Monday, January 30, 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, January 28, 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.

Thursday, January 26, 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/

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

FORD ADDING ELECTRIFIED F-150, MUSTANG, TRANSIT BY 2020 IN MAJOR EV PUSH; EXPANDED U.S. PLANT TO ADD 700 JOBS TO MAKE EVS, AUTONOMOUS CARS


  • Ford confirms seven of 13 new global electrified vehicles coming in the next five years, including F-150 Hybrid, Mustang Hybrid and Transit Custom plug-in hybrid
  • Ford to launch fully electric SUV with an estimated range of at least 300 miles and two new electrified police vehicles
  • The automaker is investing $700 million and adding 700 direct new jobs in Flat Rock (Michigan) Assembly Plant to create a factory capable of producing high-tech electrified and autonomous vehicles – plus the iconic Ford Mustang and Lincoln Continental
  • Ford is piloting wireless technology that makes recharging an electric vehicle as easy as pulling into a parking spot; in addition, the company is testing EV prototypes this year in Europe, New York and other large U.S. cities
  • Ford is canceling plans for a new $1.6 billion plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and investing $700 million in the Flat Rock, Michigan, plant’s expansion; Ford will build its next-generation Focus at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico, to improve company profitability 

All 2017 EV Announcement Images

FLAT ROCK, Mich., Jan. 3, 2017 – Ford today detailed seven of the 13 new global electrified vehicles it plans to introduce in the next five years, including hybrid versions of the iconic F-150 pickup and Mustang in the U.S., a plug-in hybrid Transit Custom van in Europe and a fully electric SUV with an expected range of at least 300 miles for customers globally.

The automaker also announced plans to invest $700 million to expand its Flat Rock Assembly Plant in Michigan into a factory that will build high-tech autonomous and electric vehicles along with the Mustang and Lincoln Continental. The expansion will create 700 direct new jobs.

The moves are part of a $4.5 billion investment in electrified vehicles by 2020, offering customers greater fuel efficiency, capability and power across Ford’s global vehicle lineup. The plans are part of the company’s expansion to be an auto and a mobility company, including leading in electrified and autonomous vehicles and providing new mobility solutions.

“As more and more consumers around the world become interested in electrified vehicles, Ford is committed to being a leader in providing consumers with a broad range of electrified vehicles, services and solutions that make people’s lives better,” said Mark Fields, Ford president and CEO. “Our investments and expanding lineup reflect our view that global offerings of electrified vehicles will exceed gasoline-powered vehicles within the next 15 years.”

Ford is focusing its EV plan on its areas of strength – electrifying its most popular, high-volume commercial vehicles, trucks, SUVs and performance vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive.

The seven global electrified vehicles announced today include:


  • An all-new fully electric small SUV, coming by 2020, engineered to deliver an estimated range of at least 300 miles, to be built at the Flat Rock plant and sold in North America, Europe and Asia
  • A high-volume autonomous vehicle designed for commercial ride hailing or ride sharing, starting in North America. The hybrid vehicle will debut in 2021 and will be built at the Flat Rock plant
  • A hybrid version of the best-selling F-150 pickup available by 2020 and sold in North America and the Middle East. The F-150 Hybrid, built at Ford’s Dearborn Truck Plant, will offer powerful towing and payload capacity and operate as a mobile generator
  • A hybrid version of the iconic Mustang that will deliver V8 power and even more low-end torque. The Mustang Hybrid, built at the Flat Rock Plant, debuts in 2020 and will be available in the North America to start
  • A Transit Custom plug-in hybrid available in 2019 in Europe engineered to help reduce operating costs in even the most congested streets
  • Two new, pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicles. One of the two new hybrid police vehicles will be built in Chicago, and both will be upfitted with their police gear at Ford’s dedicated police vehicle modification center in Chicago

In addition, Ford announces that its global utility lineup will be the company’s first hybrids powered by EcoBoost® rather than naturally aspirated engines, furthering improving performance and fuel economy.

The company also plans to be as aggressive in developing global electrified vehicles services and solutions. These include EV fleet management, route planning and telematics solutions.

Building the Future

To support the new era of vehicles, Ford is adding 700 direct new U.S. jobs and investing $700 million during the next four years, creating the new Manufacturing Innovation Center at its Flat Rock Assembly Plant. Employees there will build the all-new small utility vehicle with extended battery range as well as the fully autonomous vehicle for ride-hailing or ride-sharing – along with the iconic Mustang and Lincoln Continental.

