Hino Trucks Signs Long-Term Exclusive Agreement with Allison Transmission

NOVI, MI – Hino Trucks and Allison Transmission, Inc. (Allison) have recently signed a multi-year, long-term agreement that will make Allison transmissions the preferred and exclusive transmission for all current and future Hino conventional trucks in the United States.

Since Hino Trucks introduced its conventional truck line up in 2004, Allison transmissions have been the transmission of choice. The combination of Hino Trucks’ proprietary J-Series engine and Allison transmissions have proven to provide Hino customers with maximum uptime and industry leading fuel economy. In fact, Hino Trucks have ranked highest in JD Power’s Medium Duty Truck survey for highest customer satisfaction four years in a row in the Medium Duty Engine and Transmission category.

Through the new agreement, Hino will be able to offer its customers enhanced transmission coverage on Allison equipped vehicles. All Allison 2000 Highway Series (HS) transmissions will now carry a 4-year warranty and the 2000 and 3000 Rugged Duty Series (RDS) transmissions will carry a 3-year warranty through Hino Trucks starting with the 2012MY.

“The Hino-Allison combination has been a great success story in the medium duty truck industry. This agreement highlights our close working relationship and the importance we both place on offering our joint customers industry leading products at a greater value,” said Jim Wanaselja, Vice President of North American Marketing, Sales and Service for Allison Transmission.

Glenn Ellis, Vice President of Marketing for Hino Trucks added, “Allison transmissions are the benchmark in the medium duty truck industry. This long term agreement and our joint commitment to work together on bringing new technologies to the market will provide our customers with benefits today and for years to come.” Hino Motors Sales U.S.A., Inc., 41180 Bridge Street, Novi, MI 48375  Ph (248) 699-9300  http://www.hino.com/

About Hino: Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company, assembles, sells, and services Class 4-7 conventional commercial trucks in the United States. The headquarters is located in Novi, Michigan and boasts a network of over 160 dealers nationwide committed to achieving excellence in customer service and support. Hino Trucks is the premier medium duty nameplate in the United States with a product lineup that offers the lowest total cost of ownership, superior fuel economy, industry-leading environmental friendliness, unmatched reliability and maneuverability, and the most comprehensive bundle of standard features in the market. For more information, visit our internet home page at http://www.hino.com/ or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About Allison Transmissions: Allison Transmission, Inc. (Allison) is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully-automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, medium- and heavy-tactical U.S. military vehicles and hybrid-propulsion systems for transit buses. Allison products are specified by over 300 of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers and are used in many market sectors including bus, refuse, fire, construction, distribution, military and specialty applications. Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 2,750 people. Regional headquarters with dedicated support staff are located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India and Japan. With a global presence in 80 countries, Allison has over 1,500 independent distributor and dealer locations. More information about Allison is available at http://www.allisontransmission.com/.


Knapheide 9' Service Body With Lots Of Drawers

Here's a job West Coast Truck Equipment did recently. It is a 9' Knapheide Service Body with treadbrite lids, LED compartment lighting with an automatic switch to turn them on when the door is opened, LED exterior lighting. This also has an 18" rear bumper platform extension with steel drop in tailgate, a class IV receiver and trailer plug.

What's really cool is the drawers and generator tray. The front compartment is loaded with a full compliment of HD pull out drawers, the horizontal compartment has one drawer, and the rear compartment has a pull out shelf that we are calling a generator tray because a generator is intended to be mounted here. All this mounted on a Ford F450 chassis.

See more from West Coast Truck Equipment in West Sacramento CA at http://www.wcteinc.com/ 


All-new Nissan NV400 goes on sale

Nissan dealers across the country are all set for the November roll-out of the Interstar replacement, the NV400...


Renault Master Conversions 2011

Renault began rolling out its range of factory-fitted off-the-shelf Master core conversions last year and prior to the Commercial Vehicle Show VansA2Z was able to get our hands on four of them; namely the Dropside, Tipper, Minibus and Box Van.

For the full story please visit http://www.vansa2z.com


Nissan LCVs go electric at Tokyo Truck Show 2011

Nissan has rolled out three EV concepts based on the Cabstar (Atlas) at this year's Tokyo Truck Show...

For the full story please visit http://www.vansa2z.com


Isuzu 3.5-ton Tipper Test

Launched in 1996, Isuzu Truck (UK) has grown from strength to strength with a nationwide dealer network in over 60 locations. In 2007 Isuzu Truck (UK) Ltd moved into a new, purpose-built marketing and sales headquarters incorporating a state of the art technical training centre for both dealer and customer technicians.

The product range consists of rigid chassis/cabs at 3.5t GVW known as the 'Grafter' range with the 'Forward' range at 5.0t, 6.2t, 7.5t, 11t, 12t, 15t and 18 tonnes.

All UK Isuzu trucks are manufactured in Japan and assembled by automotive specialists Vendas Novas based just outside of Lisbon, Portugal.

With its 150bhp turbocharged and intercooled 4-cylinder diesel engine and a 5-speed fully synchromesh gearbox, our 3.5 tonne range is robust, reliable and economical.

Whether pre-bodied or as a chassis/cab, this hardworking truck continues to offer the highest levels of comfort, equipment and driver satisfaction. The versatility of the 3.5 'Grafter' range makes it an ideal solution for the building trade, landscapers, boxes, refrigerated trucks, tippers and dropsides and is available with various wheelbases for custom built requirements.

For complete flexibility and instant delivery, you can choose our factory-bodied, rugged, steel tippers (a choice of 3 models) or a lightweight aluminium dropside. Depending on your business needs, you can also select a highly accessible narrow cab, a spacious wide cab or the six man crew cab.

See much more at the new website for Isuzu Truck UK at www.isuzutruck.co.uk/


The High Country Distant Discharge Snow Plow

Dixon, Illinois, USA – The High Country Distant Discharge Snow Plow is designed for high-speed plowing applications. The inverted funnel-shaped ends, combined with our standard extended roll moldboard, picks up the snow and throws it far and away from the road. This plow produces the same results when plowing to the left or to the right.

Standard features include; Deep “C” A-Frame, adjustable pitch settings, 5” x 5” x 3/8” HD square tube table, 90” wide push frame and massive 3 ½” round pivot bushing, two telescopic trip bars, six extension trip springs and four 3” poly bushings for return trip cushion, five table to moldboard hook-up points with 1 ½” thick ribs, 3” bearing surface and 1 ¼” pins, 7” x 4” x ½” fully boxed bottom angle and extended roll moldboard continuously welded.

