2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel takes on the Extreme Ike Gauntlet Towing Review

The 2016 Nissan Titan XD Diesel is finally here and ready to tackle the mighty Ike Gauntlet towing challenge.


Fantom™ Fuel and Tool by Highway Products

The features and benefits of the Fantom™ Fuel and Toolboxes by Highway Products

Ram Trucks Commercial "Farmer" Long Version


With legendary power, performance and dependability, we’re determined to work hard and play even harder, boldly forging ahead to get the job done.

If you have questions about our products or would like to contact Ram trucks directly, please use the "Contact Us" option from our website: www.ramtrucks.com

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“Nissan Titan Truckumentary” Chapter 1: Our Truck History

NASHVILLE, Tenn.  – To mark the bold, ground-up redesign of its full-size pickup, Nissan is publishing a multi-chapter TITAN “Truckumentary” to highlight the design, planning and engineering of the next-generation Nissan TITAN pickup.

The series is being officially kicked off by Nissan’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Sales, Parts and Service, Fred Diaz. The first episode features a stroll through Nissan’s truck past hosted by Brent Hagan of Nissan product planning.


4x4 Capability Testing | 2014 Silverado | Chevrolet

With the all-new Silverado, you can switch to four wheel drive on the fly. We put it to the test, so you'll be confident in all driving conditions.

To learn more about the all-new Silverado, visit: http://www.chevrolet.com/2014-silvera...

Will Unibody Pickups Be the Next Big Thing?

The reentry of the 2017 Honda Ridgeline has the car-loving universe all aflutter. A pickup truck that drives more like a car and offers the looks and goodies of a crossover is a dream come true for many consumers. You can almost hear their sigh of relief.

The Detroit News is reporting that there's a sizable market for downsized pickups that offer a more comfortable ride along with a pickup bed. But haven't we've seen this already, and didn't we find out the market for such a specimen was pretty small?

The earth-shaking Honda Ridgeline was introduced in 2005 as a 2006 model when most pickups and full-size SUVs were more rugged and less civilized than they are today. Even then, the idea of a unibody pickup, with all its comparative advantages, was a niche market player. Those interested in a small pickup were not attracted to a pickup platform derived from an "evolved" minivan chassis, which is what the original Ridgeline offered. Still, the Ridgeline did provide a smoother ride and better handling than anything else in its class, but not without some significant compromises. We noted as much when we did our 2012 Midsize Shootout (the last comparison test to include the Ridgeline) in which the Honda delivered a strong third-place finish behind the Nissan Frontier and winning Toyota Tacoma.

At its peak in 2006, the Ridgeline sold 50,000 units; in contrast, the lowest numbers recorded were in 2011, when Honda averaged around 800 Ridgelines per month. Times are certainly getting better for pickup manufacturers, but does that necessarily translate into the need for more unibody pickup trucks? Maybe, since these lighter trucks get better fuel economy than conventional ladder-frame pickups; they are less expensive to make since they usually share a chassis with a sibling model; and they drive more like a car thanks to four-wheel independent suspensions. Despite these facts, have we really changed so much in the last 10 years that we're going to see demand grow for such a truck?

The thing that most automotive writers never seem to understand is that buyers don't look at pickup trucks the same way they look at cars. The vast majority usually have a specific reason for buying a pickup such as hauling, towing or getting gear to a weekend outing; room for kids and fuel economy often are secondary. Ultimately, a car is a refrigerator (a receptacle for things); a pickup is a chain saw (a tool).

Several manufacturers have been researching bringing a small unibody SUV or crossover-based vehicle with a small pickup bed to market (Hyundai, GMC, Ram and others), and from what we hear the finished product could be reasonably priced. We think it makes sense to offer a new vehicle that's functional and practical for young buyers, essentially creating a new niche underneath midsize pickups rather than providing a premium-priced option for people who don't really need a pickup.

But what about a vehicle like the Honda Ridgeline? By Honda's own admission, it's a series of compromises: less comfortable load-carrying, less towing capacity, less off-road capability and a less rugged design. These compromises seem to fly in the face of what potential buyers in this arena are seeking. If a truckmaker wants to base its engineering and marketing plan on that kind of strategy, it should have conservative goals. Not that there isn't a place for these types of vehicles, but it's sort of like making trailers for people who don't really like or need to tow anything. We know there are people like that, but the numbers are pretty small.

Does any of this mean the new Ridgeline is not a good pickup? Of course not, but the more important question is whether the Ridgeline can deliver the confidence you need to get the job done when you find yourself in one of those "What do we do now?" moments. If you can avoid those, good for you; you'll have an easier time making your best pickup choice.



121 Ways to Save Fuel: Tires

From the equipment you spec and maintain, to the fuel you buy, to driver training and incentives, you’ll find tips for nearly any type of fleet. 

Buy fuel-efficient tires

Getting the right tire at the right wheel position can improve fuel economy by several percentage points.

About 13% of each gallon of fuel consumed goes solely to overcoming rolling resistance. That can vary by the load on the tire, the tread pattern and of course, inflation pressure.

“The relationship between rolling resistance and fuel consumption is about 8:1,” says Rick Phillips, senior director of sales, commercial and OTR products at Yokohama Tire. “An 8% reduction in tire rolling resistance will result in a 1% savings in fuel consumption.”
Various wheel positions have different impacts on fuel economy.

"On a tractor-trailer combination, the steer tires contribute 15-20% to fuel economy, drive tires 30-40% and trailer tires about 40-50%,” says William Estupinan, vice president of technical service for Giti Tire USA. “The first priority for a fleet interested in saving a significant amount of money is to start moving toward fuel-efficient tires for the trailer axles.”

A tight rib pattern, thinner tread — 12/32- to 20/32-inch of tread depth — and advanced compounding make today’s trailer tires very fuel-efficient. 

With drive tires, traction and durability are higher on the list of priorities. But traction hasn’t really suffered in a significant way in the quest for lower rolling resistance, manufacturers say.