“I am thrilled that we have been able to secure additional UAW-Ford jobs for American workers,” said Jimmy Settles, UAW vice president, National Ford Department. “The men and women of Flat Rock Assembly have shown a great commitment to manufacturing quality products, and we look forward to their continued success with a new generation of high-tech vehicles.”

This incremental investment in Flat Rock Assembly Plant comes from $1.6 billion the company previously had planned to invest in a new plant in Mexico.

Ford today announced it is cancelling plans for the new plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It also announced that, to improve company profitability and ensure the financial as well as commercial success of this vehicle, the next-generation Focus will be built at an existing plant in Hermosillo, Mexico. This will make way for two new iconic products at Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Michigan, where Focus is manufactured today – safeguarding approximately 3,500 U.S. jobs.

Unique ElectrificationTechnology

Building on two decades of experience, Ford is applying lessons learned to deliver patented technology, software and services to appeal to truck customers, SUV owners, performance enthusiasts, high-volume commercial fleets and everyone in between.

“Ford’s global EV strategy is to build on our strengths,” said Raj Nair, executive vice president, Product Development, and chief technical officer. “While some others seem to be focused on marketing claims and numbers, we’re focused on providing customers even more of what they love about their Ford vehicles. This means more capability for trucks, more productivity for commercial vehicles and more performance for sports cars – plus improved fuel economy.”

This year, Ford begins testing its new generation of EV technology. In Europe, Ford will put the Transit Custom plug-in hybrid on the road later this year, along with a new set of mobility services, telematics and connectivity solutions.

In addition, in New York and several major U.S. cities, Ford is testing a fleet of 20 Transit Connect hybrid taxi and van prototypes in some of the world’s most demanding traffic conditions.

These Transit Connects build on the success of the world’s first hybrid taxi – the Ford Escape Hybrid – which also was the world’s first hybrid SUV and the first North American-built hybrid. Many Escape Hybrid taxis are still on the road, moving passengers for more than 350,000 miles each and still using their original batteries.

Today, Ford is America’s top-selling plug-in hybrid brand and second in overall U.S. electrified vehicle sales.

New Services

Applying approximately two decades of leadership in EVs and commercial vehicles, Ford also is working on a suite of services to make EVs even easier to live with.

“Innovative services can be as important to customers as the electrified vehicles themselves,” said Hau Thai-Tang, group vice president of Purchasing and Ford’s EV champion. “We are investing in solutions to help private customers as well as commercial fleet owners seamlessly incorporate these new vehicles and technologies into their lives.”

Ford already has a memorandum of understanding with several other automakers in Europe to create an ultra-fast charging network projected to be significantly faster than the most powerful charging system deployed today. An initial target of about 400 sites in Europe is planned. By 2020, consumers should have access to thousands of high-powered charging points.

Ford also is piloting wireless technology on company EVs in the U.S. and Europe that make recharging as easy as pulling into a parking spot so drivers never forget to recharge. Wireless recharging extends electric-only range for short distance commuters, even during quick stops. FordPass® also can help consumers reserve charging times.

Understanding customers

Ford has been extensively studying how past and current EV owners use their vehicles. The company has sold more than 520,000 electrified vehicles in North America since 2005 and 560,000 globally.

In studying 33,000 Ford EV owners that have made 58 million unique trips, Ford has learned:

  • 88 percent of customers’ habitual daily driving distance is 60 miles or less. For plug-in hybrids, the average refueling distance is 680 miles, making gas station trips rare
  • Customers want as much electric range as possible, but range anxiety drops over time as they become more comfortable and familiar with the technology
  • 80 percent of Ford EV customers charge once a day; 60 percent during evenings
  • Ford EV customers collectively have plugged in their vehicles a total of 9.4 million nights
  • An overwhelming majority of Ford EV owners expect to replace their current EV with a new one, additional Ford research shows. Specifically:
  • 92 percent of battery electric car customers say they will purchase another battery electric vehicle as their next purchase
  • 87 percent of plug-in hybrid customers want another plug-in for their next vehicle
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.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

UNPRECEDENTED: FORD F-SERIES ACHIEVES 40 CONSECUTIVE YEARS AS AMERICA'S BEST SELLING TRUCK


The Ford F-Series durability, technology and capability have kept it king as America’s best-selling trucks for 40, straight, years.

