Monday, May 31, 2010

All New Vauxhall Movano Set To Shake Up The Heavy Van Segment



  • Massive range with 29 body types to choose from
  • Available with front or rear-wheel drive
  • Class leading cabin ergonomics and cargo space
  • Gross vehicle weight up to 4.5 tons, payload up to 2.5 tons
  • New power trains with low operating costs
Luton: The all new Movano from Vauxhall will be a serious player in the heavy van segment when it's launched in the UK market this year.

Customers for Vauxhall's second generation Movano will be spoilt for choice when the new van goes on sale in May, with no less than 29 different body styles to choose from once all variants have come to market.

Movano's drivers can also expect to be among the happiest and most comfortable when they get behind the wheel with special attention having been paid to cabin comfort and ergonomics, as well as to the cargo space areas. A new range of fuel-sipping common rail diesel engines ensure operators will be just as content.

The modular platform, developed jointly with Renault, comes with front or rear-wheel drive depending on payload category. Rear-wheel drive variants can be ordered with twin wheels at the rear.

The new Vauxhall Movano will offer a wider selection of variants than most of the competition, as well as a tailor-made model for nearly every potential customer profile. The full range includes panel van, doublecab and Combi versions, chassis cabs with standard or crew cab, platform cab, three wheelbases, four vehicle lengths and three roof heights.

UK prices are also announced today and start from a highly competitive £21,660 (ex.VAT) for the L2H2 3300 FWD 100PS model.

New Movano is also an excellent base for conversions and will be available ex-works as a tipper, dropside and box van.

Cab comfort and safety has been enhanced in a number of areas such as driver visibility, multi-adjustable seats (in various configurations) and an adjustable steering column that allows for relaxed driving on the longest journeys. Meanwhile the options list for the new Movano has really moved the game on with items such as static cornering lights, a centre seat back that folds into a work surface and a rotating laptop table.

An array of easy-to-reach storage compartments round off the Movano's superbly practical use of space.

The cargo area of the new Movano offers load lengths extending to 4.4 metres, and load capacity of up to 17 cubic metres (L4H3 version).

Loading the new Movano couldn't be simpler. Front wheel drive variants feature low sill heights while all models offer side sliding and rear access doors. Large door apertures make access for large loads and Euro palettes easy.

Under the bonnet, a new generation of 2.3 CDTi four-cylinder common-rail diesel engines combine strong performance with low operating costs. Three power outputs are available: 100PS/285 Nm, 125 PS/310 Nm and 150PS/350 Nm. All engines come with a six-speed gearbox as standard and are Euro 4 or Euro 5 (with DPF) compliant. The 125PS and 150PS versions can be coupled with the semi-auto Techshift transmission.

New Movano's fuel consumption is expected to be among best in class when all versions are launched, depending on model and engine.

Increased fuel efficiency isn't the only way new Movano owners will save money. The new engines are now designed with a 250,000 mile lifespan while extended mileage service intervals and reduced maintenance costs are an added bonus.

Movano's advanced chassis has been tuned to be agile but also comfortable, both when loaded and empty. Active and passive safety equipment includes ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) as standard on all models while electronic stability program (ESP) is also standard on rear-wheel drive and optional for front-wheel drive versions. Passive safety features include front airbags, side airbags integrated in the seats (optional) and seat-belt pretensioners.

The launch phase of the new Movano will be staggered according to the body variants and vehicles will be available in the UK from May.

See more on this an the other van models from Vauxhall at www.vauxhall.co.uk.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Stellar Introduces New 17,000 lb OTR Tire Service Crane


Garner, Iowa – Stellar Industries, Inc. is introducing the Stellar® model 17000 OTR tire service crane and the TM7120 tire manipulator. It was designed from the ground up to provide maximum lifting performance and solid stability in the off the road tire service market. This is the largest OTR tire service crane available in the market that will mount on a single axle truck.

The model 17000 crane has a 17,000-pound capacity at 10-feet and 10,000-pound capacity at 17-feet from the centerline of the crane. It offers 320 degrees of rotation with the use of a top mounted planetary drive that offers smooth, powerful performance with ease of serviceability. It features a hexagonal boom design, a well-known Stellar crane feature, that adds strength and durability and an exclusive radio remote control system that offers precise, smooth, multi-function operation. The crane is supported by a hydraulic fold down style stabilizing system that offers over 18-feet of spread. The model 17000 can be mounded on a single axle truck with a 17’ body or a tandem axle truck with a 20’ body.

The new TM7120 tire manipulator is an option for the model 17000 crane. The TM7120 can manipulate tires from 48” up to 123” in diameter and up to 7,200-pounds. It features over 300 degrees of body rotation, and either fixed or continuous rotation clamping pads. The tire manipulator articulation spans from +79 degrees to -43 degrees. The crane and manipulator combination can also place a tire on the bed as close as 51” from the back of the crane.

A complete package is available with a crane, tire manipulator, steel service body, radio remote control system and an SHD-245 air compressor. The SHD-245 is an industrial truck mounted 4-cylinder, 2-stage compressor powered by a hydraulic motor and outputs 110 CFM at 175 PSI.

“Over the years Stellar has become the leader in OTR tire manipulating cranes,” says Tim Davison, manager of bodies and cranes. He continues, “Stellar achieved this status by its unequivocal ability to listen to its ever changing customer’s needs, as is the case with the 17000. Our customers asked us to develop a crane with increased capacity while still remaining on a single axle chassis, and we did just that, and more.” Davison
concludes, “We started with a clean slate and designed a strong, smooth performing crane from the ground up. Not only is it the highest capacity crane available on a single axle chassis, it is also designed and built strong, and easy to maintain and service.”

Stellar Industries, Inc. was founded in 1990. It is an employee owned and operated manufacturer of hydraulic truck mounted equipment located in North Iowa. Products include hooklifts, container carriers, cable hoists, telescopic cranes, articulating cranes, and the X-Tra-Lift, as well as complete mechanic service truck packages, and tire service truck packages. Stellar is a progressive company that focuses on its people, as they are the key to making the products and the company successful.

For more information regarding Stellar Industries, Inc., visit www.stellarindustries.com, or call 800-321-3741.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Practice Is Just As Valuable As The Sale--Or Is It More? - Part 2

A couple days ago, I posted an article about practice being as important, or even more important than making the sale. I didn't intend to write a supplemental piece about this, but today changed my mind.

Today I realized so clearly how valuable practice can be, and is and how much better practice is than the sale. Today, I arrived. I arrived at the place that every sales person either wants or needs to be, or they should at the very least consider strongly. I arrived at full confidence in what I am doing.

Oh, I've arrived there before in other fields of endeavor, but today I arrived as an Internet Marketer and Consultant. Now, to put that into perspective, in September of 2007, I was completely unknowledgeable about websites, how to build them, what they were about, how they worked. In October of 2007, I built my first website using an online builder. It was terrible. But I kept doing it and they got better. The second website was in January of 2008. What's interesting about that is that I decided in that short time to go into business in that field. I know, that is insane. Knowing so little about something and taking that plunge.

But here's the deal. I got better and tried lots of things and learned and learned and read, attended seminars and learned. Even in March of 2008, neither my partner nor I even knew what a blog was. Scary. Now we build blogs like crazy. Weird. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is another strange thing. What does that mean? Now we do this without even thinking of it that way. And, so much more.

Our focus was on one thing: providing valuable service to our clients. That is what we have done and the rest has come in regular doses to the point that today I decided that I have arrived at the level of full confidence in what I do in this field. I can even talk with people with far more experience than I and even occasionally teach them something. It is a great place to be.