Wide-base singles: Carry a spare

One of the big concerns with wide-base tires was the inability to “limp” to the nearest repair facility if you had a flat, as you could with a set of duals. Mesilla Valley Transportation designed a bracket to carry a spare, and bought the tires in quantity so they could get them at a lower cost. ATDynamics offers such a mount, called the SuperSpare.

Fuel-efficient duals or wide-base singles?
Some fleets find wide-base single tires work best for improved fuel efficiency, while others prefer fuel-efficient duals.

The basic advantage claimed by promoters of single tires is fewer sidewalls. Eliminating two sidewalls and bead areas by switching to wide-base singles can cut flex-related rolling resistance nearly in half. There are weight savings as well, something in the order of 800 pounds over four axles.

For low-rolling-resistance tires, various tire models usually claim a certain percentage of savings (which some say you can discount by 50%). If a tire claims a 10% reduction in rolling resistance, equipping the entire truck with such tires would net you a 1% reduction in fuel consumption. But you’re going to give up some mileage with a thinner tread.

Al Cohn, director of new market development and engineering support for Pressure Systems International (makers of the Meritor Tire Inflation System), estimates the cost per mile for a typical non-fuel-efficient tire is $0.011, or 1.1 cents, while a typical fuel-efficient tire is $0.013, or 1.3 cents.

A 1% savings in fuel consumption, going from 6.0 mpg to 6.06 mpg, would save $660 at $4 per gallon over 100,000 miles. According to Cohn, giving up about 10% in the tread mileage for the fuel-efficient dual tires would cost about $200 per year, yielding a net savings of about $460 per year per truck.

Don’t scrub away your savings

You’ve heard the expression, “It’s like herding cats.” It’s like that with tires when your alignment is out of whack. With all those wheels heading in different directions, it’s unlikely you’re getting the best fuel economy.

Bridgestone’s Guy Walenga says when a wheel is misaligned, it’s like dragging it sideways across the pavement.

“If you have a 2-inch misalignment between steer and drive tires on tractor with a 181-inch wheelbase, it would be like scrubbing the tires across the pavement for about 60 feet for every mile you drove,” he says. “Increasing the scale for dramatic effect, over a year, that would amount to dragging the tires sideways for about 1,100 miles. Not only is that going to produce tire wear, it saps fuel economy, too. It takes a lot of energy to drag a tire sideways, and the energy comes right from your fuel tank.”

Justin Gonzalez, heavy-duty marketing manager at Hunter Engineering, says his company is starting to get inquiries from fleets that are already doing everything else to reduce fuel costs. “If it’s preventing tire wear, it’s saving fuel. Any forces that are scrubbing rubber off of tires are also increasing resistance to forward movement. That hurts fuel economy.”

Checking trailer and drive axle alignment can be as simple as using a measuring tape, while steering geometry can be more complicated. Machines from Hunter, Bee Line and others are one solution. Portable laser devices from MD Alignment, E-Z Line and others offer a do-it-yourself solution.

Find your ideal tire pressure

Many fleets choose 100 psi as an arbitrary but safe pressure, but it might not be ideal.
Yokohama’s Phillips suggests fleets should be running dual tires in a fully loaded tandem axle (34,000 pounds) at 80 psi, not 100.

“I’ve seen very little evidence of quantifiable fuel economy gains from running at 100 psi rather than 80, but I can show lots of tires that were scrapped prematurely because of irregular wear arising from overinflation.”

There are several variables that fleets consider when setting a standardized pressure, including ambient temperature changes, vehicle speed, and of course, load, explains Donn Kramer, director of product marketing innovation, Goodyear Commercial Tire Systems.

“A tire with an initial cold inflation pressure of 100 psi at 60 degrees Fahrenheit ambient temperature will experience a 2-psi change for every 10-degree F change in ambient temperature. And fleets operating at 66 to 70 mph should increase their tires’ cold inflation pressure by 5 psi.”
Find the ideal pressure for your fleet based on loaded conditions, and use all the help you can get to maintain it.

Inflate your tires, not your fuel bill

Underinflation kills not only tires, but also fuel economy. A tire underinflated by 10% can result in 20% increase in rolling resistance, and a corresponding drop in fuel economy.
It’s hard to imagine giving up  2-4% in fuel efficiency to something as simple as maintaining correct inflation pressure.

Improper inflation bites you in two ways: It reduces the ability of the tire sidewall to support the load on the tire, which increases the degree to which the sidewall will flex; and it changes the footprint or contact patch of the tire.

“It is not the tire, but the air inside it that supports the load,” says Guy Walenga, Bridgestone director of engineering, commercial products and technologies. “And it is the air inside the casing that keeps that casing the right shape.”

Stretch (and record tire pressure regularly)

Drivers are encouraged to stretch their muscles before a trip to reduce injuries. They also must check tire pressure. Combine the two activities, suggests Jeff Baer of LinkeDrive, which makes the PedalCoach in-cab driver fuel economy coaching system.

“Reaching low to actually check the pressure is a great opportunity to perform back and lower body stretches,” he says. “Checking tire pressure is the first step towards maintaining it, but recording it and maintaining this information can show easily where it is not being checked, and thus the opportunity to improve. Keeping a record of both to feed a participation bonus can reap big rewards.”

Make it easy for drivers to air up their tires

“I love it when fleets have air at the fuel islands and none of the hoses work,” says driver David Fanning from El Paso, Texas. “These are the same people so concerned about saving fuel but won’t maintain the fuel islands.”

That’s why New Jersey-based NFI has put in air hoses at all its facilities and keeps them working.
Some conscientious drivers have carried an air hose they you can plug into a wet tank or a gladhand to pump air when a tire needs it. However, Fanning notes that idle shutdown timers may make this impractical.

Use automatic tire monitoring and inflation systems

A U.S. Department of Transportation field test of automatic tire inflation and tire pressure monitoring systems found a 1.4% reduction in fuel consumption for fleets using the systems.
John Morgan, product manager for Meritor Tire Inflation Systems by PSI, notes that “The final bit of proof is that the fleets in the trial are still using the systems, and have equipped more vehicles in their fleets since the study wrapped up in 2010.”

