All New Ford Engineered, Ford Built 6.7 Liter Diesel Engine


DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 25, 2010 – A new era in Ford diesel technology arrives with the Ford-engineered, Ford-tested and Ford-manufactured 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V-8 turbocharged diesel engine.

Debuting in the 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty truck, the new diesel engine delivers best-in-class 735 ft.-lb. of torque (at 1,600 rpm), 390 horsepower (at 2,800 rpm) and class-leading fuel economy while adding more fueling flexibility and easily meeting stringent new emissions requirements.

The new 6.7-liter diesel engine also shares the Super Duty’s legendary reliability and durability while enabling best-in-class towing capability of 24,400 pounds.

“This all-new diesel engine has been so extensively tested both in the lab and in the real world that we’re confident we’re giving our customers the most reliable and productive powertrain available today,” said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Ford Global Product Development. “Our Super Duty customers demand reliability and durability in their trucks so they can deliver the best results for their business and their customers. That’s exactly what this engine delivers.”

The diesel engine team made improvements and changes throughout the engine architecture to deliver on aggressive horsepower, torque, emissions and fuel economy targets. The 6.7-liter Power Stroke uses an “inboard exhaust” architecture, an automotive-industry first for a modern production diesel engine. It combines the best of proven technology with new, patented approaches backed by an extensive laboratory and real-world testing regimen to assure customer satisfaction.

Benefits of the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbocharged diesel engine include:

  • First use of a compacted graphite iron (CGI) engine block in a Super Duty-class vehicle in North America; stronger than cast iron, Ford has successfully used CGI in engine blocks in products around the world. The block structure was optimized for reduced weight and maximum strength to meet the demands of higher torque and horsepower.
  • Unique inboard exhaust and outboard intake architecture, an automotive-industry first for a modern production diesel engine, reduces overall exhaust system volume, which leads to better throttle response for the customer; additionally, reduced exhaust system surface area minimizes heat transfer to the engine compartment and improves NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) performance.
  • The new engine architecture enables easier service work for all major engine components, potentially reducing downtime. On turbocharger service, for example, the body/cab no longer has to be removed from the frame to access the turbo; also, the high-pressure fuel pump, EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) components and thermostats are directly accessible from the front of the vehicle.
  • Honeywell’s VNT™ (variable nozzle turbine) DualBoost turbocharger features an industry-first dual-sided compressor wheel that works in a single housing. The unit is uniquely center-mounted on a pedestal low in the back of the valley for improved NVH. This turbocharger design allows the single unit to deliver the benefits of a twin-turbocharger system in a smaller, more efficient package, combining the advantages of a small turbocharger (faster response) and a large turbocharger (ability to compress and force more air into the engine for more power) in one unit.
  • The high-pressure Bosch fuel system injects fuel at more than 29,000 psi. The system delivers up to five injection events per cylinder per cycle using eight-hole piezo injectors to spray fuel into the piston bowl. The direct-injection system is calibrated and phased for optimum power, fuel efficiency and NVH performance.
  • Aluminum cylinder heads for reduced weight; the mid-deck construction with dual water jackets provides increased strength and optimal cooling; also, six head bolts, instead of four as found on other engines, help improve sealing and maintain cylinder integrity even with the higher firing pressures; overall the engine is about 160 pounds lighter.
  • Compatible up to B20 fuel, allowing greener fueling options of up to 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petroleum diesel.

This is great news for Ford Truck purchasers in late 2010. To see the whole article on the All-New 6.7 Liter Ford Built, Ford Designed Diesel engine: New 6.7 Liter Diesel


Isuzu 12t CrewCab Receives Official Cart Marking

First step Forward as Isuzu 12t crewcab receives
official Cart Marking at London’s Guildhall

The first 12 tonne Isuzu ‘Forward’ crewcab, in the livery of the Automania Group Ltd, featured at this year's Cart Marking Day in the City of London. As part of a 40-strong parade and vehicle drive-past, the Isuzu ‘Forward’ 12 tonne truck received its official marking in the presence of the Rt Hon Lord Mayor of London, the Sherriff and other City officers.

Featuring a Worldwide Recovery Systems slideback body, the Isuzu ‘Forward’ 12t truck is one of a pair of new recovery vehicles recently added to the predominantly Isuzu recovery fleet at the West London based company Automania.

“The Cart Marking 2009 ceremony is an annual event within the City of London calendar and it was fitting that one of our newly introduced vehicle specifications, a 12tonne crewcab model, played a significant role in this historic event,” said Keith Child, Marketing Director at Isuzu Truck (UK) Limited.

The cart marking ceremony at the Guildhall in London is a time-honoured tradition, maintained by The Worshipful Company of Carmen. Selective vehicles, representing the history of transport, are branded with the red-hot iron on a wooden plate; also carrying a unique vehicle number and the Carmen arms. The ceremony acts as a reminder of centuries of service by transport organisations to the city of London.
Further information about Isuzu Truck UK can be viewed on the company's website at www.isuzutruck.co.uk


New 2011 Ram Chassis Cabs Deliver Complete Commercial Package

New 2011 Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs
Deliver Complete Commercial Package

  • All-new crew cab increases leg room six inches
  • All-new design and exterior styling
  • Largest standard fuel tank (52 gallons)
  • Best-in-class fuel economy (Cummins Turbo Diesel – Ram 4500/5500 models)
  • Largest front-brake rotors and calipers (Ram 4500/5500 models)
  • Standard diesel exhaust brake
  • Standard diesel 24,000 lb. Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) and optional 26,000 lb. GCWR package both best-in-class on Ram 3500 model
  • All-new optional integrated trailer-brake controller
  • Four all-new upfitter switches integrated into the instrument panel
  • Ultra-clean 2011 diesel emissions-compliant with new diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) injection based on urea injection Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) technology
  • Unsurpassed standard diesel engine warranty: 5 years/100,000 miles
  • HEMI V-8 with Variable-valve Timing (VVT) improves fuel economy up to 4 percent (Ram 3500)
  • Six-speed automatic and manual transmission with Power Take-off (PTO) capability
  • Diesel engine base alternator increased to 180-amps from 136-amps
  • Comprehensive commercial-grade service and support with Body Builder Guide and hotline support from engineering team
  • B20 package available to fleet customers only

For more information on Dodge Trucks: Dodge Commercial Trucks.


