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he rise in prominence, in Australia, of Isuzu Ute has been interesting to say the least, since its first D-Max went on sale at the back end of 2008. All the industry pundits proclaimed that the very idea of a company selling just one product was a flawed business case and that failure of the programme was assured.

By the end of that year, Isuzu Ute Australia was in business – admittedly with a relatively small number of interested selling dealers, all of whom were already selling products from other manufacturers. The sales figures for 2008 were in the region of 50 utes, and Mr. Kono openly admits that he bought half of them as company vehicles.

How was a company like Isuzu, which made its utes in Thailand, in a factory owned and operated by Mitsubishi Corporation, going to compete against Holden, with the Rodeo, and other makes such as Mazda, Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan?

The ute market in 2011, for Jan/July, numbered 75,552 registrations (excluding Falcon and Commodore 4x2 units). With just three years under his belt in the job, Mr. Kono and his team at Isuzu Ute Australia have recently celebrated their 12,500th sale. The company also recorded a 28 percent rise in sales for Jan/July 2011, with 3561 registrations, and now boasts over 80 retail outlets.

Into the equation, in early 2008, came Hitoshi Kono, then appointed as founding Managing Director of Isuzu Ute Australia. Mr. Kono literally jumped into a car and drove the length and breadth of Australia, planning his distribution network and, wherever possible, meeting potential dealer principals face-to-face to discuss taking on the Isuzu Ute Australia franchise. There is also a suggestion he used part of this travel time to indulge in his favourite sport of playing golf, selecting courses across Australia as part of his journey.





In those three years, there have been changes in customer demands, and it’s fair to say that ute buyers today are choosing diesel engines as a preference – so far, in 2011, at a ratio of 76 percent diesel to 23 percent preferring a petrol alternative, and just one percent opting for LPG.


Back in 2005, the diesel preference to petrol was running on a far lower ratio, at 41 percent diesel to 57 percent petrol. So it’s an indication of good timing, or just good luck, that Isuzu Ute, with only a 3.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel on offer, came into our market and succeeded in providing the right product at the right time.

Prior to his arrival here, Mr. Takeuchi was stationed in Tokyo, in Mitsubishi Corporation’s (MC) Isuzu Business Division, as Deputy General Manager and Divisional Strategy Planning Team Leader since December 2009. There, he was heavily involved in Isuzu’s business facilities in Thailand, where the D-MAX is built, as are almost all Japanese-design utes.

With a well functioning company a major credit to his ability, Mr. Kono is now heading off for a new assignment in Asia, handing over the reins to Yasuhiro ‘Yasu’ Takeuchi. Aged 43 years, Mr. Takeuchi moved to Australia in late July, and since then has familiarized himself with the Australian automotive market, joining Mr. Kono to visit dealers, fleet companies and customers, as well as industry and government contacts.

Prior to that, Mr. Takeuchi held positions in Electronic Systems and Integrated Defence Systems within MC’s Aerospace Division, as supplier to the Japanese government’s defence establishment, where his specialties included aircraft, airborne equipment, and other defence-related systems. He holds a masters degree in Aeronautics, from Tokyo University’s Graduate School of Engineering, and is married with two sons.

“My mission is to build on the presence Kono has built up for D-MAX here, and to expand IUA with additional capability, so it can continue to provide and further enhance its excellent backup and service to our dealers and customers, as D-MAX achieves higher sales volumes in the near future,” said Yasu.

Isuzu Ute Australia is currently marking its three years of local sales of its premium Isuzu D-MAX one-tonne ute range, with the release of a high-spec Limited Edition III 4x4 crew ute.

The D-Max continues from strength to strength with its third limited edition contender DELIVERY




Toyota has to lift the appeal of its HiLux in the face of increasing competition. Paul Maric looks at whether it can make the cut






s a central location to the success of the iconic Toyota HiLux in Australia, Townsville was Toyota’s first non-metro dealership 47 years ago, and today boasts one of Toyota’s largest distribution centres.

