Thursday, May 28, 2015

Mercedes pick-up launch before end of decade

Mercedes PickupMercedes-Benz Vans has announced its intention to introduce a one-tonne pick-up challenger globally before 2020. It will be the first time that the German manufacturer has marketed a model in this sector of the LCV market and yes, it will be coming to the UK. Initially, it will be targeted at markets in Latin America, South Africa, Australia and Europe, all of which are currently showing sustained growth in the pick-up segment.

The as yet un-named model will be designed and developed in-house by Mercedes-Benz Vans and will be aimed at both commercial and private users; think Volkswagen Amarok and you can see where Merc is coming from with the newcomer. Whether it will be produced in any other body style than a double cab is unknown, but as it’s destined for such diverse markets we would expect to see a full mix, including the option of two-wheel drive models.

“As part of our ‘Mercedes-Benz Vans goes global’ strategy, the pickup is the ideal vehicle for the international expansion of our product range with a newly developed model,” said Volker Mornhinweg, head of Mercedes-Benz Vans. “We can perfectly serve customers looking for a vehicle that offers a high level of utility and at the same time has the comfort, safety and design of a Mercedes-Benz passenger car. We will design our brand’s first pickup according to this recipe for success.” - See more at:


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2015 Ford F-150 Extreme Torture Tests

Video of 2015 Ford F-150 Torture Tests

Diesel vs. gasoline: Which fuel type is better for your line of work?

As a business owner who depends on a commercial vehicle for your work, you need the right truck for the job. A truck that comes up short on capability is no help — but too much truck can be a problem too, as the cost of operating it will eat into your profits. Instead, the ideal truck is one that does everything you need in the most efficient way possible.

One important decision to make when choosing your truck is fuel type. Comparing diesel vs. gasoline reveals advantages and drawbacks for each, so you need to choose the best engine and fuel type for your particular needs. Making a wise choice means doing the right thing for everyone who depends on the success of your business: your customers, your employees, you and your family. Below are some considerations for owners who want to get the most from their trucks.

Engine output

Engine output refers to the amount of horsepower and torque that an engine can produce. Horsepower is critical for sports cars, since it helps deliver quick acceleration. But torque is the more important figure for business owners who use their trucks for work. Ample torque means the truck can tow and haul heavy loads with relative ease.

If you push your truck to the limits of its towing or hauling capacity, you can depend on diesel to do the job with an impressive combination of toughness and efficiency. Those 18-wheelers you see pulling 53-foot-long trailers on the interstate use diesel for a reason. Gasoline engines can’t match diesels when it comes to heavy loads.

Fuel economy

Diesel engines also typically trump gas engines in terms of efficiency, delivering more miles per gallon to save you money at the pump. Consider the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which delivers up to 28 mpg on the highway while providing more torque than even the Ram brand’s HEMI® V8 engine.

There is a flip side to the fuel economy advantage, however. In most places, diesel fuel is more expensive than gasoline. According to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report, the national average price for a gallon of diesel fuel is about $0.80 more than a gallon of regular gasoline. Be sure to consider that price premium when estimating the costs of operating a diesel-powered truck against one that runs on gas.

Fuel availability can be an issue for diesel drivers, too. Gasoline is more widely available than diesel in many parts of the country.

Other ownership considerations

Besides capability and efficiency, small- and medium-sized business owners should consider maintenance costs and resale value in the diesel vs. gasoline decision process. Because gasoline engines are more common than diesels, parts and service for gas engines may be more affordable and easier to find.

But when it comes time to sell your work truck and replace it with a new one, diesels often deliver better resale value. Of course, diesels are typically more expensive to purchase new, too. The capability of the diesel truck will pay off for those who truly need it, though, and the extra value at trade-in or sale can offset some of the cost of the next truck.