“This is a very well designed and well-built snow plow made to help communities get through some tough winters,” Joe Bonnell, President of Bonnell Industries, states directly. “The High Country Distant Discharge Snow Plow was made to take on Mother Nature’s biggest snow storms and win.”

For more information, Bonnell Industries Inc. can be reached at:

1385 Franklin Grove Road, Dixon, IL 61021 815-284-3819 (Office) 815-284-8815 (Fax) joe@bonnell.com (email) http://www.bonnell.com/ (website)


PALFINGER North America introduces their NEW PK 78002-SH High Performance Crane to North American Market

Best in class for versatile heavy-duty jobs

NIAGARA FALLS, ON - Uncompromising quality down to the last detail, an unbeatable power to weight ratio and its intelligent control concept make the PK 78002-SH second to none in the 80 meter tonne class.

Be it moving heavy machinery, precision installation assignments or delicate loading of boats -- as a multi-talented quick-change artist, the PK 78002-SH always pulls out the right stops for every task.

The PK 78002-SH features many of PALFINGER's High Performance technologies:

Endless slewing system with two slewing drives. Since the two drives are reciprocally hydraulically pre-stressed, the crane's slewing play is reduced to a minimum - a priceless advantage for jobs requiring a high outreach. The double slewing system ensures a high slewing torque and extremely precise crane movements.

PALFINGER is clearly setting the standard for ease of maintenance and environmental protection with the maintenance-free extension boom system. The use of sliding elements made from special synthetic material combined with time-tested KTL cathodic dip painting means that the operator no longer needs to service the boom system. This not only saves time and money but also protects the environment.

Functional design. The new design vocabulary keeps abreast of the times - in shape and choice of materials. Covers of synthetic material dominate the appearance. Covers of synthetic material over the control valve, slewing drive and hydraulic hoses are particularly eye-catching.

PK 65002-SH

Integrated Tank. The tank is integrated into the base frame to help save space. There is no longer any need for additional installation space on the vehicle chassis.

PALFINGER crane technology. Of course, in addition to its functional and appealing design elements, the PK 78002-SH also embodies PALFINGER's most innovative technology. Numerous comfort and safety functions (S-HPLS, AOS, DPS-Plus, HPSC, etc.) make the operator's everyday work easier.

The PK 78002-SH has a lifting moment of 74.7 meter tonnes. Equipped with up to 8 hydraulic extensions, it achieves a hydraulic outreach of 66' 11" (20.4 meters).

With the help of the Dual Power system (DPS) Plus, a sophisticated combination of state-of-the-art crane and control technology developed by PALFINGER, the fly-jib can be operated with two pressure ranges by using a special electronic overload cut-off. The second generation of the original DPS system which emerged from the PALFINGER forge also enables a further increase in the lifting power in the extended state by up to 15%!

All the crane functions are easy to control via the new radio remote control with LCD display. The control panel boasts a new large graphic display screen that shows the operator a variety of operating conditions such as capacity usage, active systems, servicing intervals, movements currently accessible or the position of the stabilizers.

The PK 78002-SH is a reliable partner in general day-to-day use for heavy loads. The way it shows off its strength or maximizes its working range, delights every crane operator over and over again on a daily basis.

For more information on these new models, please visit our website at http://www.palfinger-northamerica.com/

About PALFINGER North America:
PALFINGER North America began in 1989 in Niagara Falls, Canada where a crane sales, service and manufacturing facility was established. Over the year the North American product portfolio has been steadily expanded with products such as the truck-mounted forklift and EPSILON crane.

About the PALFINGER North America Group:
The PALFINGER North America Group was formed following PALFINGER's acquisitions of MBB Interlift, Omaha Standard Inc. and Automated Waste Equipment. These new partnerships give PALFINGER the additional product lines, multiple truck chassis pools and a distribution network that meet the demands of key industries throughout North and Latin America.

Please visit our website - http://www.palfinger-northamerica.com/ for a complete listing of all authorized PALFINGER dealers and other information about PALFINGER.



DENTON, TX  – Peterbilt Motors Company unveiled new design enhancements for the medium duty Models 210 and 220 cabovers in the Class 6 and Class 7 markets. Offering optimal maneuverability, high volume payload capacity and enhanced visibility, the cabover vehicles are available in several wheelbases to accommodate a variety of application requirements including pickup and delivery, wrecker and sweeper.

“Maneuverability is a key attribute to maintain.The Model 210 and 220 offer that and driver comfort, entry safety features, serviceability and vigorous power all in a compact package. And with its low chassis weight, it’s perfect for high volume payloads,” said Bill Jackson, Peterbilt general manager and PACCAR vice president. “From Class 5 to Class 8, Peterbilt has a complete lineup of conventional and cabover trucks that offer versatility that will meet any business requirements or application needs.”

The new 2012 designs have paired a lightweight chassis and frame rail with a strategically positioned electrical system to optimize body installation and increase payload capacity. The Models 210 and 220 utilize Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology and are 2010 emissions compliant. In addition, the new designs are available with an Allison 2100 Series automatic transmission which helps provide a smooth, comfortable ride.

Designed for optimal productivity, the Peterbilt 210 is available as a Class 6 straight truck with GVW rated at 26,000 pounds. It features a tight turning radius for ultimate maneuverability in difficult, confined spaces, and a wrap-around windshield, extra large side windows and heated mirrors for exceptional visibility. Standard with an automatic transmission and air suspension, the model 210 is recommended for bodies between 18 to 26 feet in length and can be configured for a non-CDL operation. In addition, the wrap around dash highlights the spacious interior with its capacity to seat three people and provides ample storage with overhead compartments running the width of the cabin.

A Class 7 vehicle, the Model 220 is tailor-made to deliver a compact package of maneuverability, visibility and serviceability. In addition to the tight turning radius and wrap around windshield, the Model 220 provides a low chassis weight, perfect for high volume payloads. The front panel opens for quick access to the air filter, coolant, washer fluid, power-steering fluid, refrigerant and engine oil, and ergonomically positioned doors open a wide 90 degrees. The Model 220 is recommended for bodies between 20 and 26 feet in length.

Both vehicles are powered by the reliable, lightweight PACCAR PX-6 with horsepower ratings up to 250 and torque ratings up to 660 lbs-ft. Ideal for medium duty truck owners, the fuel-efficient PX-6 provides an in-line 6 cylinder devise with four valves per cylinder, a high pressure common rail fuel system and features the best power-to-weight ratio available in its class.

