Queensland motoring association, RACQ, has become a trailblazer in Australia by purchasing a brace of Hino 500 Series Standard Cab recovery trucks fitted with Electric Vehicle (EV) charging systems.
While there have been earlier concept iterations of tow trucks with EV charging capabilities, RACQ believes that the technology configuration used in its Hinos is unique in the towing space.
There are currently four Hinos in the RACQ Towing Fleet with another four new trucks on order. According to a company spokesperson, the decision to buy Hinos equipped with EV chargers was based on the need to stay at the forefront of new and emerging technologies.
With much of the company’s fleet comprised of another Japanese brand, RACQ’s Towing, Incident Management and Fleet teams reportedly chose Hino’s 500 Series Standard Cab FD1124 model due to its outstanding suite of standard safety features – including active cruise control, lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and steering wheel mounted controls – in addition to pricing and stock availability.
The trucks are fitted with six high-definition CCTV cameras to provide a full 360-degree view around the vehicle from the driver’s seat and also remotely via GPS tracking.
They sport a 6.2m long tilt tray with a 10.3-degree approach angle to ensure operator safety and so that low vehicles can be safely loaded without scraping the underside of the front bumper.
In addition to EV recharging capability whilst stationary, the recovered EV can also be charged while in transit.
Other safety features include the latest technology Emergency Warning Lights which are designed to provide clear directions to approaching traffic. Lighting patterns change depending on the vehicle’s mode – either moving or stationary – and ambient light conditions.
The Hinos are also fitted with puddle lighting to provide illumination to ground level along the sides of the vehicle in a bid to reduce trip hazards in low ambient light situations.
They are also fitted with a high-tech auto deployed and retracted LED Variable Message Board in lieu of a traditional arrow board which provides more comprehensive instructions to traffic approaching the scene of an incident.