Isuzu Truck 4x4 Trucks Conquer Australia

Isuzu Trucks Australia offers 13 models of HD 4x4 commercial truck chassis from the NLS 200 All Wheel Drive model at 4,500kg GVM (9900 GVWR) with the narrower 2-seat cab to the FTS 800 Crew Cab 4x4 with 13,500 kg GVM (29,762 GVWR) and seating for six, with 11 more models in between. The All Wheel Drive system (it is an on demand part-time all wheel drive system) is only available in the NLS 200, all others are 4x4 systems utilizing part-time or full-time 4-wheel drive system with a driver activated centre differential lock with a high ration of 1.00:1 and low ratio of 1.913:1 (ratio varies slightly model to model), or almost a full 2 to 1 gear reduction. See the wide range of models and downloadable pdf brochures here: 4x4 Models.

To see much more of the exciting product range of hard working Isuzu Trucks for Australia, visit their website at http://www.isuzu.com.au/.


The Brand New Nissan NV Commercial Van Debuts

Nissan Enters North American Commercial Vehicle Market with Innovative Standard and High Roof Vans Designed to "Help Businesses Run Better"

As Nissan finalizes plans to bring its first production commercial vehicle (CV) to the North American market in late 2010, it is starting with a truly ground up design - from its rugged ladder frame to the roof rack mounting brackets on the top of the innovatively conceived and styled body. Yet the all-new Nissan NV (Nissan Van) also has the advantage of Nissan's exceptional commercial vehicle heritage, covering 75 years and more than 75 percent of the global CV market.

"The new kid on the block, as it turns out, is also a long-time player in the global commercial vehicle market. As the first non-domestic nameplate to design, manufacture and sell CVs in the United States, we bring a more than seven-decade tradition of durability, quality and reliability to our products," said Joe Castelli, vice president, Commercial Vehicles and Fleet, Nissan North America, Inc. (NNA). "At the same time, we've taken a fresh look at every aspect of the CV business - including styling, powertrain, interiors, cost of operation and ownership, dealership sales and service operations and, most importantly, real world customer needs."

The first production models in Nissan's new North American CV lineup are the 2011 Nissan NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. They will be available with a choice of 4.0-liter V6 and 5.6-liter V8 engines and in two body styles, Standard Roof (all models) and High Roof (NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD only) - with High Roof models offering stand-up walkthrough/work cargo area capability.

"It's been too many years since any manufacturer in this segment has taken a "clean sheet" look at the needs of owners and operators in the CV segment," said Castelli. "We've invested more than five years researching the comfort, style and smart functionality demands that will enable business owners to accomplish more throughout their day. We plan on coming out of the box with segment-busting vehicles, so customer input was essential."

The NV planning team employed a wide range of innovative customer research methodologies, including focus groups, on-site visits and concept reviews. The quantitative and qualitative research took place all across America - Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, Dallas, Detroit, New York, Minnesota, Arizona and other markets. The team met with large fleet owners and managers, small business owners, aftermarket suppliers and converters and rode along with owners of competitive vehicles.

"The NV is one of the most researched projects ever in the history of Nissan. We touched the market at every point possible, with the findings reflected in every aspect of the final NV design," added Castelli.

Comfortable Seating and Standing
Research showed that commercial van owners are the least satisfied of any vehicle segment, with many van owners disposing of their vehicles in favor of light duty trucks despite the compromise of convenience and utility. In developing the new Nissan NV, one of the overarching goals was to combine pickup truck-like comfort, interior amenities and drivability with a cargo van's capacity and security.

"Looking at the CV market in recent years, there's been a migration of van users to light-duty pickups due to the lack of comfort, image and dependability of the current outdated van platforms," explained Castelli. "Yet many of these truck owners admit they need a van for weather protection, security and the convenience of a tall roof van to carry large items or equipment. With the Nissan NV, we're giving them the best of both worlds."

Answering one of the major unmet owner needs - driver comfort and roominess - the Nissan NV interior starts with wide front doors for easy ingress and egress, supportive bucket seating with extensive adjustability, large armrests and a truck-like driving position with ample legroom and foot room. The available center console (removable) provides a range of integrated storage features, while the fold-down passenger seat - which is unique to the segment - adds worktable functionality and enhances the cab's feeling of openness.

Another major contributor to the pickup-like cab is the absence of the traditional CV engine "doghouse" that intrudes into the cab due to the setback engine placement. The Nissan NV utilizes a conventional truck engine layout with the engine and transmission located ahead of the firewall/A-pillar. This not only frees up space under the instrument panel and between the seats, it also provides easy under-hood access to the entire engine for routine service and maintenance.

"From the seats forward the NV looks, acts and feels like a pickup. You don't have to take apart the interior to access the engine and you don't have to worry about tucking your work boots into a cramped footwell," said Castelli. "But, make no mistake, behind the seats the NV is pure, practical van."

The NV's ample cargo area offers a 120.7-inch cargo floor length and 70.3-inch maximum cargo floor width. NV Standard Roof models offer a maximum 55.4 cargo area height, among the tallest in class. The NV High Roof provides a maximum 76.5-inches of cargo room height - enough for most users to move about the cargo area while standing up straight.

"Standard Roof NV models are designed to fit in most garages or go through most car washes and fast food drive-through lanes - along with offering easier reach to access roof racks," said Castelli. "But for so many businesses, the added cargo capacity and the ability to stand up and work inside the High Roof NV will be a priceless enhancement to their everyday operations and productivity."