And, get this--I can't write one line (even a short one) of HTML code, or JAVA or any other coffee brand. It matters not because I don't need to. Because the Internet was a complicated thing in my head, I needed to demystify it for myself so that I could understand how to make use of it. That very demystification is what we use to help our clients understand it as well. We're not web guys, but sales guys who use web tools to help businesses grow their business. If we don't know something, it's easy enough to find out.

Now, I can go talk to anyone I want and feel confident that it will not only make sense, but also appeal to their better instincts. This is tough to do without confidence and this confidence has only come from the practice. It is far more valuable than the sale. That confidence creates and stimulates enterprise. It builds companies. The sale is a side benefit.

Friday, May 28, 2010

New Electric Minibus Now Available From Smith


UK's first 17 seat Smith Edison minibus


  • Range up to 100 miles
  • Top speed 50mph
  • 40kwh lithium-ion battery pack
  • First vehicle sold to Essex County Council

The UK's first 17 seat, all-electric minibus is now in production. Based on the Ford Transit chassis, the Smith Edison minibus has a top speed of 50mph and a range of up to 100 miles. A full recharge takes 6-8 hours, or 3-4 hours with Smith's new fast charging technology.

Smith utilises an underlsung battery design, so that the 40 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack does not impinge on the passenger area of the vehicle.

Designed for urban operations, the Edison minibus is targeted at applications such as airport passenger transfer, tourist attractions, city trips and closed campus travel on large commercial, military, education and industrial sites.

Essex County Council has purchased the first vehicle, where it will be used for transporting people with learning disabilities, in the Harlow area. Essex County Councill's Yvonne Chappell, Head of Fleet Transport and Operations said: "Essex County Council takes sustainable transport very seriously and we want to show our residents how we can all reduce the environmental impact of our travelling.

"We are proud to be leading the way in the adoption of new electric passenger vehicle technology and to be the first local authority to put this innovative minibus into service."

See more from Smith at http://www.smithelectricvehicles.com/.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Out into the big wide world with the Unimog





• Out into the big wide world with the Unimog
• Based on the Unimog U 4000 with its impressive chassis concept
• Unimog copes with arduous, long expeditions thanks to the Bocklet body
• On display at the off-road vehicle show in Bad Kissingen from
3 to 6 June 2010

Stuttgart - An expedition camper based on the Mercedes-Benz Unimog – the dream of every bona fide globetrotter. At this year's "Abenteuer & Allrad", Europe's largest off-road vehicle show, the expedition camper will be on display in Bad Kissingen from 3 to 6 June 2010.

Michael Bocklet from Koblenz and his team have built a fully fledged go-anywhere vehicle based on the UniversalMotorGerät (Universal Motorized Unit), to give the Unimog its full name. The distinctive Unimog U 4000 with its Bocklet body is the archetypal expedition vehicle – the consummate solution for even the most ardent adventurer.

The U 4000 is the perfect expedition vehicle thanks to its absolutely unique chassis concept. Portal axles deliver excellent ground clearance and ensure constant road contact of all four wheels. The suspension with torque tube, transverse links and coil springs allows long spring travel and superb axle articulation – supporting diagonal axle articulation of up to 30 degrees. In conjunction with the short frame overhangs, the Unimog also effortlessly takes difficult obstacles, hilltops, slopes or embankments in its stride. Waterproof major assemblies and an air intake pipe level with the cabin roof ensure a fording capability of 1.20 metres. The Unimog comes with single tyres (as opposed to the twin tyres on an all-wheel-drive truck), thus offering high traction with low rolling resistance. The tirecontrol tyre pressure monitoring system can be used to reduce the tyre pressure conveniently from the driver's seat while on the move and so ensure the wheels do not get bogged down on soft ground. This technical feature improves traction and power delivery.

Trouble-free driving with the go-anywhere vehicle

The 4249-cc four-cylinder diesel unit produces 160 kW (218 hp). The permissible gross vehicle weight of the all-wheel-drive vehicle (wheelbase 3850 mm) is 7490 or 8500 kilograms respectively. In conjunction with the all-wheel drive and differential locks on the front and rear axle, the Unimog is the ideal solution for a superlative off-road expedition vehicle. Should it – in the very unlikely event – get stuck, the Unimog can use its hydraulic seven-tonne front winch to pull itself out of the quagmire with its "own hair" à la Baron Munchausen. However, you are much more likely to find it using the winch to pull out other vehicles from difficult situations. A diesel tank with a capacity of 290 litres (plus two 20-litre reserve canisters) also makes longer journeys less nerve-racking where refuelling is not an option. The comfort seats in the cab provide an ideal fatigue-free solution for these arduous stages.

The rear of the Bocklet accommodation module is tapered at an angle to retain the Unimog's full off-road capabilities. The inside of the module measures 4.35 metres long and 2.20 metres wide (standing height 1.95 metres). The roof and walls of the three-point mounted, thermal bridge-free fibreglass-reinforced plastic box are 50 mm thick, standing on a 60-mm-thick floor. All the walls are finished with a 2-mm-thick fabric-reinforced outer layer. The hatches and doors all come with hollow rubber seals and multi-point locks, which help protect the stowage compartments against the ingress of dust or water.

Behind the driver's seat is the accommodation module washroom, fitted out with a cassette toilet, wash basin and shower. Hot water is provided by a combined Truma gas/electric boiler with a capacity of 10 litres. The corner kitchen is fitted towards the rear and comes with a two-burner gas stove, sink and drainer.

A (lockable) passage leads to the cab, with a wardrobe fitted on the right behind the co-passenger seat. The 110-litre compressor fridge occupies the space up to the entrance door.

Benches arranged longitudinally to the direction of travel provide two seats with exquisite Alcantara® upholstery. Tanks and additional stowage space are housed under the dinette in the false floor. The Unimog carries around 300 litres of fresh water on-board, along with a waste tank holding 200 litres. The entire rear area is home to a 200 x 135-cm double bed. Additional stowage space, which can be accessed from outside, is provided under the bed.

A diesel-powered Eberspächer hot air heater ensures a comfortable night's sleep in colder climes or during the winter months. To ensure sufficient 'juice', Bocklet has installed 220 Ah of battery capacity, backed up by 260-W solar panels, an automatic charger (24 V / 50 A) and a 1.2-kW inverter. A control panel with an ampere-hour metre monitors the power system; minimal energy consumption comes courtesy of the low-energy lights and LED spots fitted in the interior. There is a TFT television plus satellite dish and a DVD player for entertainment and information during the expedition, no matter how far away from home you venture. The 6.85-metre-long, 2.35-metre-wide and 3.50-metre-high expedition camper based on the Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4000 costs EUR $248,300.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Practice Is Just As Valuable As The Sale--Or Is It More?

"Practice is just as valuable as a sale.
The sale will make you a living;
The skill will make you a fortune."

-- Jim Rohn


I have loved this quote from my mentor, Jim Rohn since I first heard it in 1981. I love the whole concept of it and how he makes the journey even more valuable than the destination. I agree wholeheartedly that it is the practice, the journey, the living of it daily that makes the whole worthwhile.

I know a lot of sales people who work somewhere and move to another and another and they never seem to grow--matter of fact, it seems like they go backward a few steps. It's not a career, it's just a job, sort of like someone being hired out on an hourly basis, or job by job basis. There's no accumulation factor. It doesn't make sense to me to spend the time on the sale or destination and ignoring the value of the skill accumulation or the value of the journey.

Wouldn't it be different to have gathered knowledge and skills that can be used in different ways later, like writing a book about the journey, using the skills gained to turn it into a whole new career either in your own business or working in a different company or industry. Then you'd be moving up to gather even more experience and skills toward the next twist in the road.

None of this would happen if you didn't practice, learn, and accumulate skills, knowledge, stories, wisdom. What a loss it would be to not take advantage of those things. Those opportunities could be worth millions in time, compared with thousands not paying attention to what is important.