“To expand versatility in Peterbilt’s medium duty line, and to capitalize on market growth, our team of engineers has developed new designs for the Model 210 and 220 to enhance driver productivity,” said Landon Sproull, Peterbilt chief engineer. “The 2012 designs offer optimal maneuverability, comfort and ease of operation, providing drivers an advantage while operating in congested environments.”

The Model 210 and 220 complement Peterbilt’s broad lineup of medium duty vehicles which includes the conventional Model 325, 330, 337, and 348. For environmentally friendly operations, Models 330, 337 and 348 are also available in hybrid electric configurations.

About Peterbilt Motors Company

Based in Denton, Texas, Peterbilt Motors Company combines a global reputation for industry leading design, innovative engineering and fuel efficiency solutions, with superior quality to engineer a truck that stands as the "Class" of the industry. Through its 250-plus North American dealer locations, Peterbilt also provides a comprehensive array of TruckCare® programs to support its full lineup of vehicles, including alternative fueled vehicles, with aftermarket support programs. Customers enjoy industry leading service and support, including preventive maintenance plans, expedited QuickCare services, automated parts inventory replenishment and 24/7 complimentary Customer Assistance through 1-800-4-Peterbilt. For more information about Peterbilt, visit www.peterbilt.com. Peterbilt is a PACCAR Company, traded publicly on the NASDAQ as PCAR.


Sortimo Solutions For Knapheide Truck Bodies

Using Sortimo can greatly improve the organization of your KUV or Service Body.  With the S-Boxx, M-Boxx, L-Boxx, and T-Boxx you have all the options you will need to organize your truck or van body.  By implementing a Sortimo storage system, many users have seen a significant increase in day to day productivity and greater earning potential.  Sortimo has been proven to shrink overall inventory levels on the truck which results in less inventory costs and more available payload.  If you own a KUV or Service Body check out our Sortimo products to increase your overall efficiency. These packages can be refitted into existing Knapheide bodies.

To see more, go to www.knapheide.com/sortimo/


V-Plow vs. Straight Blades - by Steve Taylor

Before you consider buying a V Plow or a straight blade plow; compare the products and consider the advantages of “V” vs. Straight blade plows. Talk with other users; use your contacts in your community and your social network. A good source for finding snowplow user experience is www.plowsite.com.
Will the purchase of a Variable Position V Plow be worth the extra expense for your needs?
A big advantage for a variable position V-Plow is the ability to use it in the position most advantageous for the conditions at hand. In other words if you plow a variety of properties, driveways, parking lots, and roads, then you have the ability to use the blade in the straight, or angled position, the V position or the scoop position. For instance, you might not always need a V or scoop position, but when you do it’s there for you. 
Some of the conditions that might require the V position are deep snow, heavy wet snow, and deep drifts. The V position allows the truck to power through in a straight path without shifting to the side caused by a blade being angled one way. The force of the blade impacting a bank of snow with an angled blade can force your truck off the path and into the ditch.
Conditions where a scoop position is advantageous are when you need to move a significant amount of snow from one place to another. It can be used to either replace or supplement the work of a bucket loader.  The scoop also allows better stacking with the ability of a higher blade scooped and pushing a larger amount of snow “over the top.”
When you consider purchasing a V Plow, also consider the extra weight the plow loads on the truck and the axles. This might require you to buy a heavier rated truck and more expense.
Of course a straight blade may accomplish most or all of the conditions you will normally incur, but if you get a “Perfect Storm” with say lots of heavy wet snow, then you will be more prepared with a V Plow and you might finish your work earlier with more satisfied customers.

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 athttp://www.truckarchitect.com/.


Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics Introduce Transit Connect Electric Wagon

2011 Ford Transit Connect Electric
  • Transit Connect Electric Wagon offers seating for five passengers with added convenience and comfort plus all the benefits associated with an electrified powertrain
  • Transit Connect Electric Wagon is now available in North America and will soon be available in Europe
  • Transit Connect Electric has achieved more than 450 orders since its introduction in December 2010
DEARBORN, MI – November 16, 2011 – Ford Motor Company and Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD)(OTC: AZDDF) today announced the newest electrified commercial vehicle product on the market, the Ford Transit Connect Electric Wagon. The Wagon is a logical next step for Azure and Ford which first introduced an electrified Transit Connect in December 2010.
The Wagon is considered ideal for businesses that want the flexibility to move either cargo and/or passengers with the efficiencies offered by the electric powertrain. The Wagon is especially well-suited to campus settings like those found at universities, military bases, health care facilities, airports and private businesses where frequent short-range routes are commonly traveled.
“With the addition of the new Transit Connect Electric Wagon, we expand our product portfolio and offer our commercial customers more versatility to meet their transportation needs with fully electric operation,” said Scott Harrison, Azure Dynamics chief executive officer. “As a derivative of our successful Transit Connect Electric cargo van, the Wagon shares a common electric drive integration and glider helping to keep additional development cost low.”
Like its cargo van sibling, the Transit Connect Electric Wagon qualifies for the $7,500 federal incentive in the United States. In addition to federal incentives, fleet owners in California can receive an additional $15,000 incentive from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the first Transit Connect Electric van or wagon purchased for deployment in California. Subsequent purchases of Transit Connect Electric vans or wagons will qualify for an incentive of up to $12,000, with a maximum of 100 vans per customer.
“Over the past year, the Transit Connect Electric has shown how versatile it can be, serving as the premier green vehicle in the fleets of many different industries,” said Nancy Gioia, director of global electrification, Ford Motor Company. “The Transit Connect Electric wagon, with its added passenger seating, opens the doors for even more businesses to green their fleets and experience 100 percent electric and zero-emissions driving.”
Since its introduction in December 2010, more than 450 Transit Connect Electric vans have been purchased by many hard working commercial vehicle fleets including AT&T, Canada Post, DHL, FedEx Express, and Post Norway to name a few. Other early adopters of Transit Connect Electric include energy providers and private businesses seeking to better understand and utilize the benefits associated with electrified transportation.
To create the Transit Connect Electric Wagon, Azure integrates its proven Force DriveTM electric powertrain into the award-winning Ford Transit Connect XLT Premium Wagon and offers enhanced second-row passenger comfort while still providing considerable cargo space and payload capacity.
Using an advanced liquid-cooled 28 kilowatt hour lithium-ion battery from Johnson Controls, Transit Connect Electric Wagon can achieve a range of 55 to 80 miles on a single charge depending on driving conditions and ancillary power usage. The Wagon has a top speed of 75 mph.
Wagon owners will have the option of recharging Transit Connect Electric with either a standard
120-volt outlet, or preferably a 240-volt charging station, typically installed at the user’s base of operations for optimal recharging in six to eight hours. The vehicle’s charge port is located above the passenger-side rear wheel well in the spot typically used for conventional re-fueling.
The Transit Connect Electric Wagon is built on a dedicated global van platform and offers a unique combination of car-like driving dynamics, significant cargo capacity, accessibility, and low operating costs. 
For more information on how Azure vehicles are Driving a World of Difference, please visit http://www.azuredynamics.com/.

