Products that make work trucks work

Reduced mounting times is one of the benefits of this seven-axle ProMax superdump, a joint project from Crysteel Manufacturing of Lake Crystal MN and Silent Drive of Orange City IA. Shipped with preplumbed hydraulics (including Silent Drive's control tower), the ProMax arrives with much of the installation labor already performed. Distributors simply mount the Crysteel dump body, install the PTO, and connect the hoses and wiring.

The seven-axle model shown here can legally gross 80,000 lb in 14 states. A six-axle version is legal at 73,000 lb or 75,500 lb GVW in another seven states. When lifted, the Maxle clears Crysteel's patented high-lift hydraulic tailgate at the extended height six feet above the dump body floor. The Crysteel 22-yard body was built with a 3/16" thick floor of AR400 steel and sides of 11-gauge Domex steel.

The idea of combining the two company's products originated when Silent Drive's Reese Kelch and Crysteel's Joe Paulsen attended an NTEA Young Executives Network. The two realized that a joint effort between the two companies could result in sizable labor savings at the distributor level.

New POWERplatform cuts delivery time for direct store deliveries by as much as one hour per day. Johnson Refrigerated Truck Bodies of Rice Lake WI developed its drop-floor elevator to be inside the truck body. As an integral part of the floor, it can be loaded with as many as 66 milk cases. The heavy-duty hydraulic pistons are mounted vertically, embedded inside the insulated walls. The almost 60" by 42" POWERplatform has a 3,000-lb lifting capacity. To ensure safety, a pressure-sensitive safety switch is around the platform perimeter. Operation is by an outside toggle switch or inside hand-held remote. Here it is mounted in a 16-ft Johnson refrigerated truck body equipped with a RoaDor PVC and steel rear door. Wayne Arnold, Johnson regional sales manager, demonstrates operation of the POWERplatform.

The first US-made Bibeau dump body was exhibited at the NTEA Work Truck Show. Bibeau has been building dump bodies in Quebec for the past 45 years. Now that the company owns the former Schien plant in Carlinville IL, Bibeau engineers designed a new line of aluminum bodies to be made in the Bibeau USA plant.

The entire prototype is made of quarter-inch 6061-T6 aluminum, including long sills and nose sheet. It has no side posts and no crossmembers. The aluminum plate is doubled in the tailgate. Weight of the 16-ft body with 54" sides and 60" rear gate is 2,331 lb. It is mounted on a Western Star chassis along with a new Watson & Chalin 13,200-lb steerable lift axle. This Tru-Track Alumilite SL-1190TT series self-steering suspension and axle system weighs 798 lb.

Plans are to build a new Bibeau USA plant on the Schein property in Carlinville. The 25,000-sq-ft plant will build all Bibeau aluminum dump bodies for the US and Canadian markets.

Bibeau also showed another prototype, its new steel Ultra-Lite body. It is a no-post, no-crossmember design. The entire body is made of AR500 and AR450 steels. The 15-ft body with 42" sidewalls and 54" rear gate weighs 3,307 lb. It is mounted on a Kenworth T300 chassis. Pictured are Erick Lesage, engineer, and Daniel Bibeau, sales manager.

Taking a shine: A new polishing process will add luster to all Crysteel stainless steel bodies. The new polishing process will be available in September. This Crysteel Deuce two-way dump in polished 304 stainless steel is a preview of what the process can produce.

Composite bodies: Steel sheet is no longer the material of choice for the floor, sides, bulkhead, and cabshield at America's Body Co. ABC contractor bodies, stake beds, and landscaper bodies are using a new composite material. This ABC 12-ft landscaper body has a 34"-thick floor plate of extruded polypropylene. It also is on the front wall, as can be seen by the over-size heads of the bolt fasteners, and the sides and cabshield. Weight savings are estimated at 550 lb for this body. Myra Siekmann, territory manager for ABC in Illinois and Indiana, and Bill Dunn, national accounts manager for ABC, show samples of the polypropylene plate. America's Body Co is in Cleveland and seven other cities in USA.

Stahl has extended its Lock-bolt construction to crane bodies, avoiding many of the body welds for long-lasting, corrosion-free strength. Mounted on a Ford F650, the NTEA show model is equipped with a 48,000-lb LRX crane having an 8,000-lb lifting capacity. The 20-ft crane has hydraulic boom extensions to 16 ft. Denny Acree shows the workbench bumper with thru compartment.

