Tommy Gate On Ford Cargo Van

This is something I see rarely, but has long been available: A Tommy Gate Liftgate mounted on a cargo van. It's a great application any time there are heavy things to lift and it sure saves backs.

This job was a retrofit on a used Ford cargo van done by Harbor Truck Bodies in Brea, CA.


Autocrane Service Truck with EnPak by Lee Transport Equipment

We have completed the first of ten Auto Crane Service Trucks for our local Caterpillar dealer. The first three have a Miller EnPak. The EnPak is a stand-alone power unit run by a 27hp Kubota diesel engine (runs from truck fuel tank) that has the capability to power up to a 10,000 lb. hydraulic crane, 120/240 ac power with 6kw, run three different models of the Miller suitcase welders, recharges the trucks batteries, and last but not least, has a 40cfm rotary air compressor. Whew! That's a working package!

This set-up costs about $6k to $11k more than a conventional PTO set-up, yet this can be money well spent because fuel savings are calculated at about $1,800 per year, and the truck will have much less engine hours recorded. This can help save on costly rebuild or premature replacement of the much more expensive main motor. Also, the preventative maintenance interval will come down substantially saving more, and of course this is definitely a “Green Initative.”  These 10 trucks will have the Auto Crane 10006H with the just released NexStar control system.

My thanks to Mike Kilpatrick, Product Manager at Lee Transport Equipment Inc of Columbia, South Carolina for these shots and information. You can call Mike at 803-768-2043. The main line for Lee Transport Equipment is 877-799-7860 and website is http://www.leetransport.net/.


Daimler Intends To Further Reduce Diesel Consumption & CO2 Emissions

50 years of truck development for the sake of the environment, safety, comfort and economy: Truck fuel consumption already down by 30 percent since 1960. NOx and PM emissions decreased by up to 98 percent during the same period. In the background: Mercedes-Benz truck LS1624 from the 1960s, in the front the current Mercedes-Benz truck Actros 1844.


Victory Sweepers Liberty GX Mounted On Isuzu Truck

Cruising across the lot, I noticed this nice unit in for a check-up. This is a Gas Isuzu (with GMC labels) with a 109" wheelbase in the base 12,000 GVWR model. With that wheelbase, this rig is perfect for tight turns necessary for sweeping. Mounted on the chassis is the Liberty GX by Victory Sweepers, Inc. of Madison, Alabama. This unit has a 4.35 cubic yard debris hopper capacity. Looks like a great rig.

To get the specs on this and all the products by Victory Sweepers, you can call them at 866-507-9337 and visit their website at http://www.victorysweepers.com/.


What's Wrong With This Picture?

What's wrong with this picture?

I went out to breakfast the other day and spied this truck. I started laughing and I had to get a shot of it. Chip It 4 Less, indeed. I'll bet you can get 3 or 4 small shrubs in there with no problem, or maybe a few tree branches at a time, then off to shovel unload it and go back for a few more branches while sitting on the jounce bumpers all the way back and forth. Ridiculous.


Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp Debuts All-Electric Walk-In Van Chassis

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC) of Gaffney, South Carolina continues its legacy of engineering alternative-power products for the commercial vehicle industry with the introduction of its highly anticipated plug-in all-electric walk-in van (WIV) chassis.

The all-electric chassis, developed in partnership with Enova Systems, a leading developer and producer of electric and hybrid-electric drive system technologies for commercial vehicle OEMs, is built on the popular FCCC MT-45 WIV chassis platform.

The new all-electric chassis enables fleet operators to virtually eliminate harmful emissions and cut operating and maintenance costs while delivering the performance and driver comfort features FCCC customers have come to expect. On select delivery and service routes, studies show that customers will save up to $15,000 per vehicle annually compared with traditionally powered walk-in vans. The quiet operation of the all-electric chassis also makes for an enjoyable driver experience. This new chassis has a flat-leaf spring front and rear suspension, allowing for a smooth, solid ride that minimizes cargo shifts on uneven road surfaces.

The development program with Enova involved the engineering and integration of Enova's 120kW all-electric drive system technology into the new MT-45 chassis. Ideal for the pickup and delivery market, the MT-45 chassis boasts a GVWR of 14,000 to 19,500 lbs. The durable steel straight-rail chassis frame reduces flex and bowing to minimize chassis stress while carrying heavy payloads.

