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Road Hauks' forties-era Willys truck meets a Colt .45 and shoots up SEMA - Monsters and

Monsters and

Road Hauks' forties-era Willys truck meets a Colt .45 and shoots up SEMA
Monsters and
History's Road Hauks blew us away this week — with a build melding the look and vibe of a Colt .45 revolver with a 1947 Willys pickup. To really make ... Who doesn't love guns and trucks? ... The guys back at the shop are slinging the barbs over Kenny ...

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Celebrate Earth Day By Exploring


In celebration of Earth Day today, we want to thank all the pickup truck manufacturers that are pushing the boundaries of recycling to lessen the negative impact of production on the environment. Ford, in particular, does a great job with their F-150 production at their Dearborn and Kansas City plants, recycling scrap aluminum each year to produce about 37,000 new F-150s. Every pickup plant does their share of recycling but this aspect of the F-150 plants is the only one that qualifies to be called a "closed loop" system, where the use all of the recovered materials for some kind of repurposed use. 

To honor the Earth, we'll be picking up garbage around our small town; maybe you can do the same. The cleaner we can make our country, the more likely it is that people will enjoy exploring the outdoors.

In that vein, we encourage all current and future pickup owners to use their trucks to get into the backcountry and enjoy areas of this country they might not otherwise be able to see. Consider taking the kids to a new campsite or a long drive to a new destination with your favorite passenger. State and national parks are great jumping off points for exploration.

But regardless of what you choose to do, we hope you enjoy your pickup in whatever environment you find yourself. photos by Evan Sears (top); Manufacturer photos (below)


Aluminum Coils II

Aluminum Chips II


The Evolution Of The Great American Pickup Truck, From 1925 To Today - Daily Detroit

Daily Detroit

The Evolution Of The Great American Pickup Truck, From 1925 To Today
Daily Detroit
Dodge wasn't the first to drop a diesel engine into a heavy-duty truck, but the 1989 Ram was the salvo that sparked the great pickup power war. Built around a Cummins turbodiesel, which was common in commercial haulers, the flatbed had 160 horsepower ...

2017 Genesis G90

<p><em>Photo by Vince Taroc.</em></p>

For the 2017 model year, Hyundai decided to separate the Genesis brand by once again badging its higher-priced sedans solely as Genesis. And while the inclusion of the Hyundai logo on the 2016 Genesis could never hurt the brand, its subtraction adds some allure.

The Genesis G90 sets itself apart with the interior, drivetrain, and sleek exterior. It has a look and feel inside and out that will satisfy most luxury car cravings.

Beginning with the driver’s seat, the 2017 G90 offers the pilot — and co-pilot — supportive and comfortable seating that can be adjusted in more ways than a chiropractor can offer. And when you need to move the seat up for taller rear passengers, you can simply tap the controls on the side of the passenger seat closest to you.

The console is user-friendly and within easy reach, and follows the road Hyundai has taken on previous models. A hidden gem is the wireless charging surface located in the USB/aux cable bay. While not available for all smartphones, it was a welcome surprise after an hour-long commute home to see my Galaxy fully charged.

<p><em>Photo by Vince Taroc.</em></p>

Speaking of the interior, with a slight tap of the gas, you immediately feel the power of the 3.3L twin turbo V-6, offering 365 hp and 376 lb.-ft. of torque tied to an 8-speed transmission that can be manually adjusted with paddle shifters on the backside of the steering wheel.

The 2017 also offers Intelligent Drive Mode that allows drivers to shift between four modes: Smart, Eco, Individual, and (my favorite) Sport, which obviously does not align with the fuel economy under normal driving conditions of 24 mpg on the highway and 17 mpg city.

Moving on to the exterior, the slick, yet subtle lines of the G90 are impressive enough to garner attention by passersby — I heard more than one "What's that?" from my front window when the sedan was parked in my driveway — but not so much that they are a copy of any of the other luxury vehicles on the road. It has its own distinct look and handles a little less clunky than some of the other, similarly-branded cars on the road.

All in all, as a fan of the last iteration of the Genesis, the G90 is a pleasant step up in style, comfort, maneuverability, and action.

Related Photos: Genesis' 2017 G90


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UST Aluminum Truck Bodies

Earlier in 2017, Prefix acquired the assets of Product Assembly Group in Troy, Mich., which built UST Aluminum Truck Bodies for commercial vehicle applications.  

“The utility body products are a perfect fit within the growing production capabilities of our organization,” explained Prefix President, Eric Zeile.  

Prefix operates in four southeast Michigan facilities with nearly 300 employees, and truck body production is now underway at its Rochester Hills, Mich., location.

Prefix Corporation’s wide-ranging capabilities also include a world-class paint and finishing operation which allows for complete customization, and then installation of their commercial truck systems.  Prefix will continue to work with select commercial truck body dealerships across the country and take part in industry events throughout the year.

For additional information on Prefix Corporation, visit:


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Auto Truck Group Shipping Colorados with Ute Beds

Ute Ltd., specializing in tough yet lightweight extruded aluminum products for pickup trucks, has begun production on the Ute Bed designed for the 2015 to 2018 model year Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The Ute Bed is available via ship-thru orders now.

In addition, Ute Ltd. and Auto Truck Group have come to an agreement to partner on the Ute Bed ship-thru program for Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. Dealers should contact Ute Ltd. for details and purchase order.

The Ute Bed is a lightweight, rugged flatbed that adds more versatility and diverse uses to a pickup
truck. Ute Beds are used by various tradesmen, municipalities, railroad, airport, farm, and ranch and for
recreation all over North America.

Ute's low and narrow profile on the mid-size GM chassis makes it optimal for working in cities where parking garages have low clearances and in parks with narrow paths.

Fleet and commercial customers can order the Ute Bed aluminum drop-side flatbeds for their mid-size
trucks with the (ZW9) box delete as well as box removal options through their local Chevrolet or GMC

With the 250 pound Ute Bed installed, the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon provide a payload range of 1,900 pounds to 2,000 pounds.

