Work truck wheels require care for extended life

Aluminum and steel wheels are practically bullet proof and a daily glimpse for cracks and rust is probably sufficient as long as you take the steps necessary to maintain them.

“If you have good maintenance practices the wheel should last the life of the vehicle, if not longer,” says Brandon Uzarek, product design engineer at Accuride.

If you’re running steel or aluminum wheels, Uzarek says it’s critical to be sure all mounts and surfaces are clean and flat.

Dave Walters, Alcoa field service manager, agrees, adding the most important part of wheel maintenance is making sure the studs, drum and mounting faces are all clean before installation ever takes place.

“Sometimes, excess or foreign material can work its way into the joints and you’ll lose clamping force,” Uzarek says.

Uzarek recommends cleaning the studs when the wheels are mounted and on hub pilot wheels, studs need to be oiled while also oiling the gap between the flange.

To account for any shifting that takes places when the truck finally hits the road, Uzarek advises wheels be re-torqued between five and 100 miles after the initial mount and again every 10,000 miles.

“A lot of fleets do not do re-torques because it’s an inconvenience,” he says.

Walters says fleets can mitigate much of that inconvenience and still reap the benefits of proper torque by taking a 5 to 10 mile test drive after the wheel is initially mounted to settle the joint, then checking the torque.

“If you cleaned them and did everything properly, you shouldn’t have to re-torque them again unless the wheel is removed,” he says, adding this method was included in the Technology Maintenance Council (TMC) Recommended Practice (RP) 237.

Re-torquing practices can vary and Chris Putz, Maxion Wheels principal engineer for commercial vehicle wheels, says that’s fine so long as it’s application specific.

“The fleets know best their operations and vehicle duty cycles,” he says. “We would just recommend they have some established program for checking torque.”

Keeping wheels clean can also help prolong their life. A simple soap and water bath is sufficient for aluminum, while a wire brush is an effective tool in removing corrosion from steel.

“The faster we take care of any rust,” Uzarek says, “the longer the wheel should last.”

“If you maintain the appearance of your wheels, that prolongs the life of that wheel,” adds Walters. “The hidden corrosion is what’s going to get you. If you wash the truck and keep it clean, that’s key to keep corrosion from working down into the hidden places.”

Putz says keeping wheels clean is important to also ensure the longevity of the wheel against harsh salts and corrosives used to de-ice roads that can also eat through the wheel’s finish.

Wheel makers have developed advanced propriety anti-corrosive surface treatment coatings for their wheels that won’t flake, which Walters says offer advantages over many paints.

Wheel re-finishing is an option to make worn wheels look like new, but Uzarek cautions that a coat of paint won’t fix structural issues. When wheels begin to lose material, they need to be removed from service.

And the process of re-finishing can also be tricky. Uzarek says paint applied too thick can cause a loss in clamping force as can paint that has not cured properly.

Putz says each wheel should be thoroughly re-inspected after the refinishing processes is complete and, Walters adds, habitual wheel refinishing can remove enough wheel material to make it unsafe to operate.

“One thing we hear a lot of is burning off the paint in an oven and we have not approved that process,” he says. “Depending upon time and temperature, it could change the mechanical properties or the microstructure of the steel.”

When refinishing, you also must be aware that you could be eroding the roll stamp on the wheel, the visibility of which is mandatory for its use on the highway.

“Once the roll stamp is gone, you’ve basically got junk,” Walters says. “Once you cannot read the DOT stamp, you’re done.”

- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/steel-aluminum-work-truck-wheels/#sthash.Qca0f8LU.dpuf


All-new Ford F-150 Raptor wrapped up the Best in the Desert 2016 season, finishing the Pahrump Nugget 250 in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 59 seconds to capture 432 points in the 1200 pro truck class

Ford Performance and Greg Foutz Motorsports fielded a preproduction 2017 F-150 Raptor – the toughest, smartest, most capable Raptor ever – as a validation platform for performance and durability testing

Factory stock Raptor race truck logged nearly 100 hours of sanctioned off-road action, covering 2,481 miles of desert sand, rocks, trenches and brutal temperatures with one 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost® engine

Dearborn, Mich., Dec. 27, 2016 – Ford, America’s truck leader, demonstrated its all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor is the toughest, smartest, most capable ever – racking up 2,481 miles of sanctioned off-road racing in the 2016 Best in the Desert season and SCORE Baja 1000.

Ford Performance and Greg Foutz Motorsports captured 432 points in the Pahrump Nugget 250. Fielding a production-intent F-150 Raptor equipped with race-required safety, navigation and lighting equipment, the team finished the race in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 59 seconds. Aside from suspension recalibrations to compensate for the added weight, the truck was showroom stock.

After logging more than 100 hours of off-road competition driving across some of the toughest terrain imaginable, the race truck completed the season with one factory stock 3.5-liter high-output EcoBoost® V6 engine. Midseason, Ford Performance engineers had swapped out the 10-speed transmission for retrofitting and evaluation.

“We didn’t slap our name on a trophy truck like other manufacturers do,” said Brian Bell, Ford Raptor marketing manager. “We ran a stock truck with full factory air conditioning, factory glass, AM/FM SIRIUS/XM satellite radio, the same engine and advanced off-road drivetrain and suspension that you’ll soon see at your Ford dealer.”

Slightly banged and battered, the Raptor race truck is being shipped back to Ford Performance headquarters in Dearborn before going on display at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. In the meantime, Ford Performance has secured mounds of data and real-world abuse testing that will help F-Series engineers better design next-generation F-150 and Super Duty trucks.

Lead driver and team owner Greg Foutz was impressed – both with how the truck ran and with the support Ford Performance provided. “I know how much we abused that truck, and they were able to capture a lot of data and provide updates as the Raptor readied for production,” he said.

Powered by an all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 delivering 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque to an all-new advanced high-performance off-road drivetrain, the 2017 Raptor boasts a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame, competition-grade suspension with Fox Racing shocks, and a military-grade alloy and composite body for added strength and reduced weight.

Modifications to the F-150 Raptor race truck include:

  • Race-optimized three-inch-diameter internal-bypass front and rear Fox Racing shocks similar to production Raptor’s segment-exclusive setup
  • Race-optimized front and rear springs raise ride height for additional ground clearance and to provide increased compression rate to handle extreme terrain
  • Custom-fabricated roll cage
  • MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets
  • Rigid Industries LED light bars, racing fuel cell, Lowrance GPS, RacePak digital dash and data logger
  • The new factory stock class is the most production-specification class in the Best in the Desert off-road racing series.

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.


