The model Diesel News took out on the road this time is the Hino GH 1832, but this is not an 18 tonne GVM truck. By fitting a lifting pusher axle the GVM goes up to the mid twenties. This is not an issue, this 320 hp nine litre engine has got power and torque to burn, making it able to cope at max GVM with relative ease.
The Hino A09C-US engine puts out 320hp (235kW) of power, reaching its maximum power at 1800rpm. Maximum torque, at 1275Nm (940 ft lb) is available all the way from 1000rpm up to 1850rpm. The engine uses common rail fuel injection and SCR to achieve this level of performance and keep inside the confines of the ADR 80/03 exhaust emission limits.
With cruise control on and an open highway stretch a full bluetooth connectivity to the entertainment system would have been the icing on the cake. Yes, the all singing and all dancing double DIN screen does have a lot to offer, including acting as the screen for the reversing camera, but the driver does have to plug in the auxiliary cable to listen to their own tunes. There is also a distinct lack of really useful storage in this cabin, although the drinks bottle holders certainly pass muster.
Out on the road a few more features, which have been added into the mix for demonstration purposes, come into focus. One is the Wabco OnLaneALERT system which uses a small camera mounted centrally at the bottom of the windscreen to monitor whether the truck is keeping in its lane or drifting. We have seen proprietary system like this in trucks from the European manufacturers for some time, but this is available as an retrofit product.
The first time the alert went off it was a bit of a surprise, we have become used to this type of technology in a top end high tech prime mover, but in a urban distribution truck? In fact, the technology is useful and doesn’t annoy by going off when the indicators are being used. It is also capable of sending a video feed of what it’s seeing though a fleet management system if it has the right interface.
There is also a feature which detects lane wandering by a drowsy driver. If the truck is moving back and forth within the lane, when the driver is suffering from fatigue and subject to long blinks or short micro-sleeps, it buzzes out of both left and right speakers as a warning to the driver to pull over.
In time, Hino expect to offer a factory-fit solution to handle the lane keeper task, but this Wabco system means current buyers who are looking for this kind of safety system have the option if they so choose.
The truck also uses TailGUARD, another system from Wabco and also available as a retrofit item. This has been used on trailers in the main, but is effective at the rear of the truck. It is enabled when reverse gear is engaged and uses a series of sensors across the rear of the truck, which are monitoring the distance to any object in the trucks path. The ideal positioning of the sensors is reckoned to be having four across the bottom of rear of the body and two either side at the top corners
If the truck is being reversed at a speed above 15 km/h it will automatically pulse the brakes to warn the driver they are going too fast. As the rear of the truck approaches an object the brakes will automatically activate when the truck reaches a preset distance away. This can be set to be various distances, in this case, 0.5 metres.
As the truck approaches this limit the in-cab monitor will light up and beep as it approaches any object. When the red light comes on, it will apply the brakes. Then the system waits for three seconds before releasing the brakes, allowing the driver to then ease back onto a dock or apply the handbrake and get out to unload or move the object.
At the end of the day we still need to ask ourselves, why the 6×4 is so dominant in the Australian truck market, when the fuel and tyre cost saving can be so substantial and the limitations of the 6×2 set-up minimised in many applications? If the truck is in and out of driveways, delivering into very uneven freight yards or spending a lot of time off the bitumen, yes, the two drive axles are warranted. In many other cases a 6×2 would do the job with no fuss and lower costs.