Monday, February 27, 2017

Expanded choices: Fleets are set to take advantage of alternative powertrains


More and more suppliers of medium-duty vehicles are adding options for alternative powertrains. For example, Dana recently introduced Spicer Electrified motor, control and e-drive technologies for electric vehicle propulsion systems.

Currently in production, the Spicer EV Drive for electric vans manages speed and torque from the e-motor to the wheels. Planned for launch in 2018, Dana’s new e-axles for city delivery vehicles and electric transit buses will feature a fully integrated motor and gearbox. The company is also working with automotive manufacturers to develop all-wheel-drive (AWD) e-axles paired with traditional front-wheel-drive hybrids.

Also in the news is the new XLP Fleet-Ready plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) solution for half-ton pickup trucks from XL Hybrids. The PHEV system will be installed as a ship-through upfit that will leave the original OEM engine, transmission, and fuel and exhaust systems intact, and will not have any special maintenance requirements. XLP will also include the XL Link cloud-based analytics system, which measures MPG performance and reports emissions reductions.

XL Hybrids surveyed fleet managers to understand their requirements and to develop the new technology. The XLP solution builds on the platform used on the company’s XL3 hybrid-electric powertrain, which has covered more than 35 million miles on Class 2-6 vehicles since 2013. The XLP lithium battery pack will accommodate Levels 1 and 2 charging using an industry-standard plug.
“Expanding our offering to include plug-in solutions is the next step in our plan to electrify fleet vehicles with technology that saves money while reducing fuel consumption and emissions,” says Tod Hynes, founder and chief executive officer of XL Hybrids. “The XLP system allows fleets to purchase the same OEM pickup trucks with the powertrain and warranty intact with an electrified powertrain to increase MPG.”

“Major fleets that have already adopted the XL3 hybrid-electric upfit system know that ‘fleet ready’ means it does not compromise the ability to provide customer service,” adds Clay Siegert, XL Hybrids’ co-founder and chief operating officer. “With our new XLP system, we’re equally committed to not impacting service, delivery or field operations.”

A number of utility and municipal fleets, including San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E), Liberty Utilities, Hawaiian Electric Co. and Montgomery County Maryland, are among the XL Hybrids customers that intend to purchase the new XLP PHEV system for pickup trucks. Deliveries will begin in the fourth quarter of 2017 and SDG&E has already announced plans to purchase up to 110 of the XLP systems between 2017 and 2020.

Liberty Utilities and its parent company, Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp., are also planning to add the new XLP systems. “The number and delivery timelines will be defined by our budget, but from a fleet perspective, we see a potential need for one to one-and-a-half percent of our fleet, or approximately 10 to 15 units, as assets come up for retirement,” says Stephen McCrodan, purchasing manager for Liberty Algonquin Business Services and director of fleet purchasing at Liberty Utilities.

“We adopted a fairly strong green fleet policy as we took steps to ensure that we’re doing all we can to minimize our impact on the environment,” McCrodan says. “We have shifted much of our fleet over to cleaner burning CNG and continue to; however, there are some Liberty Utilities service areas that do not have a natural gas infrastructure, and that prevents the use of CNG in those locations. Also, some of our locations are small, and the infrastructure required to support CNG would be too big a burden. For sites like those, a PHEV is an excellent alternative.

“OEMs have reduced their alternative fuel offerings for vehicles used by utilities,” McCrodan adds. “We have certain job functions which require or are optimized by a compact SUV or light-duty
pick-up truck and now we have fewer alternative fuel choices from manufacturers. Systems such as XL Hybrid’s XLP will help to fill the void.”

Saturday, February 25, 2017

2017MY CNG Certification – Ford E-450 6.8L V-10 Cutaway


Landi Renzo USA, a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM), is pleased to announce the industry’s first natural gas EPA certification for the 2017MY Ford 6.8L V-10 Heavy Duty (HLDRE06.8B10) engine utilized in E-series trucks, including the E-450 Cutaway.

Landi Renzo has maintained both EPA & CARB certifications on the Ford 6.8L 2-valve V10 engine since 2014MY. The most recent 2017MY EPA certification makes it the industry’s first dedicated CNG application for the engine test group HLDRE06.8B10 under Ford’s gaseous fuel QVM program

Read More…

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Municipal Dump Spreader (MDS) by Buyers Products


New Municipal Dump Spreaders from Buyers Products combine dumping and spreading for year-round use. Available with optional pre-wet system.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

NEW FORD COMMERCIAL VEHICLE CENTER PROGRAM KEEPS FLEET AND COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS ON THE ROAD

  • New Ford Commercial Vehicle Center dealers provide an outstanding sales, service and finance experience to fleet and commercial customers nationwide
  • Commercial Vehicle Center dealers offer best Ford truck and van selection, expanded service hours, greater parts inventory and highly trained staff to improve customer vehicle uptime
  • Program replaces groundbreaking Ford Business Preferred Network of commercial dealers

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 1, 2017 – Ford, the commercial vehicle leader for 31 straight years, introduces its Commercial Vehicle Center program to provide fleet and commercial customers nationwide with outstanding sales, service and financing at the dealership level.

