Wisdom of the Ages

"You are what you repeatedly do.
Excellence is not an event--it is a habit."
- Aristotle (384-322 BC)

"Our life is what our thoughts make it."
- Marcus Aurelius (121-180 AD)

I love quotations and see many of them each day. They are thought starters and catch me quickly and lend me a tidbit of wisdom to mull over throughout the day. It amazes me when I see quotes like these. We get to thinking that these ideas are fairly new, yet they are very, very old. The question I have is, knowing this fact, why is it that I learn these things clearly in my later life? Where were the teachers teaching this wisdom in the first 40 years?

It must be that we get focused on the now and what's happening and let go of the real wisdom in search of the quick fixes. Alas, I am now paying close attention and am open to the wisdom of the ages. Aristotle and Aurelius are reborn!


Chevy HHR Cargo Van. Great Looking Work Van!

The Chevy HHR Cargo is quite a nice looking cargo van and is an economical and attractive alternative to the larger cargo vans. This one owned by Tri-Eagle Beverage in Fairfield, CA was caught in a shopping center parking lot. I couldn't resist. Sweet!


Connecting Underbed Boxes, Awesome!

It is very common to have one underbed box mounted near the cab on a flatbed, but take a look at this approach. Here is a series of underbed boxes of varying sizes that are connected with a wheel skirt insert making it look like it is not a flatbed at all, but something else. In this case, the bed is a 14' stakebed from Harbor Truck Bodies in Brea, CA. Just think of all the stuff you can put in all those compartments which are 18" deep! Then do it again on the other side. What a great way to be able to carry things that are kept out of sight and out of the weather while doing the things you need to do with the stakebed. A great combination!


Scelzi Single Rear Wheel Contractor Body

This is a Scelzi single rear wheel Contractor Body and I think it is an interesting unit. The Contractor Body is a very popular body and is stocked in numbers all around, and 95+% of them are on dual rear wheel chassis and most of those are 12' units on an 84" CA chassis. It is an extremely common unit. The 14' and the 10' mounted on dual rear wheel chassis are around in very small quantities and the 9' single rear wheel unit like this is the rarest of them.

I think the biggest reason for that is people are used to the 12' and they just keep doing that. Sometimes I'm progressive and innovative and other times, I'm kind of stuck in my ways--my old thinking, if you will. When I first saw this combination, I didn't think much of it. I've changed my mind and I see a great value in this truck. Here's why:

  • This is mounted on a 56" box delete unit and can be mounted on a regular cab, extended cab, or crew cab.
  • In the photo above, this unit has a 2,005 lb. cargo capacity which is pretty hefty for this smaller size and certainly more than the heavier service body with rack and hitch.
  • This configuration will typically be carrying lesser loads than the typical service body on the same chassis. Even though there is open space for stuff, the things put on this unit are generally not permanent and they are things like hoses, wheelbarrows, small amounts of product, etc.
  • Just think of all the places that this small unit (same wheelbase as an 8' pickup, only about 1 foot longer and a couple inches wider, and about the same height as a pickup with a rack) can go that the most typical 12' dually with a 48" longer wheelbase cannot go.
  • Maneuverability is a huge consideration on job sites.
  • This will drive just like a pickup truck.
  • The rack is bolted on and that makes it removable.
  • It has great lockable storage including the open top upper box which is a good space for small parts or take the dividers out and use it for long things.
  • This opens a market for a lot of smaller customers like handymen and so on to move from the pickup with a shell to something a bit more useful.

I've seen the single rear wheel Contractor Body from other body companies and they are good. I do think that Scelzi has done a particularly good job in their design on the single rear wheel chassis. I like the use of the composite floor and gates. This body just looks great on this truck.

So, it goes to show you that you can teach an old dog new tricks. I've become a believer--but even more than that--a promoter. I think this is a great solution and it is now part of my stocking strategy! The Single Rear Wheel Contractor Body. It's a winner!


It's A Service Body, It's A Flatbed, It's a Hybrid!

This is an interesting combination of things that Harbor Truck Bodies calls a Saw Body. Designed for concrete cutters, it looks like a service body on the side, yet this is, as shown in the photos, a flatbed frame with things added to it, such as, tall storage compartments and smaller compartments on the side along with a metal wall frame. Inside this is an optional enclosed section sporting a 3-piece cargo enclosure, shown open and closed, and of course doors on the rear that are lockable. Closing up the entire rear area is an Interlift ILK Compact Cantilever liftgate doing double duty as a liftgate to raise and lower heavy saws while acting as an effective rear door.

How interesting to take a flatbed and create a whole new kind of body. It's a hybrid!


Utilimaster Walk-In Van on Freightliner Chassis

This is the Freightliner Aeromaster Walk-In Van with the M2 hood by Utilimaster--and a sweet one it is! Nothin' like throwing a nice set of Alcoa wheels on a plain old white rig to make it pop! Looks like it's worth $10,000 more.