Available options include:

  • Drop Side Delete – a flatbed option without bed sides (about 50 lbs. lighter).
  • Removable Rear Ladder Rack – which matches headboard height?
  • Side Step – curbside step only for easier access to the deck.
  • ICC Bumper Package – an option for box delete orders including the removal of the factory bumper.
  • Rear View Camera – located under the deck of the Ute Bed.
  • Full Rear View Camera Package – includes a rearview mirror screen for trucks not equipped with
  • a factory-installed camera package.

In 2003, Ute Ltd. became the first manufacturer to build aluminum dropside flat beds for the Chevrolet
Colorado and GMC Canyon; and has since been a top provider, according to the manufacturer. 


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BOSS FORGE V-Box Hopper Spreader

Winter storms may be tough, but the new stainless steel BOSS FORGE v-box hopper spreader is tougher. Using some of the heaviest gauge stainless steel in the category – including drive train and hopper, a ½ horsepower motor and one of the industry’s most robust inverted V options – the BOSS FORGE is a powerful new tool for snow and ice contractors to use when winter weather strikes.

Available for winter 2017, the BOSS FORGE is one of the few stainless steel spreader models in its class to offer both pintle feed and auger chain systems with the same hopper and a planetary gearbox designed to deliver high-efficiency performance across a wide range of ice control material.

“Boss has been an innovator in snow and ice control for over 30 years. Our team of engineers leveraged what they’ve learned most recently with the BOSS VBX spreaders and applied the best insights, design, technology and customer feedback to develop the FORGE,” said Mark Klossner, Marketing Vice President for BOSS Snowplow.

Geography, ice control materials, and operating conditions have a large impact on the types of tools today’s contractors need to get the job done, and the BOSS FORGE answers with a wide range of standard features, options and accessories to meet individual contractor needs and preferences.

Additional key features that set the BOSS FORGE apart:

  • ½ horsepower motor and proven VBX drivetrain.
  • Standard dual variable speed controller; fleet compatible with existing VBX spreaders.
  • 2 cubic yard capacity.
  • Motor covers protect both the drive and spinner motors from falling sand, salt, and de-icing materials.
  • Standard top screen and tie-down kit.
  • Option for pre-wet capability and upgraded controller.
  • Lights, tarp, vibrator and inverted V options for pintle chain systems.
  • Lights and tarp option for auger systems. Vibrator and inverted V are standard equipment on the auger system.

The BOSS FORGE is the latest in the line of stainless steel products from BOSS, including a complete line of stainless steel DXT and HTX snowplows and a stainless steel walk-behind spreader also being introduced in 2017.

“Our customers, especially in the Northeast, wanted a stainless steel spreader option,” said Klossner. “BOSS takes pride in listening to our customers and developing the solutions they need for their businesses, and we plan to grow our stainless steel spreader options and accessories just as we have with our VBX line.”

Designed with serviceability and affordability in mind, the FORGE is competitively priced and backed by the quality, durability, and warranty of the BOSS brand. For more product details, visit


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Is Honda Considering a Short-Wheelbase Pilot SUV?
Some industry experts predict Honda will develop a short-wheelbase Pilot to compete with other two-row crossovers like the Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe.Is Honda Considering a Short-Wheelbase Pilot SUV?
Some industry experts predict Honda will develop a short-wheelbase Pilot to compete with other two-row crossovers like the Ford Edge and Hyundai Santa Fe.Pickups See Refinement, Competition - Construction Equipment

Construction Equipment

Pickups See Refinement, Competition
Construction Equipment
Pickups are so hot that some plants are on three shifts to try to meet orders. “Pickups have definitely been strong,” says Dan Tigges, General Motors' full-size truck product manager. “Our biggest problem is trying to keep up with demand, particularly ...

Jeep Yuntu Concept Signals Brand’s Future in China
Seven-Seat Concept Aimed Toward Local Tastes, NeedsJeep Yuntu Concept Signals Brand’s Future in China
Seven-Seat Concept Aimed Toward Local Tastes, NeedsBollinger Shares Video of Development of Utility Chassis, Powertrain
Goal is “Ready for Production, Not Just Proof of Concept”Bollinger Shares Video of Development of Utility Chassis, Powertrain
Goal is “Ready for Production, Not Just Proof of Concept”Navistar Promotes Christman to President of Operations

Navistar International has promoted Phil Christman to president, operations, responsible for procurement, product development, manufacturing, and supply chain.

The promotion is effective immediately and Christman will report to Persio Lisboa, Navistar’s chief operating officer.  

Christman most recently served as senior vice president of joint strategic operations and planning. In that role, he led benchmarking initiatives focused on making the company more competitive and played a vital role in Navistar’s alliance with Volkswagen Truck & Bus.

"Over the past two years, Phil has done an outstanding job of helping Navistar complete its turnaround and plan for the future, most recently developing our long-term growth strategy focused on driving operational excellence, growing the core business and building new sources of revenue," said Lisboa. "Phil has the knowledge, operational experience, and passion to help us further strengthen our operations."

Christman has been with Navistar for nearly 30 years, holding leadership roles in engineering, leading severe service and global business, and running the company’s procurement and supply chain functions.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Indiana Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in business administration from Ball State University.


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Quit Teasing: Make the Ram 1500 Hellcat

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Can we have an honest discussion? We don't want lots of yelling with two sides frozen in their trenches, unmoved by passion or logic. We get enough of that from the news. We want open-mindedness here and a thoughtful exchange of ideas in the comments section below.

Ready for the topic? Should there be a supercharged 700-plus-horsepower engine under the hood of a full-size pickup truck?

We've made this pitch before, but now, given all the fun we had with the 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk and the 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon at the 2017 New York International Auto Show, it's time to get serious.

On its face, this might seem like a simple idea — and maybe one that a Fiat Chrysler Automobiles bean counter might have some trouble with — but think of all that throaty torque just waiting to spin the rear wheels of a half-ton pickup. If you must, give the pickup the same all-wheel-drive system in the Jeep. Of course, while the Jeep is rated at 707 hp and 645 pounds-feet of torque, I'm pretty sure Ram engineers will (have to) find a way to reverse those numbers and possibly bump them up a bit.

So Ram, enough with the teasing: Make it so!

If heavy-duty diesel buyers can get 900-plus pounds-feet of torque from their Ford Power Stroke, Ram and Nissan Cummins, and GM Duramax engines, why can't a half-ton gas V-8 get a bit less than that? It almost seems properly balanced to give the light-duty trucks more horsepower and the HDs more torque.

