Nothing standard about it

5 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineFebruary 21, 2019

Hino Distributors NZ Ltd general manager Darren Salt introducing the new 500 Standard cab family.

Hino Distributors NZ Ltd general manager Darren Salt presented the new Hino 500 Series Standard Cab to customers and media at the company‘s Mt Wellington showrooms on Wednesday evening. The much-anticipated revamp of the Standard Cab range certainly didn‘t disappoint and the excitement among the Hino crew in terms of the truck they are taking to the market was almost palpable.

“It‘s a modern player,” said Salt. “We‘ve redesigned every aspect of the truck to make it more versatile and an ideal fit for absolutely any of our drivers‘ needs.”

The new gig has a lot going for it and the FD, FE, and FC examples gleaming under the lights certainly attracted attendees like mozzies to a barby.

The improvements extend well beyond the completely reengineered looks and environment of the cab. Safety features once reserved for the world‘s highest spec line haul trucks are now flooding into trucks in the distribution chain‘s periphery. The new 500 Standard Cab comes with Adaptive Cruise, Pre-collision Safety – that includes pedestrian detection – Autonomous Emergency Braking, and Lane Departure. Hino‘s VSC (Vehicle Stability Control) and Traction Control systems are of course retained. Other safety and welfare helpmates include a reversing camera as standard, as well as day running lights, and a courtesy light on the lower door illuminating the entry steps is a boon for anyone who knows about dark, wet, slippery alleys in winter.

Power unit wise the A09‘s had a cylinder ‘haircut‘ and in these new machines is the four-cylinder 5.0-litre A05. Journal sizes etc. have been retained from the bigger motor, so its reputation for reliability should be retained. Output is up, with the top gun FE boasting 194kW (260hp) and 882Nm (651lb/ft), and the range meets Japan‘s PPNLT emissions regulations (Euro 6 essentially) via EGR and SCR. Auxiliary braking comes in the form of an exhaust/engine brake combo.

There‘s a choice of manual (6-speed – 7 in the FE), AMT, and Allison auto transmissions, as well as spring and air suspension.

Clean, crisp, bang up to date, and with a bit of colour

Of course looks count, and Hino have presented the world a lovely looking ECE R29 European crash certification standards cab. Huge tick. And looks aren‘t just skin-deep, someone‘s discovered colour and taken it inside. The cab‘s a mix of dark tones, a desert/terracotta red, and racy carbon fibre pattern. If you‘re spending all day every day in a cab, mundane can only promote fatigue. The 500 Standard Cab is not mundane. There‘s an ISRI driver‘s seat that‘s a tad higher with a shorter squab and adjustments for Africa, that gives driver Joe or Jane more legroom between seat and steering column. It‘s a traditional binnacle look in front of the helmsperson with a data screen separating the dials. A smart wheel manages cruise and navigation of the data screen. A comms/audio and navigation screen occupies the central dash area that sadly isn‘t wrapped even a smidge. Comms/audio, and reverse cam come standard, but navigation‘s an extra.

On display were both the day and ‘sleeper‘ cab; the latter stretching the imagination in the antipodes just a tad.

Order books are open and the first units will be onshore in May. The queues won‘t take long to form, and we can hardly wait to get hold of one for a day or two and really tell you all about it.