Since 1969, the Japanese automaker Hino is producing a medium to heavy duty cab-over truck in the form of Hino Ranger.
It is related to the Hino’s F-Series Truck and introduced under model codes: FC, FD, FE, FG, FL and FM. The ascending order of alphabetical letter refers to the high payload of the truck. Two 4-wheel drive models are also available as FT and GT. There is another SG model, a Tractor Head designed to tow container. The Ranger is normally offered as medium to heavy duty truck, but there are few countries that receive small or low payload models of Ranger as well with a model code of FA and FB, which were later taken over by Hino Dutro. A small payload truck was also sold by Toyota in Japan as Toyota Dyna.
Since 1991, Hino Ranger has also been racing in the Dakar Rally with its FT model under the driving capabilities of Yoshimasa Sugawara.
First Generation (1969-1980)
In 1969, the first generation Ranger (model code KL) was launched by Hino. This generation was introduced in Australian market as Toyota KL300. The KL series was available in all three wheelbases, i.e. short-wheelbase as KL300, medium-wheelbase as KL340 and KL350, and long-wheelbase as KL360 and KL380. Other model variations included KB, KR, KQ and certain others. It was offered with two engine options, i.e. a 4.5-L DQ100 and a 5.0-L EC100.
Second Generation (1980-2003)
The second generation Ranger was launched in 1980. Initially, it was available with round headlights, which were replaced with rectangular headlights in later years. The production of this generation model stopped in Japan in 1989, while it continued to be sold in Indonesia until 2003.
The different models offered in Indonesian market were FF172, FF173, FL176, FM226 and SG221. The FF and FG models were named Super Ranger, while FL and FM were sold as Jumbo Ranger.
Third Generation (1989-2002)
The third generation Ranger was introduced in 1989 was known with three different names, i.e. Cruising Ranger, Rising Ranger and Space Ranger. It was available as Light Truck (FA, FB); Light-Medium Truck (FC, FD, FE, GD); Medium Heavy Truck (4×2 – FF, FG); Medium Truck (4×4 – FT, GT, GX); and Tractor Head (SG).
Three FT models of Ranger raced in the Dakar Rally of 1997 and ranked as first, second and third in the overall Camion or Truck category.
Hino didn’t introduce its medium truck in the North American market under Ranger name. The models offered in United States were FA1517, FB1817, FD2320, FE2620, FF3020, SG3320, and SG3325, where first two digits in the name refers to the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and the last two digits refer to the engine displacement.
Although, the second generation of Ranger was assembled locally in the Indonesian facility up till 2003, the third generation model was not released in the Indonesian market.
Fourth Generation (2001-Current)
The fourth and current generation of Ranger is introduced as Ranger Pro in the Japanese market, while it debuted in export market as Hino 500 Series. In Indonesia, it retains the Super Ranger and Jumbo Ranger nameplates. It is sold as Validus in Malaysia, while in Thailand as Mega.
Different cabin styles have been introduced for the current generation Ranger, i.e. standard or wide, standard roof or high roof, short cab or full cab.
In the Japanese domestic market, the High Grade Package is also offered with chrome bumper, discharge headlights, wood panel and certain interior reinforcements.
Different models available are: FC, FD, GD and FE (Light Medium Truck); FT, FX, GT and GX (4×4 Medium Truck); FF, FG and FJ (4×2 Medium Heavy Truck); FL (6×2 Medium Heavy Truck); GK and FM (6×4 Medium Heavy Truck); SG (4×2 Tractor Head); and FM (6×4 Tractor Head).
Since 2000, the Hino leads the truck and bus market in Indonesia among other manufacturers. The Jumbo Ranger FM260JD is known to be the best-selling truck by Hino at this time and widely utilized for coal mining and construction work.
Hino has also introduced a hybrid electric version of Ranger in the Japanese market.