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The HINO FE2620, is a versatile, 25,995-GVW, low COE, designed for virtually all Class 6 work, including pick-up and delivery, reefer, air-freight and "some municipal and similar applications," according to Hino. Evaluators agreed that, with the maneuverability and visibility that comes with a cabover , and with wheelbases ranging from 148.8-244.9 inches accommodating body lengths from 14-28 feet, the FE2620 should be an ideal platform for any of the above-mentioned niches.
Putting on their maintenance hats, evaluators were on the job. They immediately approved of the ease of routine fluid checks. None require the cab to be tilted, with the oil dipstick nestled just to the rear of the cab on the driver's side, and the washer-fluid filler under an easy-to-open panel above the grill.
Under the same panel were the A/C charge port and sight glass, an easily accessible wiper motor and a front-removable heater core, which was received enthusiastically by evaluators. "No hanging upside down under the dash to get to it," said one.
Moving around the vehicle, evaluators noted the conveniently located, air-over-hydraulic brake-fluid reservoir, mounted aft of the cab, on the right-hand frame rail. However, they questioned the use of this type of system over straight air.
Moving down the bodyless chassis, the team noticed, and approved of, the Spicer driveshaft and U-joints. They also noticed that, because there are no brake chambers or spring brakes, the truck relies on a drum-type driveshaft parking brake.
Scanning the frame, evaluators wondered why some areas, including crossmember attachment points, used conventional nuts and bolts instead of Huck fasteners which, they said, can withstand the rigors of city operation without loosening.
The manufacturer responds:
Air-over-hydraulic is a well-accepted, good-performing system, brought to the United States to take advantage of worldwide parts and manufacturing commonality. An additional advantage is that it doesn't require an air-brake endorsement on one's driver's license.
This type of system does require a lot of plumbing, but has proved relatively trouble-free. Also, with today's plastics, coolant, washer fluid, power steering also use plastic reservoirs, with no problems reported.
Because the vehicles are completely built abroad, it's often necessary to make wheelbase modifications here, and Huck fasteners would make that process difficult. Also, Hino has received no reports of frame nuts and bolts coming loose.
One of the limitations of any low-cab-forward truck is that space can be limited for large or tall drivers.
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