Smart Functionality and Flexible Layout
Inspired by customer needs and usage, the Nissan NV offers an amazing array of smart functionality features, including storage pockets, spaces and compartments designed to provide secure access to the typical commercial customers" everyday use objects. An under seat drawer, for example, fits small tools, stationary or first aid kits, while the deep door pockets fit flashlights, legal-size binders and clipboards. High Roof models offer an available overhead console designed to hold work gloves, legal size binders, safety glasses and system books. The available center console (removable) fits letter size files and laptop computers - and includes a computer or mobile phone charging point.

"A commercial van must serve many more functions today, including acting as a mobile office for time spent on the road or at a job site," said Castelli. "We've made storage and productivity items integral to the design, rather than tacked-on afterthoughts. The result is a clean, practical and comfortable workspace for a wide variety of professions and businesses."

Along with being conceived as a "mobile office," the Nissan NV is designed to function as a "mobile workshop" - thanks to its simple, flexible cargo area layout. Along with offering wide door openings, the NV offers room between the wheelhouses to accommodate standard plywood or drywall sheets or pallets. There are also a range of cargo area tie-down rings and ample cargo area lighting.

The new Nissan NV was also designed to accommodate aftermarket outfitting and modifications. For example, the roof rack mounting brackets are designed for various rack systems without piercing holes in the roof, which can lead to corrosion and water leaks. The available "upfitter pre-wiring" allows easy access into the electrical system.

The NV also offers a full-length cargo area inner panel to protect the outer walls from dents and dings from the inside, and there are multiple weld-nut attachment points for shelving and racks - again requiring no sheet metal drilling. In addition, the NV's nearly vertical sidewalls maximize the usable cargo space, accommodating common aftermarket storage systems, as well as a bulkhead behind the driver.

Three Well-Equipped Models
Cost of ownership and operation is a critical factor in the CV segment, whether for major fleet operations or individual business owners. "From the rugged fully boxed all-steel frame to the body-on-chassis construction, the NV is designed to the highest Nissan standards of durability, quality and reliability," said Castelli. "The NV is designed to be affordable and to stand up to the abuse that real work trucks face everyday."

The new Nissan NV will launch with a choice of two engines - a powerful yet fuel efficient 4.0-liter V6 or a powerful, torquey 5.6-liter V8. Both engines will be matched to a standard 5-speed automatic.

Safety systems include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags with seat belt sensors), 3-point front seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, available supplemental front seat-mounted side-impact air bags and roof-mounted supplemental curtain air bags.

The 2011 Nissan NV will be offered in three well-equipped models, the NV1500, NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD. All three models will be available with the Standard Roof, while the High Roof body will be offered in the NV2500 HD and NV3500 HD models only. Additional information regarding standard features, trim levels and optional equipment will be provided later.

The new Nissan NV will be manufactured in Canton, Mississippi and available through a select network of authorized Nissan Commercial Vehicle dealers nationwide. For updates and more information, please go to www.nissancommercialvehicles.com.


Custom Rack Is In The Clouds

Kimberly at Harbor Truck Bodies sent me this photo of a WorkMaster plumber style body with a custom rack. Notice the rack has expanded metal fabric welded into the framwork and notice the dual ladders to get up there in the clouds and load that rack. Also see the Rackstraps (must be fun to use those. . .). Very interesting add-on indeed. See more interesting things at http://www.htbi.net/.


Hino 300 Series Hybrid Tilt Cab

Here's a factory tilt-cab Hybrid commercial truck sold in Australia by Hino. It is the 300 series, 714 Hybrid model with regenerative braking, and a GVM of 6500kg (14,330 GVWR). It is equipped with a 100kW (134hp) Hino N04C TN diesel motor with 353Nm torque (260 lbs ft). The electric motor is an AC 3-phase, 288 volt motor with 36kW of output and using nickel metal hydride batteries. The Hybrid model comes standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, 4-wheel disk brakes, ABS brakes, and much more.

For more information and a downloadable brochure, go to http://www.hino.com.au/.


Royal Truck Body Matches Up Nicely To New Dodge Crew Cab

Here's a beauty from Royal Truck Body matching up the 8' Royal Service Body to the new Dodge Crew Cab Chassis Cab. What a great combination! To see more from Royal, http://www.royaltruckbody.com/.


Thank You All

A Special Thank You

To The Following People & Companies Who Have
Helped The CTS IdeaLetter
And CTS Blog With
Material and Other
Special Encouragements:

Kimberly Bellamy
Warren Mason
Doug Anderson
Harbor Truck Bodies

Bob Dias
North Bay Truck Body

Mike Soich
Jim Bockenfeld
plus a long list of
great folks at
Knapheide Manufacturing

Jack Schmidt
West Coast Truck Equipment

Paul Bedke
Cobalt Truck

Dudley DeZonia
Anne Crawford
Royal Truck Body

Mike Headley
John Vernon
Mike Scelzi
Scelzi Enterprises

Cascade Truck Body

Jim Kraschinsky
Brenda Foley
Reading Truck Body

Steve Taylor

Rick Douglass
Douglass Truck Body

Paul Brown
Becky Brown
Nor Cal Ford Truck Club

Joe Hughes
Kathryn Schifferle
Christine Rowe
National Ford Truck Club

Ford Motor Company

General Motors

Chrysler Corporation

Isuzu Truck

Larry Geweke Ford

Ron DuPratt Ford

Razzari Ford

Future Ford of Concord

Hansel Ford

Crown Motors (Ford)

Fairfield Chevrolet-Isuzu Truck

Greg Martin

My Partner, Ryan Stone

Mike Long

Scott Stiles
Stiles Truck Body

Andrew Gibbs
Michele Wieder
Sue Tureaud
Clay Gallow
Ron Mitchell
Carter Industries

Ted Abramson

Jim Lenford
Highway Products

Turk Ercen

Angelo Ferro

Winston Harrell

National Truck Equipment Association

Kevin Snedeker
Vaca Valley Truck & SUV

To all our readers of
the IdeaLetter, CTS Blog
and CTS Daily Inspirations

To the hundreds of products
we have shown here and in
our CTS IdeaLetter


And, an extra special,
huge scoop of heartfelt
gratitude goes to:

Ken Lindt
Warren Mason
Harbor Truck Bodies

who helped make
all of this possible.