“When we first install a TPMS system on a fleet, they can’t believe what they see,” says Jim Samocki, general manager at Doran. “Tire pressures are usually all over the map. That’s when the impact of improper inflation starts to sink in. They’re thinking of tire wear and damage, of course, but fuel economy is never far behind.”

Other systems available include Advantage PressurePro TPMS, Airgo ATIS, Aperia Technologies’ Halo ATIS, Bendix SmarTire TPMS, Hendrickson TireMaax ATIS, Stemco’s Aeris ATIS, TireStamp TPMS, and others.

Tire pressure monitoring systems are also increasingly offering the ability to use telematics to remotely notify fleet management of under-inflated tires in real time, in addition to warning drivers.

Don’t pull tires too early

Tires that can be run out to the minimum acceptable tread depth, without being pulled prematurely due to irregular wear, “contribute greatly to reducing a vehicle’s fuel consumption, since tires with reduced tread depth roll more freely,” notes Bill Sweatman, president and CEO of Marangoni Tread N.A.

Manufacturer studies show that a tire that is 80% worn is something like 6.5% more fuel-efficient than a new tire, due to the thinner tread. Unfortunately, tires pulled prematurely due to irregular or uneven wear won’t see their best days from a fuel efficiency perspective.

Retreading offers the opportunity to spec your tread pattern and compound from what is emerging as a boutique offering of fuel-efficient treads.

In June 2012, EPA created a SmartWay designation for retreaded tires, allowing the manufacturers to develop specific treads, with various patterns and compounds similar to their original offerings. Since then, more than 40 tread options for tractors and trailers have emerged from industry suppliers such as Bandag, Continental, Michelin, Marangoni, and others.

The beauty of this is you can now apply a top-of-the-line fuel efficient tread to any suitable casing, expanding your options for a low-rolling-resistance spec.

Get ready for ATIS for drive axles

While automatic tire inflation systems are so far seen only on trailers, a few manufacturers are readying products for drive axles, too. It’s more complicated getting air into the hub when the axle shaft’s in in the way, but it’s coming. A Meritor-PSI system is said to be in field tests, as is a system from Airgo.

But there’s one system available now from Aperia Technologies that uses an internal pump rather than air lines to deliver up to 120 psi to the drive tires.

“The system operates on a similar principle to a self-winding watch,” says Josh Carter, CEO and co-founder of Aperia Technologies, which makes the Halo system. “It uses a wheel’s rotational motion to pump and maintain optimal tire pressure. It does not require any connection to a compressor, and can be installed in about 10 minutes per wheel end.”

Get in their face
NFI, a New Jersey-based fleet, is putting automatic tire inflation systems on its trailers, but that still leaves the tractors, as well as older trailers that haven’t been converted, says Bill Bliem, senior vice president of fleet services.

“We have put on a big push this year with our drivers on pretrip inspections, and part of that pretrip is checking the air pressure – not kicking the tires or hitting them with a club,” he says. The solution? Clips mounted on the side of the driver’s seat so the air pressure gauge is staring them in the face when they open the door, a not-so-subtle reminder of what they’re supposed to do.

Keep tires and wheels balanced
Because tires are part of a rotating mass that revolves around the axle spindle, the entire package — hub, brake drum or rotor, wheel, and tire — can affect fuel efficiency.

When a tire is not balanced, it vibrates (roughly 10 times a second at 66 mph), causing irregular wear (which contributes to tires being pulled before they wear down to their most fuel-efficient tread thickness) and wasting energy meant to propel the truck forward.

John Tak, director of marketing and product development at IMI, which offers the Equal internal balancing product, says an out-of-balance tire will wear more quickly and develop uneven wear patterns.

“If you want to get optimum mileage from the tread, and therefore optimum fuel efficiency from the tire in the last third of its life, balancing is necessary,” he says. “Balancing isn’t expensive at all compared to the fuel-saving benefits.”

There’s also evidence that a balanced tire and wheel, even in its early or mid stage of life, can improve fuel economy. SAE Type II fuel economy testing done in 2008 for Counteract Balancing Beads at a test track in Indiana, revealed that properly balanced wheels produced a 2.2% improvement in fuel economy.

Coley Wolkoff, Couteract national accounts manager, notes that in these days of four-dollar-diesel, 2.2% is more significant than it may sound.
Of course, traditional balancing methods are effective as well, for most of the same reasons.

“Balancing machines help detect radial and lateral run-out as well as non-concentric mounting and even improper matching of the high and low spots on the tire and the wheel,” says Jason Gonzalez, heavy duty marketing manager at Hunter Engineering. “If you let the machine do its job, you’ll know you have a perfectly mounted and balanced tire and wheel when you’re done that will minimize rolling resistance due to non-true rotation.”

Source: http://www.truckinginfo.com/article/story/2014/06/121-ways-to-save-fuel-tires.aspx


GMC Introduces Yukon SLT Premium Edition

Unique chrome accents, 22-inch wheels offer upscale style

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. – GMC today announced the 2016 Yukon SLT Premium Edition – a chrome-trimmed special model offering a premium, personalized appearance on SLT models.

It goes on sale this summer, offered on Yukon and Yukon XL models. Features include:
•    Unique design 22-inch chrome-wheels
•    Unique design chrome grille
•    Bright chrome body-side moldings
•    Polished exhaust tip

“The new Yukon SLT Premium Edition adds distinction and personalized style to the already well-appointed Yukon SLT model,” said Stu Pierce, senior marketing manager, GMC Trucks & Full-size SUVs. “For discerning customers seeking uncompromising capability and unparalleled refinement in a full-size SUV, Yukon SLT Premium Edition delivers with the latest in technologies, amenities and a unique and premium style.”

Yukon and Yukon XL SLT models are powered by an advanced 5.3L V-8 engine that offers the segment’s best V-8 fuel economy: an EPA-estimated 23 highway mpg (2WD models).