The Aeromaster is designed to provide the lowest entry from the ground into the custom built cab as well as the widest cab door opening. Once inside the vehicle, the driver has the ability to enter and exit the cab area without stepping outside of the vehicle. This provides the driver the safest and most efficient way to perform their business.

With the ability to select a body length from 11' to 24', the width from 86.5" to 93.5" and a height from 73" to 85", the Aeromaster built on a Freightliner chassis offers a wide variety of configurations for the customer. In addition to the large number of standard features that are included in the Aeromaster, there are many different options that can be selected.
The Utilimaster designed Aeromaster is the leader in the industry and is the backbone for many customers that you encounter every day.

Download a brochure, look at lots of photos of this, along with other brand chassis and all the specs you can handle. Go to www.utilimaster.com.


Rugged American & S.M.A.R.T. Rack

This is a great shot of an ABC Rugged American Tuff Body with S.M.A.R.T. rack. The floor is white 3/4" one piece composite and the racks are composite with steel posts. Gates swing-away in the rear. Nice unit.


Special Contractor with Very Long Rack

I ran across this in my files. It's an interesting contractor body with a very long rack . One thing I've always admired about Harbor Truck Bodies is they bolt all their racks rather than weld them on. It's extra work, but can make a huge difference when the need to remove it exists. This rack is not only long but pretty intriguing. What is also different is to have a Waltco Flipaway liftgate. It is so rare I can count on one hand from hundreds of contractor bodies how many have liftgates at all. Nice piece!


Ever Wonder What Cargo Goes On A Contractor Body?

Ever wonder what kind of stuff gets put on a Contractor Body? Well, I've seen lots of different stuff on Contractor Bodies, and none exceeds the stuff on this one. That's some real stuff there. I didn't show the rest of the truck, but it was about as well worn and tossed about as the bed area appears. I caught this in the service department at a dealership. At least there's work getting done. I hope the quality of work is better than I might anticipate looking at this.


Knapheide Makes Great Commercial Caps

Along with Knapheide's legendary service bodies and flatbeds, Knapheide makes a number of different commercial caps like the great looking Knap Kap (TM) above.

In addition to the best protection against rust--the K-Coat, Knapheide's state-of-the-art, custom designed electrocoating prime paint system with a 6-year warranty, here are a number of features that speak very highly of Knapheide's commitment to quality:

  • Center high mounted safety lamp
  • Double spring-loaded, over-center retainers with vertical doors eliminate involuntary swing
  • Durable double panel galvanneal door for easy access
  • 4 1/2" T-handle twist lock with 3 point contact for positive closure and door security
  • "Pry Proof" stainless steel hinges for security
  • Bulkhead window for safety and visibility
  • Spacious cargo storage area accommodates 48" wide materials
  • Automotive door seals on side and rear doors protect tools and materials against the elements
  • Adjustable gas cylinder door struts for easy and safe operation
  • Rugged A40 galvanneal steel body shell assures strength and corrosion resistance

The Knap Kap (TM) is available in 25" and 33" heights. It is available in full height double vertical doors that provide 49 1/2" wide clear door openings, single horizontal flip up door that matches up to the truck tailgate, and full height single vertical door for compact trucks. Knapheide has a full range of options to customize your cap to make the best use of your particular work needs. Add a bed slider and you've got one awesome package.

The best part is the large distributor network all across the country to serve your needs with local support. See more information on all the great caps and other products Knapheide has to offer by visiting Knapheide's website at www.knapheide.com.


City of Santa Monica Orders First US Built Electric ZeroTruck


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, June 19 2009 ... The City of Santa Monica has purchased the first ZeroTruck all-electric zero emission medium duty truck. The vehicle will be equipped with a Scelzi utility body for use in the City of Santa Monica. Fleet Superintendent Rick Sikes explains what this means for the City's fleet. "This truck meets the needs of our Water Division and the goals of our Sustainable City Plan to reduce emissions and reduce our use of petroleum. A zero emission medium-duty truck is something that has never been available to us until now."

The ZeroTruck is an all-electric zero emission medium duty trucks based on the Isuzu N series chassis and is the only US built electric truck offered for sale in the United States in 2009. The ZeroTruck offers a low cab forward design, a fully automated transmission, up to 100-mile range with full highway capability, advanced lithium batteries, an onboard battery charger, regenerative braking, and powered by a UQM PowerPhase 100 advanced electric motor. Delivery will be through South Bay Truck Center of Carson, CA (a ZeroTruck dealer).

Electrorides CEO Tedd Abramson states, “the vehicle is a realistic solution for fleets to go “zero emission” and will be used for evaluation and demonstration to other state and local governments who are expected to continue to reduce emissions with the number one choice, electric. By encouraging fleets to go zero-emission with future vehicle purchases makes sense and we commend the SCAQMD and Santa Monica for taking leadership positions with the plug-in electric/zero emission approach.”