Thank you all very much!


Sortimo and Knapheide Team Up

Sortimo, a leader of in-vehicle racking and shelving equipment, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with The Knapheide Manufacturing Company, the nations premiere producer of steel service truck bodies and platform/stake style truck bodies, to incorporate Sortimo’s in-vehicle equipment, mainly their impressive line of bins and totes into Knapheide’s service bodies and utility vehicles.

“We approached the Knapheide Manufacturing Company with the concept of integrating our line of boxes and totes within their service bodies and utility vehicle compartments that would offer the end-user the ability to organize their tools and equipment, therefore increasing productivity and efficiency” said Dr. Mahendra Srivastava, President of Sortimo North America.

This is not a new concept for Knapheide. Knapheide has researched and worked with other vendors and manufacturers on this same concept, but until now, could not find a cost effective solution.

“With Sortimo’s impressive line of light-weight, versatile equipment, we were able to capitalize on the flexibility of their products and incorporate it into our product line with minimal engineering changes. It is an ideal match.” said Chris Weiss, Vice President, Engineering, The Knapheide Manufacturing Company.

Sortimo North America is a subsidiary of Sortimo International, Germany, and Europe’s leading manufacturer of in-vehicle equipment. Sortimo works closely with automotive industry and trades professionals to continuously improve and develop new product lines.

After 162 years of operation, The Knapheide Manufacturing Company has evolved into the nation's premier producer of steel service truck bodies and platform/stake style truck bodies.

The Knapheide Manufacturing Company introduced Sortimo’s equipment in their service bodies and utility vehicles at The Work Truck Show in St. Louis, Missouri, March 10-12, 2010.


Hino Launches New 2.7 Tonne Payload Auto Dump Truck

Hino has launched Australia’s first fully automatic light duty dump truck.

The new Hino 300 Series 614 Automatic Dump is suitable for landscapers, pool builders, rental companies, builders, plumbers and tradespersons.

It is offered with the choice of two GVM ratings – 4495kg (approximately 1.7 tonnes payload) or 5500kg (approximately 2.7 tonnes payload).

Drivers with a current car or automatic car licence can drive vehicles plated as 4495kg.

The Built to Go Hino 614 Automatic Dump has a narrow cab, a 100kW engine and a six-speed automatic transmission.

Safety equipment includes a driver’s SRS airbag and ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) as standard equipment.

In addition, the 614 Auto Dump has air conditioning.

The Hino 614 Auto Dump’s ADR 80/02-compliant 4.0-litre turbocharged and intercooled direct-injection engine delivers 100kW of power at 2700rpm and 358Nm of torque at 1800rpm. (Power and torque ratings are measured in ISO net.)

The ‘intelligent’ automatic transmission has state-of-the-art features, including fuel-saving torque converter lock-up in five ratios – from second to sixth gear.

The learning characteristics of the intelligent six-speed automatic transmission can comfortably adapt to the driving style of the driver.

Hino’s automatic transmission also features 'neutral control' that electronically switches the transmission to neutral when the truck is stationary and the brakes are applied, reducing engine and drivetrain load as well as offering savings in fuel consumption.

For more information, visit www.hino.com.au.


First Two 12 tonne Isuzu Crew Cabs Go To Automania

The first two production 12t Isuzu Forward crewcab trucks have recently joined the 28 strong fleet at West London recovery company Automania Group Ltd, operating in the Heathrow and Slough areas.

Fitted with tilt and slide bodies manufactured by Worldwide Recovery Systems, the 12t F120.240 4x2 rigids join the Heathrow fleet where 28 out of the 42 recovery vehicles operated are based on the Isuzu marque.

“As longstanding operators of Isuzu trucks, we have complete faith in the product. Solid and robust, the vehicles are ideally suited to the intensive recovery operations in this part of London. For the type of recovery contracts we have recently gained, we need two new heavier weight crewcab vehicles and we had no hesitation in specifying the new Isuzu Forward 12 tonners,” said Richard Goddard, Managing Director at Automania Group Ltd.

With a working life of up to 5 years, customer support from their vehicle supplier is another factor that is so important to Automania. This is, in the opinion of Richard Goddard, where Isuzu scores highly on a consistent basis.

“The customer care we receive from Isuzu is second to none in this industry. In the rare event of a problem, we can rely on Isuzu 24/7, which is what we have come to expect from them through experience,” comments Richard Goddard.

“These are the first two Isuzu crew cab Forward models in the UK at 12 tonnes, and it is fitting that such a loyal customer as Automania has taken delivery of them. The recovery industry is a key market sector for Isuzu and we believe that our current product offering leads the market in terms of overall performance, reliability and customer support,” said Keith Child, Marketing Director at Isuzu Truck (UK) Limited.