It’s little surprise that Toyota chose Townsville as the venue for the launch of the revised Toyota HiLux. Since the launch of the Toyota HiLux in 1968, the HiLux has leapt from strength to strength, with Australian drivers representing 700,000 HiLux sales worldwide. That’s one in 20 HiLux global sales in Australia alone. Intense competition in the commercial utility segment has meant that Toyota no longer has the luxury of sitting around and waiting for customers to flow through dealership doors. With the launch of the Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50 and Holden Colorado just around the corner, and the German Volkswagen Amarok just gone, the HiLux – even in its mildly facelifted form – is fast becoming the oldest vehicle in this segment. Exterior changes to the HiLux start from the A-pillar forward, and include a new grille, bonnet, headlamps and front bumper. The SR5 models come with new wheel fenders, integrated mirror turn signals and revised alloy sports bars. Inside the cabin, Toyota has pleasantly updated the HiLux interior with new designs and a radio fascia, along with upgraded steering wheel controls on the SR and SR5 variants. The top-spec SR5 now comes with a touch screen satellite navigation system using a 6.1-inch LCD screen with voice commands and Bluetooth telephone and audio streaming (Bluetooth standard on SR variants). Also featured, in the SR5, is USB music connectivity, voice recognition for critical commands, steering wheel mounted Bluetooth telephone controls, automatic headlights, cruise control and automatic climate control. The SR misses out on automatic climate control and satellite navigation, instead using a double DIN radio unit with Bluetooth phone capability and Bluetooth audio streaming (along with USB and auxiliary inputs). In terms of safety, Toyota has now graced buyers of their entry-level Workmate variant with ABS brakes and a tachometer (welcome to the ‘90’s, Toyota). Six airbags are standard on 4x4 SR and SR5 variants, while stability control is only standard on the SR5 4x4 models (that’s four of the thirty five HiLux variants) and optional on SR Double Cabs. When quizzed about the lack of lifesaving safety features on the HiLux range, and whether the replacement HiLux model will feature stability control across the range, David Buttner, Senior Executive Director – Sales and Marketing, told Delivery, “Toyota is totally committed to improving passive and active safety for every car to market”. Mr Buttner also said that Toyota’s lead HiLux engineer has been to Australia three times in the past 18 months, to evaluate our tough road and weather conditions in a bid to ensure HiLux remains reliable and capable of tackling the varying conditions. In recognition of the added competition in the field, 4x4 HiLux models have had between $1960 and $8340 value added, with 4x2 models following suit with up to $1640 of added value. The HiLux range has also increased from 32 to 35 models (comprising of 17 4x2’s and 18 4x4’s).

Toyota hopes that with higher specifications and a bit more bling the HiLux can remain competitive. DELIVERY





’ve never understood the attraction of the Victorian high country in winter, when snow and ice cover the district and driving becomes distinctly more dangerous. It’s not only that when you get out of the car there’s every possibility of falling flat on your face, it’s that many of the motorists who do go there, have not a clue about how to drive in the conditions that face them.

Volkswagen chose the area around Mount Beauty as the venue for illustrating the excellent handling properties of its 4Motion all-wheel-drive system, and, in particular, how the little Caddy van and its people mover variant, the Caddy Life, can handle almost all that nature throws its way. What was also provided, somewhat unintentionally, was an insight into how snow and a cold climate somehow freezes reaction time and attitudes of some drivers, as we faced, not one, but three other vehicles, on separate occasions, each heading towards us on the wrong side of the road midway through a corner, oblivious to any oncoming traffic. Fortunately, with speeds being very low, we were able to simply steer out of their way each time, but it does leave you wondering if looking at the scenery takes precedence over looking where you are going for some of our fellow motorists. Notwithstanding the dangers of ice, snow, slippery roads and, as mentioned, unpredictable drivers, the Caddy 4Motion actually provides a viable solution to anyone who has to contend with taking bread, milk or any other type of daily delivery to places that are difficult to access by virtue of slippery conditions. And, with the seven-seat Caddy Life, the options increase to shift six passengers without having to resort to large four-wheel-drives or multi-purpose SUVs.




The beauty of the Volkswagen 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is its simplicity of operation. The driver plays no part in either selecting all-wheel-drive or two-wheel-drive as the system does it all automatically. It also combines all the expected safety systems of electronic stability programme, twin airbags, anti-lock brakes, anti-slip reduction, electronic brake distribution and daytime running lamps – this last feature now being a requirement on all vehicles in Europe. The engine for the Caddy 4Motion, in either the van format or as a people mover, is a one-size-fits-all solution, offering a 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, turbocharged diesel mounted transversely in the front, and basically driving the front wheels. As the onboard computer control system detects movement of the vehicle, either as it accelerates, decelerates or experiences different friction levels from each wheel, it adjusts its power delivery to whichever wheel or wheels have the most traction. This means you don’t get wheel spin, and hopefully you maintain traction and the ability to decide where the vehicle is pointing at all times. It’s certainly no different to drive than its 2WD cousin, but, for those with a keen eye, you will find the rear of the 4Motion version is a little higher off the ground, by some 15 mm, to provide sufficient space for the additional drive system to the rear axle. With 103 kW produced at 4,200 rpm, and peak torque of 320 Nm rated at 1,500-2,500 rpm, the 2.0-litre, Euro 5 emissions level engine is no slouch, and even with a full payload of 700 kg it’s well able to keep up with any traffic demand. The emissions levels are as low as 177 g/km.