Powered by Tesla Motors lithium ion batteries, the chassis is 100 percent electric, including its HVAC system, making it the only fully featured WIV chassis in the industry to be completely electrically powered. The all-electric drive system features batter packs that provides an up to 100-mile driving range on a single charge, making it ideal for pickup and delivery applications. The battery pack will charge from fully depleted to fully charged in six to eight hours.

The batteries featured on the electric system also capture and store energy during the regenerative braking phase of the vehicle's operation. The regenerative braking system reduces friction during braking, resulting in less brake wear and extended brake life. The regenerative braking system saves energy by recycling and storing it, which can then be reused to propel the vehicle instead of losing it to heat, as is the case with traditional brakes.

Visit http://www.freightlinerchassis.com/ for more information.


Isuzu Truck N-Series Gas Trucks To Be Assembled By Spartan Motors

April 22, 2010


Production to Begin Second Quarter 2011

Anaheim, CA.—Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., distributor of America’s best-selling low-cab-forward trucks, announced today at the American Truck Dealers 2010 Convention & Expo here in Orlando, FL, that Spartan Motors, Inc., a leading manufacturer of specialty chassis and vehicles, has been selected to assemble gasoline-powered Isuzu N-Series trucks.

Spartan will assemble all gasoline-engine models of the Isuzu N-Series chassis to Isuzu’s specifications at one of its assembly facilities, beginning in the second quarter 2011. The powertrain will employ a General Motors 6.0-liter V8 gasoline engine and Hydra-Matic 6-speed transmission.

Gasoline-powered N-Series trucks had been assembled by GM at its plant in Janesville, Wisconsin, until the plant ceased operations in 2009. Last month, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America announced that an agreement had been reached with GM for the supply of transmissions and gasoline engines used for gas-powered Isuzu NPR and NPR-HD trucks in both single and Crewcab models, and that these vehicles would be reintroduced for the 2012 model year. The company also announced that it would soon be announcing the new assembler of the popular gas-engine low-cab-forward trucks.

Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, said, “We are excited to have Spartan, one of the industry’s most respected builders of high-quality custom chassis, help reintroduce our line of gasoline-powered N-Series trucks. Together, we will position ICTA’s dealer body to once again offer the broadest range of low-cab-forward solutions in the industry.”

“I expect this to be the beginning of a long-term relationship with a world leading diesel engine and commercial vehicle organization,” said John Sztykiel, president and chief executive officer of Spartan Motors. “This relationship with the Isuzu group enhances Spartan’s ability to leverage our capacity and our engineering and manufacturing expertise, which is critical as the landscape for the commercial vehicle market is transformed by economic, environmental and regulatory forces.”

ICTA also announced here today the development of a revolutionary next-generation commercial van combining a body designed by Spartan’s Utilimaster Corporation subsidiary with Isuzu’s NPR diesel chassis. Full production of the new walk-in van is expected to begin in the second half of 2011.

About Isuzu

Isuzu Motors Limited (Isuzu) is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Since building its first truck in 1918, Isuzu has sold over 26 million trucks worldwide. Among its innovations are the first air-cooled diesel engine in 1936, the first two-ton low-cab-forward truck in 1959, and the first direct-injection diesel engine.

Headquartered in Anaheim, California, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. (ICTA), is the distributor of Isuzu commercial vehicles in the United States. Isuzu commercial trucks have been the best-selling low-cab-forward trucks in America every year since 1986. For more information, call (866) 441-9638 or visit www.isuzucv.com.

About Spartan Motors

Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR; www.spartanmotors.com), designs, engineers and manufactures specialty chassis, specialty vehicles and truck bodies and aftermarket parts for the RV, emergency-rescue, defense, delivery and service markets. The company’s brand names—SpartanTM, Crimson FireTM, Crimson Fire AerialsTM, Road RescueTM and Utilimaster®—are known for quality, value, service and being the first to market with innovative products. The company employs approximately 1,600 people at facilities in Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Indiana and Texas. Spartan reported sales of $430 million in 2009 and is focused on becoming a global leader in the manufacture of specialty vehicles and chassis.

Isuzu Truck Announces Revolutionary New Commercial Van

April 22, 2010


Flexible Walk-In Design, Low Cost of Operation, Superior Economy and Durability Meet in the First Vehicle to Combine Cargo-Van Appeal with Work-Truck Capability

Anaheim, CA.—Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., distributor of America’s best-selling low-cab-forward trucks, and Utilimaster, Inc., a leading manufacturer of specialty chassis and vehicles, introduced a game-changing commercial van at the American Truck Dealers 2010 Convention & Expo in Orlando.

