Hino the choice for overland adventures
Nomad Africa Adventure Tours, a leading adventure operator in sub-Saharan Africa, has bought 25 Hino 500-Series 1626 trucks to replace 20 trucks in its fleet of 47 vehicles. These are the first Hino trucks bought by Nomad.
“The most important requirements of a truck in the adventure tours business are reliability and durability, backed up by good fuel consumption and excellent after-sales support. We believe that this is what we are getting with the new Hino trucks,” explains MD Alex Rutherford.
“The trucks must also be easy to maintain at comparatively low cost and need to be designed for operation in the most rugged African conditions.”
Nomad African Tours operates an unbelievably complex network of tours throughout sub-Saharan Africa, all of which run to tight timetables, particularly in the high season from July to October.
The tours vary in length from four to 56 days – with a round trip that goes as far as Uganda totalling about 20 000 km. During the tours, vehicle breakdowns need to be kept to an absolute minimum.
Nomad buys its trucks as chassis cabs and then fits its own bodies, which are manufactured in facilities at the company’s head office in Somerset West. These bodies have been developed over the years to provide safe and comfortable transport for 24 travellers, who have the option of sleeping in tents or lodges.
This year, five new bodies will be manufactured, while refurbished existing bodies will be mounted on the other trucks.
The trucks are fitted with additional 400-litre fuel tanks, dual battery systems and airbags on the leaf-spring suspension system to make the ride more comfortable for passengers.
Between trips, routine servicing is carried out at the Somerset West premises, with dealers doing major services and any repairs. The company runs its trucks for five to eight years and replaces them when maintenance costs start to rise, usually after covering more than 800 000 km.
The fleet is expected to cover more than three-million kilometres this year, made up of about 850 tours. The Nomad Adventure Tours trucks have already travelled more than 30-million kilometres over the past 20 years, transporting more than 95 000 travellers on about 10 000 tours.