Thursday, March 30, 2017

Expanded choices: Fleets are set to take advantage of alternative powertrains


More and more suppliers of medium-duty vehicles are adding options for alternative powertrains. For example, Dana recently introduced Spicer Electrified motor, control and e-drive technologies for electric vehicle propulsion systems.

Currently in production, the Spicer EV Drive for electric vans manages speed and torque from the e-motor to the wheels. Planned for launch in 2018, Dana’s new e-axles for city delivery vehicles and electric transit buses will feature a fully integrated motor and gearbox. The company is also working with automotive manufacturers to develop all-wheel-drive (AWD) e-axles paired with traditional front-wheel-drive hybrids.

Also in the news is the new XLP Fleet-Ready plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) solution for half-ton pickup trucks from XL Hybrids. The PHEV system will be installed as a ship-through upfit that will leave the original OEM engine, transmission, and fuel and exhaust systems intact, and will not have any special maintenance requirements. XLP will also include the XL Link cloud-based analytics system, which measures MPG performance and reports emissions reductions.

XL Hybrids surveyed fleet managers to understand their requirements and to develop the new technology. The XLP solution builds on the platform used on the company’s XL3 hybrid-electric powertrain, which has covered more than 35 million miles on Class 2-6 vehicles since 2013. The XLP lithium battery pack will accommodate Levels 1 and 2 charging using an industry-standard plug.
“Expanding our offering to include plug-in solutions is the next step in our plan to electrify fleet vehicles with technology that saves money while reducing fuel consumption and emissions,” says Tod Hynes, founder and chief executive officer of XL Hybrids. “The XLP system allows fleets to purchase the same OEM pickup trucks with the powertrain and warranty intact with an electrified powertrain to increase MPG.”

“Major fleets that have already adopted the XL3 hybrid-electric upfit system know that ‘fleet ready’ means it does not compromise the ability to provide customer service,” adds Clay Siegert, XL Hybrids’ co-founder and chief operating officer. “With our new XLP system, we’re equally committed to not impacting service, delivery or field operations.”

A number of utility and municipal fleets, including San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E), Liberty Utilities, Hawaiian Electric Co. and Montgomery County Maryland, are among the XL Hybrids customers that intend to purchase the new XLP PHEV system for pickup trucks. Deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2017 and SDG&E has already announced plans to purchase up to 110 of the XLP systems between 2017 and 2020.

Liberty Utilities and its parent company, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., are also planning to add the new XLP systems. “The number and delivery timelines will be defined by our budget, but from a fleet perspective, we see a potential need for one to one-and-a-half percent of our fleet, or approximately 10 to 15 units, as assets come up for retirement,” says Stephen McCrodan, purchasing manager for Liberty Algonquin Business Services and director of fleet purchasing at Liberty Utilities.

“We adopted a fairly strong green fleet policy as we took steps to ensure that we’re doing all we can to minimize our impact on the environment,” McCrodan says. “We have shifted much of our fleet over to cleaner burning CNG and continue to; however, there are some Liberty Utilities service areas that do not have a natural gas infrastructure, and that prevents the use of CNG in those locations. Also, some of our locations are small, and the infrastructure required to support CNG would be too big a burden. For sites like those, a PHEV is an excellent alternative.

“OEMs have reduced their alternative fuel offerings for vehicles used by utilities,” McCrodan adds. “We have certain job functions which require or are optimized by a compact SUV or light-duty
pick-up truck and now we have fewer alternative fuel choices from manufacturers. Systems such as XL Hybrid’s XLP will help to fill the void.”

Monday, March 27, 2017

SMART ENGINEERING EARNS ALL-NEW FORD F-250 SUPER DUTY CREW CAB 4X2 FIVE-STAR OVERALL GOVERNMENT CRASH RATING


  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awards 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x2 with a five-star overall vehicle score in its New Car Assessment Program – the highest possible rating – making this all-new truck the safest Super Duty ever
  • Frontal driver rating improves to five stars; side crash ratings for front and rear remain five stars
  • Safety starts with Super Duty’s backbone – a fully boxed frame that is 95 percent high-strength steel; and its segment-exclusive high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 30, 2017 – The 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x2’s smart engineering has earned the all-new truck the government’s highest possible crash rating of five stars – adding safety to its strengths as the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever.