The walk-in van—with a body designed by Utilimaster Corporation atop a rugged heavy-duty Isuzu NPR chassis and powered by Isuzu’s legendary 3.0-liter diesel engine—will combine the functionality and design flexibility of a custom-built work truck with the styling and ergonomics of a cargo van, all while expected to achieve best-in-class fuel economy savings, meeting the latest EPA emissions standards, offering true commercial truck capability and delivering low cost of ownership.

Prototypes are scheduled to begin rolling off the line in the third quarter of this year, with full production scheduled for the second half of 2011.

“This new walk-in van will be the first vehicle to fully meet the needs of today’s fleet and vocational markets,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “It will offer significantly more interior height and width than other commercial vans, and it will have multiple design options to maximize utility and driver productivity. Add to that a body design and powertrain that have been engineered for performance, durability and low cost of ownership, and the result is a vehicle that will truly revolutionize the commercial van market.”

Added John Marshall, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Utilimaster, “We have worked extensively with key customers for more than 18 months to develop this product from the ground up and the response so far has been very encouraging. This next-generation van is expected to achieve best-in-class fuel economy along with important Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc./Announcement of New Commercial Van features to support commercial van customers, including a distinctly automotive aesthetic, that will set it apart in the marketplace.”

Exterior Design and Construction

The dramatic profile of the new van demonstrates the importance Isuzu and Utilimaster designers placed on aerodynamics. The streamlined shape improves fuel efficiency while it reduces interior noise.

The components and materials used in the construction of the body have been evaluated and selected for:

  • Durability
  • Impact resistance
  • Safety
  • Functionality
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Light weight
  • Ability to be manufactured, painted, repaired and replaced
  • Recyclability
  • Thermal and sound insulation qualities
  • Appearance
“Each component on the body of the new commercial van will use the best material and fastening techniques available for the application,” said Marshall.

The body panels will also be designed for quick removal and replacement so that owners can quickly and easily make minor body repairs.

Two wheelbases—134 and 151 inches—and three cargo area lengths—10, 12 and 14 feet—will be offered. All models will feature a 34-inch-wide by 74-inch-high cab door opening for easy driver ingress and egress. The cab will offer a choice of either swing or sliding doors.

In back, multiple rear door designs will allow the cargo area to be customized to the operator’s needs. Options will include 270-degree twin-swing doors, twin side-sliding doors, and roll-up doors.

Flexible, Functional Interior

The revolution continues inside, with a cab optimized for ergonomics and productivity and a modular cargo area of unprecedented spaciousness that will offer buyers a choice of integrated vocational packages specifically designed for their applications.

Operators will find the new commercial van to be a functional mobile office. Even a driver over six feet in height can walk in and out of the cab in an upright position, and can stand up inside the cab area. The placement and design of instruments and controls have been simplified for ease of use and made modular for easy installation of customer-specific equipment.

The cargo area, easily accessible from the driver’s seat, is perhaps the new van’s most innovative feature. With an interior up to 27 inches higher than a conventional Ford or GM van and 10 inches wider than a Sprinter van, the cargo area can offer up to 700 cubic feet of storage. In addition, a choice of integrated vocational modules will give buyers the opportunity to turn the cargo area into a space virtually customized to their needs.

Each of the vocational cargo-storage modules has been designed to take full advantage of the van’s impressive width and height, and engineered for quick and easy installation, with no drilling or other body modifications required. And any module can be specified as a factory- or dealer-installed option, or ordered through the dealership and installed by the final customer.

“Vocational industries have always had to settle for a ‘compromise’ vehicle,” Skinner said. “With the introduction of this new commercial van, the need to compromise is over forever.”

Engineered to be Capable, Durable, Efficient and Green

While the Isuzu-Utilimaster commercial walk-in van will offer groundbreaking new design and features, it will also provide owners with the reassurance that its chassis and powertrain are proven, rugged and durable.

The foundation of the van’s body-on-frame design will be a heavy-duty Isuzu NPR commercial truck chassis with a GVWR of 12,000 pounds. The frame, front and rear axles and brakes are all proven Isuzu N-Series components. More than 200,000 Isuzu N-Series trucks are produced and sold annually throughout the world. Of the more than 400,000 Isuzu-built diesel trucks sold in North America since 1986, more than 81 percent are still registered and in service today—a testament to the chassis’s strength and dependability.