For more information on Isuzu Trucks UK, visit www.isuzutruck.co.uk.


Navistar Unveils International TerraStar Class 4/5 Work Truck

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (March 10, 2010) – For those looking for a powerful, rugged and reliable work truck, the search is over.

At a press event at the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show, Navistar (NYSE: NAV) today unveiled the International® TerraStar™ Class 4/5 commercial truck. With a wide range of commercial-duty features—from its commercial-duty MaxxForce® 7 V-8 diesel engine to the largest, roomiest cab available—the International TerraStar sets a new standard in the Class 4/5 truck market.

“The International TerraStar comes from the same blood lines as the rest of our commercial truck line-up,” said Jack Allen, president, Navistar’s North American Truck Group. “Its commercial-duty design will change the game in the work truck market by offering one of the most capable, most versatile and most drivable trucks in its class.”

At the heart of the new International TerraStar is its all-new 300 horsepower, 6.4-liter MaxxForce 7 V-8 engine, delivering 660 lb.-ft. torque. This engine features a compacted graphite iron (CGI) block which offers high strength without added weight. The MaxxForce 7 will be matched with a commercial-duty Allison 1000 transmission to optimize its power output.

The TerraStar features MaxxForce Advanced EGR emissions technology, the only no-hassle emissions technology in its class. With MaxxForce Advanced EGR, customers won’t have the worry or inconvenience of finding or filling liquid urea. And, with no added SCR aftertreatment equipment, the TerraStar provides a clean and clear chassis for easy body and equipment mounting, not to mention less added weight.

While built on a strong and durable commercial-duty platform, the TerraStar is also easy to operate. The TerraStar features best-in-class visibility—28 percent more than the market leader. And, with an industry-best 107-inch BBC (bumper to back-of-cab) length and a 44-foot curb-to-curb turning radius, it offers outstanding maneuverability in even the tightest work environments.

The TerraStar features a true commercial-duty truck cab with 30 percent more cab interior space than the market leader, allowing plenty of room for three adults to fit comfortably in the front seat. The TerraStar will also be offered with optional extended cab or crew cab configurations.

The TerraStar also delivers unmatched serviceability with a commercial style tilt-away hood that offers unobstructed access to the engine compartment, making routine and schedule maintenance quick and easy.

In addition, the International TerraStar features the International Diamond Logic® electrical system, one of the most advanced electrical multiplexing architectures available in commercial trucks. Diamond Logic maximizes ease of body integration and helps deliver a number of smart, customizable features for added convenience and safety—such as automated pre-trip inspections, headlights on with wipers, interlocks, programmable switches and more depending on the application.

The TerraStar will initially be available with a 4x2 drivetrain, with a 4x4 drivetrain planned for 2011.
“With the introduction of the International TerraStar powered by the MaxxForce 7, there is no other truck manufacturer in the industry today with as complete a line-up of integrated trucks and engines,” Allen added. “The addition of TerraStar gives us a product line-up that can serve virtually any truck need, spanning from Class 4 to Class 8.”

About Navistar
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial and military trucks, MaxxForce® brand diesel engines, IC Bus™ brand school and commercial buses, Monaco RV brands of recreational vehicles, and Workhorse® brand chassis for motor homes and step vans. It also is a private-label designer and manufacturer of diesel engines for the pickup truck, van and SUV markets. The company also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com/newsroom.


Elliott Equipment Co Introduces New Lightweight 60' Aerial

Elliott Equipment Company is pleased to announce the introduction of its new 60 foot (18 m) material handling aerial workplatform. Designated the V60, the unit features a 63 foot (19 m) working height and 500 lb. (225 kg) platform capacity. It mounts on a 19,000 GVWR chassis.

Following are standard features of this new model:

• 63 foot (19 m) platform working height
• 500 lb. (225 kg) platform capacity
• Mounts on 19,500 lb. GVWR chassis
• Class leading 38’ (11.5 m) side reach
• Narrow outrigger deployment (8’ front, 8’10” rear) allows for minimal traffic disruption
• 500 lb. capacity material handling jib winch in platform
• 30” x 40” rotating workplatform
• 12-month parts and labor warranty, 5 year limited structural warranty
• Operator amenities including cupholders and tool caddy

According to Elliott’s President, Jim Glazer, “The V60 is a completely new product from Elliott. It is the tallest HiReach we have ever offered on a 19,000 lb. chassis. It also provides the largest platform, side reach and material handling capacities in this class.” He added, “The V60 brings Elliott quality and performance to a wider base of users. It demonstrates Elliott’s commitment to developing the best performing line of personnel handling solutions in the industry.”

For more information, downloadable brochure and specs, visit http://www.elliottequip.com/, or call 402-592-4500

Elliott Equipment Company manufactures the world’s leading line of truck-mounted telescopic equipment for the construction and maintenance industries. Elliott’s brands include HiReach aerial workplatforms and cranes and BoomTruck truck mounted cranes. The Company has been a leader in the construction and truck equipment industries for over 60 years.


Customized Welder Body by Cobalt Truck Equipment

This is a highly customized Harbor WeldMaster body modified for NV Energy and installed by Cobalt Truck Equipment of Nampa, Idaho. It includes some innovative custom accessories such as a unique 4-gas bottle pullout tray on heavy duty slides for easy loading, a pullout welding table off the bumper, and a V-notch work bench bumper. Notice the custom notches for wheel chocks and three Emberton drawers in the horizontal compartment.

My thanks to Paul Bedke, Sales Manager at Cobalt Truck Equipment for the photos and info. You can reach Cobalt at 208-887-7788 and visit their website at http://www.cobalttruck.com/.