The network includes more than 650 Ford dealers committed to offering commercial customers the vehicles, financing options and service support their businesses need. The Commercial Vehicle Center program replaces the groundbreaking Ford Business Preferred Network of commercial dealers.

“Nearly 30 years ago, Ford established its first program to improve the purchase experience for our commercial vehicle customers,” said John Ruppert, Ford general manager, commercial vehicle sales and marketing. “Now we are introducing the next chapter in our commercial vehicle story, not only by rebranding the program, but by further expanding a number of program elements to improve the overall customer experience.”

To maximize customer vehicle uptime, Commercial Vehicle Center dealer service departments are open at least 55 hours per week, and new stocking programs improve parts availability.

Ford’s new Commercial Advantage Rewards loyalty program lets customers earn a range of factory benefits that can be redeemed at any Commercial Vehicle Center location. Dealers can offer their own rewards through the program as well.

All Commercial Vehicle Center dealer employees are cross-trained by the factory to provide customers with knowledgeable, trustworthy support – from sales to finance to service.

Ford has the broadest line of commercial vehicles available – from Transit Connect compact vans to full-size Transit cargo vans, from F-150 pickups through Super Duty chassis cabs, all the way up to F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks. Commercial Vehicle Center dealers offer the best selection of in-stock Ford commercial vehicles, and a range of financing options and incentives.

“Our goal is to make Ford Commercial Vehicle Center dealers the trusted choice for commercial customers by providing an easy, effortless customer experience through a comprehensive, industry-leading commercial dealer network program,” said Ruppert.

For more information, or to locate a local Ford Commercial Vehicle Center, visit fordcommercialvehiclecenter.com.

ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Friday, February 17, 2017

NEW OMNICRAFT BRAND TO SELL QUALITY, COMPETITIVELY-PRICED PARTS FOR ALL VEHICLE BRANDS AT FORD DEALERSHIPS


  • Ford Customer Service Division launches Omnicraft, an all-new brand of replacement parts for all makes of non-Ford vehicles. Non-Ford customers now are able to purchase parts and have their vehicles serviced at Ford dealerships
  • The 1,500 most commonly requested parts are now available and include oil filters, brake pads and rotors, loaded struts, and starters and alternators. The list of available parts will eventually grow to 10,000 for even more customer convenience
  • Omnicraft is the first new brand for Ford’s Customer Service Division in 50 years and is an important growth opportunity for dealerships as they will be able to sell parts and offer service for all vehicles

DEARBORN, MI, January 24, 2017 – Ford dealers now have access to a complete family of parts to sell and to service all makes of vehicles as the Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD) launches its new Omnicraft brand.

Adding Omnicraft to Ford’s family of parts line to also cover non-Ford vehicles means an improved customer experience through competitive pricing, quality and convenience.

“Omnicraft is a significant benefit to any vehicle owner who needs parts or to have their vehicle serviced,” said Frederiek Toney, president, Global Ford Customer Service Division. “Now, owners of non-Ford vehicles have access to quality parts at a competitive price, backed by Ford and installed by Ford’s world-class certified technicians.”

For launch, Ford focused on developing the most commonly requested parts at a competitive price. Initial offerings include oil filters, brake pads and rotors, loaded struts, and starters and alternators.

“Today, 1,500 parts numbers are available with plans to eventually reach approximately 30 parts categories and 10,000 parts,” Toney said. “We targeted the most requested parts first to provide our dealers with a solid foundation of inventory.”

At launch, Omnicraft parts will be available at Ford and Lincoln dealerships and will roll out to other Ford Authorized Distributors throughout 2017.

Omnicraft is the first new brand offered by FCSD in 50 years and is an important growth opportunity for dealerships as they will be able to sell parts and offer service for all vehicles.   Ford also offers its Motorcraft® complete line of replacement parts for Ford vehicles.

