Saturday, January 21, 2012

I've Changed My Thinking About Overloading Trucks

I've changed my thinking and it's all because of Ford. I teach commercial trucks and have traditionally spent a lot of focus on the problems of overloading trucks. I understand it because I've lived it when I might have just as easily died driving overloaded trucks. As a result, I have always promoted heavier duty trucks, but I've changed my mind on that. Sure, there is a need for heavy duty sometimes, but the vast majority of the time in many applications, light duty would be such a benefit.

So, what did Ford do? They introduced the Transit Connect to the U.S. market. They started making noise about it two years early and now I understand why. I sort of laughed about that little light duty thing and what use it would be up against the Econoline size vans we've grown accustomed to. Now I see Transit Connects everywhere, and it makes more sense than ever. So, my hat is off to Ford one more time for their leadership and financial courage bringing this and a series of world vehicles yet to arrive to the U.S. market.

As energy prices continue to climb worldwide, we need solutions in the U.S. to help us get our work done and have it make sense financially and at the same time be more sensitive to the environment. Smaller, lighter, more efficient trucks help significantly, and the Transit Connect is one such solution, along with the Eco-Boost technology. Fuel efficient vehicles including commercial trucks are the mainstay in Europe and around the world because fuel prices outside of the U.S. are somewhat greater. It is time that these same kind of solutions are brought to the U.S., and especially in commercial trucks. I can't wait to see the Ford Transit cab chassis units that are available in Europe here.

I just published a book I've wanted to write for a long time. It is titled, Commercial Truck Success, Building or Rebuilding an Effective, Successful, and Profitable Commercial Truck Operation within a Retail Auto Dealership. In this book I talk about lighter duty solutions and how they benefit everyone. Though overloading can always be an issue, my focus on overloading has changed to having an efficient, cost-effective and useful commercial truck that will satisfy and serve a majority in the commercial truck market. At the same time, this opens up more of the market due to the lower cost in initial price and operating costs.

I'm excited about the future of commercial trucks and the improvements that are here now and coming soon. I see a bright future in lighter, greener and better trucks that work here as well as they do around the world. I look to Ford in continuing to lead the way, set the pace, expand their influence and at the same time, benefit everyone.

This article appears in the Winter issue just released of the Ford Pros Magazine.

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