Once out on the road and negotiating traffic in a loaded truck it is possible for the driver of the new Hino 500 Standard Cab to begin to understand the heart of the matter for Hino. This engine declares its difference as soon as the driver puts their foot down. This is a different engine note, the rpm levels look a bit low and the transmission is grabbing a next gear well before one would normally expect.
Take a look at the engine and its specifications and the reason for this difference become obvious. This is a medium duty engine with a heavy duty sensibility. This Diesel News truck test took two different variants out on the highway of the FD model, the 1124 and the 1126. These are both fitted with the A05C engine, one at 260hp and the other at 240hp.
The 260 puts out maximum power at 2300rpm and maximum torque at 884Nm at 1400rpm, but the torque is still over 800Nm at 2300rpm. The 240 puts out maximum power at 2300rpm and maximum torque of 794Nm at 1400rpm, but with torque still over 750 Nm at 2200rpm. This 5.1 litre A05C four cylinder engine has been developed from the six cylinder engine used in some of Hino’s larger trucks. Its success at the larger end of the market prompted Hino to try and use the same technology at a lower GCM.
This may be one of the problems which will be created because of the use of this particular engine in this particular application. For anyone who has driven a wide range of heavy duty trucks over the years, this is a very easy engine to understand. Keep your eye on the rpm levels, let the engine lug if it wants to. Anyone used to keeping a 15 meter Caterpillar engine between 1,250 and1,750rpm will feel at home here.
The fact of the matter is, many of the people who will be tasked with driving this particular 11 tonne truck could well have come out of a progression from a large ute, to a large van or perhaps a light duty pantech and then upgraded to a medium duty truck. Their experience will be more about high revving engines, basic manual gearboxes and car-like transmissions. From that point of view this truck will feel and sound very different.
Because this A05C Engine is such a low revving torquey engine, when using the eco-setting on the Allison gearbox, the impression, to a casual observer, is of a lazy engine, not working very hard. However, the fact of the matter is, despite this impression it is getting the job done extremely efficiently and is more than a match for any high revving comparable engine.
Any driver looking for a different perception from this engine and gearbox only needs to click the switch to power mode on the Allison 2500 transmission. Suddenly, the rpm levels get much higher and the rate of acceleration seems to increase considerably. We can be sure that the fuel consumption also increases at the same time.
In actuality, in most situations the power mode is not needed, the way the truck actually performs in eco mode is more than a match for any of the competition. However, the boy racer in our truck driving community will be able to make lots of noise and race the traffic between traffic lights if they really want to.
On this test drive the power mode did come into its own, climbing Mount Ousley from Wollongong to Sydney with a loaded truck. Selecting power saw the engine get up past 2000rpm and pull like a good’un. If power mode had not been selected, the truck would have still made the climb more than adequately, perhaps taking little more time, but the job would have been performed with a lot less noise and fuss, in a much more relaxed way.
It seems that the days have gone when anyone driving a Japanese truck knew when to change up because the over revving buzzer came on. Going by the markings on the tachometer, the ideal rpm, marked in green, is between 900rpm and 1800rpm.
Anyone buying this new Hino 500 we’ll be expecting to get the much improved fuel consumption which is being claimed for the truck. If they want to get that sort of result then it would be a good idea to make sure the driver is properly informed about the best way to drive this truck, with this engine.
It doesn’t take much, the smarts within the Allison transmission do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to ensuring the truck in the right gear at the right time. However, the heart of the matter for Hino is the driver needs to be shown not to be concerned about the relatively low rpm levels and relatively low noise level they are experiencing. This engine is at its best between 1500 and 2000rpm.