In an Australian first, a folding hydraulic floor and roof doubles the floor space of a 40 foot shipping container, as part of its conversion into a pseudo sports bar - the Hino Sports Deck.
Designed in Lennox Head in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, the Sports Deck was a fan favourite at the recent Sandown 500 round of the Virgin Australia Supercars round, where race-goers watched the best sporting action from around Australia and the world while keeping up to date with all the race action.
David Ellis of the Owlpine Group was entrusted by Hino Australia to turn the concept into reality.
“Initially, we needed to modify the container so it could handle a hydraulic floor and roof - this involved removing a large part of the side wall and floor to make this possible.
“Doing so allowed us to install an underfloor hydraulics system, which resulted in a larger floor space and a more open area to work with.
“The next step was to fit the floor and roof – they are particularly unique as the floor folds back into the container, and the roof then closes down to provide a standard looking closed container.
“It’s the first time this has been achieved in Australia container construction – the addition of aircraft grade material to the folding floor has the dual benefit of lowering its weight and strengthening it.
“The Sports Deck was then transported to the Gold Coast where Rapid Fab worked hard to fit out the internal side of the build as well as assisting electronic automation specialists ISG with all of the audio and electrical requirements.
“While we were on the Gold Coast, we also installed the kitchen and office space complete with a coffee machine, fridge, microwave and 200 litre water tank and sink,” said Mr Ellis of the conversion which took approximately 280 man hours to complete.
A 10 kilowatt generator with a 200 litre diesel supply tank means the Sports Deck can run for four days straight without refuelling – a timespan it will need when it visits Australia’s most iconic motor race, the Bathurst 1000 on 6-9 October.
Unlike most sports-bars, the Hino Sports Deck is family-friendly with foosball, Xbox games and a TV dedicated to children’s’ shows.
Transporting the 40 foot Sports Deck is a Hino 700 SS2848 ProShift air
prime-mover connected to a customised 12.2 Freighter skeletal trailer with a full deck of toolboxes including a hidden generator, diesel tank and water tank.
With a 480Hp (353Kw) turbocharged six cylinder diesel engine matched to a 16-speed ZF AS Tronic Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) with hydraulic retarder, the Hino 700 Series also has air rear suspension, Jacob engine brakes, heated and electrically operated external mirrors, cruise control, Multimedia system with reverse camera and a driver’s SRS airbag.
The Hino Sports Deck will be a free attraction for spectators at the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 (6-9 October), Castrol Gold Coast 600 (21-23 October) and the Coates Hire Sydney 500 (2-4 December).