Cars.com Looks at Fuel-Tank Capacity, Driving Ranges of Pickups

In the market for a new pickup truck and want to know how big the fuel tank is? Or how far you can drive? Well, you're in luck. Sister site Cars.com has compiled the choices for factory fuel tanks for model-year 2016 and 2017 mid-size and full-size pickups along with the driving ranges for some of those trucks. As you might expect, depending on the segment, some manufacturers offer buyers a choice of fuel-tank sizes while others do not.

For fuel-tank sizes for 2016 mid-size, half-ton and heavy-duty pickups, click here. For 2017 fuel-tank sizes, click here. Additionally, click here for driving-range distances for 2016 mid-size and half-ton pickups (over 8500 GVWR pickups are not required to provide fuel economy ratings) and here for the same 2017 models.

Manufacturer image

Source: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/12/carscom-looks-at-fuel-tank-capacity-driving-ranges-of-pickups.html#more


XL Hybrids reports more gains in alt transportation

For those that get bored with kicking tires, XL Hybrids went a step further and used eye-catching portable lifts to elevate one of their hybrid Ford Transit Cargo vans so that ACT Expo attendees this past week could get a better sense for how easy it is to perform an XL Hybrids conversion.

The portable Rotary Mach 4 Mobile Column Hydraulic lifts easily elevated the upfitted Ford Transit. Sal Macias, a sales representative from Peterson Hydraulics in nearby Gardena, explained that shops can move the Mach 4 lifts outdoors to lift gaseous vehicles when proper ventilation is not available inside a garage.

This week inside the Long Beach Convention Center, the U.S. made lifts provided close-up views of the three main components XL Hybrids uses to boost fuel efficiency up to 25 percent: a lithium-ion battery pack mounted between the frame rails, an electric motor mounted on the back of the transmission and an inverter which is secured to the frame rail.

“The XL Hybrids technologies are designed to be simple, easy to install and only require minimal modifications to an OEM vehicle,” Clay Siegert, XL Hybrids co-founder and chief operating officer, explains in a company video.

“The net result for a fleet over the course of a drive cycle could be a 25 percent mpg boost for the vehicle.”
Fuel-efficiency gains like that, coupled with an easy upfit or retrofit, are attracting plenty of attention.

 - See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/xl-hybrids-lifting-alt-transportation-to-new-heights/?utm_source=hwt&utm_medium=email&utm_content=05-07-2016&utm_campaign=Hard%20Working%20Trucks&ust_id=73ef45b752004fd7c5cf260e66e4ffd4#sthash.bRqLpZ18.dpuf

Nissan Warrior Versus Ram TRX: Photo Gallery

In the battle for off-road, high-performance supremacy, it looks like the new 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor has the space pretty much to itself. But let's not forget that both Ram and Nissan recently showed impressive pickup truck concepts that could shake up the off-road segment. We think both should get made, forcing Ford and possibly GM to up their game a bit.

See more at: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/12/nissan-warrior-versus-ram-trx-photo-gallery.html


A.R.E. caps and tonneau covers ready for 2017 Ford Super Duty

A.R.E. Accessories is now offering a complete lineup of fiberglass truck caps and tonneau covers for 2017 Ford Super Duty pickups.

A.R.E. caps and covers are made to fit all F-250, F-350, F-450 and dually models with all bed and cab configurations.

- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/a/#sthash.QBcMwDPT.dpuf


Euro-Style Cargo Vans Break the Mold

In terms of longevity, the American-style, “box” utility van has enjoyed a remarkably long lifespan. Ever since the basic configurations of the design were hammered out in the 1960s, these vans have been a workhorse for an entire swath of businesses and small- and medium-duty commercial fleets.

But a new kind of van has emerged in recent years, featuring a drastically different look, and fleets are taking notice.

European-style vans made their first appearance in North American markets in 2001, when the Daimler Corporation, fresh off the heels of its acquisition of Chrysler, introduced its Sprinter van, branded as both Dodge and Freightliner models.

Read the whole story at: http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/vehicle-research/article/story/2016/12/outside-the-box.aspx




Tradespeople, entrepreneurs and fleets across America value Ford trucks equipped with high levels of technology – driving total sales of 2017 F-Series Super Duty up 24 percent last month over November 2015; retail sales jump 33 percent

Most popular Super Duty trim levels are Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum – high-series trucks that include the most driver-assist features − accounting for 71 percent of retail sales

All-new Super Duty boasts 20 class-exclusive technologies including features that make towing, hitching and maneuvering easier – for increased productivity and driver confidence

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 19, 2016 – Customers now expect more than superior capability from their trucks. They demand more technology to get the job done quicker and easier.

Here are the top five class-exclusive technologies that customers are choosing, never before available on Super Duty until now:

Adaptive Steering – Technology makes backing a trailer into a parking area or navigating tight, low-speed maneuvers easier – reducing steering effort required by up to one-third
Trailer Reverse Guidance – Feature enables drivers using their truck for towing to view trailers on Ford SYNC® screen and monitor trailer status on the road
Adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation: Using the engine brake to smartly assist customers towing heavy trailers, system helps avoid accidents – boosting driver confidence
BLIS with cross-traffic alert and trailer tow: Technology helps increase driver awareness of obstacles and traffic, especially in tight spaces and parking lots – leading to greater driver confidence
Lane-keeping alert: Technology uses a camera mounted between windshield and rearview mirror to detect unintentional drifting of the truck outside the intended driving lane
Three months into its launch, the all-new 2017 Super Duty’s smart technology features drove total nameplate sales up 24 percent and retail sales up 33 percent for November.

Demand is especially strong for Crew Cab, 4x4 and 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 diesel equipped Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trucks, which accounted for 71 percent of Super Duty retail sales.

Texas – home to Ford’s two largest truck regions – saw Super Duty sales rise 45 percent in Dallas and 38 percent in Houston. More than 81 percent of these sales include Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum series trucks, with demand for 4x4 and Crew Cab configurations outpacing the rest of the country by 97 percent.

“The technology features in the new F-Series trucks, in particular the all-new 2017 Super Duty, are generating even greater interest,” said Chaz Gilmore, managing partner, Grapevine Ford Lincoln, near Dallas. “This truck is bringing a lot of new buyers out of competitive brands and into the Ford family. Ford really knocked it out of the park with this truck’s performance, options and technology offerings.”

The all-new Super Duty beats the competition on virtually every metric, with 925 lb.-ft. of torque, a 7,630-pound payload and 32,500 pounds of gooseneck towing capacity – but its 20 class-exclusive technologies really up the ante. High-series trucks equipped with such exclusive features as adaptive steering, Trailer Reverse Guidance, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert and trailer tow are what customers really want.

