Hino Tough competition—winner

By: Ed

Hino Tough competition winner Winner: Ross MacMillian—2007 Hino 700 Series Hino Tough competition winner
Hino Tough competition winner Second place: Aaron Stanley-Hunt 1978 KB Series Hino Tough competition winner
Hino Tough competition winner Third place: William Chote 1999 FM1J Hino Tough competition winner
Hino Tough competition winner Fourth place: Rory Finlayson 1984 FF173 Hino Tough competition winner
Hino Tough competition winner Fifth place: Kenneth Duncan 1999 FS2P Hino Tough competition winner

Deals on Wheels Ed and Hino NZ general manager find the toughest Hino in New Zealand

If you’ve ever been involved in judging competitions, then you will appreciate the difficulty involved in selecting a winner from numerous worthy entries. That was the task put in front of Hino NZ general manager Michael Doeg and me when we were asked to judge the Hino Tough competition.

Hino NZ had placed a formidable task in front of themselves when they came up with the idea of finding the ‘toughest’ Hino in New Zealand. Everyone has a different idea of what tough means, so obviously some criteria had to be laid down to ensure trucks were being judged on a level playing field.


First off, it was decided that the truck had to be something that was in regular use. It didn’t need to have 30 years of use but rather, as Michael puts it, a ‘tough daily performer’.

Secondly, the team was looking for a rig that had been taken care of, was carefully maintained, and still performed well. Some people’s idea of a tough truck is something that’s beaten up and looks ready for the scrap heap. FYI, that’s not really a tough truck. It’s a truck that hasn’t been looked after and ‘is ready’ for the scrap heap.

Lastly, Hino NZ wanted to know about the truck—why the owner considered it a ‘tough’ truck and what it did on a daily basis? They wanted to know its story.

So what did New Zealand’s toughest Hino look like?

Well, the toughest Hino looked very much like (exactly like, to be honest) Feilding-based Ross MacMillian’s 2007 five-axled 700 Series with Palfinger crane on the back. This we know because he was judged the overall winner from the many entries received from throughout the country. The truck has more than 15,000 engine hours on it, and even though the mileage isn’t that high, it’s a clear indication that Ross’ rig has well and truly engaged in a lot of tough work.

Second place was taken by Whangaparaoa-based Aaron Stanley-Hunt’s Hino 1978 KB. This truck is in exceptional condition for its age and even suffered a rollover a few years ago, not that you would now notice. Incidentally, the truck is looking for a new home with an astute collector.

Third place went to William Chote’s 1999 FM1J. This truck also suffered a rollover in a silage pit some years ago but was quickly back on its wheels within an hour, suffering no more than a creased door. It’s ‘toughness’ paved the way for a number of new Hino’s in its owner’s fleet.

Special mentions

As I mentioned earlier, picking winners was a difficult task with deliberations often vocal, but non-violent I must add.

Rory Finlayson’s 1984 FF173 had to be added to the list and the fourth place awarded to his Wellsford-based ‘Old Blue’ truck shows that blinged-out rigs don’t necessarily cut the mustard where toughness is concerned.

Kenneth Duncan’s 1999 FS Toll-branded curtainsider was also present on our judging radar, especially when you take into account its age and the condition it’s kept in. To keep a truck that runs with payloads up to 28 tonnes in such an immaculate condition and use it as a daily runner is a testament to the longevity of the Hino brand with regular maintenance and care.

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