Learn to value the practice. Learn to value the journey. Destinations are good, but even once you get to a destination, you must begin moving toward another. By learning to value practice and the journey, the destinations will be improving over time rather than regressing or maintaining the status quo.

This is not only great advice for an individual, but also a company.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Finally! An Out-Of-The-Box Storage & Retrieval System For Vans

Katerack and Durarac for caterers, florists, and contractors:


Catering Package

Features:

Rear facing sliding shelves; capable of 300 pounds capacity each.

The shelving is infinitely adjustable up and down to customer needs. In other words, each sliding shelf can be adjusted to vertical spacing based on individual needs and is easily changed by the customer as needed.

This product is more than a great idea; it offers the commercial customer these benefits:

The bottom shelf can be spaced up off the floor to allow storage on the floor for stepladders, etc. Or the bottom sliding shelf can be adjusted near the floor allowing heavy materials such as tool boxes to be loaded and unloaded easily, without straining the back.


Florist Package

More compact payload, the big loads can be secured into a smaller space. This could mean a smaller van. When it comes to flowers, more flowers can be delivered in each van, because the shelves can be loaded vertically, one over the other, this is new! Most florists now deliver with all products setting on the floor.

There is no center aisle such as used in full size van side racks and bins. This being wasted space. The installation of these traditional systems in smaller vans makes them very cramped and basically inaccessible. Think like the customer, given the option, which one will you choose?


Side Mounted Shelving – Obsolete?

The rear facing Katerack shelves can be accessed from outside the van, also leaving open space behind the seat for storage of taller flower arrangements.


Tall Flowers behind Seat

Delivery Control options include dividers and bins as well as a pin and grid system which will keep the wedding cake from sliding during delivery, and keeping the flowers upright! No need to improvise the support for each unique delivery, the system is adjustable to support each unique item.

Example of Delivery Control System


Preparation - The Old Way



Loaded Flowers - Old Way

          
Other options include interior wall cladding and refrigeration for caterers providing for easy cleaning of the interior and food preservation. With the Katerack shelving system, more air is allowed to flow over and under the containers, allowing better temperature control.

The Katerack is currently available for Ford Transit Connect Van & Wagon and the Durarac brand for Ford E-Series, Chevy Express and GMC Savannah.

This product could be the future, think about more compact loads, smaller vehicles, decreased operating costs. A wise commercial customer will be taking a good hard look at this system, and if they don’t then their competition will! Who is more likely to be more competitive and stay in business?

More about other Katerack applications next time.

Find out more about Katerack and Durarac at: http://www.dejana.com/katerack_main.html

To find distribution information or dealers near you contact:

Jeannie Barrows at Dejana Truck & Utility Equipment Cos.
at 856-303-1315 or email at jbarrows@dejana.com


Guest post by Steve Taylor. Steve is a consultant in the Truck Equipment business with over 30 years in the snowplow and truck body manufacturing business. He specializes in the design and quality/reliability field and may be reached by email at steve@truckarchitect.com. You may visit his website at http://www.truckarchitect.com/.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Some Business Investments Can Have A Huge Payoff--Later.

"If I had eight hours to cut down a big tree,
I'd spend 6 hours sharpening the axe."

-- Abraham Lincoln


I absolutely love this quote and it speaks many things to me so succinctly. It speaks about preparation. If you are in sales and working on some big clients, spending three fourths of your time in preparing will generally have a huge payoff. Lawyers do that all the time. Their court time is so small in comparison with their preparation time and that is what makes all the difference in the outcome.

If you're growing your business, much of the time you spend will be not directly earning money or profit, but it can be extremely beneficial in influence which will ultimately lead to much greater income and profit. Some of that can be done through networking and this can be done in many ways, such as through local Chamber of Commerce, Business Networking Groups like LeTip, BNI and hundreds of others, at trade shows and events, through your website, blog, newsletter and other Internet publications. It is this last one that I want to deal with in this piece.

Not having a website is like not owning a phone. It is a must. It should be effective and it should not stand alone if you want it to work for you. A blog. A blog is just a website for the most up to date content and it allows you to show even more personality in your business and have some fun and gain influence. An email newsletter is a perfect way to stay in touch with all of your current clients and prospects. You can gain more influence to people who find you through others, so it is also a great networking tool. You can post it on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites as well to let more people become familiar with it. These tools, when working together are extremely powerful and beneficial.

The website needs to be current and constantly expanding. Shoot for a page a month to continually add to it. Everything is searchable by search engines, but if it isn't on your website, it cannot be searched. The blog need not be updated daily, but should have 5-10 posts per month to be more effective. Everything on a blog is also searchable. The newsletter list should be growing every week. You may only send it once a month, but your database should be constantly growing.

Through time, all of these products become a symphony of activity on the Internet, all of them working together like a well-oiled machine directed toward your business enterprises and your continuing success and growth. It is the consistency of these activities that pays off big. Doing these for a short time or one time is of extremely little value in comparison. Your web properties will continue to give you influence as they are expanded and continually improved. 

We recommend that you find a service that will help you take care of insuring these things are all done well and done on a consistent basis. This is one of our specialties. Our Trend Setter Package recently announced has completely revamped our Internet services at a fraction of the previous cost. Now every business can afford the Internet presence of a much larger business. And the services mentioned above is only a part. There is much more that will get you up in the search engines, along with social networking. Visit our new website at http://www.upwardtrend.org/ for more information.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On Site Events and How To Make Them Work

"Nothing draws a crowd like a crowd."

-- P. T. Barnum


Having participated in many on site events and done them myself, I have learned many things about how to make them work. I learned mostly from watching what I did and what others did and thought about how to improve that. As an example, I once sent 10,000 flyers out for an event that drew 50 people and most of them were not among the 10,000 addressees. Sad affair, and I had the factory rep there too. I went all out to have the event staged, but it didn't help.

Then, I have seen successful events and paid close attention to the differences in timing, the day of the week, the hours and you name it. So I learned a lot of things by seeing them done well too.

Here's some questions I like to ask those who are planning an event:

  • Why? What is your objective in having this event?
  • If it were a perfect event, after it was all over, what would it look like or what would have transpired or been achieved?
  • Are you willing to spend a bit more to have a much better result?
  • Who is your target customer? Who are you doing this for?
  • Think about how busy you are all day long. What would make you really want to spend the time and energy to attend your own event? In other words, what's in it for them? How will it benefit them?
Here's some typical advice I offer:

  • Get the biggest draw you can afford to help get people there, even if they are not your target audience. This may be a monster truck, race car, clown show, 100 lbs of barbecued tri-tip, a football star, some celebrity, and more. Something very popular would be best. An open house at your store is a very weak draw typically. The draw is the key!
  • Marketing the event. If you have event marketing people in your area, hiring them can really help you get more people there. Set your advertising to tease 2 to 4 weeks out and then stronger near the event. Target your key clients through telephone, email and personal contact. If you have a newsletter, advertise the event 8 to 10 weeks out. Consider radio remote broadcast. If you're a member of the local Chamber of Commerce, you can advertise at their events and through their venues, and more. Get the word out often and as effectively as possible.
  • If you're serving food and I hope you are, then spend a little more and make it quality food. Cooking hamburgers and hot dogs yourself is not a draw, and it is not quality--it's cheap. My best advice for a successful event is to have it catered where they come and cook and serve and clean up the mess and you don't need to be involved in it. Delegate. Hire it out and get a good one. If the budget is too small, I highly recommend not having the event.
  • Have music. I highly recommend that you hire a sound person and/or DJ to take care of this by bringing good equipment, taking care of the music and having a quality mike to give announcements so everyone can hear them. This is the point most events miss in my experience and I think it is critical. You want to be able to communicate with a crowd, since that's what you are going to draw. Upbeat music is energizing, soothing and fills the empty space. Not too loud, not too soft, and the sound people know how to do that best. It is very important part of a great event.
  • Vendors. There's not much worse than inviting vendors to an event--especially if you are asking them to pay for the privilege and/or bring raffle prizes--and then have a poorly attended event. Wasting your own time is one thing, but wasting all your vendors is another. You will need to insure your event is set up in such a way that the vendors are centrally located so that people at the event are drawn to the vendors, or that tickets are issued where each vendor has to sign off in order to qualify for the raffle, or something like that. Use your sound system to make announcements regularly.
  • Insure that things start on time and move smoothly. Timing of things must be orchestrated by someone, so make sure someone is assigned that duty.
  • Raffles. Calling numbers and having people not be there is not good. Have raffles throughout the period of the event so there is always something going on. Have a lot of raffle prizes even if many of them are minor prizes or logo-branded give aways. I recommend about every 15 minutes and stay on track with the time. If people must be present to win, you might want to have the raffles in a time frame where most everyone is there, so it won't be at the end of the event.
  • If you're having various presentations, announce those to help direct people to the right place at the right time.
  • If it is a large event, consider having some entertainment. This could be an artist drawing caricatures of people, walking magician doing little tricks moving around, clowns with balloons if there are younger ones, musicians, and such.
  • Think of it this way: the event should be full throttle from start to finish without stopping or slowing down. As soon as the event opens, it is full on, music, food smells, events going on, entertainment, vendors, announcements, raffles, etc. and keep it going right up to the final bell. Most events I have seen have peaks and valleys and more valleys than peaks. The best events peak throughout. This requires thought, planning, delegation and care. It will be worth it.
Here's a few optional thoughts:

  • It is a great idea to filter people through an introduction area. You might even then get their information including company, name, email, etc. for follow up. It is also a great idea to have name tags so people can network with each other more effectively, or communicate more effectively. If you do this, it must be able to handle the flow of people so that there isn't a line. Nobody likes waiting in line and especially to just get in to your event.
  • Another great idea is to filter people through an exit area. This is a perfect time to give them some of your materials, handouts, parting gifts, etc. and to quickly thank them for taking the time to come to your event.
  • Having your people in full force and mingling throughout the crowd is important and will help the event perhaps be more effective for you. Your people can make sure things are flowing and that people are having a good time and answering any questions that they may have, such as where the bathroom is, etc. Speaking of bathrooms, make sure that is covered in such a way as people can be comfortable.
  • Have lots of good drinks available and ideally in several areas so people can partake as they desire.
  • Usually, the longer they stay, the more opportunity you have, so a boring event or poorly run event will cause people to leave quickly, whereas a well run event, people stay sometimes throughout the time.
  • Lunch time is a very good time where people can legitimately leave their work for a time during the week. 11am to 2pm is a good window of time. That's three hours to stay at peak performance and serving food the whole time, or you could state that food will be served from 11:30am to 1pm while the whole event is 11am to 2pm, although, I think having food the entire event time is best. Many times when the food goes, so do the people and then your event will fizzle from there.
  • Make sure there is adequate and effective parking. You might even consider a valet service or if it is a large event a shuttle of some kind.
  • Weekend events would be best only for general public things and you will need a strong draw. For businesses, I think the weekday is best and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are the best days of the week from my experience.
  • Breakfast events are much harder to do well. Dinner events are great too, but they will require a bit more budget and more entertainment and other unique draws.
  • Have vendors please stay to the end. As soon as they start packing, the event is over. Keep it full on start to end.
  • Partner with others when you can. One commercial truck dealership partnered with a Lowe's Home Improvement store and used their parking lot a half a block from the dealership. This allowed Lowe's people to have give aways, and supply vendors for some associated items and to be an effective partner. That worked really well and they usually have a great event there.
  • Follow up and follow through. Send thank you's to all vendors and partners and your own team members for their help and their valuable time and skills. Follow through with quotes and other activities that you created at the event.
Good events require good planning, attention to detail, and orderly execution, along with a team assigned to the various tasks necessary. This is an old adage, but ever true: If you're going to do it, do it well. I hope some of this may be helpful and I wish that your next event is the best event!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Chuck The Plan. Pull Out The Dream.

"In theory there is no difference between theory and practice.
But, in practice, there is."

-- Jan L.A. van de Snepscheut


The Crystal Performance Ball is a business game that I've seen played widely. It entails creating business plans with lots of charts and graphs of projected revenues from the varied revenue streams which comes from the product spin-offs as the successful core is manipulated by the strategic marketing department by increasing the market share and expanding the demographic to encompass the ever widening advantages from the incentive based sales team.

With this empowered perspective, the sales management team has instituted a projection system and requirement for the sales staff to tell management what will be sold to whom over the specified period so that sales management can instruct production what to produce. Once produced, the quality control department will meet to determine quality issues and their solutions for the service department to entertain after the customer has taken delivery and made the second complaint. . .

Of course in theory this makes sense (well, sort of. . .) and though we practice it in our theory, it is the actual practice that has us hiding under the covers. And, it's no wonder. This is all so much crap. All for someone elses ego, I suppose, but not for a real purpose that I can think of. In all the years I've had to deal with this stuff, it has been a total waste of good energy and time. It is all so unnecessary and extremely ineffective.

Chuck the plan. Pull out the dream. Draw the dream and speak the dream for the team. Live the dream. Be the dream. Share the dream. Keep the dream alive. Without the dream, it is a hollow machine.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hino Readies To Enter Ambulance and Emergency Vehicles Market


April 29th, 2010 Novi, Michigan – In response to strong demand by body manufacturers and customers, Hino Trucks debuted an ambulance chassis during the Fire Department Instructors Conference (FDIC) in Indianapolis. The truck on display was a Hino 2011 model year 258ALP. The truck is equipped with Hino Trucks’ 2010 compliant SCR system, making it the only medium duty conventional truck to meet the stringent 2010 EPA Emissions Regulation without using credits.

Hino’s 258ALP (25550 lb GVW) model comes equipped with the Hino J08E Series 8-liter diesel engine and produces 220 hp with 520 lb-ft of torque. Hino’s proprietary engine has received the J.D. Power and Associates Awards for “Highest Customer Satisfaction with Conventional Medium Duty Engines and Transmissions, Two Years in a Row.*

The Hino ambulance cab and chassis is designed for maximum maneuverability and reliable performance with ample power for the stressful demands required by the emergency rescue market. The ambulance will feature a new suspension from Hendrickson allowing for the frame height to be in the 28” range which is required in the ambulance industry.

“Hino’s progression into the ambulance and emergency vehicles market is a direct result of our continuing efforts to develop new applications, and a natural expansion of our product” explained Glenn Ellis, Vice President, marketing and dealer operations. “We are certain EMS personnel will be impressed with Hino’s roomy cab, smooth ride and superior reliability."

See more about Hino at www.hino.com

Thursday, May 20, 2010

New York Department of Sanitation Runs First Hino Hybrid In U.S.



May 20, 2010. New York, New York – Hino Trucks, the world’s leader in commercial hybrid truck technology, has brought its light-duty diesel hybrid cab-over (COE) to the US for the first time, providing its hybrid to the New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY). Hino’s diesel hybrid COE will be on display at the 22nd Annual Vehicle and Equipment Show, hosted by the City of New York Department of Parks and Recreation.

As part of its initiative to reduce operating costs and greenhouse gas emissions, DSNY has elected to run a Hino diesel hybrid COE for parts delivery. The Hino diesel hybrid COE has a gross vehicle weight rating of 14,500 lbs and a 16’ van body. “The Hino hybrid has been running a dedicated route supplying our service centers and has been performing very well,” commented Rocco DiRico, Deputy Commissioner of Support Services for DSNY. “The fuel economy advantages and reduced CO2 output provided by the Hino hybrid truck support our environmental initiative,” added DiRico.