We'd love to see a Ram 1500 Hellcat or Trackhawk — we don't care what it's called — because that would signal the return of the sporty muscle truck (or is that a muscle sports truck?). That means Ram could once and for all crush the memories of the Ford F-150 SVT Lightning and the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 SS muscle pickups while possibly breaking the Dodge Ram SRT-10's Guinness World Record for top speed for a pickup.

For now, we'll all just have to sit on our hands and wait for someone at FCA — Hey, Jim Morrison, head of Ram, what are you waiting for?! — to give this pickup the green light and make a giant splash at the 2017 Specialty Equipment Market Association Show in Las Vegas or the 2018 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Attention Ram Nation fans who have been screaming at this post for the last 30 seconds: We are fully aware that we've already seen and heard a pretty cool version of this engine in the Ram Rebel TRX off-road monster concept first seen at the 2016 State Fair of Texas and again at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. We're simply not sure Ram has the courage to let something like that out of the design studio. We've seen plenty of spectacular concepts from the Jeep boys, whose design studio is next door to Ram's, that have never seen the light of day. We're guessing the TRX is going to fall into that black hole, too.

For now, feel free to sound off about what pickup platform you'd like to see FCA's supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 sitting inside. And if you have a few thoughts to share with Ram, feel free to offer them — without expletives, please — in our comments section below. photos by Mark Williams


Ram TRX Front 1

Ram TRX Engine 1


Most Dangerous, Safest Highways Ranked

<p><em>Photo of the Snake Creek bridge in the Florida Keys via Wikimedia.</em></p>

The 545-mile U.S. Highway 1 that runs from southern Georgia to Key West, Fla., has been deemed the most dangerous highway in the U.S. because it has the highest fatal crash rate, according to Geotab.

The telematics provider has ranked the nation's most dangerous, as well as safest, highways in the country based on federal highway data analyzed by the company over the past 10 years.

There were 1,011 crashes and 1,079 fatalities on U.S. Highway 1, giving it a 2.8 fatal crash rate, according to Geotab.

Other top five dangerous highways include Texas' U.S. Highway 83, which runs 893 miles from the state's southern tip to the Oklahoma border; the California section of Interstate 40 that runs 155 miles from Barstow east to the Arizona border; the 359.6-mile Arizona section of Interstate 40 that crosses the entire state; and the section of U.S. Route 18 that runs east-west in southern South Dakota.

By comparison, four of the nation's five safest freeways with the lowest fatal crash rate run through New England, including three sections of Interstate 95. The 43-mile Rhode Island section of I-95 has 39 crashes and 40 fatalities, giving it the lowest crash rate of 0.1.

Other top five safest highways include the 131-mile New Hampshire section of Interstate 93 that runs from the Boston area to Vermont; the 111-mile I-95 Connecticut Turnpike; Wisconsin's 348-mile Interstate 94 that runs from the Minnesota to Illinois state lines; and Massachussetts' 120-mile Interstate 495 that runs from near Cape Cod to Salisbury.

Geotab looked at the annual number of road fatalities and fatal crashes according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and adjusted for the average daily traffic counts provided by the Federal Highway Administration.

Read the full report here.


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Thunder Creek intros the Combo Tank, first transfer system for pickups that can dispense diesel and DEF - Equipment World Magazine

Equipment World Magazine

Thunder Creek intros the Combo Tank, first transfer system for pickups that can dispense diesel and DEF
Equipment World Magazine
Thunder Creek Equipment introduces two portable tanks to help handle diesel exhaust fluid in the field, including the first combination diesel and DEF transfer tank for pickup trucks, the company says. The combo tank debuted at ConExpo, along with ...

Stertil-Koni Uses Drone Videography for Lift Demo

<p><em>In the latest installment of &ldquo;We Care,&rdquo; the customer under the spotlight is Long Beach Container Terminal Corporation (LBCT), a leading provider of transportation and logistics services in and around Long Beach, Calif., the second busiest port in the United States. &nbsp;(Image courtesy of Steril-Koni)</em></p>

Heavy-duty vehicle lift leader Stertil-Koni announced the latest episode of its popular, customer-focused “We Care” video series incorporates advanced cinematography and editing technology to dramatically showcase a particularly unique customer application of the company’s award-winning lifting systems.

In the latest installment of “We Care,” the customer under the spotlight is Long Beach Container Terminal Corporation (LBCT), a leading provider of transportation and logistics services in and around Long Beach, Calif., the second busiest port in the United States. 

According to the lift manufacturer, what makes the video especially compelling is its use of dramatic drone videography, featuring sweeping panoramic views of the Port of Long Beach, with its 3,000 acres of land and 46 acres of water.

The video takes the viewer on a behind-the-scenes look at LBCT and its utilization of Stertil-Koni’s latest super heavy-duty mobile column lifts – the ST 1130 – which have a lifting capacity of 29,000 pounds per column, or 116,000 pounds for a set of four.

LBCT is the first company in North America to utilize a fleet of Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) to take containers from, or to the yard, according to Steril-Koni. The AGVs, which operate in a completely automated area, have a capacity of 70 tons each and work in collaboration with automated stacking cranes that in turn deliver containers to the truckers or out to the yard. And, to keep the AGVs at maximum performance, they need maintenance every 200 hours of running time.  This is where another distinction for LBCT comes into play – the use of Stertil-Koni’s ST 1130 mobile column lifts.  

The ST 1130 is engineered to deliver an optimal combination of extremely high-capacity lifting along with added productivity, efficiency, and durability. The ST 1130 is engineered to lift unique container handling vehicles – and many other big vehicles.

Check out the video below: 


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International Reveals RH Regional Tractor; Designed with Driver Input

<p><strong>International RH Series regional-haul tractor</strong>. <em>Photos</em>:<em> International Trucks</em></p>

MONTREAL --  International Trucks rolled out its RH Series, a new Class 8 regional-haul tractor here on April 20 at the ExpoCam truck show. The OEM said the RH was designed with driver input to help improve uptime, visibility, and fuel economy over similarly equipped models.

