Hino distributors has responded to the increasing demand for a 5995kg GVM light-duty tipper truck which can be driven on a class one passenger car licence, and has created the built-to-go 300 series 717 tipper.
The growth in infrastructure and building projects coupled with a greater emphasis on occupational health and safety has seen many small and medium enterprises (SME) as well as large corporates take a harder look at their tool of trade fleet’s fitness for purpose.
Many buyers are realising that the towing and payload capacity of a new double or single cab ute such as a Ranger or Hilux are simply not up to the demands of the required workload, but a vehicle that can be driven on a passenger car licence is still needed.
This is where Hino plays its trump card with the factory supplied built-to-go 717 Tipper, because it’s usual gross vehicle mass is 6500kg which naturally requires a Class Two licence holder for daily operation, however, it can be optionally rated at a Class One licence friendly GVM of 5995kg.
Tilting the tipper body is simple and easy. Park the vehicle with the handbrake on. Depress the clutch, pull the tipper lever to the right of the steering wheel back towards you, let the clutch out and hey presto up she goes.A VEHICLE THAT CAN BE DRIVEN ON A PASSENGER CAR LICENCE IS STILL NEEDED
Our test vehicle was supplied by Hino Distributors, which had also kitted out the 717 Tipper with an aftermarket front bull bar as well as lower windscreen stone guard, a sun visor mounted to the top of the cab as well as a flashing amber beacon light for use on work sites.
The wide cabin of the 717 Tipper will easily accommodate three people, but while the driver and the outer passenger seat both have three-point seat belts with emergency locking retractors and pre-tensioners, the centre passenger seat receives a humble two-point lap belt.
We were pleasantly surprised by the driving comfort provided by the high-backed driver’s seat which comes with a mechanical suspension base, four way adjustment, and adjustable lumbar support as well.
Coupled with the steering column which has telescopic and tilt adjustment, its very easy to get comfortable behind the wheel of the 717, and also get a decent view ahead and behind thanks to the large rear view mirrors mounted on each side of the cab.
A special mention must go to the additional downward angled mirror mounted on the left hand side mirror arm which provides a view of the front offside corner of the 717, and is a godsend when maneuvering the truck in tight spaces.
The other godsend is the standard fit waterproof reversing camera which projects a high definition image through the large colour screen in the dashboard mounted double DIN sized head unit of the bluetooth audio system.
To make life easier for the driver when reversing in the dark late at night or early in the morning, the camera has infrared technology to give a clear picture of the area behind the truck.
Light-duty trucks like the Hino 717 are becoming more and more car like with safety features such as dual airbags, vehicle stability control, traction control, anti lock brakes, and front and rear disc brakes.
The manual 717 models also have an easy start – take off assist function.
The 717 Tipper arrived with a six-speed manual transmission which needed a bit of familiarisation as we bunny hopped our way out of the Hino Distributors yard in Otahuhu.
First gear was down to the left, below reverse, leaving second and third, and fourth and fifth opposing each other, towards the right hand side of the gate, while sixth gear was even further away to the right and up.
Given we were driving the 717 Tipper unladen around residential and urban areas, using second, third, fourth, and fifth was perfectly fine for the task, with the odd foray into sixth during a short run down the motorway.
The 4-litre turbo diesel engine provides maximum torque of 464 Newton metres from 1400 rpm so changing up earlier rather than later is the best way to get maximum efficiency and performance from this unit.
Just like it’s Japanese competitors the ride quality of the 717 Tipper without a load in the body can be a bit harsh and juddery over broken surfaces due to the tuning of the front and rear leaf sprung suspension for carrying significant weight.
Once there is a couple of tonnes of soil or other material onboard, the ride quality improves dramatically.
There’s a nice positive feel to the steering, the power assistance isn’t too light or too heavy, and the tight kerb to kerb turning circle of 9.8 metres is quietly impressive.
Overall the 717 Tipper is easy and safe to operate and it provides a hardworking and durable workhorse for a fleet, a daily rental company or a sole trader.
|Model||Hino 717 Tipper||Price||POA|
|Engine||4009cc, 4-Cylinder, 121kW/464Nm||Drivetrain||6-speed manual|
|Fuel Use||0L/100km||C02 Output||0g/km|
|Service||3 year / 100,000km warranty||Load||3.0m3 volume, 3600m length, 430m height|
|Vitals||5995kg GVM, 2500kg payload||Vitals||TBC kg towing capacity, 3420kg kerb weight|