Hino introduced its new 2006 models during a two-day event in June that started with its national dealer meeting.
The launch introduced Hino’s new 258 Low Profile model, and gave dealers, customers and the media, including Transportation Media’s Harry Rudolfs and Ingrid Phaneuf, the chance to drive models equipped with a new exhaust brake. Hino has also added a new 271 inch wheel-base for the 308 & 338 models, to accommodate the installation of longer bodies. The new models were put through their paces at a test track near Waterloo, Ont.
Rudolfs, whose experience with Hinos dates back to 1976 when he drove one of the first company medium duty trucks imported from Japan, found that Hino’s design has certainly come a long way.
“There is little comparison between the early model I drove and the modern day Hino fresh off the line from Long Beach, Calif. that I got the opportunity to try out (he test drove a 308 model with 30,000 GVW). I found the spunky 220-horse engine accelerated quickly and surely to highway ramp speeds with a top end around 120 km-h (empty). Maneuverability was excellent. The little Hino whipped confidently through a tight slalom course, thanks in part to the 55% wheel cut, which allows for radical moves in cramped city conditions. The optional Pak Brake exhaust brake is a nice option and probably a must if you’re going to be running through the mountains. Synchronized with the Allison automatic transmission, the exhaust brake purrs gently as you lift your foot of the throttle and feels like a giant hand is holding the truck back.”
The new low profile 258 model (25,500 GVW) meanwhile, sits three inches lower than the standard Class 6 unit – ideal for adaptation as a car carrier. The 258 also comes with the rugged 220 horse motor. As well, Hino has added a 271- inch wheelbase to its repertoire. The longer wheelbase is available on its Class 7 models 308 and 338, allowing for the installation of a 27.5-foot box without modification. Driver comfort figures strongly in Hino trucks. Power windows, tilt steering A/C and CD stereo and cruise control are standard features. And even more importantly, the headlamp lighting system has improved by 100 per cent. Chrome grilles are now standard on all Hino trucks, and the Class 6 and 7 models come with three piece bumpers. Mechanically speaking, all Class 6 and 7 Hinos now have self- adjusting clutches and oil-lubricated wheel bearings.
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