Learn more about the F-150 here: http://ford.to/f150 

Friday, January 20, 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.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

How to Drive Through an Ice Storm | Extreme Weather Driving Tips | Ford


Ice storms can be very beautiful, yet hazardous. Follow these tips if you encounter a dangerous ice storm to stay safe while driving.

Ford owners want to go everywhere in their vehicles, no matter what type of weather they might run into. This video series provides helpful tips for navigating any type of extreme weather situation on the road.

Drive with confidence—no matter what Mother Nature throws at you.

Monday, January 16, 2017

CURT's culture is built on change - CURT Towing Products


"CURT's culture is built on change. Our motto is: the only constant is change. This allows for continuous innovation and continuous improvement in our products and services. That's what makes this company different."

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Highway Products - Veterinarian Service Body


Driving unimproved dirt roads and field work involves the twisting and turning which fiberglass can't handle. Expensive repairs and downtime are not things you want. Aluminum Virtually lasts forever - meaning your first Vet Box™ could be be your last. We've got tool boxes with over 2 million miles and counting! Our customers move these boxes from truck to truck and keep on using them. Our Vet Box™ is built with the same locks, 1/8th inch thick marine grade aluminum, stainless (overkill) hinges, and fasteners we use on our semi truck boxes.Veterinarian Service Body Features include:


Vet Body Drawers

Drawers - One of the biggest time savers in a service body. The best way to keep organized. We make lots of them. We can add dividers or lift-out trays. Lift-out trays with dividers. Center divider has a double bend giving you a handle to carry this versatile little tray. Our standard pickup Vet Box can have as many as 8 carry trays.

Rainmaster Doors

Highway Products developed this unique Rainmaster style of internal rain gutter in 1984 for our semi and heavy truck tool boxes. It was so successful we carried it over to our truck body products. You can see the simplicity of this design makes sense and is very weatherproof. Notice the rugged rain-gutter design surrounds the box opening and actually channels water away before it makes contact with the Trim-lok automotive style weather stripping. Hence the name Rainmaster.

Vet Body Bed Slide

We've got options like this Truckslide™ slide out bed to speed you up and save your back. Use this as a table to work on smaller animals. Add lumber racks, headache racks, hatch-backs, or lights. Make this unit versatile to your liking.


More at: https://www.highwayproducts.com/veterinarian-service-body

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

ALL-NEW FORD F-150 RAPTOR WRAPS OFF-ROAD RACE SEASON WITH NEARLY 2,500 MILES OF COMPETITION TESTING

All-new Ford F-150 Raptor wrapped up the Best in the Desert 2016 season, finishing the Pahrump Nugget 250 in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 59 seconds to capture 432 points in the 1200 pro truck class

Ford Performance and Greg Foutz Motorsports fielded a preproduction 2017 F-150 Raptor – the toughest, smartest, most capable Raptor ever – as a validation platform for performance and durability testing

Factory stock Raptor race truck logged nearly 100 hours of sanctioned off-road action, covering 2,481 miles of desert sand, rocks, trenches and brutal temperatures with one 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost® engine


Dearborn, Mich., Dec. 27, 2016 – Ford, America’s truck leader, demonstrated its all-new 2017 F-150 Raptor is the toughest, smartest, most capable ever – racking up 2,481 miles of sanctioned off-road racing in the 2016 Best in the Desert season and SCORE Baja 1000.

Ford Performance and Greg Foutz Motorsports captured 432 points in the Pahrump Nugget 250. Fielding a production-intent F-150 Raptor equipped with race-required safety, navigation and lighting equipment, the team finished the race in 10 hours, 21 minutes and 59 seconds. Aside from suspension recalibrations to compensate for the added weight, the truck was showroom stock.

After logging more than 100 hours of off-road competition driving across some of the toughest terrain imaginable, the race truck completed the season with one factory stock 3.5-liter high-output EcoBoost® V6 engine. Midseason, Ford Performance engineers had swapped out the 10-speed transmission for retrofitting and evaluation.

“We didn’t slap our name on a trophy truck like other manufacturers do,” said Brian Bell, Ford Raptor marketing manager. “We ran a stock truck with full factory air conditioning, factory glass, AM/FM SIRIUS/XM satellite radio, the same engine and advanced off-road drivetrain and suspension that you’ll soon see at your Ford dealer.”

Slightly banged and battered, the Raptor race truck is being shipped back to Ford Performance headquarters in Dearborn before going on display at the 2017 North American International Auto Show. In the meantime, Ford Performance has secured mounds of data and real-world abuse testing that will help F-Series engineers better design next-generation F-150 and Super Duty trucks.