The 2017 F-Series Super Duty is the only heavy-duty pickup truck to earn National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest safety rating.

Thanks to its robust design, advanced materials and safety features developed by the Ford truck team, the 2017 model earns a five-star overall vehicle score in the agency’s New Car Assessment Program, as well as a five-star rating for frontal driver crash tests. Side crash ratings for front and rear remain five stars.

Super Duty’s improved performance is enabled by weight savings of up to 350 pounds through the use of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body and box. This leads to more local frame stiffness at strategic locations to deliver considerable improvement in occupant protection. The weight savings is then reinvested into an all-new fully boxed frame that is more than 95 percent high-strength steel and up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame.

But Ford didn’t stop with the truck’s body and frame – Super Duty sets a new level of technology availability for the segment. Options such as 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, lane-keeping alert and inflatable seatbelts help the driver to have more confidence and control while towing and hauling heavy loads from job site to job site.

ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Learning to Operate a Crane

The Stellar 7621 Telescopic Service Crane was mounted on a Stellar service body and constructed by Pomona, Calif.-based Phenix Enterprises. (Photo: Mike Antich)

Bobit Business Media received a visit from Stellar Industries, a manufacturer of hydraulic truck-mounted equipment, and Phenix Enterprises, a custom truck builder, at our office in Torrance, Calif. on November 29th, 2016.

Editors from Work Truck, Automotive Fleet, Business Fleet, and Government Fleet magazines all got the opportunity to learn how to operate a truck-mounted crane.

Mike Butsch, strategic accounts manager for Stellar, and James Day, sales manager for Phenix, a Stellar upfitter, brought the Stellar 7621, a telescopic service crane that was mounted on one of Stellar’s service bodies and built at Phenix’s headquarters in nearby Pomona, Calif.

Read more at: http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/utility/article/story/2017/01/learning-to-operate-a-crane.aspx

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

FORD REVEALS NEW F-150; BRONCO IS BACK; ALL-NEW RANGER COMING TO NORTH AMERICA; COMPANY PRESENTS VISION FOR CITY OF TOMORROW



  • Ford reveals new, even tougher, smarter and more capable F-150, featuring segment-first technology, including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection and Adaptive Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go, embedded 4G LTE modem, SYNC 3 and B&O PLAY audio
  • All-new Ford Ranger midsize pickup truck will be reintroduced to the North American market in 2019
  • Rugged all-new Ford Bronco midsize SUV returns in 2020 as a global vehicle; both Bronco and Ranger to be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant
  • Ford-owned Chariot – the app-based, ride sharing service in San Francisco and Austin, Texas – will expand this year to eight cities, including at least one global city
  • Ford presents a vision for the “City of Tomorrow” to inspire innovation and assist cities in solving mobility challenges to help people move more easily today and in the future
DETROIT, Jan. 9, 2017 – Ford’s expansion to an auto and mobility company gains momentum today, as the company unveils the new F-150 pickup, announces the return of the Ranger pickup in North America and Bronco globally, and presents its vision for the “City of Tomorrow.”

Ford’s news at the North American International Auto Show – including expansion of its Chariot ride-sharing service to eight cities – underscores the company’s drive to strengthen its core automotive business while aggressively expanding in growing mobility services.  

“This year, the expansion of our business as an auto and mobility company moves into even higher gear,” said Mark Fields, president and CEO. “We’re introducing even more new vehicles and technologies to make life better for millions of people in the near term, plus we’re presenting a vision and partnering with cities to move more people even more efficiently in the future.”