The drive system comes through a six-speed DSG automated transmission, which in this latest form is much improved over the earlier versions. A change, or upgrade, in the computer control logic now means it no longer tries to engage and disengage its clutch while stationary in a traffic queue, and, consequently, it no longer has the tendency to squat repeatedly. This was a concern in the earlier versions of the DSG transmission, especially when using the handbrake in traffic rather than relying on the footbrake. A Hill Hold system is standard on both models, and this also seems to prevent the earlier squat problem from appearing. The DSG transmission remains an interesting gearbox, as the shifts under full power are very rapid and performed with almost Germanic precision. Just watch the needle on the rev counter to see what we mean by this, as it moves instantly as each shift takes place, flicking precisely between positions on the gauge. Also improved is the time delay between selecting forward and reverse when parking, and no longer is there a pregnant pause while the transmission waits to make up its mind about whether to join your intent to reverse or manoeuvre into a parking slot. As we mentioned, performance is remarkably swift, and, with 4.2 cubic metres of load space, the interior is also remarkably quiet for what is, basically, a delivery van. Both the 4Motion van and the Caddy Life are based on the longer wheelbase, Caddy Maxi. There’s sound insulation above the driver and passenger seat in the van cabin, but in the

Caddy Life this extends throughout the entire passenger compartment. A full width parcel shelf above the windscreen provides a huge amount of usable space for maps, and with large door pockets and the inevitable cup or bottle holders between the seats, your daily Starbucks has a safe home. Volkswagen has improved its warranty support to provide three years, unlimited distance warranty, and with this you also get roadside assistance for the same period – a valuable support system, especially to provide peace of mind for those working regularly in, what I would call, horrid weather conditions. But a word of warning on application, this allwheel-drive delivery van, or people mover, is not intended to go off-road to follow the big off-roaders. This is an all-wheeldrive system designed to keep you on the road safely, and not to head off adventuring to wherever the fancy takes you. With its single turbocharger and common-rail diesel injection system, this is one little delivery van that looks after your running costs, offering a combined fuel consumption figure of 6.7 l/100 km, dropping that to 5.9 l/100 km on a freeway cruise. With MacPherson strut front suspension with coil springs and gas dampers, and a rigid rear axle on leaf springs, the ride is relatively compliant, and certainly won‘t shake up your hamburger, even on relatively poor road surfaces. Tyres on the van version are 205/55R16 94H on steel rims, and these upgrade to alloy rims of the same size on the Caddy Life. There is a 17-inch alloy rim option with 205/50 aspect ratio tyres available, if you wish. It’s an identical mechanical spec between the two versions, but with an additional 141 kg of weight coming from the Life’s added interior trim, the fuel economy is just behind that of the van by 0.1 l/100 km.







e’re well aware that a new ute is way above the expectations of a young apprentice, but, with enthusiasm and liberal amounts of elbow grease, it’s possible to rejuvenate an older vehicle and turn it into reliable daily transport. Welcome to Project Nissan.

Here’s a brief recap on the story so far. Project Nissan started when we came across our 1995 Nissan 4x2 crewcab, which was ready to work and with just 349,000 km on the clock. The 2.4-litre, four-cylinder, fuel-injected petrol engine, so far, has been kept original, as, currently, it’s going surprisingly well, is relatively leak free, and isn’t pumping smoke out of the exhaust or consuming oil. It’s a bit slow to get oil pressure up on first starting, but provided the driver waits for the oil pressure light to go out as pressure builds before moving off, so far, it’s all sweet. The bodywork is surprisingly clean and rust free, although, with just over 350,000 km on the odometer, as you’d expect, there are a couple of small dents and scratches. With any vehicle rebuild, you start with safety. Starting from the ground up we fitted a new set of Continental VANCO 2 tyres in the original 195R14 sizing, resisting any suggestion of swapping onto low aspect ratio tyres and wider rims. This is a working ute, and low profiles are not only expensive, they’ll wear faster and won’t have the required load rating. Thanks to Adelaide rim maker, ROH, we did subsequently replace the original rusty looking chromed rims with a smart new set of white steel rims, and this really lifted the appearance, matching in with the white top section of the original paintwork.

