Nice F550 Chassis Conversion To Pickup

This is a body company conversion of an F550 Crew Cab Chassis into a HD Towing Machine by North Bay Truck Body. Pickup bed was secured, painted to match and mounted on this chassis. Because the customer claims to be very hard on his beds, the underside of the factory pickup box was reinforced underneath at all eight mounting points and a smooth steel layer added in the bed as shown in the photos underneath the Line-X Spray-In Liner.

A well designed cab protector and headache rack was mounted ahead of the body to fill the space because it was a 60"CA chassis. Class IV factory receiver was reworked slightly to be reused in this application. HD 25,000 lb. capacity gooseneck hitch system was installed the the bed. A spare tire mount was mounted on steetside at front of bed and mounted solidly! This is a beautiful conversion by Bob Dias and team at North Bay Truck Body in Cordelia CA and our thanks to Allen Tiedt of Future Ford of Concord who sold the truck. You can reach Bob Dias at 707-864-2700 or visit his website at www.nbtb.com.


The Supreme Astro Body - Large Space, Small Package!

If you haven't seen one of these in real life, this is the Astro Body from Supreme Corporation. It is a fiberglass body with a smooth gelcoat exterior which is perfect for graphics as shown in these photos. It is available in three versions: the one shown above is the Catering body, then there is the Refrigerated/Insulated body and the one I'm sure you would sell a lot more of: the standard body which is perfect for Electricians, Locksmiths, Pest Control, Florists, Parts Delivery, Contractors, Remodelers, Telecommunication, Security System Services, Professional Photographers and many more uses.

The benefits are a light weight, durable, long-lasting body with huge space inside for its overall size. The interior capacity is 173.7 cubic feet. It has an approximate payload of 1,500 lbs so it can do a lot of different jobs. It goes on a Chevy Colorado or GMC Sonoma truck so it is low cost and fuel efficient. It gets your attention and is incredibly functional with the large side door and two door rear door with a 48.5"x40.5" opening and a long 82" inside length.

The overall height is only 78" so it fits in parking garages even with the optional ladder rack. The rear door handles are keyed alike with the truck doors so you only need one key. A standard small skylight helps illuminate the interior. It is available with bin packages to make the interior more useful for certain industry applications and it is available with a back up camera system. There is also internal safety release latches on each door. Then you have the strength Supreme Corporation standing behind this product and their fine nationwide support.

Did I mention it was Five Star Crash Rated and aerodynamically designed and GM wind tunnel tested. It comes with an FRP floor with steel e-coated floor frame. To have better visibility, it comes with specially designed Velvac exterior mirrors. It all amounts to a fine package.

To get more information and to see more photos of the Astro Body, here is a link to their website: Astro Body. Phone numbers are 800-993-2927 for those in the Northwest, 800-827-0753 for you in the West, 800-642-4889 for the Midwest 800-541-6282 for all in the Southwest, 800-556-6492 in the Northeast and 800-852-6742 for the Southwest. If you don't know where you live, call any one of them and they will direct you.

Commercial Truck Success gives a big High 5 to the Supreme Astro Body. Put one in stock and watch it ring the cash register!


The Personal Development Pill

The business of personal development has become a multi-billion dollar industry. I liken it to the “diet industry” or “weight-loss industry.” Both the personal development and weight-loss industries have very large markets and both have a long and solid economic future. In our fast food, instant communication world, it has become natural to expect instant results. Everyone wants the instant cure without the normal process of working at it. Who wouldn’t want to take a pill and lose 20 lbs? Who wouldn’t want to take a pill and have instant wisdom and inspiration? I know I do!

All those famous diets like the Atkins, South Beach and hundreds of others are here today and gone tomorrow. People buy them, try them and discard them. Yet all of them work if people will stick with them. The problem is the world around us. It is difficult to stick to a certain regimen when the vast majority of the world around us is not in synch with that. We break the rules once, then again, then often, and then it’s over. It seems that we cannot have the cure without the process, no matter how much we want it. Sometimes the process means ignoring what others are doing.