About Azure Dynamics
Azure Dynamics Corporation (TSX: AZD)(OTC: AZDDF) is a world leader in the development and production of hybrid electric and electric components and powertrain systems for commercial vehicles. Azure is strategically targeting the commercial delivery vehicle and shuttle bus markets and is currently working internationally with a variety of partners and customers. The Company is committed to providing customers and partners with innovative, cost-efficient, and environmentally-friendly energy management solutions. For more information please visit www.azuredynamics.com.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit www.ford.com.
The TSX Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.
# # #
Forward-looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. More particularly, this press release contains statements concerning Azure’s business development strategy, projected commercial revenues and product deliveries.
The forward-looking statements are based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by Azure, including expectations and assumptions concerning achievement of current timetables for development programs, target market acceptance of Azure’s products, current and new product performance, availability and cost of labor and expertise, and evolving markets for power for transportation vehicles. Although Azure believes that the expectations and assumptions on which the forward-looking statements are based are reasonable, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements because Azure can give no assurance that they will prove to be correct. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially from those currently anticipated due to a number of factors and risks. These include, but are not limited to, the risks associated with Azure’s early stage of development, lack of product revenues and history of losses, requirements for additional financing, uncertainty as to commercial viability, uncertainty as to product development and commercialization milestones being met, uncertainty as to the market for Azure’s products and unproven acceptance of Azure’s technology, competition for capital, product market and personnel, uncertainty as to target markets, dependence upon third parties, changes in environmental laws or policies, uncertainty as to patent and proprietary rights, availability of management and key personnel, and acquisition integration risk. These risks are set out in more detail in Azure’s annual information form which can be accessed at www.sedar.com.
The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are made as of the date hereof and Azure undertakes no obligation to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements or information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless so required by applicable securities laws


Learn How to Save Fuel, Save Money and Meet New Regulations at the

FARMINGTON HILLS, MI (Nov. 14, 2011) — The Green Truck Summit returns to the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN, March 5-6, 2012. At the Summit, fleet managers and other work truck industry professionals learn about the latest advancements in clean vehicle technology and how “going green” can improve fuel efficiency, reduce costs, and help meet new regulations while also mitigating a fleet’s environmental impact.

The Green Truck Summit is considered the country’s leading educational forum on “green” insights and initiatives for the work truck industry. Jointly produced by NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, and CALSTART, the Summit is held in conjunction with The Work Truck Show® 2012, which runs March 6-8, 2012. Educational programming begins March 5.

Technical experts, government officials, industry leaders and early adopter fleet managers come together at the Green Truck Summit to unveil recent developments in sustainable technologies and new commercial truck applications. Presenters share practical advice on fuel efficiency, firsthand information on building green fleet programs, and critical advances in engine and fuel technology.

“Exciting developments are underway for going green in the work truck industry,” says Doyle Sumrall, NTEA senior director of business development. “It is critical now more than ever for fleets, government agencies and the dealers and distributors that support them to understand these new technologies. The Green Truck Summit provides a truly unique experience for learning, sharing knowledge and identifying solutions with key players and industry leaders.”

The Green Truck Summit includes 22 breakout sessions, five general sessions and two keynote addresses over a day and a half. The first general session, “Trends in Work Truck Technologies and Fuels,” led by Sumrall and John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART, covers upcoming changes that will affect the vocational truck industry. The discussion will cover new clean technologies and fuels, as well as new vehicle efficiency and emissions standards. This session takes place at 9:00am on Monday, March 5.

Three panels of technology experts and experienced fleet managers take the stage on Monday for the general sessions “Gaseous Fuels: A Successful Alternative,” “Work Truck Electrification: Leveraging the Ultimate Clean Fuel,” and “Watching the Bottom Line: Technologies for Increasing Fuel Efficiency and Eliminating Fuel Waste.” These panel discussions combine information about the latest technologies available with real-world deployment experience.

Day two of the Green Truck Summit kicks off with the keynote address “Roadway to Fuel Independence and Air Quality Improvement in North America and Globally.” Russell Musgrove, managing director of FedEx Express (Memphis, TN), provides insights based on his global company’s experience using sustainable technologies to position itself for the future. This presentation takes place at 8:15am on Tuesday, March 6.

The final general session of the Green Truck Summit explains recently announced regulations (scheduled to take effect in 2016) and details how companies can prepare to meet them. “A New Generation of Clean Work Trucks: Understanding the EPA and NHTSA Joint Greenhouse Gas and Fuel Efficiency Standards for Work Trucks” is moderated by Darren Gosbee, engineering director at Navistar, Inc. (Chicago, IL) and includes a panel of experts from the EPA and NHTSA. This session takes place at 8:45am, Tuesday, March 6.

Four sets of breakout sessions on Monday and Tuesday showcase new technology and provide information on reducing fuel consumption, improving fleet management, comparing clean technology options, funding clean vehicles and more. A complete Green Truck Summit schedule is available online at www.ntea.com/greentrucksummit/schedule.

Green truck technology is also highlighted in several other areas of the Work Truck Show, such as the CALSTART Clean Technologies and Fuels Pavilion. In addition, exhibitors with products that improve fuel utilization, are environmentally friendly, use recycled materials and/or support environmentally sustainable practices are profiled throughout the hall as part of the Green Product Showcase. The Green Truck Ride-and-Drive once again offers Show attendees the opportunity to test-drive (for free) commercial vehicles that incorporate new hybrid technology or alternative fuel applications. For more information, visit www.ntea.com/worktruckshow/greenproductsandprograms/.

To register for the Green Truck Summit and The Work Truck Show 2012, visit www.ntea.com or call 1-800-441-NTEA (6832). Green Truck Summit registration includes an exclusive one-hour reception at 5:15pm on Monday, March 5.

Produced annually by the NTEA, The Work Truck Show showcases 500,000 square feet of Class 1-8 vocational trucks and equipment. It brings together thousands of work truck professionals, including fleet managers, equipment buyers, maintenance personnel, manufacturers, distributors and dealers.