RH Series trucks will be powered by the International A26 12.4L engine and will feature design improvements aimed at improving uptime, including reliability and serviceability enhancements. These features include:

  • Cab wiring with all-new harnessing and an in-cab power distribution module that is inside the truck, away from the elements.
  • All key service points under the hood, inside the cab, and around the vehicle are ergonomically designed for easy access and servicing, and many components have been engineered with longer intervals between required maintenance.
  • The new single-canister aftertreatment system is not just 60% smaller and 40% lighter, but is also simplified for quicker servicing

"The new International RH Series continues our commitment to build trucks that lead the industry in uptime," said Bill Kozek, president, truck and parts, Navistar. "We are confident this truck will continue to build on our momentum and be successful in the regional haul market."

The A26 engine is built from the MAN D26 engine crankcase and it produces up to 450 horsepower and 1,750 lb.-ft. of torque from a design that's 600-700 pounds lighter than a traditional 15L big bore engine, according to International.

The engine's components have been engineered to deliver improved uptime and fuel efficiency, reduced weight, and quiet operation. International said the A26 is well suited for beverage, bulk haul, and other regional-haul applications.

<p><strong>International said the RH interior is designed around how a driver will interact with the truck from the inside.</strong></p>

The RH was also designed with driver visibility in mind with new windows and mirrors to improve side visibility.

The interior is designed around how a driver will interact with the truck from the inside. Features like a large swept-back windshield, optimized mirror placement, and an aerodynamic sloped hood for a clearer view, were aimed at improving visibility in the RH.

The interior also features a premium gauge cluster with a digital driver display that places everything within reach of a driver, while offering real-time monitoring of fuel economy and other important alerts. The new display also offers up to 15 customizable digital gauges. Additionally, the air horn was relocated back to its "traditional, intuitive position" over the driver door in response to overwhelming driver feedback.

Maneuverability was also improved in the RH. An inside wheel cut of up to 50 degrees provides a curb-to-curb turning radius of 27 feet, 10 inches to help drivers navigate city streets.

“We drew upon the expertise of drivers to ensure that the RH Series is the most driver-centric Class 8 regional haul vehicle we've ever built," said Denny Mooney, senior vice president, global product development, Navistar. "Many of our customers tell us that their number-one challenge is attracting and retaining drivers, which is why we put so much effort into understanding and responding to drivers' needs. These improvements also contribute to increased driver ease of use that will boost the vehicle's productivity."

Aerodynamic improvements in the RH Series have decreased wind noise to improve driver comfort in the cab while also yielding up to a 6% improvement in fuel efficiency, according to International.

In addition, weight reduction was achieved by leveraging such technologies as a single- canister aftertreatment device, the International Ride Optimized Suspension, and aluminum fuel tank hangers, as well as the lighter A26 engine.

From a safety standpoint, the Bendix Wingman Advanced Collision Mitigation system comes standard in the RH Series – an industry first in the regional haul market, according to International.

The RH Series will be offered in multiple configurations, including day cab, 56-inch low roof sleeper, 56-inch hi-rise sleeper, day cab with roof fairing, and 56-inch hi-rise sleeper with roof fairing. 


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Larger Fuel Tank For 2017 Ford Pickups

Transfer Flow, Inc. announces the release of the largest aftermarket replacement fuel tank for the 2017 Ford F-250, F-350, and F-450 Super Duty short bed, crew cab diesel trucks. The hot-dipped aluminum alloy steel tank nearly doubles the original useable fuel capacity, storing a total of 60 gallons of diesel.

The 60-gallon replacement fuel tank is 100% engineered and manufactured in the U.S.A. with 12-gauge aluminized steel for superior strength and corrosion resistance. The unique design features exterior fuel lines and a relocated water separator to make the most of the available chassis space. As with all Transfer Flow replacement fuel tanks, this system comes complete with a full installation kit to get the heavy-duty tank mounted and ready for the road.

"Our goal when engineering the new 60-gallon replacement tank was to increase the fuel capacity as much as possible while maintaining the durability and integrity of the truck," said Todd LaPant, Director of Engineering. "The 2017 Ford Super Duty is an elite truck that is unbelievably capable, so it will easily be the truck of choice for many who are towing fifth wheels and those needing to get into the backcountry. We’ve designed a replacement tank that extends both the luxury and brute strength of the vehicle even further."

Pre-order today using promo code 17FORD60 to save $230 with introductory pricing of $1,349.45 and be ready to hit the pavement in May.

To pre-order the 60-gallon replacement tank or for more information about Transfer Flow's fuel tank systems, call the Customer Service team at (530) 893-5209.


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DCU Max Truck Caps

This May, A.R.E Accessories will debut a new addition to their commercial cap line-up, the DCU Max, for professionals using today's leading pickup trucks in the harshest work conditions.
The DCU Max truck cap is a line extension of A.R.E.'s most popular commercial cap that features a 0.063-thick aluminum skin for added durability on the job.  Built for virtually any type of commercial use, it will be especially useful for oil and gas, utility, and telecommunications company fleets that require the most durable storage for on- and off-road use, the DCU Max keeps gear organized and secure when working in the field. 
A.R.E.'s DCU Max has a smooth, white 0.063-thick metal exterior that can be painted to match OEM paint colors or custom fleet finishes.  An OE-quality finish can be applied during production at A.R.E.'s state-of-the-art paint facility in Dundee, Ohio, using an environmentally friendly water-based paint system.  Structural support for the DCU Max is provided by a 0.080 thick fully-welded aluminum frame that stands up to heavy equipment and rough terrain.
With the option of more than 200 customizable storage configurations, professionals can use the DCU Max to create a custom truck bed solution that uniquely meets their needs while withstanding punishing environments.  A variety of door and window configurations, toolboxes, ladder racks, interior lighting and power box options, side panels and cap heights from 23 to 29 inches are available with this latest addition to the DCU truck cap line.  A backup camera system is also offered for improved visibility when driving in reverse.
A.R.E. Accessories offers innovative BOLT lock technology as standard equipment on its DCU Max truck caps in the folding T-handles on all doors for superior security and convenience.  BOLT locks are permanently programmed to a specific ignition key, reducing downtime caused by lost and broken keys while minimizing theft. 
The DCU Max and other caps in the DCU series are backed by a three-year warranty on materials and workmanship. 
Truck owners can custom build and view the DCU Max on their vehicle when the product becomes available in May by visiting and selecting the "Build Your Own" link.  The site helps customers explore their options for creating DCUs, including a selection of lighting, windows, door sizes and more.