“Technology innovation is proving to be a differentiator,” said John Rieger, Ford Super Duty consumer marketing manager. “Our 20 class-exclusive, driver-assist technologies help increase productivity and boost driver confidence − especially when serving Super Duty’s primary mission of towing long, heavy trailers.”

With its first major redesign since being introduced in 1999, the all-new 2017 Super Duty takes heavy-duty pickups to the next level in toughness, smartness and capability.

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Ken Block Unleashes the 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor on Winter | F-150 Raptor | Ford Performance

Ken Block knows how to handle winter: with a heavy dose of Ford Raptor.


Norstar Truck Bed 2015 Model Overview

This video showcases all truck bed models for 2015 available at Norstar. Our beds are suitable as replacements or cab and chassis applications on virtually all makes and models.


SpaceKap Transfer With Jacks

See how easy it is to transfer our SpaceKaps even without a forklift. In this video SpaceKap Boy transfers a WILD unit with the use of our optional jack system. Our SpaceKaps are all universal and can be removed at any time with jacks, even with as much as 2,000 lbs of equipment inside. For that reason, many customers refer to our service bodies as toolboxes. Enjoy.

Lincoln AirVantage Operation Tour

Video tour of how to operate the air compressor on your Lincoln Air Vantage system.


Air N Arc 250 Walk-Around Video

A brief walk-around video demonstrating the benefits of our ALL-IN-ONE Power System and the advantages this piece of equipment has over the competition.


Ram 1500 Dominates Cost-of-Ownership Diesel Analysis

Just because you have a diesel engine in your full-size pickup truck doesn’t automatically mean you’re saving money. There are many factors that have to be considered. In fact, according to the most recent Vincentric U.S. Diesel Analysis, only one full-size diesel choice is more cost-effective than its gasoline-engine counterpart: the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel.

Vincentric is an automotive data company that calculates which cars and trucks have the lowest and highest cost of ownership based on several key factors. In its U.S. Diesel Analysis, the firm calculated the comparative costs of owning a gas engine pickup versus a diesel (where applicable). Not surprisingly — since there is only one small V-6 diesel in a full-size pickup — when calculating the cost of fuel, maintenance, insurance, repairs and more over five years and 15,000 miles between diesel and gas V-8 engines, several versions of the 2016 Ram 1500 came out on top. The calculations did not favor any of the three-quarter or one-ton diesel pickups due in large part to their substantial cost premium over the gas equivalent.

This particular survey did not compare Ram 1500 EcoDiesel numbers with the 3.6-liter V-6 Pentastar gas engine (only the Hemi V-8), nor did it include the Chevrolet Colorado or GMC Canyon I-4 diesel and V-6 gas engines. Our guess is that those vehicles would have scored pretty well here, too, given the parameters and assumptions.

Note: The survey calculated fuel prices at $2.20 for regular unleaded, $2.47 for mid-grade, $2.71 for premium and $2.39 for diesel, depending on what the factory recommendations called for. Of course, these fuel prices will vary depending on where you live. Additionally, people who purchase full-size pickups, especially ones with diesel engines, are much more likely to keep their pickup longer than just five years. Still, there are some interesting results here.

The most cost-effective full-size two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive four-door diesel pickups when compared to their gas V-8 counterparts were:

—Ram 1500 HFE Quad Cab 2WD short-wheelbase, with a total-cost-of-ownership savings of $3,323

—Ram 1500 Tradesman Quad Cab 4WD short-wheelbase, with a total cost savings of $3,042

—Ram 1500 Laramie Crew Cab 4WD long-wheelbase, with a total cost savings of $1,926

—Ram 1500 SLT Quad Cab 4WD short-wheelbase, with a total-cost-of-ownership savings of $1,920

—Ram 1500 Laramie Quad Cab 4WD short-wheelbase, with a total cost savings of $1,918

Cars.com photo by Evan Sears

Source: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/12/ram-1500-dominates-cost-of-ownership-diesel-analysis.html

How BOLT Locks Work

A brief video demonstration on how a BOLT Lock works.


Adrian Steel - New Composite Partition

Your mobile office just got more comfortable with an Adrian Steel composite partition. Sound deadening reduces driver distractions, climate control shortens idle time, and generous leg room helps ensure that you have the space you need to enjoy the ride.


Isuzu FTR and NPR Truck Group Shots

Isuzu FTR and NPR Truck Group Shots

Switch -N-Go Dumpster / Drop Boxes - Ideal for Light Duty Trucks

Switch-N-Go's® dumpster / drop box also known as roll-offs are built to the high quality standards that our company has brought to the waste hauling industry for years.

Switch-N-Go® dumpsters or drop boxes are available in six standard lengths, from 9 to 14 feet long, with capacities from 8 to 17 yards. Additionally, Switch-N-Go® dumpster come in three classes, standard, medium duty and heavy duty. These containers all come with our top quality powder coated finish which is boosted by our triple stage wash to ensure proper curing and rust resistance.

Our Switch-N-Go® containers come standard with industry respected features side swing or barn door gates, greased wheels and sloped fronts that allow for easy cleanout. Options for our dumpsters include mesh tarps, side doors and factory mounted D-rings.

The Switch-N-Go® system when paired with a supply of dumpster containers allows for a hauler to create a successful waste hauling business. Where they have an advantage over traditional roll-off rental businesses due to their smaller trucks and lighter containers.

Find more at: http://www.switchngo.com/product/dumpster-drop-box/



Started in 1984, BrandFX Body Company has grown to become the world’s largest producer of advanced composite line bodies, service bodies, insert, toppers, and covers. We are fully focused on designing and producing lightweight, durable composite truck bodies that deliver the highest life cycle value in the industry.

Our truck bodies have been proven to deliver more than 20 years of reliable service, while also maintaining their quality finish and appearance. That’s why, for over 30 years, many small-to large-size companies, including five out of the top six U.S. service fleets, have counted on BrandFX. Today, the BrandFX product line is expanding to include specialized bodies for the lawn care and pest control industries.

At BrandFX, we believe in American-made quality, and all of our service bodies are manufactured in the U.S. Our operation includes almost 1 million square feet of manufacturing space in facilities strategically located across the U.S., supporting the efforts of more than 450 employees. To ensure the consistent quality of our truck bodies, we utilize the most advanced manufacturing and quality control processes.

Over the years, our innovations have led to many improvements in service body design and performance. And we continue to innovate. We are committed to working closely with our customers, knowing that the best designs and ideas often result from a partnership effort between our customers and us.