Powering the van will be Isuzu’s 4JJ1-TC engine, a turbocharged and intercooled 3.0-liter dual overhead cam direct-injection four-cylinder diesel that will generate approximately 150 horsepower and 282 foot-pounds of torque. The 4JJ1-TC engine has a 10,000 mile change interval and carries a 310,000 mile B10 life rating. This means that 90% of the engines should reach 310,000 miles without requiring overhaul.

The 4JJ1-TC engine also employs a selective catalytic reduction (SCR) technology to meet the latest and toughest emissions requirements. The SCR system injects Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) into the hot exhaust stream to reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by over 85 percent.

Mated to this powerful, durable, clean powerplant will be an Aisin six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive and lock-up torque converter plus PTO function.

This powertrain is expected to achieve best-in-class fuel economy dramatically lowering the cost of ownership compared to current cargo vans.

Limitless Potential

“This family of vehicles will have the fit and finish of today’s high-volume cargo vans with the durability and design flexibility demanded of true professional work trucks,” said Skinner. “As a result, this new van will appeal to an enormous segment of the commercial truck market.”
Among the industries and vocations the vehicle is expected to appeal to:

  • Package delivery fleets
  • Contractors
  • Cleaning services
  • Plumbers
  • Moving and storage companies
  • Home health care providers
  • Locksmiths
  • Lease/rental agencies
  • Appliance repair and delivery firms
  • Dry cleaners and laundries
  • Heating and air conditioning technicians
  • Electricians
  • Airports
  • Florists
  • Rent-to-own outlets
  • Food distributors
  • And more
In fact, the potential number of markets and applications likely to embrace the new van is virtually unlimited.

ICTA has also announced here today the selection of Spartan (parent company of Utilimaster) to assemble the newly reintroduced Isuzu N-Series gasoline chassis, including all low-cab-forward Isuzu models powered by the General Motors 6.0-liter V8 gasoline engine. Initial production of the gasoline N-Series chassis at one of Spartan’s assembly facilities and is scheduled to begin in the second quarter 2011.

“I expect this to be the beginning of a long-term relationship with a world leading diesel engine and commercial vehicle organization,” said John Sztykiel, president and chief executive officer of Spartan Motors.

About Isuzu

Isuzu Motors Limited (Isuzu) is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of medium- and heavy-duty trucks. Since building its first truck in 1918, Isuzu has sold over 26 million trucks worldwide. Among its innovations are the first air-cooled diesel engine in 1936, the first two-ton low-cab-forward truck in 1959, and the first direct-injection diesel engine.
Headquartered in Anaheim, California, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. (ICTA), is the distributor of Isuzu commercial vehicles in the United States. Isuzu commercial trucks have been the best-selling low-cab-forward trucks in America every year since 1986. For more information, call (866) 441-9638 or visit www.isuzucv.com.

About Utilimaster

Established in 1973, Utilimaster (www.utlilmaster.com) is a leading manufacturer of walk-in vans and commercial truck bodies for the delivery and service markets. As one of the most respected and trusted manufacturers of commercial vehicles, Utilimaster designs, develops, and manufactures products for specific client applications. Utilimaster services the package delivery, one-way truck rental, linen/uniform rental, utility, and bakery/snack delivery markets. The company serves a diverse customer base by offering customized upfit service as well as a full line of aftermarket parts and accessories. Utilimaster is a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (Nasdaq: SPAR).


This Ain't Burger King, But You Can Have It Your Way

 2" Treated, Dense Yellow Pine is standard

This is RUMBER. Yes! Recycled Tires!

Here is the composite flooring

This is the hardwood flooring.

Here's an example of the composite installed and a partial steel overlay

I have long been a fan of Knapheide flatbeds. I've sold hundreds of them. It is one of the best looking flatbeds on the market and because of Knapheide's large volume production capacity, they can keep the cost low and maintain the quality at the same time.

Most people who have been around Knapheide flatbeds know that they use 2" thick, treated dense yellow pine. The boards are more narrow than many flatbed builders and this helps the floor stay flat because the wider the wood, the easier it is to warp and curl. When I was selling them, the dense yellow pine was all that was available, except adding a steel overlay or steel floor instead of wood. That has changed! Now you can have it many ways. Above are some photos showing you the different ways.

On the west coast, composite is all the rage, so now you too can have the quality of a Knapheide flatbed with composite flooring. Then, for you green people, there's Rumber! It's made from recycled tires and other materials. Way cool. For you traditionalists, there's hardwood. I used to think this was the only way to go in my early days, but I got over it.