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Toyota Tests Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Semitruck Concept

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It wasn't that long ago that Toyota became the first manufacturer to sell a mass-produced fuel-cell car, the Mirai, and we were wondering how easy they were to refuel.

But now, with Nikola and Tesla preparing to produce electric big-rig tractor trailers, Toyota is jumping into the game, too. If it goes well, you can bet Toyota will bring that technology to full-size and possibly mid-size pickup trucks.

Toyota just announced that it has engineered a concept semitruck with a pair of Mirai hydrogen fuel-cell stacks and a 12-kilowatt-hour battery pack to study real-world applications. The concept truck produces an equivalent of 670 horsepower and 1,325 pounds-feet of torque, and is reported to be significantly faster to 55 mph than a traditionally equipped commercial diesel big rig. Toyota says the concept has a range of more than 200 miles under normal road conditions.

The experiment, called Project Portal, could be the beginning of a completely different way of thinking about heavy-duty trucks and the amount of carbon dioxide they put into the atmosphere. The study will take place at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach — two of the busiest in the country — this summer. Cargo-carrying big rigs move a lot of tonnage around the country, so if there was infrastructure in place to support zero-emissions hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, the clean air benefits could be huge.

"Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles play a role in California's efforts to achieve greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, improve air quality, and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels," said Janea A. Scott, a member of the California Energy Commission, in a statement. "That's why the California Energy Commission is investing in the refueling infrastructure needed to support adoption of these vehicles. The Commission applauds Toyota for putting this cutting edge technology to use in a heavy-duty freight proof of concept. This demo will show how fuel cells can help support the heavy-duty sector's efforts to increase efficiency, transition to zero-emission technologies, and increase competitiveness."

There's no doubt this could decrease the trucking industry's carbon footprint, but with gas prices still relatively low, a lack of fuel-cell repair shops, limited battery capabilities and nonexistent truck-stop hydrogen fueling stations, it's difficult to imagine this happening in the next decade. A better option could be adapting the system to work-oriented full-size, half-ton or other types of work-oriented pickups. Personal-use fuel-cell pickups could use the growing number of hydrogen fueling stations popping up in California's major cities (there are almost two dozen in Los Angeles), but clearly more needs to happen before electric pickups, let alone hydrogen-powered electric pickups, become a reasonable economic choice for everyday consumers.

Manufacturer images


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Toyota “Project Portal” Puts Fuel Cell Tech in Class-8 Truck
Truck Part of Proof of Concept for Hydrogen Big RigsToyota “Project Portal” Puts Fuel Cell Tech in Class-8 Truck
Truck Part of Proof of Concept for Hydrogen Big RigsVideo: Ford Aluminum Recycling Saves Enough to Make 37,000 Trucks a Month
Industrial Vacuums Sort Scrap for Recycling at Three PlantsVideo: Ford Aluminum Recycling Saves Enough to Make 37,000 Trucks a Month
Industrial Vacuums Sort Scrap for Recycling at Three Plants1972 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40: The FJ Company Reveals Latest Project
The FJ Company revealed its latest project recently, a 1972 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 featuring the shop’s signature freshening and some custom touches.1972 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40: The FJ Company Reveals Latest Project
The FJ Company revealed its latest project recently, a 1972 Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 featuring the shop’s signature freshening and some custom touches.Volvo Unveils VNR Regional Tractor

<p><strong>Volvo's VNR 300 regional truck launched in Montreal on April 19, 2017.</strong> <em>Photo by Jim Park</em></p>

MONTREAL -- Volvo Truck North America has just added a new regional tractor to its stable. The unveiling took place here Wednesday on the eve of Canada's largest trucking trade show, ExpoCam.

We haven't learned a lot about the truck yet, as the official press conference takes place Thursday morning. Volvo has said it expects the regional and short-haul segments will be areas of growth in the near future, and the VNR is poised to be the truck of choice for that application.

"We have been listening to food retailers and petro-chemical producers, and this is the truck they tell us they have been looking for," said VTNA president Goran Nyberg.

Goran said the industry is shifting toward a hub-and-spoke or a relay-type of operation to attract drivers.

"Many drivers are leaving the industry because they aren't happy being away for weeks at a time," said Nyberg. "Relays and hub-and-spoke will get drivers home regularly and more often, and many fleets are already tailoring there operations that way to attract the best drivers."

Volvo's VNR at a Glance

 The VNR will be available in three configurations:

-VNR 300 basic daycab local service,

-VNR 400 42-in. flat-roof sleeper for regional overnight trips

-VNR 640 61-in. mid-roof sleeper for regional multi-day trips

  • Design changes to the cab and hood, shorter 113" BBC, better wall-to-wall turning radius, better visibility fore and sides
  • Three interior trim levels: Fleet, Express and Premier
  • Volvo D11 engine is standard, 325-425 hp / 1,250-1,550 lb-ft
  • Volvo D13 engine is optional, 375-500 hp / 1,450-1,850 lb-ft
  • Transmissions: Volvo I-Shift, Eaton-Fuller 10, 13, 18 or Allison 5-6 speed automatic

The VNR will be available with most of the fuel saving, safety and maintenance features available in the current lineup, such as a downsped drivelines, remote diagnostics and more.

It's not markedly different in appearance, but it has a 113-in. BBC and a more rounded hood and front bumper. There's some styling clearly reminiscent of Volvo's SuperTruck.

We'll have more details on the new VNR after the press conference here on Thursday morning.   

Find more photos of the launch event here.


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Land Renzo to Offer CNG 2018 F-150

<p><em>Photo of 2018 F-150 courtesy of Ford.</em></p>

Landi Renzo USA will offer a dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) version of Ford's 2018 F-150 pickup, including multiple CNG tank configurations, the Torrance, Calif. vehicle modifier announced.

The truck will use the 5.0L V-8 engine that powers the F-150 SuperCrew cab with the long box. The engine offers a gaseous prep package.