Combining the experience of over three decades of operation with outstanding facilities and a drive to produce innovative, highly durable truck bodies…BrandFX is committed to meeting the market’s need for high life cycle value truck service bodies.

Find more at:  http://brandfxbody.com/about/


Global innovations & megatrends: A look at fully electric and connected vans

At the recent IAA International Commercial Vehicle Show in Hannover, Germany, the focus was on future megatrends, which included fully electric vehicles, digitalization for e-mobility and connectivity. I got a look at a concept city deliver van— the nearly completely integrated Vision Van (pictured above)—which optimizes many levels of connectivity, and the all-electric and networked Mercedes-Benz Urban eTruck and the electric Fuso eCanter.

The sleek and futuristic looking van from Mercedes-Benz was loaded with sophisticated integration technology, and was in part jointly developed with a U.S.-based Silicon Valley company. While talking about its development and testing, Volker Mornhinweg, head of MB vans, said, “We like to build prototype van in collaboration with our customers, because development needs to be more than perfect.”

What these cooperative ventures have produced is a highly advanced, fast-loading city delivery van that has a role in planning and executing deliveries for the driver, which includes the possibility of using drones to off-load packages. The technology is designed to increase efficiencies.

Exceptional connectivity
The Urban eTruck showed off the fascinating possibilities of connectivity, electric drive systems, future display and control technologies, telematics, and a largely self-sufficient power supply. It has the lasts developments in all-electric vehicle in the heavy short-route distribution sector. The battery capacity has a modular basic arrangement with a battery pack consisting of lithium-ion batteries that have a totally capacity of 212 kWh. The result is a range of up to 200 km, which is normally enough for a typical day’s delivery route.

The Urban eTruck uses the possibilities opened up by connectivity to create seamlessly interconnected systems that incorporates range and load management vehicle information and peripheral data.

Fuso showed off the third generation of its all-electric light-duty truck, in the guise of the eCanter, Fuso eCanter fully, which will be available in the commercial Fuso FE and FG Series trucks.

Waste heat recovery advances
Eaton showcased waste heat recovery system developed to manage waste heat recovery to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions. It utilizes different technical approaches to provide choices for customers that need to improve fuel economy and reduce emissions under stricter government regulations. The concepts include Eaton’s indirect systems, which are based on the organic rankine cycle, and its direct system, which uses an electrified approach. The indirect systems use organic fluids from the after-treatment system or engine to convert energy normally lost in the form of heat into useful power for commercial vehicles. Through simulations, the indirect systems have shown fuel economy improvements in the range of 5%. The direct system uses Eaton’s Electrically Assisted Variable Speed Supercharger (EAVSS) and Electric Waste Heat Recovery Device to deliver precise air flow control to the engine, optimize EGR flow and control the breathing of the engine. This system has shown through simulation more than a 20% improvement in fuel economy while also reducing emissions and NOX.

In addition, Eaton said it has developed an autonomous driving system for commercial vehicles that will initially allow for self-docking of a commercial truck. The Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) Dock Assist feature uses software upgrades to communicate with the control modules in Eaton’s automated, manual and dual-clutch automatic transmissions.

By controlling the vehicle speed and electronic brake (if a vehicle is equipped with one), the Dock Assist ADAS feature can eliminate damage to a trailer, loading dock and vehicle driveline. No additional sensors or hardware are required to activate the system.

Zonar Ushers in a New Era of Fleet Management Technology with Zonar Connect

ELD-Ready Smart Fleet Tablet and Seamless Software Platform Allows Fleets to Customize and Upgrade for Future Growth

Seattle Wash. – October 1, 2016 – Zonar, the leader in smart fleet management technology, today announced Zonar ConnectTM, a next generation tablet and software ecosystem that empowers commercial fleets to take greater control of their operations. Connect allows fleets to seamlessly enter the next era in fleet management technology using a smart fleet platform which is faster, more responsive, readily customizable and more user-friendly than current solutions in the commercial fleet marketplace. This ruggedized, high-performance, easy-to-use tablet delivers management tools for commercial vehicle operations including compliance, safety and efficiency monitoring.

“We are entering an age in connected commercial vehicles where the capabilities go beyond the individual vehicle and extend to fleet management and industry decisions regarding job bidding, safety, efficiency and compliance,” said Ian McKerlich, President of Zonar. “Connect is designed to exceed industry needs with Electronic Logging Device (ELD) readiness, Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR) and a growing number of apps built in a scalable environment to address needs further down the road. We believe that Connect is the path forward for designing and delivering the next generation of solutions for the smart fleet management era.”

Connect is always connected whether it is docked or undocked representing a significant milestone in smart fleet management. For example, a driver can submit a completed EVIR inspection back to dispatch without returning to the cab of the truck. The tablet-based platform further connects vehicles, driver/operators and fleet managers with critical information such as vehicle health, efficiency, driver hours of service, performance, data capture, compliance, safety and asset utilization.

“Just as smartphones have become an integral part of our daily lives, you soon won’t be able to run your fleet operations efficiently without a smart fleet technology like Connect,” said Brett Brinton, co-founder and CEO of Zonar. “Connect will help operators manage their fleets more effectively as technology changes with hardware that supports over-the-air updates to give them greater flexibility and scalability to grow.”

Connect has the ease of use of everyday consumer devices with the power and ruggedization needed for commercial vehicles. With it, drivers and operators can streamline daily tasks, such as pre- and post-trip inspections; hours of service logging with Roadside ViewTM for compliance inspections; communicating with fleet management; documenting deliveries; navigating routes and – in the case of passenger services – verifying ridership. The tablet also equips drivers and operators with tools that ensure adherence to a broad range of safety and compliance regulations.

Key features:
  • owered by a Quad-Core processor, 2GB of built-in memory and 32GB of storage for enhanced speed and responsiveness
  • Scalable Android™ platform supports options for third-party and custom Zonar apps to increase driver productivity and fleet compliance
  • Compliant with Automatic On-Board Recording Device (AOBRD) and Hours of Service regulations
  • Ready for the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate with capability for over-the-air software update service
  • LTE, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity keeps drivers connected to fleet managers, dispatch, and operations
  • Constructed with a ruggedized hardware design and a DragontrailTM Glass screen to endure harsh conditions
  • Seamlessly integrates with Zonar’s Ground Traffic Control® web portal and third-party programs including maintenance, payroll, navigation, workforce management software and more
“Zonar Connect tablet and platform represent an extremely compelling offer for fleet managers across a variety of industry verticals,” said Clem Driscoll, president of consulting and research firm C.J. Driscoll & Associates. “It’s a very rugged, state-of-the-art piece of hardware connected to a software ecosystem that offers new flexibility for customers to add third-party apps and upgrade easily as technology advances. It’s clear that Zonar listened to customers and upgraded an already-compelling product based on what they learned.”

