If there was one constant message at the Hino stand at Nampo 2018, it was that the recently launched 500 Wide Cab is one of the most important vehicles in its segment.
Launched to the South African market in the last quarter of 2017, the Hino 500 Wide Cab has already proved to be one of the brand’s most popular models.
As Leslie Long, senior manager: Hino SA product and demand planning, asserts: “Hino claimed 15,5 percent of the heavy commercial vehicle (HCV) segment in April; its highest market share for 12 years. This was because of the brilliant performance of the new 500 Wide Cab range.”
This may sound like Hino tooting its own horn, but, when speaking to some of the brand’s sales executives at its Nampo stand, it became clear that customer interest in the new model is not purely fleeting.
Charles D-Araujo, regional sales manager north region, explains that the three 500 Wide Cab models on the stand were chosen to demonstrate the model’s strengths to the agricultural community.
“Thanks to the extended chassis, it has the length to allow many types of bodies. This includes reefer bodies with rails and hooks for transportation of animal carcasses, or the popular cattle body, which we have shown here, with a removable top and floor grid so that it can also be used as a normal drop side,” he says.
In addition, Hino also previewed a Toyota Dyna cherry picker, a 300 915 with refrigerated body and a 700 Series super link – once again filled with lucerne to be donated to Farmers In Need.
Fracois Hefer, from Hino West Rand, says: “You don’t sell a single-use vehicle to a farmer; you sell a multi-purpose vehicle. They use their vehicles for more than one application.” Hefer adds that the inherent flexibility in the 500 Wide Cab makes it ideal to meet the needs of farmers.
“The 500 Wide Cab is vastly improved compared to the previous 500 range. The vehicles shown at Nampo are suited to the agricultural industry because of their durability and reliability, parts availability, good fuel consumption and flexible options for customisation,” he says.
D-Araujo adds that the range now features a fully automatic transmission, as well as other convenience features to ease the driver’s job – such as a radio, driver airbag, power windows, air-conditioning, cruise control and either full- or semi-floating cab mountings to improve ride comfort and lessen fatigue.
Finally, Thomas Khumalo, sales executive at Hino Tshwane, explains why the 500 Wide Cab 1627 is particularly well suited to the agricultural industry.
“With this eight-tonne truck you can get a gross combination mass of 16 t, which is good for the general needs of farmers. They can hook on a draw-bar trailer and use it to move livestock, feed, or most things on a farm. The bodies offered with the vehicles are manufactured by preferred Hino suppliers, who know exactly what specs are required by this industry,” Khumalo notes.
“I can say with conviction that the 500 Wide Cab is the best eight-tonne truck on the market,” Long concludes.
Judging by the interest it garnered at Nampo, this may very well be the case.