As commercial work truck sales seem poised to increase in 2010 over a dismal 2009, Hino Trucks finds itself well-positioned to expand its market share in the vocational fleet market.
Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company headquartered in Novi, Mich., assembles, sells, and services Class 4 through Class 7 commercial trucks in the U.S.
Hino has developed a variety of trucks with vocational bodies and equipment. The expanding vocational breadth of Hino trucks now includes snow plow, utility, delivery, and shuttle and ambulance applications. Hino is aggressively marketing to an expanded vocational marketplace. Hino increased its market share in Class 6 trucks to 15% - up from 5% in 2005 - to become the number three market share provider in the class. Its combined market share for Class 6 and 7 is 10%0, according to the company.
Redesigned 2011 Model Lineup
Hino's 2011 model-year started in January with the debut of restyled 268 (Class 6) and 338 (Class 7) models. On the exterior, they feature redesigned front fascias and grilles. The 268 model is powered by the six-cylinder 8.0L J08E-VC Series diesel engine that produces 220 hp and 520 lb.-ft. of torque. The 338 model is powered by the six-cylinder 8.0L J08E-VB that produces 260 hp and an increased 660 lb.-ft. of torque. The 660 lb.-ft. torque rating is an increase of 13 percent over the 2010 model.
The 2011 model-year will see the phasing out of Class 4 and 5 models 145, 165, and 185.
Hino's models are rated from 23,000 to 33,000 lbs. GVW. They include the 238, 258LP (low-profile), 258ALP (air-brake, low-profile), 268, 268A, and 338 and 338CT (city tractor).
The 338 truck can be derated to 26,000 lbs. for operation by non-CDL drivers. The 338CT is a short-wheelbase 338 truck fitted with a fifth wheel, tractor-supply air valve, and other equipment by Fontaine Modification, which opened a dedicated center near Hino's assembly plant in Williamstown, W. Va. Hino Trucks has a network of 182 dealers.
New EPA-Compliant Trucks
All Hino engines are equipped with a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) after-treatment system to meet 2010 diesel emissions standards.
"Hino Trucks will be fully compliant in meeting 2010 emissions regulations by using proven SCR technology," said Glenn Ellis, vice president, marketing and dealer operations for Hino Motors Sales U.S.A., Inc.
However, the emissions control system required to meet the new EPA diesel emission standards is expensive. Hino implemented an emissions surcharge of $6,700 per vehicle.
"SCR is an exhaust aftertreatment technology that reduces NOx significantly from the exhaust by injecting a precise amount of diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) downstream of the engine," said George Daniels, vice president, service operations for Hino.
"It allows the engine to operate at max performance level, without the additional engine stress needed to control NOx with EGR [exhaust gas recirculation] alone."
The infrastructure to efficiently distribute DEF in the U.S. is rapidly being established. DEF will be available through all 182 Hino dealers. In addition, a coalition of industries, including truck manufacturers, truck stops, retail fueling stations, fuel distributors, and DEF producers, are establishing bulk DEF filling stations across North America.
"DEF will be readily available for our customers," said Ellis, "Because most medium-duty trucks come back to a single domicile every night, we do not see the availability or maintaining the appropriate level of DEF in the trucks to be an issue."
Hino Trucks created a Web microsite (www.hinoscr.com) to provide answers to the most frequently asked questions about SCR and DEF.
2011 Model Refinements
The 2011 model-year trucks feature a redesigned gauge cluster with a new advanced driver information display with audio assist. The instrument panel also offers a DEF level gauge displaying the remaining amount of DEF. Also, up to six additional auxiliary switch locations in the cab accommodate vocational applications.
Engine compartment upgrades for Hino's 2011-models include a 130A alternator, more efficient turbo with an 11 curved vane design, and an improved combustion chamber design. Other redesigns include the fuel filter, now under the hood, and a more efficient single EGR cooler.
In terms of ergonomics, driver seat comfort was improved with an added armrest and enhanced seat cushion contour.
New optional features for 2011-MY include Allison 2500 Rugged Duty Service (RDS) with Shift Energy Management (SEM) for 338 models. Also, fleets can order, as an option, a 14,000-lb. front axle for the 338 model. Other optional features include a 4,500-lb. auxiliary rubber suspension spring, remote keyless entry, and power-heated driver and passenger side mirrors.
In 2012 model-year cab-over-engine (COE) specifications, there will be new Class 4 and Class 5 models with GVWR of 14,050 lbs., 14,500 lbs., 17,950 lbs., and 19,500 lbs. The straight ladder frame with a 33-inch width is a new global platform used by Hino.
Class 4 & 5 Hybrid COE in 2012
Toward the end of the 2011 calendar-year, Hino will introduce its third-generation proprietary diesel-electric hybrid system in a newly designed 2012 model-year Class 4 and Class 5 COE, specifically designed to meet the needs of the U.S. market. The engine will be the JO5E four-cylinder with more than 200 hp mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The diesel-electric hybrid version will be available in the following GVWR: 14,050 lbs., 14,500 lbs., 17,950 lbs., and 19,500 lbs. The hybrid's electric propulsion system will be powered by a nickel-metal hydride battery.
25 years in the U.S.
In 2009, Hino Trucks celebrated its 25th anniversary in the United States. Hino entered the U.S. market with a COE medium-duty truck in 1984, evolving to the current conventional trucks first introduced in the U.S. in 2004.
Established nearly 100 years ago in Japan and now majority-owned by Toyota, Hino is the world's third-largest manufacturer of light- and medium-duty trucks. The company traces its roots to the founding of Tokyo Gas Industry Company in 1910. It produced its first motor vehicle in 1917, the Model TGE "A-Type" truck.
In 2009, Hino won the J.D. Power Engine & Transmission Award. Hino Trucks' engines rank highest in customer satisfaction for a second consecutive year, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Medium-Duty Truck Engine and Transmission Customer Satisfaction Study.