The 2015 NTEA Work Truck Show
NTEA's Biggest Event Breaks Records in 2015
The National Truck Equipment Association's (NTEA) Work Truck Show 2015 was one for the record books, with more attendees to the industry's largest event than ever before. More than 11,000 industry professionals braved the Indianapolis winter's single-digit overnight temperatures and chilling winds for a first look at some of the biggest developments in the work truck industry. Work Truck Review was on site for three days, capturing the big mainstream debuts, disruption-hopeful startup technologies, and new products from equipment suppliers and OEMs alike.
Attendees for this year's Work Truck Show hailed from all 50 U.S. states, 8 Canadian provinces, and 23 different countries, packing the Indiana Convention Center for three days. Event-goers were treated to a cornucopia of new technologies and tried-and-true solutions, giving everyone in attendance a solid take on the thriving work-truck industry. Guests were also able to ride in and/or drive a variety of work trucks from 19 different companies, including a cutting-edge hydraulic-hybrid bread van, Ram 1500 EcoDiesel pickup, and natural-gas–powered Freightliner Cascadia tractor.
Sustainable energy was a huge focus of the show, with the Green Truck Summit offering fuel-neutral presentations on alternative vehicle propulsion. Experts from industry associations focusing on electric vehicles, biodiesel, propane, and natural gas were on hand for four general sessions and 24 breakout sessions. Captain Alex Stites, director for shore energy for the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Energy, gave the keynote address, discussing energy security and energy independence. Captain Stites said the Department of the Navy's energy program will use these elements to build a strong organization even amid global crisis and instability.
Capping off the event were several OEM debuts. Ford's all-new F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks stole much of the show's attention, thanks in large part to the F-750 Tonka. Mercedes-Benz introduced the Metris, a midsize van that's larger than a Ford Transit Connect, but smaller than a Sprinter. It will be available in both eight-passenger and cargo-van configurations. And Ram Commercial's expanded Ram 2500 CNG offerings will provide more options to fleets that would like to convert to (or are already prepped for) compressed natural gas fueling.
With about 500,000 square feet of floor space to cover, join us as we hash out one of the more interesting shows on our press circuit.
01 This Mercedes-Benz Sprinter isn't a work truck, but it plays one in movies. You maybe saw it (and a few other Benzes) in Jurassic World.
02-03 This Ford Transit features an Alliance Autogas propane fuel conversion. Unlike some other propane-conversion kits, the Alliance system requires no drilling for propane injectors, and a plug-and-play wiring loom removes hours of complicated rewiring from the equation. The under-the-hood result is as tidy as can be, and it makes backconverting easy as well.
04 This Hot Wheels Ford Transit Connect had an aggressive widebody kit, extensive suspension and brake modifications, and some pretty interesting underhood components if you squinted through the now-huge grille openings. We bet it'd be a fun way to tow your race motorcycle to the track.
05 One of the biggest OEM debuts (literally) was the Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks. For the first time, the F-750 will be available in a chassis hauler configuration, as seen here.
06 The F-650 and F-750 get a big, bold front end, giving it a family resemblance to the F-150 and F-Series Super Duty.
07 The F-650 and F-750 will be available with a 6.7L Power Stroke turbodiesel V-8 or a 6.8L gasoline V-10. The V-10 will also be available in compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas fueling options.
08 A few show vehicles were on hand as well. This Ford Transit had wood flooring, TVs all over the interior, and sumptuous leather captain's chairs.
09 Another show van was this Mercedes-Benz Metris DJ-mobile, built by Benz tuner Renntech. The van can blow its roof at the touch of a button, revealing a pop-up DJ stand. Predictably, the Benz booth had the most dance music of any of them.
10 The substantially more sedate production Metris will come with a 2.0L turbocharged gasoline I-4, good for 208 hp, 258 lb-ft of torque, a maximum payload of 2,500 pounds, and a towing rating of 4,960 pounds. An eight-passenger model will also be available.
11 Mercedes-Benz also gave us a look at its lifted Sprinter 4x4. This author fell in love.
12-13 General Motors featured several pickups at its booth, including the Chevrolet Colorado box delete and the two you see here: the GMC Sierra box delete and the Chevrolet Silverado 2500 CNG. We've driven that one and we liked it.
14 Soldiering on as the last American body-on-frame work van, the Chevrolet Express and its GMC Savana twin have a few tricks up their sleeve, like these cool pop-out bodyside panels that make accessing cargo a little bit easier.
15 The Work Truck Show is more of an equipment showcase than an OEM auto show. Reading Truck Body had a variety of vehicles on display, including this Chevy Silverado 3500HD dualie.
16 Nissan Commercial Vehicles brought out the NV200 compact cargo van, as well as its fullsize NV1500, NV2500HD, and NV3500HD.
17 Ram Commercial Vehicles was a headlining sponsor of The Work Truck Show 2015. Many of the company's trucks and vans peppered the halls of the Indiana Convention Center, but Ram vans and pickups could also be seen parked all over the city promoting the show.
18 The American Expedition Vehicles Ram Concept from the 2014 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show made an appearance in Indianapolis. AEV recently announced it would put the Ram's upgrades into production, available a la carte or as a package.
19 The Ram 1500 Rebel comes with some additional off-road kit over the standard 1500. It also shows a new face for Ram trucks, eschewing the traditional crosshair grille for a bold, gaping maw.
20 Master and apprentice: The Ram ProMaster and ProMaster City vans were on hand for close inspection. The front-wheel-drive ProMaster was one of the first European-style vans for sale in the U.S. market, offering a low load floor and tons of cargo space.
21 Again, the Work Truck Show is partly an event for equipment manufacturers. Ranger Design's ladder rack for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter makes loading and unloading a ladder a one-man operation, even on such a tall vehicle.
22 One of the things that set this year's Work Truck Show apart from others was the Green Truck Ride-and-Drive. Electric hybrid, propane, natural gas, hydraulic hybrid, green diesel, and high-efficiency conventional powertrains were all available for guests to inspect, ride in, and even drive.
23-24 International had a huge presence at the show, giving guests an up-close look at some of the most legendary trucks in American history.
25-26 Other big-boy toys included this Freightliner heavy-duty vacuum truck (left) and Hino compact tanker (right).
27-28 Peterbilt had this unique, right-hand-drive street sweeper on display, with a more conventional dump-body truck on hand to supply a little badassery.
29-30 Cab-over delivery vans, in sizes large (Kenworth K370) and small (Mitsubishi Fuso FE130) showed their flat faces as well. No matter what kind of truck you're looking for, you could find it at The Work Truck Show 2015.
31 We love seeing that red engine paint. Cummins had several of its engine designs on display, including this ISV5.0 V-8.
32-33 This forms the basis of Motiv Power Systems' all-electric Ford F-59 chassis. With a range of up to 100 miles, the Motiv solution is perfect for repetitive, predictable drive routes, such as those carried out by shuttles, in-town delivery vans, and other utility vehicles. The City of Chicago already uses 20 Motiv electric sanitation trucks, and the all-electric powertrain requires minimal modification to the chassis' design.