Lead driver and team owner Greg Foutz was impressed – both with how the truck ran and with the support Ford Performance provided. “I know how much we abused that truck, and they were able to capture a lot of data and provide updates as the Raptor readied for production,” he said.

Powered by an all-new high-output 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 delivering 450 horsepower and 510 lb.-ft. of torque to an all-new advanced high-performance off-road drivetrain, the 2017 Raptor boasts a fully boxed, high-strength steel frame, competition-grade suspension with Fox Racing shocks, and a military-grade alloy and composite body for added strength and reduced weight.

Modifications to the F-150 Raptor race truck include:


  • Race-optimized three-inch-diameter internal-bypass front and rear Fox Racing shocks similar to production Raptor’s segment-exclusive setup
  • Race-optimized front and rear springs raise ride height for additional ground clearance and to provide increased compression rate to handle extreme terrain
  • Custom-fabricated roll cage
  • MasterCraft seats with five-point harness safety belts and window nets
  • Rigid Industries LED light bars, racing fuel cell, Lowrance GPS, RacePak digital dash and data logger
  • The new factory stock class is the most production-specification class in the Best in the Desert off-road racing series.

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.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Work truck wheels require care for extended life


Aluminum and steel wheels are practically bullet proof and a daily glimpse for cracks and rust is probably sufficient as long as you take the steps necessary to maintain them.

“If you have good maintenance practices the wheel should last the life of the vehicle, if not longer,” says Brandon Uzarek, product design engineer at Accuride.

If you’re running steel or aluminum wheels, Uzarek says it’s critical to be sure all mounts and surfaces are clean and flat.

Dave Walters, Alcoa field service manager, agrees, adding the most important part of wheel maintenance is making sure the studs, drum and mounting faces are all clean before installation ever takes place.

“Sometimes, excess or foreign material can work its way into the joints and you’ll lose clamping force,” Uzarek says.

Uzarek recommends cleaning the studs when the wheels are mounted and on hub pilot wheels, studs need to be oiled while also oiling the gap between the flange.

To account for any shifting that takes places when the truck finally hits the road, Uzarek advises wheels be re-torqued between five and 100 miles after the initial mount and again every 10,000 miles.

“A lot of fleets do not do re-torques because it’s an inconvenience,” he says.

Walters says fleets can mitigate much of that inconvenience and still reap the benefits of proper torque by taking a 5 to 10 mile test drive after the wheel is initially mounted to settle the joint, then checking the torque.

“If you cleaned them and did everything properly, you shouldn’t have to re-torque them again unless the wheel is removed,” he says, adding this method was included in the Technology Maintenance Council (TMC) Recommended Practice (RP) 237.

Re-torquing practices can vary and Chris Putz, Maxion Wheels principal engineer for commercial vehicle wheels, says that’s fine so long as it’s application specific.

“The fleets know best their operations and vehicle duty cycles,” he says. “We would just recommend they have some established program for checking torque.”

Keeping wheels clean can also help prolong their life. A simple soap and water bath is sufficient for aluminum, while a wire brush is an effective tool in removing corrosion from steel.

“The faster we take care of any rust,” Uzarek says, “the longer the wheel should last.”

“If you maintain the appearance of your wheels, that prolongs the life of that wheel,” adds Walters. “The hidden corrosion is what’s going to get you. If you wash the truck and keep it clean, that’s key to keep corrosion from working down into the hidden places.”

Putz says keeping wheels clean is important to also ensure the longevity of the wheel against harsh salts and corrosives used to de-ice roads that can also eat through the wheel’s finish.

Wheel makers have developed advanced propriety anti-corrosive surface treatment coatings for their wheels that won’t flake, which Walters says offer advantages over many paints.

Wheel re-finishing is an option to make worn wheels look like new, but Uzarek cautions that a coat of paint won’t fix structural issues. When wheels begin to lose material, they need to be removed from service.

And the process of re-finishing can also be tricky. Uzarek says paint applied too thick can cause a loss in clamping force as can paint that has not cured properly.

Putz says each wheel should be thoroughly re-inspected after the refinishing processes is complete and, Walters adds, habitual wheel refinishing can remove enough wheel material to make it unsafe to operate.

“One thing we hear a lot of is burning off the paint in an oven and we have not approved that process,” he says. “Depending upon time and temperature, it could change the mechanical properties or the microstructure of the steel.”

