Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Majority of Pickups could be Aluminum by 2025

Depending on who you talk to, the idea of making pickup trucks out of aluminum is an idea that could catch on with truckmakers, resulting in as many as 7 out of 10 trucks being made from aluminum during the next few decades.

According to The Detroit News, marketing research firm Ducker Worldwide is predicting that once the 2015 Ford F-150 debuts and works out the bugs with dealerships and the auto repair industry, other truckmakers will likely to follow suit. In fact, a recent study by Ducker suggests that by 2025 as many as 7 in 10 pickup trucks made for the U.S. could be made completely or substantially from the lighter alloy.

The study was commissioned by the Aluminum Transportation Group, an organization dedicated to promoting the use of aluminum in new production areas. The Detroit News noted that members of the Steel Market Development Institute (you can guess where their biases lay) think more advances are likely to be made with less-expensive advanced high-strength steels. What a surprise.

All of this speculation about the use of more lightweight materials is motivated by the aggressive federal fuel-efficiency targets full-size pickups (those with a gross vehicle weight rating less than 8,500 pounds) will have to meet in the near future. Now that Ford is pushing the industry, it makes sense that others are likely to follow. Making vehicles lighter will naturally help improve a vehicle's EPA fuel economy numbers, but there are many other ways pickup truck makers can help their average fuel economy as well. Look for more less conventional solutions coming down the road, as well.

 From pickuptrucks.com Cars.com image by Mark Williams

Monday, June 23, 2014

Switch to a tool that can help make you more efficient - Transit Connect




You could be into sustainable demolition. Reusing construction waste instead of carting it off to a landfill requires a way to get the specialized tools you need to a job site. Keeping them organized and accessible with available racks and shelves†† may lead to better efficiency, higher productivity and richer compensation.  Having a convenient way to haul it all away can help do the same on the back end.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

2015 Ford F-150 Seen on the Streets


Like an encounter with the elusive Bigfoot, we got a big surprise when we found ourselves face-to-face with the brand-new aluminum-bodied Ford F-150, due at dealerships toward the end of the year. In the midst of our 2014 Ultimate Heavy-Duty Challenge in and around Ann Arbor, Mich., area, we had the chance to see a fully loaded 2015 Ford F-150 4x4 Lariat Sport
.

Clearly this was an early build vehicle, out of its cage long before any journalists will have a chance to get behind the wheel, but we were allowed to touch it and take photos in the protected area behind our hotel. Build quality looks impressive, and the level of detail and technology in the truck is impressive.

We spent a lot of time scrolling through the multilayered information screen (between the speedometer and tachometer) where the data is sorted like a filing cabinet, clicking on tabs and lists to set and access all sorts of numbers and settings. The towing mirrors have tremendous capability, and cameras embedded into the mirrors provide the new half-ton with the segment's first 360-degree capabilities.

Also, the front EcoBoost air intake is equipped with automatic shutters that allow the engine to both cool and warm up faster for better efficiency, which should directly translate into better fuel economy.

Finally, and we thought this one needed more consideration, the trailer brake controller is buried far under the dash — making it even more difficult to see or grab easily than in the 2014 model. No doubt we'll be seeing more of the new F-150 as more of the pickup trucks come out of the Dearborn Truck Plant.

From what we understand, the trucks won't get to dealerships until the fourth quarter of the year so this could be the best time to get a good deal on a current-generation F-150. Ford will have to be careful with inventory as it makes the changeover and dealers wind down their current inventory. A misplayed hand in the early stages could rob Ford of any new-truck momentum as it heads into 2015.

From www..pickuptrucks.com Cars.com photos by Mark Williams

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ford Transit with KNAPHEIDE KUV Seen at the Ford Kansas City Assembly Plant


THE KNAPHEIDE KUV CAN GREATLY INCREASE YOUR PRODUCTIVITY

Say goodbye to crawling around in the back of your cargo van searching for tools and inventory. The KUV has all the compartments necessary to help anyone keep organized on and off the jobsite.