When replacing rims, there’s every reason to not buy just on price. Cheap imports, in recent years, have proven to be everything you don’t want from a rim, with premature cracking leading to total failure. The mines have experienced problems with replacement rims from overseas not standing up to the required load rating. Even the vehicle manufacturers have experienced problems, with Nissan recalling all Navara D40 ST-X dual-cab models built between June 1st 2005 and July 3rd 2008, as the result of cracks appearing on the spokes of the alloy rims. The Nissan experience resulted in the crack worsening and spreading around the rim, prompting the manufacturer to warn buyers, through a full vehicle recall, that under full load conditions and cornering at high lateral acceleration, it could be expected to create a change in the vehicle handling. What that means, in layman’s terms, is that one or more wheels fall off. An ROH replacement rim has been tested and approved for Australian conditions, so, on this score, don’t be tempted to buy a cheap import, stick with the known name of the experts in their field. With the local TyrePower crew sorting out our tyre and rim woes, we moved upwards and enlisted the aid of the Pedder’s Suspension Centre, at Campbelltown, and its excellent 28-point suspension check. The Pedder’s test equipment evaluated each damper performance, recording the findings as a trace on a circular chart. In our case, the rear dampers were showing good


NAVARA We continue our feature on how to find affordaBle and reliaBle transport on a low Budget




PROJECT NISSAN results, but the front were not really doing very much at all to help handling, vehicle control or steering, and needed replacing. A visual check of the front disc callipers and rear drum assemblies, with the drums removed, showed acceptable levels of brake pad and brake shoe material, and that no fluid leaks were evident in the system. What was noticeable, though, was a scoring to the front left-hand disc rotor and an uneven wear pattern on the facing of the inside of the rear left drum. These problems were solved by a light skimming of both the disc and the drum interior. The pads and shoes in both cases had not been damaged and did not need replacement. Measurement of the ride height on each side of the ute showed an imbalance of 20 mm with the offside lower than the nearside. A readjustment of the offside torsion bar restored the ride height and removed the lean to the offside, to again promote better on-road handling and keep the ute flat. Visual checks of the rubber boots surrounding the upper ball joints showed perishing of the rubber and the onset of dirt ingress that causes wear. These were replaced along with the front castor arm bushes and also the sway bar links. At the rear, the excessive wear in the eye and shackle bushes of the springs also necessitated replacement of the bushes.

ROH rims with Continental Vanco 2 tyres have improved both the appearance plus the handling abilities.

The condition of the inner tie rods was cleared as acceptable, as were the V-belts, but a slight oil leak was detected from the steering box that would require rectification as a safety concern. Brighter paintwork, Hella Comet driving lamps with LED daytime running lights and a new tonneau cover have revitalised the Navara.










Up until recently, the objective to travel into remote and difficult terrain usually resulted in having to make a compromise. A 4x4 ute with a swag was the easiest method, and after that, it was a question of durability and ultimate reliability as adventurers tried to add sophistication to their overland transport.

Now there is a real alternative that’s designed from the ground up and built in Australia. It’s full of good old Aussie know-how that will last the distance and won’t leave you stranded. Called the EarthCruiser, and built on a Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 4x4 chassis and running on big wide single tyres, it’s the brainchild of Lance Gillies and his team, and built in Brisbane. Lance Gillies is no lounge room adventurer, as he has competed locally in Australia as well as in Malaysia in various ‘super-tough’ off-road competitions. The design of the EarthCruiser comes from this type of experience of building vehicles that can withstand the toughest conditions, while providing reliability and extreme 4x4 capability. The prototype was taken overseas for more testing and an arduous, yet exciting, 27,000 km trip across Russia and Mongolia, which included two crossings of the notorious ‘Road of Bones’, a swampy tundra track from Yakutsk to Magadan made famous by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman in the ‘Long Way Round’. With its specially designed soft-ride/hard-road suspension kit, and super-single 36-inch Michelin XZL tyres, the EarthCruiser is capable of negotiating long distance desert crossings and endless kilometres of corrugated and rough outback roads in comfort. At the end of the travelling day, EarthCruiser can provide a hot shower, a cold drink from the fridge, and a comfortable bed for the night. This is a real success story for an Australian design and manufacturing team, as, with order books stretching into the middle of next year, customers are expressing interest from countries as far afield as Egypt, North America, Spain and the UK, in addition to those currently being sold in Australia. EarthCruiser’s Mitsubishi Fuso Canter 4x4 cab light truck chassis has an all up weight of under 4,500 kg, allowing superb power to weight ratio and economical fuel consumption. Maximum power from the four-cylinder, 4,899 cc, turbocharged diesel is 110 kW, produced at 2,700 rpm with peak torque of 471 Nm rated at 1,600 rpm. The Fuso Canter has a very low 1st-High gear, hence, even with the increased tyre size, it is still very easy to move off in 2nd-High gear on flat surfaces. With the transmission in low box, the 1st-Low gear is a very effective crawler gear, particularly considering the low tare weight and the 471 Nm of available torque. When traversing slippery or undulating