Hino expects to offer its next generation hybrid Class 4 and 5 COE trucks in the U.S. in the near future. Having already produced over 9,800 hybrid vehicles Hino is looking forward to it milestone 10,000th hybrid vehicle by the end of 2010. Hino has been developing its hybrid technology since the 1970’s and built its first hybrid truck in 1993. “We are excited to introduce our world-leading hybrid technology to the U.S. market,” said Glenn Ellis, Vice President, Marketing and Dealer Operations for Hino Motors Sales U.S.A., Inc. “Hino’s hybrid technology is well suited to meet the challenging needs of our changing market, and we look forward to demonstrating our capabilities to DSNY.”

To see more from Hino, go to www.hino.com.

About the New York City Department of Sanitation: The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) promotes a healthy environment through the efficient management of solid waste and the development of environmentally sound long-range plans for handling refuse. The Department operates 59 district garages and manages a fleet of 2,040 rear-loading collection trucks and 450 mechanical brooms. Each day approximately 11,900 tons of household and institutional waste are collected. The Department clears litter, snow, and ice from approximately 6,000 City street miles, and removes debris from vacant lots as well as abandoned vehicles from City streets.

About Hino: Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company, assembles, sells and services medium duty commercial trucks in the United States and is headquartered in Novi, Michigan. With over 175 dealers across the country, Hino Trucks is the fastest growing medium duty truck nameplate in the United States. Visit our internet home page at www.hino.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Dairyman's Special by Stiles Truck Body & Equipment




This post is courtesy of Scott Stiles of Stiles Truck Body and Equipment of Turlock, CA. Along with the photos, here is what he says about this body:

We call it the dairyman’s special, because it fits their needs perfectly. They have enough storage to haul all of the necessary tools and pharmaceuticals needed for everyday dairy life and it is able to pull any gooseneck trailer for cattle to the auction yard.

This is a customized Knapheide Westerner Body wtih aluminum diamond plate trim package and B&W gooseneck hitch kit. We relocated the factory back up camera from the truck’s original tailgate and installed it into the headboard of the body for easy gooseneck trailer hook-up.

See more great bodies and other services from Scott's company at http://www.stilestruckbody.com/

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cook's Truck Body Flatbed On Dodge Crew Cab




Here's a nice flatbed from Cook's Truck Body Manufacturing in Roseville, CA that we caught at Folsom Lake Dodge in Folsom, CA. I really like the custom apron in the back that hides the frame rails and just looks great. Notice the interesting rack design, so you can carry items on the rack but still have the rear area completely free when the gates are removed. This also includes composite gate slats and check out the great work lights for the bed area. Nice truck!

Cook's Truck Body Manufacturing can be reached at 916-784-3220.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Isuzu Has The Capacity To Clean Up In East Lancashire


The superb towing capacity of the Isuzu chassis was a key factor in the recent decision by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council to choose three new Isuzu Grafter 3.5 tonne 4x2 rigid crewcab trucks for ground maintenance work for various parks and school contracts within the borough.

All three Isuzu N35.150 Grafters have rigid tipping bodies specified as standard and tow drawbar platform trailers that are used to transport the council’s ride-on mowers to designated locations. The Isuzu chassis cabs have also been modified to include a storage facility behind the cab to house portable ground maintenance equipment, such as strimmers and leaf blowers.

Commenting on the new Isuzu’s, Craig Baron, Transport Manager at Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council said, “During the tender process we identified that the Isuzu chassis had one of the best towing capacities of all the vehicles under consideration. Now that the vehicles have been in service for a few months, they have coped extremely well with the operational requirements for ground maintenance within the borough and are proving to be an excellent purchase.”

Local Isuzu dealer, Warrington Vehicle Centre, supplied all the new Isuzu’s and Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council anticipates keeping them for a five-year working life.

“For many local authorities, the Isuzu 3.5 tonne Grafter is the proven workhorse of their fleet and, over the years, they have performed faultlessly week in, week out, providing a flexible and reliable service, in often quite arduous situations. The Grafter is an unbeatable vehicle in such circumstances even when asked to perform as a draw bar application as here in East Lancashire. With a design gross combination weight of 7 tonnes and a 150bhp engine the Grafter is easily up to the job,” said Keith Child, Marketing Director, Isuzu Truck UK.

See more Isuzu applications in the UK at http://www.isuzutruck.co.uk/

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Marketing and Innovation Produce Results

"Because its purpose is to create a customer, the business has two basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs." -- Peter Drucker

I was looking at some quotes to use in the CTS Daily Inspirations Blog and ran across this great quote from the management guru, Peter Drucker. It got me thinking about that and businesses that I have worked for and worked with over a long period of time. Here are the thoughts as a result.

I love this quote because I also agree with it; however, almost every business that I have been associated with missed one of the critical two points: innovation.

All of them got the first part--marketing--well, sort of. They talked like they were all about marketing. But their marketing was stereotypical and stale. They might use brochures, flyers, specials, newspaper advertising, specialty publication ads, yellow pages. . . you know. . . marketing--or is it? Some would "target market" and others would "mass market," all in the hopes of increased sales and revenue. Same old stuff which didn't much make a difference in the past and maybe they just didn't do it enough. You know, repetition is the name of the game and all that.

To me, marketing is so much simpler, yet so broad in scope. In my experience, marketing is fastened at the hip to innovation and when innovation is lacking, marketing goes down with it. I think it is innovation that makes all the difference. Just think Apple: iphone, iride, ipod, ipad, irun, ijogg, ihear, ido. Yes. Innovation.

Okay, so you're not Apple and not Steve Jobs. Maybe you're a body company or a truck dealership. So, you hire an outside sales team and go out and tell the story over and over. Take a demo and show it off, tell them about the specials you got going on and what the incentives are for them to buy today. Boring. Of course, you already know that if Apple did that, they would be an Apple Core. It is the innovation that completely revived this once headed for the heap company. And, there's no question about Steve Jobs being a strong leader, but that can be done in your company too. If you really want to and you start seeing a different picture.

Do you think Apple salespeople have a hard time selling an iPad? or an iPhone? It's a piece of cake in the sales world, but only because of the innovative quality of the product. They have some nice marketing too, but again, that goes along for the ride. In a sluggish economy, their innovation is driving serious profits and new heights. What about your company? Or my company?

As a former 10-year body rep, I can tell you without a doubt that innovation would make all the difference. There is absolutely nothing as valuable in the marketplace as enthusiasm and enthusiasm is driven by innovation. Going out and telling the same tired story is torture--for the salesperson and the prospect. Repackaging the same old stuff is nice, but it is the same old stuff still. All that's left is cutting the price. What we need is new stuff: new solutions, new design, new materials, new effectiveness, new colors, new textures, newer and cooler and greener--in other words, innovation.

The same would be true of truck dealerships. Mass marketing has long lost its results. As a truck dealer, you don't control the chassis design, or body design, but here's the good news: you control everything else! How those two things are combined can be innovative. How the services are offered and performed need not be old, boring, same. They can be innovative services. There are a wealth of ways that innovation can take place and therefore drive marketing to new places in every dealership in the country.

No, you're not Apple, or Microsoft, or whomever is the Hot One at the moment, but you certainly qualify as a candidate, and so do I.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Up On The Roof. . . How To Get There!

Here's a picture of a plumber style body on a single rear wheel cutaway chassis. This one is the standard tall height with 74" inside height so you can stand up straight and stop bumping your head in there. The service body cabinets must not be enough, nor the cavernous interior, so they wanted a rack on top and the only way to deal with that is with the tried and true ladder--this one permanently attached. Now,  they can get the job done and make use of all that space on top of the body.

