Friday, July 31, 2015

Ford, Hewlett-Packard Using Coffee Stops, Big Data to Better Manage Fleets and Personalize Employee Drives


  •     Ford and HP Fleet Insights experiment analyzes information from daily driving to lead to more efficiently managed fleets, car sharing and personalized driving experiences
  •     Experiment gathered information from national HP fleet vehicles and HP employee volunteer drivers around the U.S., learning HP drivers share similar coffee, airport parking and refueling habits, which could be leveraged to reduce operating costs while improving convenience and services
  •     The Fleet Insights experiment is one part of the Ford Smart Mobility plan aimed at better understanding consumers’ mobility needs around the globe
Ford Motor Company engineers have completed a real-world driving experiment with HP, one of the world’s largest technology companies, discovering which commuting commonalities could provide future breakthroughs for better managing fleets, personalized services and recommendations for individual drivers.

Using HP’s Big Data Discovery Experience Services and the HP Haven big data platform, the engineering team gathered data and analyzed it to determine possibilities for lowering operating costs and optimizing underutilized vehicles for fleets as well as personal driving.

Among the observations of the experiment: Regardless of location, most HP drivers grabbed coffee at the same national coffeehouse and refueled with the same brand of gasoline, while traveling employees often left vehicles unused at the airport for days.

While it’s no surprise road-tripping employees stop for coffee, data analysis about commutes and driving routines could lead to greater economies of scale for company fleets and new solutions for optimizing underutilized vehicles.

“The Fleet Insights experiment is one of the first steps to better understand and learn about how driving behavior is changing,” said Marcy Klevorn, Ford vice president and chief information officer. “Fleets could see operating costs lowered through national buying contracts and improved utilization and maintenance, while individual drivers could receive coupons or create cooperative pools to share unused vehicles.”

The Ford Fleet Insights experiment included HP fleet vehicles that were equipped with wireless sensors plugged into each vehicle. Ford data scientists and IT leaders used the HP Vertica analytics engine, part of the HP Haven platform, to explore patterns and multiple dimensions of fleet driver activity. Also, each driver could access their data using a custom smartphone app to recall trip details, if needed.

“HP and Ford share a common vision around bringing together data, mobility, and analytics to explore new ways to deliver better customer experiences, new revenue streams, and lower fuel and maintenance costs in the automotive industry,” said Martin Risau, senior vice president, Analytics & Data Management Practice, HP Enterprise Services. “The results of this experiment can help unleash improvements for business operations for fleet management and personal driving experiences.”

Observations during the experiment included:
  •     Regardless of location, most drivers visited the same national coffee house and refueled with the same brand of gasoline
  •     Traveling employees often left their vehicles unused at the airport for days. These vehicles could be utilized more effectively by nearby drivers
  •     70 percent of trips took place during weekdays and typical trip distances were 13 miles or less
Trips fell into four groups:
  •     City block driving (34 percent): Involved frequent direction changes, driving near the speed limit, idling at stoplights with short distances.
  •     Freeway driving (21 percent): Involved few driving direction changes with large deviations from the speed-limit depending on traffic, and long trip durations and driving distances with less stop and go than City Block Commute.
  •      Non rush-hour Driving (29 percent): Short trip duration and short-distance with less stops and idling
  •      Rush-hour driving (16 percent): Short trip duration and short-distance with frequent stops and idling during peak drive hours
The Fleet Insight experiment data collection phase was completed in June after gathering information from nearly 100 vehicles. Data analysis continues through the end of 2015.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 194,000 employees and 66 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.
  •     Ford and HP Fleet Insights experiment analyzes information from daily driving to lead to more efficiently managed fleets, car sharing and personalized driving experiences
  •     Experiment gathered information from national HP fleet vehicles and HP employee volunteer drivers around the U.S., learning HP drivers share similar coffee, airport parking and refueling habits, which could be leveraged to reduce operating costs while improving convenience and services
  •     The Fleet Insights experiment is one part of the Ford Smart Mobility plan aimed at better understanding consumers’ mobility needs around the globe
Ford Motor Company engineers have completed a real-world driving experiment with HP, one of the world’s largest technology companies, discovering which commuting commonalities could provide future breakthroughs for better managing fleets, personalized services and recommendations for individual drivers.

Using HP’s Big Data Discovery Experience Services and the HP Haven big data platform, the engineering team gathered data and analyzed it to determine possibilities for lowering operating costs and optimizing underutilized vehicles for fleets as well as personal driving.