1/2-Ton Work Truck Is Inexpensive Alternative

Here is a great alternative, cost-saving way to get the work done and keep your valuable stuff out of sight and out of the weather. We start with a great Chevy 1/2-ton 8' bed pickup truck with a small V-8 for power and fuel economy too, then we add a lightweight and strong A.R.E. aluminum contractor shell with dual doors on each side. In this case we have put a cabinet in the back compartments and left the front open for a couple of reasons. One is that you can access what is in the front of the bed area easily and quickly, and the other is that a shelf across the bed would be a great place to mount an electrical inverter or other items that help get the job done.

The best part of this package is adding the IFW Bedslide. This one is rated at 1200 lbs. No more crawling up in the back of the pickup bed. My knees hurt just thinking about it. This baby rolls right out and has a stop in the middle and one at the end to lock it in place. When you're done, just turn the handle and roll it back into the park position. It couldn't be simpler. There is also a HD aluminum rack on top of the shell. It is solid.

These items don't add a lot of weight, so we can still carry a bunch of stuff. In this case, the cargo capacity is 1,027 lbs. after installing the bedslide and shell. This truck has the 4.8 gas V-8, AC, Camper mirrors, Stabilitrak, Trailering Pkg, Locking Differential and a gas conserving 3.23 axle ratio. This unit was built by Fairfield Commercial Truck and the optional items were added by Vaca Valley Truck & SUV in Vacaville, CA.

The best reason to buy this kind of rig is this: it is much less money initially, the serviceable items are much less expensive than on 3/4 and 1-ton trucks. It is low to the ground so it is comfortable to get in and out of. It looks great, and it is set up to do some solid work. There is plenty of usable space to make getting those jobs done easier.


Tymco Model 435 Regenerative Air Sweeper

Here is a Tymco Model 435 Regenerative Air Sweeper mounted on an Isuzu NQR that came in for service some time back. I took some shots because I don't really deal in sweepers and see them rarely. This one looked like it was almost new.

Learn more about this sweeper and all the models from Tymco, of Waco, Texas. You can reach them by phone at 800-258-9626. Website is www.tymco.com.


Custom SuperStructure For Search & Rescue

This is a custom SuperStructure 9' Service Body manufactured by Harbor Truck Bodies, of Brea, CA for their customer Mono County Search and Rescue. This is a great looking, and very functional body with room for lots of things.

This body has horizontal compartments on both sides, where the horizontal compartment normally over the wheels only is extended to the end of the body to allow the carrying of longer tools and items that would not normally fit in any of the service body compartments. The good news about that is that it is typically a "no charge" option. Those huge upper compartments can carry some really large items by removing the shelf. Then there are those awesome light to light up the whole area on all three sides of the body. And, last, there is the whole lockable area in the rear which will take care of what won't fit in the compartments. All that mounted on a Ford Crew Cab F450, makes for a awesome package.

Thanks to Kimberly Bellamy for the photos. See more of what Harbor builds at their website at www.htbi.net.


2010 Chevy Silverado Hybrid


The Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid is a powerful, full-size pickup that achieves 40-percent greater city fuel economy and a 25-percent improvement in overall fuel economy while delivering the capability expected of a full-size truck – including a 6,100-pound (2,767 kg) towing capacity.

Partnering General Motors’ patented two-mode hybrid system and a powerful 6.0L gas V-8, the Silverado Hybrid delivers highly efficient performance, including all-electric driving up to 30 mph (48 km/h). That saves fuel even when the truck is fully loaded or towing a trailer.

EPA-estimated fuel economy for both 2WD and 4WD models is 21 mpg in the city and 22 on the highway. Combined with a 26-gallon (98 L) fuel tank, the Silverado Hybrid delivers a cruising range of more than 500 miles.

The Silverado Hybrid is offered in the crew cab body style on both 2WD and 4WD models. Each model is equipped with several standard, popular features, including StabiliTrak electronic stability control system, a locking rear axle and a trailering package. Silverado Hybrid also offers dual-stage frontal air bags and head curtain side air bags, and it is the only full-size truck with five-star side-impact ratings in federal crash tests.

Hybrid details

The Silverado Hybrid’s fuel-saving performance is derived from GM’s advanced Electrically Variable Transmission (EVT) and 300-volt nickel-metal hydride Energy Storage System (ESS), which work with the standard 6.0L V-8 gasoline engine with Active Fuel Management (AFM) and late intake valve closing (LIVC) technology. GM’s hybrid technology system not only enables the Silverado to launch and drive up to 30 mph on electricity alone, it allows the Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine to operate in its more economical V-4 mode for longer periods.

As part of the vehicle’s emission control system, the ESS is warranted for eight years/100,000 miles.

In the Silverado Hybrid, the hybrid system itself generates the electricity used to propel the vehicle. When the brakes are applied or the vehicle is coasting, the electric motors within the hybrid system create electricity and store it in the 300-volt battery. This stored energy moves the vehicle and the regenerative braking cycle is renewed.

The two-mode hybrid system provides seamless, dependable power on demand in an efficient package. In fact, its electric motor is less than half the size of those in single-mode hybrid systems. This technology was developed and is still used in fleets of hybrid transit buses in more than 70 North American and European cities. Scaled down for use in passenger vehicles, the system delivers fuel savings where it is needed most – in large vehicles with high levels of capability. The two-mode system was first introduced on the 2008 Tahoe Hybrid. It is a core part of GM’s energy diversity efforts, which are centered on reducing dependence on petroleum, improving fuel economy, reducing emissions and minimizing the automobile’s impact on the environment.

