The release of the new Hino 700 heavy duty truck this week sees the brand taking the heavy Japanese truck segment to a new level. Despite the new shape looking more like a modernising and updating of the previous generations of 700s, this truck is all new. Only the chassis rails and the engine block are the same as the previous 700 models.
The number of models on offer to the Australian market from the Japanese truck maker in heavy duty has increased dramatically. Previously, Hino offered a small group of heavy duty trucks which were suitable for a selection of transport tasks. This time around there is much more flexibility in breadth of choice in the models on offer.
One of the breakthrough models is the 8×4 with a load sharing twin steer suspension. Previously, Hino has not had a serious contender in this section of the market, but the introduction of the first of the eight leggers shows a truck maker looking to tackle its rivals head on.
There is now a second engine option in the range, a nine litre joins the 13 litre, which has undergone a major design overhaul to meet Euro 6 exhaust emission levels. There are power ratings on offer all of the way from ??? to 480hp. The new nine litre, the A09 engine, comes in at 320hp and 360hp ratings and the 13 litre at 400 to 480hp.
These engines come with improved torque levels and an impressive flat topped torque curve sees maximum torque available from 1000rpm to 1600rpm, the sign of an engine responsive to the driver’s right foot and able to handle hard work.
This power and torque drives through two choices of transmission, the Allison fully automatic and the ZF Traxon AMT. The Allison is coupled with the nine litre and the 13, but the ZF is only coupled with the 13 litre engine.
In the next stage of Hino’s decision to prioritise safety systems on its trucks, the new 700 comes with the full suite of safety technology, which has already been introduced in the 300 and 500 trucks from Hino, but also includes Driver Monitoring, a camera based system which monitors driver behaviour, looking out for signs of fatigue or distraction and setting off alarms accordingly.
Unfortunately, the first iterations of the new 8×4 model will not be coming withe the full safety suite, or with air suspension. Customers looking for the these state-of-the-art safety systems, and a suitable specification for concrete agitator work will have to wait until next year when the second wave of the 8×4 models come on stream.
The press launch of these models demonstrated Hino’s ambition to become a serious player in the truck market over 16 tonnes GVM and introduce models targeted at a number of growing applications in the heavy rigid section of the market.