TRUCK manufacturers did what was expected of them at The Work Truck Show. They showed work trucks—including new models as well as upgraded features that make it easier for upfitters to install commercial bodies and equipment.
Light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy. Innovations and new introductions spanned the GVW range. Here is a summary of the truck news, from lightest to heavy.
Colorado sheds its pickup box
Since it went on sale last year, Chevy has been marketing its new Colorado pickup as a fun, lifestyle vehicle, but playtime is over.
The truck, previously available only as a pickup, will be available with pickup-box delete, making this mid-size truck available for commercial truck body installations.
Based on the two-wheel-drive extended cab short bed version of the Colorado, the package comes with a 305 hp V6, six-speed automatic transmission and a 2,200 payload rating.
This Colorado configuration has its rear bumper removed, but is fitted with temporary taillamps, a standard towing package, and a locking differential. Buyers get a $300 credit for the option compared to similarly-equipped full body Colorados, and the starting price is approximately $23,000, according to Chevrolet. Availability was expected to begin in mid-April.
Mercedes-Benz introduced a mid-size commercial van, one designed for work but substantially smaller than the Sprinter.
Scheduled to go on sale in the US and Canada in October, it will be offered in both passenger van and cargo van versions. The commercial van is positioned as “right-sized”—larger than the small vans and smaller than the large vans—and with corresponding maximum cargo capacity and payload on a small footprint and matching price positioning. It will be powered by a four-cylinder gasoline engine (208 hp/258 lb-ft) mated to a 7G-tronic seven-speed automatic transmission.
The Cargo Van starts at $28,950.
To coincide with the launch of the new Metris midsize commercial van, the Daimler Vans USA team will be rolling out a new upfitter program in the coming months.
Isuzu begins production
Isuzu Commercial Truck of America announced start of production for its line of 2015 and 2016 N-Series diesel models.
The diesel-powered 2016 NPR-HD, NPR-XD, NQR and NRR meet stringent new EPA greenhouse gas emissions standards a full year before they go into effect.
These models, as well as the 2015 NPR ECO-MAX, offer upgraded interiors, new exterior styling, and new optional driver’s suspension seat and keyless entry.
The weight of the newest member of the Isuzu N-Series family, the 16,000-lb. GVWR NPR-XD, has been reduced, allowing an increased payload capacity across all wheelbases and in both standard cab and crew cab configurations.
Diamond Logic enhanced
International Truck announced a new body control module in conjunction with enhanced Diamond Logic features.
The new body control module, designed in line with Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 500k baud standards, will expand customer and truck equipment manufacturer electronics capabilities. The new design will deliver six times the current processing speed for truck and body electronics, add 16 more input/output slots for equipment manufacturers, and provide three additional data links to expand truck capabilities. It will be built into International trucks when production begins in November 2015.
As a result of the new body control module design, new Diamond Logic features will be made available to increase uptime for customers. These new features include:
• Intelligent Start – single ignition activation on the key is all that is required and the vehicle will manage starting the engine automatically. The starter motor is disabled the moment the engine starts, which prevents over cranking and overheating to extend starter life.
• Programmable Real Time Starting – International trucks can be programmed to start prior to the driver’s arrival at specific time each day, ensuring the vehicle is warmed up and ready for operation. With real time starting, drivers can save time and effort, and fleets can increase productivity.
• Auto Start-Stop – Auto Start-Stop not only reduces idle time and saves on fuel but allows vocational customers to recharge batteries automatically, or heat the cab for drivers without continuously running the engine.
All International medium-duty and vocational trucks are equipped with the Diamond Logic Electrical System, which offers nearly 200 factory available body integration and driver efficiency features, plus the ability to customize infinitely more vehicle functions.
International Truck has been a pioneer in custom programmable chassis electronics and multiplexing since 2001 and has continued to closely partner with end users and body builders to further increase productivity. Diamond Logic helps medium-duty and vocational truck owners work smarter, faster and safer, while also preventing drivers from inadvertently damaging valuable equipment. With capabilities such as automated pre-trip inspections, headlights on with wipers, equipment safety alarms and interlocks, and factory-installed programmable switches, Diamond Logic maximizes ease of body integration and helps deliver a number of smart, customizable features.