Quiet and smooth

Integration of the hybrid system on the Silverado is seamless – the battery pack is beneath the rear seat – and delivers a quiet driving experience. Contributors include:

  • New exhaust system and resonator tuned for the 6.0L engine’s Active Fuel Management operation
  • Additional engine intake induction tuning for reduced interior noise and pleasing sound quality
  • Low-rolling resistance, “quiet-tuned” P265/65R18 tires for reduced road noise
  • Electrically driven 300-volt air conditioning compressor reduces vibration and allows the standard, tri-zone HVAC system to cool the passenger compartment even when the gasoline engine is shut off
  • Electrically driven 42-volt variable-assist power steering reduces vibration and provides up to a 0.5-mpg fuel economy improvement by reducing parasitic losses common in belt-driven hydraulic systems
  • Energy Storage System (ESS) cooling system internal fan is tuned to be quiet at low vehicle speeds.

Along with quietness, the Silverado Hybrid also delivers exceptional driving smoothness, thanks to specifically tuned shocks and a hydraulic body mount. Located on the passenger side of the chassis, the hydraulic mount provides a dramatic improvement in highway driving smoothness, particularly on rough or choppy road surfaces.

Trailering performance

In addition to increased fuel economy, the Silverado Hybrid’s electrically variable transmission also provides tremendous trailering capability, enhancing driving smoothness and quality when towing. Towing capacity is 6,100 pounds (2,767 kg) with 2WD models and 5900 pounds (2,676 kg) with 4WD models.

Electric drive is enabled up to approximately 30 mph (48 km/h), saving fuel even when the truck is towing a trailer.

The EVT incorporates grade braking and tap up/tap down shift control. It also benefits towing on curves or lower-speed back roads, as exceptionally smooth gear transitions eliminate the “shift shock” torque disruption that can occur during abrupt shifts, such as when slowing or braking.

In addition to the eight-year/100,000-mile warranty on the Silverado Hybrid’s Energy Storage System, GM's Five-Year/100,000 Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty continues to make GM a better choice for customers. GM's coverage focuses on the complete ownership experience and includes other provisions that competitors do not offer, including transferability to the next owner, more complete coverage of parts, and coverage for new and certified used vehicles. In addition, GM offers free courtesy transportation and roadside assistance.

See more at www.Chevrolet.com.


What A Great Idea! Full Side Access.

There is nothing quite so interesting and so useful as the window shade style shutter door on the side of this van body by Supreme. We borrowed the idea from the Safeway.com trucks that Supreme built.

This unit is as short as a pickup truck, yet has a 10' box and better turning radius. It is just tall enough to stand up straight it. With the shutter style door and the barn style doors on the rear, there is no loss of headroom, so this box can be fully loaded.

Access to load and unload is a piece of cake and the load floor height is approximately that of a half ton pickup truck tailgate. No back issues. The full length grip strut step and grap handles allows one to get inside very easily.

Another advantage is that this box can be easily loaded with a forklift. Want to carry some heavy engines in crates here and there, no problem. And this truck will carry approximately 3,000 lbs., so it will handle the job.

To see more photos, go to www.fairfieldcommercialtruck.com.


Len Deluca To Speak At Nor Cal Ford Truck Club Event

The Northern California Ford Truck Club announced its next meeting date is March 18th, 2010 and will include an optional golf tournament, with the main meeting starting at 3:00pm.

This event is a "must attend" because the guest speaker will be Len Deluca, Director of Commercial Truck Sales and Marketing leading a "Mini Grass Roots" meeting along with Craig Cannons, Ford Commercial Business Manager.

Get more information and a sign up sheet at the www.NorCalFordTruckClub.com website.


The Ford Falcon UTE - A Hit In Australia

Australia's got a pretty cool truck in the Ford Falcon UTE, which is available as a cab chassis as shown in this promo photo with the flatbed installed. Pretty swank looking rig! It doesn't look anything like a work truck, but get this: it has a capacity up to 1,240kg (2,733 lbs)!! Look how nice and low to the ground it is. Easy to work from.

The Falcon UTE Chassis Cab is available in three models. The one shown here is the top of the line. The chassis cab's come with a 4.0 litre DOHC I-6 engine and a 6-speed manual or 5-speed auto transmission. The XR6 has all the bells and whistles including 4-way power seat, power windows and locks, CD player and much more. There is an available E-Gas option for a factory built LPG unit using the 4.0 litre engine with a 4-speed automatic. The optional one tonne suspension gives the maximum payload. A 2,300 kg (5,070 lbs) towpack is available.

When I was in Syndey a few years ago, I saw plenty of these kind of trucks and thought how useful they were. I didn't realize that Ford was doing such a great job down under. The Falcon UTE is an excellent offering and just a portion of Ford's presence in Australia. For more information on the Falcon UTE and other Ford products in Australia, visit Ford's website at www.ford.com.au.


Nice Lighting Options For Harbor WorkMaster

Look how bright the interior of this Harbor WorkMaster is, and it is all done with very low draw LED lighting. In the custom closeable compartments on the side are several Maxxima M844280 LED Cargo Light Strips. Sweet! Won't have any trouble finding things in there! Then, the overhead are two Grote LED "WhiteLight" Recessed-Mounted Dome Lamps.

This truck should go for a long time with great visibility using these quality products. Thanks to Kimberly Bellamy at Harbor Truck Bodies in Brea, CA for the photo and information. You can contact Harbor at 800-433-9452 and visit their website at www.htbi.net for a list of distributors in your area.


Interesting Body Caught On Freeway

Down in the East Bay Area below Oakland a few months ago, I quickly got my camera to catch a shot of this truck. I cannot read the writing, but thought it was fascinating. It has two very tall boxes that have a single door rather than the more common double door opening, then 2-24" boxes stacked on top of one another behind the tall boxes, which appear to be about 36" wide, maybe just a tad more.

