Rich Tremmel emphasized that the Storm incorporates features to benefit non-CDL drivers but is also designed to withstand the rigors of commercial applications.

Morgan Olson targets Class 2 with the Storm

March 4, 2020
The driver-friendly walk-in step van is designed to meet demanding commercial vehicle standards.

INDIANAPOLIS. Walk-in step van builder Morgan Olson, whose product lineup currently covers Class 3-7 commercial vehicles, is looking to lighten the load for local package delivery companies with a “DOT-free” under-10,000 lb. GVWR commercial-grade step van solution.

Morgan Olson revealed the Storm, a new class 2 walk-in prototype, on the floor of The Work Truck Show here. Rich Tremmel, Morgan Olson vice president of sales and marketing, emphasized that the vehicle incorporates features to benefit non-CDL drivers but is also designed to withstand the rigors of commercial applications.

“The Storm provides a purpose-built, class 2 work truck solution that anyone can drive,” Tremmel said. “We build step vans for the world’s largest e-commerce, parcel package delivery companies every day, and fleet managers are seeing a shortage of DOT licensed drivers. The Storm’s design creates new driver opportunities, embraces new advanced driver safety technologies, and provides an automotive-like driving experience.”

Tremmel also pointed out that Class 2 delivery vehicles have been limited to cargo vans and cab chassis/cutaways, and customers in the commercial van segment have had to settle for a product that is fundamentally designed for consumer use.

“It's no secret many cargo vans and cutaways come with lighter-weight automotive doors, handles, and other moving parts that can’t withstand the cycling demands required for long-life use and durability,” Tremmel said. “All the components and moving parts in the Storm body are proven long-life work truck solutions, just like the ones the world’s largest parcel delivery companies have relied on Morgan Olson to deliver year after year.”

The Storm’s “ergonomic-friendly” driver’s seat position provides a higher seated position compared to the seated position found in a cargo van driver seat, which Tremmel likened to climbing in and out of a small sports car, hundreds of times a day. The Storm’s elevated seated position also provides a more natural range of motion for package delivery route drivers.

The Storm’s advanced driver safety features includes a 360-degree camera with split-view display, lane-keeping, and pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking. The Storm step van’s adaptable body design also accepts new autonomous OEM features as our chassis partners develop them, added Mark Hope, Morgan Olson vice president of engineering Hope.

“The Storm you see here today is built on the Ford F150 chassis. As we move forward, we’re also exploring additional class 2 chassis partners,” Hope said. “These prototypes are only the beginning,”

Indeed, demonstrating the adaptability of the design, Morgan Olson also revealed at The Work Truck Show the “Electric” Storm, powered by BMWi technology with a coalition of proven chassis partners. The BMWi EV powertrain currently powers over 65,000 vehicles in Europe and is now being readied for the North American market, according to Morgan Olson, a subsidiary of J.B. Poindexter Inc.

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Kevin Jones | Editor