Due to the COVID pandemic, the 2021 Work Truck Show was held in a virtual format. Manufacturers introduced new products via recorded presentations. Virtual demonstrations and educational seminars were also held throughout the week. Several of the most notable presentations centered around connected vehicle capabilities, electrification and new product walkarounds.
Ford Expands Connected Capabilities
“One hundred percent of Ford commercial vehicles include embedded modems with 4G LTE WiFi for up to 10 devices,” says Philip Podgorny, general manager, commercial and government sales, Ford Motor Company. These modems unlock connectivity to intelligent fleet management tools offered by Ford Commercial Solutions.
“Ford Telematics is a modern, web-based product that gives customers access to vehicle health reports, vehicle location, driver behavior and more,” says Alex Purdy, Director of Business Operations, Enterprise Connectivity, Ford Motor Company. “Now, with the benefit of modems embedded into the electrical architecture of every new Ford, we have direct access to vehicle systems and architectures so we can offer unique services like remotely locking or unlocking a single vehicle or group of vehicles, remote scheduled preconditioning and the ability to offer predictive maintenance and trouble alerts to help you stay ahead of potential downtime issues.”
A Ford telematics drive mobile app can help drivers identify physical issues that can not be spotted by a telematics system, such as a broken mirror or worn tires.
Ford Telematics features an updated dashboard that makes visualizing the important information about your fleet and spotting the key trend and insights easier. Ford telematics already works with all model year 2020 or newer Ford vehicles without any additional hardware. “Last year we added a Ford plug in modem kit for older Ford vehicles, giving fleet managers greater visibility into their entire fleet,” notes Purdy.
“Today, we’re happy to announce that Ford Telematics is now compatible with non-Ford vehicles by a plug-in device,” he adds. “Now you can gain clear, easy to access insights for Ford Telematics across your entire fleet, regardless of make.”
A driver behavior dashboard gives managers a survey of how their vehicles are performing, providing information about trends that involve harsh braking or acceleration, speeds driven over posted limits and/or fleet-set thresholds, seatbelt use and idling time. A personal driver score also lets fleet managers quickly see how specific drivers are doing, giving them opportunities to further coach them on best practices and areas of improvement.
Ford Motor CompanyFord Telematics Essentials for Ford vehicles, a complimentary level of service for commercial customers will be available beginning in the second quarter of 2021. Ford Telematics Essentials gives customers access to vehicle health insights such as odometer readings, diagnostic trouble code and information around oil life, engine hours and recalls. Later this year, this complimentary service will also allow fleets to digitally track and plan maintenance or repair services with local dealers.
Further bolstering Ford’s mission to improve uptime for commercial fleets is the widespread adoption of over-the-air (OTA) update capability, beginning with the 2022 F-150. Vehicles equipped with this technology can receive updates and repairs wirelessly, reducing the need to visit a dealer for maintenance.
XL Fleet Develops Plug-in Hybrid for GM HD Pickups
XL Fleet has electrified many common commercial and fleet applications with hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) drive solutions for vans, pickups and stripped chassis. At the virtual Work Truck Show, the company announces a plug-in hybrid electric drive system for select Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Silverado 2500HD/3500 HD pickup trucks and the Chevrolet and GMC 3500 and 4500 chassis cabs. The pickup truck solution will be available in the first quarter of 2021 with availability of the chassis cab solution in the second quarter. “It is the first PHEV system that is now available for GM fleet products,” says Eric Foellmer, director of marketing, XL Fleet.
This technology transforms a factory OEM vehicle into a more fuel-efficient hybrid that reduces fuel consumption by up to 50% and cuts CO2 emissions by a third. The system adds an electric motor, an advanced lithium-ion battery pack and control software to the existing vehicle. No other significant modifications to the vehicle are required and no changes are made to the internal combustion engine or transmission. “Our system is all deployed post transmission, so the warranty from GM remains intact,” notes Foellmer.
XL FleetThe PHEV system has been enhanced over the previous system. “The system is mounted all underneath the chassis, which is a brand-new configuration that is in line with our next gen battery pack,” says Foellmer. “The really exciting aspect of this is that everything is under the chassis, you don’t have the limitation of the battery pack being mounted up into the bed of the vehicle, which further adds flexibility for the driver.”
The heart of the plug-in hybrid electric drive system is the high-efficiency 15-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. “The lithium-ion battery pack gets its power from two sources,” says Foellmer. “The first is the electric motor that sits on the drive shaft. During deceleration regenerative braking power is stored in the battery pack. In addition, you can plug in the charger either overnight or during the day.”
An electric motor is mounted directly onto the driveshaft. “When the driver accelerates, the motor adds an additional 220 ft.-lbs. of torque directly into the driveline,” explains Foellmer. “The result is less wear on the engine, reduced gas consumption and fewer emissions. When the driver decelerates and hits the brakes, the electric motor turns into a generator and stores that energy back into the battery pack so that it can be used again the next time the driver accelerates.”
