The sea of work trucks and vans at The Work Truck Show 2017 in Indianapolis, Ind. was truly impressive. Automotive companies were touting how specific vehicles can increase efficiency and productivity, not only while driving to and from a jobsite, but also while at the jobsite.
The 2017 Chevrolet City Express was showcased during the Work Truck Show too. New features for the 2017 model include hill start assist, a security package including over cargo glass windows (where equipped) to give greater security in rear cargo area, and standard power locks with remote keyless entry on all models. The safety features include six standard airbags, including dual-stage front air bags, side-impact supplemental air bags and roof-mounted curtain air bags for side-impact and rollover protection, four-wheel antilock brake system and electronic brake-force distribution (standard), and electronic stability control system (standard).
The City Express is offered in LS and LT models that both have a sturdy, maneuverable van designed for urban environments with an efficient 2.0L engine combined with a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) powertrain.
The Ford Transit van is available in 64 configurations. Transit expands its versatility for 2018 with new features designed to reinforce its Built Ford Tough pedigree and help make it even more useful on the job. The rearview camera that is standard on the Transit van and passenger wagon moves above the rear doors on medium- and high-roof models for 2018. It will remain next to the license plate on low-roof models. Transit will also get a locking glove box as standard equipment, as well as a new rear door exit handle and rear LED cargo lamp switch.
New optional equipment available for model year 2018 includes: heavy-duty cargo area flooring, heavy-duty rear scuff plate kit, extended-length running boards, push-down manual parking brake, power-folding short-arm heated mirrors with turn signals, and much more.
With new features and plenty of carryover content, the 2017 Ford Transit Connect, one of the many vehicles featured at the Ford booth, caters to the needs of contractors looking for a versatile, capable, maneuverable and efficient business vehicle in a compact package.
An optional SYNC 3 with navigation and 6.5-in. touch screen is now available for Transit Connect XLT. The system features high-speed performance, enhanced voice recognition, a capacitive touch screen and easy-to-understand graphical interface to help contractors connect on the road. Also new for 2017 are available roof rails and roof rack for both XL and XLT series vans. Also, Ford’s industry-first MyKey programmable ignition key remains standard for Transit Connect XLT. The feature lets owners and fleet managers preset warnings and limits for vehicle speed. MyKey also limits the entertainment system’s audio to 45 percent of maximum volume. Fleet customers can specify Transit Connect with available Ford Telematics, powered by Telogis.
The Transit Connect has large cargo-carrying and payload capacities, as well as a high-strength body engineered to rigorous global commercial vehicle durability standards. With a best-in-class 36.1-ft. curb-to-curb turning diameter, short-wheelbase Transit Connect can easily maneuver and park on city streets while offering up to 103.9 cubic feet of storage capacity. The long-wheelbase model gets 128.6 cubic feet of storage and 1,610-pound payload capacity. When properly equipped, Transit Connect features a tow rating of 2,000 pounds.
Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America, Inc. (FUSO) developed a new gasoline powertrain for its FE Series medium-duty cabover trucks. Also, the company showed a prototype of the new truck at its press conference. This addition to the FUSO line reflects a significant expansion of the firm’s commercial truck product line.
All three FUSO models, the FE130, FE160 and FE180, will be powered by a PSI-GMPT Vortec Series 6.0L V8, coupled to a best-in-class Allison 1000 6-speed automatic transmission —making these the only gas trucks in their class to offer PTO capability. bit.ly/FUSOFESeries
The new V8 gas engine models will also be the first FUSO vehicles to be assembled in the United States. Daimler’s Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation will perform the work at its Gaffney, South Carolina, plant, using engines and transmissions built in the U.S., and chassis, cabs and axles sourced from FUSO in Europe and Japan.
FUSO is offering this powerful gas truck in Class 3 and 4, but also as the industry’s only Class 5 gas-powered model. FUSO also announced it will bring limited-production line fully electric trucks to market in the U.S., Japan and Europe before the end of 2017. The company has dubbed this new, all-electric, battery-powered medium-duty work truck the eCanter. It will be the first 100 percent plug-in electric work truck designed and produced by a major truck manufacturer, and the first production models are scheduled to arrive in the U.S. later this year.