Then there is a conventional liftgate looking like it is holding everything on the truck (and creating some serious wind resistance too!). Can't see the other side. It may be completely devoid of boxes on that side. All mounted on a 12' flatbed mounted on a Ford F450-550. Nice rig!


Brilliant Cargo Bed Enclosure Design

Now, this is a treat! Typically, the front section of a cargo bed enclosure is permanently mounted to the truck and does not open, so if it is a 2-piece setup, it usually opens about 1/2 of the bed area, and a 3-pieces opens about two thirds of the bed area and the last section is holding the other two. In this case, the front section is mounted with hinges and gas shocks so that it can raise up to completely expose the entire bed area. How brilliant! This is the first I have seen of this kind of design for the cargo bed enclosure and I have seen hundreds of cargo bed enclosures of all varieties. Absolutely brilliant.

This one was built for Downtown Ford of Sacramento by Jack Schmidt, owner of West Coast Truck Equipment in West Sacramento, CA. You can have Jack build one for you. Call him at 916-376-0690 and visit his website at www.westcoastruckequipment.com.


2011 New Silverado HD - Coming Soon!

  • Segment-best towing (20,000 lb / 9,072 kg) and payload (6,335 lb / 2,873 kg) supported by all-new frames and strong suspensions for maximum capability
  • Class-leading torque, class-leading fuel economy with up to 63-percent lower emissions and quicker acceleration with new 6.6L Duramax diesel mated to new Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission
  • B20 biodiesel capable
  • All-new exhaust brake system for greater feeling of control and reduced brake pad wear
  • Comprehensive set of confidence- and control-related features, including trailer sway control, integrated trailer brake control, hill start assist, automatic grade braking and intelligent brake assist
  • Bold and new exterior design features louvered hood, front bumper, grille and 20-inch wheels
  • Extended cab models feature 170-degree-opening rear access doors for unobstructed access to the interior
  • Purposeful technology, including available mobile WiFi, USB connectivity, Bluetooth connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, OnStar 9.0 and navigation
  • Goes on sale this summer


1. New frames
2. New and strong independent front suspension
3. New asymmetrical leaf-spring rear suspension
4. Segment-leading towing and payload capability
5. New 6.6L Duramax diesel and Allison 1000 six-speed combination
6. Strengthened Vortec 6.0L/Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed powertrain
7. Exhaust brake system
8. Large brakes
9. Refined and capable ride, handling and steering
10. The 2011 Silverado 2500HD and 3500HD models have a comprehensive roster of safety features and functional technologies.

To see all the details: 2011 Chevy Silverado HD


Strattec Introduces New BOLT Series One Key Locks

NTEA Show Marks Launch of BOLT Series of Locks to Work Truck Market

MILWAUKEE – Targeting commercial truck drivers, fleet operators, trade professionals and heavy truck users – or anyone else who’s ever searched a giant key ring for that one elusive key – STRATTEC Security Corp. has just launched a series of locks that open with their owner’s truck or sport utility vehicle key.

The 2010 NTEA Show will mark the debut of the new BOLT (Breakthrough One-key Lock Technology) Series of locks to the work truck industry. The BOLT Series of locks incorporate a patented, automotive-style cylinder that enables users to insert their truck key, turn once and program the lock to that key. Any number of padlocks or other locks in the series can be set by the owner to a single key. In addition, since the BOLT Series of locks use an automotive-grade cylinder with a shutter and six-plate tumbler, they have the highest corrosion resistance rating and are nearly impossible to pick or bump. They’re also significantly stronger and more durable than typical cam locks, making them ideal for demanding work truck applications.

Research has confirmed the intuitive appeal of the BOLT products among work truck users. According to a survey of work truck fleet managers conducted by STRATTEC in partnership with Automotive Fleet and Work Truck magazines, nearly 70 percent of respondents were interested in having truck storage compartments keyed to the truck’s ignition key.

"Imagine the convenience and simplicity of having just one key for all your truck and equipment locks, and it’s your ignition key,” said STRATTEC Director of New Market Development Mike Long. “We anticipate huge interest in this product among a variety of users, from commercial drivers to utilities, electrical contractors and fleet managers.”

The BOLT Series of locks will initially include a padlock, 5/8” receiver lock, ½” receiver lock, cable lock, spare tire lock and motorcycle wheel lock, with other products to follow. The BOLT system is also available as optional equipment on storage compartments in utility, service and lift truck bodies built by Knapheide, Caseco, BrandFX and other manufacturers.

The company estimates the BOLT Series locks to fit over 88 percent of light trucks and over 70 percent of all Ford, GM and Chrysler vehicles on the road, making them compatible with over 111 million vehicles. They are also compatible with a number of heavy truck models, including International Pro Star, International 4000 Series, Volvo VN Series, and Sterling Condor.

The BOLT Series of locks were introduced in late 2009 at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas. The locks won two separate awards there, being named one of the show’s best new products by both the SEMA Global Media panel and the SEMA Light Truck Accessory Alliance. They’ve since been honored by AutoWeek (AW) magazine, which featured BOLT in its December 2009 Holiday Gift Guide.

The U.S.-made BOLT Series will also be marketed by DuraSafe, Inc. in the marine and outdoor product markets.

STRATTEC is the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive locks and keys, and supplies ignition locks and keys to all three U.S. automakers. For more information about the STRATTEC BOLT Series of locks, visit www.BOLTlock.com.


Ford Announces the 2011 Transit Connect Electric

CHICAGO, Feb. 9, 2010 – Ford Motor Company today unveiled the all-electric version of the Ford Transit Connect – the 2010 North American Truck of the Year – at the Chicago Auto Show and confirmed the zero-emissions small van will be in fleet operators’ hands later this year.

The 2011 Transit Connect Electric will use a Force Drive electric powertrain manufactured and integrated by specialty upfitter Azure Dynamics.