On GM’s HD pickups, the plug-in hybrid system is available on the 6.6-liter engine with the 4x4 driveline. “It’s available on 149-in. wheelbases and up and it’s available on double or crew cab options in any bed size.” On the GM 3500 and 4500 chassis configurations, the system is available on 6.6-liter engines across all wheelbase types.
Cummins provides overview of new EPA2021 L9 engine
Cummins Inc. introduces its EPA2021 L9 engine, which lowers carbon dioxide emissions while increasing efficiency and fuel economy. The company did so by improving its existing engine technology instead of redesigning its L9 engine platform.
CumminsDerek Kiesler, medium duty product manager at Cummins, says the company approached the new engine design with reliability and performance improvements in mind. These were achieved through the head gasket material and capability improvements to handle the most aggressive application duty cycles and temperature environments.
Internal hardware improvements were made to the turbocharger actuator, and improvements were made to cooling venting to handle challenging running and hot shutdown conditions. Cummins also improved the EGR valve design to increase reliability and resist faults. Additionally, the engine block’s oil pan rail and oil pan gasket were re-engineered to improve sealing capability.
To enhance performance, Cummins lowered peak torque speed of the engine so it provides full torque over a wide operating range. Kiesler says this improves drivability with less downshifting required on grade.
Parasitic losses were reduced as well to get the most of every drop of diesel while meeting current emissions regulations. This was achieved through reduced and optimized piston ring tensions and coatings. Camshaft valve timing was modified to reduce pumping work in the air handling system. Water pump speeds were also optimized to provide required system cooling without unnecessary coolant flow.
Kiesler says with these improvements, Cummins was able to create an engine which meets the EPA 2021 GHG Phase II requirements without having to introduce new technologies or sacrificing reliability and durability.
To help meet the GHG emissions requirements, Cummins’ engine control module features increased computing capabilities to enable thousands of calculations required per second which are necessary to ensure compliance and run diagnostics. “All this is done while keeping the interface to the OEMs common with the EPA 2017 product,” notes Kiesler.
Fuel efficiency improvements up to 3.5% on the Performance Series engines and up to 1.5% for the Productivity Series have so far been seen with these new L9 engines.
Mack Trucks highlights MD series, Granite updates
Mack Trucks began production of its MD Series trucks—the model which brought the company back into the medium-duty market—in September. Since then it has started delivery of the trucks to dealers and customers. According to Jonathan Randall, Mack Trucks senior vice president of North American sales and Commercial Operations, there has been increased interest for the trucks and they are so far exceeding customers' and dealers' expectations.
The company also discussed the recent updates to its Granite models, one of which was the introduction of Command Steer active steering. The system uses multiple sensors to receive input, more than 2,000 times per second. It monitors road conditions, driver inputs and environmental elements to provide a safer driving experience. Command Steer can hold the lane when unexpected changes occur such as wind gusts, uneven pavement, ruts in the ground or even tire blowouts. "It also provides featherlight steering at low speeds; so light you can steer it with your finger," says. Tim Wrinkle, construction product manager at Mack Trucks. "It minimizes the daily strain on drivers, and it's a great tool for driver retention and recruitment.
Mack TrucksWrinkle also noted during the press conference the company has achieved weight savings on its mRIDE spring leaf over rubber block suspension. When paired with proprietary Mack axles, these weight savings can provide increased payload for customers. Parts were integrated into the axles by casting them into the housing which saves 140 lbs. with drum brakes and 146 lbs. with disc brakes. "This is now available at 40,000 lb. and 46,000 lb. suspension ratings and standard track axles," says Wrinkle.
Stellar TMax 1-11 Welder Body
The Stellar TMAX 1-11 Welder Body features a 30-in. workbench-bumper enhanced with a slide-out tray, providing an on-demand workstation that is ready for torch cutting and welding. The tray's removable support slates allow for blow-through to the ground to keep the workspace clean, and the 2-in. V channel that runs the length of the bumper makes for easy clamping.
StellarThe welder body uses stainless steel billet-style hinges, three-point stainless steel compression latches and double-spring over-center door closures. It is completely undercoated for additional protection from corrosion and painted with a two-part polyurethane enamel paint for added protection and visual appeal.
The TMAX 1-11 Welder is set up for any of the TC Series cranes, which come with the CDT Remote for easy operation and offer compactness to maximize bed space.
International Next Generation HX Severe Service Trucks
This Next Generation HX is the first product released under the Navistar 4.0 strategy and its Project Compass initiative – which focuses on flexible, modular design. The HX Series is available in both a set-forward axle HX520 and a set-back axle HX620.