Monroe MTE Zee SST Stainless Steel Dump Body

This is the new MTE ZEE SST Series Stainless Steel Dump Body from Monroe Truck Equipment, headquartered in Monroe, Wisconsin. Here are some of the specs on this great body:

  • 12 gauge sides, 10 gauge ends, high-strength stainless steel construction for durability, long life and corrosion resistance.
  • HD front bulkhead, tapered cab protector & tapered laser cut window for rear view when backing up.
  • Integral dirt shedding top rails & tailgate
  • FMVSS108 lights & reflectors with weather resistant wiring harness.
  • Rubber rear flaps and ICC bumper included in package.
  • Powdercoated single acting hoist & body up maintenance prop rod.
  • Electric powered dydraulic power unit with push button controls for simple and dependable operation.
  • 5 year limited warrant - Best in the industry.
There are a few options available such as, vertical side bracing, tarp hooks, back up alarm, double acting hoist, powdercoat red, white or black paint with custom color availability, or a wet spray finish.

See more of the dump bodies and other great products at http://www.monroetruck.com/, or call them at 800-356-8134.


A Little Bit About Rudolf Diesel


Here is some information about Rudolf Diesel from a news release from www.biodiesel.org:

No other engine inventor's name is as closely tied to his engine as Rudolf Diesel's is. But Diesel worked hard to make it that way. Diesel started his education in Paris and spent most of his time in the museum of arts and crafts. The outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War forced him to leave Paris and go to London. He later studied in Munich under the German chemist Carl Von Linde. He invented the refrigeration system used now in many electrical refrigerators. Diesel grew to become a very important engineer and inventor.

He attempted to find better ways to use steam as the working fluid in heat engines. His patents in 1892 and 1893 were not for the engine but for the cycle of an engine employing the compression-ignition technique. In this cycle there were four phases. He did not have one fully rolling until 1897.

Diesel attacked the problem of the compression-ignition engine not as a new concept but as a refinement of the gas engine invented by Nikolaus Otto in 1876. He spent the rest of his life introducing his invention to the world. He had many problems with manufacturing, licensing and financial stability.

On Sept. 29, 1913, Diesel vanished off the Harwich-Antwerp ferry crossing the channel to England and his body was never found. Since his death the diesel engine has been very helpful in manufacturing and transportation.

He originally designed the diesel engine to run on peanut oil. Only later did petroleum become the standard. In a 1912 speech, Diesel said "the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time."

Diesel revised his original model and on Feb. 17, 1894, the new engine ran for more than a minute. It took nearly three years to produce a viable working model. The engine he produced had a mechanical efficiency of more than 75 percent where the steam engines of the time were operating on less than 10 percent.


About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 198,000 employees and about 90 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford, Lincoln, Mercury and Volvo. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

March 17, 2010

UPS Deploys 245 New "Green" Trucks

UPS Deploys 245 New "Green" Trucks

Atlanta, January 19, 2010
CNG Vehicles Sent to California & Colorado 

UPS (NYSE:UPS) today announced it has deployed 245 new delivery trucks powered by Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) to cities in Colorado and California.
The new CNG trucks have been deployed over the past month to Denver (140) and to four cities in California: San Ramon (18), Fresno (16), West Los Angeles (59) and Ontario (12). The vehicles are part of UPS's continued effort to reduce its emissions from the use of fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel and lower its carbon footprint.  
UPS began deploying alternative fuel vehicles in the 1930s with a fleet of electric trucks that operated in New York City. Today, UPS operates one of the largest private fleets of alternative fuel vehicles in its industry - more than 1,900 in total with these additions. Since 2000, the company's "green fleet" has traveled more than 165 million miles.
"The greening of our fleet demonstrates the effectiveness of harnessing multiple technologies and applying the right vehicles to areas where they will provide the best advantage," said Bob Stoffel, UPS senior vice president of supply chain, strategy, engineering and sustainability. "Compressed Natural Gas continues to be a sustainable technology for UPS's fleet because natural gas is cost effective, clean-burning and abundant."
UPS, a member of the EPA Climate Leaders, first deployed CNG-powered delivery trucks in the 1980s. At the time, UPS purchased traditional gas- or diesel-driven vehicles and converted them to run on compressed gas. The 245 trucks deployed over the past month were built from scratch as CNG vehicles. They join more than 900 CNG vehicles already in use by UPS worldwide.
The CNG truck bodies are identical externally to the signature-brown trucks that comprise the UPS fleet. Marked with decals as CNG vehicles, the trucks are expected to yield a 15 percent emissions reduction over the cleanest diesel engines available in the market today.
For its alternative fuel fleet, UPS has deployed CNG, Liquefied Natural Gas, propane, electric and hybrid electric vehicles in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Brazil, Chile, Korea and the United Kingdom. The company was the first in the industry to purchase hydraulic hybrid delivery vehicles and has conducted research with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.


Knapheide 13' Line Body For NV Energy by Cobalt Truck Equipment

Here is a 13' Knapheide Line Body with three-point locking system. It has a full compliment of Emberton drawer sets, a pull out jack hammer tray, swing-away rear steps for rough terrain. It also has a shovel holder that can hold up to 6 shovels, and a 20' conduit pipe holder. Notice also the rear extension with storage compartment that is a perfect little work area. Considering the crew cab medium duty chassis and this huge body, this truck can go a long way out and get large jobs under control quickly.