This truck was manufactured by Harbor Truck Bodies of Brea, CA and the end user is Tri-Tech Restoration in Burbank. Thanks to Kimberly at Harbor for the nice photo.

Friday, May 14, 2010

New Slider26 Sliding Jib Hooklift Available From Stellar Industries


Stellar Industries, Inc. is introducing the Slider26 hooklift. This new 26,000-pound capacity sliding-jib hooklift offers 5 different hook height options, including two hydraulically adjustable versions, and can handle body variations of 12 to 18-feet with a maximum dump angle of 68-degrees.

Hook height options for the Slider26 include fixed 35.63”, fixed 54”, fixed 61.75”, hydraulically adjustable from 35.63” to 54” and hydraulically adjustable from 54” to 61.75”. Adjusting the hook height can be done in less than 20 seconds without ever leaving the cab. With optional bolt-on inside and outside hold downs, the Slider26 features compatibility with bodies from over 43 different hooklift models, both Stellar brand and competitive brands alike.

Other standard features of the Slider26 include hexagonal boom design for added strength and durability, zinc plated pins to prevent corrosion, bushings and grease zerks at all pivot points, and a secure hose track for the hydraulic adjustable jib. This hooklift features easily replaceable wear pads, two-part polyurethane paint and a new, efficient mounting kit that will save installation time by using slotted brackets already painted and welded onto the hooklift base.

“I really think the industry is going to take notice of the Slider26 and its innovative features,” says Glenn Rasmus, Stellar product manager for demountables. “The ability to adjust the hook height without ever leaving the cab will save valuable time while allowing a great deal of diversity in accommodating so many different bodies.” Rasmus adds, “It’s now possible for a company who operates competitive brands of hooklifts to buy from the market leader without the need to convert the hook heights on their existing fleet of bodies.”

See much more from Stellar at http://www.stellarindustries.com/.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Mercedes-Benz Atego 1224 L Automatically Places And Picks Up Cones


  • "Trafiq" from Udenhout (Netherlands) recently started using the new Mercedes-Benz Atego 1224 L
  • The Atego automatically places cones for lane closures and picks them up again
  • Safe working conditions and practical vehicle equipment were the two priorities

Safety and fast traffic flow on roads are crucial. Unavoidable delays caused by roadworks annoy road users, to the extent that roadworkers are often the target of aggressive behaviour which occasionally results in dangerous situations. The ability to close a lane quickly and safely is therefore quite literally a matter of life and death. Bodybuilder "Trafiq" develops, builds, markets and maintains roadworks systems which make it easier, faster and safer for all those involved in roadworks. The affiliated company "Trafrent" rents out the systems along with the experienced staff that set them up.

Mercedes-Benz Atego 1224 L with a body from "Trafiq"

A new Mercedes-Benz Atego 1224 with an automatic transmission recently joined the fleet. The fuel tank and batteries have been integrated into the frame to facilitate the specialist work undertaken by "Trafiq", creating sufficient space for a system which places cones automatically on the road. The 275 cones in the Atego are placed and picked up at a speed between 15 and 25 km/h, providing a safe solution as personnel no longer have to put out the cones manually one by one while the traffic rushes past. The driver operates the entire system automatically from the Atego cab. For safety reasons, equipment such as a rumble strip or a mobile lane closure trailer can also be deployed fully automatically from the cab.

Good track record

Commercial vehicle dealer Rüttchen Tilburg supplied the Mercedes-Benz Atego 1224 L, the second vehicle of this type in the "Trafiq" fleet. Last year the company took delivery of an Atego with the same configuration. Thanks to the superb results with the first Mercedes-Benz Atego, which proved a highly practical, reliable and convenient solution, when it came to buying a new truck the decision virtually made itself. The Mercedes-Benz Atego is expected to do around 50,000 kilometres a year.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Working 11' CTEC SuperStructure Caught In Dixon, CA



While having lunch at Mary's Pizza in Dixon, CA, I spied this nice working truck. It's an 11' CTEC (California Truck Equipment Company of Downey, CA). It's mounted on a Ford F350 84" CA chassis cab. Looks like the rack area is used a lot considering the two ladders to get up and down and there sure is a lot of space up there. There is also a nice conduit box on the streetside. Notice also the light bars on the cab roof and at the top of the rear on the body. What else is interesting is the vented rear doors on the body and the running boards on the chassis.

You can call CTEC at 800-567-2832 and visit their website at www.ctec-truckbody.com.

This unit was owned by California Water Service Company, and back in the day, we used to sell them many units. They were great customers.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Knapheide KUV-CC Spotted In Chico, CA

This is a sweet rig--a Knapheide KUV-CC on a crew cab Ford chassis. Notice also the Tommy Gate Aluminum Liftgate which helps get those really heavy things in and out and save a good deal of weight at the same time.

This truck belongs to Leo Gunther of Leo Gunther Enterprises in the Chico, CA area, who specializes in Audio and Video Solutions. They do small jobs, but also do large jobs like stadium sound systems, large building systems, conference center audio-visual systems and much more. You can reach them at 530-321-9057 and visit their website at http://www.leoguntherent.com/. They also have another site selling pro audio equipment: http://www.proaudioblowouts.com/.

Thank you to John Lawless, associated with the National Ford Truck Club for sending me this shot.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Colored Service Bodies At Platinum Chevrolet

 


There's not much I love more than a dealership commercial truck manager with the courage to stock colored trucks. That's a manager after my own heart. Even though red and black are the "safest" choices in colorland (and less expensive to paint. . .), I'm proud of my friend Greg Martin of Platinum Chevrolet in Santa Rosa for putting himself out there like this. You go Greg! Not only that but the black one is fully loaded uplevel luxury to make it a perfect choice for the general contractor and others.

These units have bodies from Harbor Truck Bodies in Brea, CA and feature standard stainless steel lids which just looks awesome with the color. Check out Greg's mug on Platinum Chevrolet's website.

One Item That Gives Some A Bad Name

This is an example of something I have seen many times. It is not just a body on the ground, but a serious problem. This body was taken off a truck and taken into inventory for $3450.00. Yes, indeed. As you can see, the roll up door is broken, the rear panel has had something cut off and is in need of repair, there is a dock bumper laying in the back, the body needs a lot of work to make it saleable. About all it is good for is storing pickup truck bodies on the roof as shown. It's not even good enough to use as a storage shed, which is how many old van bodies live their afterlife. It's pathetic.

This unit might be worth that much--I say, might--IF it were fully reconditioned and mounted on a truck. As it is, it is worth nothing. It would cost a minimum of $1500 just to mount it and fix the door, and most likely more. So, it is a loss.

The problem is that some commercial truck manager at a dealership, decided to record a false gross profit on the sale of a truck by taking this body off and inventory it for more than it is worth. It's just robbery to do that and it gives the whole wonderful game of commercial trucks a bad name when it happens this way. They probably only had a small gross profit anyway--but in reality, they had a serious loss and the loss should have just been taken then if the decision was strong to move the truck under these conditions. As it is, this was just sweeping something under the carpet for the next manager to deal with.

Removing bodies is necessary sometimes and that's one of the things I love about commercial upfitted trucks--that this can be done. How it is done is very important. The inventory amount of the removed body must take into consideration, the remounting costs and reconditioning costs in the future. It doesn't matter if it is a new body or an old used body like the one here, the body should not be inventoried for more than it will be worth down the road. Charge all the intended depreciation, mounting costs, reconditioning costs to the current deal and do it right. Then, get the unit on a truck as soon as possible. The person who did this particular job is either a thief or an idiot and either is bad business.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Isuzu Truck Introduces 2011 N-Series Featuring NPR ECO-MAX Truck


Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc has introduced its new 12,000 lbs GVWR NPR ECO-MAX low cab forward truck, offering up to 20% improved fuel economy and increased payload capacity compared to previous NPR models.