Among the observations of the experiment: Regardless of location, most HP drivers grabbed coffee at the same national coffeehouse and refueled with the same brand of gasoline, while traveling employees often left vehicles unused at the airport for days.

While it’s no surprise road-tripping employees stop for coffee, data analysis about commutes and driving routines could lead to greater economies of scale for company fleets and new solutions for optimizing underutilized vehicles.

“The Fleet Insights experiment is one of the first steps to better understand and learn about how driving behavior is changing,” said Marcy Klevorn, Ford vice president and chief information officer. “Fleets could see operating costs lowered through national buying contracts and improved utilization and maintenance, while individual drivers could receive coupons or create cooperative pools to share unused vehicles.”

The Ford Fleet Insights experiment included HP fleet vehicles that were equipped with wireless sensors plugged into each vehicle. Ford data scientists and IT leaders used the HP Vertica analytics engine, part of the HP Haven platform, to explore patterns and multiple dimensions of fleet driver activity. Also, each driver could access their data using a custom smartphone app to recall trip details, if needed.

“HP and Ford share a common vision around bringing together data, mobility, and analytics to explore new ways to deliver better customer experiences, new revenue streams, and lower fuel and maintenance costs in the automotive industry,” said Martin Risau, senior vice president, Analytics & Data Management Practice, HP Enterprise Services. “The results of this experiment can help unleash improvements for business operations for fleet management and personal driving experiences.”

Observations during the experiment included:
  •     Regardless of location, most drivers visited the same national coffee house and refueled with the same brand of gasoline
  •     Traveling employees often left their vehicles unused at the airport for days. These vehicles could be utilized more effectively by nearby drivers
  •     70 percent of trips took place during weekdays and typical trip distances were 13 miles or less
Trips fell into four groups:
  •     City block driving (34 percent): Involved frequent direction changes, driving near the speed limit, idling at stoplights with short distances.
  •     Freeway driving (21 percent): Involved few driving direction changes with large deviations from the speed-limit depending on traffic, and long trip durations and driving distances with less stop and go than City Block Commute.
  •      Non rush-hour Driving (29 percent): Short trip duration and short-distance with less stops and idling
  •      Rush-hour driving (16 percent): Short trip duration and short-distance with frequent stops and idling during peak drive hours
The Fleet Insight experiment data collection phase was completed in June after gathering information from nearly 100 vehicles. Data analysis continues through the end of 2015.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 194,000 employees and 66 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

2015 Ford Transit Connect Wins Edmunds.com Award

The 2015 Ford Transit Connect van 
received an award for Best Retained Value®.



The 2015 Ford Transit Connect van and F-350 Super Duty pickup are honored with Edmunds.com 2015 Best Retained Value® Awards. These awards recognize the vehicles that have the highest projected residual values after five years based on their average True Market Value® price when sold new.

The 2015 Ford Transit Connect is the Edmunds.com 2015 Best Retained Value Small Commercial Van, and the 2015 Ford F-350 Super Duty is the Edmunds.com 2015 Best Retained Value Heavy Duty Truck.

Because residual value is the biggest driver of a vehicle’s total cost of ownership, high retained values like those of the 2015 Transit Connect and F-350 Super Duty are important purchasing considerations for commercial customers, as well as retail customers interested in leasing their vehicles or trading them in after a few years. Edmunds.com calculated the average retained value after five years of Transit Connect at 47 percent and of F-350 Super Duty at 58.5 percent.

The Edmunds.com award is the latest in a string of accolades for the Transit Connect, which was also named ALG’s Best Resale Value among midsize commercial vans. The Transit Connect XLT short-wheelbase midsize van earned the Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America award in the Mini Passenger Commercial Van Category in April.

More details about Edmunds.com’s Best Retained Value Awards can be found at http://www.edmunds.com/car-reviews/best-retained-value-cars.html
.

To determine the model winners of the Edmunds.com Best Retained Value Awards, Edmunds evaluated model year 2015 vehicles that were launched by the end of 2014 and had unit sales in February 2015 that were at least 25 percent of the average unit sales for the vehicle’s market segment.