Personal development is very similar to the weight loss scenario. Many people want to watch one video, read one book, listen to one audio, attend one seminar and have all the answers they need. However, just as the weight loss cannot happen without the process, personal development actually is a process. Just as you don’t go from First Grade to Graduate School in one step, personal development is a lifelong process.

The good news is that this process is pretty easy in today’s world. It is as easy as watching, reading or listening--no sweaty workouts, eating stuff that is so bland it may as well be paper. There are now so many choices of authors, coaches and speakers to choose from and all of them have important things to share. Some will appeal to you more than others. The key is finding those that appeal to you and listen to them so you can get the benefits of their knowledge and inspiration.

The best way to find them is to sample enough to find your favorites. Over the years, I’ve found several favorites like Jim Rohn, Anthony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Harvey Mackay, Brian Tracy, Jack Canfield, John DeMartini, Bob Proctor, Jerry & Esther Hicks, Earl Nightingale and many more. Each one of these have instructed and inspired me and many I have read or listened to for a long time.

Why do I still listen? I need a regular dose of positive, uplifting messages to overcome the other influences that are not that uplifting. It makes a huge difference to me and how I feel about myself and what I am doing. I see opportunities instead of problems. There’s nothing quite like being inspired. Inspiration naturally moves to action and the action changes my life. I want to be inspired every day.

Many are doing as John Mayer’s popular song states: “Waiting on the world to change.” Don’t hold your breath. The odds are far in my favor by not waiting for the world or anyone else, but reaching out and learning on purpose. Until the world actually does change, I will take charge of my own personal development. It makes me more valuable to myself and everyone I meet.


The Aerocell SRW from Unicell

This is the Aerocell SRW from Unicell Body Company. This baby was quite a sight as we cruised the NTEA Work Truck Show. The hatchback rear opening was a real eye-catcher. Of course, Ryan and I had to try opening it and closing it a few times. It is really quite easy and smooth. But, look at the opening!! Yeah man! 435 cubic feet of storage! It is also available with swing-out 180 degree doors for you traditionalists.

It is cool to look at the outside of the super smooth, glossy body which is absolutely perfect for graphics with no seams, rivets, caulking, etc. The integral roof fairing and flowing body contours offer fuel-saving aerodynamics and visual appeal. (You could tell that last line came from their literature, right? Who talks that way? I know, I know, brochures do.)

This is a product I would put on my lot. It is new and different and interesting. It has a host of features that can benefit a large number of customers. It is great looking and fully functional. It is a great improvement on the single rear wheel cargo van or cutaway van body.

Unicell Body Company is located in Buffalo, New York. They are an approved bailment pool company for Ford, GM and Isuzu. You will find their website at www.unicell.com very informative and helpful. You can reach them at 800-628-8914.


A Beauty of a Combo Body!

Kimberly Bellamy from Harbor Truck Bodies just sent me these wonderful shots of a screaming Combo body on a decked out Chevy 4500 Crew Cab they built for Lake Chevrolet in Lake Elsinore CA. Compartments are 56" high to store just about anything you might want with lots of shelves, space for drawers. Notice the vertical compartments over the rear wheel rather than horizontal compartment.

The top photo shows the cargo bed enclosure with barn doors. It is rare enough to see a cargo bed enclosure on a Combo body, but it seems to look perfect. Great storage away from prying eyes and certainly excellent access with the 3-piece top opening sliding on Teflon slides.

Then there is the great work area on the back with that 36" platform making this body a 12' unit. This has the fold-down 10" gates to make the work area more useful and not forget the gates at the job site. To round it up, there is the HD Forklift Rack with 3 over body removable supports along with the swing-away rear and headboard support to carry the heavy loads. Expanded metal in the front section of the rack helps protect the cab.

Sweet truck. Thanks Kimberly! Keep them coming!


Western Mule Cranes - A Great Many Solutions!

