Prime Mover Magazine

Here’s a good tip

Here’s a good tip

Light duty tippers are very versatile vehicles and their broad range of applications is reflected by their popularity in the market. The Hino 300 Series 616 factory tipper is loaded with enough features to ensure its place as a genuine standout.

The Hino 300 factory tipper line up is extensive and ranges up to the 8.5 tonne GVM model 917 and also includes several crew cab variants. We’ve driven the manual version of the Hino 300 wide cab 616 tipper some time ago and while that’s quite a good vehicle the six-speed Aisan automatic transmission in this model puts it in a different class altogether despite having 15 less horsepower. The use of a torque convertor instead of a clutch provides an equalising factor that means that the extra power certainly isn’t missed in situations including starting on an incline with a full load on board. The double overdrive auto shifts up and down between ratios smoothly and a button on the selector can be activated to lock out top gear to avoid shuttling between fifth and sixth in situations such as towing a trailer. The advantages of a full auto over a manual or even an automated manual transmission include the smoothness in both up and down shifts and the speed at which those shifts are made.

A transmission selector lever cleverly folds flat to improve access across the interior cab. The selector incorporates a ‘park’ position that locks the driveline in a similar way to passenger vehicle automatics and augments the driveline mounted parking brake.

Although factory tippers in the gross vehicle mass (GVM) range occupied by the Hino 616 are principally designed for relatively short trips the Hino has quite a number of driver focussed comforts including the driver’s seat which has a wide range of adjustment and is suspended using torsion bars and an opposing magnetic damping system. The windows are electric with a one touch auto-down on the driver’s side to minimise the length of time needed to have a hand off the steering wheel.

Being the Wide Cab model there is adequate room for three adults and the driver and outside passenger have air bag protection and the centre seat back folds flat to provide useful work bench for paperwork, laptop or tablet. A relatively dark cloth is used for the upholstery which is more practical than the dolphin grey found in many other light trucks. The cab floor is covered with a heavy-duty rubber type covering which will wear well in addition to isolating sound.

The steel tipper body has a 2.1 cubic metre capacity with 370mm high drop sides and a length of 3.1 metres and is operated by an underbody hydraulic hoist mechanism powered by the transmission mounted PTO pump. The body tips to a maximum of 60 degrees. The hoist functions are controlled by a long lever mounted close to the A pillar that facilitates the driver being able to stand outside the cab and observe the depositing of the load.

The standard GVM of the 616 is 4,495 kgs to accommodate passenger car licences and allows about 1,500kgs of payload. For holders of at least Light Rigid credentials a 5,500 kgs GVM can be certified which allows for an extra tonne of payload.

Hino have been the first light truck manufacturer to incorporate Vehicle Stability Control across a range and the 300 series also has anti-lock four wheel disc brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and traction control which is appreciated in vehicles such as this tipper which are required to regularly venture off sealed surfaces.

Emissions from the four cylinder diesel engine are managed by a catalytic convertor with a diesel particulate filter. The DPR’s accumulation of exhaust particles is monitored by a bar gauge on the dash and there is a button to select a manual ‘burn’ if required, however, the Hino system is now so refined that the DPF looks after itself with no need for driver input.

The optional factory fitted tow bar has robust safety chain points and the dealer fitted retractable sand tarp will keep the council rangers happy. Other goodies include a reversing camera with rear microphone connected to the familiar multimedia unit on the dash.

One standout feature is the 9.8 metre turning circle which makes performing U-turns even on residential streets a one step process. Our test vehicle is loaded with just over a tonne of sand and has no difficulties keeping up with suburban traffic. The front suspension can be had in either a beam axle with leaf spring arrangement or the better riding independent front suspension which employs coil springs.

There is a value in purchasing a factory tipper instead of engineering a local body to an imported cab chassis, especially due to the fact that the one factory backed warranty extends to the body and the hydraulics. If your business involves delivering small bulk loads then Hino have a 300 Series tipper model to suit.

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