This unit was specially built for NV Energy by Cobalt Truck Equipment of Nampa, Idaho. My thanks to Paul Bedke of Cobalt Truck for the photos and some detail on this great unit. Contact Paul at 208-887-7788 and visit their website at www.cobalttruck.com.


AT&T Becomes Lead Customer For Ford Electric Transit Connect

Vehicle is Powered by Azure Dynamics Force Drive™ electric drivetrain

ST. LOUIS, Mo., March 9, 2010 – Azure Dynamics Corporation today announced AT&T has agreed to purchase two of the first Ford Transit Connect Electric vans, the latest addition to AT&T’s growing fleet of alternative-fuel vehicles.

The Ford Transit Connect Electric -- the all-electric version of the 2010 Ford Transit Connect, the North American Truck of the Year -- will be powered by Azure Dynamics’ patented Force Drive™ electric drivetrain with an advanced lithium-ion battery from Johnson Controls-Saft. The vehicle, which goes on sale later this year, has a range of up to 80 miles on a single charge and will be rechargeable using either 240-volt or standard 120-volt outlets. It has a top speed of 75 miles per hour.

“Cleaner, alternative-fuel vehicles are the future of our corporate fleet, and the Transit Connect Electric represents a real breakthrough and will be a strong addition to our range of alternative-fuel vehicles,” said Jerome Webber, vice president of fleet operations at AT&T. “It’s exactly the kind of vehicle we envisioned when we mapped our long-term vision to invest up to $565 million to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles through 2018.” AT&T currently operates more than 77,000 vehicles in its corporate fleet, including 15 gasoline-powered Ford Transit Connect vehicles AT&T began piloting in 2009.

Scott T. Harrison, CEO of Azure Dynamics, said Transit Connect Electric project is in line with his company’s mission.

“Our business is built on great technology, committed partners and customers who want to improve efficiency while reducing their environmental footprint,” Harrison said. “The Transit Connect Electric brings all of those elements together in a single package and is exactly on target with our goal at Azure of ‘driving a world of difference.’”

According to Harrison, commercial vehicles are ideal candidates for electrification due to typical duty cycle characteristics like predictable drive routes and a return to a central location each night for recharging. The zero tailpipe emission Ford Transit Connect Electric also will help protect air quality in the urban environments where it operates.

By combining car-like driving dynamics with truck-like cargo capacity, Ford Transit Connect Electric is well-suited to the demands placed on urban delivery vehicles for small businesses and larger, corporate fleets.

The Transit Connect Electric is expected to offer lower cost of operation because recharging with electricity is generally less expensive than refueling with gasoline. Additionally, customers will benefit from lower maintenance costs as the electric drive train has far fewer moving parts to maintain.

“Ford Transit Connect was first introduced in the U.S. last year as a new fuel efficient alternative to larger commercial vehicles. Adding the electric option addresses a growing demand from our customers for sustainable vehicles for their fleets,” said Gerry Koss, Ford fleet marketing manager. “This Transit Connect Electric represents the first in a family of electrified vehicles, including new hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all battery electric vehicles, which Ford will deliver over the next three years.”

AT&T plans to take delivery of the Transit Connect Electric in late 2010.


Great Line Body For NV Energy by Cobalt Truck Equipment

This is a completed Knapheide 11' Line Body modified by Cobalt Truck Equipment of Nampa, Idaho. This unit includes some innovative features such as a work bench bumper with storage compartment and gas strut assisted flip up lid, Notice the Emberton drawers and particularly the Emberton transverse compartment drawer pack with 300 lb slides. This also has Cobalt custom built cab guard which allows full access to the cargo area. There is much more on this great rig built for NV Energy.

Thanks to Paul Bedke of Cobalt Truck for sharing this job with us. You can contact Paul at 208-887-7788. Check out their website at www.cobalttruck.com.


Australian Isuzu Factory CNG In Several Models

Isuzu Truck in Australia offers 4 different models from 4,500kg to 14,000kg to handle a wide range of needs. As an example on the low end model, NLR 200 AMT, this system uses advanced technology with a Multipoint injected CNG engine, Idle stop fuel saving system, and meets the ADR80/03 emissions. The engine in this model develops 96kW (129 HP) and 353Nm (260 lb. ft.) of torque. It also has a 5-speed Automated Manual Transmission (AMT) and independent coil spring front suspension.

The fuel system has 2 steel CNG tanks with 150L liquid capacity each. Electrical system is 24 volt with 2-80D26L (630 CCA) batteries. Of course, it comes standard with a number of appointments such as air conditioning, electric windows, electric mirrors, cnetral locking system with remote keyless entry and driver side airbag. Options include Satellite navigation system that integrates with multimedia unit and includes NAVTEQ mapping, up to three audio/visual reversing cameras that integrate with the multimedia unit, bulbar, and more.

All this is protected with a 3 year/100,000 km warranty with extended warranties available up to 6 years/300,000 km. Check out more on the NLR CNG model and other CNG models at www.isuzu.com.au.


Australian Ford Ranger Commercial Truck Chassis

Ford Versatility

Not only is Ranger legendary tough, but it's also highly versatile! With a choice of Single, Super or Crew cab-style, Pick-up or Cab Chassis body-styles and 4X4 or 4X2 capability, the possibilities are almost endless. There is also the choice of two engines; a 2.5L and a 3.0L Turbo diesel with 5-speed manual standard and optional 5-speed automatic with the 3.0L Turbo diesel.