Established in 1964, NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, represents nearly 1,600 companies that manufacture, distribute, install, sell and repair commercial trucks, truck bodies, truck equipment, trailers and accessories. Buyers of work trucks and the major commercial truck chassis manufacturers also belong to the Association. NTEA provides in-depth technical information, education, and member programs and services, and produces The Work Truck Show. The Association maintains its administrative headquarters in suburban Detroit and a government relations office in Washington, DC.


Parker Chelsea, with the new 877 Series P.T.O., can provide you maximum power with a compact design

Olive Branch, MS, November 1, 2011 — Power density is what you will find in the Chelsea 877 Series P.T.O. The new series provides you with a compact housing that helps eliminate clearance issues. Two assembly arrangements are offered that maximize your installation possibilities. High capacity bearings and superior gear designs provide you with torque ratings up to 670 Lbs. ft. for the ultimate performance. There is no need to de-rate the P.T.O. for continuous applications. The superior design of this P.T.O. provides you with all the power you will need. The 877 Series is a 10-Bolt mounting pattern that will fit on today’s popular automatic transmissions. One hose is required for a simplified installation. Eight internal gear ratios provide you with a wide variety of speeds to meet your application requirements. The direct mount pump flange options are available with our Wet Spline design that provides you with increased P.T.O. and pump shaft life. Versatility, power, ease of maintenance and installation make the 877 Series the only choice for your vocational truck requirements.

With annual sales exceeding $12 billion in fiscal year 2011, Parker Hannifin is the world’s leading diversified manufacturer of motion and control technologies and systems, providing precision-engineered solutions for a wide variety of mobile, industrial and aerospace markets. The company employs approximately 58,000 people in 47 countries around the world. Parker has increased its annual dividends paid to shareholders for 55 consecutive fiscal years, among the top five longest-running dividend-increase records in the S&P 500 index. For more information, visit the company’s website at http://www.parker.com/, or its investor information website at http://www.phstock.com/.


Knapheide Customized Work Truck Shows Perfectly As Show Display

This is an opportunity to see a highly customized Knapheide KUV-CC plumber style body used as a show display and traveling product show. This was custom built in Quincy, Illinois by Knapheide for Thomas & Betts, producers of a wide range of products and tools for the electric industry. See more about Thomas & Betts at http://www.tnb.com/.

This KUV is on an HD Ford 84"CA chassis and the body is an 11' unit. One of the unique custom options on this unit is the upper full side door which is perfect for how they are using it as a lighted display case. Notice also the body step to have full access to that compartment. Then there is that great slide out display which is sort of like a BedSlide turned sideways in that it appears to operate in a similar way. And, there is still space inside the enclosed body to put larger items or maybe even their grounded display items, plus it is tall enough to stand up in.

This unit was on display at the 2011 NECA Show in San Diego CA. It is a perfect example of how a truck body can be used in unique ways, and how flexible Knapheide is in being able to create custom solutions for their customers. See more about Knapheide at their world-class website: http://www.knapheide.com/.

My thanks to Mike Soich of Knapheide Manufacturing for sharing these photos.


Fuso Canter takes “Irish Truck of the Year 2012” award

  • Prize awarded at the "Fleet Transport Award 2012" event in Dublin
  • Jury assessment based on fuel efficiency, power-to-weight ratio, driver comfort, handling and cabin layout
  • Comprehensively reworked Fuso Canter successor model marks transition to a new generation
    Dublin/Stuttgart – The Fuso Canter Euro 5 EEV lightweight truck has won the "Irish Truck of the Year 2012" award. The prize was accepted by Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC), one of Asia’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers, at the Fleet Transport Awards 2012 event held in Dublin in October.

    The prize-giving ceremony was attended by over 700 sector experts, particularly freight forwarders and national truck dealers. The Fleet Transport Awards are organised by "Fleet Transport", a leading Irish transport magazine, along with a number of award sponsors.

    The jury was made up of commercial vehicle specialists, including automotive journalists, engineers and driving instructors. The assessment process was based on the same principle as the "International Truck of the Year" prize, with a maximum of seven points awarded for 12 different criteria. The main focus was on fuel efficiency, power-to-weight ratio, driver comfort, handling and cabin layout.

    The new Fuso Canter
    The Fuso Canter has been an outstandingly successful model. It has been produced since 1963, and is now on the market in its eighth generation.

    The comprehensively reworked successor model of the proven Fuso Canter is now making its appearance on the market. Fuso has equipped the new vehicle with dual-clutch transmission, as the first manufacturer to use this technology in a truck design. This feature, together with longer service intervals, a higher load capacity and the chassis with even better body mounting characteristics, makes the new Fuso Canter an even better business proposition than before. The chassis of the 3.5-t variant has been enhanced with individual wheel suspension at the front and the electronic stability program (ESP) as optional equipment (in the 6S and 7C models). The new cab, fully redesigned both inside and out, offers even greater user comfort. The new Canter went into series production for Europe at the plant in Tramagal, Portugal, in September.

    Unit sales of over 3.5 million to date make the Canter the highest-selling truck within Daimler Trucks’ global portfolio.

    Historical background on the Canter
    The first Fuso Canter vehicle produced in Europe rolled off the production line in the plant at Tramagal, Portugal, back in 1980. The current model is the eighth generation of the Canter. The plant, located 150 kilometres northeast of Lisbon, was established in 1964 as a French-Portuguese joint venture to produce vehicles for the Portuguese army. The plant has been owned by Daimler Trucks since 2003.

    About Mitsubishi Fuso Based in Kawasaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) is one of Asia's leading commercial vehicle manufacturers. In 2010, the company sold a total of about 140,700 vehicles including light-, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses. Daimler AG owns 89.29% of MFTBC shares and various Mitsubishi group companies own 10.71% of MFTBC shares. MFTBC is an integral part of the Daimler Trucks Division of Daimler AG and is the linchpin of Daimler Trucks’ business in Asia, serving as the competence centre for all lightweight trucks worldwide, as well as being the "Global Hybrid Centre" for all Daimler truck model series.


Tommy Gate Releases All-New Medium-Duty Railgate

Tommy Gate Releases All-New Medium-Duty Railgate

Tommy Gate has announced the release of an all-new 3,000lb capacity, high-cycle railgate for stake and van bodies.

An extension of Tommy Gate’s pre-existing product line of railgates, this new lift is the first Tommy Gate has produced at the 3,000lb capacity level.