Taking a Canter 4x4 into out-of-the-way places has never been this good DELIVERY





he latest Vito range is proof indeed that if a manufacturer persists with the research and development of its products, eventually there’s every possibility it will be right for the market. And that’s where Mercedes-Benz sits today with its current Vito range.

Giving credit where it’s due, with the introduction of the new engines and transmissions fitted in the Vito range, since February this year, the Vito is the best it’s ever been. The gearing is right for the best fuel economy, aligned with performance and driving pleasure, and the engine range is now ideally suited to providing each driver with choice. Go for the most frugal or aim higher and add extra performance. What is so frustrating, though, is how long it’s taken the German manufacturer to actually get it right. The new four-cylinder CDI diesel engine is already to Euro 5 emissions standards, offering a reduction in fuel consumption over the previous engine range and a lowering of emissions levels by up to 15 percent. Choose between 70 kW, 100 kW and 120 kW of power and you’ll probably find an ideal solution for whatever you plan to do with your Vito.

The 122 CDI smacks of being the van for the man (or woman) who wants the lot. Apart from having the greatest power and torque outputs of any domestic one tonne van, it comes with an options list that suggests the product planner was allowed to delve into the car parts basket. The new generation Vito 122 CDI, for example, can offer you Bi-Xenon headlamps, cornering lamps that shine into the inside of the bend, a headlamp cleaning system and fog lamps. The V6 engine is currently the only six-cylinder available, in a van, on our market. Running its common-rail fuel injection system at 1,600-bar pressure, and with piezo injectors using an eight-hole injector pattern, the engine complies with Euro 5 emissions legislation and runs with four chain-driven overhead camshafts to service a V-angle of 72 degrees. The maximum power output of 165 kW comes through at 3,800 rpm, and the 440 Nm of torque remains constant from 1,400 rpm through to 2,800 rpm. The tailpipe emissions level

But, what if you want additional power? Well, thanks to the V6 CDI six-cylinder engine provided in the Vito 122, it’s available. Unlike many of the newly released European vans that are front wheel drive, the Vito retains rear wheel drive, and, with the 122 CDI, the V6 engine offers a power output of 165kW. You’ll notice the latest 2011 versions of the Vito immediately, because all of them now sport daytime running lamps, in response to the latest European legislation. This initiative is well proven as a life saver, and certainly as a means to reduce daytime accidents by increasing awareness of vehicles on the road. Considering that most of Europe tends to drive either metallic silver or black vehicles, both of which blend with the road surface colour, adding a bit of extra light on the front end, as pioneered by Volvo, has the potential to work wonders for reducing the accident rate.


PROGRESS The Vito 122 is the GT version of the courier van set. Chris Mullett runs a rapid ring around Melbourne 56




is 226 g/km of CO2, and the combined fuel economy figure is 8.6 l/100 km, surprisingly efficient for this level of power and torque output.

the city every day and it might suggest shorter drain intervals, head into the country every day and you might get longer drain intervals.

You don’t even get the option of changing gear with a manual transmission, as the 122 CDI is purely automatic, thanks to a full fluid, five-speed design rather than the current crop of automated manual transmissions.

The 2011 model year changes are significant, with a complete redesign of the suspension, spring struts and towers, support bearings and the transverse links including the anti-roll bar and bearings. The rear suspension remains an independent set-up with semi-trailing arms, the spring ratings have been reconfigured, there are auxiliary spring and damper changes, and new bearings for the control arms.

