Published on October 12th, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Hino Team Sugawara’s Truck For The Upcoming 2014 Dakar Rally
The hugely successful Hino Team Sugawara can look forward to extra backing in the upcoming 2014 Dakar Rally, thanks to a completely new heavy-duty Hino support truck. Hino Team Sugawara has upgraded to a new 700 Series model, replacing the original 700 Series support vehicle it first used in the 2004 Dakar event. Building on the rugged foundations of Hino’s 700 Series ZS 6×4 chassis, Team Sugawara has engineered a tough support truck capable of tackling the 10,000-kilometre trek along the west coast of South America, fitting a 350-litre freshwater tank for cleaning and laundry, retractable staircases and ladders, specialist storage boxes for fragile equipment such as windshields, a motorised crane with 300-kilogram load capacity, as well as a generator with welder and air compressor. The raft of equipment is necessary for the increasingly harsh nature of the Dakar competition and the complete isolation in which rally teams find themselves – where even running water is a luxury not afforded to the campaigners.
The Dakar Rally requires teams to set up camp from scratch over the two-week course of the race, making Team Sugawara’s new 700 Series ZS the operational and logistical base. Spare parts, servicing and repair tools, camping equipment and team amenities are just a few facilities the ZS is tasked with supplying. The Sugawara-prepped 700 Series ZS maintains solid competition speed despite its 27-tonne gross weight – thanks to the 12.9-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel engine, which pumps out 410 horsepower and more than 1600Nm of torque, and also thanks to the ZF-based 16-speed gearbox maintaining peak torque in the shifting sands. While the 700 Series ZS chassis is robust enough to bear repeated punishment in the isolated deserts of South America, following the Sugawara competitors at full race speed as they rocket over sand dunes meant a rethink of some of the systems on the 700 Series ZS. The standard wheels and tyres have been replaced in favour of the same 20-inch wheels and 14-inch-wide tyres fitted to the 500 Series race truck for easy parts sharing in the event of an emergency, while the fuel tank’s volume has jumped from 300 to 800 litres to ensure the truck won’t leave its drivers stranded.
The 700 Series ZS will undergo final testing in the barren sands of Mongolia’s Gobi Desert to ensure its readiness for the running of the world’s toughest rally in January next year, where Hino is chasing its fifth consecutive under-10 litre class championship and 24th consecutive finish.