Tommy Gate’s engineers specifically designed the 3,000lb railgate for applications performing high numbers of lifting cycles during daily use. These "high-cycle" requirements have called for the inclusion of a number of quality components such as machined steel rollers, dual-sealed ball bearings, hardenedsteel pulleys, and composite bushings. Incorporating these materials has created a steadier lifting action and reduced maintenance.

The new "high-cycle" rail is being offered with numerous standard features:
  • Class-exclusive safety trip bar provides additional operator protection
  • Self-close and auto-open cam arm creates hands-free platform open and closure
  • Steel rollers ensure consistency of motion
  • 12" platform taper eases transition from ground to platform
  • Three-light, incandescent light kit included
More than three years of design, development, and testing has been completed on the project, including fourteen months of intensive field testing. The extensive development period and focus on user feedback leads Tommy Gate to believe it has created an elite railgate for its class.

Tommy Gate is a 45-year-old, U.S.-based, hydraulic liftgate manufacturer, located in Woodbine, Iowa.

Find a distributor by using Tommy Gate’s Distributor Locator at



Aerodynamic, light-weight design saves fuel and lowers emissions

ANAHEIM, Calif.—Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., distributor of America’s best-selling low-cab-forward trucks, and Utilimaster Corporation, a leading manufacturer of walk-in vans and commercial truck bodies for the delivery and service marketplace and a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR), today announced that FedEx Express has placed a large order for the all-new Reach commercial walk-in van. The vehicles, which provide both economic and environmental benefits, are to be delivered to FedEx by the end of 2011.

FedEx Express, the world’s largest express transportation company, has been operating five Reach pilot vehicles on multiple delivery routes in Arkansas, Tennessee and Michigan since the van’s introduction in March 2011.

The Reach is a smaller, more fuel efficient vehicle that can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 11 tons (or 22,000 lbs.) per vehicle per year. The improved fuel economy and reduced carbon footprint are the result of an aerodynamic, light-weight composite body designed by Utilimaster atop a rugged Isuzu NPR ECO-MAX chassis powered by Isuzu’s 3.0-liter diesel engine.

“We have been working with Utilimaster and Isuzu since conception to develop a long-life, fuel efficient vehicle that supports the FedEx strategic sustainability objectives. They right-sized the engine down to a more fuel efficient three liters and reduced weight with composite material while maintaining a strong chassis and a spacious interior,” said Dennis Beal, vice president of Global Vehicles at FedEx Express. “The vans are performing well on our routes, and reducing our fuel costs as well as our carbon footprint.”

In addition to delivering up to 35 percent better fuel economy* than a traditional commercial van, the Reach also meets the most stringent emissions standards in the world. Isuzu’s 4JJ1-TC engine comes with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology with Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) injection reducing NOx levels in engine exhaust by 85 percent.

“We are thrilled that FedEx has recognized the potential of the Reach to offer fuel economy, durability and true commercial truck performance,” said Shaun Skinner, executive vice president and general manager of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America. “Today’s fleet and vocational buyers are looking for low cost of ownership, and this order proves that the Reach lives up to its name—it reaches a new standard in low cost of operation compared to traditional step vans.”

Utilimaster guided the development of the Reach’s aerodynamic shape and conducted extensive wind tunnel testing that indicated the vehicle cuts through the air with a drag coefficient that is 13.1 percent lower than current competitive vans. The aerodynamic design, along with the use of composite materials, contributes to improved fuel efficiency and reduced interior noise. The lightweight composite materials provide a 700-pound weight savings compared to traditional aluminum and steel materials.

“The Reach provides a 35 percent improvement in fuel efficiency over alternative delivery trucks, which supports FedEx in attaining their 20 percent fuel efficiency improvement goal as part of their environmental policy,” stated John Forbes, president of Utilimaster. “Our development team has worked closely with FedEx stations to review vehicle fuel economy and route performance on a monthly basis. The results are very positive. The Reach vans are operating on the most extreme delivery routes and performing very well.”

The Reach is available through Isuzu’s nationwide network of 300 dealers.

Additional Reach information and images are available at www.nextgenerationvan.com.

*Compared to class 3-5 commercial walk-in vans; testing conducted by independent, certified party.

About Isuzu

Isuzu Motors Limited 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

Utilimaster, www.utilimaster.com, a subsidiary of Spartan Motors, Inc. (NASDAQ: SPAR), is a leading manufacturer of walk-in vans and commercial truck bodies for the delivery and service marketplace. Utilimaster designs, develops and manufactures products to customer specifications for use in the package delivery, one-way truck rental, bakery/snack delivery, utility, and linen/uniform rental businesses. The company serves a diverse customer base and also sells aftermarket parts and accessories.


California Work Trucks 8' Contractor Is Sweet!

This is one of the most interesting Contractor Bodies I've ever seen and it is sweet! This is an 8' Contractor Body with Knapheide platform and upper boxes with the Master Locking System that is a standard California Work Trucks exclusive. There is one short little gate in the rear, along with the typical tapered headboard and tapered forklift loadable rack and class IV receiver. All of this sweetness is mounted on a single rear wheel Ford chassis. Commercial Truck Success always loves the colored truck too!

California Work Trucks is located in Union City, CA and can be reached at 510-477-8425 and their new website is at http://www.calworktrucks.com/. I'm sure they can build one for you!


Sno-Way 29R Series

Like our MegaBlade™ Revolution™ Plow, the 29R is designed to move more snow. Only this plow is designed to team up with a 3/4 ton truck. The 29R uses the 29HD series commercial plow platform and has all the desirable characteristics of an extreme-duty plow: high-strength steel moldboard, A-frame construction, fast and responsive hydraulics and optimized blade geometry for exceptional snow-rolling performance. Engage Sno-Way's patented Down Pressure™ snow plow hydraulic system, now standard on the 29R Series, for the best surface cleaning plow. Include the hydraulically adjustable wings and you can make this plow flat out move more snow. We measured our competitor "wing" plows at around 2.4 cubic yards of snow-moving capacity. When we tested our 29R plow we moved an amazing 4.8 cubic yards of snow with a 3/4 ton truck. Now THAT will add efficiency and profit for your business.


Ram Truck Brand Offers Special Services Police Truck for Extreme Duty Cycles

  • New Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Special Service package offers special equipment to support police and other emergency services
  • Additional door support allows for installation of ballistic material inside front doors
  • Added Power Distribution Center (PDC) and 220-amp alternator supports high-amp drawing systems and accessories
  • Package includes 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with 390 horsepower/407 lb.-ft. torque, 3.92 axle ratio and four-wheel-drive
  • 5 year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty
November 8, 2011 , Auburn Hills, Mich. - Starting this month, Ram Truck will be offering a new Ram 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 Special Service package for law enforcement and other emergency agencies through Chrysler Group Fleet sales. The newest Ram model features a selection of severe-duty-adapted equipment available on the 2012 Ram 1500 and several unique features.

