We can see Hino moving into FWD with the new 817 4×4, which is now on the road. Diesel News went to see the new model unveiled and took the truck out to put it through its paces.
When you are a major player in the Australian truck market like Hino, the idea is to fill as many market segments and applications as possible. Therefore, many would be surprised to find the company has never built a light-duty 4×4 truck. The 500 Series has always featured four-wheel-drive models, but not the 300 Series.
Now, all that has changed. The Australian market is the first to release a new set of models, based on the 300 Series with 4×4 capability. The initiative to develop these models and much of the development work came from Hino Australia, but these trucks will become available elsewhere in the world, over time.
The development of this truck began back in 2009 with a survey of customer needs that identified the possibilities of such a truck. In 2012 Hino’s global technical team came from Tokyo to see for themselves the conditions such a truck would have to handle. By 2014 Hino Australia began field-testing prototype models to fine-tune its design. The decision to go into production with a model came in 2016, and late 2017 saw the introduction of the Hino 817 4×4 models onto the Australian truck market.
The engine used in this new model is the Hino N04C UT, which is rated at 165hp (121kW) of power at 2,500rpm, with a flat-topped torque curve at 464Nm (342 ft lb) from 1,400rpm up to 2,400rpm.
The basic transmission being used is a six-speed manual. This gives the truck a deeper first gear and a higher overdrive capability. Low-range first gear uses a 14.165:1 ratio, whereas at the other end of the scale, top gear uses 0.782:1 to get to 100km/h at 2,450rpm.
Both of these ratios are vital for the truck to be able to do its job properly. The low ratio makes manoeuvring at slow speeds and maintaining traction possible, but the high ratio means the truck can cruise at 100km/h on long highway journeys into the kind of remote areas this truck is designed to cope with. The transfer case uses a 2.2:1 ratio and comes from the bigger 500 Series 4×4 models – clearly able to cope with the task.
All of the models are fitted with disc brakes. This is a first on a 4×4 from a Japanese manufacturer in Australia. All trucks are also fitted with vehicle stability control, which is useful in improving safety out on the highway for a vehicle with a high centre of gravity. ABS is fitted, but automatically turned off when four-wheel drive is engaged.
Through its extensive testing program, Hino had customers working in the dustiest of conditions for a drilling company based out of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. The disc brakes stood up well in those conditions.
Another design feature to come from this testing in both Western Australia and North Queensland was the positioning of the air intake – one metre higher than the current 300 Series models. In fact, this air intake configuration will be feeding into the rest of the Hino light-duty range over the next couple of years.
The truck comes as a single cab or a crew cab, both built on the same wheelbase truck. There is a suspended driver’s seat in all cabin options. Reversing camera is standard on all models. Suspension design, a vital issue for a 4×4 truck, sees the new 817 4×4 using multi-leaf steel springs.
In Australia, 4×4 trucks are sold 30 per cent into mining type tasks, 30 per cent into the fire and rescue services, and local government makes up another seven per cent. The rest of the market varies across tasks like forestry and others where a 4×4 capability will come in handy.