Additional standard and available features on SLT models include:
•    Fold-flat second- and third-row seats that enhance cargo capability and convenience, including an available power-folding feature
•    Power rear liftgate with multiple programmable height settings and hands-free operation
•    Wireless phone charging
•    Standard 8-inch-diagonal color touch-screen radio with enhanced IntelliLink and available navigation
•    Apple CarPlay and Android Auto phone projection compatibility
•    Keyless Open and Start
•    8,500-lb. max trailering for Yukon and 8,300-lb. max trailering for Yukon XL (2WD models)

The Yukon lineup also incorporates technologies that help protect the driver and passengers before, during and after a collision. They include a forward radar system and the segment’s only Front Center Air Bag (models with front bucket seats), which deploys from the inboard side of the driver’s seat and inflates between the driver and front passenger, providing added protection for both front occupants in side impacts.

Phone projection technology
Through Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, Yukon’s IntelliLink infotainment system provides simple and intuitive use of smartphones in the vehicle. It integrates certain phone functions onto the 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen, allowing you to call up music, navigation apps and more.

Using either application is simple. A “Projection” icon on the IntelliLink screen is visible when a phone is not connected and changes to indicate CarPlay or Android Auto when a compatible phone is connected through a USB. Android Auto requires a phone running the Android Lollipop 5.0 operating system or higher, while Apple CarPlay requires an iPhone 5 or later models.

OnStar 4G LTE and available Wi-Fi hotspot complement IntelliLink to enhance Yukon’s connectivity.

Fast Fact: Yukon and Yukon XL sales were up more than 11 percent for the first four months of 2016.

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.

The Work Truck Show: Networking, learning opportunities for all industry professionals

Hear what industry professionals say about attending The Work Truck Show. http://www.worktruckshow.com


Ram hosts one-day dealer drive-away event

Ram Truck dealers from around the New York City area made their way to Pearl River, N.Y., this week to load-up on new Ram ProMaster City vans.

The Ram Commercial Truck brand hosted a one-day dealer drive-away event for the popular new ProMaster City van. From there, dealers will head head back to their stores with dozens of small vans destined for all sorts of small businesses – from caterers to locksmiths.

Following Ram Commercial Truck brand’s best February, March and April on record for small-van sales volumes, Ram dealers have been clamoring for more shipments in order to meet the unprecedented demand.

The ProMaster City’s class-leading features and third-party accolades, including Green Car Journal’s 2016 Commercial Green Car of the Year, have helped boost the van’s success.

Ram ProMaster City offers various best-in-class standard features: 178 horsepower and 174 lb.-ft. of torque; payload of 1,883 pounds; cargo volume of 131.7 cubic feet; 24 combined mpg (21 mpg city/ 29 mpg highway); towing capacity of 2,000 lbs.; exclusive 9-speed automatic transmission; powertrain warranty of five years/60,000 miles.

The 2016 Ram ProMaster City is Ram’s newest addition to its commercial vehicle lineup and contributes to the expanding, purpose-built van segment with functional elements tied directly to commercial customer demand. ProMaster City opens a door for incremental growth of Ram’s brand sales volumes.

Available in Tradesman cargo or five-passenger Wagon variations, the Ram ProMaster City is based on the successful Fiat Doblò, a two-time International Van of the Year winner with more than 1.3 million units sold. Ram reports that the Class 1 entry incorporates familiar Ram design elements and offers features, systems and powertrains preferred by North American customers.

- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/ram-hosts-one-day-dealer-drive-away-event/#sthash.sp5kWMco.dpuf


Are you willing to pay more for connected vehicle technologies?

We all know all sorts of technologies, everything from autopilot systems and remote diagnostics to stolen vehicle tracking, offer some potentially big benefits to the trucking industry.

But are truckers willing to pay extra for them? And if so, how much extra?

Global consulting firm Accenture recently conducted a survey posing those very questions to consumers in China, Germany and the U.S. regarding a range of automobile technologies and found – on average – drivers would opt to pay up to an additional 10% of a new car’s sticker price to obtain various in-car systems offering a variety of entertainment, information, remote and driver support services.

In the U.S., where average sticker prices for new light vehicles hit $34,428 in December last year, according to Kelly Blue Book, that “up to 10%” figure translates into some $3,400 or so for technology.

As a point of reference, Axel Schmidt, managing director in Accenture’s automotive practice, noted that the firm polled 5,111 drivers over the age of 18 who operate a vehicle on a regular basis in China, Germany and the U.S. and who also own a smartphone or plan to buy one in the next 6-12 months.

“Consumers are becoming more inclined to make separate purchases of the in-car functions they want most,” he added. “We believe that the demand for a range of features, from safety systems and remote services to parking assist technology, will increase in the coming years.”

Indeed, Accenture believes that by 2025, all new cars sold will be connectivity-enabled. But the question remains exactly what kinds of “connectivity” will appeal most to drivers. Some indications from the firm’s survey include:
  •     The functionalities consumers would be most willing to spend more on include remote services such as when a vehicle automatically sends a distress message (63%) to the nearest emergency center when a life-threatening situation occurs or alerts when vehicle breaks down (41%).
  •     There is also high interest in remote diagnostics (75%) and vehicle lifecycle management reports (71%), with nearly half of the respondents (43%) willing to spend extra on these features.
  •     Over half (55%) want location functionalities like stolen vehicle tracking and recovery, navigation, and remote parked car locator systems, with a third (29%) willing pay more for those in-car services.
  •     All told, seven in ten of all respondents (71%) would pay up to 10% of a car’s price to add such functionality to their light vehicles.

Accenture also emphasized that consumer interest in key in-car technologies is likely to grow, with 75% and 71% respectively expecting to use vehicle health and vehicle lifecycle management services in the future.

Appeal for location-based services is also anticipated to gain popularity, with 78% of respondents to Accenture’s poll saying they are interested in having a stolen vehicle recovery and tracking system in the future, with 71% desiring features like the remote parked car locator and just under two-thirds, or 59%, welcoming the use of in-car navigation systems down the road.

In addition, 35% of drivers surveyed by the firm desiring “concierge services” such as voice-activated responses to location-based questions, with 19% willing to pay an additional fee to get it.

