Robust workhorse that drivers love
This month Vic Oliver road tests the Hyundai Mighty HD 72 dropsider.
The test vehicle was collected at the Hyundai Commercial Truck Centre in Jet Park and driven to Witbank and back to Jet Park using the N12 route and covering a distance of 265 km.
The vehicle was well prepared by the Hyundai truck team and fitted with a 4 800 mm-long dropside truck body. It was fully loaded to the maximum permissible mass legal allowance of 7 200 kg, giving the vehicle a legal payload of 3 600 kg.
During the pre-trip inspection it was easy to see the high quality of the vehicle’s build and finish, and to recognise that this was part of the reason why the robust workhorse is becoming so popular with commercial road transport operators in South Africa.
On the road the vehicle performed exceptionally well and was very user friendly with all driver controls within easy reach and simple to operate. The five-speed synchromesh cable-operated transmission gear change is smooth in use. On the test route, fourth gear was the lowest ratio that had to be selected to negotiate the steeper gradients, proving that the power-to-mass ratio is good and the drive train is well matched.
The power steering and good turning circle of 14,6 m proved useful in manoeuvring in the yard. A large front windscreen and good rear-view mirrors result in an excellent driver all-round view.
The curved, simple and easy to read instrument panel gives the driver a constant clear view of all the gauges. The green band marking on the tachometer is highly visible, making it easy for the driver to keep the engine revolutions within the economic and power range.
The brake pedal pressure is light and the brakes work well. The anti-lock brake system (ABS) fitted to the vehicle is a good safety feature. ABS gives the operator the benefit of reducing the risk of the vehicle being involved in an accident by enabling the driver to be able to steer the vehicle while applying full emergency braking.
The engine exhaust brake works well, assisting the vehicle to retard without the use of the foundation brakes, resulting in longer brake lining life and lower maintenance costs. However, the handbrake lever travel was found to be excessive.
Excellent fuel consumption of 13,45 l/100 km (7,45 km/litre) was recorded during the test run. It must be noted that on the test run the engine speed was kept within the limits of the green band on the rev counter.
The Hyundai Model D4DB turbocharged and intercooled engine produces 95 kW of power and 372 Nm of torque at 1 800 r/min. The engine is coupled to a 300 mm clutch and a five-speed transmission. A turbo protector is fitted as standard equipment on this model allowing oil to flow into the turbo once the engine is switched off and so extending turbo life. Twin belt alternator drive will also add to the durability of the vehicle and reduce the risk of roadside breakdowns.
The large box-type aerodynamically designed cab offers plenty of room and with fully adjustable seats and steering column, can comfortably accommodate our South African drivers, many of whom are well-built and overweight. Noise level inside the cab is acceptable and in line with other vehicles in this class that have been tested by FOCUS. A control switch located on the driver’s door permits the driver to lock both doors, and electrically operated windows combine to add to the safety of the vehicle. These features reduce the risk of the driver and vehicle being hijacked.
The cab is easy to tilt and opens to a 45° angle, allowing for easy inspection and maintenance. When the cab is tilted it has a good locking mechanism eliminating the risk of the cab dropping while the technician is inspecting or working on the engine.
The vehicle is supported by Hyundai Automotive South Africa together with a network of 41 dealers situated countrywide. The vehicle is also covered by a two-year unlimited warranty.
I have no doubt that we will see an increasing number of Hyundai HD 72 freight carriers on our roads.