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2013 New Model Truck Product Conference Highlights

Updated TPC Logo_GenericNew Model Changes and Body Builder Solutions Detailed at NTEA’s Truck Product Conference
Hundreds of work truck industry professionals took advantage of the opportunity to preview new models and access key engineering contacts from leading chassis manufacturers at the NTEA’s Truck Product Conference. Held Sept. 10–12, 2013 at the Adoba Hotel Dearborn/Detroit (Dearborn, MI), this year’s event featured product displays from 12 chassis OEMs. Also, 11 gave presentations on technical changes, including as related to new 2013 on-board diagnostics (OBD) rules for diesel engines. In addition, many discussed upcoming changes to meet future greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations, such as low rolling resistance tires.

Tuesday, Sept. 10
ISUZU Logo NEWThe Truck Product Conference kicked off with a presentation from Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., which shared a market forecast, details on its financial position and a review of its product lineup.

The OEM highlighted changes to the N-Series for the 2013/2014 model year, including new low rolling resistance tires; a 4.2-gallon DEF tank; brake override logic; modifications to the 4JJ1-TC engine for production improvement; the adoption of a lighter and more compact ABS unit on the N-Series Diesel and Reach; and the discontinuation of manual transmission models. In addition, Isuzu announced a rear axle size change (weight reduction) for the NPR-HD only, and the elimination of the idle control knob.

For upfitters, the OEM said that the NPR and NPR-HD gas models can be ordered with the LC8 gaseous fuel engine prep package. Additionally, the diesel vertical exhaust option is only available with the 4HK1 engine (14,500-lb. GVWR and higher) for the 2011–2014 model years with the port installed option (PIO) when the vehicle is ordered. Isuzu said this is the only acceptable diesel exhaust layout modification.

View or download Isuzu Body Builder Guides
View the Isuzu presentation

Western Star Logo(2)Western Star Trucks gave a brand and product overview, including the 4700, 4800, 4900 and 6900 models. The OEM also detailed new product offerings, including the full variable remote throttle; inverted afterframe crossmembers; and roll stability and electronic stability control offerings for the 4700, 4800 and 4900.

New additions include a Centri air filter passive precleaner; Davco 482 fuel/water separator; the Bendix AD-9SI air dryer; and a heated DV2 autodrain valve on the 4700. 

Future product offerings will include an oil check and fill for the Allison Transmission; an optional guard for the 4900SF automatic transmission cooler; and LED spot and strobe/beacon lights.

Access Western Star’s Body Builder Book V2.1
View the Western Star presentation

Mack LogoMack Trucks, Inc. presented a vocational model lineup overview, including engine and transmission options, and a powertrain and axle summary.

Mack also detailed changes resulting from OBD13. The OBD system in the engine controller is designed to detect component failures anywhere on the vehicle that could affect emissions. HD-OBD is being implemented as a means to verify that the emissions standards set forth by the EPA and CARB are being met. All models featuring Mack engines that are to be registered for service in the U.S. and Canada are affected. All other Mack-engine-equipped vehicle models with emissions level prior to EPA-2010 and intended for export markets are excluded.

Additionally, the OEM noted that the DPF system in the TerraPro is fully catalyzed for 2013; all-wheel drive and twin steer packages are available from the factory; and new in-cab features include self-canceling turn signals, low-level lighting and a dead pedal. Also, body builder center consoles will be available on the Granite and TerraPro cab-over; the Granite will feature Body Link III and pass-thru, assignable switches, bodylamp, junction blocks and body builder tie-in connectors; and the TerraPro cab-over will have Control Link II and BOC connectors.

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View the Mack Trucks presentation

RAM commercial logo_2012Ram Commercial gave a commercial marketing overview, detailing sales and market share trends. The OEM also shared changes to the 2014 Ram Chassis Cab, including an all-new 6.4L Hemi engine. The new V8 engine is the first gas engine in Ram 4500 and 5500 trucks; offers left or right side PTO capability as well as engine shutdown timer; dual alternator capability and 26,000 lbs. max GCWR. New features for the 2014 Ram C/V include improved fuel economy; standard 17" steel wheels with full cover; and standard heavy-duty 4-wheel disc brakes.

Representatives also discussed split shaft capability on the automatic, available in October, which allows for higher horsepower and larger components to be driven through the driveshaft. In addition, Ram overviewed new snowplow packaging. For 2014, 2500 pickups and 3500 chassis cabs have the same frame as the 2013 3500 pickups, and 4500/5500 models have a slightly modified front crossmember driven by the gas engine.

Information on the new Ram ProMaster — including the incomplete vehicle document, initial schematics (more to come) and upfitter’s circuits — is now available online.

Access Ram Body Builder Guides

Wednesday, Sept. 11
PeterbiltPeterbilt Motors Company gave an operational overview and highlighted all available vehicle models. Representatives discussed safety and functionality features; engine offerings; chassis design features; and serviceability.

The OEM also detailed future Model 567 features, including an integrated cab mount and overbell system for increased chassis rigidity; vibration isolation at the cab mount/frame; and enhanced PTO clearance. In addition, the Model 567 will offer optimized steering gear geometry; angled dress covers for reduced pin tension; routing troughs and covers for defined harness placement.