When refinishing, you also must be aware that you could be eroding the roll stamp on the wheel, the visibility of which is mandatory for its use on the highway.

“Once the roll stamp is gone, you’ve basically got junk,” Walters says. “Once you cannot read the DOT stamp, you’re done.”

- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/steel-aluminum-work-truck-wheels/#sthash.Qca0f8LU.dpuf

Friday, January 6, 2017

Euro-Style Cargo Vans Break the Mold


In terms of longevity, the American-style, “box” utility van has enjoyed a remarkably long lifespan. Ever since the basic configurations of the design were hammered out in the 1960s, these vans have been a workhorse for an entire swath of businesses and small- and medium-duty commercial fleets.

But a new kind of van has emerged in recent years, featuring a drastically different look, and fleets are taking notice.

European-style vans made their first appearance in North American markets in 2001, when the Daimler Corporation, fresh off the heels of its acquisition of Chrysler, introduced its Sprinter van, branded as both Dodge and Freightliner models.

Read the whole story at: http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/vehicle-research/article/story/2016/12/outside-the-box.aspx


Monday, January 2, 2017

ALL-NEW FORD F-SERIES SUPER DUTY CUSTOMERS WANT HIGH-TECH FEATURES AND LUXURY



Tradespeople, entrepreneurs and fleets across America value Ford trucks equipped with high levels of technology – driving total sales of 2017 F-Series Super Duty up 24 percent last month over November 2015; retail sales jump 33 percent

Most popular Super Duty trim levels are Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum – high-series trucks that include the most driver-assist features − accounting for 71 percent of retail sales

All-new Super Duty boasts 20 class-exclusive technologies including features that make towing, hitching and maneuvering easier – for increased productivity and driver confidence

DEARBORN, Mich., Dec. 19, 2016 – Customers now expect more than superior capability from their trucks. They demand more technology to get the job done quicker and easier.

Here are the top five class-exclusive technologies that customers are choosing, never before available on Super Duty until now:

Adaptive Steering – Technology makes backing a trailer into a parking area or navigating tight, low-speed maneuvers easier – reducing steering effort required by up to one-third
Trailer Reverse Guidance – Feature enables drivers using their truck for towing to view trailers on Ford SYNC® screen and monitor trailer status on the road
Adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation: Using the engine brake to smartly assist customers towing heavy trailers, system helps avoid accidents – boosting driver confidence
BLIS with cross-traffic alert and trailer tow: Technology helps increase driver awareness of obstacles and traffic, especially in tight spaces and parking lots – leading to greater driver confidence
Lane-keeping alert: Technology uses a camera mounted between windshield and rearview mirror to detect unintentional drifting of the truck outside the intended driving lane
Three months into its launch, the all-new 2017 Super Duty’s smart technology features drove total nameplate sales up 24 percent and retail sales up 33 percent for November.

Demand is especially strong for Crew Cab, 4x4 and 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 diesel equipped Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum trucks, which accounted for 71 percent of Super Duty retail sales.

Texas – home to Ford’s two largest truck regions – saw Super Duty sales rise 45 percent in Dallas and 38 percent in Houston. More than 81 percent of these sales include Lariat, King Ranch and Platinum series trucks, with demand for 4x4 and Crew Cab configurations outpacing the rest of the country by 97 percent.

“The technology features in the new F-Series trucks, in particular the all-new 2017 Super Duty, are generating even greater interest,” said Chaz Gilmore, managing partner, Grapevine Ford Lincoln, near Dallas. “This truck is bringing a lot of new buyers out of competitive brands and into the Ford family. Ford really knocked it out of the park with this truck’s performance, options and technology offerings.”

The all-new Super Duty beats the competition on virtually every metric, with 925 lb.-ft. of torque, a 7,630-pound payload and 32,500 pounds of gooseneck towing capacity – but its 20 class-exclusive technologies really up the ante. High-series trucks equipped with such exclusive features as adaptive steering, Trailer Reverse Guidance, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert and trailer tow are what customers really want.

“Technology innovation is proving to be a differentiator,” said John Rieger, Ford Super Duty consumer marketing manager. “Our 20 class-exclusive, driver-assist technologies help increase productivity and boost driver confidence − especially when serving Super Duty’s primary mission of towing long, heavy trailers.”

With its first major redesign since being introduced in 1999, the all-new 2017 Super Duty takes heavy-duty pickups to the next level in toughness, smartness and capability.

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.