The Hino Poncho is a real pioneer of its kind. Known for its accessibility, as well as its agility in tight city streets, it comes with a wide range of benefits. It arrived in Australia in 2017, and Hino Australia was the first market outside of Japan to offer this product. Hino Australia’s Product Strategy Manager, Daniel Petrovski sums up its benefits, “With an ultra-low floor design with kerb kneeling function, a portable wheelchair ramp and dedicated wheelchair space inside, the Hino Poncho is proving a popular choice for community groups and bus operators alike.”
Its excellent manoeuvrability is largely down to its design. It measures just under seven metres in length, and its short front and rear overhangs ensure agile inner city handling. With a turning radius of less than eight metres, it makes manoeuvring much easier for operators.
The Poncho is fitted with a fuel efficient, turbo charged 4-cylinder diesel engine for competitive, cost efficient running and performance. With rear engine access, it makes carrying out service and mechanical work really easy, helping reduce maintenance costs.
Main Poncho Specifications:
• Australian DDA-Compliant
• Ultra Low Floor Design
• Kerb Kneeling
• Wheelchair Access
• True Automatic Transmission
• Reverse Camera
• ABS Brakes
• Front and rear ECAS Air suspension
• Seating 18 passengers plus standees
• Power rating 180Hp (132kW)
• GVM 7,710kg
The Poncho makes the boarding process easier on both passengers and the operator.
As Daniel explains, “the ultra-low floor design makes it easier to access the Poncho from the street, while asking less demand on the driver, and also allowing greater independence for those using the bus.”
With 18 seated passengers including wheelchair provision plus enough space for standing passengers, it offers an ultra-low floor transport solution large enough for community groups without the need to purchase a full size city low floor bus.
The Poncho offers a variety of safety features, including ABS, three emergency exit points, a comprehensive field of vision and air-over-hydraulic drum brakes. These features gives the operator extra peace of mind whilst driving the Hino Poncho. Testing is a key element for all Hino products. Hino have tested the Poncho extensively in Japan, putting it through its paces in various testing environments. After testing, the Poncho was introduced to the Australian market with some major Australian specifications added such as an enlarged door opening of 850mm, allowing easier wheelchair access for a safer on boarding and disembark process.
Why it's important for the Australian Market?
As you would expect from an innovative vehicle that’s proven an excellent community transport solution, the Hino Poncho excels when it comes to wheelchair boarding. This can take less than a minute - including the time to both deploy and restore the on-board ramp. It’s also designed to be fully compliant with the Disability Discrimination Act of 1992 (DDA), ahead of this act being fully mandated in 2022.
With an increase in the Pick-up-on-demand application now applicable in a wide number of major urban and regional areas, the Poncho has the ability to go where large buses wouldn’t normally go. This offers greater access for people in the community but also a sense of renewed independence.
“The Hino Poncho has created a niche segment in the Australian transportation industry that didn’t exist previously, and we’re very proud to see it on our streets,” Daniel concludes.
The Hino Poncho is available from selected Hino dealerships.
To learn more about the Poncho, fill out the enquiry form or call our Hino Care Centre on 1300 01 HINO.