Hooniverse Weekend Edition: DieselFumes; So, What the hell is this thing?

Welcome to another Weekend Edition here at Hooniverse. I hope you’re enjoying your time here as I try and find items that you may have missed, or bring you some off the wall content that you may not find anywhere else. You seemed to enjoy the post about the Mitsubishi Fuso 4X4 truck, so I thought I would highlight another weird and wonderful truck. To find out what it is, you will have to make the jump…

There is a class of trucks that are Non-CDL. These are referred to this way because in most states, you don’t need a Commercial Drivers License to operate these trucks. Their Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) is listed as under 26,000 pounds. The Non-CDL six wheel dump truck has been dominated by Ford and International, with Freightliner coming on strong. The other brand you may have noticed in this arena is Sterling, but that brand was discontinued last year. What I will tell you is this truck is not a Freightliner, a Ford, an International, or even a Mack (if you noticed the mud flaps!).

No my friends this is a Hino. For the uninitiated, Hino is a subsidiary of Toyota, and the conventional truck line (like this model) is built in a modern facility in Williamstown, West Virginia. The cab actually comes from Japan, along with the diesel engine and other components, and is then mated to components produced in North America like the frame rails, tilt hood, doors, seats, and other major components. This is a unique model available for the North American Market only.

The engine is a Direct Injected Turbo Diesel rated at 260 HP (which really doesn’t sound like a lot, but it is adequate) that produces 585 lb. /ft. of torque. This particular truck is equipped with an Allison 3000 5 Speed Automatic, which is both durable and very easy to drive. Turning radius on this truck is better than most cars (I kid you not!).
Hino is starting to take hold here in the US, with aggressive pricing, and the backing of Roger Penske (who holds a substantial stake in Hino Motor Sales USA, Inc.). The Penske Box Truck Fleet primarily consists of Hino models, and they have been a favorite of fleet owners because their reliability, and fuel economy that is superior to the International, Ford, or Freightliner. Couple that with a better warranty, and you can see why these trucks are taking off.

So, a show of hands… How many of you knew that Hino builds their trucks here, or that they have been taking an ever growing slice of the Medium Duty Truck Market? They just started offering Extended Cab models, as well as stand-up drive models to be used in the recycling fleet. They are also introducing models that can be used as Ambulances, and Recreational Vehicles, and have already found a niche as a supplier to the Armored Car industry. It’s one of the best kept secrets in the trucking world.

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