Model year changes and body builder integration options shared at NTEA's Truck Product Conference

This article was published in the October 2015 edition of NTEA News.

Work truck industry professionals explored chassis offerings for the coming model year and gained access to OEM engineers at NTEA’s Truck Product Conference. Held Sept. 15–17 at the Royal Dearborn Hotel & Convention Center (Dearborn, Michigan), this year’s event featured programs and displays from 13 leading chassis manufacturers. Attendees were able to experience new, unreleased products. The presentations covered technical changes, vehicle specifications, installation strategies, fuel efficiency innovations, accommodations to comply with greenhouse gas legislation, and more.

Tuesday, Sept. 15

International Truck kicked off the event by addressing its lean transformation during the last three years to streamline processes and optimize product lineup.

The OEM discussed its WorkStar truck, now available with the Cummins ISB6.7 engine and Eaton Procision transmission, delivering optimal reliability, ease of operation and safety. International detailed its extensive testing procedures and emphasis on serviceability, offering a hood tilt and easy access to electronics.

The company overviewed other advanced technologies, including expanded pickup and delivery options with integrated liftgate protection and delivery door open alarm; crane and utility enhancements with a low battery voltage protector and wheel chock sensors; accessory load management capabilities; collision mitigation system; and power takeoff protection and maintenance options. Its Diamond Logic® electrical system offers onboard diagnostics, ergonomic switches, task automation, equipment integration, greater life expectancy, and a reduced number of wires and connectors.

Representatives also referenced a brand-new vocational truck to be launched next year. This vehicle is currently being tested, with select custom units to be built early in 2016 and full introduction starting in the spring.

Visit bodybuilder.navistar.com to access International’s body builder information.

Hino Trucks and Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. delivered a joint program, reviewing technical content on their respective product lineups.

In its presentation, Hino listed upcoming changes for 2017 model year conventional vehicles, such as custom paint colors with two-tone and metallic shades, increased engine capacity from 220 to 230 horsepower, and a 260-horsepower engine available with hydro brake. Optional features include air suspension dual-leveling valves, towing hooks for the 4-inch extended bumper and online Bluetooth radio capabilities.

Speakers highlighted the HinoCare preventive service care program, which successfully released a cab-over-engine diesel package, gained momentum with conventional sellable plans, enhanced the base warranty on cab-over-engine powertrains, extended warranty plans on the cab-over-engine and conventional after-treatment systems, and reduced the price on parts for diesel particulate filters.

Attendees gained greater awareness of HINO INSIGHT, an advanced telematics solution featuring business telematics, remote diagnostics and case management to enable real-time assessment of customer issues. In addition, the chassis manufacturer referenced customization files available through Diagnostic eXplorer II, enabling customers to access diagnostic capabilities compliant with current Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Body builder information and CAD designs are available at hinocaddesign.com.

Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. provided an update on its Tacoma. The 2016 model year features an all-new 3.5-liter direct injection Atkinson cycle V6 gas engine, along with two new transmission offerings — 6-speed automatic and manual. Regarding Tacoma’s off-road capabilities, the company discussed Multi-Terrain Select — a new, dynamic feature which tailors traction control to surface conditions. CRAWL Control is another addition, which automatically manages the engine and brake force to maintain a constant vehicle walking pace. Other updates include an air dam to decrease air separation, Smart Key System, blind spot monitoring option with side mirror indicators and styled tailgate with integrated Tacoma badging. Sixteen-inch aluminum wheels give the vehicle a wider stance to improve handling, and high-strength steel has been introduced to elevate frame rigidity and strength. The interior features a new HVAC unit with automatic dual zone control and GoPro camera mount.

Western Star Trucks covered several new aspects of its product portfolio. Representatives shared benefits of the W4700, including temporary mounted diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) tanks, as well as heated auxiliary mirrors for defrosting snow and ice. The company also discussed its W4700 body builder package which includes a floor track system — a feature with dash switches prewired to the inside back of cab behind the passenger seat. These switches can accommodate a large space and handle up to 6.5-inch bundles, creating a path to route controls easily and securely.

