Hino beefs up its Class 7 model

Hino has put a 120,000-pound-per-square-inch frame and huck bolts all across the crossmembers on its Class 7 338 for the 2008 model year.

  • Chassis changes for the '08 model year:

  • Raised battery box.

  • Relocation of air tanks from between the frame rails to under the battery box on the driver side for a full-air brake truck.

  • Compact and easy access of the air-supply system.

  • The block heater was relocated to the front of the battery box.

  • The fuse box was moved behind the battery box.

  • Circuits were added for components such as the fog lamp.

  • An exhaust brake enhances brake life between 10% and 30%, depending on driver use, and provides safety to the driver and community due to more driver control of the truck.

Nick Vermet, Senior VP of sales, said that all of the connectors are mounted on the high side and the wires come up from the battery.

“Snow and slush and rain and crud drain away from the connector,” he said. “Some of our competitors have the connector at the bottom of the wires, so everything that gets on the wires drains into the connector.”

Vermet said Hino's transition to the '07 emissions package was pain-free because the company has been building trucks with regenerating particulate traps since '03 — two years before Japan required it. He said the new emissions systems were available in Class 8 trucks two years before any Japanese manufacturer.

”By utilizing the same technology used in Japan to meet Japan's stringent emissions regulations, we are able to provide our US customers with a cost-effective, proven solution,” Vermet said. “Worldwide, we have 55,000 medium-duty trucks, plus 20,000 Class 8 trucks, along with 1.2 billion revenue-producing miles with the trucks. We think that reliability is outstanding and we're seeing it with customers who have our ‘08s already.”

He said Hino, the largest producer of medium- and heavy-duty trucks in Japan for 32 consecutive years, has key components such as its Cooled EGR System, Common Rail Fuel System, and Variable Nozzle Turbocharger that have been in production since 2003.

He said Hino is utilizing Diesel Particulate Reduction (DPR) technology in conjunction with engine-controlled oxidation or “regeneration” of the particulate content. The regeneration eliminates the need to change or regularly service the DPR filter.

New plants

Hino began producing its 2008 model year lineup at its Long Beach, California, plant in early March. Hino also has a facility in Ontario, Canada, and began producing trucks in November at a facility in Williamstown, West Virginia, using $8.6 million to convert a plant formerly used by Walker Systems to manufacture electrical cables.

Hino sells through a network of 161 dealerships, and operates a National Parts Distribution Center in Southaven, Mississippi. Toyota owns controlling interest of Hino Motors Ltd.

Vermet said Hino is the fastest-growing truck OEM in the US.

Hino finished the 2006 fiscal year (March 31, 2007) with its best results ever, retailing a record 6595 trucks — a 39% increase from the prior fiscal year. Hino's record year in the US ranks third overall for all Hino Motors Ltd, with only the Japanese and Thailand markets selling more Hino trucks.

During 2008, Hino expects to be at 10,000 units in truck sales in the US.

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