I love the offerings here of a small cab chassis available in regular cab, super cab and crew cab and all three available in 2 wheel or 4 wheel drive. With up to 1383kg payload capacity (just over 3,000 lbs) (including the weight of the installed bed), this truck makes a great little commercial addition to the Ford Transit cab chassis. The efficency of the standard and optional diesel engines help make the Ranger an effective commercial unit for a very wide area of use.

With some of the extremely light and durable bodies made by Ute Ltd, the Ford Ranger Cab Chassis easily handles one tonne loads with capacity to spare. Bravo Ford Australia! Nice work. To see more on the Australian Ford Ranger and other Ford Australia products, visit their website at www.ford.com.au.


The Holden (GM) Combo Australian Small Van

GM has a small van of its own in the Holden Combo in Australia. This little workhorse has a 1.4 litre, Twinport DOHC 16-valve ECOTEC 4 cylinder endine with a 5 speed manual transmission, anti-lock brakes, MacPherson strut front suspension, Electric power steering, and a host of other standard features.

This small van has a huge cargo area with rear doors that swing 180 degrees and kerb side sliding side door. Cargo capacity is 735kg (1,662 lbs).

This is a great small van that would also do very well in the United States. To see more about the Combo and other Holden products, visit www.holden.com.au.


Isuzu Low Loader Perfect For Planet

Planet Towing of Glenroy in Melbourne’s northern suburbs is a specialist towing company that has been using an Isuzu FSD 700 Long since the beginning of 2009.

"We've been using the Isuzu FSD for just over one year," Planet Towing owner Vince Brullo said. "It's been very reliable, no problems at all.

"What makes this FSD so special among his fleet of six trucks is that it is used for picking up and transporting speciality vehicles – usually high-end motor cars worth a great deal of money.

Planet Towing has contracts with insurance companies for the transportation of vehicles. The FSD was purchased because it is equipped with Hendrickson Airbag suspension and so not only provides a stable ride for the load but it is able to pick up very low slung cars.

The airbag suspension features height sensors which detect the truck’s angle and compensate to keep the cargo bed level, but the main asset for Planet Towing is that air can be dumped from the system so the bed can be dropped low.

"We wanted something with a lower approach angle so that we could load cars that didn’t have much ground clearance, like special high performance vehicles that are low to the ground," Mr Brullo said.

Planet Towing's FSD 700 has a long wheelbase which combined with the airbag suspension allows the tray to be dropped down very low. Its longer length means that in most cases there is no need to use ramps to get the vehicle onto the truck.

"About 90 per cent of the time we don’t have to use ramps, even with sports cars, which just makes my life a lot easier," Mr Brullo – the primary driver of the Isuzu – said.

"I drive the truck every day and I’m looking at buying another. It’s a great truck and it’s much more driver-friendly than the other makes I’ve got on my fleet," he said.

"When the Isuzu FSD isn’t picking up a Maserati or Ferrari, it does double or even triple duty."

"You can fit two small cars on the back of that truck, and with a cradle I can move three cars at a time which saves me time and money," Mr Brullo said.

Planet Towing does not do accident pick-ups but concentrates on offering vehicle transport services, particularly to the insurance industry.

To see more Isuzu solutions, visit www.isuzu.com.au.


Sweet Looking Flatbed Is Rare On Dealers Lots

This is a great piece. I've sold many of this kind of flatbed over the years. In this case, this is a 9' Flatbed with a tapered headboard and 16" 'contractor' gates. These gates help keep the load on the bed, and are short enough that you can easily see over and reach over the gates. There are all removeable and are also available with hinges to make them permanently attached, but fold-down out of the way. In addition, additional function is provided by underbed boxes. This makes a very attractive and functional flatbed, though it is a rarity on dealers lots.

Another nice body from Harbor Truck Bodies. See more at www.htbi.net.


Open Top Lid Exposed On Service Body

Here's a sight you don't get to see but rarely. It is the open top compartment on a service body with the lid temporarily removed. In this case, this is a Harbor Truck Bodies service body that was at the plant for a retrofit of a cargo bed enclosure and the lids being removed makes that easier for them to do the welding necessary. It is always interesting to see what people put in the top section of their service bodies. Looks like it works wonderfully here.

To see more offerings from Harbor, go to www.htbi.net.


Scelzi Short Bed Service Body For Teichert

This green is pretty bold and I just love it. That is the company colors for Teichert, who has the handle of the business of building for over a century. The body is a Scelzi short bed service body with the 38" height. This body looks great on the truck and has a lot of storage for tools and equipment as well. This unit was delivered through Larry Geweke Ford in Yuba City, CA.

For more great bodies by Scelzi Enterprises, visit their website at www.seinc.com.


Creating Abundance Instead Of Scarcity, Part 1

Every business loves scarcity and would like to have more of it. . . if they had what was scarce in quantity. Think about that. They love to have scarcity as long as they have abundance. It is sort of the definition of selfish: the smaller the pie, the better, as long as I have more than anyone else.

Market share. That is an interesting phrase. I remember when I was young, General Motors used to have over 50% market share. What is it today? Yet, they still spend so much time focusing on that phrase, market share. How big is my piece of the pie? I want more of the pie than anyone else and that will make me successful. . . Why not just focus on being the best that you can be regardless of who is doing what? The public could care less what your market share is. This is ego run amok.

Competition. Some companies spend an inordinate amount of time focused on competing with other companies. That reminds me of follow the leader--of course, that is after you figure out who the leader is. There is a lot of time spent analyzing just that: who is leading? Why not save time, energy and committee's by just leading? Comparing ourselves, our product or our company to others is not helpful. It is a total and complete waste of time, energy and people-power.