“Transit Connect Electric exemplifies how we are leveraging our relationships as well as our hybrid and advanced powertrain programs to bring energy-efficient technologies from the laboratory to the street,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “Not only is this an ideal vehicle for eco-conscious fleet operators, it is an important part of Ford’s future.”

In addition to the Transit Connect Electric, Ford plans to bring three more electrified vehicles to market by 2012 – the Focus Electric in 2011, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle in 2012 and a next-generation hybrid in 2012.

Getting charged up and moving

Transit Connect Electric is well-suited for commercial fleets that travel predictable, short-range routes with frequent stop-and-go driving in urban and suburban environments and a central location for daily recharging. The vehicle, which will accelerate at a similar rate as the gas-powered Transit Connect and will have a top speed of 75 mph, has a targeted range of up to 80 miles on a full charge.

Owners will have the option of recharging the Transit Connect Electric with either a standard 120V outlet or preferably a 240V charge station installed at the user’s base of operations for optimal recharging in six to eight hours. A transportable cord that works with both types of outlets will be available for recharging at both kinds of locations.

The vehicle’s charge port is located above the passenger-side rear wheel well. The onboard liquid-cooled 28-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack is charged by connecting the charge port to a power outlet. Inside the vehicle, an onboard charger converts the AC power from the electric grid to DC power to charge the battery pack.

“We’re excited about the potential for our electrified vehicles,” said Praveen Cherian, program 2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric manager for the Transit Connect Electric, who added that today’s electric vehicle buyers are similar to early adopters of hybrid vehicles. “People were a little hesitant about hybrid technology at first, but now they accept it and embrace it. We expect the same will be true of electric vehicles.”

Driving On Electric Power

When the vehicle is operating, battery power is provided to the drive motor through the electric powertrain’s motor controller. The motor controller uses throttle input from the driver to convert DC power supplied by the battery into three precisely timed signals used to drive the motor.

The onboard DC/DC converter allows the vehicle’s main battery pack to charge the onboard 12V battery, which powers the vehicle’s various accessories, such as headlights, power steering and coolant pumps.

In the Transit Connect Electric, the battery pack has been efficiently integrated without compromising interior passenger room and cargo space. The battery pack is expected to last the life of the vehicle.

Collaborations are key

Transit Connect Electric builds on the existing business relationship between Ford and Azure Dynamics, as well as their shared experience with battery supplier, Johnson Controls-Saft.

“There is an increasing interest in electrified vehicles, and we are committed to bringing these vehicles to the marketplace,” said Nancy Gioia, Ford director of Global Electrification. “Ford’s work with Azure and Johnson Controls-Saft to create a purely electric Transit Connect will allow us to offer fleet customers an additional option for eco-friendly transportation.”

Oak Park, Mich.-based Azure Dynamics develops hybrid electric and electric drive technology for shuttle buses and commercial trucks, such as the Balance™ Hybrid Electric, which is built on the Ford E-450 cutaway and strip chassis for the medium-duty commercial vehicle segment.

“The opportunity to work with Ford on the Transit Connect Electric is a breakthrough advancement for us at Azure and for the light-commercial vehicle market,” said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics CEO. “For us, it’s an important evolution of our existing relationship with Ford. From an industry standpoint, we are seeing delivery fleet and utility vehicle operators move to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.”

Azure Dynamics’ proprietary Force Drive battery electric powertrain will be the driving force in the Transit Connect Electric. Force Drive components have previously been deployed in more than 40 vehicle integrations and have more than 25 million miles of on-the-road experience.

Johnson Controls-Saft was selected by Azure Dynamics as the supplier for lithium-ion battery cells and battery packs for the Transit Connect Electric. Azure Dynamics and Ford both currently use Johnson Controls-Saft battery technology for other products.

An ideal platform

With a unique combination of car-like driving dynamics, cargo capacity, accessibility and low purchase and operation costs, the Transit Connect is an ideal choice for electrification.

The Transit Connect Electric is expected to offer lower cost of operation, because recharging with electricity is generally less expensive than refueling with gasoline. Users may also benefit from much lower maintenance costs over the life of the vehicle. Consider the following:

  • The number of components typical in an internal combustion engine and transmission are
    dramatically reduced in an electric vehicle to just a few moving parts in the electric motor and transaxle, which results in much fewer parts to wear out or maintain
  • Electric powertrains operate with solid state electronics, which have demonstrated low or no maintenance over the life of the product
  • Electric vehicles have completely sealed cooling systems that do not require refilling,
    replacement or flushing
  • Electric vehicles require no oil changes or tune-ups
  • There are no belts to wear out or break and no spark plugs or injectors to clean or adjust
  • There is no exhaust system to replace and no liquid fuel system to freeze or clog
  • The use of regenerative braking reduces wear and tear on brake pads

Common strengths

Although there are significant differences between the Transit Connect Electric and its gas-powered twin, there are many things in common as well. Both models offer:

  • 135 cubic feet of cargo volume with 59.1 inches of floor-to-ceiling load height and 47.8 inches of load width between the wheel arches
  • Load length a generous 72.6 inches, or more than six feet of cargo floor space
  • Split rear cargo doors that open at a standard 180 degrees, or an optionally available 255
  • Lift-over height less than two feet when the vehicle is unloaded
  • Power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering allows a 39-foot curb-to-curb turning circle for
    maneuverability in tight urban spaces
  • Bulkheads, racks, bins and other upfits can be mixed, matched and configured to suit many specific commercial applications and needs

“With interest in eco-friendly vehicles stronger than ever among commercial and government fleet operators, the Transit Connect Electric promises to offer another unique solution for their needs,” said Gerry Koss, Ford fleet marketing manager.

For more information on Ford products, please visit http://www.ford.com/.