Today’s news follows other announcements about Ford’s business expansion:
Adding 13 new electrified vehicles and investing $4.5 billion in the next five years, including a hybrid versions of the F-150 and Mustang, two pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles, a Transit Custom plug-in hybrid, a fully electric small SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles and a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle – with no steering wheel, gas or brake pedal – in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service.

The debut of its next-generation Fusion Hybrid autonomous development vehicle, the next step in Ford’s plan to deliver a fully autonomous vehicle in 2021.

The creation of a City Solutions team to work with major global cities to help solve congestion issues and help people move more easily, today and in the future.
Ranger and Bronco Return

Ford is bringing back the Ranger midsize pickup truck to its North American vehicle lineup in 2019 and Bronco midsize SUV to its global vehicle portfolio in 2020. Both vehicles will be manufactured at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan.

“We’ve heard our customers loud and clear. They want a new generation of vehicles that are incredibly capable yet fun to drive,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president of The Americas. “Ranger is for truck buyers who want an affordable, functional, rugged and maneuverable pickup that’s Built Ford Tough. Bronco will be a no-compromise midsize 4x4 utility for thrill seekers who want to venture way beyond the city.”


City of Tomorrow
Beyond vehicles, Ford is working with cities around the world to help address growing mobility challenges in urban environments, including gridlock and air pollution.

Ford’s City Solutions team – the only one of its kind in the auto industry– is working with cities around the world to propose, pilot and develop mobility solutions. The team also is beginning to collaborate with Bloomberg Philanthropies and its global coalition of mayors.

“This is an issue that goes far beyond congestion. It is one that represents a massive challenge to mankind, one that affects our well-being and access to health care, clean drinking water, food, a safe place to live and even the ability to find work,” said Bill Ford, executive chairman, Ford Motor Company. “By solving the mobility challenge, we have the chance to create a better world for future generations. It’s both an exciting opportunity and a big responsibility.”

Ford today presented its vision for the “City of Tomorrow.”

Ford’s City of Tomorrow looks at how near-term mobility advancements – including autonomous and electric vehicles, ride-sharing and ride-hailing and connected vehicles – interact with urban infrastructure and create a transportation ecosystem.

For example, Ford is imagining a world in which reconfigurable roads fluidly respond to commuter needs and traffic flow. Bikes and drones provide last-mile solutions for both people and goods.



City of Tomorrow
The Future: Near Term
Within the next five years, Ford expects autonomous vehicles will be introduced in cities around the world. This includes Ford’s first fully autonomous vehicles in 2021.

At the same time, the company expects continued growth in electrified vehicles – with global EV industry offerings eventually outnumbering gasoline-powered offering in the next 15 years.

Shared modes of transportation will continue to gain popularity, such as the Ford’s Chariot app-based, crowd-sourced ride sharing service, which is expanding globally.

Chariot, which currently operates in San Francisco and Austin, Texas, is growing its operations to eight cities this year, including at least one city outside of the U.S.

In Ford’s vision of the near-term future, connected communications between vehicles and infrastructure also will grow:

Vehicles will be capable of connecting with other vehicles and cities’ transportation operating systems. Ford alone will equip 20 million cars globally with built-in modems in the next five years.

As these vehicles and other connected vehicles are introduced into cities around the world, cities themselves will change. Large-scale innovations likely, including wireless charging and enhanced connectivity.

These changes could give city transportation managers all-new operating systems, which allow them to manage multiple aspects of their city transportation system centrally, including traffic flow and vehicle emissions.

City of Tomorrow
The Future: Long Term
Further out, Ford sees the City of Tomorrow with significant concentrations of autonomous vehicles, most of which will be electrified.

Mass transit will improve for the largest cities with new technologies like advanced high-speed public transit. Other innovations could include:

  • Drones that will play many roles. For example,  they could be quickly deployed to survey and map the hardest-hit areas following earthquakes, tsunamis or other major disasters
  • Advanced transportation operating systems that more robustly and seamlessly integrate data from all aspects of the ecosystem. This includes vehicles, bikes, drones and mass transit as well as street lights, parking meters and charging infrastructure
  • Large-scale implementation of advanced technologies for flexible traffic management coupled with autonomous vehicles – eliminating traffic jams, reducing emissions and bringing traffic accidents to nearly zero
  • Converting road space into green space and parks, allowing for higher quality of life and healthier communities
  • “For more than 100 years, Ford has been part of the community and the trusted source for automotive transportation,” Fields said. “Now, we want to work with communities to offer even more transportation choices and solutions for people – for decades to come.”