All models feature grab handles with non-slip technology and flush-mounted LED utility lights with chrome accent rings. The W4800, W4900 and W6900 will incorporate NEWAY ADZ rear suspensions with 10-inch ride height. Starting in 2016, customers can order RollTek seats with protective airbags for the W4700, W4800 and W4900 models.

The OEM highlighted its engine remote interface SC 163 option, which allows body builders to receive engine signals and can be ordered for multiple locations on the truck. This feature provides interface wiring for the Allison transmission and is available on all vocational models.

Visit westernstartrucks.com/BODYBUILDERBOOK/default.aspx for additional body builder information.

Ram Commercial shared its latest chassis specifications and addressed issues influencing body and equipment installation.

The OEM discussed its lineup, starting with the ProMaster® van featuring front-wheel drive. New for the 2016 model year, ProMaster is available with Uconnect 5.0 audio head units and an option to enable rear speakers. The main upgrade for the 2017 model year is a standard 79-inch rear axle track on all chassis-cab and cutaway applications, changing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) to 9,350 pounds — a 450-pound increase. A 159-inch wheelbase is being introduced, providing an extra 14 inches of length and 43 cubic feet of additional capacity.

Updates shared for the Ram 2500/3500 include pickup box LED lighting and Bluetooth phone capabilities, as well as a front park assist feature. In addition, the company announced enhancements to cargo and tailgate camera view. At year-end, Ram plans to add regular and crew cab options to the 2500 CNG lineup.

The OEM addressed its chassis-cab special emissions package — new for the 2016 model year — which provides an emergency vehicle prep package and Cummins diesel engine.

Find body builder resources at ramtrucks.com/en/bodybuildersguide. Access to full CAD data is available upon request.

Wednesday, Sept. 16

Kenworth Truck Company discussed recent medium- and heavy-duty product offerings, as well as upcoming additions to its lineup.

The OEM highlighted key updates to the K270 and K370, including front-end styling enhancements, all-new dash/gauge package, push button shifter and 3000 HS/RDS five- or six-speed Allison transmission. Attendees gained insight into the recent launch of a clear frame rail package geared toward vocational bodies, an option which includes air tanks positioned between rails, vertical exhausts, a battery box above the rails and five wheelbase variations.

Kenworth reviewed the natural gas capabilities of its T440 and detailed the model’s sloped aerodynamic hood and curved glass windshield.

After mentioning the 18,000–20,000-pound capacity front axle option on its T370 — newly available this year — representatives announced a 46,000-pound capacity rear axle and suspension alternative coming in the 2016 model year.

Five-piece Metton construction and box bumpers are recent additions to the T880. Visibility has been optimized with a taller windshield, providing a direct view of traffic lights and lower windshield base for better ground vision.

Visit kenworth.com to find available body builder manuals. Simply select a vehicle and choose the “Body Builder Manual” option.

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. updated attendees on its product lineup and alternative fuel applications, emphasizing its commitment to alternative fuel efforts, with all 2016 model year vehicles meeting greenhouse gas regulations a year in advance.

Company representatives highlighted low cab forward Class 3–5 truck options, featuring two diesel engines, along with CNG and LPG conversion capabilities. The OEM’s 2015 model year lineup includes natural gas options for NPR and NPR HD, available in single or crew cab formats. For its diesel models, Isuzu upgraded the alternator, provided an optional keyless entry system and added a locking DEF tank cap. A suspension seat is available for all single-cab models.

Isuzu announced the upcoming launch of the 2016 model year NPR diesel option. This vehicle has a 13,000-pound GVWR and payload range of 7,435–7,607 pounds — an increase of 981 pounds from the 2015 model year. The 2016 model year NPR features a widened 33.5-inch straight frame, wide rear axle with a 9,880-pound gross axle weight rating and 3-liter diesel engine. 

