Gold Run

Prime Mover revisits Hino’s 700 Series tipper and dog this time on an extended interstate trip.
Hino 700 tipper and dog.

During Hino’s roadshow in Far North Queensland back in 2022, we had briefly driven the Hino 700 tipper and dog.

A short, shared drive around southern Sydney and Wollongong followed.

This was our first opportunity to experience the big Hino on our own for a couple of days over a trip covering around 900 kilometres.

Since our initial drive, the Hino FS2848 has ‘loosened up’ having covered more than 28,000kms.

Well run in, the Hino is performing at its best, yet without any squeaks or rattles.

According to the weighbridge ticket we are provided, the truck has a gross weight of 19,340 kg with the three-axle dog from Chris’s Body Builders tipping the scales at 17,820 kg, totalling a realistic 37,140kg gross mass across the combination.

The exterior appearance of the 700 Series is distinctive due to the large chrome grille and Hino badge with LED headlamps and daytime running lamps set in the bumper behind the neat “bikini” bullbar.

Fairings fitted to the rear of the cab make it look bigger while contributing to aerodynamics by closing the gap between the cab and the tipper body. Polished Alcoa alloy wheels are standard equipment and add to the quality look of the truck.

We pick up the truck from the Hino dealership in Rockhampton on the Queensland coast, with the next day’s intended destination being the town of Inverell located on the western side of the New South Wales northern tablelands.

Leaving the coast, we head west along the Burnett Highway which includes ascending the Mount Morgan range on a road popular with motorcyclists, but not so much with truck drivers, evidenced by extensive sections of damaged Armco guardrail.

The Hino handled the climb with ease after we selected and locked in twelfth gear in the ZF TraXon automated manual transmission using the control wand on the left side of the steering column.

At the top of the climb, passing through Mount Morgan, we observe the once booming town which was the site of one of the richest gold mines in Australia, and for a time, the world.

During its 99 years of mining the area produced a total of 225 tonnes of gold, 50 tonnes of silver and 360,000 tonnes of copper.

This truck is powered by Hino’s 13-litre E13C-BK engine which delivers 480hp (353kW) between 1,600 and 1,800rpm, with a maximum torque of 2,157Nm available from as low as 1,000rpm through to 1,500rpm.

All Hino 700 Series trucks meet the Euro VI emission standard using DPR and SCR. Standard auxiliary braking on the 13-litre 700 Series models is a Jacobs Engine Brake which is bolstered by the ZF Intarder fitted to the rear of the ZF TraXon 16-speed Automated Manual Transmission.

A stop between towns in NSW.
The combination rests en route to Inverell. Source: Hino.

The transmission is controlled by a rotary dial located on the dash, in conjunction with the wand on the steering column.

A Euro VI 9-litre engine is also available, in addition to the 13-litre engine powering this example.

True automatic transmissions from Allison are also available in place of the TraXon AMT. The integration of the ZF transmission is in line with the “Europeanisation” of the Hino 700 Series, which comes with Hino’s SmartSafe safety and technology package that now rivals those expected in European trucks, but with a Japanese price. Active safety features include EBS, VSC, ABS and a Pre-collision System incorporating Autonomous Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection.

Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Departure Warning all contribute to the confidence the driver has when behind the wheel in this vehicle. Hino’s Driver Monitor camera is located on the A pillar and references the driver’s facial features for indications of reduced concentration or even drowsiness.

The Driver Monitor seems to have been refined to significantly decrease the incidence of false alarms which had been our experience during the previous drives. The combination of the Hino Taper Roller service brakes, the engine’s ‘Jake’ compression brake and the transmission’s Intarder provides a remarkable braking performance with low maintenance requirements.

Hino has moved from an S-cam brake system to the Hino Taper Roller brake system, which brings the advantages of reduced tare weight, decreased compressed air requirements, and provides a smoother more consistent brake feel and uses less moving parts.

The Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) maintains the speed set by the driver while continuously scanning the road in front of the truck.

If a slower vehicle is detected in front, the ACC can reduce the engine acceleration and even engage the auxiliary braking, matching the truck’s speed to that of the vehicle in front while maintaining a pre-determined gap between both vehicles. The Hino Easy Start system is a hill holder function which assists with smooth take-offs after stopping on a slope.

Heading south, we eventually join the Leichhardt Highway and travel through wheat country along a road still exhibiting damage from the 2022 Queensland floods.

There are many deformations of the sub-strata which, while the surface remains sealed, indicates the underlying base is collapsing.

This could have brought about a bucking ride greatly diminishing the enjoyment in a truck not as sophisticated as the Hino, but the air suspended cab and Isri seat, with its integrated seat belt, smooth out the ride.

Hino 700.
Hino 700 low cab. Source: Peter Shields.

The Hino six-rod taper leaf rear suspension is ideal to provide the articulation necessary in tipper applications while providing an acceptable ride.

For other duties, Hendrickson road-friendly rear air suspension is available as an option.

Although the Hino 700 cab is ADR42 sleeper compliant, we overnight in accommodation in the town of Miles about mid-way along our planned journey, starting off early the next morning heading to breakfast at the border at a truck stop in Goondiwindi where we take the opportunity to top up the 390- and 250-litre fuel tanks.

This extended trip allows us to reacquaint ourselves with the interior of the Hino 700 which has undergone some significant changes prior to its release in 2022.

Firstly, safe access is enhanced by wide illuminated non-slip steps and solid grab handles. Once in the cab the driver is provided with a latest generation ISRI 6860 NTS2 driver’s seat which has air lumbar supports and a myriad of adjustments.

The redesign of the 700’s cab allows for additional rearward seat travel which, combined with the tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, can provide the ideal driving position for the driver regardless of their size and physique.

The interior features contemporary colours for the trim with a balance of carbon fibre, silver and milk chocolate ‘earthy’ tones. The wraparound dash creates a cockpit-like environment for the driver. Cabin temperature is managed by automatic climate control, which is appreciated during the cool mornings as well as when driving through the much warmer afternoons.

The dash layout combines comprehensive instrumentation with large, high contrast speedometer and tachometer, and a central LCD Multi-Information Display, which shows information such as the Hino SmartSafe settings, driving economy, gear selection and vehicle maintenance data, which are accessed using the various buttons located on the steering wheel.

The multimedia unit has a high definition touch screen display but for this trip we are unable to access the satellite navigation feature as the required SD card to activate it is missing.

Thankfully, we can access our smartphone’s navigation and don’t take any incorrect turns as we head towards our destination in Inverell.

The Hino 700 Series has raised the bar for heavy-duty Japanese-built trucks and can be specified in a wide range of axle combinations as well as power ratings to suit a variety of genuine heavy duty applications.

Interior of 2021 Hino 700 Series.
Hino 700 Series interior with red trim. Source: Hino.
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