The New Ford Transit Connect Taxi Announced

CHICAGO, Feb. 9, 2010 – The Ford Transit Connect Taxi will go into production and arrive in dealerships later this year as a 2011 model, adding to Ford Motor Company’s leadership in the North American taxi market. Making the announcement today at the Chicago Auto Show, Ford also said it will introduce engine prep packages on all Transit Connect models – base and taxi – allowing conversion to efficient, clean-burning compressed natural gas (CNG) or propane (LPG, or liquefied petroleum gas). Both CNG and LPG are popular among taxi operators because of their low cost of ownership.

The roomy, flexible interior of the Transit Connect – the 2010 North American Truck of the Year – is perfectly suited for taxi service and conversion to CNG and LPG. The vehicle’s 135 cubic feet of cargo space accommodates a compressed gas tank while leaving ample passenger legroom and cargo capacity.

“While meeting with taxi operators in cities throughout the U.S., we found considerable interest for vehicles that run on alternative fuels,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “The Transit Connect Taxi, combined with an engine modified by Ford to use CNG/LPG, is designed to meet that need. This marks a new era in ‘green’ transit.”

To further serve taxi operators, Ford will provide required calibration specifications for the CNG or LPG conversion. By properly following Ford’s specifications, the conversion can be completed without voiding the engine’s warranty.

The alternative fuel advantage

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CNG is less expensive and burns cleaner than gasoline, resulting in 30 percent to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. Propane also burns cleaner than gasoline. “Compressed natural gas and propane offer more than sufficient power for vehicles because they are high-energy fuels,” said Rob Stevens, Transit Connect chief engineer. “Another natural benefit for these fuels is they provide an overall lower emission of greenhouse gases compared to gasoline.

Additionally, operating on CNG or LPG provides the operators lower fuel/operating costs for their fleet.” Furthermore, nearly 87 percent of natural gas used in the United States is domestically produced. There also are government tax credit incentives for fleets to convert to alternative fuels.

Since October 2009, CNG prep packages have been available on E-Series vans with 5.4-liter and 6.8-liter gas engines. A conversion-ready interior The Transit Connect Taxi offers an outstanding interior package for people and cargo. With its open architecture, the taxi provides excellent interior headroom and passenger visibility. The vehicle’s rear seat has been moved back three inches to maximize passenger comfort. Plus, with 6.5 inches of ground clearance, passengers step easily through the dual sliding doors. Additional climate control ventilation has been added for rear seat passengers.

The Transit Connect Taxi also features a wiring upfit package with a hole in the roof for signage, vinyl front and rear seats, rubber rear floor, sliding second-row windows and standard third-row windows – all of which are factory installed. Additional installation of technology and other taxi modifications such as roof signage and the optional seating partition are handled by taxi upfitters in local markets.

The vehicle’s cargo area easily accommodates compressed natural gas tanks directly behind the second-row seat, still allowing ample luggage storage.

Technology on the go

Ford is collaborating with Creative Mobile Technologies, LLC (CMT), to integrate premier payment processing and passenger information technologies in the Transit Connect Taxi. Ford and CMT also are developing strategies for potential integration of Ford Work Solutions, a suite of productivity technologies for business owners providing a wireless in-dash computer with full high-speed Internet access and navigation. “Ford has demonstrated a significant commitment to support the taxi industry with not only a dedicated product but also with the commitment to work
with the technology companies that support the industry,” said Jason Poliner, chief operating officer, CMT. “Ford understands that the taxi business is not just the vehicle but a complete technological solution.”

Evidence of how this technology could work in the future is included in the Transit Connect Taxi. It also features an 8.4-inch electronic infotainment and navigation screen that shows cab fare, news, weather, sports scores and stock ticker. With the touch screen, passengers also can select their choice of programming, follow the taxi’s journey on a map, or scroll through a list of points of interest along the route – including restaurants, museums and shops.

Once at the destination, the screen displays the fare with options to pay via cash, credit or debit. Cardholders can swipe their card, select a pre-calculated tip recommendation or utilize the touch screen to enter a tip amount, and complete the transaction right from their seat.

Building on taxi leadership

The “green” taxi isn’t new at Ford, which has been a leader in the taxi business for decades. Ford was the first manufacturer to introduce gas-electric hybrid-powered taxis into North American fleets with the launch of the Ford Escape Hybrid in San Francisco and New York City in early 2005. Built on a dedicated commercial vehicle platform and tested to Ford tough truck standards, the Transit Connect Taxi – including gasoline-powered versions and those modified to operate on CNG/LPG – is designed to meet the extreme demands of taxi service.

With its standard 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission, the conventionally powered Transit Connect is expected to deliver an estimated 30 percent improvement in fuel economy over many of today’s traditional taxis.
“Transit Connect already has proven that it offers tremendous versatility for commercial fleet use,” said Gerry Koss, Ford fleet marketing manager. “The Transit Connect taxi, combined with the capability for CNG/LPG conversion, further demonstrates its flexibility.”


Nice LA Fire Department Service Body by Harbor

Here's a nice 9' Service Body on a Crew Cab Ford chassis built by Harbor Truck Bodies, in Brea, CA for the LA Fire Department. This truck looks pretty standard with a 3-piece cargo bed enclosure, but has some nice little goodies like the location and method of mounting the spare tire. Nicely done. Like the stainless steel cover on the tailgate. Like the sweet Weldon 7" LED Taillamps and Backup lamps mounted in the body. Way cool!

Thanks to Kimberly Bellamy for the cools shots. See what other cool things Harbor is building at www.htbi.net. Or, you can call Kimberly and the inside sales team at 800-433-9452.


2011 Ford Super Duty Pre-Tested In Real Life

“ford asked us to work this truck hard, we’re working this truck hard” -- super duty customer

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 9, 2009 – In unprecedented customer field work evaluations, Ford gave commercial businesses around the country pre-production models of the all-new 2011 Ford Super Duty months before the truck goes on sale. The initial results will be posted this week on www.fordvehicles.com/2011superduty under “Field Work.”