The 2016 model year Reach — Isuzu’s walk-in van — has a 3-liter diesel engine, with Aisin A460 transmission and 25-gallon fuel tank.

To access Isuzu’s body builder guide and frontal area calculator, visit isuzutruckservice.com, go to the “Body Builders” section and choose the desired model. Select CAD data is available.

Peterbilt Motors Company shared product updates on the new heavy-duty Model 567 and its medium-duty conventional and cab-over models.

New this year, Model 567 showcased an updated front axle with four configurations. Company representatives discussed the truck’s continued specification versatility as it can run on natural gas, with LNG and CNG options available. To reduce jump starts, Peterbilt added the UltraCapacitor as a factory-installed option in Model 567.

OEM representatives expressed the benefits of Model 220, including an all-new cab design with a GVWR up to 33,000 pounds, excellent maneuverability, quiet interior and enhanced visibility. The company referenced the Driver Performance Assistant for Model 220, a coaching tool which provides acceleration and braking recommendations, as well as diesel particulate filter regeneration timing suggestions.

The company discussed its SmarTire technology, a system monitoring tire pressure and temperature and providing improved fuel economy, tire life and maintenance. In addition, Peterbilt outlined its SmartNav system which features a touch panel, 7-inch display, voice recognition, telematics capability, vehicle monitoring, diagnostics readout, cellular connectivity, iPod control, USB ports and virtual gauges. New SmartLINQ technology, an easy-to-use web-based system powered by Paccar Solutions, provides real-time notifications and allows users to assess truck health.

For 2016, MX engine updates include a valve lash interval, urea quality sensor and particulate matter sensor. Medium-duty options continue to expand, with the Paccar PX-9 and ISL G engines compatible with natural gas. 

The body builder manual is available at peterbilt.com/resources.

Chevrolet Commercial Vehicles reviewed its chassis specifications and covered available alternative fuel options.

In terms of 2016 activity, the OEM discussed plans to include door lock reinforcements for rear and side doors; standard UDF radios on all models; single-pane power mirrors; upfitter grommets in front of the dash; OnStar GEN 10 with 4G LTE and WiFi capabilities; and
accessory power circuits.

A new 220-amp generator is now available for mid-size truck powertrains.

In addition, the Sensing Diagnostic Module includes an integrated rollover sensor with an updated location at the vehicle’s center. Regarding chassis improvements, digital steering assist will become standard on double and crew cabs, delivering better handling and towing benefits. A fifth-wheel prep package will be available on all heavy-duty pickup models.

For the 2016 model year, the Silverado and Sierra have new grilles, headlights and front bumpers, with the Silverado undergoing a hood enhancement. The rear camera option will become standard for box deletes and chassis-cabs. GVWR for the Silverado 3500HD will increase to 13,000 pounds, and frame width will expand from 29.5 to 33.5 inches.

The company announced its reentry into the medium-duty market with the 2016 LCF truck based on the Isuzu N-series. This offering is available in seven models (two gas and five diesel).

Presenters also revealed a new light-duty box delete, providing the option to remove the box, rear bumper and spare tire/wheel/carrier for a $575 credit on regular cab long box models. There is also a new CNG bi-fuel cab chassis offering with the tank mounted directly to frame rails.

Changes for the 2017 model year include 4- and 7-pin trailer wiring connectors, a smart flow power steering pump, regulated voltage control, increased gross combined weight rating and isolated rear lighting circuits on cutaways, electronic return-less fuel system, and engine air conditioning capabilities.

Body builder information is available at gmupfitter.com.

Thursday, Sept. 17

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. provided an in-depth review of its product offerings.

