The National Truck Equipment Association’s Work Truck Show offers manufacturers the opportunity to showcase their vocational work truck packages and vehicles, and most of the major original equipment manufacturers did just that. From electric vans to custom pickups, what follows is rundown of some of the significant vehicle news from the show.
Freightliner didn’t bring a new truck to the Work Truck, unless you count the large eM2 electric vehicle sitting in the middle of its booth. The eM2, first introduced last summer, is set for production in 2021. Greg Treinen, advanced technology marketing manager for Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), walked the media through an update of the vehicle and DTNA’s e-mobility platform.
The Class 6/7 eM2 features a 325 kwH electric motor with an expected range of 230 miles and 80 percent charge in 60 minutes. Designed with last-mile logistics and pickup & delivery service in mind, the truck is being designed through DTNA’s “co-creation” process, Treinen said.
“One of the keys to this is working directly with our customers, not only sharing feedback, but learning from them,” he said.
The process is leading to the Freightliner Truck Innovation Fleet, which will see the vehicles be put into customer hands for testing. Some of those customers will also be part of the Electric Vehicle Council, which will meet periodically to share experiences, thoughts on the vehicles, funding and infrastructure concerns, and maintenance and safety tips. This council will also form the basis of the company’s e-consulting services, which will be similar but designed for serial production customers.
Peterbilt Motors Company has announced the availability of the Bendix Wingman Fusion advanced driver assistance system on its medium-duty Models 348 and 337. The system integrates camera and radar technology to enable advanced collision mitigation features including object detection, lane departure warning and overspeed alerts.
It is also adding SmartLINQ remote diagnostics to its Models 348, 337, 330 and 325 when selecting a Paccar PX engine. Customers selecting a natural gas engine will also have the option to add remote diagnostics.
“The Peterbilt SmartLINQ Remote Diagnostic solution was introduced in Class 8 Peterbilt trucks in 2015 with tremendous customer acceptance. The system gives customers easy to understand real-time information on the status and performance of their vehicles to maximize uptime,” said Kim Lawton, Medium Duty Marketing Manager, Peterbilt Motors Company. “Customers are looking for every bit of information available to make informed decisions relative to the service of their vehicles. Extending remote diagnostics to our medium duty products gives Peterbilt customers another tool to drive uptime for their business.”
SmartLINQ provides real-time fleet health to maximize uptime. When a diagnostic code is generated, a notification is produced with details regarding the severity, urgency, recommended actions, and other pertinent information needed for a fleet manager to make informed service decisions to maximize uptime. A two-year subscription is included with the SmartLINQ option.
Isuzu has introduced a new 12-foot Supreme service body for its NPR gas trucks. The body is part of Isuzu’s Road-Ready Program. The 12-foot Supreme Spartan Service body will be available for 109-inch-wheelbase NPR and NPR-HD models. The body includes eight compartments (four per side) with adjustable shelving; spacious stand-up height interior with a standard street-side pipe door; stainless-steel D-ring compartment handles for easier gripping with work gloves; two interior LED dome lights and optional available plexiglass sliders for ease of access to interior horizontal compartments, with one row of E-track on each side of plexiglass slider; curbside pipe door; translucent roof; and prime design drop-down double ladder rack.
Isuzu also announced three new Knapheide bodies for its N-Series trucks. Designed for vocational work, the Knapheide bodies cover utility, dump and landscaper applications.
The KUVcc, dump and landscaper models will offer new flexibility and practicality to a wide range of vocations, the company said.
The Knapheide KUVcc is an enclosed utility body. Available in an 11-foot version for 109-inch wheelbase Isuzu NPR and NPR-HD gasoline-powered trucks, it includes eight exterior compartments (four per side) with adjustable shelving; two fixed interior shelves per side; two conduit/pipe doors; two interior dome lights; a glass window in front bulkhead that aligns with rear window of cab; Master locks on both sides; and Knapliner-coated step bumper. Options include keyless locking system; LED compartment lighting; side-mounted ladder rack; and drop-down single ladder rack.
