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Measure it twice, upfit once: Snapshots from TPC 2019

NOVI, MI. Small changes in OEM truck chassis designs can mean big problems for truck equipment manufacturers if their own designs don't keep up, so the annual NTEA Truck Product Conference makes a big deal of the tiniest details. Conference attendees once again previewed new model year work trucks and discussed upfitter integration implications with OEM engineers. Interacting directly with OEMs ahead of a new truck rollout allows participants to secure the support they need to accommodate a variety of vehicle conversions.

“Stakeholders in the commercial vehicle industry come to Truck Product Conference to engage OEM representatives on upfitting-related issues,” said Steve Carey, NTEA president and CEO. “They’ve come to rely on this collaboration for awareness of innovation on the horizon and guidance in building quality products that bring value to the end user.”

But the real business, or fun, began when the hundreds of attendees moved to the exhibition hall where tape measures and smart devices assessed every nook and framerail on the trucks, vans and chassis.

This year’s event featured a streamlined, two-day program, with a series of concurrent OEM presentations.

Participating chassis manufacturers were:

  • Ford Commercial Vehicles
  • Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation
  • Freightliner Trucks
  • General Motors Fleet
  • Hino Trucks
  • International Truck
  • Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc.
  • Mercedes-Benz USA
  • Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc.
  • Ram Commercial
  • Toyota Motor North America Inc.
  • Western Star Trucks

All of the truck makers emphasized the importance of understanding how to access the upfitter and body-builder resources available on their websites, including the latest product bulletins, and many now offer apps for info on the go. 

For complete coverage of the conference, market projections, and product updates, see the November issue of Trailer/Body Builder magazine.

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