The KUV has secure external equipment storage that is easy to organize and internal storage space that includes two conduit chutes and a large cargo area for oversized items.  With a cab access door, the technician can leave the driver seat and enter the internal cargo area to obtain the needed inventory for the job site.

The KUV is rugged with a solid steel galvanneal steel construction built to last.  If you own a cargo van and spend more time searching for parts and tools than working on the jobsite, then the KUV should be your next equipment investment.

Let the KUV provide more billable hours for you. Custom configure a Sortimo package for your KUV with Knapheide's Online Sortimo Configurator!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bully Side Step


Product Description
  • Installs on passenger or driver side
  • Made of heavy duty flip out step
  • 300 lbs weight capacity
  • Mounting kit included
  • Easy to mount
Bullys revolutionaly Truck Step is easy to mount and flips out when you need it. Made of heavy duty materials these steps will hold up to 300 lbs. Access your truck beds tool box with ease. Heavy duty mounting kit is included.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

10 Fathers Day Gifts for Pickup Truck Guys



Have a dad who digs trucks as much as you do? Finding the right gift can be a challenge, especially if you've waited to the last minute. But don't stress, we've got you covered, or should we say, the internet has you covered. Here are 10 last-minute cool and unusual gifts for the pickup-loving dad on your list. Find the list Here.

From www.pickuptrucks.com

Friday, June 13, 2014

Westport Offers CNG Transit Connect Models


Westport is now offering the 2015 Ford Transit Connect as a dedicated or bi-fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) Westport WiNG Power System vehicle.

According to Westport, dedicated and bi-fuel options give fleets more fuel flexibility when choosing to fill up with CNG. Westport's Transit Connect will be compliant with Clean Port Act emissions standards, ensuring that fleets and small businesses who service airports can take advantage of natural gas.

The 2015 Ford Transit Connect model offers a 2.5L gaseous prep engine with improved fuel economy over gasoline. Westport is currently accepting orders through Ford dealerships.

Visit Westport’s website for more information about other bi-fuel and dedicated CNG Ford vehicles

From http://www.greenfleetmagazine.com

Monday, June 9, 2014

New Ford Transit Debuts with Industry-First Ford Paint Technology that Improves Durability and Sustainability

  •     All-new Ford Transit uses industry-first paint technology that is more durable than other commercial van exterior coatings
  •     Paint applied through the new process will retain 90 percent of its gloss at four years in service*
  •     New two-wet monocoat paint technology significantly reduces energy and water use, and lowers carbon dioxide and other emissions at Kansas City Assembly Plant
The all-new Ford Transit makes its North American debut with more durable paint, thanks to an industry-first paint technology now in use at Kansas City Assembly Plant.

Ford celebrated the start of North American Transit production at Kansas City Assembly Plant on April 30, and vans will be available on U.S. and Canadian dealer lots this summer.

The Transit vehicles built in Kansas City are the first to use the new two-wet monocoat paint process developed by Ford and its paint suppliers.

The technology results in more durable paint, uses less energy and water, and reduces carbon dioxide and particulate emissions compared with conventional paint processes.

The new paint had to meet or exceed “Built Ford Tough” standards, and was subjected to a battery of tests that simulates typical conditions the vehicle will see during 10 years. The paint was tested for its resistance to chipping and scratching, pollutants and sun exposure. Advanced weathering testing indicates that paint applied with the new two-wet technology will retain 90 percent of its gloss at four years in service compared to 1 percent gloss retention for paint applied using a conventional monocoat process.*

 “Durability was a critical consideration when we initiated this project,” said Dennis Havlin, Ford global paint engineering development and launch supervisor. “The advancements in paint chemistry enable us to deliver the appearance, performance and durability our customers demand.”

In addition to making paint tougher, the process reduces painting time and energy use by cutting the number of paint applications from three to two and the number of drying procedures from two to one.