To top it off, you can add a smooth or diamond plate steel overlay. This adds great strength and longevity to a flatbed, and to top that off, some people even like to have the HD spray liner on top of the steel. Wow. That's a bunch of layers of protection and strength.

One last thing--or first thing, depending on how you look at it. All Knapheide flatbeds 22' and under go through their famous 12-step K-Coat Electro-Coating process as do all their service bodies.

There's more to the story of Knapheide's wide selection of flatbed products, and you can see much more at http://www.knapheide.com/. Have it your way!


Daimler Trucks Unveils New Fuso Super Great Truck

  • Sales of new Fuso Super Great start today in Japan
  • Fuso 6R10 engine from Daimler Trucks’ New Engine Generation celebrates its premiere in Japan
  • Fuel-efficient and environmentally friendly truck complies with what is currently the world’s most stringent emissions standard, JP09

Kawasaki, Japan – Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) today unveiled the new generation of the Fuso Super Great. Because it features the 6R10 engine with BlueTec technology, the Fuso Super Great is MFTBC’s first truck to comply with what is currently the world’s most stringent emissions standard, JP09 (Japan New Long-Term Emission Regulation). Production has already begun at the Kawasaki plant, sales of the new Fuso Super Great commence today at all MFTBC dealers in Japan and the first batch of orders has been received.

“The new Fuso Super Great with its all-new fuel-efficient 6R10 engine and advanced BlueTec emissions control system shows that heavy-duty trucks can be environmentally friendly, optimized for safety, and also highly cost-effective,” said Dr. Albert Kirchmann, President and CEO MFTBC. Customers benefit from the fact that MFTBC is an integral part of Daimler Trucks and thus can employ the division’s modular commercial vehicle system, which is defined for use worldwide and for all brands. “It allows us to develop world-class components such as the new Fuso 6R10 engine with the highest degree of efficiency,” added Kirchmann.

The latest evolutionary development of Fuso’s flagship truck complies with JP09, which is currently the world’s most stringent emissions standard. JP09 calls for nitrogen oxide reductions of 65 percent and particulate matter reductions of 63 percent over the previous regulation JP05. The new Fuso Super Great with a gross vehicle weight from 16 tons to 25 tons also has many new equipment features, the most important one being the new 6R10 diesel engine with BlueTec technology from Daimler Trucks’ New Engine Generation for use in commercial vehicles worldwide.

The Fuso 6R10 engine combines the know-how of Daimler Trucks units in Europe, Japan, and the U.S. It is manufactured at the Mannheim engine plant and is now being used in Japan. Daimler Trucks units have jointly developed the engine since 2002 to achieve superb fuel efficiency and meet the respective emissions limits. All of the New Engine Generation engines incorporate the BlueTec exhaust gas system to substantially reduce nitrogen, particulate, and CO2 emissions while at the same time achieving high fuel efficiency. The Fuso Super Great’s 12.8-liter 6R10 has an output between 257 kW (350 hp) and 309 kW (420 hp) and is precisely tailored to meet the needs of customers on the Japanese market.

MFTBC’s Super Great was introduced in 1996, and has since then been steadily improved through several generations. Prior to today’s introduction, the last new generation of the Super Great was launched in 2007 and is very popular with Japanese truck customers.

In 2008, MFTBC developed the Safety Truck. Based on the Super Great, it impressively demonstrates the potential of technology to increase commercial vehicles’ safety. It incorporated a wide variety of safety features, many of which are now standard in Fuso Super Great models. While the new Fuso Super Great is currently only available in Japan, MFTBC will also develop the truck for selected export markets, with features adapted to match local market requirements. The sales launch of the new Fuso Super Great is the first major step in a product offensive that will introduce no less than 25 key vehicle additions or changes around the world by the end of 2010.

The new Fuso Super Great also has a range of other equipment features that make the truck the best in its class. They include a comprehensive array of safety features, such as the Mitsubishi Driver Attention Monitoring System, which warns the driver of critical situations. Several models are also equipped with safety systems such as the Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which increases vehicle stability even in difficult situations, or the Active Mitigation Brake (AMB). AMB is an active safety technology which decelerates the vehicle by applying the brake automatically when a collision is possible.

Based in Kawasaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) is one of Asia’s leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. In 2009, the company sold a total of 99,500 vehicles, including light, medium and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Daimler AG owns 85 percent of MFTBC shares. MFTBC is an integral part of the Daimler Trucks Division of Daimler AG.