The eCanter (shown) is a Class 4 truck with a 15,995 lb. GVWR and a payload capacity of roughly 9,380 lb. It has a practical range up to 100 miles, one- hour quick charge capability, and standard 8-hour overnight charge. The eCanter offers flexible battery configurations, so end-users can choose between maximizing the eCanter’s range to its full capacity of 100 miles, and working with a somewhat smaller range.
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc. announced that production of its all-new entry in the Class 6 medium-duty truck segment — the 2018 Isuzu FTR — will begin in May of this year.
The F-Series truck will be assembled at a new 85,000-sq.ft. Spartan Motors facility in Charlotte, Mich. Orders for the truck will be accepted beginning of April, 2017. The FTR will be powered by the Isuzu’s 4HK1-TC 5.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder diesel engine — a first in the segment. Isuzu also announced that this engine now carries a B-10 durability rating of 375,000 miles, meaning that 90 percent of engines should reach that mileage before requiring an overhaul. This represents an increase of 65,000 miles from the engine’s previous (and already robust) 310,000-mile B-10 rating. The FTR’s turbocharged Isuzu 5.2-liter 4HK1-TC engine generates 520 lbs.-ft. of torque at 1,650 rpm and 215 horsepower at 2,500 rpm.
At the Mercedes-Benz booth the “Master Solutions” program was featured. The program debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in February after the successful launch of the Mercedes-Benz Vans “MasterSolutions” program in the summer of 2016. The concept van showcases the best of what the unique Ship-Thru upfitting program has to offer.
Equipped with a wide variety of Ranger Design and Sortimo by Knapheide shelves, racks and removable cases, the Metris MasterSolutions Toolbox Van has enough storage, utility and capability to power through long hours on the job. A durable tile flooring system has been installed in the MasterSolutions Toolbox Van, which ensures grip for work boots and is easily removable for thorough cleaning. A clear, plastic partition from Ranger Design keeps the driver safely divided from the cargo area while also allowing for easy monitoring of the van’s payload. Unique wheels, finished in bright blue and silver, realistic toolbox latches and a handle on the roof compliment the special exterior wrap created for the Metris MasterSolutions Toolbox Van.
Built by RENNtech, the Metris MasterSolutions Toolbox Van, which is based on the Metris WORKER Cargo Van, has big shoes to fill after the debut of the “Sprinter Extreme” concept van at the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, but this tough, mid-size van is up for the task. Boasting over 2,500 lbs. of payload and 5,000 lbs. of towing capacity, all Mercedes-Benz Metris vans are built to work hard on the job while maintaining the ability to fit into the average garage and achieve exceptional fuel economy.
At Nissan’s booth the NV200 Compact Cargo van was showcased. The Nissan NV200 Compact Cargo van continues to set the standard for compact cargo van design with its small exterior footprint, large cargo capacity, outstanding versatility and excellent fuel efficiency. It also offers a commercial van warranty, with a basic limited warranty coverage of 5 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first. The powertrain limited warranty term is also 5 years/100,000 miles, whichever comes first. In spring of 2016, Nissan won the Vincentric Best Value in America Award, which is given for best total cost of ownership.
At RAM’s booth the 2017 RAM ProMaster City was showcased. For contractors, the Tradesman models feature a Best-in-Class cargo capacity of 131.7 cubic feet and a width between wheel wells of 48.4 inches, plus nearly vertical cargo walls and rear door trim inserts for upfit flexibility. The Tradesman SLT Cargo Van gets 28 highway miles to the gallon, has 10,000-mile oil change intervals, best-in-class cargo capacity of up to 131.7 Cubic Feet, best-in-class cargo width between wheel wells of 48.4 inches and body-color mirrors and fascias.
Another great feature of these vehicles is the 60/40 split rear doors position the narrower door on the passenger side, so curb access isn’t blocked when making deliveries. Also, contractors can easily load cargo in and out of the cargo area thanks to a low load floor height of 21.5 inches. The ParkView Rear Back Up camera is also available to help contractors backup more confidently, and the UConnect hands free calling is available too.
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