It is another example of the innovative technologies Ford is implementing to support its global manufacturing strategies with regard to carbon dioxide emissions and water use. Ford plans call for a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions per vehicle produced from 2010 to 2025, and a 30 percent reduction in water use per vehicle produced from 2009 to 2015.

The new paint process uses less energy and water, and reduces carbon dioxide and particulate emissions compared with conventional paint processes. The reduction in paint and energy consumed is expected to result in 9,500 tons fewer carbon dioxide emissions and a 35-ton savings in particulate emissions on an annual basis.* An innovative dry scrubber system will help save more than 10.5 million gallons of water.* Overall, the system should save 48,000 megawatt hours of electrical power,* enough electricity to power 3,400 homes.

The two-wet monocoat process uses a primer coat that requires only a few minutes of open-air drying time before the color coat is applied. The color coat is formulated with the same appearance and protection properties of the clear coat, which eliminates the need for a separate clear coat. The painted body is fully cured in an enamel oven after the color coat is applied. The total process removes one paint application step and one oven drying step when compared to conventional paint processes.


The new paint procedure is being used for white-colored vehicles, which account for 80 percent of Ford Transit production at Kansas City Assembly Plant. As each color must be developed uniquely for the two-wet monocoat process, other colors will be considered based on demand. A conventional three-wet process – primer, base coat, clear coat – remains in use for metallic-colored vehicles.

Gaining production efficiencies The two-wet monocoat system helps increase production efficiency. The more streamlined process takes the vehicle body through an electrostatically bonded corrosion-resistance (E-coat) bath. The Transit body remains on a carrier that is lowered into the E-coat by four pendulums, rather than being manually removed from the carrier and attached to chains to be taken down, only to have to repeat the same steps before moving on to the paint booth.

The pendulums take the vehicle body into and out of the bath at steep angles, reducing the length of the bath by as much as 320 feet. Transit’s paint operation requires less space than that used in production of the smaller Ford Fiesta.

“The two-wet monocoat process allows us to design a system considerably smaller than a conventional paint shop, especially with regard to a vehicle of this size and complexity,” said Havlin. “Because painting time is cut down, the technology enables greater productivity using less equipment.”

Environmental savings A conventional paint process uses water filtration – known as a wet scrubber system – to remove the overspray from the air in the paint booth that produces sludge. The new dry scrubber system pumps the air through a filter containing limestone that can be recycled. The dry scrubber system alone reduces energy use and carbon dioxide emissions by 44 percent, cuts particulate emissions by 99 percent and uses 75 percent less water annually.*

 * Data based on preliminary testing.

About Ford Motor Company Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 183,000 employees and 65 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 www.corporate.ford.com.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Fleet Customers, Commercial Business Owners, Ford Dealers Invited to Test Drive All-New Ford Transit on National Truth About Transit Tour



  •     Ford kicks off nationwide Truth About Transit Tour to provide fleet customers, commercial business owners and Ford dealers an opportunity to test drive the all-new Ford Transit, learn about the vehicle’s Built Ford Tough credentials and get questions answered by Ford product specialists
  •     Tour will visit 19 cities across the United States from June into October; registration and other details are available at www.fordtransittour.com
  •     All-new Ford Transit will be available at U.S. and Canadian dealerships this summer
Ford Motor Company is offering an exclusive opportunity for fleet owners, commercial customers and dealers to drive and learn about the all-new 2015 Ford Transit.

The Truth About Transit Tour will visit 19 cities across the United States from June into October. Participants will test drive models on a closed course specially designed to let them evaluate Transit’s technology, handling and versatility.

They also will visit a unique hands-on interactive garage for a behind-the-scenes look at how Ford Transit is Built Ford Tough. Ford will have top product specialists on site who can answer questions about the all-new 2015 Transit.

Tour participants can view upfit vehicles to envision how Ford Transit can be customized to fit their needs.