Landi Renzo will offer several options for fleet operators, including the various VNG tank configurations.

The modifier has been working to expand its use of Ford's ship-through logistics chain that helps expedite delivery of vehicles to fleet customers.

Landi Renzo will start taking orders for the 2018 CNG F-150 in May. Other products 2018 model year products will include the F-250/350, F-450/550, F-650/750, F-53/59, and E-450, according to the company.


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Food and Beverage Fleets Choose Propane Autogas

<p><em>Alpha Baking Company, Inc., a national bakery products distributor and home to the iconic S. Rosen&rsquo;s brand, selected Penske Truck Leasing to serve as its commercial truck fleet maintenance service provider for its 2013 ROUSH CleanTech propane autogas powered Ford E-450 bread delivery trucks operating in the Chicago-metro area. (Photo courtesy of ROUSH CleanTech)</em></p>

Food and beverage fleets are moving toward the use of propane autogas as a fuel source with increasing numbers. From such fleets as Bimbo Bakeries to Alpha Baking company, more and more fleets in the food and beverage vocation are seeing the benefits from this domestic alternative-fuel. 

"Our costumers get peace of mind knowing the factory warranty is still in place. Our technology is propane liquid injection so the horsepower and torque curves are the same as gasoline. The liquid injection also helps in extremely cold weather, eliminating the cold-start problem that fleets had 15-20 years ago with older vapor propane systems," said Todd Mouw, VP of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. "We have worked very hard the past 24 months developing the cleanest burning engine in the medium-duty space from a NOx perspective. Propane is a domestic energy source. Couple the fuel and maintenance savings with a much cleaner burning fuel, and we have a perfect fit for Class 4-7 delivery applications that are used every day in the food and beverage industry."

Because propane is moved as a liquid at relatively low pressures, it allows ROUSH CleanTech to package enough fuel on the vehicle to give it a comparable range to gasoline and diesel without compromising the utility of the truck.

"There is no difference in appearance than with conventional trucks since our fuel tanks are packaged under the steps of Class 6-7 delivery trucks," Mouw said. "Fuel infrastructure is inexpensive to install and maintain. There are dozens of propane companies that will lease this equipment for little to no cost in exchange for a fuel contract. In most cases, if the maintenance garage used by food and beverage fleets is up to code for working on gasoline and diesel trucks, no shop modifications are required for propane. We still recommend that our fleet partners talk with the local fire marshal as a part of the process."

In addition, ROUSH CleanTech is a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier (QVM) for propane. According to Mouw, this means the Ford OEM warranty remains intact when the trucks equipped with Ford’s gaseous prep engine package convert to propane with ROUSH CleanTech technology. 

According to ROUSH CeanTech, the price of propane has been very stable over the last several decades, trending from 40% to 50% less than diesel. Based on current supply and demand, this price stability and the gap between propane and diesel should continue to widen. The U.S. produces more than 21 billion gallons of propane annually but only consumes 9 billion through various energy uses such as home heating, forklifts, transportation, etc. That delta is expected to continue, which will result in great value pricing for our fleet customers.

<p><em>Bimbo Bakeries USA is delivering its bread and baked goods in vehicles fueled by emissions-reducing, domestically produced propane autogas. The company operates 84 Ford F-59 trucks, equipped with ROUSH CleanTech fuel technology. (Photo courtesy of ROUSH CleanTech)</em></p>

ROUSH CleanTech Breaks Records

ROUSH CleanTech experienced a banner year in 2016, delivering a record number (more than 2,100) of propane Type C school buses with its partner Blue Bird and their dealer base. In addition, it built a record number (more than 350) Class 6-7 beverage delivery trucks for a variety of key partners.

"We set up a facility in High Point, N.C. near our partners at Mickey Truck Body. As they complete the drop frame and bodies, we install our fuel system so that we can reduce the order to delivery time for our partners while maintaining our standards for the highest quality," said Todd Mouw, VP of sales and marketing for ROUSH CleanTech. 

ROUSH CleanTech has more than 15,000 vehicles on the road with more than 400 million miles of customer data.

"Currently, fuel prices are remaining low. Our engine is the cleanest from a NOx perspective in the medium-duty space. Diesel technology continues to get more costly and difficult to maintain. There has never been a better time to make the transition from diesel to propane," Mouw said. "From our founder Jack Roush all the way through the staff at ROUSH CleanTech, we are committed to making our fleet partners successful in this most important transition."






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ROUSH Building the World’s Fastest Production Truck

<p><em>A 600-hp ROUSH-charged power plant allows for 0-60 times of 4.2 seconds. (Photo courtesy of ROUSH)</em></p>

The 2017 ROUSH Ford F-150 Nitemare is now being built at the ROUSH headquarters in Plymouth, Mich. The ROUSH F-150 Nitemare is the ultimate street truck – a culmination of aggressive good looks, performance truck mannerisms, and streetability.

The Nitemare is not a new creation within the ROUSH brand, the first was created in 2008 and featured a ROUSH-charged 5.4L power plant.

ROUSH has upped the ante in the years since and announced that this mean street truck produces a Continental CrossContact tire-thrashing 600-hpand 557 lb.-ft. of torque from its ROUSHcharged 5.0L engine.

The new Nitemare not only benefits from a boost in power from its Eaton TVS supercharger, but it’s also a much lighter truck thanks to its new aluminum body which decreases weight by between 600 and 700 pounds depending on configuration. It is this lethal combination of power and weight that has earned the new 2017 ROUSH Nitemare the impressive title of “Fastest Production Truck in the World.”

The 2017 ROUSH F-150 Nitemare will be offered as a production vehicle in both 2WD and 4WD options. Exhaust flows through a ROUSH Performance Side-Exit Exhaust System, featuring a ceramic-coated black tip etched with the NITEMARE Logo. ROUSH 22-inch 7-spoke wheels give the F-150 a dramatic facelift and are wrapped in Continental CrossContact LX22 rubber.