The new 2011 model year truck is powered by Isuzu’s next-generation 4JJ1-TC diesel engine, which has operated globally in Isuzu’s N-Series models for the last five years. The 4J engine family dates back to 1984 and is the highest volume engine produced by Isuzu. This is the first time the engine will be utilized in the U.S. market.

The turbocharged, 4-cylinder, 3-liter engine delivers 150 horsepower and 282 lbs.-ft torque. The 4J engine is 2010 EPA and CARB OBD compliant. It offers a B10 engine life rating of 310,000 miles, which means 90 percent of the engines should reach this mileage before needing an overhaul. The engine is mated to an Aisin heavy-duty, six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive and lockup PTO function.

“The NPR ECO-MAX is the result of Isuzu’s commitment to help our environment by significantly reducing emissions and fuel usage,” said Shaun Skinner, Executive Vice President and General Manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. “This truck is a product of our SEE design philosophy, which stands for Safety, Economy and Environment. This model has been specifically created to reduce the cost of ownership while meeting the world’s most stringent emissions requirements. We accomplished this without sacrificing performance, durability, or operating costs. Due to its broad torque curve, power density and 6-speed transmission, the NPR ECO-MAX has shown better hill climbing ability than the model it replaces. It’s also up to 170 lbs. lighter, so it offers increased payload capacity. We expect this unit to deliver enhanced productivity, minimum downtime and the lowest operating cost in the Class 3 truck segment.”

The cab of the NPR ECO-MAX is the same size as the previous NPR and offers 3-across seating. The cab tilts for easier servicing of the engine and transmission.

Wheelbase choices of 110 inches, 134 inches and 151 inches accommodate bodies up to 16 feet in length.

In addition to the NPR ECO-MAX, Isuzu is also pleased to introduce the 2011 model year NPR-HD (14,500 lbs GVWR), NQR (17,950 lbs GVWR) and NRR (19,500 lbs GVWR) models. These higher GVWR N-series models will be powered by a heavily revised version of the 5.2L 4HK1-TC engine first introduced in the 2005 model year. For 2011, the 4HK features increased power output (from 205 to 210 hp with an automatic transmission, and from 175 to 190hp with manual transmission) and up to 8% better fuel economy. Like the 4JJ1-TC engine powering the new NPR ECO-MAX, this revised 4HK1 engine is both EPA 2010 and CARB HD-OBD emissions compliant.

“Isuzu’s 2011 N-Series will be the only low cab forward trucks available for sale this year that meet the EPA’s 2010 emissions requirement with not only one engine but two engines,” Skinner added. “Isuzu is proud to introduce a product that meets the world’s most stringent emissions standards while reducing our customer’s cost of ownership through significantly improved vehicle fuel economy”.

To help reduce operating costs further, Isuzu’s exclusive Data Recording Module can provide a Vehicle Health Report showing the condition of the engine, transmission, emission system and brakes, plus fuel economy and driver operating habits. A new Multi-Information Display on the dashboard shows the driver real-time engine and truck operational performance data at a glance.

Isuzu’s 2011 model N-series product line uses selective catalytic reduction (SCR) to achieve the 2010 EPA emission standards. SCR is an after-treatment technology that involves injecting Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) (a water-based solution containing urea) into the hot exhaust stream of an engine. This Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF), working with a catalyst in the exhaust after-treatment system, breaks down harmful oxides of nitrogen (NOx) into harmless nitrogen and water vapor.

Isuzu’s N-series trucks feature large panoramic windows that provide exceptional visibility for driver safety. The low cab forward design affords unsurpassed maneuverability. For the 2011 model year, wheel cut angles have been increased to 50 degrees, to provide a curb-to-curb turning circle diameter as little as 31.5 feet.

To extend durability, the cab has rust and corrosion protection provided by galvanized steel panels, electro-deposit paint primer and enamel paint topcoat. Unitary construction and strong reinforcements add to cab durability and safety.

Isuzu opened 2011 model year N-Series ordering on Monday, March 1, 2010. Isuzu’s N-diesel models are available from the factory in a variety of exterior cab colors: Arc White (standard), Wheatland Yellow, Woodland Green, Cardinal Red, Dark Blue and Ebony Black II.

Isuzu low cab forward trucks are distributed through 260 Isuzu truck dealers nationwide. Isuzu trucks have been the best-selling low cab forward brand in the U.S. every year since 1986.

For more information or to request a quote from a local dealer, visit www.isuzucv.com

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Nice Isuzu NPS 300 4x4 Single Rear Wheel "Bush Bus"

I thought this was a very interesting commercial truck. It is an Isuzu NPR 4x4 single rear wheel 3-tonner (6,000 kg GVM/13,227 lbs GVWR) and in this case has been made into an open air "bush bus" (my name not theirs). It looks pretty comfortable up there, and I'm sure it is plenty airy too.

This shot is from Isuzu Truck of South Africa and I love it--the color too! See all the models Isuzu sells in South Africa at http://www.isuzutruckssa.com/.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mercedes-Benz Vans Receives 600 Unit Sprinter Order

Stuttgart/Brussels – Mercedes-Benz Vans has received another major order and will deliver 600 Mercedes-Benz Sprinters to Belgium. The contract was awarded by Brussels-based Belgacom, Belgium’s leading provider of telecommunications and Internet services as well as digital TV. One of the largest companies in Belgium, Belgacom has almost 17,000 employees and maintains a fleet of more than 8.000 cars, vans, and trucks. The first Mercedes-Benz Sprinter was delivered to the customer in December 2009. Over the next two years, Mercedes-Benz Vans will deliver some 25 vehicles per month to Belgacom.

Mercedes-Benz Vans was awarded the contract for two reasons: On the one hand, the vehicles meet the highest technical standards and also scored well regarding the customer’s wishes for special features. On the other hand, the customer was also impressed by the fact that Mercedes-Benz Vans offered the lowest total cost of ownership.

Belgacom ordered a total of 600 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 519 CDI panel vans of 5.0 tons GVW. A special feature of the vehicles is their three-part body, which consists of a driver’s cab, a mobile workstation equipped with the latest in information and telecommunications technology, and a cargo area for cables and tools. The Sprinter can also pull a 3.0-ton trailer, enabling it to take a small excavator to repair sites, for example. All the vehicles are equipped as standard with the latest version of the ESP stability program, which determines the weight and position of the freight and optimally adjusts the controlled braking operations. The Sprinters are also equipped as standard with adaptive brake lights that flash rapidly during emergency braking. This provides an additional warning signal to following motorists and can therefore help reduce the number of rear-end collisions. All of the vehicles are equipped with clean Euro 5-compliant engines.

The contract also encompasses a comprehensive service package from Mercedes-Benz CharterWay, which will be responsible for the maintenance and vehicle management of all 600 Sprinters.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

FVM1200 - Isuzu Truck’s maxi-cube maxi-mass solo freighter


When it comes to vehicle selection and capital investment for any transport application there’s no substitute for gross vehicle mass (GVM) to match the task. Representing a truck’s total operational mass including payload, cargo body, driver and crew, chassis/cab and any other extras, GVM can be enhanced by a low tare mass of a truck without payload. At 22,500kg GVM and a chassis/cab tare mass of only 6,630kg this is exactly where Isuzu’s new F-Series model FVM 1200 freighter in 6 X 2 configuration provides maximum cubic capacity with a high kilogram payload.

