australia. The existing eight-litre engine has been modernised as the Hino J08E. It is rated at 280hp (206kW) at 2,500rpm and puts out an increased torque level at 883Nm (651 ft lb), an increase of seven per cent on its predecessor.
The new kid on the block is the nine-litre engine, the A09C, again this is a six-cylinder engine, but it has a completely different nature to its smaller alternative. This is an engine designed with a more European style; the way the power comes in and drives the truck is different from the run-of-the-mill Japanese engines we are used to.
“The new wide cab, it does look different,” says Daniel Petrovski, Manager – Product Strategy at Hino Motor Sales Australia. “The eight-litre has a three-bar horizontal grille and the nine-litre models have a four-bar grille. The new nine-litre has a very flat torque curve, which, combined with the new transmission, makes the 350 a real pleasure to drive. It’s also the only Japanese truck of its size to feature a true Jacobs-type engine brake.”
Hino has also made a step change with its emission control technology. The EGR and DPF system which has favoured up until now has been replaced with an SCR system to clean up nitrogen oxides and particulate matter.
There are pros and cons to this approach. By going to SCR, it is possible to tune the engine to run at its most efficient, advance ignition and get a full clean burn. This not only makes for a free running engine, it also reduces PM in the exhaust. The extra nitrogen oxides produced by the higher ignition temperatures can be cleaned up in the SCR after treatment.
The con in the equation is the addition of an AdBlue supply. This adds complication for the owner of the truck. They have to ensure the AdBlue tank is topped up as well as the fuel tank. Another tank on the chassis, plus the expense of buying the AdBlue in the first place adds to the issue. The improved efficiency of the engine does mean the costs are probably lower with the new engine, and chassis real estate is not a major issue in this segment of the market.
“We proved the SCR solution on our 700 Series models,” says Daniel. “It is a fuel efficient solution, particularly in the 280+hp engines. The engine burns the fuel more efficiently and retains less heat. It runs cooler allowing the improved performance to be delivered.”