Hino 300 Series 4x4 has already undergone years of extensive testing and evaluation in Australia with real-world customers.
Devised specifically for Australian applications and thoroughly tried, tested and proven for Australian conditions, the Hino 300 Series 4x4 has already undergone years of extensive testing and evaluation here with real-world customers.
Prototypes of the Hino 300 Series 4x4 have been used in day-to-day operations with a number of customers across Australia with two customers taking part in long-term field testing: Cook Shire Council in Far North Queensland and Kennedy Drilling in remote Western Australia.
Hino test engineers have studied the vehicles in these operations, and those learnings combined with the testing carried at its durability facilities in Japan produced a model purpose-built for Australian applications.
“We have been testing prototypes of the 4x4 here for over three years, with real-world customers whose feedback has enabled us to refine the specification of a truck built specifically for the Australian market,” Mr Daniel Petrovski, Hino Product Strategy Manager said.
“The 300 Series 4x4 is a specialised vehicle and this sort of approach has genuinely benefitted what we can now offer our customers.”
Among the myriad of information gained from this local testing was the importance of operational competency off-road, such as the incorporation of a high air intake to minimise dust intake on dirt roads.
“This is one feature that was upgraded following feedback from our field-test customers.”
The 4x4’s six-speed manual transmission and a two-speed transfer case provide the ideal combination of gears to suit any terrain. A 6.369:1 first gear transmission ratio and a low range gear ratio of 2.2:1 enables a crawling speed of just 2.3 km/h for the trickiest of off-road conditions.
“There’s testing – and then there’s real world in-field testing, which is what we have done with this vehicle,” said Mr Petrovski.
Real world testing – Cook Shire Council, Far North Queensland
Mr Scott Johnson, Fleet and Operations Manager for Cook Shire Council was effusive in his praise of the prototype vehicle.
“It's been an asset to our fleet and we've had minimal downtime with it - it's gone everywhere we've asked it to, and carried out all the tasks we've requested of it,” said Mr Johnson.
“The Cook Shire Council goes from Cooktown to the Jardine River in Cape York – we have 1600 kilometres of unsealed road in that area.
“We've had the prototype truck for three years now and we've done over 40,000 kilometres in it, at least 90 percent of that has been on dirt roads in operational use.
Mr Johnson gave his team the instruction to “use it but not abuse it” when driving the truck.
“It's been with the road crew and the bridge crew working throughout Cape York and has done some hard yards on the corrugations with loads - there's not many places it hasn't been up here.
“The drivers like it, it's one of their favourite trucks for taking north in that range of trucks.
“It's got through everywhere and we've carted it through with full loads, up and down hills, water crossings, and it's still running,” he concluded.
Real world testing – Kennedy Drilling– Kalgoorlie, Western Australia.
Mr Petrovski and the Hino Australia Product team were strategic in their choice of the second field-test customer, Kennedy Drilling.
“Kennedy Drilling specialises in RC, RAB and air core drilling and has an area of operation that is basically all of Western Australia out through Northern Territory, over to Mt Isa in Queensland and down through South Australia,” said Mr Petrovski
“They cover more than half of the country, and a lot of that is off-road, or severe off-road, towing trailers and operating through the scrub – it is essentially one of the harshest operations that we could find.”
Maintenance Supervisor at Kennedy Drilling, Wade Bransgrove, echoed the sentiments of Cook Shire Council and was particularly impressed with the low range torque and hill climbing abilities.
“The low range torque has been perfect – it has definitely climbed up some rocky hills. Off-road hillwise, it's damn near unstoppable,” said Mr Bransgrove.
Mr Bransgrove was particularly taken with the air intake.
“The low air intake on the test truck sucked up the dust but the most impressive thing for me was that the intake never bypassed.
“I’ve seen a lot of filters get to that point, they start to crush and let dirt passed and there goes your engine.
“I purposely let it do 10,000 kilometres before even checking if it could cope – and it could.
“The raised intake is going to be even better again.”
The Hino guiding attribute of durability was also evident in the Kalgoorlie testing.
“We have taken it on trips when the truck has been loaded well and truly to GVM with a 3.5 tonne trailer behind it – it did 1,000 kilometres on a dirt road like that and we didn’t have any problem with brakes or driveline, it took that in its stride very well.
“We’ve got the weighbridge docket to prove it too.”
Mr Petrovski said Hino Australia also conducted focus groups and test drives with key emergency services personnel.
“There was strong feedback from all involved that the ride and handling of the Hino 300 4x4 is superior to the competitors offerings.”
“The decision to use disc brakes and include Vehicle Stability Control as standard equipment was vindicated by these customers – they told us that drum brakes simply weren’t acceptable and that safety is paramount in their operations.”
“The Hino 300 Series 4x4 is the only Japanese vehicle in its segment to offer air-conditioning and heating as standard in the rear of the Crew Cab.”
“Our extensive research, development and testing is already paying off as we have already received strong interest from key emergency service groups.”
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