For more information on Zonar Connect visit: www.zonarsystems.com/connect

About Zonar
Founded in 2001, Zonar has pioneered smart fleet management technology by providing innovative technology that has changed fleet operations in the vocational, pupil and commercial trucking industries. With a unique focus on this field, the Company offers a complete suite of solutions and specialized platforms for our customers in multiple markets. Our patented, award-winning technology keeps fleet owners and managers connected to their fleets and drivers to dispatchers. Headquartered in Seattle, Zonar also has a Technology Development Center in downtown Seattle, a regional office in Cincinnati, and a distribution center outside of Atlanta.

For more information about Zonar Systems, go to www.zonarsystems.com


Winter Tire Test: Some Treads Are Better Than Others

By Bruce W. Smith

Every so often I find myself checking out the tires of the vehicles around me when stopped in traffic, wondering how this or that one performs compared to the factory tires on my pickup truck. My questions become even more pointed in winter: Should I invest in a set of winter tires? Would mud tires be a good choice or all-terrain? Would it be worth the investment to buy a dedicated snow tire and run them half the year?

To find out, we went to the snow-covered hills just a few miles outside Steamboat Springs, Colo. Carved into the deep snow were three perfectly groomed snow courses with big berms and a variety of twists, turns and elevation changes. These tracks are the training grounds for the Bridgestone Winter Driving School. They also serve as the perfect location to test tires — and for us to see how popular pickup tire tread patterns compare when pitted against each other under controlled winter driving conditions.

And even though it's spring, the information we're offering here should help you decide what kind of tires you want next winter.

The Contenders
We spent two days this past winter with Woody Rogers and T.J. Campbell, product information specialists for Tire Rack, comparing popular 275/65R18 tires on a twisting, curving half-mile section of track three behind the wheel of two identical 2016 Ford F-150 4x4s. The tire comparison contenders were:

  • Goodyear Wrangler Fortitude HT OWL SL (P-metric)
  • Bridgestone Blizzak DM-V2 SL (P-metric)
  • Goodyear Ultra Grip Ice WRT LT (E load range)
  • BFGoodrich All-Terrain T/A KO2 RWL LT (C load range)
  • Firestone Destination MT LT (E load range)

Source: www.pickuptrucks.com

Read more at: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/03/winter-tire-test-some-treads-are-better-than-others.html


GM adding CNG, LNG engine option to HD trucks and vans next year

Early next year, Chevrolet and GMC will make available a Power Solutions International, Inc. (PSI) a 6.0-liter V-8 compressed natural gas (CNG) and a liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)-capable engine on its heavy duty trucks and commercial vans.

Ed Peper, U.S. vice president of GM Fleet, says expanding available engine choice is the key to helping more commercial and government fleets reduce their fuel consumption, fuel costs and emissions using alternative fuels and EVs versus using traditional gasoline.

“There are no ‘one size fits all’ solutions for fleet managers,” he says.

Chevrolet also will offer CNG and LPG versions of its new Low Cab Forward commercial truck. The expanded lineup brings GM Fleet’s portfolio of alternative fuel, hybrid and EVs to more than a dozen trucks, cars and crossovers. Other recent additions include the Chevrolet Bolt EV, a Duramax 2.8-liter B20-capable Duramax diesel for the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana vans and all-new available 6.6-liter B20-capable Duramax diesel engines for the Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD.

Ship-through will be offered on the PSI-spec’d units, allowing customers to seamlessly order and take delivery from the same dealer. GM will supply vehicles equipped with the 6.0L V-8 engine with hardened valves and valve seats to PSI, for installation of the fuel system and other hardware. The vehicle will then be shipped directly to dealers in all 50 states.

All PSI-modified vehicles are covered by Chevrolet and GMC’s five-year/60,000-mile (whichever comes first) limited powertrain warranty.

- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/gm-adding-cng-lng-engine-option-to-hd-trucks-and-vans-next-year/#sthash.H0wvayak.dpuf

EBY Aluminum Truck Bodies - Engineered for many applications

An overview of truck body engineering and 
production capabilities of M.H. Eby, based in Lancaster County, PA


Should You Lease or Buy Work Trucks?

Highway Products, Inc. was founded in 1980 and we have been fabricating aluminum ever since. We back all of our products with a Lifetime Warranty.

Should You Lease or Buy Work Trucks?

Lease or buy? It is one of the most fundamental questions a fleet manager must answer. And, because nothing in business is carved in stone, it is a question that will have to be answered many times over the course of a career.

Many fleet managers have a preference when it comes to acquiring new vehicles. But, ever-changing financial options and business demands can often mean new opportunities — and new doubts. Because no matter what path you choose to acquire new vehicles, there is always a nagging doubt in the back of your mind, wondering if you made the right choice — or could have cut a better deal.

“How you pay for your vehicles and equipment is critical to the purchase decision,” said Lee Gross, commercial brand director at Ford Credit.

He said that leasing and buying both have distinct advantages depending upon your company’s needs and objectives. And, although the many financing choices that confront a fleet manager in acquisition mode can be daunting, he said they actually work in your favor, since the more options you have up front, the better decision you can make for your company.

Carl Webb, vice president and general manager of International’s Medium Duty product line, said that the decision to lease or buy new trucks is as diverse as the universe of fleets and the jobs they do.

“Really, you have to get to know their business before you can give them the right advice,” he said. “Take a small customer — a landscaper with four or five trucks. He’s got a decent business built up and files his own tax returns and wants that vehicle value depreciation working in his favor. Additionally, he can handle the maintenance aspect of ownership. That guy is probably going to buy his trucks for those reasons and because he wants that asset in hand to trade in when it’s time to refresh his fleet.”

In contrast, Webb said many larger fleets — notably beverage companies — have moved away from purchasing to leasing trucks.

“In some cases, it’s because they don’t want to make the investments in infrastructure and personnel required to maintain those vehicles,” he explained. “But, they still want the peace of mind of a comprehensive maintenance program. For them, a lease package that includes full vehicle maintenance allows them to concentrate on their core business — delivering soft drinks or beer — while offloading an expensive maintenance package to a dealership that excels at keeping those trucks rolling.”