Ford specialists also will be available to conduct personalized vehicle walk-around demonstrations at fleet and commercial customers’ places of business.

Registration and other details are available at www.fordtransittour.com for commercial business owners with fleets of one to 25 vehicles and www.fordtransittour/fleet for larger fleet customers.

The Truth About Transit Tour kicks off in Kansas City, Mo., where Transit is produced for the North American market at Kansas City Assembly Plant. The entire tour schedule is:

    Kansas City, Mo., June 9-13
    Minneapolis, June 16-20
    Chicago, June 23-27
    Detroit, July 7-11
    Charlotte, N.C., July 8-10
    Orlando, Fla., July 14-16
    Boston, July 14-18
    Washington, D.C., July 21-25
    Miami, July 22-24
    New York, July 28-Aug. 1
    Cleveland, Aug. 4-8
    Denver, Aug. 5-7
    Houston, Aug. 11-15
    Seattle, Aug. 12-14
    Dallas, Aug. 18-22
    Phoenix, Aug. 25-29
    Los Angeles, Sept. 8-12
    San Francisco, Sept. 15-19
    Atlanta, Oct. 6-10

Media will be invited to participate in select cities.

Transit builds on legacy of E-Series

Ford Transit will be available on U.S. and Canadian dealer lots this summer.

In the United States, Transit eventually will replace America’s best-selling van for 35 years,
E-Series, first sold in 1961 as Ford Econoline. E-Series vans and wagons still will be available and sold side-by-side with Transit into the 2014 calendar year, providing a seamless transition for Ford customers. Additionally, E-Series cutaway and stripped chassis will continue to be built and sold through most of the rest of the decade.

Transit was introduced in Europe in 1965, and has been the best-selling commercial van in the United Kingdom for 49 years. The vehicle is sold in 118 markets on six continents.

The high-roof Transit – with best-in-class 81.5 inches of maximum interior cargo height – provides enough headroom for a person 6 feet 4 inches tall to stand upright in the cargo area.

The new Transit van offers as much as 487 cubic feet of cargo volume and 4,650 pounds of maximum payload capacity – more than competing vans from General Motors and Chrysler. Transit delivers a maximum towing capacity of 7,600 pounds.

In some configurations, Transit offers as much as 75 percent more cargo volume than the largest E-Series, helping customers save in fuel costs and time associated with having to make a second trip. Maximum payload increases more than 600 pounds across the lineup versus comparable E-Series vans.

Transit will be available in van, wagon, chassis cab and cutaway body styles; in three body lengths and two wheelbases for van and wagon, along with three roof heights; and in XL and XLT trim levels, offering more choices than ever from a Ford commercial vehicle.

Moving from an all-gasoline engine lineup of two V8s and a V10 in E-Series, Transit comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 and offers the Ford F-150 available 3.5-liter EcoBoost® engine, along with a globally proven 3.2-liter Power Stroke® diesel option. Each engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission for efficient rear-wheel-drive operation.

Transit has been tested to Built Ford Tough truck standards at Ford proving grounds and in the hands of real-world fleet customers in North America.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 183,000 employees and 65 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 corporate.ford.com.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2015 F-150 Wins Ford’s First- Ever Yankee Cup for Trucks

  •     With help from Massachusetts Institute of Technology engineering faculty, the New England Motor Press Association awarded the 2015 Ford F-150, with more than 100 patents, the Yankee Cup
  •     The Yankee Cup is a technology award recognizing an automotive feature, system or vehicle that significantly makes driving safer, more cost efficient or more enjoyable
  •     From its truck bed to LED lights, new F-150 recognized by judges as tougher, smarter and more capable
The new 2015 F-150 claimed Ford Motor Company’s first-ever Yankee Cup for trucks, a technology award bestowed by the New England Motor Press Association, in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, at an annual awards dinner Thursday.