The Nitemare features a ROUSH Front Grille with Clearance Lighting, a ROUSH Front Bumper Cover, an F-150 NITEMARE Fender Badge, and ROUSH graphics including a hood graphic, hockey stripe side graphic, and NITEMARE tailgate graphic. Inside, ROUSH Molded Floor Liners by WeatherTech keep the carpet clean, and a ROUSH Serialized Console Badge pays tribute to the truck’s pedigree. There is an available Roush NITEMARE Leather Upgrade option as well.

Check out a video on the new truck below:


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NTEA's New Senior Director Shares Goals


NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, appointed George Survant as senior director of fleet relations. In this newly created role, he will work with Christopher Lyon, NTEA director of fleet relations, to lead the Association in serving truck equipment distributors/manufacturers and end-user fleets.

"As senior director of fleet relations, I aim to increase the value proposition for fleet participation in NTEA initiatives and events. Another key focus is to provide the Association with a deeper fleet perspective on offerings and efforts going forward," Survant told Work Truck.

Survant has served in a variety of positions, including 25 years as a telecom fleet leader, 17 years as a power company fleet leader, and four years as an executive in the fleet safety certification and inspection industry. He has managed operations in 49 of the 50 states, with employees in several countries across the Pacific Rim.

Looking toward the future based on his past experience, Survant noted that his previous fleet experience "enables me to be an advocate for advancing the common interests of NTEA member companies and industry fleets."

Through this position, Survant hopes to strengthen the partnership between the fleet community and NTEA’s core membership.

"This new role gives me the opportunity to work with a great organization and experienced industry professionals. From my first interaction with NTEA in the mid-1980s as fleet manager for Hawaiian Telephone, I have seen the Association grow in a dynamic way. The quality and depth of NTEA’s resources and initiatives have benefited the fleet community — from fleet managers to end-users and drivers in the field — and I’m happy to be a part of such a dedicated organization," Survant said.

Throughout his career, Survant has earned many awards, including Professional Fleet Manager of the Year by Automotive Fleet magazine. At the time of his award, Survant was responsible for fleet strategy at Charter Communications in Charlotte, N.C. He became part of Charter Communications when the company purchased Time Warner Communications in early 2016. He joined Time Warner four years before and had been in the fleet industry for 40 years.

During an interview with AF magazine, Survant noted that since his entry into the fleet industry, he has witnessed its evolution from a field dominated by what he calls “legacy behavior” to one marked by sophisticated, technologically oriented practices.

“When I started in this business, the ability to effectively track, measure, and change or improve equipment reliability didn’t exist. Just about the only tools you had was to buy a larger percentage of new equipment,” he said. “Whereas today we have some very, very sophisticated tools to measure and manage equipment reliability, and we have a whole host of new strategies to improve that reliability that go beyond the simple 'let’s-replace-it-now' thinking that was prevalent 10 years ago.”

Additional honors include Vocational Fleet of the Year from Fleet Owner Magazine, NAFA Green Fleet Award for pioneering work with green solutions in a vocational truck fleet, Blue Sky Award for his leadership in developing and commercializing medium-duty hybrid trucks, and the National Biodiesel Board “Eye on Biodiesel” award for Initiative.

“Welcoming George to the team expands our ability to connect with commercial fleets across North America,” said NTEA Executive Director Steve Carey. “His proven expertise brings valuable perspective which will be a tremendous asset to our entire membership and the industry at large.”


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Lexus Updates NX Crossover For 2018
Revealed today at Auto Shanghai 2017, the Lexus NX is getting an update for the 2018 model year to keep it relevant in the space.Lexus Updates NX Crossover For 2018
Revealed today at Auto Shanghai 2017, the Lexus NX is getting an update for the 2018 model year to keep it relevant in the space.Honda Introduces 2018 CR-V Hybrid at Auto Shanghai 2017
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How Far Away Are Electric Pickups?

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Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently grabbed headlines again by making bold pronouncements. This time he said he'll reveal a new electric semi-truck with self-driving technology by September and an electric pickup truck within two years.

We have our own thoughts on a Tesla pickup: Our hope is that it doesn't look like other Tesla creations and that it offers some legitimate problem-solving technology that will make towing, carrying heavy loads and powering equipment an easier and safer proposition.

Of course, what Musk could do for pickup buyers may be a moot point by the time his vehicle comes to market because another electric pickup manufacturer could have those issues squared away before then.

The Workhorse Group's extended-range W-15 looks like it will beat Tesla to the punch, offering a production electric pickup to large energy companies such as North Carolina's Duke Energy in the near future. Duke is one of five electric companies that have submitted letters of intent to buy the pickup for their fleets when it is available. Together, their intended orders total 2,150 pickups.

We caught up with Workhorse founder and CEO Steve Burns at a recent trade show, where his company displayed a scale prototype of the what the new electric mid-size pickup will likely look like when it debuts in May at the Advanced Clean Transportation Show in Long Beach, Calif. The prototype maintains the shape of a traditional pickup, which we like, and which Workhorse hopes will appeal to fleet buyers, as well as everyday consumers.

Workhorse — an Ohio-based battery-electric powertrain and drone developer — says the vehicle will compete in the mid-size pickup class and will be designed to meet the requirements of fleet, commercial and small-business companies that need efficient transportation. The W-15 will be all-wheel drive and offer a fuel economy equivalent of 75 mpg. 

Think of a delivery company such as a UPS, where fleet managers know exactly how far and where each of their vehicles travel each day. Pair Workhorse's fuel-saving technology with GPS navigation/tracking for finding the safest and least congested routes to take in real time, and the bottom-line benefits of an electric pickup are obvious. Electric trucks also could serve as mobile power stations at job sites or disaster areas. A pickup like this also could power a house during electrical outages as well as carry supplies, people and equipment to remote areas.

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The Workhorse W-15 chassis is modeled after the medium-duty big-box delivery truck — think UPS truck — Workhorse sells that's already in use across the country. This big truck uses two massive Panasonic battery packs charged by a 200-kilowatt motor generator with a 650-cubic-centimeter, two-cylinder range-extending BMW motor. The engine never powers the vehicle and only kicks on when needed to provide power to the electric motor that charges the batteries. The Workhorse pickup will operate similarly. This power strategy is similar to the one used in the Chevrolet Volt electric compact car and VIA Motors' VTRUX plug-in pickup.