See more on Mitsubishi Fuso trucks here: Mitsubishi Fuso


New Stellar EC6000 38k ft lb Crane Released

Stellar Industries has released a new environmentally friendly electric/hydraulic crane to enhance its complete line of EC Series cranes. The Stellar® EC6000 is a 38,000 ft-lb rated crane with a maximum lifting capacity of 6,000 pounds. The EC6000 has a 21-foot reach. Other features, which can also be found on all EC Series cranes, include a standard radio remote control and environmentally friendly hydraulic oil, both of which are industry first standard features for a crane in this class. Other features include short stowing height, a double-boom design for added strength, a true gear bearing rotation, a high-strength steel worm gear, and a cast-steel worm gear housing.

“Our lifting performance will meet or exceed that of other competitive cranes in this market class,” says Tim Davison, Product Manager, bodies and cranes, “but what will put the EC6000 above all the others is the great feature ensemble, which includes a radio remote control, a durable rotation system replicated from our reliable Model 6620 hydraulic crane, the environmentally friendly hydraulic oil and the new piggy-back boom
system, which brings hex boom like strength, but at a slightly lower price point.”
See the entire line of cranes at http://www.stellarindustries.com/


Asplundh Tree Expert Co. Taps Freightliner Trucks for Business Class M2 106 Trucks

ST. LOUIS – Freightliner Trucks announced today that Asplundh Tree Expert Co. has taken delivery of its first Freightliner Business Class® M2 106 trucks.

Based in Philadelphia, Asplundh is a world-class service company, primarily serving the vegetation management and construction needs of the electric utility industry. With operations throughout the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Asplundh has more than 26,500 employees internationally. Asplundh’s fleet is dominated by medium-duty vehicles, mostly trucks with aerial lifts and/or split dump chip boxes mounted on them.

According to John Talbot, manager of fleet services for Asplundh, the company has very precise requirements for its trucks – such as a specific front axle because of where the pedestal of an aerial lift is mounted. Other specs on Asplundh’s trucks include a low cab height and hydraulic brakes. Flexibility and customer service is a high priority in its choice of equipment manufacturers.

“Our truck requirements are all about safety and our customers’ needs, and we need a partner who will work with us every step of the way,” said Talbot. “The vocational sales and marketing group at Freightliner worked with us, really listened to our needs and most importantly, responded by building a truck to our exact specifications at a very competitive price.”

Added Melissa Clausen, director of product marketing for Freightliner Trucks: “The Business Class M2 106 is also versatile and tough – ideal for the demanding vegetation management work that Asplundh performs.”

The Business Class M2 106 trucks are equipped with the powerful and fuel-efficient Cummins B-series diesel engines. Other features on the Business Class M2 106 include an aluminum body that is light and non-corrosive, a low profile dash and an expansive 2,500 square-inch windshield for excellent visibility. The truck’s 55-inch wheel cut, set-back front axle and swept back bumper result in excellent maneuverability in tight environments.

Talbot also noted that Freightliner’s knowledgeable dealership and extensive service network is another key benefit.

“We need to be able to respond very quickly to our customers with the appropriate trucks and tools, so it’s important to have the support of a world-class truck manufacturer like Freightliner,” said Talbot. “We were very pleased with the flexibility and customer service that Freightliner offered.”

Freightliner Trucks is a division of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and is the leading heavy-duty truck manufacturer in North America. Daimler Trucks North America produces and markets Class 4-8 trucks and is a Daimler company, the world's leading commercial vehicle manufacturer.

For more information on Freightliner Trucks, go to http://www.freightlinertrucks.com/.


Drawers Are Nice, But Sliding Shelves Can Be Very Helpful

I absolutely love drawers in service bodies. They are among the most useful of tools. One thing I haven't talked about much is the sliding shelf which can be at least as useful. Here is an example on a Knapheide 11' Service Body. Think about a tool box on that shelf, or a generator, or pump, or air compressor, or you name it. Just slide that shelf out and you have instant access. When you're done, slide it back in and it locks in position ready for the ride.

Next time you're looking for solutions, remember the pull-out sliding shelf. You might want several. Keep that equipment ready to use, but out of sight and locked away when not in use. Check the link for a very long list of options that Knapheide offers in their service body products: Knapheide Options.


