The crux of any test drive in a new truck is the on highway experience, how it actually feels to drive this truck in normal conditions and how it reacts to a challenge. This is as important with the less glamorous trucks in the fleet as it is with the top end heavy duty prime movers.
The Hino 500 Standard cab 1124 and 1126 are simply a platform on which to carry something from A to B, whether it be a pile of parcels, a broken down car, a few pallets of beer or a small tankful of liquid. The job is rarely noticed and only rarely over a long distance, but every town will have plenty of trucks like this going around keeping the wheels of business rolling.
On Diesel News’ test route the truck climbed Mount Ousley easily while sitting at 1600rpm, in a relatively high gear and accelerating past trucks working their way down through the gearbox. The way it pulled in this kind of situation is very impressive.
On another climb and in cruise control the truck sat at 63 km/h at 1750rpm without any fear of the engine not getting the job done. The transmission was in eco-mode.
The other advantage of the fact that this A05C engine is a downsized model is the fact that it is possible and have a proper engine brake. This is not an and exhaust brake, this is a genuine compression brake and, as such, effective when descending long grades at high masses. During this on highway experience the truck would hold just under 100km an hour downhill when the correct gear is selected manually.
If the driver can get the rpm level up to around 2000, the engine brake will hold on quite well on a loaded truck. It is simply a matter of making sure the right manual gear is selected on the descent.
All of the functions involved with active cruise control can controlled from a single round multifunction button on the right-hand side of the steering wheel. Meanwhile a similar button set on left of the steering wheel controls the information screen directly in front of the driver.
In terms of the time taken on this test truck test, it was not possible to go through the many available options on the information screen in front of the driver and on the wide range of functions which can be available from the infotainment unit in the middle of the dashboard.
However, one of the more interesting items of the on highway experience is a tyre pressure monitoring system. Anyone who wants to use this system simply needs to option in the tyre pressure sensing dust caps, a small electronic sender unit, which is plugged into the trucks CANbus and then acquire the app which can be loaded into the entertainment system.
Then they will find a tyre pressure monitoring option on the central screen and the driver can use this to check that tyre pressures are within the desire parameters, at any point. If the tyre pressures go outside of the set parameters then the system will post up an alarm to say where the over pressure or under pressure has been detected.
This small addition is just one of the many options which will be coming down the pike for truck buyers. The multiple options made available to the buyers of the top end prime movers are now going to face similar sets of choices when buying the smaller trucks in the fleet.