To test the trucks in extreme real world conditions, select customers put the new 2011 Super Duty F-250, F-350, F-450 and F-550 to work immediately in the humid swamps of Florida, in the sub-zero wintry conditions of Wyoming and in the dusty, dry areas of Texas construction sites and ranches.

“As soon as we got this truck, we slapped a 22,000 pound trailer on it and headed for the field,” says one Wyoming-based Well Cementing Supervisor in the one of the webisodes. “Ford asked us to work this truck hard, and we’re working this truck hard.”

The evaluation trucks are all equipped with the new 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V-8 turbocharged diesel engine and the 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift® six-speed automatic transmission.

Ford engineers are using advanced telematics technology to retrieve daily performance data from each truck for further analysis. These data are being posted and continually updated online, allowing the public unprecedented access to the performance of the next generation of the best-selling truck in America for 33 years.

Here’s a sample of what the customers had to say:

“The truck sat in negative weather for several hours then started right up with no issues.”

“A group of us were standing around the truck, maybe 10 feet away. A guy told me I left my lights on, and I said the truck is still running. He couldn’t believe how quiet it was.”

“I was towing a trailer 311 miles and had to keep checking in mirror to see if the trailer was still there.”

Chris Brewer, chief engineer of 2011 Super Duty, said the early feedback from these extreme customers confirms the importance of the testing regimen his team has been conducting.

“We’ve tested this truck in every situation imaginable throughout of development process, but nothing can replace these real world scenarios,” said Brewer. “The initial feedback we’re getting is very encouraging – especially on fuel economy.”

“We’ve never undertaken something this ambitious in the testing of one of our trucks. Sharing pre-production units with customers that do the toughest jobs and showing their unfiltered results underscore the confidence we have in this truck,” said Doug Scott, Ford Truck marketing manager. “We want everyone to see what goes into the development of the 2011 Ford Super Duty.”

The 2011 Super Duty goes on sale this spring. Meanwhile, 2010 Super Duty – the segment leader in towing with over 24,000-pound capability – continues to dominate the heavy-duty pickup market with 45 percent of the segment in 2009, up over two percentage points over the previous year.


20 New Isuzu 7.5t Trucks For Fresh Direct UK

Isuzu’s fresh approach wins Fresh Direct’s truck order
3 tonne payload, frugal fuel economy and customer service impresses

When it came to tendering for Fresh Direct’s latest vehicle order, Isuzu Truck UK successfully clinched the deal for 20 new vehicles with an all-round package that gave Fresh Direct the benefits of superior payload, frugal fuel consumption and unrivalled customer service.

The order for 20 new Isuzu N75.190 7.5t rigid trucks, all fitted with the popular Easyshift transmission, represents a move by Fresh Direct to the Isuzu marque for the first time as they were impressed by Isuzu’s overall approach to their specific vehicle requirements.

According to Nick Allen, head of logistics at Fresh Direct, “As an organisation, we are consistently looking at ways to reduce the number of delivery runs whilst improving the service we provide to our customers. The obvious payload advantage offered by the Isuzu 7.5 tonne range naturally appealed to us and this was complemented by the Isuzu’s proven fuel economy.”

With the combination of the Isuzu 7.5t chassis cab, the single compartment RVL refrigerated body and the Carrier Transicold Xarios refrigeration system, Fresh Direct are achieving a 3 tonne payload with these new trucks, which represents a significant improvement over their predecessors.

“We have also been impressed by how close Isuzu has worked with us since we ordered the new vehicles. At Fresh Direct, we operate an extensive driver training centre and with Isuzu’s help and input we have implemented a rigorous driver training programme to get the very best out of the new Isuzu vehicles,” added Nick Allen.

Fresh Direct (UK) Ltd, based in Bicester, is a major foodservice supplier dealing with predominantly pubs, restaurants, hotel groups, premium retailers, colleges, conference centres, event organisers and even celebrity chefs. Operating through seven depots nationwide, the company operates an all-refrigerated distribution fleet comprising in excess of 145 vehicles.

Each of the new vehicles has its own unique livery featured on the refrigerated body, highlighting the extensive range of over 2000 different fruits and vegetables supplied by the company.

The first 15 of the new Isuzu 7.5 tonne rigids are working out of the company's Bicester depot, with the five remaining vehicles operating from the Fresh Direct depot in St Neots in Cambridgeshire.

“The temperature controlled distribution sector is an area where, during 2009, Isuzu has achieved significant success with its Forward range. With prestigious companies, such as Fresh Direct, choosing Isuzu for the first time, we believe that our all-round package of payload, fuel economy and customer service is a winning combination for any company involved in the distribution of temperature sensitive products,” said Keith Child, Marketing Director at Isuzu Truck (UK) Limited.

See more from Isuzu Truck UK Ltd. at www.isuzutruck.co.uk.


Isuzu Grafter N35.150 (SD) 3.5T GVW SRW Dropside Body

Here is a great Isuzu Truck sold in Great Britain that would be a sweet unit here in the US. It is the Grafter N35.150 (SD) and is a single rear wheel commercial chassis and this particular model comes with a steel frame with Wisadeck (a plywood product) floor and aluminum drop side flatbed, which they just call a dropside. Here are some of the features of this truck:

  • GVW is 3.5T, or 3500kg or 7,716 lbs
  • Isuzu 4JJ1TC Turbo 4-cylinder diesel with 5-speed manual transmission.
  • Rear axle ratio is 4.10
  • Tire size is 205R16C
  • Independent front coil spring suspension, rear leaf springs
  • SRS Airbags, driver and passenger
  • Keyless door entry and immobiliser
  • 3 passenger seating
  • Power windows & door locks
  • Tilt-telescopic steering wheel
  • Exhaust brake
  • Tool kit with 4000kg jack and hand tools
  • Radio with CD player

Options include Suspension Seat, Satellite Navigation, Reversing Aids, PTO Switch, and more.