Very Interesting Landscaping Body From Arrow Truck Bodies & Equipment

I was cruising through Arrow Truck Bodies and Equipment of Ontario, California's website and found this incredible unit. What an awesome body and they call it a Landscape Body. And it might as well be that since Landscaping is such a varied field and there are so many different bodies that are used by different landscapers. I don't have the specs on this unit, but just looking at it shows me how useful it can be for ANY business that needs compartment space and floor space. And, I love the expanded metal lockable doors. It's sort of like sitting in an open air lobby in Hawaii. . . well, that's a bit extreme, but you get the drift.

See more that Arrow does at http://www.arrowtruckbodies.com/. Or give them a call at 909-947-3991.


A Wide Range Of UD Trucks Serve South Africa

Nissan Diesel South Africa, one of the leading truck manufacturers in the country, today announced that Nissan Diesel Motor Comp`any Ltd in Japan will be renamed as the UD Trucks Corporation from 1 February 2010. The new brand strategy will also be implemented over time in all other subsidiaries and companies around the world. The process to rename the South Afican operation will also start on the same date, and it will be named UD Trucks Southern Africa.

This process for implementation of the new name and brand will be a roll-out campaign peaking during the last quarter for 2010, whereafter the dealer network will be completed within a period of 8 months.

As the UD Truck Corporation, the company will also remain part of the world's second biggest trucking group. In South Africa, as of 1 February 2010, shareholding of the local subsidiary will remain with the then to be known UD Trucks Corporation (80%) and Japanese trading house, Mitsui (20%).

"We believe that evolving from Nissan Diesel into UD Trucks provides the company with a clear vision and dedicated path going into the future - matching customer business insight with the global expertise " that will provide a platform for success, said Johan Richards, chief executive of Nissan Diesel South Africa.

Nissan Diesel SA currently has more than 50 dealers and service agents in Southern Africa, with the dedicated manufacturing facility at their head office in Rosslyn, Pretoria.

"Part of the company's vision will continue to focus on Ultimate Dependability - a message that has over time become part of the company's DNA and they way our customers relate to our services and products."

Richards continued to say that after our separation in 2002 from the Nissan passenger operation, the company's Nissan name roots in South Africa served them well during the time of being associated with their passenger vehicle counterparts, the brand change now allows the company to evolve fully as a leading trucking company.

"The brand UD Trucks will also be a symbol of this, to distinguish us from our competitors in all aspects of the business. And our trucks will continue to carry the well-known UD topmark - albeit in a more dynamic and modern guise," said Richards.

Extensive research by Nissan Diesel has revealed that customers are increasingly looking for a truck provider that can be a true professional partner, which continuously scales of products and services to better meet their business needs. The company is therefore committed to continue building closer professional relationships with their customers and offer dependable transport solutions, a recipe for future success.

Nissan Diesel South Africa has always adopted an evolutionary rather than a revolutionary approach in their dealings with their customers. As a result, the company remains committed to provide products and services that are not only of world-class standards, but are also appropriately suitable to the local environment and operating conditions.

"As we are entering a new era, with expansion of responsibilities into African countries, the company will continue to adapt to the changing needs of our customers and deliver services and products that go beyond the expected. Built on a passion for engineering, reliability and customer relations, we believe that UD offers a competitive edge in challenging market and operating conditions," concluded Richards.

About the Company

Nissan Diesel’s roots dates back to 1935, when the company was founded in Japan by Kenzo Adachi who had an interest in German diesel engines. The company started manufacturing diesel engines in Tokyo as Nihon Diesel Industry, and the next 13 years saw a number of name changes and various model launches. In 1950, the company known today as Nissan Diesel, really came into its own as it continued to supply the Nissan Motor Group with diesel engine.

The groundbreaking Uniflow scavenging diesel engine was launched in 1953 – the first to showcase the now-famous UD trademark.

In 1958, Minsei Diesel, as the company was known then, was one of the leading diesel manufacturers in Japan when it was acquired by Nissan Motor Corporation. And as such, the Nissan Diesel Motor Corporation was born.

The company continued on its road to success and by 1973 became the top heavy-duty truck manufacturer in Japan, and by 1984, Nissan Diesel trucks was exported to 140 countries worldwide.

The company has grown from a small company to an international corporation that designs, develops, tests and manufactures innovative and technologically advanced products.

Through innovative engineering aimed at generating benefits for people and the environment, Nissan Diesel applies these technologies that it has amassed in the diesel engine field, to produce an even greater range of comfortable, safe and environmentally friendly vehicles.