Electrorides electric drive integration system (EDIS) converts class (3-5) trucks to run on electric power with a highway speed of 55 mph, and up to 100 miles per battery charge using lithium polymer battery technology. This range is ideal for the medium-duty market, as most usage for this type of vehicle is less than 100 miles/day using dozens of body configurations.

The ZeroTruck is currently listed on the GSA buy list under alternative fueled vehicles.

ELECTRORIDES, INC., based in Southern California, is a developer and producer of commercial electric trucks for public and private fleet operators.

For more information on Electrorides - ZeroTruck, please contact: Ariel Shafir: Ariel@electrorides.com, Director Public Relations/Media (714) 675-7117 www.zerotruck.com.


Metallic Paint Service Body for Sierra Pool & Spa

More color! More color! Not just red! Yeah! Most are aware of my commercial truck color fetish and today's post is an awesome one. Only the bold go to metallic paint on commercial trucks. This light blue metallic is a beauty and Harbor Truck Bodies has done a fine job with it. Considering that it is virtually impossible to match the paint exactly between the body and the cab due to different metal, thickness, shape, ideal and non-ideal paint conditions, and more, yet--Harbor has matched this as close as anyone (even me!) could expect. It looks wonderful.

This unit was built for Sierra Pool & Spa serving Southern California. They serve an extremely large geographical area! I'm guessing they love driving this beauty around and it shows a lot about their company: classy and successful! That's a good thing.

Thanks to Kimberly at Harbor for sending me so many shots of great bodies.


Nice Custom Cone Body for O.C. Jones & Son

Here's a nice clean cone body built for O.C. Jones & Sons, Inc., whose roots go back to 1924. I love the color of their trucks and I see them all over the bay area. North Bay Truck Body has built another high quality, full-featured truck.


Hot Shot ProTech Beauties from North Bay Truck Body

Here's a couple of hot shot beauties for the Cordelia Fire District built by local body builder, North Bay Truck Body in Cordelia, CA. Who doesn't like fire trucks?

These two beauties are great examples of ProTech flatbed and ProTech tool boxes and accessories combined with other equipment to make a lasting and very nice looking package. Awesome trucks. My thanks to the team at North Bay Truck Body for sharing these great photos. Check out their other creations at www.nbtb.com.


Hackney & Same Day Service Plumbing = Match

The photo at the top of this post is of Carwin H Brice II, the President/CEO of Same Day Service Plumbing. We featured Carwin's brand new trucks on February 12th in this blog. We ran across him at a service station in the summer of 2008 (Previous post). So, we called him up to see if we could do a piece on how his trucks are looking now and how they are working out for him. He made the investment and we wanted to see if it was paying off. It is.

Carwin just loves the Hackney Plumbing Bodies that he took a lot of time researching and planning for to replace his aging cutaway body fleet. Since Same Day Service works a large geographical area (Woodland, Davis, Dixon, Winters, Vallejo, Benicia, Vacaville, Fairfield, West Sacramento and all parts in between!), he wanted bodies that could carry the equipment and supplies needed for a whole day's work without returning for supplies. He worked with engineers at Hackney to get the right options to make this body do the best job for Same Day Service. He said it was a gruelling task, but he is extremely pleased that he took the time and energy.

You can see by the interior that there is storage for water heaters and much more along with ladders inside on top of the shelf system. Then there is the awesome shelves themselves. Each fitted with a HD plastic drawer and the shelf has a stop on it keep the drawer in its place while travelling. You have to lift up the drawer to pull it out. Of course, the drawer as shown has no sliders, so you can remove it, restock it and replace it or take it inside to the job site. Very functional and good size as well.

Look also at the ramp that we built into the unit. It is a ramp just like those used on van bodies and it tucks away nicely in a small compartment with a separate door. When needed, it is just the thing to load the truck or offload heavier items and save the backs of the technicians.

The body is all aluminum including the interior shelving system, so the body is lightweight, yet extremely durable. Carwin says he will wear out the truck long before the body. For this body he is using two different chassis: the Ford F450 84" CA and the Dodge 4500 84" CA. It seems pretty obvious that he is partial to the Dodge and gives it extremely high ratings for fuel economy, power, performance and stability. They tow trailers with these units from time to time and he says you don't even notice the trailer with the Dodge and the Dodge has a jake brake which is a real brake saver. He's always been a Ford guy, but is really paying attention to the Dodge and its attributes.

The Hackney body is nicely designed inside and out. Look at the smooth exterior and how the lettering just flows. It looks elegant even. It appears from our conversation with Carwin and the added work that is getting done more efficiently, that this Hackney Body is a match for Same Day Service Plumbing. We appreciate Carwin and his team taking the time to let us come to his facility and take these shots and learn more about his great company. Check out their effective website at www.samedayserviceplumbing.com.