Source: Automotive World

Saturday, July 25, 2015

New Knapheide Commercial Pickup Toppers at the NTEA



Knapheide Manufacturing Company has recently expanded their Knap Cap truck cap or truck shell offerings to include not only the previous steel units, but also a complete fiberglass line. The commercial shell market has been growing and Knapheide shows off some unique features in this product line. Our thanks to Tony Marshall with Knapheide for giving us a tour of their new product line. See more at http://www.knapheide.com

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

2016 F-150 Continues to Innovate With Available Pro Trailer Backup Assist, Alternative Fuel Capability and SYNC 3

  • Pro Trailer Backup Assist helps make backing up a trailer as easy as turning a knob
  • New Special Edition Appearance Packages available on XLT and Lariat with unique wheels, graphics and finishes
  • Compressed Natural Gas/Propane gaseous fuel prep package available for 5.0-liter V8-equipped F-150s, helping reduce operating costs and tailpipe CO2 emissions
The 2016 Ford F-150, part of Ford F-Series, America’s best-selling truck for 38 years, continues to innovate with the addition of breakthrough towing technology, new Special Edition Appearance Packages, SYNC 3 and alternative fuel capability.
 
All-new Pro Trailer Backup Assist makes it easier for drivers of all skill levels to back a trailer up to launch a boat or park in a driveway. The segment-first technology allows customers to steer a trailer instinctively by turning a knob left or right to indicate direction; the truck controls its steering and limits vehicle speed. Leveraging advanced camera technology, Ford engineers developed the system and tested it for almost a decade. Along the way, Ford earned five patents for the technology, with 10 more pending.
 
The Special Edition Packages for XLT and Lariat further personalize F-150 to customer tastes, adding all-new unique 20-inch premium anodized dark-painted aluminum wheels with red sport lettering, black running boards, smoked headlamps, unique bodyside graphics and badging, special edition seats with Alcantara® inserts, red contrast stitching and red bolsters, and unique red stitching on the steering wheel, transmission gear selector boot and instrument panel. This package also features a dark anodized grille with black mesh on XLT while the Lariat dark anodized grille receives red accents.
 
F-150 also features SYNC 3 – Ford’s newest communications and entertainment system that features enhanced voice recognition, high-speed performance and capacitive touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface.
 
Responding to customer requests, the 2016 Ford F-150 with the 5.0-liter V8 engine will offer a gaseous-fuel prep option, making it the only light-duty pickup capable of running on compressed natural gas or propane.
 
New features and color choices
Other changes for the 2016 F-150 include:

  • SYNC 3 replaces Sync with MyFord Touch
  • XLT and Lariat models add available Special Edition Appearance Package (requires Sport Appearance Package)

  • Shadow Black replaces Tuxedo Black
  • Lithium Gray replaces Guard Metallic
  • 20-inch machined aluminum wheels with painted silver pockets available on XL


About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 194,000 employees and 66 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New Weather Guard E-Z Glide 2 Drop Down Ladder Rack



Jeff Coats from Weather Guard shows off the new E-Z Glide 2 Drop Down Ladder Rack that Weather Guard had on display at the NTEA Work Truck Show. See more about this product and a wealth of other truck and van accessories at http://www.weatherguard.com/

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Large Panel Van of the Year 2015



Can a big van ride and handle superbly, offer an admirably crisp and precise gear change, boast low noise levels and be cost-effective to run? It certainly can, if it happens to be a Ford Transit. In its latest incarnation it achieves all of these goals, and quite a few more. That's why we have given it our Large Panel Van of the Year award again.

With over 450 variants prospective purchasers cannot complain about a lack of choice. Transit is on offer with front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or as a 4x4, and in van guise delivers up to 15.1m³ of carrying space.

Buyers can select from two different roof heights and three different lengths. Gross weights go up to a hefty 4.7 tonnes and some of the larger models in the line-up can haul a braked trailer with a gross weight of up to 3.5 tonnes.

Transit is additionally produced in Double Cab-in-Van (Ford-speak for a crew van) guise, as a minibus with up to 18 seats and as a chassis with either a single or a double cab. Five different lengths of single-cab and four different lengths of double-cab chassis are listed, with the L5 ranking as the longest production Transit chassis ever built. The chassis are ideal platforms for the dropside, tipper, curtainsider, Luton and box bodies Ford can offer.




Ford Transit Large Panel Van of the Year 2015Under the bonnet you will find a 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel at 100hp, 125hp or 155hp. In ECOnetic guise it can deliver a combined diesel consumption figure of 44.1mpg with CO2 emissions as low as 169g/km. Like its smaller brother, the Custom, Transit will be getting an all-new 2.0-litre Euro 6-compliant diesel engine line-up in 2016.

Ford's big baby looks cost-effective to maintain and repair. Two year/30,000-mile service intervals are available with the time required for scheduled maintenance over 90,000 miles cut from 5.4 to 4.2 hours compared with its predecessor.