A further 32% want “smart home” integration for their vehicles, which provides the ability to control automated devices within the home from a connected vehicle, and 20% would pay more for it.

Yet how much are folks willing to spend for such offerings? Here’s what Accenture’s poll found:
  •     Drivers surveyed in China would be willing to spend an average of 16% of the new car’s price on “infotainment” features, while U.S. drivers stop at 15% and Germans at 11% of a new car’s sticker price.
  •     For “convenience” services, drivers in the U.S. are willing to spend on average up to 16% of a car’s price, followed by China at 15% and Germany at 11%.
  •     With regard to payments for in-car services, nearly half of respondents (47%) are willing to make an upfront payment when buying a new car, or pay for connected services over the lifetime of the services.
  •     More than one-third of those polled (34%) want free basic services subject to in-car advertising with the option to upgrade to premium versions of services.
  •     And 32% would consider paying a monthly fee for connected vehicle services using a credit card or PayPal.
Some things to think about as we continue diving deeper into the connected vehicle future, in both the car market and commercial trucking space.

Source: http://fleetowner.com/blog/are-you-willing-pay-more-connected-vehicle-technologies

Future Industry-first OnStar Proactive Alerts set to redefine routine maintenance

DETROIT – Chevrolet is introducing the industry’s first predictive technology, enabling your vehicle to warn you about a potential maintenance need before it occurs.

The technology is similar in concept to that on the Boeing 787, which can send in-flight messages to ground crews alerting them of parts needing inspection before the plane arrives. For Chevrolet drivers who opt-in to the service, OnStar Proactive Alerts continually monitors the health of the vehicle’s starter motor, fuel pump and 12-volt battery. If anomalies are detected, OnStar will notify drivers to take their vehicle in for service, reducing unexpected repairs.

The service, is available now for OnStar subscribers who own a 2016 Chevy Silverado, Tahoe, Suburban, Corvette and Equinox.

“Chevrolet is already the most awarded car brand in the industry, and Silverado is the most dependable, longest lasting full-size pickup on the road,” said Steve Holland, chief technologist for Vehicle Health Management at General Motors. “With Proactive Alerts, we now can offer customers even greater peace-of-mind by taking the guesswork out of when to service their vehicle.” 

Proactive Alerts collects a small batch of data each time the vehicle is started, and monitors it on an ongoing basis. Then, sophisticated systems analyze and refine billions of pieces of data, accumulated across the fleet of vehicles. If the data indicates a particular vehicle’s component is not performing as expected, the system will automatically send the driver a message through an in-vehicle notification, and either an email or text message based on customer preference.

“Accuracy is the key to our prediction algorithms,” Holland said. “We will be able to inform dealer service departments so they can spend less time testing for a condition we have already diagnosed. They can replace the necessary part quicker and minimize the amount of time a customer’s vehicle is at the dealership.”

Proactive Alerts is offered with all OnStar service plans on eligible models, including the OnStar Basic Plan that comes standard for five years on new Chevrolet vehicles. In the future, plans are in place for Proactive Alerts to monitor additional vehicle components and expand to other Chevrolet models.

For example, Proactive Alerts can monitor the health of the 12-volt battery. The system is intelligent enough to distinguish between a low state of charge – which can be solved by going for a short drive – and high electrical resistance that could indicate the battery needs replacement.

“A few companies are doing limited in-vehicle diagnostics, but none have yet demonstrated the capability we offer,” said Paul Krajewski, director of the Vehicle Systems Research Laboratory at General Motors. “As we keep expanding the parts of the vehicle we cover, we hope to continuously enhance our customers’ experience, saving them time and money.”

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 115 countries and selling around 4.8 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature engaging performance, design that makes the heart beat, passive and active safety features and easy-to-use technology, all at a value. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.

About OnStar
Launched in 1996, OnStar is a wholly owned subsidiary of GM Holdings LLC (“GM”) and offers emergency, security, navigation, connections and vehicle manager services in Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, Opel and Vauxhall models. Totaling more than 7 million subscribers in North America, South America, Europe and China, OnStar offers a range of standard, subscription and a la carte services such as the RemoteLink mobile app, Advanced Diagnostics, Automatic Crash Response, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, AtYourService, OnStar Smart Driver and 4G LTE Wi-Fi. In 2015, OnStar surpassed 1 billion customer interactions, topped more than 2 million 4G LTE Wi-Fi equipped-vehicles, and debuted in Opel/Vauxhall.


Ford Transit, Transit Connect, Flex Win Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America Awards

DEARBORN, Mich., May 19, 2016 – Ford Motor Company, led by the strength of its Transit van lineup, won seven Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America awards for 2016.

The awards recognize vehicles that provide fleet customers with lowest total cost of ownership.

Ford vans were named best value for fleets in the following categories for the second consecutive year:
  •     Full-size half-ton passenger van: Ford Transit 150 XL low-roof wagon
  •     Full-size three-quarter-ton cargo van: Ford Transit 250 low-roof van
  •     Full-size one-ton cargo van: Ford Transit 350 low-roof van
  •     Small commercial passenger van: Ford Transit Connect XLT short-wheelbase van
Ford Flex SE equipped with front-wheel drive was named a best fleet value in Vincentric’s large SUV/crossover category for the third time. Two Lincoln models also received awards.

Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America awards are based on fleet lifecycle costs in eight key areas – depreciation, fuel, insurance, financing, repairs, fees and taxes, opportunity costs and maintenance. Winning vehicles have the lowest lifecycle costs across 20 different ownership and mileage scenarios – ranging from 24 months of ownership/10,000 miles annually to 60 months of ownership/30,000 miles annually. Learn more, including the specific trim levels of the award-winning vehicles, at www.vincentric.com.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles.  At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience and data and analytics. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.