Both gasoline and diesel offer advantages and disadvantages for work vehicles, depending on how you use your work truck. But generally speaking, gasoline engines are more affordable at the time of purchase, and gallon-for-gallon, gas is cheaper at the pump. Diesel engines, on the other hand, provide more capability and better fuel economy, but are pricier to buy up front. Like so many business decisions, this one comes down to figuring out what’s right for your particular needs.


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Spied: 2017 GMC Sierra 2500/3500 Chassis Cab

The GM light-duty and heavy-duty pickup trucks look like they'll be coming to market refreshed for 2017 or 2018. Our spy shooters are seeing both of them running all sorts of loaded and empty test loops, likely to work out the bugs on a modified or upgraded powertrain. Here's their latest report:

    "Recently we've caught the updated Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra light-duty pickups out on their first test runs. … We caught a pair of 2016 GMC Sierra Heavy Duty prototypes (one crew-cab 2500 near maximum payload and towing capacity, and the other an empty chassis-cab Duramax) coming in from a run.

    "Much like the light-duty trucks we've seen before, the Sierra looks to be hiding a moderate front-end refresh, with a new front end, hood cuts, a revised grille and updated headlights.

    "We suspect the bigger news is under the hood, where the GM HD trucks are reported to get upgraded versions of the Duramax V-8 turbo-diesel. At least one report pegs the new Duramax numbers at 450 horsepower and 850 pounds-feet of torque.

    "A version of the 10-speed transmission co-developed with Ford is also likely to make it into the heavy-duty pickups by 2018."

Chris Doane Automotive images


Monday, May 25, 2015

Carry It On Top - Masterack Ladder Racks for Every Type of Commercial Van

Masterack has a ladder rack for every type of commercial van, plus accessories to customize a package to your particular need. Choose from the original Masterack Locking Rack, the ergonomic Slide-Down Rack, the effortless PowerRack, or the economical heavy-duty Utility Rack.

Find out more at:

You may call Harbor Truck Bodies for more information at 800-433-9452.
Also find us at

This is how the Ford Transit prepares for American roads

In order to prove itself ready for American roads, watch as the Ford Transit takes on seven million miles of potholes, rumble strips and severe water hazards.

Developed and tested in Europe for four decades, watch the torturous tests Transit takes on in order to prove itself ready for American roads. Over seven million miles of potholes, rumble strips and severe water conditions.

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Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Workshop for your Van by Sortimo

WorkMo stands for Work Mobility. Sortimo has developed a multifunctional system, which can be used as workshop equipment, transport system, mobile workshop and work station.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Simple Installation - Van packages - Simpleco by Sortimo

Simplico by Sortimo offers van packages designed for easy installation.

Mercedes VanExperience 2015 goes live at Millbrook

Mercedes CitanThis year’s Mercedes-Benz VanExperience Live is taking place at the Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire, for the first time in its 12-year history, from 2 to 12 June. It’s an invitation-only event and caters for over 1,800 customers and fleet operators during the two weeks.

There will be three main hands-on demonstration areas to help guests assess how Mercedes-Benz vans perform, including the opportunity to experience the entire LCV product line-up. Additionally, there’s a challenging off-road course to sample the abilities of the Sprinter 4x4 and even the special 6x6 Oberaigner conversion.

Being a Merc event there’s a safety-focused activity which compromises a ‘city’ driving course with Citan, a drive to demonstrate safety systems such as Collision Prevention Assist and Blind Spot Assist, and a self-park/reversing camera challenge in the latest generation Vito.

There will also be a Service24h vehicle on display to demonstrate how Merc can fix over 80 per cent of breakdowns at the roadside, a fully-accessorised van to highlight the range of products available from the options list and an expansive static display featuring vans from more than 30 bodybuilder and conversion specialists.

“Visiting VanExperience LIVE really does help our van buyers and drivers to make their minds up when it comes to assessing their next vehicle purchase,” said Steve Bridge, managing director, Mercedes-Benz Vans. “The feedback we receive each year proves the format is the best in the industry.