We stopped by the Western Mule Crane display early in the first day of the show and talked for some time with the President, Vernon Dettman. He had two great displays and one of them was a new truck he just picked up from Scelzi just in time for the show. It is a sweet red short box, low pro body. Great job Scelzi!

What a great display truck. This truck has 5 cranes including their long-famous bumper crane and their newest addition on the right rear: The P2250. So new, it's not even on their website yet. Notice the last photo and how nicely the outriggers can be used when needed and completely invisible once the door is shut.

Western Mule Crane is well known for their wide variety of very effective small, lightweight cranes. Give them a call at 800-288-6853 and do check out their website at www.westernmule.com.


One Sweet Ford Transit Connect

At the NTEA Work Truck Show, we saw a number of Ford Transit Connect vehicles. None compared to this sweet piece. I can hardly think of a more perfect use for a Transit Connect that this job, although, we know there are hundreds of ways to use it, we love how this one shows the great features and compactness of the Transit Connect's value.

Look at the shot of the back open. What a great cargo area this has been made into with a nice drawer (looks like it might be from Adrian Steel), nice storage for vacuums, etc. Then there is the bulkhead separating the seating area. This unit will carry the crew to get the job done quickly.

Some features worthy of note:
  • 22 City/25 Highway mpg based on Ford preliminary data
  • Standard 180 degree rear barn door hinge
  • dual side sliding doors
  • Tilt/Telescopic steering column
  • Driver and passenger airbags
  • Side-impact air bags
  • ABS brakes
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Up to 1,600 payload with rear seats removed
  • Load width between wheel arches: 48.1"
  • Load floor to roof height: 59.1"

There's much more information available at the Transit Connect website:



Aluminum Dump Body from Rugby Mfg

What a lovely addition to the great Rugby lineup this body is. Incredible weight savings finally has it making sense to put a dump on a 1-ton truck. Back when I started selling upfitted trucks, the maximum GVWR before going to the medium duty was 10,000 lbs. It was always a concern selling a 2-3 yd steel dump on a 10k GVWR truck, considering that one yard of plain old dirt would pretty much overload the truck. Three yards would be craziness. So, when Ford came out with the Super Duty at 14k and others eventually followed suit, we hardly ever sold a metal dump on a 1 ton. It was a good thing.

Now, that has changed. The 11' Rugby for the 84" CA truck (GM would use the 10') weighs only 975 lbs compared to the steel dump at 1,695 lbs, a savings of 720 lbs. That's a tad over 40% savings. Now take an average chassis at 6,000 lbs empty weight, plus the dump at 975 and hoist at 550 and the package weighs in around 7,525. Most 1 tons now have 11k to 13k GVWR, so that gives a typical payload of up to 5,475 lbs! Three yards of dirt will still overload it; however, this is a serious improvement and now it makes sense for many uses to put this body on the one ton--at least I would feel more comfortable about it.

Some Rugby Aluminum Specs:

  • Floor, front, sides and tailgate constructed of 3/16" 5052 Aluminum
  • Double wall side design with 6" vertical side braces
  • Sides include 22" high front board pockets and 6" rear pockets
  • Side design incorporates fully boxed dirt shedding top rails and sloped bottom rails
  • Seamless one-piece front design with window and 3/4 cab shield
  • Cross members constructed of 3" I-beam 6061 aluminum interlaced on 16" centers
  • Long members constructed of 8" formed 1/4" 5052 aluminum channel
  • Full height 11.5" wide rear corner posts contain concealed lower latch hardware
  • Stainless steel EZ-LATCH (TM) upper tailgate mechanism
  • Dirt shedding fully boxed perimeter tailgate with 6" vertical braces
  • Auxiliary stop/turn lights in upper rear corner posts

It's all a very nice package. The only issue I have is that this is stated in their literature as a 3-4 yd body and I am absolutely certain I would be telling my customers it's a 2-3 yd if it were going on a 1-ton. But, that's just me. I've had first hand experience at overloaded trucks. The good news for me is that it's not a service body, so it isn't loaded all the time with whatever load it is carrying. Put it on a 4500/5500 and it's no problem.