Selected with input from MIT engineering faculty, the New England Motor Press Association’s annual Yankee Cup goes to an automotive feature, system or vehicle that significantly makes driving safer, more cost efficient or more enjoyable.

“It is an honor to accept this award on behalf of the team behind the all-new Ford F-150,” said Pete Reyes, F-150 chief engineer. “With the 2015 F-150, Ford is teaching the world how to build a next-generation truck, and the more than 100 patents the F-150 team has filed for technologies prove these Ford engineers and designers are innovative leaders in the automotive industry.”

“When reviewing all the entries for the Yankee Cup, we couldn’t help but notice the F-150 is loaded with innovation,” said Craig Fitzgerald, New England Motor Press Association president. “We all know this vehicle is Built Ford Tough, but now it is both tough and smart – helping to redefine the light-duty pickup for the next generation.”

Ford has filed more than 100 patents on the all-new Ford F-150, making it the most patented truck in company history.

Innovative features include:
  • LED side-mirror spotlights allow customers to illuminate the side of the vehicle for tasks ranging from setting up a campsite to changing a tire.
  • Remote tailgate release automatically lowers the tailgate with the push of a button on the key fob – a pickup truck first Ford’s pioneering tailgate step has been completely reengineered so that it fully integrates into the tailgate, making it virtually invisible when not in use. The tailgate drops down into position in one easy motion. 
  •  The grab handle is now housed inside the tailgate, keeping the inner surface of the tailgate uniformly flat BoxLink™ cargo management system includes lockable die-cast aluminum tie-down cleats. It provides a unique interface to the box for improved flexibility and organization, as well as additional tie-down locations. Segment-first cargo ramps are available that stow on the sides of the box and can be mounted quickly on the tailgate to enable easy loading of ATVs, motorcycles or mowers
Segment firsts include a 360-degree camera view, integrated loading ramps stowed in the pickup bed, 400-watt power outlets inside the cab and segment-first LED headlights.

Additionally, the new Ford F-150 uses the latest high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloys to form the body and cargo box on top of a high-strength steel frame.

The aluminum is heat-treated in an oven using a method developed by Ford engineers that nearly doubles the strength of the metal. A similar approach is used in aerospace applications, but Ford is the first to use and petition to patent this methodology for the auto industry.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 183,000 employees and 65 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 corporate.ford.com.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

National Ford Truck Club BOLT Lock Interview


The National Ford Truck Club interviews BOLT Locks National Sales Manager Erika Garcia at the 2014 NTEA Work Truck Show about upcoming new products for BOLT Locks. See more at www.boltlock.com. Also see more about the National Ford Truck Club at www.nationalfordtruckclub.com

Sunday, June 1, 2014

How Ford Quietly Went About Early Testing of New F-150 Cargo Box with Real Customers in the Toughest Conditions




  •     Beginning in 2011, at job sites including a Nevada gold mine and a Pennsylvania dam, as well as in servicing power lines in Appalachia, six prototype F-150 pickups with high-strength, aluminum-alloy cargo boxes have been quietly tested in the hands of longtime Ford fleet customers
  •     Extreme real-world customer testing early on has helped prove durability of aluminum alloy and determine final cargo box design, ensuring the all-new Ford F-150 will be the toughest F-150 yet
  •     First time Ford has given customers advanced prototype vehicles so far ahead of production
Ford Motor Company went beyond its labs to test a key part of the all-new Ford F-150. The company embedded six prototype pickups – each with an experimental aluminum-alloy cargo box – at some of its fleet customer job sites then quietly went about evaluating the design and engineering of the next-generation pickup in the toughest conditions.

Three longstanding Ford fleet customers, unaware of Ford’s experiment, took delivery of prototype F-150s with current steel bodies and all-new, high-strength, aluminum-alloy cargo boxes in 2011. Three years later, these fleet customers and the Ford team who built the prototype trucks are convinced the new 2015 Ford F-150 will be the toughest truck the company has ever made.