The OEM highlighted its 2016 lineup, which includes the FE130 Class 3 truck. This model features a 13,200-pound GVWR, body and payload weight of 7,795–7,975 pounds, and body length ranging from 10–20 feet. The FE160 is a Class 4 option, with 15,995-pound GVWR, body and payload weight of 10,270–10,490 pounds, and 10–23-foot body length. Mitsubishi’s Class 5 option is the FE180, with a 17,995-pound GVWR, body and payload weight of 12,270–12,490 pounds, and 10–23-foot body length.

Mitsubishi shared equipment updates, including its idle limit system as an option for all Canter models, coded by port of entry or dealer. This function can be set for 3-, 5- or 10-minute shutdown triggers after achieving normal operating temperature when stationary. An Engine Protection System is now standard on all 2016 models. This feature is designed to shut down the engine if oil pressure is too low (7 pounds per square inch or less). The signal detection and actuation module warning lamp monitor, which tracks lighting parameters, was also discussed.

Visit mitfuso.com/en-US/Resources/Literature for body builder information.

Freightliner Trucks and Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation delivered insights into issues affecting body and equipment installation.

Freightliner Trucks covered its M2 106, which now offers an active safety system with camera and radar functionality, as well as a bolt-on front frame extension allowing faster aftermarket upfits.

Early next year, all Freightliner Trucks vehicles will be equipped with on-board diagnostic systems, modifying the physical interface. The company also added an option to eliminate overhead switch trim panels to allow for customer-installed options, an ICU3S instrument cluster for better display and improved diagnostic messaging, and extra storage capacity under the passenger seat.

Freightliner Trucks discussed its Allison Neutral at Stop program which reduces or eliminates engine load while the vehicle is stopped. Representatives addressed a new 6-gallon DEF tank, allowing additional space for other components; 30.4 cubic-feet-per-minute air compressor; routing and clipping brackets; electrical harness covering; and custom bracketry for installed components. The OEM announced customers can now gain access to VIN-specific three-dimensional chassis layouts.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation overviewed its S2G, a propane-based model developed through a grant from the Propane Education and Research Council. This truck is OEM-certified and California Air Resources Board-compliant, featuring a 339-horsepower engine; liquid injection fuel system; 25,500–33,000-pound GVWR; and 50-gallon fuel tank. S2G and B2 models in current production have achieved average fuel economy of 6–7 miles per gallon. Presenters announced plans to release a new extended warranty package valid up to five years or 150,000 miles.

Freightliner body builder resources are available at accessfreightliner.com.

Ford Commercial Vehicles concluded the Truck Product Conference, presenting its latest vehicle line innovations and offering analysis on key economic and business factors.

The OEM mentioned significant milestones for its Transit — the van recently achieved its 5,000th reassignment and 20,000th unit ship-through. The 2016 model year offers airbags in the front-row driver and passenger seats, and side curtain. Optional features include a diesel engine, E85-compatible gas engine for government orders, dual sliding side cargo doors, and code to delete side curtains for vans with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds (also available for cutaways and chassis-cabs).

For its 2016 model year E-Series cutaway and stripped chassis, Ford outlined updates, including a new 6.8-liter gas engine. In addition, the Torqshift 5-speed transmission will be replaced by the TorqShift HD 6-speed version with new crossmember locations. 

Ford discussed standard equipment on the 2016 Super Duty, including body structure trim and airbag modifications on models with 10,000-pound GVWR or less, as well as an option to delete airbags in the driver seat, passenger seat or side curtain. Ford representatives announced the all-new 2017 Super Duty will be revealed shortly.

The company highlighted its 2016 model year F-650 and F-750, available in
eight models and three cab configurations. When paired with the 6.7-liter Power Stroke V8 turbo diesel engine, the trucks have a five-year, 250,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

In terms of sustainability, Ford representatives announced the addition of a 5-liter gaseous fuel prep engine for the new 2016 model year F-150, which can run on either CNG or gas. An eQVM system for electrification of commercial truck chassis is scheduled for completion in the near future.

Find Ford body builder layout books at fleet.ford.com/truckbbas.

View all photos from the 2015 Truck Product Conference.