“We welcome almost 2,000 guests to VanExperience LIVE, offering them a full emersion in to our brand and everything that we stand for and I personally like meeting as many visitors as I can, with all Mercedes-Benz Vans colleagues joining me on site for the duration.”

Anyone wishing to attend VanExperience LIVE 2015, will need to contact their local Mercedes-Benz Vans Dealer for full event details, or register their interest online here.

For those that can’t make it to VanExperience Live, Mercedes will have a full line-up of products to test at DRIVEit 2015 from 7 – 9 July at the Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground In Leicestershire.

- See more at:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fuso Canter 6C18 picks up "Heavy Duty 4x4 2015" award

•    Canter 4x4 scores highly with superb off-road capability, excellent ground clearance and balanced chassis
•    Award marks the second time readers of Trade Van Driver Magazine have voted for the Canter Stuttgart/London - The Fuso Canter 6C18 has been voted "Heavy Duty 4x4 of the Year" as part of this year's awards from Trade Van Driver Magazine.

Commenting on the award, Matthew Eisenegger, editor of Trade Van Driver Magazine, said: "The Fuso Canter 4x4 really has something to offer when it comes to extreme versatility. Superb off-road capability,
excellent ground clearance and a balanced chassis are just a few of the features which impressed the readers who cast their vote. Certain trades which involve working outdoors need a special vehicle, and the Fuso Canter 4x4 is a fantastic off-road solution".

Trade Van Driver Magazine presents awards to manufacturers, companies and individuals who in the opinion of its readers provide the best solutions for van customers in the retail sector. The award was presented to Vincente Connolly, who as Director of National Sales at Mercedes-Benz & Fuso Trucks is responsible for sales in the UK.

According to Vincente Connolly: "The Fuso Canter 6C18 4x4 is a high-performance vehicle for both on- and off-road use. We are delighted with this award from the magazine readers".

This award for the Fuso Canter, which is built at the Tramagal plant in Portugal and sold and supported exclusively through the Mercedes-Benz commercial vehicle dealer network in the UK, confirms that customers are investing in a vehicle which is tailored to the needs of their sector.

The Fuso Canter was already voted "Heavy Duty 4x4 of the Year" by Trade Van Driver Magazine in 2014.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Škoda Fabia FUNstar project pick-up revealed

Skoda Fabia FUNstarApprentices at Škoda’s Vocational School have come up with a unique funky half-tonne pick-up based on the new three-door Fabia hatchback. This is the second year in a row that the Czech manufacturer has given selected trainees the opportunity to create their dream car.

Sitting on on 18in ‘Gemini’ alloys from the Octavia RS, FUNstar’s power comes from a 1.2-litre TSI petrol engine producing 121hp and driving the front wheels via a seven-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox.

Finished in striking Steel Grey and Moon White metallic body colours, the sills, grille surround, door mirror facings and rear spoiler are contrasted in Reflex Green. Dual-lens headlamps feature LED lights, with green LED light strips serving as daytime running lights and under-sill illumination. LEDs are also used in the rear lights.

Skoda Fabia FUNstarColour-coding is carried through to the interior with individual elements highlighted in Steel Grey and Moon White. And just to top it off there’s a 1,400W sound system installed.

Don’t expect to see the Fabia FUNstar in a showroom any time soon, but this isn’t the first time Škoda has come up with a pick-up. There was a pick-up version of the Fabia’s predecessor, the Felicia, on sale in the 1990s. It was sold in some markets as the VW Caddy Pickup.

There was even a Fun variant aimed at the recreational market which had a bulkhead that could be slid back into the load bed to reveal two extra, open air, seats; effectively turning it into a double cab (see pics below).


2015 Ford F-150 Regular Cab and SuperCab Get Top Ratings From NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released safety ratings for the 2015 Ford F-150 regular-cab and SuperCab models, and they are identical to the SuperCrew results.