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View the Peterbilt presentation

Mit Fuso Logo NEWMitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. delivered a 2014 Canter chassis update, reviewing vertical center of gravity and body lengths as well as how gross combination weight rating is determined. Additionally, representatives shared information on liftgates, the FG snowplow, body lighting, body builder directives and a lighting addendum.

Also discussed were product changes for the 2014 model year, including a factory 102"-wide fuel filler hose and updates to meet OBD13/GHG 2014 requirements. Attendees were also given a reminder about the factory optional side fuel tank for FE models.

Download Mitsubishi Fuso Body Builder Information
View the Mitsubishi Fuso presentation

GM Logo NEWChevrolet and GMC Commercial Truck shared information on the all-new Silverado/Sierra, discussing appearance, functionality and additions. For 2014, the B pillaris moved forward; double cabs have forward hinged rear doors; and bed rail protectors, a locking tailgate, and 7- and 4-pin trailer connectors are standard on all boxes. GM upfitter switches 9L7 are located in the center switch bank at the bottom of the center stack, and the fuse location is in the under-hood BEC. The location to connect aftermarket wiring is on the driver’s side under the dash.

New van features and functions for 2013 include a 159" wheelbase for the cutaway lineup; the availability of a CNG fuel system on ¾-ton and 1-ton cargo vans with a 135" and 155" wheelbase; an SEO K5Z second battery tray option; a 6AQ dual battery option; VXW running boards on cargo and passenger models; and a 9G3 all-terrain tire option for ¾-ton cargo vans.

An Upfitter Integration update was also presented, reviewing a technical bulletin on the aftermarket trailer brake controller harness for the Silverado/Sierra 1500 series, and detailing the redesigned upfitter site, www.gmupfitter.com.

View the Chevrolet & GMC Trucks presentation

Freightliner Logo NEWFreightliner Trucks representatives detailed new model options, including an air bag supplemental restraint system; enhanced stability control; and factory twin steer chassis prep to facilitate timely aftermarket conversion. A vehicle data recorder and between-rail fuel tank will be available in October.

In addition, Freightliner outlined its Frameworks program, a comprehensive suite of services and tools for manufacturers to improve their experience upfitting Freightliner chassis. This program specifically offers training and tools to improve upfit ease and efficiency; increased financing opportunities for manufacturers
and their customers; and additional services for high-volume manufacturers.

Representatives also highlighted the Allison Optimized Program that delivers the best features aligned with a “known” duty cycle. As described by Freightliner, the program offers the Best Allison Transmission Package (with optimized components for performance and efficiency by segment), limited exclusivity, extended warranties and customer sales allowance.

Visit Freightliner’s Body Builder Section
View the Freightliner presentation

Thursday, Sept. 12
kenworth(1)Kenworth Truck Company shared a company overview and gave updates on the impacts of OBD13 and future GHG rules. Kenworth estimates a 1–3% improvement in fuel economy; increased vehicle electronics and
complexity; increased warning indicators; and a greater need for driver education and service training.

Company representatives also gave a 2013 Eaton Hybrid System update, detailing the elimination of the inertia switch. The OEM highlighted new battery technology that increases electrical storage capacity by 2.7 times, and offers a 50-lb. weight savings, increased ePTO operation time and extended launch assist duration.

Additionally, Kenworth discussed its product offerings, including the T440 and T470; the medium-duty cab lineup, including features, options and serviceability; and the T880 and new T880 chassis offerings.

Access Kenworth Body Builder Manuals
View the Kenworth presentation

Hino Logo NEWHino Trucks gave a brief market update, reporting that its fiscal year 2012 results were as forecast and that it gained market share. The OEM also discussed its Preventive Care Program, which includes seven total preventative maintenance services, such as the HinoWatch roadside assistance program which covers
two years or 60,000 miles.

After sharing a current product overview, Hino revealed possible future options for the 2015 model year. These include rear axle ratios on the LoPro; 180-amp alternators in the 258 model chassis; radios with USBs; Bluetooth; and horn relocation from under the air box to nearby the radiator. 

After the presentation, Hino was joined by Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. for a combined display with Kenworth Truck Company.

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View the Hino presentation

Ford LogoFord Commercial Truck concluded the presentation portion of the Truck Product Conference. The OEM shared details on its 2014 model year E-Series product transition, reporting that E-Series vans and wagons will be available through the initial phase of Transit with an end date of June 2014. E-Series cutaway and stripped chassis will continue for an extended period of time and complement the new Transit models.

Representatives gave an update on the 2014 Transit Connect, which is offered in cargo van and wagon body styles, with a choice of two wheelbases and versatile cargo door choices. Ford also discussed the Transit chassis-cab and cutaway, which offer flexibility to extend the rear overhang.

Additionally, Ford reported that Rob Stevens, chief nameplate engineer for Ford, will retire at the end of the 2013 calendar year. He will be replaced by Todd Hoevener.

View Ford Body Builders Layout Books
View the Ford presentation