Following the overwhelming approval of the Dodge Charger Pursuit by law enforcement and municipal administrators, the Ram 1500 package combines durability, reliability and value with an expedient solution for upfitting special equipment.

“Like the Ram Truck brand, first responders give it their all with guts and glory, and we’re proud to offer a Ram truck that gives them the reliability and durability to get to the scene quickly and safely,” said Fred Diaz, President and CEO of Ram Truck Brand and Chrysler de Mexico — Chrysler Group LLC. “The Special Service package offers legendary Ram capability and a ready-to-go platform for the folks who require a truck they can depend on.”

Made for extreme-duty cycles, emergency and municipal service trucks are sometimes left idling for extended periods of time. The Ram 1500 includes 100,000-mile sparkplugs and a larger oil cooler to protect the engine during the unforgiving stop-and-go operations associated with first responders.

“The Ram 1500 Special Service Truck has been engineered to handle the severe demands of Law Enforcement,” said Peter Grady, Vice President of Network Development and Fleet, Chrysler Group LLC. “The same characteristics also make it and excellent choice for the Public Works, Maintenance, Engineering and Fire Departments. This package expands our portfolio of hardworking vehicles available to state and local governments.”

To handle the high electric loads, the Ram 1500 Special Service Truck includes a 220-amp alternator. A unique wire harness is capable of providing power, ground and fusing for a variety of law enforcement lighting, siren, computer, modem, radar or camera systems. The package also includes a Power Distribution Center (PDC) with fusing and relays for circuits contained in the wire harness. The PDC is supplied from the battery with two separate 100-amp main fuses for camera, computer, modem and printer systems.

The unique instrument panel houses a certified speedometer with engine hour and idle hour meter and a 110-volt inverter. The truck is available with a full-face steering wheel, four key fobs and ten-way power front seats which quickly accommodate multiple drivers.

A special headliner with auxiliary dome lamp sits over stain-repellent cloth bucket seats in the first row and a vinyl bench in the second row. The center console is removed to add space for extra equipment and the shifter is located on the steering column.

The Ram 1500 Special Service truck is offered exclusively in a roomy Crew Cab configuration with 125 cubic feet of interior volume. Additional welds in the front door structures handle the weight of ballistic material used by law enforcement vehicle upfitters. The truck also is available with the popular RamBox storage system. RamBox measures 50.5 inches and offers 7.3 cubic feet of lockable and lighted storage capacity.

Powering the new package is the reliable 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with Fuel Saver Technology, a six-speed automatic transmission and four-wheel-drive with standard ESC. The new model benefits from a 5-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Steel wheels wrapped with Goodyear LT 265/70R17 tires offer improved cooling to the ABS equipped 13.2-inch front vented discs and 13.8 –inch discs in the rear. The innovative coil-spring rear suspension on the Ram 1500 has provides best-in-class ride and handling both on- and off-road.

A 3.92 axle ratio, 390 horsepower and 407 lb.-ft. of torque contribute to a towing capacity of 10,000 lbs., payload of 1,455 lbs. and a GCWR of 15,500 lbs.


Transfer Flow - Diamond Plate Toolbox/Fuel Tank Combo

Need extra fuel capacity and storage space? A toolbox and fuel tank combo from Transfer Flow is just the answer!


Ford Confirms Increased Investment in Kansas City Plant For Transit Commercial Van Production, New Stamping Facility

  • Ford will migrate its commercial vans around the world to a common, global platform in 2013, when Kansas City Assembly workers begin producing the full-size Transit for North American customers
  • The company will invest $1.1 billion in the Kansas City facility – $700 million more than was previously committed – following the recent ratification of the competitive new UAW-Ford Collective Bargaining Agreement and tax incentives provided by the state of Missouri and city of Liberty, Mo.
  • The Kansas City investment covers facility upgrades and re-tooling for production of both Transit and next-generation F-150. Part of the incremental investment will be allocated for building a new integrated stamping facility to support full-size Transit body panels and other stamped parts
  • Facility upgrades begin after the current Escape ends production in April. In May, Ford will add one shift of F-150 production at the Kansas City facility, increasing its shifts of its best-selling full-size truck from one to two 
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Oct. 21, 2011 – Ford Motor Company today confirmed Kansas City Assembly Plant workers will build its full-size Transit van – Europe’s best-selling commercial vehicle – when the new product joins its North American lineup in 2013.
This is another example of the company’s One Ford strategy to serve customers with world-class vehicles and leverage global assets, including common platforms, and brings new jobs to greater Kansas City. 
The company is investing $1.1 billion – $700 million more than was previously announced – in a new body shop, new tooling in the Final Assembly Area, an upgraded paint shop and an all-new integrated stamping plant, which will be located on an adjacent property in Liberty, Mo. A portion of the investment also will be used in the future to support next-generation F-150 pickup production at the plant.
“Our plans for transforming Kansas City Assembly and constructing a new integrated stamping plant to support Transit production demonstrate just how committed Ford is to our employees, the city of Liberty and the broader Claycomo community,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas. “More importantly, this shows that Ford is truly committed to investing in the U.S. and doing our part to support U.S. manufacturing, which is critical to our country’s ability to compete.”
Ford is investing $16 billion in its U.S. operations – including $6.2 billion in U.S. plants – to design, engineer and produce more new and upgraded vehicles and components by 2015.
The company also is adding 12,000 hourly jobs at its U.S. manufacturing facilities – including 1,600 in Kansas City.
The current SUV line at the Kansas City facility, which will be idled for re-tooling after the current Escape model is phased out in April, will re-open in 2013. During re-tooling, the plant will continue to build F-150 trucks. 
The company also plans to increase F-150 production at the facility, which will build the trucks on two shifts instead of one beginning in May. This will bring approximately 800 additional employees to the Kansas City Assembly truck line, for a total of approximately 1,700 workers.
When this increase takes effect, Ford will build the nation’s best-selling vehicle on five shifts – two in Kansas City and three in Dearborn – allowing the company to better meet increasing customer demand.
F-Series, America’s best-selling truck for 34 straight years, is experiencing a year-to-date total sales increase of 8 percent. The F-150 equipped with a V6 engine remains extremely popular. The fuel-efficient EcoBoost V6 accounted for 42 percent of F-150 sales in September, while the 3.7-liter comprised 15 percent. This is the fifth consecutive month that V6s have outsold V8s in the F-Series.
“Our ‘Built Ford Tough’ F-150 just keeps getting better and better, and this capacity increase at Kansas City will help us satisfy customers who don’t want to wait to own one,” Fields said. “Our new F-150 engine choices include the innovative EcoBoost with best-in-class power, performance, capability and fuel economy our truck customers truly want and value.”
Kansas City Assembly Plant is Ford’s fourth North American facility to be re-tooled to produce new vehicles that are part of the company’s balanced product portfolio of cars, utilities, trucks and commercial vehicles. The company’s commitment to install a new product line requiring this level of investment was enabled, in part, by the recent ratification of the new UAW-Ford Collective Bargaining Agreement.
“The men and women of Kansas City Assembly Plant have a proven track record of building a high-quality product that customers love,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president and director of the National Ford Department. “They are a strong and dedicated workforce, and I know they are up to the challenge of building this exciting all-new product for North American customers.”
In recent months, Ford also worked closely with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and the Missouri State Legislature in passage of the 2010 Missouri Manufacturing Jobs Act. This legislation provided tax incentives, which also contributed to Ford’s ability to commit to the Kansas City Assembly Plant through new product, new investment and new jobs. 
“Americans and Missourians have been building automobiles for generations. It’s who we are.
It’s in our blood,” Gov. Nixon said. “From major plants like Claycomo, to small suppliers located in every corner of our state, American auto workers keep our country moving forward. It was vital that we keep these folks living and working right here in our communities.”
Ford’s current commercial van, the Ford E-Series, is built at the company’s Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake, Ohio. Certain E-Series body styles will continue to be available through most of the decade, even after the Kansas City-built Transit goes on sale


