8 Lug and Work Truck News
Ram Commercial Adds Virtual Reality to UpfittingSeems 3-D has made its way to upfitting—Ram Commercial has created two new ways to help customers with upfitting ideas. One is the Ram Augmented Reality Upfit Configurator, a virtual-reality-style way to see the upfit options on the truck via a virtual walkaround, including looking inside the truck. The other program is called Q Pro and is a certification that designates that certain upfitter products have met Ram Engineering standards.
’18 Ford Special Service VehiclesFord has new Special Service Vehicles (SSV): the ’18 F-150 and Expedition for fleet, government, and law enforcement. The Expedition is completely new and mondo-spacious, and both SSVs have the 3.5L EcoBoost and, for the F-150, an available 5.0L V-8 with the 10-speed automatic transmission. Other SSV-friendly upgrades include a high-output 240-amp alternator, 40/delete/40 seats (meaning no centersection), and a rear vinyl bench. Vinyl flooring is also used in place of carpet.
Used Commercial Trucks Aren’t SellingThere was a December 2016 study by NADA Used Car Guide called Guidelines: Commercial Truck Guide Industry Update. The aforementioned “update” came in the form of: Depreciation jumped in the second half of 2016, with ’13 trucks losing 22 percent of their value. The ’11 models lost nearly 31 percent. Regarding medium-duty trucks, “Monthly depreciation for this group is averaging about 2.2 percent, which is mildly worse than historical norms.” And the forecast? “As expected, Class 8 retail and wholesale data shows a moderate depreciation trend. Based on the expected returning supply of used sleeper tractors, expect more of the same into the first quarter of 2017.”
This Is One of Ford’s Longest Truck Customers—94 Years!Henkels & McCoy Group has a fleet of more than 3,000 Ford trucks all across the U.S., and it’s a relationship that started back in 1923. The company is a contractor for utility and communications, and its fleet includes both light- and heavy-duty F-Series trucks, including those with upfit components. As Ford celebrates its title as best-selling truck in America for 40 years, companies like Henkels & McCoy are getting their 15 minutes of fame as part of the anniversary festivities happening over at 40yearstough.com.
Chevy Has a New Low-Cab-Forward TruckThere’s a new Class 6 model from Chevrolet for 2018: the Low Cab Forward 6500XD. The dock-height truck runs a standard 5.2L four-banger diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission Allison 2500 with PTO. Hearty parts include Dana axles with ratings of 12,000 pounds (front) and 19,000 pounds (rear), and a max GVWR of 25,950 pounds.
“Peloton has taken an innovative and disciplined approach in combining vehicle connectivity and driver-assistive automation technologies to offer immediate value to trucking fleets.”—Larry Burns, a board member of Peloton Technology, a company that develops connected and automated vehicle tech. Peloton has raised $78 million to date, and later this year will bring the first-ever commercial two-truck driver-assistive platooning system.
Photography: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
Here’s How Much Getting Stuck in Traffic is Costing YouYou already know how much time it feels like you’re wasting sitting in traffic: forever. But INRIX, which does transportation analytics, figured it out, right down to the hour: an average of 42 hours per year. And you want that translated into dollar signs? The INRIX Traffic Scorecard pointed to direct and indirect costs of congestion for U.S. drivers costing about $1,400 per driver. Cities that ranked most congested included Los Angeles, New York, and Miami. INRIX said this is “economic drain on the city upward of $2.5 billion,” and that “Los Angeles commuters spent an average of 104 hours last year in traffic jams during peak congestion hours—more than any other city in the world. This contributed to congestion costing drivers in Los Angeles $2,408 each and the city as a whole $9.6 billion from direct and indirect costs.”
Arizona Adds Tech to Predict Icy RoadsThe Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is hoping to make wintry roads safer by installing sensors in three spots along Interstate 40 (west of Flagstaff) that can measure the salt content of road-surface moisture and the temperature of the ground underneath to help predict where ice could form. The data would allow the ADOT to decide whether to dispatch crews for deicing before danger strikes.
Growing Demand for Fire TrucksWith the growth spurt in residential, commercial, military, airports, and even developing countries like India, the market for fire trucks is expected to hit $7.41 billion by 2024, according to the company Grand View Research. Government regulations surrounding fire safety is another reason for the boom.
Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier Now for Electric Commercial VehiclesFord’s Advanced Fuel Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) has a new program called eQVM for fleet and commercial customers with needs for electrified and hydraulic hybrid work trucks that still have the original powertrain warranty. Ford’s QVM has more than 200 companies that modify the Blue Oval’s commercial lineup based on application need, and also, QVM outfitters can add equipment to the automaker’s vans and trucks.
Ram Laramie Adds New Two-Tone Paint OptionIf you’re a fan of the two-tone White Gold Laramie Longhorn, there’s bad news—it’s out. But Ram has provided a replacement: RV Match Walnut Brown. It’s designed to match or at least coordinate with RV trailer graphics.
Lug Nuggets•“…its planned W-15 electric pickup truck will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds.” That’s according to a statement from Workhorse Group.
•Hmmm, Ford patented a sliding pickup bed design for its F-150 hybrid?
•UPS is investing more than $90 million. In what? Natural gas for its advanced-tech and alt-fuel fleet.
•It appears the long-awaited Jeep pickup has been delayed until 2019.
•Mercedes-Benz built a concept pickup called X-Class. Then it decided to release the fancy truck in Europe and Latin America, among other markets. And now, there’s talk of the U.S. as well.
•Eaton and Cummins are teaming up on automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles. The venture is called Eaton Cummins Automated Transmissions Technologies, so we probably could have left it at that and skipped the business-model-description redundancy.
•Universal Trailer Corp. has upped its game by creating a $25 million–plus state-of-the-art, high-tech manufacturing plant in Indiana. The company makes cargo trailers. •BOLT Locks is now the product being used on all Royal Truck Body models.
•Caseco—a manufacturer and upfitter of service utility truck bodies and service crane bodies—has been acquired by Reading Truck Group. Reading has 10 facilities in 8 states and aims to go national.
•Ford is bringing the Ranger to China in 2018.