This truck has the GVWR on the light side of a 3/4-ton pickup here in the US; however, this truck has a design that makes it far more useful for commercial work including what Isuzu has been know for worldwide: superior maneuverability, serviceability and longevity.

In the UK, call 01707 28 29 30 for more information and visit the website for specs and detail at www.isuzutruck.co.uk.


Iconic Isuzu Truck Model Celebrates 50

Iconic Isuzu Model Celebrates 50

Isuzu Trucks' iconic N Series model (known as ELF in Japan) recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and continues to dominate light truck sales in the majority of global markets in which it competes.

N Series models have been sold in over 140 countries and last year accounted for almost 50 per cent of all Japanese global light truck sales, with 185,000 units (figure does not include Japanese domestic sales).

Introduced in 1959, the N Series quickly found favour in a wide variety of applications thanks to its durability and superior quality.

Constant innovation was another reason for its early success: in 1960 the N Series became the first light duty truck in Japan to be equipped with a diesel engine, and in 1973 it was the first in its class to offer a direct injection diesel.

The 1959 model ELF had a two tonne payload and was powered by a 1.5 litre 4-cylinder overhead valve petrol engine with four speed manual transmission.

A far cry from the utilitarian original, Australia's 2009 Isuzu N Series models boast impressive standard features including anti-lock brakes, driver's airbag, anti-skid regulator (traction control), electric mirrors and windows and multi-information display system amongst other creature comforts.

The trucks are available in a choice of three powerful yet fuel-efficient turbocharged diesel engines, which meet stringent Euro IV emissions standards, while Isuzu's innovative AMT (automated manual transmission) is available in many models.

According to Isuzu Australia Limited (IAL) Marketing Manager, Jeff Birdseye, 50 years of the Isuzu N Series is an extraordinary milestone.

"It is extremely unusual for a model range to have such longevity," Mr Birdseye said.

"However such has been the enduring popularity of the model range, there has been little cause to abandon the nameplate; the N Series has been responsible for a large share of Isuzu truck sales globally over a long period of time.

"Although the N Series has only been sold in Australia for 21 years, it has also made a strong impact since becoming available here, establishing itself as the benchmark by which all other light trucks are judged."

According to Truck Tracker November 2009 year to date figures, the N Series holds 41.4 per cent of the light truck market, more than double that of its nearest competitor.

To see the full line of Isuzu Trucks for Australia, go to www.isuzu.com.au.


New Isuzu Truck AWD Model In Australia

Gaining Traction with new AWD model

Isuzu Trucks has recently introduced the NLS 200 All Wheel Drive to its range. An entry level model to Isuzu's off highway capable line-up, it provides drivers with a versatile light truck that performs well both on and off the road.

Ease-of-use has always been an important consideration in the design of N Series trucks, and this new car licence category AWD model offers the same benefits found in Australia's best selling light truck, to buyers who regularly see off road work.

Fitted with manual locking front hubs and a limited slip differential in the rear axle, the NLS 200 provides drivers with a secure driveline connection when the terrain calls for increased traction.

"We anticipate the NLS 200 AWD will be suited to a number of different applications," Isuzu Product Planning & Engineering Support Manager, Colin White said.

"For instance it will appeal to councils who tend to parks and gardens and the rural fire authorities who need to access fire trails, and it will also see service in mines as a communications vehicle."

To add to the safety and level of grip available to the driver, the NLS 200 has been fitted with 205/85R16 G557 lug tyres, and to improve the vehicle's abilities both on and off-road, it incorporates a torsion bar independent front suspension system.

"The independent front suspension provides a very nice ride on the highway, while maintaining solid capability and sure-footedness in off road conditions," Mr White said. "The new NLS 200 AWD continues our practice of offering light trucks that are easy for drivers to use while meeting their vocational requirements in the best possible way."

Unlike its larger NPS 250 and NPS 300 stable mates, the NLS 200 makes use of a single speed transfer case incorporating a viscous coupling drive to the front wheels. This enables the driver to add front-wheel drive to the equation via a convenient dashboard mounted switch, once the locking front hubs have been engaged.

Rated at a maximum GVM of 4,500 kg, the NLS 200 offers an excellent balance of payload capability combined with car-like comfort and convenience features, including ABS and ASR traction control, integrated air conditioning, a contoured adjustable driver's seat, driver's airbag, central locking and electric windows.

Powering the NLS 200 is the SiTEC Series II 150, 4-cylinder 2,999cc common rail diesel engine with an air-to-air intercooler and electronically controlled variable nozzle turbocharger –a potent but fuel efficient design.

Performance is enhanced due to the engine’s flat torque curve that reaches its peak just after 1,500 rpm and holds a flat torque rating until 2,800 rpm. Maximum power is 110 kW @ 2,800 rpm with maximum torque of 375 Nm @ 1,600 – 2,800rpm.

Mated to the Euro IV spec SiTEC engine is Isuzu's popular 5 speed overdrive manual transmission, incorporating full synchromesh on all forward gears.

The NLS 200 AWD is only available as a short wheelbase single cab variant.

For more information on the AWD and the wide range of Isuzu Truck products for Australia, please visit www.isuzu.com.au


Harbor CSI Unit Sold Through Ken Grody Ford

Here is a great C.S.I. unit built to spec by Harbor Truck Bodies of Brea, CA and delivered through Ken Grody Ford.

What makes this body interesting is the rear platform extension with the unique fold down, lockable step and rather than have little doors outside, this platform has a full-length lid that opens making that storage space so useful and more effective. On the inside is special LED lighting including in the compartment areas. Notice the sliding mesh screens on the inside which are lockable and keep things where they need to be. Of course, this is built in full stand-up height.

Kimberly Bellamy of Harbor Truck Bodies put this unit together. Give her a call at 800-433-9452 and she would be happy to spec one for your specific needs. Visit Harbor's website at www.htbi.net.