Transit is available with a near-bewildering variety of intelligent and useful features including Ford SYNC. It helps ensure the emergency services are summoned if the vehicle is in a collision bad enough to cause an airbag to inflate. Nor should the advantages of Electronic Stability Control with Curve Control be ignored. If a driver hurls Transit into a sharp bend with more enthusiasm than skill then it will slow things down and keep the vehicle stable.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, Transit just keeps on going from strength to strength and its not solely a European product these days. It’s now taking the US by storm.

Click here for the full Award winner results.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Adrian Steel Releases New Interior Ladder Storage Solution

Introducing the Interior Ladder Rack 
brought to you by Adrian Steel 
 

Adrian Steel introduces an innovative solution for the transport of step ladders inside of work vans.  This solution provides a safe and efficient means of transport for your step ladder from job site to job site.  Such transport is possible thanks to a new product, the Interior Ladder Rack, which allows you to store your ladder inside of your van by mounting it to either the partition or shelf panel.

Out of the Way, Never Out of Reach. The Interior Ladder Rack from Adrian Steel…

•    Allows you to store your ladder inside while providing quick and easy access to your ladder from the outside of your vehicle. 
•    Does not take up, limit, or reduce vertical standing room in your van, allowing you to make full use of your vehicle. 
•    Eliminates the outside wear and tear on your ladder, as it will be stored inside and thus protecting your ladder from the elements, theft, and road grime. 
•    Customers will appreciate your use of clean, well taken care of equipment rather than bringing the outside mess into their home.
•    Features plastic coated clamps to protect the ladder rungs during transit. 
•    Perfect for carrying 4ft and 6ft step ladders and works best in medium and high roof vans.

About Adrian Steel
Our goal is to optimize the value of the customer’s commercial vehicle by understanding the role of the vehicle in the customer’s business.  Adrian Steel provides solutions for a range of vehicles from crossovers to cargo vans.  Our customers include those with one vehicle in their fleet to 50,000 vehicles in their fleet.  Adrian Steel has upfitted over 1 million vehicles in our 60 plus years in business and has leveraged that expertise in engineering our innovative product line.  Adrian Steel’s installation network provides you options to get your vehicle upfitted regardless of where you need to get them done: at the factory, out of dealer stock, at your place of business, or through a bailment pool.  Adrian Steel’s strong reputation in cargo management solutions is only matched by our resolve to offer the industry’s best lead times and highest quality. 

Learn more at www.AdrianSteel.com or call (800) 677-2726.

Adrian Steel.  Because your work demands the best.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Work Van Organization From Sortimo by Knapheide



Haily Meyer, Marketing Mgr at Sortimo by Knapheide talks with Joe Hughes of the National Ford Truck Club about the Sortimo packages available for the Ford Transit and other vans to help end users be as organized as possible to be more efficient and effective in their businesses. See more about these products at

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Crosspoint Kinetics Hybrid System Doesn't Use Batteries



Joe Hughes talks with Merritt Becker with Crosspoint Kinetics about their unique hybrid system for class 3 through 7 commercial trucks. This unique system doesn't use batteries and can save up to 30% in fuel costs. In addition, this system can be transferred from one vehicle to another.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Palfinger Pickup Lifts


America's NEW Standard in Liftgates

Palfinger liftgates are a cost-efficient market leader in 1,000 - 1,600lbs light-medium sized truck market. Reliability and versatility are offered with liftgates in both cable and direct lift styles for general transportation and the municipal sector. Palfinger liftgates are multi-functional workhorses in the standard design or fitted with some of our many options

Find all Palfinger products at: https://www.palfinger.com

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Knapheide EC Series - A superior service body with the weight of fiberglass yet at the price (and durability) of steel



The EC Series Service Bodies are compatible with half ton and compact pickups that have a factory approved pickup box removal or bed delete option. It is the industry's exclusive service body solution for half ton and compact pickups.

Put your half ton or compact truck to work with Knapheide's EC Series Service Body.  EC Service Bodies have been specifically designed for half ton and compact trucks with a factory approved pick up box removal or bed delete option.  With weight savings of over 25% compared to standard steel service bodies, EC Service Bodies give the owner/operator more than enough applicable payload for their half ton or compact pickup. The EC Series Service Bodies feature an optimized understructure for superior strength to weight ratio and possesses all the same tried and true standard features found on all other Knapheide Service Bodies.

EC Service Bodies provide work truck owners with increased organization and functionality leading to more productivity and efficiency on the jobsite. The combination of a rugged steel construction and full immersion in Knapheide's exclusive E-Coat prime paint system ensure owner/operators can depend on EC Series Service Bodies for years to come.


Find out more at: http://www.knapheide.com/product/ec-series-service-bodies/