It is usually passenger cars that come with a lot of standard features – such as air conditioning and airbags – but now truck manufacturers are also starting to up their game to lure customers to their showrooms.
With the launch of its new 300 Series trucks, Hino South Africa has made available a number of features as standard to its locally assembled product, including airconditioning, electric windows, two airbags, pre-tension seat belts, a radio/CD player, as well as tubeless tyres.
Tubeless tyres are used to increase tyre life, improve load ability, as well as increase fuel efficiency, as they offer lower rolling resistance.
Sales of the Hino 300 medium truck range over the last 27 years have exceeded 85 000 units.
South Africa is the first country outside Japan to receive the new Hino 300 Series for local assembly.
The line-up includes wide and narrow cabs, as well as a crew cab derivative, which is a first-time introduction to the range.
Hino South Africa marketing, planning and customer service senior manager Dewald Olivier says the new 300 series features more aerodynamic cab design, as well as larger door openings with bigger footsteps to ensure easier entry and egress.
The new cab also has more interior space, and features a telescopic steering wheel.
The crew cab can accommodate six people.
All models in the range use the same basic four-litre turbo diesel engine with common rail technology and direct injection.
These engines are improved versions of the Euro 3 Hino power units used in the previous 300 range, says Oliver, and offer better fuel economy and lower emission levels than their predecessors.
The previous 611 model, which had an 81 kW (110 hp) power output, now becomes the 614 and features the 100 kW (140 hp) version of the engine.
This same variant is also fitted to the 714 and 814 derivatives, while the 815 and 915 models use a 110 kW (150 hp) version of the power unit.
The big news is the introduction of a conventional six-speed automatic transmission, in addition to five- and six-speed manual gearboxes.
The automatic transmission is available in the 815 long-wheel base (LWB) and 815 crew cab models.
The 613, 714 and 814 models feature the five-speed gearbox, with six speeds for the 915 LWB.
The new Hino 300 Series uses an engine immobiliser, linked to the central locking system.
This system uses a transponder embedded in the key that sends an identity signal to the engine management system, explains Oliver.
This prevents the engine from starting if the key transmits a
code other than the preregistered code for that specific vehicle, which means the key cannot be copied.
This is a first for the South African medium truck market, says Olivier, as is the standard airbags with seatbelt pre-tensioners for the driver and his or her passenger.
Service intervals for all Hino 300 models is 20 000 km, with a warranty for 24 months with unlimited kilometres also applicable to the whole range.
The Hino 300 has been homologated for bus applications.