Although we don't have exact details about payload or towing capacity, we do know Workhorse plans to sell the truck for $52,500. Workhorse hopes to have a production version ready to build by the end of 2018, but there are several issues that could cause a delay. Workhorse is currently in the running for a massive U.S. Postal Service contract, so if it wins the contract the release of a mass-market consumer pickup could be delayed by a few years.

Workhorse's production plant is in an old Navistar International production facility in Indiana that's capable of producing upward of 60,000 units per year. But if the pickup gains traction, Workhorse might need to expand its operations and that takes time.

While we find the possibilities poised by fully electric pickups intriguing, we're taking a wait-and-see attitude. Will these vehicles deliver a safe and comfortable driving experience while providing the ability to carry loads and do the work pickup trucks do? Only time will tell.

We've taken some photos of the Workhorse pickup prototype as well as its existing delivery trucks and offer them below. More to come as this new pickup class grows. photos by Mark Williams


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Best Look Yet at Production Model2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Diesel Update 5: Real MPG Without an Air Dam - Motor Trend

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2016 Chevrolet Colorado Z71 Diesel Update 5: Real MPG Without an Air Dam
Motor Trend
Under our Real MPG cycle, our stock diesel Colorado Z71 4×4 achieved an impressive 21.5/31.9/25.2 Real MPG city/highway/combined. Compared to our truck's 20/28/23 mpg EPA rating, the Real MPG results detail a 7.5 percent increase in the city, 13.9 ...

Zonar to Take Asset Management Mobile

<p><em>Photo: Zonar</em></p>

Zonar has announced the Ground Traffic Control FieldView fleet management application for Android to help customers locate and navigate assets on mapping applications like Google Maps.

Zonar’s Ground Traffic Control FieldView app is part of the industry-wide shift toward development of mobile platforms and is designed to bring basic fleet tracking capabilities to mobile devices.

The app will be available from the Google Play Store in the second quarter of 2017 and is designed to work with devices running Android 4.2 and later.

“Nearly everyone has a smartphone now and we wanted to make it easy for fleet managers to get the data they need without having to learn how to use a new system or tool,” said Larry Jordan, senior vice president of product development at Zonar. “Our customers have told us a majority of their fleets use Android (or mobile devices) while on the road so this addition to our portfolio gives them a simple way to track assets and information at any given time.”

Features of Zonar's Ground Traffic Control FieldView app include:

  • Asset location tracking and navigation
  • Asset identification and operational status updates
  • Customizable permissions to control user access to assets and information
  • Easy viewing experience designed for large and small fleets
  • Simple cross functionality with preferred mobile navigation apps like Google Maps

“We're constantly looking for ways to make sure fleet managers have everything they need at their fingertips no matter where the road takes them,” said Jordan. “This is the first iteration of the app, but we fully expect to roll out new features and platforms based on the needs of our users, allowing us to reach an even wider audience.”


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XL Hybrids Gains Approval from California for Conversions

<p><em>Photo courtesy of XL Hybrids.</em></p>

XL Hybrids has gained approval from the California Air Resources Board to sell a modified hybrid version of Ford's Transit cargo van to fleets in that state. The XL Hybrids Transit has also gained eligibility for a $2,500 state voucher to defray the cost to fleet purchasers.

The vehicle modifier offers versions of the Ford Transit cargo and passenger vans with its XL3 hybrid electric drive system. The board issued an executive order that permits the use of the vehicles from the 2017, 2016, and 2015 model years.

Fleets can also obtain a $2,500 voucher under the state's Hybrid and Zero-Emission Truck and Bus Voucher Incentive Project (HVIP). Fleets can obtain vouchers for as many as 100 vehicles. The second 100 vehicles would be eligible for a $2,000 voucher per vehicle.

XL Hybrids also offers a gasoline-electric hybrid version of General Motors' vans, including the Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana.

The XL3 system increases miles driven per gallon by about 25%, according to the company.


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Diesel Engine Fuel Injectors

Standard Motor Products is offering a line of diesel fuel injectors through its BWD engine management brand, designed for 6.0L, 6.4L, and 7.3L Ford Power Stroke diesel engines.

The BWD Diesel Fuel Injectors include the latest engineering enhancements to match the original equipment injector, according to the company. The injectors are also designed to meet emissions compliance and fuel economy standards.

The parts were designed, developed, engineered and manufactured to original equipment levels, including sub-micron machining and complex assembly systems to ensure durability.


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Digital Inflator

Dill’s 7260 Digital Inflator Gauge Series has a range from 0-170 p.s.i. and digitally displays air pressure in 0.5 increments to help with inflating tires.

By pressing a button on the LCD backlit screen, users have the option to switch between Bar, kPa or p.s.i. The inflator is designed with a single trigger with a built-in bleed feature for precise air pressure adjustment.

Dill’s inflators are offered in multiple configurations, including two-foot and six-foot lengths.


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Teletrac Navman Partners with PTV Group

Teletrac Navman, a provider of GPS tracking and fleet management solutions, announced a new integration with PTV Group’s transport planning and optimization solution. Available globally, this integration with PTV Group logistics software enhances Teletrac Navman DIRECTOR’s end-to-end workflow solution for carriers.

With this partnership, fleet managers can dramatically reduce the time and manpower needed to plan, optimize, and execute delivery routes. The robust routing software can be integrated with DIRECTOR in all countries it is sold.

The integration through Teletrac Navman’s open API offers carriers a single interface to optimize the list of stops drivers need to complete in a given time period, taking into account vehicle dimensions, load capacity, road restrictions, hazardous materials, and other configurations that may affect the route.

Dispatchers receive real-time updates, including vehicle location, speed, and mileage, and are able to drill down into overall trip duration, handling and driver time, and stops completed to measure against their goals. For drivers, the integration not only provides turn-by-turn direction but also eliminates the need for paper invoices and proof of delivery.

“We’re committed to serving the transportation industry by bringing greater efficiency to fleet management and delivering tremendous value to our customers,” said Daren Lauda, general manager of North America, Teletrac Navman. “We’re thrilled to add PTV’s software to our growing list of integrations. PTV Group logistics software will help our customers automate route planning and monitor execution of the route plan; further connecting every step in the transportation workflow.”

Learn more about Teletrac Navman’s solutions at


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