Read the whole article at: http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/leasing/article/story/2016/11/the-how-s-and-why-s-of-lease-vs-buy.aspx


Customers Select Chevrolet Low Cab Forward for Excellent Capability and Service

Indiana business is the first to take delivery of all-new truck

DETROIT – Harmony Outdoor Power Equipment in Auburn, Indiana, is the first small business to take delivery of the new Chevrolet Low Cab Forward truck.

Owner Don Harter said he replaced his Isuzu NPR with a Chevrolet Low Cab Forward partly because the lack of Isuzu dealerships in the area made it difficult for him to service his old truck.

“Now that Chevrolet is in the Low Cab Forward business, I can consolidate my business with one company for sales and service,” said Harter. “It makes our entire organization more efficient.”

Harter chose a diesel powertrain to pull a custom-designed bed with a ramp. The business uses the truck nearly every day to deliver heavy outdoor equipment to customers, and with more than 5,000 miles on the Low Cab Forward already, the investment is paying off.

“My drivers love how this truck maneuvers like a car and they also appreciate the quiet ride in the cab,” said Harter. “We are already seeing significantly improved fuel economy with the new Chevrolet Low Cab Forward, which makes it a great choice from a financial perspective.”

The Chevrolet Low Cab Forward with a diesel engine starts at $48,375 and the gasoline engine version starts at $40,900. Low Cab Forward suggested MSRPs include a destination charge but exclude tax, title, license and dealer fees. Harter ordered his Chevrolet from Summit City Chevrolet, one of more than 250 Chevrolet dealerships across the country that sell and service Low Cab Forward trucks.

“Our dealers have gone through rigorous sales and service training to ensure they can help customers pick the right truck, the right financing and upfit for their business,” said John Schwegman, director of commercial product, General Motors Fleet. “Our sales and service support doesn’t end at the dealership. We support our customers throughout the life cycle of the vehicle with a dedicated team of 42 product specialists at our Fleet Action Center. They are consultants and problem-solvers focused exclusively on small-business owners and fleet managers.”

Harter took advantage of a new GM Financial commercial lease product called Right TRAC that can lower monthly payments with flexible residuals and no excess mileage and wear-and-tear charges.

“Any time we can save money on an investment, we’re going to do it,” said Harter. “The Right TRAC lease option went a long way in helping us make our decision to switch to Chevrolet for the Low Cab Forward.”

For more information, please visit www.chevrolet.com/lcf.

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 more than 4.0 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.



New Possibilities for Fleet Managers

All-new commercial van models have entered or will soon be entering the North American market. These vans are causing fleet managers to take a fresh approach to different application possibilities including: plumbers, handymen, construction contractors, mobile mechanics, and mobile tire service technicians. These European-style vans are fuel efficient and have a tremendous amount of cargo space – over 75 percent more than the largest E-series.

The Ford Transit
Available with a 3.7L V6 gas (275 hp/260 lb-ft), or, 3.5L V6 turbo gas (310 hp/400 lb-ft), or, 3.2L I5 diesel (185 hp/350 lb-ft), the Ford Transit has the most available power/torque with the 3.5L EcoBoost V6. The Transit is also available in three body lengths, two wheel bases, and three roof heights.

The Transit has a rear-wheel-drive layout, but its engine layout is perhaps a little more innovative than the competition— mostly due to the EcoBoost engines.

The Ford Transit Connect
Available with a 2.5L Duratec gas, or, a 1.6L EcoBoost gas engine, the Ford Transit Connect is a smaller option for those doing lots of city driving and not requiring a tremendous amount of space or power. It is the minivan option of the commercial van market.

The RAM ProMaster
This full size van is available with a 3.6L V6 gas (280 hp/258 lb-ft), or, 3.0L I4 turbo diesel (174 hp/295 lb-ft) and is primarily configured for commercial duty. RAM believes that by placing the bulk of the ProMaster’s mechanical components ahead of the cargo area it makes up-fitting for commercial needs easier in most cases.

Available in two different roof heights, 91 inches and 101 inches, the ProMaster can handle a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 11,500 pounds.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
Available in a 2.1L I4 turbo diesel (161 hp/265 lb-ft), or, a 3.0L V6 turbo diesel (188 hp/325 lb-ft); the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter has the highest available roof at 120 inches (10 feet). It also has the longest available body at 290 inches, compared to the Transit at 266 inches, ProMaster at 250 inches, and Savana at 224 inches.

The Sprinter retains a higher-quality interior than most of these vans, with very refined powertrains as well, although they come at a premium price point.

The Sprinter is also available in a new four-wheel drive option. For good ground clearance, a 4×4 Sprinter sits about 4 inches higher than a 4×2 model.

The GM Savana
Available with a Vortec 4.8L V8 gasoline engine, a Vortec 6.0L V8 compressed natural gas engine, and a Duramac 6.6L V8 turbo diesel engine, the Savana provides loads of power and can tow up to 10,000lbs in tow/haul mode which reduces excessive gear-shifting.

It is equipped with pro access lift panels, heated mirrors and Stabilitrack with traction control.

Reducing Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)

When switching to these Euro-style vans, the goal isn’t just controlling costs, fleets are also looking to increase productivity. Fleet managers want to add customers by increasing the number of jobs done per day, but keep lower operating costs available on commercial vans.

For businesses, the trend has been shifting away from focusing on up-front acquisition costs to lowering the total cost of ownership over the life cycle of a vehicle. Fleet managers are no longer basing their purchasing decisions on the acquisition cost. In today’s economy, every dollar counts.

Many fleets are now realizing the value in investing the time and energy in researching the best option for their business. They’re taking a closer look at the real cost of ownership and all the vehicle purchase entails – not just the purchase of the vehicle itself, but all of the lifecycle costs associated with the vehicle.

Air Compressor Choices
When making purchasing decisions, we’re seeing that commercial van customers are considering TCO over the lifetime of their vehicle. They are prioritizing ease of up-fit and customization options, proven powertrain options, and strong dealer networks. One of the most frustrating up-fit items with commercial vans is the air compressor.

Until recently, fleets were limited to two options:

An electric drive air compressor that takes up too much valuable cargo space, is underpowered, and plainly just not suited for commercial work.

A gas drive reciprocating air compressor which takes up even more space, is heavy and is known to cause heat damage in the interior of vans. Further, these types of compressors cause safety issues due to exhaust fumes not being properly ventilated, and gas tanks being filled inside the cargo area.

Recently a new type of under the hood air compressor has been designed for these vans. Custom engineered for each engine and van by VMAC, these incredibly compact air compressors are easy to install and have the power to fill a 11R24.5 commercial truck tire in just over 3.5 minutes.