ABOUT OMNICRAFT
Omnicraft is part of the Ford family of parts brands: Ford, Motorcraft and Omnicraft. Omnicraft is the exclusive non-Ford/Lincoln parts brand of premium aftermarket parts. With over a century of parts heritage to build upon, Omnicraft provides excellent quality and fit and is a preferred choice of professional automotive technicians. To find out more about Omnicraft, visit www.omnicraftautoparts.com or contact your local Ford or Lincoln dealership.

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.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

SMART ENGINEERING EARNS ALL-NEW FORD F-250 SUPER DUTY CREW CAB 4X2 FIVE-STAR OVERALL GOVERNMENT CRASH RATING


  • National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awards 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x2 with a five-star overall vehicle score in its New Car Assessment Program – the highest possible rating – making this all-new truck the safest Super Duty ever
  • Frontal driver rating improves to five stars; side crash ratings for front and rear remain five stars
  • Safety starts with Super Duty’s backbone – a fully boxed frame that is 95 percent high-strength steel; and its segment-exclusive high-strength, military-grade, aluminum-alloy body

DEARBORN, Mich., Jan. 30, 2017 – The 2017 Ford F-250 Super Duty Crew Cab 4x2’s smart engineering has earned the all-new truck the government’s highest possible crash rating of five stars – adding safety to its strengths as the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever.

The 2017 F-Series Super Duty is the only heavy-duty pickup truck to earn National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s highest safety rating.

Thanks to its robust design, advanced materials and safety features developed by the Ford truck team, the 2017 model earns a five-star overall vehicle score in the agency’s New Car Assessment Program, as well as a five-star rating for frontal driver crash tests. Side crash ratings for front and rear remain five stars.

Super Duty’s improved performance is enabled by weight savings of up to 350 pounds through the use of high-strength, military-grade, aluminum alloy in the body and box. This leads to more local frame stiffness at strategic locations to deliver considerable improvement in occupant protection. The weight savings is then reinvested into an all-new fully boxed frame that is more than 95 percent high-strength steel and up to 24 times stiffer than the previous frame.

But Ford didn’t stop with the truck’s body and frame – Super Duty sets a new level of technology availability for the segment. Options such as 360-degree camera system, adaptive cruise control with collision mitigation, lane-keeping alert and inflatable seatbelts help the driver to have more confidence and control while towing and hauling heavy loads from job site to job site.

ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 201,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Monday, February 13, 2017

How Ford Will Electrify Vehicles to Make Them Better

Ford is electrifying its most popular vehicles to make them even more capable, productive and fun to drive.


Happy New Year!

As we kick off 2017, at Ford, we’re also looking further into the future. The era of more affordable electrified vehicles is dawning, and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make people’s lives better by changing the way the world moves.

That’s why, today, we’re confirming seven of 13 new global EVs coming from Ford in the next five years as part of a $4.5 billion investment. They include our most popular trucks, commercial vehicles and performance vehicles. At the same time, we’re also creating new services and mobility solutions that will make it easy to use EVs.

    Why this major investment in technology?

In the next 15 years, we see global EV industry offerings outnumbering gasoline-powered vehicles, as people around the world continue moving to cities, consumer preferences shift to greener transportation and battery prices fall — all making tomorrow’s EVs less expensive to own than today’s gas-powered vehicles.

These new Ford electrified vehicles will include full hybrids that never need to be plugged in, plug-in hybrids that can run on electricity alone or gasoline when the battery is almost empty, and full electric vehicles that make zero emissions by using only batteries and electric motors to move.

This kind of EV leadership is two decades in the making, starting with the introduction of the Escape Hybrid in 2004 — the first mass-produced hybrid built in the U.S. and the first SUV hybrid. Some are still being used as taxis today, moving passengers for more than 350,000 miles with their original batteries.

Last year, our C-MAX and Fusion Energi hybrids made Ford the best-selling brand of plug-in hybrid vehicles in America. Plus, we’ve sold more than 560,000 EVs globally since 2005.

More importantly, leading in electrification, autonomy and connectivity are critical to Ford’s expansion to an auto and a mobility company.

Read the whole story at: https://shift.newco.co/how-ford-will-electrify-vehicles-to-make-them-better-f4970fbd426e#.nh13nnxgk

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Learning to Operate a Crane

The Stellar 7621 Telescopic Service Crane was mounted on a Stellar service body and constructed by Pomona, Calif.-based Phenix Enterprises. (Photo: Mike Antich)

Bobit Business Media received a visit from Stellar Industries, a manufacturer of hydraulic truck-mounted equipment, and Phenix Enterprises, a custom truck builder, at our office in Torrance, Calif. on November 29th, 2016.

Editors from Work Truck, Automotive Fleet, Business Fleet, and Government Fleet magazines all got the opportunity to learn how to operate a truck-mounted crane.