The new Diamond Body Line from Beau Roc in Ontario, Canada, derives its name from the diamond-shape sides and tailgate panels that are stronger than flat or straight designs. The one-piece floor has no crossmembers, and the one-piece sides and tailgate have no posts. Weight is reduced while retaining heavy-duty design by wide use of AR450 steel (215,000 psi tensile strength). The floor and tailgate are of 3/16" AR450, the sides of 5/32" AR450, and the front wall of 1/8" AR450. Weight of the 17-ft body with 48" side height and 60" tailgate is 4,054 lb.

Knapheide redesigned its KUV (Knapheide Utility Van), and security was a big part of the redesign. With a keyless entry system, pressing one button on the optional KnapLock key fob locks all compartment doors. At the rear, KnapTight double rear cargo doors lock top and bottom into the body frame, and the window glass is protected by metal guards. The cargo floor and the cargo chute length are both 10 ft long in one-ton models, and the floor is 54" wide to accommodate sheetrock and plywood panels.

The KUV is a standard body designed to fit plumbers, electricians, heating-air-conditioning, general contractors, and even home theatre installers. It is available on the ship-thru program, and many truck dealers are stocking it for display on their sales lots.

Reading Truck Body Inc is celebrating its 50th anniversary with an enhanced appearance package on its Classic II Spacemaker. Besides Latch-matic keyless remote locking system, the C2-50A has Extend-A-Shelf 250-lb capacity ball bearing shelf units inside the vertical compartment. Appearance is enhanced with the aluminum treadplate bumper and aluminum treadplate lids on the Spacemaker top-opening compartments. Aluminum treadplate also protects the top of the tailgate and the gravel guards on the front body panels.

Power options are now available on service bodies from Wilcox Bodies Ltd, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. One of the power options is a hard tonneau cover. The cover, initially designed by Pace Edwards for pickup trucks, has been modified for use on service bodies. It can be opened and closed remotely, extending from its stored location at the front of the service body until it wraps over the tailgate. The body also includes power locks and a new three-point compression handle from Eberhard. The power options shown are installed on an aluminum service body that weighs approximately 25% less than a comparable steel body, says David Dick, general manager for Wilcox.

Rising gasoline prices? No problem with this electric truck from Canada. Batteries mounted between the frame rails power this miniature truck equipped with stainless steel dump body. Tilt-out compartment provides additional storage. Nemo Vehicles of Ste-Therese, Quebec, also displayed a van body version. The vehicles have a top speed of 35 mph and a cruising range on the rechargeable batteries of approximately 65 miles.

Workhorse Custom Chassis introduces W42 platform

WORKHORSE CUSTOM CHASSIS, a company that got its start by acquiring the General Motors line of rail chassis, has moved a little farther away from its GM roots with the introduction of its W42 platform for Class 2-4 chassis.

Among other features, the W42 boasts a new International VT 275 V-6 diesel engine that brings 200 horsepower and 440 lb-ft. of torque into the service of walk-in applications.

Unveiled at The Work Truck Show in Indianapolis, the W42 replaces the P42 chassis that Workhorse bought from General Motors in 1999 and which, with some modifications, has been the staple of the Workhorse commercial line.

“We've listened to our customers, and this chassis stems from what they've told us,” said Shane Terblanche, director of commercial strategy for Workhorse. “It's the same rails, but after that, it's a whole new chassis.”

Significant changes include:

  • Brembo four-wheel disc brakes, which replace the previous Bosch brakes.

  • I-beam front axle that is five inches wider than the previous axle and has a 50-degree wheel cut. The rear axle track is also wider.

  • An upgraded transmission for its diesel application, the Allison LCT-1000 electronic five-speed.

  • New parabolic taper leaf suspension springs, front and rear, with custom tuned 32mm shock absorbers.

  • Rear axle ratio changed from 5.13:1 to 4.63:1 on the diesel application, resulting in reduced prop shaft speeds and longer drive line life along with quieter operation.

  • Meritor WABCO four-channel ABS system with full J-1939 diagnostics capability, replacing the three-channel TRW system.

  • New Smart Cluster instrument panel with LCD screen for driver and diagnostic information. Introduced earlier on the gasoline-powered chassis, this is now included in the diesel-powered chassis.

Workhorse offers the new W42 in GVWR ranges from 9,400 lb to 14,500 lb, with wheelbases from 125 inches to 190 inches. A single-rear wheel option will also be available from 9,400 lb to 12,000 lb.