The Bottom Line
The biggest challenge facing all fleet managers is the cost of fuel. Even though fuel prices have crept down, there is an ever-increasing focus on fuel economy from fleet managers. The Environmental Protection Agency says that for every 100 pounds taken out of your vehicle, the fuel economy is increased by 1% – 2%. Based on an average gallon of gasoline at $2.25 per gallon in the USA or $1.02 per liter in Canada (February 2015), every hundred pounds saved equates to savings of 2-5 cents per gallon in the USA or 1-2 cents per liter in Canada. Now, to save weight, fuel, and lower total cost of ownership, customers are choosing the vehicle that meets their application needs, rather than going with more vehicle than they really need.

This has led to Ford recording their best month for van sales in 14 years, and new full-size van sales growing 11% through 2014. With new more productive equipment, like underhood air compressors, these vans will continue to carve out their place in the work truck market.

Maximizing the return on investment (ROI) of your air compressor and reducing the total cost of ownership of your new commercial van means spec’ing the right compressor for your needs. This will allow you to maximize productivity and increase the number of jobs you can do in a day.

If you have any questions about this article or anything mobile compressor related, please contact us.

Source: https://nam02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vmacair.com%2Fblog%2Fchoosing-air-compressor-commercial-van%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7Ccc036841d019466aede008d656f5d98f%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C636792011278823508&sdata=UZTac7QIehmKp%2FWKgLXP5DQmtJIOnIFEf%2BB0def4m8U%3D&reserved=0

No pickup matches the premium status of the 2017 GMC Canyon Denali.

From the leather-appointed seating inside to the signature chrome grille outside GMC Director of Design Matt 
None explains why you won’t find another mid-size pickup matching the premium status of the 2017 GMC Canyon Denali. 

For more information about the GMC Canyon Denali, visit: http://www.gmc.com/trucks/canyon-dena..


Westport Expands MY2017 Ford Product Line

Environmental Protection Agency Certifies Westport’s Emission-Reducing WiNG™ Power System on Multiple Ford Platforms

VANCOUVER, BC – Westport, engineering the world's most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles, today announced it has received certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for its Westport WiNG™ Power System on multiple 2017 Model Year (“MY”) Ford products.

As a leading developer and installer in Ford’s Qualified Vehicle Modifier ("QVM") program, Westport has the largest line-up of Ford alternative fueled vehicles; offering fleets a diverse choice of fuel from a single provider.

Westport has also streamlined the supply chain through a Ford-approved Ship-Thru process on the F-150, F-250/350 and Transit products, reducing transportation costs and simplifying the ordering process. Once the Westport WiNG™ Power System is installed, calibrated, and validated, the alternative fuel vehicles are returned to the Ford transportation system and delivered to the customer.

“As one of the most experienced and trusted names in alternative fuel systems, our EPA certified expanded product line meets all Ford OEM safety requirements, quality engineering and design,” said Paul Shaffer, Vice President & Managing Director of Westport DOEM North America. “Ford backed warranty, financing and ship- thru ordering, combined with a nationwide network of trained technicians, provides fleets with a seamless ordering experience and more fuel choices from a single full service provider.
EPA certifications have been received for compressed natural gas (“CNG”) and liquid propane gas (“LPG”) models:

  • F-150 5.0L CNG and LPG
  • Transit 3.7L CNG
  • F-450/550/650/750/53/59 6.8L CNG
  • E-450 6.8L CNG
  • To learn more about Westport‘s CNG and LPG Ford vehicle products, please visit www.westport.com/wing. 

About Westport Fuel Systems
At Westport Fuel Systems, we are driving innovation to power a cleaner tomorrow. We are inventors, engineers, manufacturers and suppliers of advanced clean-burning fuel systems and components that can change the way the world moves. Our technology delivers performance, fuel efficiency and environmental benefits to address the challenges of global climate change and urban air quality. Headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, we serve our customers in more than 70 countries with leading global transportation and industrial application brands. At Westport Fuel Systems, we think ahead. For more information, visit wfsinc.com.

About Westport
Westport, a division of Westport Fuel Systems Inc., engineers the world’s most advanced natural gas engines and vehicles. We work with original equipment manufacturers worldwide from design through to production, creating products to meet the growing demand for vehicle technology that will reduce both emissions and fuel costs.  To learn more about our business, visit www.westport.com, subscribe to our RSS feed, or follow us on Twitter @WestportDotCom.

Daycabs, Vocational Trucks Are Priorities for Nikola

A daycab version of Nikola Motor Co.’s hydrogen-electric heavy-duty tractor will probably be the first one to enter production, said the firm’s founder and CEO, Trevor Milton, at the conclusion of a series of technical briefings on the products on Friday morning. And vocational straight trucks might be close behind.

Fleetmatics, Click Here....
An unveiling of a Nikola One, a streamlined sleeper-cab tractor, the previous evening put nearly all emphasis on the long-haul model. But short and regional hauling is as important and the daycab Nikola Two is simpler, he told HDT at the event’s conclusion. Daycab tractor versions would share most operational benefits – low maintenance and operating costs along with zero emissions – with the over-the-road sleeper model.

Vocational markets will include refuse, and Milton said he and his engineers are already planning a chassis for trash collection. Dump and mixer trucks are likewise probable, and all-wheel drive would make them valuable in some on/off-road duties.

An earlier discussion of a Nikola’s likely lifespan included observations that the electric motors and battery “don’t need air to operate,” and the motors, anyway, could be driven into water and emerge undamaged.

Milton said he’s planning 6x6 and 6x4 versions of the fuel cell electric drive chassis; without front-driving gear, steer-axle wheels could cut sharper, aiding maneuverability in a number of applications.

Engineers initially designed the Nikola with a gas-fueled turbine-electric powertrain, but decided to go to hydrogen fuel cells because they’re much quieter and cleaner, and require no emissions certification.  A turbine version is still possible “for sale into markets where we can’t get hydrogen to,” he said.

The company’s plans to build hundreds of hydrogen fueling stations will include parking and shopping areas, and facilities will be “awesome -- they will be destinations,” Milton said. Existing truck stops were considered to be part of the network, but his team didn’t think their facilities were of the quality that Nikola wants for its customers and their drivers.

Production is three years away because durability testing must go through three winter seasons, and safety-related testing of braking systems and other components will also take time. As announced the night before, Fitzgerald Gliders will build the first 5,000 units and Nikola Motor will erect a factory to assemble subsequent vehicles.

Ryder System will handle sales and service for most Nikolas at its 800-plus facilities in the United States and Canada. Thompson Machinery, a Caterpillar dealer in Kentucky and Tennessee and an early investor in Nikola Motor, will have rights to handle Nikolas in those states.