GMC Enlists Josh Duhamel to Support Building for America’s Bravest During Military Appreciation Month

To donate visit ourbravest.org/enlistme 
or call 844-BRAVEST

DETROIT - In honor of Military Appreciation Month, and as part of the ongoing relationship between GMC and veteran support program Building for America’s Bravest, the brand is calling on its staff, fans and fellow Americans to support the foundation’s work to build life-changing smart homes for severely injured service members. GMC has committed to contribute up to $2 million by the end of 2016 and is asking people across the country to “enlist to unlist” the more than 200 severely injured service men and women currently waiting for smart homes.

As part of the campaign, a continuation of the #enlistme activity started in 2015, GMC has enlisted the support of actor Josh Duhamel as campaign ambassador, in an effort to increase awareness and raise funds to make significant differences in the lives of these courageous service members.

Speaking on why he chose to support, Duhamel referenced his strong ties to both the military and the GMC brand. “I grew up near a military base in North Dakota. My aunt was in the military and completed a number of tours overseas and my grandfather was a proud veteran. I feel it’s my duty as an American, and as a supporter of our veterans, to do as much as I can to bring awareness to the work of Building for America’s Bravest. I have owned a GMC truck since 2004, so when GMC asked me to step up and work with them, it was a no-brainer. I hope you will join me in enlisting to support this incredible cause.”

GMC and its parent company have supported the U.S. military for more than 100 years, working with the mantra of “Helping, Hiring & Driving,” through a mixture of employment programs, veteran support programs and offering the best possible automotive military discount during Military Appreciation Month, which is offered to all 21 million veterans and their families through May 31, 2016.

Speaking on the importance of the #enlistme campaign, U.S. Vice President GMC, Duncan Aldred added, “GMC supports the military all year round, but we are especially excited to work with Josh Duhamel during Military Appreciation Month to raise awareness for Building for America’s Bravest. The GMC brand is about precision and attention to detail across our vehicles, and as such, it makes sense for us to support the building of precise smart homes to give these heroes a sense of independence and comfort.”

The #enlistme campaign features two pieces of unique content, hosted by Duhamel, that introduce viewers to some of the veterans who have benefitted from the work of the program:

GMC #enlistme 360 Skydive - The first film sees two severely injured veterans, Marine Cpl. Todd Love and Army Staff Sgt. Stephen Valyou, complete a skydive to celebrate the feeling of independence that smart homes give to veterans. The unique 360-degree video will be available to view and post beginning May 21.

Discussing his passion for skydiving, Love, a triple amputee, said, “When I’m in the sky flying with my friends we’re all equals. Gravity treats us all the same.”

GMC Presents #enlistme with Josh Duhamel - In a documentary-style film, Duhamel meets Marine Sgt. Ben Tomlinson at his smart home in Jacksonville, Alabama to speak with Tomlinson and his family about their journey and the positive impact this home has had on his life. The mini documentary will be available to view and post beginning May 26.

Describing his experience with Building for America’s Bravest, which is a program of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Tomlinson said, “Living in this house has made my outlook on life more positive, and I know the impact on my family has been as big, if not bigger, than it has been for me. I am told all the time that I’m a hero, but to me, the people from Building for America’s Bravest are the real heroes because they’re helping to improve people’s lives. I’m grateful to GMC for supporting their work.”

Speaking on the longstanding relationship with GMC, Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation CEO Frank Siller stated, “GMC’s support of the military is second to none. We’re incredibly thankful for our partnership with them.” Siller continued, “The respect and appreciation that Josh Duhamel has for our veterans truly serves as an example for us all. We’re grateful for his selfless effort to help raise funds and awareness for our Foundation. With the help of Josh and GMC, we’ll be able to build more smart homes for catastrophically injured service members through our Building for America’s Bravest program.”

360° Camera | F-150 Class-Exclusives

A Ford F-150. A tightly packed parking lot. And some very expensive-looking bikes. What could go wrong? See how our class-exclusive 360° camera* leads the way.

Learn more about the Ford F-150 and its class-exclusive features: http://www.ford.com/trucks/f150/

Subscribe to Ford Tough: https://www.youtube.com/fordtrucks/


Ford Ranger 2016 - Test Drive Review

If you are looking for a new 4x4 pick-up at present, you'll be hard-pressed to know which way to turn. Mitsubishi has recently relaunched the L200, Nissan has introduced the next generation NP300 Navara, Toyota is about to reveal a new Hilux, revised VW Amarok is later this year and an updated Isuzu D-Max will hit UK shores early in 2017. If that wasn't enough, Fiat and Renault are about to enter the fray respectively with the Fullback (rebadged L200) and Alaskan (rebadged Navara). Mercedes-Benz is even joining the fun in late 2017 with a re-bodied, Navara-based offering.

But it is the blue oval which has launched the latest muscle truck in the form of the revised Ranger and it is making some pretty big waves. It is already the best-selling 4x4 in Europe and in the UK, after trailing behind the L200 and Hilux last year, January and February 2016 sales have seen it taking pole position in its sector. - See more at: http://www.vansa2z.com/Ford-Ranger-2016-Test-Drive-Review#sthash.QrmtHPVZ.dpuf


2016 Ram 1500 Review

The current-generation Ram 1500 has been one of the most value-packed half-tons in the segment from the moment it was introduced in 2013. Now that the pickup market is moving at warp speed (growing last month by 10 percent), Ram announced it will move most of its next-generation 1500 production to a bigger plant with more capacity.

Meanwhile, take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the current-gen Ram 1500 in our comprehensive Cars.com review to see how the current Ram half-ton measures up against the competition. Click here.

Source: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/05/2016-ram-1500-review.html

Iveco makes the most of CV Show 2016

As the sole major truck manufacturer attending this year’s Commercial Vehicle Show, Iveco is maximising its presence with an outdoor exhibit by the entrance featuring its award-winning Eurocargo and Stralis (International Truck of the Year 2013) trucks alongside Daily. Not only that, with Mercedes-Benz a no-show Iveco has taken the opportunity to purloin the German manufacturers historical stand position opposite Ford by the entrance to Hall 5.