The BlueEFFICIENCY name tag that comes with the latest Vito range actually encompasses a wide range of design features that collectively contribute to the improved economy and lower emissions. It’s all thanks to computing power and the latest control systems that govern, not only the engine parameters, but also battery management, an ECO minded power steering pump and a controlled fuel pump. The ASSYST service computer also adjusts the recommended service intervals and extends the oil drain requirements to produce an average distance advisory that equates to 23,000 km or 12 months. Drive around

Stopping the Vito, in as short as possible braking distances, results from disc brakes all round, electronic brake force distribution and brake force assistance to maximise pressure application without wheel locking. They’ve even thought of how best to prevent the following vehicle front from joining with the rear end of yours when you complete an emergency stop, by pulsing the brake warning lights when under maximum braking effort.






EASY Want a payload of 1500 kg and a great workplace, try the ECODaily


here’s nothing better than climbing into a new van and immediately feeling at home. You realise that somewhere there has been a team of people responsible for the design and the final presentation of the vehicle, and that they obviously spoke to each other during the development process. The result is that everything comes together, and you, the driver, are the sole beneficiary. That’s how the Iveco ECODaily 35S14 feels from the first drive. And it continues to satisfy long after the initial enthusiasm might have waned slightly. The cabin is big, it’s easy to walk through from one side to the other and there’s plenty of storage space. There are even two hooks for coats and jackets, plus a clipboard, an A4 sized note locker, overhead storage across the width of the windscreen, and a cup holder for the morning coffee on each extreme end of the dashboard. Add enough storage space in each door pocket to accommodate a small tribe, and you are immediately struck by how much thought has gone into the execution of the design. The seat, for the driver, is supplied by ISRI, and, in line with their big truck products, this seat is one of the best. The base is adjustable for rake, and although this is not an airsuspended design, it’s supremely comfortable.




Next, we come to vision, and here there’s no suggestion of a blind spot when the driver is trying to see down either side. The visibility is best-in-class here, thanks largely to each mirror head having two, almost equally sized, large mirrors. The top mirror is a straightforward vision to the rear, while the lower mirror is convex for a wider view. Other manufacturers have a similar set-up, but here, because Iveco has really large mirror heads, the driver gets the best vision possible. There’s also rear vision available from the centre windscreen-mounted rear-vision mirror through a glass panel in the cabin rear bulkhead. There’s also rear park assist warning to make life dent free. The dashboard and instrumentation is again clear and easy to understand, and the knobs on the dash are big round things that are easy to grab and twist. Some vans have carlike controls with tiny little knobs, the ECODaily has big things you can find without having to divert your attention from the road ahead. There are also lots of goodies that come with every ECODaily. As well as the now commonly included air conditioning, there’s cruise control, a trip computer that provides information on average fuel, average speed, trip details and time taken, and gauges that you can read without

TOO EASY having to put on your reading glasses (one for the older generation there). The driver gets an SRS airbag as standard, for the passenger it’s optional. To the left of the steering column, in the under-dash section, there’s adjustment for headlamp levelling to compensate for a variance in load weight, and also to drop the headlamp beams when running through inner city streets to avoid dazzle for oncoming traffic.

Our 35S14 came with a full-width and height bulkhead, which meant the cabin was supremely quiet. It also enabled the fitment of two passenger seats with space for storage underneath. It doesn’t seem to upset the ECODaily as to whether the road surface is as smooth as a billiard table or full of corrugations. The ride quality is good, and, thanks to independent front suspension, the directional stability doesn’t ever seem to be compromised. Iveco’s background as a truck maker also becomes evident when you look underneath and






here’s a world of difference between the appreciation of interesting technology and its application into existing work practices. Although hybrid options are increasing for transport operators, it’s only really becoming a regular feature where Governments have introduced incentives, or funding, to bring the systems into use with local councils or specific urban distribution systems, such as American courier services.