Both the regular-cab and SuperCab (commonly called extended cab) models got five-star safety ratings (the highest possible) in three crash categories: frontal, side and overall. Both cab configurations received four-star ratings for rollover safety, just like the SuperCrew. These 2015 federal safety ratings are better in frontal-crash tests and overall when compared to comparable 2014 cab configurations.

NHTSA also gives the 2015 Chevrolet Silverado regular-cab and extended-cab models five stars in frontal, side impact and overall testing. That same pair of 2015 Ram 1500 cabs get four stars for frontal and overall, and five for side impact. The 2015 Toyota Tundra regular and extended cabs scored four stars in frontal testing, five in side impact and four stars overall. No test results are shown for the 2015 Nissan Titan.

Although NHTSA test results are often quoted in marketing material, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also does vehicle safety testing that includes roof-crush ratings as well as offset crash results. Those results have not been completed or reported yet for the 2015 Ford F-150. That will likely come later this summer. photos by Evan Sears

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Milestone Unit Sold to Farmers Home Furniture 
in Dublin, Georgia

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., distributor of America’s best-selling low-cab-forward trucks, announced today that it has delivered the 500,000 Isuzu-built truck since the Isuzu brand entered the North American market in 1984.

The N-Series truck was sold to Farmers Home Furniture in Dublin, Georgia. The unit marked the 235th Isuzu truck the home-furnishings retailer has purchased.

“We are very proud that a half a million Isuzu-built trucks have been sold over the last 31 years,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “This milestone is really a tribute to the durability and reliability of the Isuzu product, and the loyalty of customers like Farmers Home Furniture.”

Phillip Faircloth, President and CEO of Farmers Home Furniture, said, “We began buying Isuzu trucks in October 1998, and we’ve never stopped. Our drivers like them because they’re so maneuverable, and they offer a high cab design with a panoramic view that makes them easy to drive. From a company perspective, we like them because of their reliability, long-term dependability and fuel efficiency. Farmers’ success is built on long term relationships. Isuzu is one such partner playing an important role in its ability to assist us in delivery of fine furniture to America’s small towns. This is our 235th Isuzu truck, but it won’t be our last.”

Farmers Home Furniture is one of the largest and fastest-growing furniture retailers in the U.S., with 187 stores throughout the Southeast.

Isuzu diesel-powered trucks range from the 12,000-lb. GVWR NPR ECO-MAX to the 19,500-lb. GVWR NRR. Both standard and crew cab models are offered and all are available in a range of wheelbases to meet the needs of a variety of applications.

Isuzu is also the only brand to offer a gasoline-powered low-cab-forward truck in North America. The NPR-Gas—also available in a variety of wheelbases, cab styles and GVWRs—is assembled in Charlotte, Michigan. An optional version of the gasoline engine is capable of being converted to run on compressed natural gas or propane. Also, Isuzu is the only manufacturer to offer, CNG/LPG-capable low-cab-forward trucks in North America.

About Isuzu

Headquartered in Anaheim, California, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., is the distributor of Isuzu commercial vehicles in the United States. Isuzu commercial trucks have been the best-selling low-cab-forward trucks in America every year since 1986. For more information, call (866) 441-9638 or visit

Reading Truck Body New Product Developments

Craig Bonham, New Business Development explains new product developments at Reading Truck Body at the 2015 Work Truck Show. See more about Reading Truck Bodies at

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Building of the Freightliner Revolution Innovation Concept Truck

Welcome to the Revolution. Meet the new concept in crossover cab design and see what happens when engineers get the green light to put their creativity to max with the start to finish concept, design and building of the Freightliner Revolution Innovation Truck. Hear from the researchers, engineers and product designers of the fully functional demonstration Freightliner Revolution Innovation Truck.

The Freightliner Revolution Innovation concept truck was revealed at the Mid-America Trucking Show (MATS) 2012 to help launch the celebration of Freightliner Truck's 70th Anniversary.

See more about the Freightliner Revolution Innovation Truck at: |