The stand will house a 7.5 tonne version of the latest generation Eurocargo (International Truck of the Year 2016) and at least seven different Daily (International Van of the Year 2015) models. Daily’s line-up is being selected to highlight the breadth of the 3.5t – 7.2t range and will include panel vans, chassis cabs, a 4x4 model and a minibus powered by the latest Iveco diesel engine technology. Iveco promises a major international premiere at the show, and will also showcase the latest generation Daily Electric for the first time in the UK.

There will also be the chance to get hands-on with Daily. Iveco is doubling the size of its CV Show ride and drive fleet, with visitors able to get behind the wheel of five Daily vehicles over a 20-minute route departing from outside Hall 5.

The test fleet will include three Daily vans featuring Iveco’s Hi-Matic eight-speed fully automatic gearbox, a CNG-powered model and a Daily minibus. - See more at: http://www.vansa2z.com/Iveco-makes-the-most-of-CV-Show-2016#sthash.UiCtZ5nS.dpuf


Reading Truck Body - 2016 - Craig Bonham, The Classic II

READING TRUCK BODY discusses their Flagship 9 foot all-Aluminum Classic II service body with 40 inch cabinet network, which matches Ford's flowing bumperline with the skirtline of the body. Craig demonstrates stainless steel paddle latches, a brand-new pull-out mechanic's drawer system, as a part of the partnership with ProTech, a quick install modular design. Craig also demonstrating Readygate, announced this year, giving the owner/operator 1.1 cubic feet of additional storage space.


New report: Pickup and SUV production surging 49 percent-

Though they may be the scourge of some government officials set on doubling the current fuel efficiency average, you may have noticed more pickups and SUVs on the road.

If you have, that would come as no surprise to a leading U.S. auto analyst said Wednesday that trucks and SUVs are poised to become the most popular vehicles on the road, according to Reuters.

See more at:


2017 Ford Super Duty Camper Handling and Roll Testing

Ford engineers put the all-new 2017 Super Duty – the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever – to the test at the Arizona Proving Grounds.

See how we push the Super Duty to the limit with a custom built slide-in camper simulator to demonstrate the roll stability control and other capabilities designed to ensure that every Super Duty customer is a happy camper.

Learn more about the all-new Super Duty: https://www.ford.com/trucks/superduty...


Cummins Stage V Engine Launch at Bauma 2016

Cummins Chairman and CEO Tom Linebarger and Vice President of Engineering Jim Fier introduce the Cummins Stage V Engine lineup at the Bauma Exhibition held in Munich in April 2016.

The newly revealed F3.8, B4.5, B6.7 and L9 engines range from 100hp to 430hp (75-321 kW), and achieve a major increase in power and torque by removing the Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system and using Cummins Single Module™ aftertreatment technology.

The X12 and X15 engines complete the Stage V line-up, taking output up to 675hp (503 kW) for heavy duty applications. The F3.8 is also available at a 74hp (55 kW) rating, ideally suited for compact equipment requiring high levels of torque.

“Cummins is raising the engine performance bar higher with our EGR-free approach for Stage V, and that leadership will continue to drive the equipment industry forward to meet the regulations in 2019 with simpler machine integration," said Linebarger. Learn more at http://cumminsengines.com/bauma


Chevrolet reveals 2017 Silverado High Desert package-

 Chevrolet today unveiled the 2017 Silverado High Desert package, which is based on the concept vehicle revealed at the 2014 SEMA show.

Arriving at dealer showrooms this fall for the LT, LTZ and High Country trim levels, the High Desert package offers unique exterior styling, a new cargo system that is lockable and water resistant and available Magnetic Ride Control suspension on High Country.

“The High Desert package blends the capability and utility of Silverado with the refinement and luxury of Suburban,” said Sandor Piszar, director of Chevrolet truck marketing. “It’s ideal for those customers who want both the security of a lockable cargo area, as well as the flexibility of a pickup truck bed.”

A new flexible, lockable storage system in the cargo bed locks cargo and protects it from the elements. The system installs over the roll-formed, high-strength steel bed to add dual side storage bins and a three-piece hard tonneau cover.

Inside, a cargo divider can be raised to secure smaller items, or lowered to access the full length of the bed floor. As with all Silverado LT, LTZ, and High Country models, the tailgate locks with the keyfob, enabling users to secure their cargo with the push of a button.

The High Desert package on the LT trim level features 20-inch wheels with all-season tires, while 22-inch wheels and all-terrain tires are available on LTZ and High Country trim levels.

The High Desert is also the first Silverado offered with Magnetic Ride Control suspension, which delivers more precise body motion control. Its sensors analyze the road every millisecond, triggering damping changes in as little as five milliseconds in electronically controlled shock absorbers that replace conventional mechanical-valve shocks. They’re filled with a magneto-rheological fluid containing minute iron particles and under the presence of a magnetic charge, the iron particles align to provide damping resistance. Changes in the magnetic charge alter the damping rate of the shocks, with changes occurring almost instantly.

Silverado’s EcoTec3 6.2L V-8, is available on LTZ and High Country models and is backed by the new Hydra-Matic 8L90 eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine is SAE-certified at 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, making it the most powerful engine offered in a light-duty truck.

Chevrolet reports that Silverado’s lineup of special editions offer more choices for truck buyers than any other brand.

- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/chevrolet-reveals-silverado-high-desert-package/#sthash.vFjNIc1Q.dpuf

Venturo Van Cranes for HVAC, Plumbing, Parcel Delivery, Utility Services, Etc!

Van manufacturers have been boosting production as demand increases for Euro style, high roof, cargo vans.  This includes many industries which could require lifting solutions such as HVAC, plumbing, parcel delivery, health services, construction fleets, utility services and government fleets.  With this in mind, Venturo has developed specialized crane applications that are the first of its kind in the industry.  The all-new VC1000 van crane from Venturo features a horizontally articulated jib boom to reach deep within the van with a capacity of 1,000 lbs. at maximum reach.  The VC1000 allows safe and productive material handling without the need for a forklift or a heavy, expensive lift gate.  Venturo also offers a side-door option with a 500 lb maximum capacity and a 2.6′ reach with a 12V DC winch.