In the hope of changing attitudes, and making sure that councils are aware of the hybrid options available, Hino Australia has teamed up with wastecollection machinery expert, MacDonald Johnston, to develop a revolutionary new urban waste collection truck based around the Hino 300 Hybrid. The ‘UrBin’ (or Universal Rear Loading Binlifter) Hino Hybrid Rear Loader has been specifically designed as a low-impact refuse collection vehicle for use in built-up urban areas – particularly parks and gardens where truck noise may be an issue. Hino Australia President, Steve Lotter, said the groundbreaking new waste collection vehicle was perfectly suited to the needs of inner-city councils, where minimising environmental impact was of major importance. “Many urban waste collection vehicles need to operate in park and garden areas where noise and CO2 pollution can be a major issue. When operating a truck in these environments, the vehicle spends much of the day stationary or moving very slowly, which is where the Hino Hybrid system is of most benefit,” said Steve. “At urban speeds, the truck’s diesel engine is assisted by the on-board electric engine, meaning it consumes up to 20 percent less fuel than a similar conventional truck. Combined with a significant reduction in nitrogen oxide (NOx) and carbon dioxide emissions, the MacDonald Johnston UrBin Hino 300 Hybrid Rear Loader lessens overall operating costs, and ultimately the impact on the environment,” he said. Developed around Hino’s 714 model 300 Series dieselelectric hybrid truck, the MacDonald Johnston UrBin body can be configured to handle several types of common waste receptacles, covering conventional waste, green waste and recyclable goods. “More than 162 Hino Hybrid trucks are now in service in Australia, and an all-new model range is being launched to customers later this year. By working with body builders like MacDonald Johnston, we’re able to tailor the needs of this truck to suit the customer, bringing real environmental benefit at a price customers can afford.” The launch of this new hybrid application comes as Hino is about to launch a comprehensive new-generation 300 Series light-duty truck range, and an expanded range of its hybrid products.




The all-new model range, which was previewed at the Brisbane Truck Show in May, has been redesigned outside and inside, and was subject to record levels of Australian development input. As Steve Lotter explained to Delivery Magazine, the new 300 Series comes with a swag of improvements, covering driveability, aerodynamics, vision, cabin ergonomics, comfort and convenience, ease of maintenance and vehicle security.

HINO REPORT BELOW: David Waldron, MD of Macdonald Johnston with Steve Lotter, president of Hino Trucks Australia with the hybrid UrBin rear waste loader.

“All models have dual SRS airbags, four-wheel ventilated disc brakes incorporating ABS braking, electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), and, in an Australia first for a light-duty truck, vehicle stability control (VSC) is now offered as an optional extra,” said Steve.

controlled and heated main and spotter mirrors, and slim A-pillars that greatly reduce forward blind spots. In another light-duty truck safety first, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps on wide-cab models are available as an optional fitment.

Power and torque options are available up to 121 kW and 464 Nm of torque from the Euro 5-compliant diesel engine, and all wide cab models have a six-speed transmission, in either manual or automatic versions. Whereas other Japanese manufacturers have introduced automated manual and dual clutch AMT transmissions, Hino is the only Japanese truck manufacturer to offer a full automatic transmission in the lighttruck segment. All manual models have Hino’s ES (Easy Start) hill-start assist.

All wide-cab models now have a driver’s suspension seat as standard equipment, and cabin entry and exit has been improved, with larger door apertures, wider opening doors, larger steps, increased foot and leg space, and even a collapsible gearshift lever.

The exterior has been redesigned with smoother aerodynamic profiles, for gains in fuel economy, and driver vision has been improved, with new multi-position electric

The cabin interior also gets a complete makeover, with better storage, plus new seats, instruments, switches, audio systems and remote central locking with integrated engine immobiliser. Air conditioning is standard, while crew-cab models have an additional rear air-conditioner unit. Fuel tank capacity on medium, long and extra-long wheelbase wide-cab models has also been increased, with a new 70-litre sub-tank giving a total fuel capacity of 170 litres.

HINO REPORT Hino’s hybrid technology is now flowing into specific tasks such as the waste industry DELIVERY





longer can you presume that all things Japanese are equal and that all trucks that come from the four major Japanese manufacturers are similar in appearance, technology and performance.

With the influence of global parenthood and an increasing commonality of the engine and driveline componentry within each of those individual truck makers, about the only thing you can be sure of is that they all come painted in white. Japanese diesel engine technology has, in the past, relied on large cubic capacity and relatively low-key engine technology. Turbocharging changed the game plan, and in recent years the alliances forged to bring European truck makers into closer cooperation with those of Japan has totally changed the engine characteristics of the typical Japanese truck product. Just as Volvo now links ever closer with Japanese truck maker UD, Mitsubishi Fuso is benefiting from a range of engines available from two sources on different continents. The options ahead for Fuso include small capacity diesels with origins from Mercedes-Benz in Germany, and large capacity diesels from Detroit Diesel in North America.