City of Tomorrow Symposium
As part the North American International Auto Show, Ford is hosting a symposium on the City of Tomorrow at Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. Together with partners TED, The New York Times and VICE Media, Ford has created sessions with thought leaders, mayors and prominent leaders to discuss the mobility challenges, opportunities and emerging solutions that will shape the City of Tomorrow. Information about the sessions can be found here.

ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY
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.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Which BEDSLIDE is right for you?


BEDSLIDE now offers 5 models of BED SLIDE Cargo Trays. Which BEDSLIDE is right for you? The BEDSLIDE is the best truck bed accessory to help access tools and equipment.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

GET MORE OUT OF YOUR EXISTING FLEET - Switch-N-Go®


ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A WAY TO ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A WAY TO GET MORE OUT OF YOUR EXISTING FLEET? DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS THAT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMPLETE ALL OF YOUR WORK WITH LIMITED STAFFING?

Switch-N-Go® can be a solution to these issues no matter what government entity you work for. As a proven transportation solution, Switch-N-Go® can help you accomplish your tasks with fewer trucks and people.

Instead of letting your trucks sit dormant in the off seasons up fit them with Switch-N-Go® systems and use your trucks through out the entire year.

More at: http://www.switchngo.com/? DO YOU HAVE CONCERNS THAT YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO COMPLETE ALL OF YOUR WORK WITH LIMITED STAFFING?

Switch-N-Go® can be a solution to these issues no matter what government entity you work for. As a proven transportation solution, Switch-N-Go® can help you accomplish your tasks with fewer trucks and people.
Instead of letting your trucks sit dormant in the off seasons up fit them with Switch-N-Go® systems and use your trucks through out the entire year.

More at: http://www.switchngo.com/

Monday, March 13, 2017

We'll See You at The Work Truck Show 2017!


The Work Truck Show will be held in Indianapolis this March 15-17. What updates will we have for you this year? Visit us in booth #3755 to find out!

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Knapheide Inventory Now Searchable with Work Truck Solutions

Work Truck Solutions, an online platform for commercial truck inventory searches by body type and chassis, has partnered with Knapheide Manufacturing Company, the work-ready vehicle solutions leader, to help dealers show their in-stock Knapheide commercial vehicle inventory to truck buyers with the click of a button.

Using Work Truck Solutions' new national work truck locator feature, customers can find Knapheide equipped work ready trucks at their local dealership in a matter of minutes, by searching for a specific body type and chassis in their desired area by the zip code and further filter results by additional details.

"Working with Knapheide, we created a consolidated listing that highlights ready-to-work inventory at dealerships that purchased through Knapheide's distribution network," said Work Truck Solutions CEO Kathryn Schifferle. "The Knapheide brand is well-established, and with six generations of commercial vehicle manufacturing success, they were an ideal partner to help our expanding network of dealers make use of this inventory solution."

The number of unique commercial vehicles and pickups currently being displayed in Work Truck Solutions' inventory network and available through their search tools has increased 321% from September of 2015 to September of 2016, and continues to grow. Dealers using their solution also have the opportunity to track what customers are searching for with analytics and use that information to improve inventory stocking and management.

For more information on Work Truck Solutions, visit www.worktrucksolutions.com or to become part of a growing network of manufacturers and dealers using their inventory solutions, e-mail info@worktrucksolutions.com.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Ford Service Advice: Do I Need a Tire Rotation? | Service Advice | Ford


This video will explain the importance of having your tires rotated to improve tire life and overall performance of your vehicle.

Friday, March 3, 2017