 Model  VC500FB

The VC500FB van crane includes a 2 ft, 6 in boom length with a maximum capacity of 500 lbs. for the Ford Transit 250 Mid-Roof work van side door. This crane fits the new Euro-style vans.

Note: 500LB maximum capacity is based on typical van floor structure limitations, not winch capacity. It is the sole responsibility of the installer to determine if additional floor reinforcement is necessary.

VC1000 Commercial Van Crane – Coming Soon!    

All-New Van Crane Coming 2016!

The Venturo VC1000 Van Crane utilizes a unique dual floor and ceiling mounted telescopic mast that integrates with the van structure itself to ensure maximum structural integrity. The horizontally articulated boom uses roller bearings that allow the operator to guide the load easily in and out of the van. A unique rotation control feature utilizes a hand lever that operates a cable controlled multi-position rotation lock. This rotation lock enables the operator to lock the crane in various positions. This key feature adds an additional safeguard for the operator as the load is being loaded and unloaded.

12110 Best Place Cincinnati, OH 45241   PHONE: 800-226-2238  EMAIL: info@venturo.com 


Sacramento Auto Museum Spotlights Pickup Trucks

Anyone living in or traveling to the Central Valley of California in the next few months should plan to visit the California Automobile Museum in Sacramento. You'll want to see the dozen historically significant pickup trucks on display there.

Dressed up to do the things they're built to do, the pickups are part of a temporary exhibit called "The Pickup Truck: Where Utility Meets Everyday." The exhibit showcases some of the most important pickups built during the last century. It even includes an aluminum-body Ford F-150 to represent today's workhorse (some will argue whether this pickup will ever become a classic, but you never know).

"Where Utility Meets Everyday" includes period-correct displays of the activities for which these trucks may have been purchased, along with several interactive displays designed to get kids and adults contributing to the exhibit. Our favorites were the miniature toy truck display and the post-the-oddest-thing-you've-seen-in-a-pickup-bed board, where people can briefly tell their own stories about how creative pickup owners can be when it comes to cargo.

See more at: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/05/sacramento-auto-museum-spotlights-pickup-trucks.html


Ford Motor Company Fund and Country Singer Drake White Team Up for "Livin' the Dream" Community Service Tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn., May 9, 2016 – Ford Motor Company Fund is teaming up with country music singer Drake White on a series of community service events in five key markets across the U.S.
Ford Fund, the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company, will host the community projects with White, who’s new single “Livin’ the Dream” is currently in the top 40 of the Country Music charts. Ford dealers are assisting with vehicle transportation in the individual cities.

The dates and locations are:
  • May 19, 2016 - Foodshare, Hartford, CT  
  • June 4. 2016 - American Red Cross, Los Angeles, CA 
  • July 2, 2016 - Habitat for Humanity, Detroit, MI  
  • August 14, 2016 -  Ford Driving Skills for Life, Dallas, TX  
  • August 20, 2016 -  Greater Boston Food Bank, Boston, MA
Ford Fund and White — a Ford truck owner — organized the tour after discovering a shared interest in community service.

“Ford, country music and community service have a long, rich history, dating back to Henry Ford, a big music fan and believer in making the world a better place,” said Yisel Cabrera, community relations manager, Ford Motor Company Fund. “We are excited to join with Drake in fighting hunger, disaster relief, promoting safe driving and building stronger communities.”

White has previously worked with Outnumber Hunger and Feeding America through their partnership with Big Machine Label Group. “Even before I had a public voice, giving back to the community has always been very important to me,” said White. “I used to volunteer in my hometown in Alabama and now that I have this platform it is more important to me than ever.”

About Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services

Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services works with community and global partners to advance driving safety, education and community life. Ford Motor Company Fund has operated for more than 65 years with ongoing funding from Ford Motor Company. Ford Driving Skills for Life is free, interactive, hands-on safety training focused on skill development and driving techniques, while addressing inexperience, distractions and impaired driving.  Innovation in education is encouraged through Ford Blue Oval Scholars, Ford Driving Dreams, Ford Next Generation Learning and other innovative programs that enhance high school learning and provide college scholarships and university grants. The Ford Volunteer Corps enlists more than 30,000 Ford employees and retirees each year to work on local projects that strengthen their communities and improve people’s lives in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit http://community.ford.com.

About Drake White

Named one of the Huffington Post’s Top Country Artists to Watch in 2016, DRAKE WHITE is an accomplished songwriter with a rock-infused, organic country sound and signature foot-stomp. He continues to stun crowds with his incredible live show and soulful voice. Backed by his band The Big Fire, Drake has previously toured with Superstars including Willie Nelson, Zac Brown Band, Little Big Town, Eric Church, Toby Keith and more. It is no wonder that the Alabama native was featured in Rolling Stone’s 10 Country Artists You Need To Know and Billboard’s Hot New Country Artists to Watch. Drake’s current single “Livin’ the Dream” is both heartfelt and humbling with a wholesome lyric video to match. The single is the follow up to his first EP, the four-track IT FEELS GOOD – LIVE EP, which is now available on iTunes. He is also featured on the new album OPRY 9.0, VOL 1: DISCOVERIES FROM THE CIRCLE from the Grand Ole Opry which spotlights the country music careers destined to propel the show toward the century mark. Drake is currently working on his debut album for Dot Records slated for release in 2016 and will hit the road again soon with Zac Brown Band. For the latest updates, visit DrakeWhite.com.

Quality Modular Rack For Pickups by Rack-it

Gary gives us a tour of their modular truck rack system. These racks have the same high quality as Rack-it's famous fully welded versions. This is the standard version and all of their racks are made truck-specific so that it is designed for your truck. See more at http://www.rackitinc.com


Work Truck Show 2016: Ford Trucks, International, Cummins, Telogis

Indianapolis, Indiana: Home to college basketball, the best shrimp cocktail you’ll ever have and, of course, NTEA’s Work Truck Show. We’ve got your badge and a slew of booth visits scheduled, so come along as FE’s On the Road tackles the Work Truck Show.