Japanese truck makers have traditionally missed opportunities in high horsepower applications, simply because of a lack of suitable engine availability. Now, with the globalisation of the Heavy-Duty Engine Programme (HDEP) by Detroit Diesel, we are starting to see the adoption of the HDEP engine range, with local manufacturing facilities for Fuso established at Kawasaki, for Mercedes-Benz at Wurth, and for the North American market through Detroit Diesel at Redford, Michigan. Amongst all this technology upgrade, Mitsubishi Fuso is also refining its existing and future product range, and during the second half of 2011 will roll out its most comprehensive and formidable truck range ever. As well as having been given a styling makeover, there are new model names to identify the latest ADR80/03 models. Based around GVM and HP, the new names will see the Canter 2.0t (4500 kg /150 hp) renamed as the Canter 515, and the Fighter 6.0 (10,400 kg /240 hp) known in future as the Fighter 1024 The Canter range will grow from 17 models to 38 models, and this should help to increase Fuso’s penetration into segments of the market previously not covered by their ADR80/02 model range. Also, for the first time, customers will have the choice of a five-speed manual, or Fuso’s new and exclusive DUONIC AMT, in most models across the range.

CANTER INCREASES ITS PACE Fuso takes its strength from Daimler Group to refine its presence and increase sales




CANTER INCREASES ITS PACE Car licence holders are still targeted by the availability of Canter models rated at under 4,500 kg GVM, or versions with higher ratings that are available downrated to this level. As a first for Fuso, the Canter range will actually start with a GVM of 3,500 kg. This is a unique GVM weight range offering amongst the Japanese light truck makers, and seeks to attract traditional ute buyers that might like to option up to something more substantial. There are seven narrow cab models in the 2011 range, and the 4,500 kg GVM sector offers the availability of cab-chassis and factory tipper form, as well as a new narrow crew cab – itself another unique option only available from Fuso. Those concerned with reducing fuel consumption should be pretty happy with the new Fuso 3.0-litre diesel that starts off in the Canter range and already meets the 2015 Japanese fuel economy standard.

With this new Canter range you can see the influence being exerted by European safety standards in areas such as braking efficiency, with the incorporation of dual-calliper front and single-calliper rear disc brakes with ABS and EBD (Electronic Braking Distribution), a big improvement over the older style drum brakes. There’s also an exhaust brake for good measure. All-wheel-drive remains an option on both the 4.5 tonnes and 6.5 tonnes GVM Canter model ranges. Cabovers used to come with a bouncy ride, as part of the standard specification, but the new Canter, with its independent front suspension design on GVMs ranging from 3500 – 6000 kg, should make this poor ride-comfort just a memory.

Despite being a smaller capacity engine than its predecessor, the new engine delivers the same power and provides maximum torque from 1450 rpm to 2800 rpm.

Drivers who reckon the bouncy bits keep them awake can still relive the dream by driving the tipper version, which still maintains leaf springs on the front axle, probably to counter the common practice of overloading that’s a feature of local landscapers and nurserymen. Even then, there are improvements these days, thanks to a standard fitment of a driver’s suspension seat.

Featuring a flat torque curve, this new Enhanced Environmentally Friendly engine (EEV) exceeds the Euro 5 emission requirements – reducing smoke output by 70

The wet clutch technology of the Duonic AMT follows similar transmission designs that are now available in the passenger car segment of companies such as Volkswagen. The dual-

percent, lowering hydrocarbon emissions by 46 percent in steady state cycles (highway / constant speed), lowering Particulate Matter (PM) by 33 percent, and reducing carbon monoxide (CO) in transient cycles (metro stop/start) by 25 percent.

clutch system pre-selects the next gear with virtually no torque interruption when shifting from one gear to the next. This means no power lag and a seamless transition between gears. There’s also a “park” function, which mechanically locks the transmission for improved safety when the vehicle is stationary.

Backing up the new EEV 3.0-litre diesel is the Duonic AMT (Automated Manual Transmission), claimed by Fuso to be superior to any other AMT. This is a dual-clutch transmission, offering faster ratio changes than a conventional AMT, and increasing in popularity in the passenger car sector.

Service and maintenance requirements have also come under scrutiny, and both the new Canter range and the Fighter models in the next weight range have their service intervals now increased to 30,000 km periods. DELIVERY






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Delivery Magazine Issue 38  

Australia's Guide To Utes, Vans, Kight Trucks & People Movers