The W42 also retains the current gasoline engine options that include GM Vortec 4.8L and 6.0L engines.

How courageous are your decisions?

NTEA KEYNOTE SPEAKER Bob Dole left his audience with plenty to consider, including a look at how we make decisions.

The former senator, vice-president, and presidential candidate spoke at length on courage during his address March 3, part of the annual NTEA President's breakfast.

Dole was severely wounded during his service in World War II. Knowing firsthand the devastation that war can produce, he said he admired the decision-making of General Dwight Eisenhower.

“Dwight Eisenhower was my hero,” Dole said. “It took him exactly two minutes to decide to go ahead with D-Day, even though he knew that his decision was going to be a death sentence for thousands of men.”

Dole said that in those two minutes, Eisenhower considered what would happen, and he prayed that he would make the right decision. He then wrote a brief announcement that was to be delivered to the press in the event the invasion failed. Because of the success of the invasion, the announcement was not handed to the press. But had the invasion been a catastrophic failure, his written statement to the press was that the invasion had failed, he was withdrawing the troops, and the blame for the failure of the invasion was his alone.

“If you want an example of gutsy leadership, there it is,” Dole said. “When the decision is good, everyone is happy. When it is bad, you normally can't find anyone who knows anything about it. Eisenhower understood that there are always consequences to every decision that is made. He was ready to stand by the decision and accept the consequences.”

Despite being a member of the “Greatest Generation,” Dole explained that those who fought in World War II do not have a monopoly on courage. He cited the case of a female Army officer he visited recently in Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Despite losing both legs and the use of one arm, the helicopter pilot was doing everything she could to get back to active duty in Iraq.

“We see the same courage today that we saw in World War II,” Dole said. “It is amazing what ordinary people can do when they get caught up in extraordinary circumstances.”

Decisions do not always require the courage of combat soldiers. Perhaps more applicable to our daily lives are some of the lessons Dole learned during his 12 years as Senate Minority Leader.

“It's important to learn to get along with the other side,” he said. “To do that, two things are important — patience and adaptability.”

Dole illustrated adaptability this way: “When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor, but I wasn't too good with my hands. I decided to be a lawyer, but I discovered that lawyers aren't too popular. My wife and I are the only lawyers in Washington that trust each other.”

He advised being patient with those who disagree with you. “No group has all the answers,” he said. “Not even yours.”

Some decisions lead to victory. Others cause us loss. But no loss has to be total.

“There's victory in how we handle the setbacks and disappointments of life,” he said.

Three Work Truck Show exhibitors receive awards

THREE EXHIBITORS at The Work Truck Show received New Product Innovation awards at the 2005 event.

One award, chosen by a vote of those attending the show, went to A L Hansen. The inaugural Work Truck Show Editors' Choice Award for New Product Innovation — launched during The Work Truck Show 2005 in Indianapolis — resulted in a tie between Crysteel Manufacturing Inc of Lake Crystal, Minnesota, and Rostra Precision Controls of Laurinburg, North Carolina.

The award from attendees, introduced in 2004, recognizes the best new product innovation among exhibiting companies participating in the New Product Spotlight program. Attendees were invited to cast a vote, with the exhibitor receiving the highest number of votes winning the award.

A L Hansen received the attendee award for its Jet Rack ladder racking system. The system can be used inside truck caps, open frame trucks, vans, storage rooms, garages, and sheds. The modular system runs along a rail, which is secured to the storage unit. This allows the system to accommodate multiple ladder sizes and various applications.

Rostra and Crysteel caught the eyes of the trade press editors. The two companies tied for the top spot in the voting among the nearly 50 trade magazine editors representing 70 industry publications.

Rostra's RearSight passive rear camera system was developed specifically for straight trucks in Class 3-7 fleet applications. RearSight sees and displays objects that mirrors cannot see — even in poor weather conditions. The system uses a color camera that can be installed in the spoiler, door latch, bumper, or other locations. An in-cab monitor displays a 110-160 degree wide-angle view from the rear of the vehicle.

Details of Crysteel's ProMax Super Dump can be found in Trailer/Body Builders' report on new truck bodies displayed at The Work Truck Show, Page 38.

Rostra Precision Controls supplies vehicle speed control systems, transmission components, and vehicle comfort seating systems to the global automotive aftermarket industry. The company also manufactures electronic controls, systems, and components for the original equipment automotive industry. Crysteel Manufacturing produces dump bodies, platform bodies, and hoists.

TAGS: Truck Bodies
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