The Knapheide 11-foot dump body is also available on 109-inch wheelbase Isuzu N-Series
standard-cab trucks with GVWRs of 14,500 pounds and higher and features crossmemberless construction with fully-boxed long sills constructed of 7-gauge hot-rolled, commercial-quality (HRCQ) steel that run the entire length of the floor to help prevent debris collecting with electric hoist powered by a 12-volt pump with power-up and power-down and versatile, double acting tailgate that accommodates drop-down, pickup-style and spreader applications.
The Knapheide Landscaper is also an 11-foot body available on Isuzu N-Series standard-cab models with 109- and 132.5-inch wheelbases with GVWRs of 14,500 pounds and higher. It will also be available for 150- and 176-inch wheelbase N-Series crew-cab models with 14,500-lb. GVWRs and higher. It features three doors for versatility in loading and dumping; 50-inch wide curbside opening with a side access door that can be locked in the open position; and 270 degree swing-out rear gates (two) equipped with heavy-duty hinges that are also lockable in the open position.
After posting big gains in sales in 2018, Ram Trucks is hoping to build on that with new products and services in 2019. Among the first out of the gate was the update to its Super Duty lineup, introduced at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January. At the Work Truck Show, Ram announced updates to its chassis cab 3500, 4500 and 5500 models. With the updates, a Class 3 chassis cab now has a max gross vehicle weight rating of 14,000 pounds; Class 4 is up to 16,000 pounds and Class 5 to 19,500 pounds.
Max payload on the models is 12,510 pounds with a gross combined weight rating of 43,000 pounds, up 4,500 pounds from the 2018 model, and a towing capacity of 35,220 pounds.
Ram also introduced the Ram Chassis Cab Limited, which is a luxury version of its chassis cab models. “It will be the most upfit friendly chassis cab with surprising luxury,” said Dave Sowers, head of commercial truck marketing.
Ram also announced a Tradesman trim for its heavy duty models.
Wabash National Corp. and Supreme showed off their latest truck body technologies, including Wabash’s new National Cold Chain product. Wabash is now offering a molded structural composite technology that delivers improved thermal efficiency and makes it lighter, stronger, and two times more puncture resistant than truck bodies with aluminum side walls, the company said. Supreme has removed wood, steel, and rivets from its Kold King, a multi-temp solution. Supreme also showcased its Signature Van with DuraPlate Cell Core technology, a durable, lightweight solution that is up to 150 pounds lighter than traditional wall materials and up to five times more puncture resistant, it said. The company’s Iner-City, a cutaway with a flat floor, is now available on the Ford Transit and will be upfit with a Ranger Design shelving package, a new solution now available from Supreme.
Ranger Design announced its newest ladder rack, the Cargo +. The rack is designed to help contractors using small commercial vans such as the Metris, Transit Connect or Promaster City a safer option when loading or unloading cargo. Made of aluminum with an anodized finish, the rack is rust free and light-weight with a carrying capacity up to 300 pounds. Included with every rack is a rolling bar at the rear, which means cargo can be slid onto the rack instead of physically lifted.
Nissan has its own commercial truck models, led by its van products. But at the Work Truck Show, the company announced a new Rocky Ridge Titan model and Rocky Ridge upfit packages for several other models, including the Frontier. Rocky Ridge offers vehicle lift packages and the new Rocky Ridge Titan model will come with a full 5-year, 100,000-mile warranty.
For the first time, XL Hybrids, a truck electrification company, is making its plug-in hybrid system (PHEV) available on Ford’s (NYSE: F) F-250 Super Duty platform. The PHEV system offers a 50 percent improvement in miles per gallon, said, Eric Fullmer, director of marketing, and a 33 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. It features a 15 kwH lithium ion battery pack that adds about 750 pounds in weight to the vehicle. Designed for commercial operators, Fullmer said that many municipalities do not see the cost of the system – likely to be around $25,000 when it launches later this year – as an obstacle because of both the fuel and emissions reductions. The emissions part, he said, is becoming more important as cities start setting their own emissions reductions goals.