Fear. Protectionism. There is plenty of this all around, and no need to manufacture any more of it, yet companies and managers are so fearful of information being obtained by others. Computers are locked down so no one can go to Facebook, Linkedin, YouTube, MySpace, and a few million other off-limits places. We protect ourselves from ourselves to the degree that we cannot grow. Rather than think of protecting the company from harm, think of how those sites can be used to expand the company! What if all of your employees were promoting your business through social networking rather than saying that other stuff about how lame you are, etc. Take a lemon and make lemonade?

I've seen a good deal of this kind of thinking in my travels and consulting with truck dealers, body companies and others. There is so much more value to be had by thinking differently and more openly. Keeping the cards close to your vest in an Internet world where information is free is counterproductive. Instead, think like an entrepreneur and make use of this most awesome tool. Open the floodgates and let the games begin!


42-Wheeler Is A Strange Sight

This truck is based in Warren, Michigan and has 42 wheels. Do you think we could stick any more axles under this? It is so strange looking for a California guy, since we are used to 18-wheelers and you would never see anything like this. With this many axles, and those huge dump bodies, they need the axles to spread the weight. Man, this baby will cost you when it comes time to replace those tires! Nice looking truck though.


This Is Welcome Good News - No Matter How It Happened.


  • Ford, Lincoln and Mercury February sales up 43 percent versus year ago and 22 percent higher than January
  • Ford brand sales up 46 percent versus year ago, Lincoln up 19 percent and Mercury up 24 percent
  • Cars up 54 percent versus year ago, utilities up 39 percent and trucks up 36 percent
    Ford’s U.S. market share for February estimated at 17 percent, up 3 percentage points versus a year ago
  • Retail sales up 28 percent versus a year ago; fleet sales normalizing – up 74 percent versus last February’s depressed levels
  • Second-quarter North American production plan is 595,000 vehicles, up 144,000 vehicles (32 percent) versus a year ago


February Combined Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac Sales Up 32 Percent

Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac dealers in the U.S. reported sales of 138,849, up a combined 32 percent compared to February 2009. These results were driven by the continued strong growth of new GM crossovers and passenger cars.

GM’s Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac brands continue to build momentum in the marketplace, according to Susan Docherty, GM vice president, Sales, Service and Marketing. “Although we’ve been operating as a new company with four brands for just seven months, our February results demonstrate that our long-term plan is already paying dividends,” Docherty said.

Retail sales for GM’s four brands were up 7 percent for the month, driven by strong consumer demand for GM’s crossovers. February retail sales of GM’s newest crossovers – Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX – were up 198 percent compared to the vehicles they replaced. This was the seventh month in a row that retail sales of these vehicles were up more than 100 percent.

“We’ll earn every sale by delivering the value customers expect, in the vehicle they want,” said Docherty. “Our sales results for the Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Terrain and Cadillac SRX show these vehicles have what customers are looking for today – style, fuel efficiency, quality and the safety and security of OnStar.”
Month-end dealer inventory in the U.S. stood at 420,000, which is 30,000 higher compared to January 2010, and 361,000 lower than February 2009.

Other Key Facts:

  • Chevrolet: total sales up 32 percent; retail sales up 1 percent; Chevrolet Equinox retail sales increased 121 percent
  • Buick: total sales up 47 percent; retail sales up 18 percent; Buick LaCrosse retail sales rose 100 percent
  • GMC: total sales up 26 percent; retail sales up 25 percent; GMC Terrain retail sales were up 303 percent (compared to the Pontiac Torrent – the vehicle it replaced)
  • Cadillac: total sales up 32 percent; retail sales up 13 percent; Cadillac SRX retail sales were up 490 percent


Chrysler Group LLC Reports February 2010 U.S. Sales Increase Slightly

  • Sales improve slightly compared with the same period last year
  • Chrysler, Jeep® and Dodge brand sales up compared with the previous year
  • Car sales improve 38 percent versus the same period in 2009
  • Ten vehicles post year-over-year sales gains, 13 nameplates increase sales compared with the previous month
  • Entire Jeep lineup increased sales compared with the previous month
  • Ram Truck Brand sales up versus January
  • March kicks off ‘Truck Month’ celebrating the all-new 2010 Ram Heavy Duty, Motor Trend Magazine’s ‘2010 Truck of the Year’


Harbor Truck 56" Single Rear Service Body w/Back Up Camera

Here's another sweet build from Harbor Truck Bodies in Brea, CA. This is a 9' Service Body with 56" high compartments and closed top lids. This is an excellent choice for a lot of light things or somewhat larger things that wouldn't normally fit in a service body. The shelves are removable, so just imagine the size of things that could fit in there. The horizontal compartment is normally that, but due to the height of this body, the compartment over the wheels is more like one of the vertical compartments.

This body also has a back up camera mounted at the top of the rear license bracket and a monitor in the form of a rear view mirror. That's a sweet setup for bodies where you cannot see rearward except through the rearview mirror. In addition, this body has the Master Lock System installed and has a 3-piece cargo bed enclosure for maximum use of the inside area of the body. Notice the high mounted stop light setup and the way the rear doors can be secured to stay open. Add a bedslide to this and you have an awesome package.

All of this, and it is mounted on an uplevel Ford Super Cab chassis! That will work--and have a very comfortable time doing it. Thanks to Kimberly at Harbor Truck for sending the photos and info. You can reach Kimberly at 800-433-9452 and she can get one built for you. See Harbor's website at www.htbi.net.