Equipped with a mass –saving, curtain-side, ‘Tautliner’ truck body the Isuzu FVM 1200 achieves a very efficient payload estimated at 13,624kg combined with a massive interior cargo body volume of 52,7 cubic metres. Overall height tops 4,225m and remains within the legal 4,3m limit. The ‘Tautliner’ body design is also a weight-saver due to the curtain sides that present all-round access to cargo and easy-loading by forklift trucks.

Isuzu FVM 1200 6 X 2 freight carrier – unique aspects
How does the FVM 1200 achieve such remarkable mass and volume capability?

A 6 X 2 truck is inherently lighter than a 6 X 4 unit as it does not carry the mass penalty of an extra drive axle, but the FVM 1200 is also not designed as a trailer puller which means it’s a much lighter yet robust truck all round for solo freight carrier applications. The low chassis/cab mass of 6,630kg leaves a useful 15,870kg for both body and payload. For example, instead of the ‘Tautliner’ body, a flat-deck cargo body, manufactured from DOMEX lightweight high-tensile steel, could result in an outstanding payload of close to 15 tons! At maximum 22,5 ton GVM the FVM 1200 rear drive and trailing axle unit is only loaded to 16,2 tons well under the permissible legal 18 ton limit – there will be no conflict at weighbridges. Isuzu rate the drive and trailing axle capacity at 21 tons – 10,500kg each – which provides this model with inherent design strength far beyond operational and legal needs.

And when it comes to volume there’s nothing to touch the Isuzu FVM 1200 for size. The 52,7 cubic metre body in the above example is based on an cargo body overhang behind the trailing axle of only 34% of wheelbase – this can legally extend to 60% of wheelbase for very light goods where volume and not mass is the major consideration and subject to mass distribution calculations.

The new Isuzu FVM 1200 is now equipped with an all steel inverted leaf spring suspension. This is incomplete contrast to the model it replaces, the FTM 1200 that employed airbags for the trailing axle suspension. The chance of a drive axle being ‘hung-up’ is eliminated and no driver intervention is needed to inflate or deflate the airbag suspension on the trailing axle for greater traction on the drive axle.

A full-air braking system with ABS control is a standard safety feature on the Isuzu FVM 1200 including an engine exhaust brake. ABS also has the added benefit of steer-ability under emergency braking reducing the skill required of drivers in potential accident situations. Standard automatic slack adjusters ensure that brake settings are correct at any stage in spite of brake lining wear.

Isuzu F-Series – the most modern technology truck model line-up
The entire South African Isuzu range, medium N-Series, heavy F-Series and extra-heavy Gigamax now include turbo-intercooled, electronically-managed engines for 2010 to match Euro 2 requirements. Utilising common rail fuel-delivery systems, improved fuel consumption is a hallmark of these new technology engines. The advantage in common rail diesel engines is very high injection pressure – over 1600 bar – that is consistently maintained from idle to maximum engine speed. This ensures clean burning in a diesel engine’s compression ignition cycle with the benefit of improved fuel economy and reduced exhaust emissions.

The Isuzu 7790cc diesel engine equipping the FVM 1200 looses no power at altitude due to turbo-intercooling – with 176kW (240hp) @ 2400rpm plus 706Nm @ 1450rpm it’s perfectly matched to the 22500kg GVM for a solo freight carrier in terms of economy and performance.

As a specialist unit the Isuzu FVM 1200 will gain even more popularity than the model it replaces as a maxi-cube/maxi-mass solo freighter

Already enjoying a strong reputation as a favourite South African heavy-truck brand, the new Isuzu F-Series is set to establish itself as the heavy truck segment class leader in every respect for safety, economy and environmental care.

Service & Warranty

There are currently 37 Isuzu Truck dealers in Southern Africa. Isuzu Trucks over 3,5 ton GVM are assembled from SKD (semi-knocked-down) packs in Port Elizabeth and from 1 January 2007 have been distributed in Africa through Isuzu Truck South Africa (Pty) Ltd. GM South Africa continues to build Isuzu Trucks, that are supplied to the Joint Venture company for distribution.

Isuzu Trucks have a class-leading warranty – 2 years with an unlimited distance or 2-year warranty for all Isuzu Trucks from 3,5 ton GVM and above. A 3-year anti-corrosion warranty for the entire Isuzu truck range completes the warranty package.

Isuzu Truck South Africa (Pty) Ltd is a local joint venture company - a 50:50 partnership between General Motors South Africa and Isuzu Motors Limited Japan

See more of the Isuzu lineup for South Africa at http://www.isuzutruckssa.com/

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Service Body For Animals: The Animal Control Body




North Bay Truck Body in Fairfield, CA recently delivered a new Animal Control Body by Arrow Truck Bodies for the City of Vallejo through Downtown Ford of Sacramento. This is the Arrow model ACB 9857-79 with 22" deep compartments and overall width of 79". It is made of a mixture of electro-galvanized and 304 stainless steel materials with the stainless steel used inside the compartments. In addition, this unit has 12 compartment interior lights, a power exhaust ventilator in the isolation compartment and an aluminum pull out ramp. It is also equipped with LED stop, tail and return lights and includes a Whelen Traffic Advisor light bar.

See more units by North Bay at http://www.nbtb.com/, or call them at 707-864-2700.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Supreme Corporation Announces "SUPREME EXPRESS" Program

Goshen, Ind. (April 1, 2010) Supreme Corporation, a subsidiary of Supreme Industries (NYSE Amex Equities: STS), today announced the launch of the company's new SUPREME EXPRESS Aluminum Van Body Program. The express program gives Supreme's customers a completed Aluminum Van Body in 10 business days or 15 business days with an approved liftgate. "The market has changed and speed of delivery is more important than ever" stated Bob Besse, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, "The SUPREME EXPRESS Program allows us to meet our customers' needs with our enhanced Signature Van Body".

A SUPREME EXPRESS Van Body incorporates all the standard Signature Body features including: LED lights with a sealed wire harness, TODCO® ToughShell roll-up door, increased height & width for more payload, FRP front wall, internal steel gussets in the rear frame and a wider - taller rear door opening. Limited options as well as six available interior liner packages provide a wide range of solutions. Some regional options are available as well.

Supreme builds a wide variety of durable, high-quality bodies for work trucks, delivery vehicles and more. All Supreme bodies are customizable to meet the specific needs of the businesses that use them.

See more about Supreme at http://www.supremecorp.com/.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Highway Products Helps You Do More, And Do It With Style!


With a 3/4-ton single rear wheel truck, you can get as much done as a much larger dual rear wheel 1-ton truck, but the problem will always be load versus GVWR. The photo above is a great answer to have this sweet loaded Dodge crew cab and have a serious work truck at the same time. Use aluminum for the bed. It's very lightweight and super strong at the same time, so you can carry more stuff instead of hauling around a heavy steel body and much less of the things you need to carry.

Here is a custom unit from Highway Products in Southern Oregon. Don't let their location throw you because they ship all over the world. This unit starts with their aluminum HD flatbed and adds aluminum underbed boxes with a very attractive wheel well insert, then to top it off and make it really useful, check out these contractor style boxes with the big compartments and the open top lids for all the small parts, or really long tools. It all works together to create a serious work truck in a uplevel, comfortable truck, and it is very fuel efficient, and cost effective. The body will outlast the truck, so you can use this body for several trucks!

Call my friend, Jim Lenford, sales manager at 800-866-5269. You can also buy right on their website at www.highwayproducts.com.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Serious Work Needs A Serious Rack




When you're doing serious work (even in a seriously nice truck. . .), you need heavy duty components and great protection. North Bay Truck Body of Fairfield, CA built this seriously heavy duty forklift loadable rack for this sweet pickup and it also has an X-treme spray bed liner, including under the rails. Notice the additional mount braces in the corners for the rack. The rack is made of 2"x3" material. See more of North Bay's work at http://www.nbtb.com/, or call them at 707-864-2700.