Local Success

In South Africa, Nissan Diesel has enjoyed a proud history of success since its establishment in 1962, becoming Nissan Diesel’s top market outside of Japan. Over the years, the company has built a strong reputation as a credible and successful truck supplier, boasting unequalled flexibility and full backing from Nissan Diesel in Japan.

In 2002 Nissan Diesel South Africa (NDSA) was formed, separating the company from Nissan South Africa and thus the passenger car operations. During the following year, NDSA moved all its facilities to new premises in Rosslyn, underlining its independence and setting the stage for a new era in which the company’s total focus became the trucking industry.

The company is resolved to offer only vehicles engineered, developed and rigorously tested to meet the harsh operating conditions in Southern Africa. Nissan Diesel will also continue to develop its footprint in the African market wherever fleets can benefit from its efficient design, state-of-the art technology, quality assembly and dependable support.

Nissan Diesel has a representative footprint across South Africa, and all dealers adhere to stringent quality requirements. As a result, Nissan Diesel is able to deliver the same level of quality service to our customers, no matter where they are.

Nissan Diesel and its dealers remain committed to providing their customers with innovative transport solutions and service offerings, built on trust, in-depth industry knowledge and a strong technical skills set.

See more at http://www.nissandiesel.co.za/.


Sweet Harbor CSI Unit Is A Looker Too

This is a very nice looking unit built for the City of Irvine by Harbor Truck Bodies. Notice the chrome plated rear bumper. Very nice. I absolutely love the upper side compartments that are angled with a long door. That used to be wasted space and now it can be very useful, but it has an additional benefit of giving the whole body a truck-matching appearance and I think it has a smooth flow.

This unit has a 40" inside dimension superstructure with recess front corners for HAVIS pole lights. It has rear barn doors with a stationary top. Notice also the Whelen LED Arrow Stick mounted top rear.

Thanks to Kimberly at Harbor Truck for the shots and info. See more at http://www.htbi.net/.


Completely Custom Rig for NV Energy by Cobalt Truck Equipment

This is an interesting commercial rig, custom built for NV Energy by Cobalt Truck Equipment of Nampa, Idaho. It is a completely customized Featherlite trailer modified to include a VEU gas vapor extraction unit. It includes innovative features such as underbody stabilizers, custom ground probe and hose storage, and bell hole plate storage. The trailer has self-contained fuel tanks and batteries to allow operation independent of the tow vehicle. Speaking of the tow vehicle, this one is sweet and makes an awesome combination.

My thanks to Paul Bedke of Cobalt Truck Equipment for getting me these photos and information. I am always looking for interesting trucks--and even an occasional trailer or two. You can reach Paul and Cobalt Truck at 208-887-7788 and visit their website at www.cobalttruck.com.


Shhhhh! Knapheide Makes Chipper Bodies.

Who knew? But here it is in all it's glory: Knapheide Manufacturing makes Chipper Bodies, and a very nice one at that. Love the Knap-Pak L-Style to offer some room for some tools, ropes, and miscellaneous gear. This one is mounted on the Ford F450/550 regular cab chassis. Sweet!

See more that you may not know that Knapheide builds at http://www.knapheide.com/.


Revisiting the Fabulous Douglass 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Body

Douglass Truck Bodies makes a great 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Body! Of course, they build a great number of awesome bodies and have since 1958.

I've seen a lot of trailering bodies and most are very short on storage space and we all know that storage space is part of the American dream. So, Douglass has designed in a huge amount of storage as shown by the photos above--and take a look at that awesome compartment in the center of the bed at the front of the body. Just think of all the things you could put in there. It also is a great looking body. Just image your 5th wheel or gooseneck hooked up. Sweet!

Every Douglass Truck Body features:

  • A60 Galvannealed Steel
  • double-panel doors
  • double-seal weatherstripping
  • stainless-steel hardware, paddle operated slam latches
  • double bit stainless steel locks
  • gas strut supports
  • ¾” split-tube reinforced wheel wells
  • a high-visibility LED tail-light package
  • PPG Del-Fleet Essential high solid polyurethane primer and paint.
Having recently reviewed a number of gooseneck bodies, I felt I wanted to repost this piece on the fabulous Douglass Truck Bodies 5th Wheel/Gooseneck Body. It's a masterpiece! Get more on this body and view the wide range of custom bodies by Douglass at: www.douglasstruckbodies.com.