Mike Butsch, strategic accounts manager for Stellar, and James Day, sales manager for Phenix, a Stellar upfitter, brought the Stellar 7621, a telescopic service crane that was mounted on one of Stellar’s service bodies and built at Phenix’s headquarters in nearby Pomona, Calif.

Read more at: http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/utility/article/story/2017/01/learning-to-operate-a-crane.aspx

Thursday, February 9, 2017

PolyBody® Line Bodies, Service and Aerial Bodies by United Plastic Fabricating



The PolyBody® Line Bodies, Service and Aerial Bodies are all made from polypropylene, a tough, durable, impact resistant plastic material. The PolyBody® will not rust or corrode, can resist day-to-day dings and dents and offers lighter weight than conventional steel or fiberglass bodies. The PolyBody® is a true long-life body that is transferable from chassis, with the outstanding appearance that only a hand crafted body can provide.

Find out about poly products at: http://www.unitedplastic.com/product/line-bodiesserviceaerial-bodies/

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Winter Treads



When much of the country is getting pounded by winter storms and deep snow, our thoughts turn to tires. Some pickup truck owners have separate wardrobes for summer and winter. Nome, Alaska, and Miami residents maybe not so much.

Pickup winter wear can include anything from a fresh wax to do-it-yourself undercoating to lighter lubricating fluids to a block heater to winter diesel fuel. But does your truck's cold-weather wardrobe include winter tires?

Winter tires are designed for cold weather and associated precipitation. Tires rated for mud and snow (M+S) may not qualify as winter tires and often don't excel in either mud or snow. A winter tire's specific compound, tread design — and studs if you want them — is far more suitable and safer on cold roads and the various forms of water you might find on them.

In every road-based comparison in which I've participated, dedicated winter tires were more valuable than the number of driven wheels. However, while winter tires can improve performance, they are no substitute for common sense and can be pushed beyond their limits. They also add expense and create the issue of storage logistics.

The U.S., unlike some countries, does not mandate winter tire use, although some states and cities have laws about the use of studded tires or chains. It's worth noting that some insurance companies offer discounts for using winter tires.

Do you think winter tires should be required for new drivers or general safety, and if so, under what parameters? And if you don't believe in running dedicated winter tires, studs or chains, how do you deal with marginal winter traction? Let us know in the comments section below.

Source: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2017/01/talking-trucks-tuesday-winter-treads.html#more

By G.R. Whale

Cars.com graphic by Paul Dolan; cars.com image by Bruce Smith

Sunday, February 5, 2017

VBX Hopper Spreader Family Overview | BOSS Snowplow |


The BOSS VBX Hopper Spreader lineup continues to grow. See all of the features and benefits of owning a BOSS spreader so while the front of your vehicle is taking care of all things snow and ice, the back of your vehicle can top it off with the finishing touches.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Ford Transit: A Plumber’s Perfect Work Van | Transit | Ford


K.C. Montgomery is helping his customers find innovative ways to get the most out of their water in drought-ravaged California. He isn’t your average plumber -- and his Ford Transit isn’t your average work van: Customized shelving and storage, lots of space to load and unload and incredible on-road efficiency. See how Transit has completely changed the face of K.C.’s business.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

BrandFX - WHO WE ARE


Started in 1984, BrandFX Body Company has grown to become the world’s largest producer of advanced composite line bodies, service bodies, insert, toppers, and covers. We are fully focused on designing and producing lightweight, durable composite truck bodies that deliver the highest life cycle value in the industry.

Our truck bodies have been proven to deliver more than 20 years of reliable service, while also maintaining their quality finish and appearance. That’s why, for over 30 years, many small-to large-size companies, including five out of the top six U.S. service fleets, have counted on BrandFX. Today, the BrandFX product line is expanding to include specialized bodies for the lawn care and pest control industries.

At BrandFX, we believe in American-made quality, and all of our service bodies are manufactured in the U.S. Our operation includes almost 1 million square feet of manufacturing space in facilities strategically located across the U.S., supporting the efforts of more than 450 employees. To ensure the consistent quality of our truck bodies, we utilize the most advanced manufacturing and quality control processes.

Over the years, our innovations have led to many improvements in service body design and performance. And we continue to innovate. We are committed to working closely with our customers, knowing that the best designs and ideas often result from a partnership effort between our customers and us.

Combining the experience of over three decades of operation with outstanding facilities and a drive to produce innovative, highly durable truck bodies…BrandFX is committed to meeting the market’s need for high life cycle value truck service bodies.

WE’VE EARNED THE TRUST