Pro-Tech Sno Pusher Agricultural Uses

Attachments made specifically for tractors, skid steers, backhoes, and loaders that dramatically increase the moving capacity of silage, grains, fertilizers, corn, etc. - Rubber cutting edge on the bottom cleans the surface as it moves materials. - Sizes range from 6 up to 30 and moldboard heights from 28 to 48. - Pushers can more than double the capacity amount of most heavy equipment, increasing the efficiency of your agricultural operations.


Take a Ride with Your Customer after the Sale

Many years ago I served in a manufacturing engineering function in a small company. It was a pivotal time and position with an emerging truck equipment manufacturer.  If there’s one thing that I learned above all else it’s “Get to know your Customer.”
In my early days with the company I was sitting at a drafting board detailing piece parts day after day and learning about the application by visiting our installation department. Because we were in the manufacturing end of the snow control business, the season started when the snow flew and the phones started ringing. And ring they did! It was so busy that it wasn’t long before they started asking me to take customer phone calls. The calls were largely dealing with installation issues and customer “concerns.” I didn’t have a lot of experience but I did the best I could, given what I had learned and what I could ask someone else about!
I recall a phone conversation I was having with a customer about an installation problem he was having mounting the controls as described in our instructions. First the instructions were not very clear, and second I was not sure whether we had actually installed them in a truck or had assumed that they could be mounted as we described! The caller was saying that even if he could accomplish the installation, that his customer was going to have a problem operating it. The control would be positioned where they would have to over-reach while still trying to drive and steer. I could tell from his voice that he was becoming frustrated with me parroting back what the instructions said; and finally he asked me “If I had ever operated an installed unit?  I had to admit that I never had!
Of course my credibility dropped considerably with the customer, even though I think he had already come to the conclusion that I had never operated one before I answered his question. A few days later I made a point of operating a snowplow for several hours and only then did I understand what the customer was telling me. The control would not work well in this new application just as he was telling me.
Later, I made it a point to visit and ride with contractors using our product. I learned what they went through in a snow storm, what happens when things break in the middle of a storm. I visited our dealer installers and learned what issues they ran into when even small bolts were missing from our packaging.
We used this information to improve, we set up a simple complaint card system where everyone dealing with customers was able to record and pass on customer concerns. The feedback was valuable to build a better more reliable product, better fit ups in installations, more accurate packing, less missing parts, improving our name and increasing our business.
I know these days you can read data on reports, look at graphs coming off your desktop computer distributed at lightning speed, but …. Do You Ride with Your Customer?
To find out a little about the snow contractor business, here’s a nice Video:
(From ProTech Manufacturing)

Guest post by
Steve Taylor


Alternative Fuel Training Classes Deadline Nears

Register Now For Transfer Flow's Alternative Fuel Training Program With an Emphasis on Propane Autogas Conversion Vehicles!

Next Class is Nov. 7 - 9 in Sacramento, California

Co-sponsored by the Sacramento Clean Cities Coalition and the East Bay Clean Cities Coalition

* This FREE 3-day class is designed to educate fleet managers, auto mechanics, service & maintenance personnel, and high school and college vo-tech teachers about the characteristics and benefits of alternative fuels with emphasis on propane autogas

* The training class will help city and county managers and planners understand how LPG vehicles and other types of AFVs will provide them important compliance options for their AB 32-required Climate Action Plans

* Converting vehicles from costly gasoline to cleaner burning propane autogas requires a highly skilled and qualified workforce, and reducing your business or agency carbon footprint will improve your "green" image - making knowledgeable administrators and technicians valuable employees

* Attendees of the FREE 3-day course will receive innovative instruction from industry professionals and hands-on training with a ROUSH CleanTech system

* Each class is open to only 30 students, so contact us today to reserve a seat

* Lunch will be provided on all 3 days!

* Class requirements: Must be 18 years of age or older, a high school graduate and have proof of US citizenship

Dates and Locations of FREE 3-Day Class

Nov. 7 - 9, 2011
TEECO Products
7471 Reese Road
Sacramento, CA 95828


Dec. 5 - 7, 2011
Transfer Flow, Inc.
1444 Fortress Street
Chico, CA 95973



Lunch will also be provided on all 3 days!

Register Today - Limited Seats Available!
Register now for this FREE 3-Day Course!
Call Warren Johnson at (530) 893-5209 ext. 12,

Additional Class Information
and Curriculum

Transfer Flow, Inc., in collaboration with Alliance for Workforce Development, Inc., NoRTEC, and California Employment Development Department, has launched Northern California's first Alternative Fuel Training Program. The training is funded by the California Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technologies Program (ARFVTP), with the intention of deploying alternative fuels such as propane autogas to decrease air and water pollutants, while reducing the environmental impact of modern transportation. It also aims to sustain the state's natural resources thanks to the major cost savings associated with this readily available alternative fuel.