This article was published in the October 2015 edition of NTEA
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
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
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
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
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
Body builder information and CAD designs are available
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
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.
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
Kenworth reviewed the natural gas capabilities of its
T440 and detailed the model’s sloped aerodynamic hood and curved glass
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
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
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
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
The body builder manual is available at peterbilt.com/resources.
Chevrolet Commercial Vehicles
reviewed its chassis specifications and covered available alternative fuel
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ford Commercial Vehicles
concluded the Truck Product Conference, presenting its latest vehicle line
innovations and offering analysis on key economic and business
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
Find Ford body builder layout books at fleet.ford.com/truckbbas.
View all photos from the 2015 Truck Product Conference.