“Our customers demand the highest levels of toughness and productivity – so we wanted to test the truck outside, in the harshest conditions and in the hands of real customers – with no limits,” said Larry Queener, program manager for the new F-150. “But we did not want these customers to know what was different. So, when we gave them the prototype vehicles, we told them to use the trucks like their other hard-working Ford trucks, and we would be back to follow their progress.”

Denis Kansier, F-150 prototype lead engineer, visited the customer sites every three months to check on the integrity of the vehicles and identify possible adjustments to the design of the new Ford F-150.

“This secret testing almost immediately yielded results and lessons we have rolled into the all-new F-150,” said Kansier. “For example, we made the cargo box floor thicker to improve strength, and we made modifications to the tailgate based on lessons we learned through customer usage.”

The six-vehicle fleet accumulated more than 350,000 miles in just more than two years.

Blind testing with customers

The job sites where the real-world testing was done were chosen for the tough nature of the work these fleet customers do there – from picking up and hauling heavy objects, like 40-pound pintle hitches used for heavy towing, to rolling over unforgiving off-road terrain. The customers were given two prototype vehicles each. The customers and the sites they worked on include:

    Barrick Gold Corporation, Elko, Nevada: The Barrick surveying team drove the vehicles through severe terrain at the company’s Bald Mountain and Cortez mines, including travel into mine pits before and after blasting. The prototype F-150 trucks are still being driven between 100 and 300 miles a day, and have accumulated more than 150,000 miles between them
    Walsh Construction, Holtwood, Pennsylvania and Birmingham, Alabama: Walsh Construction was selected for the severity of use at two of its work sites – first, a hydroelectric dam in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, then a highway interchange construction site in Birmingham, Alabama
    Regional utility company in North Carolina: One F-150 prototype was assigned to a meter reading crew that drives up steep mountain roads; the second truck was assigned to line crews that drive up overgrown paths to replace old poles and electrical lines. The meter readers removed the truck’s tailgate to improve visibility – an alteration Ford engineers responded to by incorporating height modifications into the final F-150 design. The trucks at these sites are still being driven an average of 200 miles a day

As the testing of these six F-150 prototypes ensued, drivers began to notice differences compared to typical steel truck beds. One of the differences they noticed was a lack of rust.

“They told us they noticed the boxes did not produce red surface rust when heavy use scratched through the paint,” said Kansier.

The fleet customers were informed of the modified, high-strength aluminum-alloy cargo box at the reveal of the all-new F-150 at the North American International Auto Show in January. The prototype trucks are still in use at these three companies.

To watch the customer tough testing in action at Barrick Gold Corporation, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBuYbGXVHdE&feature=youtu.be.

Tough testing strategy

Ford’s extensive testing strategy for the new F-150 includes three phases that will allow engineers to understand how each truck stands up under an array of harsh conditions: “We Test,” which takes place in Ford labs, “They Test,” at fleet customer sites and “You Test,” in which consumers will have an opportunity to put the new truck through its paces.

In addition to testing by the three fleet customers, prototype F-150s have been tested in a number of real-world environments. Among them is Davis Dam – a durability route in a remote corner of northeast Arizona – where the F-150 climbed 13 miles pulling a maximum trailer load in 120 degree heat. In California’s Anza-Borrego State Park, an hour east of San Diego, the truck ascended a mountain of sand and rock with a 30-degree grade, sometimes reaching an altitude of 6,000 feet, 250 times over five days – all without fail.

For a graphic of all the testing courses, which span coast to coast, click here.

Before the first 2015 F-150 rolls off the assembly line, the new truck will have been subjected to 10 million miles of combined real-world and simulated durability testing. For a list of some of the ways Ford has torture tested the next-generation F-150, visit https://media.ford.com/content/fordmedia/fna/us/en/news/2014/04/09/10-ways-ford-torture-tested-the-2015-F150.html.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 183,000 employees and 65 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 corporate.ford.com.