I have long loved Rugby products. I have sold so many I cannot count them and never had a problem one. You gotta love that. Great company and great products. Check out their website at www.rugbymfg.com. They even have a Stainless Steel dump! We'll talk about that another time. Thanks Rugby for building great products and keeping our customers happily working!


Duraplate and Amercian Cargo by Midway

You know, many people think a van body is a van body is a van body. Boring. . . It is true that some of them are boring, but this unit has some excitement in the detail that a passing glance may never see. The biggest innovation is what the side panels are made out of. These are made out of Duraplate which the rep from Midway is holding in his hand in the first photo. It is incredibly thin and unbelievably strong. No longer do we need the heavy and bulky FRP material to have durability. Check the specifications: Duraplate has it. What was also impressive as a result of using Duraplate is how wide the opening can now be in the rear and how cargo can go wall to wall and get very close to 90" of width.

The unit shown is the Sprinter "Liberty" Box Truck from American Cargo by Midway. It includes an aerodynamic wind fairing added to improve fuel economy, stand-up, walk through cab access door for easy mobility between cab and cargo area, Duraplate wall construction for long-lasting durability, graphic friendly finish, 15' interior length and side slider door with stepwell for easy entrance and exiting. I love the slider side door. The pocket required (as shown in photo) takes up a little wall space, but is worth the trade-off from having a roll-up door. The operation of this door is extremely convenient and easy.
American Cargo by Midway are located in Elkhart, Indiana and can be reached at 800-505-2530. Check out their website at www.mymidway.com. As you go to their site, you will also see the Midway Specialty Vehicles, LLC link to see the Sprinter conversions and buses and other products that they manufacture and retrofit.


Where the Rumber Meets the Load

Having long sold flatbeds with various wood floors, then seeing all the rage for the wood composites, I didn't really get excited until I saw this product at the NTEA Work Truck Show this month. I have been waiting to see a product that made perfect sense for a flatbed over the common problem-ridden wood floors--and here it is!

This product is called Rumber. That's lumber with an "r" instead of an "l". It is made of 100% recycled material products. It is made out of tire rubber and plastics. I'm so glad that innovative uses for old tires are being made since it has always been a serious landfill problem. This product helps keep those old tires out of the landfill I'm sure.

Here's some of the features of this material:
  • Will not rot, crack, or split
  • Stronger and more durable than wood or other composites.
  • Impervious to water, fuel, fluids and oil spills.
  • Insect and termite proof.
  • Easy to clean.
  • UV and water resistant.
  • Cushions animals and equipment.
  • Available in any length up to 24' in 6" increments.
  • Most cost effective option over time.

This is a product I can get excited about and I think it should be a piece of cake to sell it. I have long liked black flatbeds best and with this product color matching the bed makes it a great combination. Having a product that doesn't crack, split and bow is a huge advantage. I would be ordering this on all the flatbeds that I could.

Rumber Materials also makes a wide variety of products for truck beds, trailers, chock blocks, deck, docks and marina products, oil field applications, custom products. They operate out of Muenster, Texas and they can be reached at 877-786-2371. We talked with Chuck Hickey and Ron Rust at the show. Rumber Materials website is informative and helpful and you can find it at www.rumber.com.


Link Ramps - Great Selection of Products

We were kind of in a hurry when we came to the Link Ramps display, so I got some shots and some literature, but I was impressed with the selection of various ramps they have. I loved the one in the rear shown that folds up and as it was being demonstrated, it looked like it was so easy to pull it out and put it back.

The company is Link Manufacturing, Ltd out of Sioux Center, Iowa. Their phone number is 800-248-3057. They also manufacture mortuary equipment, cab air suspension, chassis air suspension, liftable suspensions, tire pressure maintenance system, and deer shield along with their cargo management products. Website for the ramp products is www.linkcmp.com/. They have a nice 4 page brochure that I recommend you request which has better photos than their website. Call them and request it at 800-248-3057. They also have a list of distributors around the country coast to coast on their website so you can find someone close to your operation.