Hino takes its show on the road

By: Greg Bush


In a bid to place its range of products – the 300, 500 and 700 Series – directly in front of customers, Hino has taken a lengthy convoy-type roadshow around to its dealerships. And there’s the added attraction of a V8 Supercars ticket as well

Hino takes its show on the road
Part of the evolving Hino roadshow which will be travelling the eastern states

 

Despite a host of new model releases over recent years, the pandemic-enforced lockdowns, as well as supply issues, have seemingly stifled Hino Motor Sales Australia’s (HMSA) efforts to promote its model line-up, including last year’s launch of the new 700 Series.

Not to be thwarted for long, though, Hino has taken its show on the road – and it’s a long road too. Up and down Australia’s east coast where the bulk of its customers are situated.

What better place to start than the far north Queensland city of Cairns, which was also the commencement point for an extended media drive event that took in the scenic Atherton Tablelands as well as a trip from Cairns to Townsville.

Hino’s 700 Series FY 3036 hook lift

While a number of other truck manufacturers have undertaken a roadshow of this magnitude previously, this was Hino’s first attempt at taking its products direct to the customers. Naturally, the new 700 models featured prominently in the convoy, including an FY 3036 hooklift, an FR 2632 with a 14-pallet body and an FH 1832 tipper.

Hino points out, however, that the line-up with be subject to alteration during the convoy, including the addition of the 616 Hybrid. The road show will also coincide with Repco V8 Supercar events where possible, due to its partnership with the Supercars Championship. As an aside, the best place to view the Supercar events is from Hino’s new double-storey sports deck, which was launched at the Townsville 500 in early July. A Hino 700 Series SH1845 has the task of hauling the sports deck from venue to venue.

The Hino convoy shone in the tropical sun

Meanwhile, back in the far north, the test drive program involved travelling from Cairns up to Atherton via Gillies Range Road. Beforehand, Daniel Petrovski, Hino’s manager of product strategy, pointed out that it was Australia’s windiest road. It proved to be a challenging leg of the drive, although I was fortunate enough to be behind the wheel of the 300 Series 721.


RELATED ARTICLE: Hino safety suite standard on 700 Series


With a six-speed fully automatic transmission, J05E four-cylinder 5.1-litre engine, the 721 made easy meat of the tight corners up the range, although the option of manually switching to lower gears proved handy on occasion.

Like the majority of the trucks on tour, the 721 comes with a host of safety features, including lane departure warning and vehicle stability control as part of Hino’s Smart Safe package.

ig boy’s toy: The 300 Series 817 4x4 crew cab

The exception, at least for some of the features, was the 300 Series 817 4x4 crew cab medium, although it does come with vehicle stability control as well as traction control. This beauty not only looks the goods but performs just as admirably. The six-speed synchromesh is a shifter’s dream.

Apart from the 817, it was auto all the way, with the slight exception of the 700 FS 2828, which comes with a six-speed ZF TraXon AMT and intarder. The Jacob plus ZF intarder proved handy on the Cairns to Townsville leg due to the high amount of stop-start road works taking place along the Bruce Highway.

The 700 FS2848 tipper and dog entered the fray on the drive event’s second leg

Petrovski explains that the bulk of Hino customers opt for auto transmissions nowadays, hence its new vehicles are not available as a manual, unless specifically requested.

"It’s so the driver can concentrate on the job," he says.

"The market has gone away from the manual in this area. So we made that decision – two-pedal only."

A special mention should be made of Hino’s FY 3036 hook lift. With its A09 six-cylinder, nine-litre offering 360hp (265kW) connected to the Allison 4440 automatic, it’s on-road behaviour was exemplary. Hino has a winner on its hands here.

The SS High Roof and Low Loader

Petrovski says its entire range covers everything from car licence trucks to 72 tonne GCM multi combination.

The issue has been placing the trucks directly in front of new and existing customers, with dealerships limited by space and supply issues, so Hino decided it needed to take the trucks out to the customers.

"That was something that we decided with HMSA and our dealers," says Petrovski.

"And we’ve embarked on what is the biggest investment and the biggest joint venture with our dealer network.

The Hino Sports Deck amid the Townsville 500 action

"We’re doing the Hino roadshow over certainly the next six months – we’re going to cover all the metro dealers. We’ll also be covering regional dealers."

Petrovski says there’s been in excess of $3 million invested in the demo vehicles.

"It’s a representation from 300, 500 and 700 Series products."

Following the roadshow, Hino will further promote its line-up at the 2023 Brisbane Truck Show.

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