Hino SA has announced a number of important programmes to slash operating costs and provide even higher levels of peace of mind for owners of its trucks. The programme falls under an umbrella that is known as HinoCare.
The lower operating costs are due mainly to the introduction of Hino Genuine Motor Oil which permits the doubling of oil change intervals.
The intervals on the 300 Series trucks increases from every 10 000km to 20 000km, while the 500 Series interval will be every 30 000km instead of 15 000km and the 700 Series extra-heavy truck range will require an oil change every 40 000km instead of the current 20 000km.
However, oil change intervals are very dependent on operating conditions and therefore it is important that operators discuss the conditions under which their vehicles operate and their particular requirements with a Hino dealer to ensure engine life is not compromised.
The revised oil change intervals apply to all new trucks sold from October 1, 2011, and is limited to those trucks being serviced at Hino dealerships. The oil will not be sold separately, other than in top up cans.
The cost and convenience benefits arising from the extended drain intervals have been accompanied by a thorough parts pricing study, which has resulted in some prices being adjusted in the quest for even lower operating costs.
The warranty on the 300 and 500 Series trucks is also improved and will now be two years/unlimited kilometres instead of the current one year/unlimited kilometres and a drive train warranty for the second year. The 700 Series warranty is unchanged at one year/unlimited kilometres with a drive-train warranty for the second year or 300 000km.
Another important component of the HinoCare offering is 24/7 roadside assistance through a dedicated Hino call centre with seven staff members, including a resident diesel technician who provides advice over the telephone.
The objective of the service, which includes South Africa and neighbouring countries in the Customs Union, is to assist a Hino customer in the event of a truck breaking down, regardless of the time or the place. The service applies to all trucks within warranty and alternative arrangements can be made for trucks that are out of warranty.
When the driver of a Hino truck has a break down he will phone the Hino call centre and no longer the nearest dealer. The call will be answered by a trained incident coordinator who will arrange assistance either with a towing contractor or with a Hino dealer.
Should the dealer’s technician on duty not be contactable the call will be elevated to the dealer service manager, then to the dealer principal, then to Hino’s national service manager and finally to the Hino vice president to ensure action is taken as soon as possible.
Hino will cover all breakdown costs for trucks within warranty.
A further contribution from Hino to customer peace of mind is the fact that since 1 July 2011 all Hino trucks have been Micro-dotted at the manufacturing facility in Prospecton.
Micro-dotting, which now has an SABS standard, involves the application of thousands of unique plastic or metal microdots, 1mm in diameter, to each vehicle. In each case the dot includes a number, either a PIN code (personal identity number) or the 17-digit VIN (vehicle identity number), with the number being repeated as many as 10 times on each tiny dot.
All “saleable” components are marked and this leads criminals to describe micro-dotted vehicles as “contaminated” as they are difficult to dispose of, even through “chop shops.” An ultraviolet light is used to highlight the position of the dots on the vehicle and then a microscope enables the law enforcement agencies to read the PIN code or VIN number to positively identify a particular vehicle.
International statistics indicate that the use of microdot systems can lead to a decrease of 50-60% in the number of stolen or hijacked vehicles and to an improvement of more than 55% in recoveries.
Locally many thousands of micro-dotted vehicles have been recovered and in several instances this was the only method by which the stolen vehicles could be identified. In one “chop shop” 28 different vehicles were identified using the system.
“We at Hino are delighted that HinoCare has been launched as it is the result of long negotiations and studies to ensure we provide the best possible service to our customers and are more than competitive with our rivals,” said Hino vice president Dr Casper Kruger.