Related: Nikola One Fuel Cell Electric Truck Promises High Fuel Economy, Low



  • A fully street-legal stock 2017 Ford F-150 Raptor completed the 49th SCORE Baja 1000 in 35:59:08 – placing third overall in the stock full class competition – the same truck that is now headed to Ford dealers.
  • Ford Performance and Greg Foutz Motorsports raced a pre-production 2017 F-150 Raptor – the toughest, smartest, most capable Raptor ever – full-tilt across 850 miles of rocks, potholes and miles and miles of sand and dust
  • Having proven its robustness and performance as part of the Ford Performance team’s validation process for the new Raptor, Foutz and crew tossed their tools in the back of the race Raptor and drove it nearly 400 miles to their home base outside of Phoenix, AZ
DEARBORN, Nov. 29, 2016 – As Ford starts sales of the all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor, the Ford Performance team completed one final grueling endurance test – running in the 49th SCORE Baja 1000 across the famed desert in the Baja California peninsula in Mexico.

Led by Greg Foutz and the team from Foutz Motorsports, the 2017 F-150 Raptor finished the race in 35 hours, 59 minutes and 8 seconds to place third in the stock full class. Then, the crew decided to toss their tools and spare tires in the back of the race truck and drove it back to their home shop near Phoenix.

“That’s why the new Ford F-150 Raptor is bad-ass! It’s a race-proven off-road monster that can race off-road an entire weekend, then take you and your friends on a road trip the next day,” Foutz said. “That and the $49,520 starting price make it a clear winner on the showroom floor.”

Powered by an all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6 engine that delivers 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque, plus an all-new Ford-built 10-speed transmission, the F-150 Raptor race truck showcases the level of performance this purpose-built off-road vehicle will deliver to customers once it goes on sale in December.

Given the 2017 F-150 Raptor’s extreme all-terrain capabilities, the race truck utilized its factory equipment across all 850 treacherous miles, including its stock engine, transmission, brakes, wheels with BFGoodrich All-Terrain KO2 tires – and even its factory air conditioning, satellite radio and windshield – often unheard of in race vehicles. The Foutz Motorsports team only added a chromalloy steel safety cage, puncture-resistant fuel cell, racing seats and full race harness to meet SCORE rules. The factory-spec Raptor springs and Fox Racing shocks were adjusted to accommodate the added weight from the safety cage and fuel cell.

Other production vehicle updates that carry over to the race truck include the high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body and high-strength steel frame, all-new six-mode Terrain Management System™ and advanced four-wheel-drive torque-on-demand transfer case.

Foutz said the team drivers quickly adapted to the performance of the Raptor engine and drivetrain, which was entirely stock. “We used the Raptor Terrain Management System to select Baja Mode and just tweaked two-wheel versus four-wheel drive depending on the terrain we were on,” Foutz said. “When we hit the road for home, we dropped it in the Sport Mode and took off for the highway.”

Ford Performance engineers used the Raptor race truck program as a platform to share technology and prove out their trucks in the real world. Jamal Hameedi, Ford Performance chief engineer says the testing helps to create exciting products that not only raise the performance bar, they deliver Built Ford Tough capability and durability.

“We’re completely thrilled at how well the all-new F-150 Raptor performed throughout the Baja 1,000 race as it’s one of the most brutal environments you can ever compete in, “Hameedi said, “Having race-proven, real-world performance experience and data to validate – further solidifies Ford’s truck leadership position and Raptor as the ultimate from-the-factory high-performance off-road truck.”

Ford Performance Expands as Brand Halo
Set to deliver 12 new vehicles by 2020, Ford Performance leverages its racing efforts and expertise to speed innovations on dedicated performance models and performance parts. The group works to quickly iterate the latest technologies that can ultimately be applied across Ford Motor Company’s entire passenger vehicle lineup.

The performance segment is a growing business for Ford, as the company recognizes a customer desire for vehicles that offer fuel economy, leading technology and a great driving experience. Along with F-150 Raptor, the Ford Performance lineup includes the Ford GT supercar, Shelby GT350 and Shelby GT350R Mustang, Focus RS, Focus ST and Fiesta ST. 

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

What's in that Service Body? I-80 Forklift

Ever wonder what is carried in a service or utility body? We always want to open up truck bodies when we see them and discover what is stored in them and for what purpose!

And here's Rick from I-80 Forklift going over one of the well-stocked service trucks they use to service and repair forklifts and equipment in the field. See more information at http://www.i80forklift.com


Muncie V080 HYBRID SYSTEM - Optimizes Plow, Hoist and Spreader Operation

This unique circuit design optimizes operations with full flow but also insures cylinders and spreader operations can work together when required. It is all-automatic. Paired with our entry level electronic controls for a customized and budget conscience solution.

Optimizes operation with full flow and flow sharing capabilities

  • Plow and Hoist Functionality
  • Proportional cable control or air control cylinders
  • Configurable spools for all common applications
  • Easy to use, setup and install
  • Spreader Control
  • Save salt / save money – electronic spreader system with groundspeed control
  • Compatible with all common v-body and tailgate spreaders (stainless steel enclosure)
  • Smart flow technology – keep the spreader running when the cylinders are actuated


UTILIVAN - Built on a cutaway chassis - set-back walk-through bulkhead.

Utilivans are the industry standard for medium-duty commercial delivery. Traditionally built on a cutaway chassis, Utilivans are built to be tough, constructed with durable materials such as fiberglass reinforced plywood, aluminum, and a variety of composite materials such as DuraPlate.® The innovative cab can be designed to fit as many as five crew members and can be configured with a set-back walk-through bulkhead.

See more at: http://www.spartanmotors.com/fleet-vehicles/baking-snack-foods/utilivan/



Redi-Gate is the same height and width as the iconic Reading tailgate, and only 2” deeper.

Redi-Gate’s lockable compartment door is concealed for added security.

Available as an option on Classic II service bodies.


Over 1.1 ft3 of additional storage space for tools, accessories and more.

Looks like any typical tailgate when closed. When deployed, it sits flush to the cargo floor for safety.

Redi-Gate offers convenient space to store smaller equipment to free up side compartments for larger tools and work gear.



Redi-Gate EXP model adds four (4) 125V weather-resistant GFCI outlets. Connects easily to an inverter or power source for on-site power.

Redi-Gate’s innovative, patent-pending design is EXCLUSIVE to Reading.

Built from heavy duty aluminum and stainless steel hardware for durability.

See more at: http://www.readingbody.com/product/redi-gate/