The trucks feature a redesigned cab that comes with a durable three-piece hood that is crack-resistant and engineered to offer front-forward visibility. The extreme duty cab is structurally reinforced in key locations and is protected by ChemGuard, LineX and International Truck’s own topcoat process making it salt resistant. The high-strength steel design results in no weight penalty.
Dual external air cleaners offer increased filtration, which is critical when running in dusty environments. All marker lights have been replaced with LEDs which provide superior nighttime visibility and safety while reducing the frequency of repair. To add your own personal touch, the new HX Series is customizable with optional stainless-steel visors, bright finish mirrors and additional stainless-steel options.
NavistarInside, the focus was on the driver. The overall cab size has been increased. With a focus on comfort, the cab now features larger power windows, creating a view with improved visibility. Integrated driver-assist technology from Bendix also helps improve driver’s awareness and safety.
For improved maneuverability and performance, the new HX Series is available with dual steering gears and advanced anti-lock braking systems that result in superior turning, traction and control.
To help maximize your delivered payload, the HX620 comes standard with the International A26 engine, delivering up to 500 hp in a lightweight package. Both the HX520 and HX620 models can be ordered with the Cummins X15 engine, with ratings up to 605 hp and 2,050 lb.-ft. of torque.
The HX Series continues to offer a high strength 12.5” x 0.5” single rail frame option delivering 3.5M RBM, meaning it is capable of withstanding even the heaviest loads. The truck also includes a Huck-bolted frame and cross members on the chassis that minimize movement and wear, a wide range of factory-installed lift axles, and for the rare occasions a driver does get stuck, a front tow pin option rated up to 150,000 lbs.
Western Star 49X Equipped With X-series Cab
The Western Star 49X features a stronger, lighter chassis that is equipped with the company’s new X-series cab. It enables a total weight savings of over 350 lbs. in like-for-like spec’ing vs. the current Western Star 4900.
The weight savings starts with a new vocational frame. Single-channel frame rail options are available in a variety of thicknesses and feature ratings up to 3.7 million RBMs (Resisting Bending Moments).C-channel frame reinforcements are available with RBMs up to 5.4 million. Multiple parent rail front frame extension options are available for applications requiring front-mounted equipment, such as a plow.
Western StarClear back-of-cab packaging allows for easier upfit with features that include: forward-mounted DEF tanks; standard in-cab battery box; multiple air tank mounting locations; air dryer mounted underhood (set-back axle) or under cab (set-forward axle); optimized fuel tank sizes; a compact Detroit aftertreatment system; and functional dual vertical exhaust stacks.
Western Star designed a new purpose-built cab for the 49X. The company claims the X-series cab is the largest in the segment with 10% to 13% greater space than competitive cabs. It was designed specifically for vocational applications and provides additional vehicle weight savings while delivering long-term durability and operator comfort. Advanced topology was utilized to ensure rigidity and strength and determine where more material was needed in the steel-reinforced aluminum cab.
The hood of the 49X is constructed of high-strength, lightweight, molded composite for impact resistance and durability. The new hood uses a patented ISO Tech Hood Suspension system that behaves similarly to a typical coil-over shock suspension system with spring and damper. The system isolates, absorbs and dissipates vibrations from the chassis when driving over uneven terrain to protect the hood from damage and cracking.
Ram Chassis Cabs Designed for Upfit
Ram Chassis Cab 3500, 4500 and 5500 represent Class 3, 4 and 5 GVW ratings. There are four different models with four different trim levels – Tradesman, SLT, Laramie and Limited. There are also eight different wheelbases and four different Cab-to-Axle (CAs) - 60 in., 84 in., 108 in. and 120 in. Frames are made of 50 ksi steel and come in the standard 34-in. frame rail width. All OEM equipment is located below the frame rails to simplify upfit.
There are three fuel tank options – a 52-gal. rear tank, a 22-gal midship tank or a combination of the two, which offers 74 gallons of fuel. These tanks feature an auxiliary fuel port for both gas and diesel. This allows you to tap into the vehicle’s fuel system to power your equipment on the truck, whether it is a generator or any other device that requires fuel.
Ram TrucksThere are two powertrain options, a 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 gas or a 6.7-liter Cummins diesel engine.
The Cummins I6 Turbo Diesel is available with a high-output option producing 360 hp at 2,400 rpm and 800 lb.-ft. of torque at 1,500 rpm. The 6.4-liter HEMI V-8 gas engine produces 370 hp at 4,600 rpm (410 hp at 5,600 rpm under 10,000-lb. GVW rating) and 429 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,000 rpm.
The trucks are capable of up to 35,220 lbs. of towing and a Gross Combined Weight Ratings of 43,000 lbs.
Six auxiliary swithes on the dash allow control of electrical upfit needs. If you have a chassis cab with a PTO, the sixth switch becomes a PTO switch. A 12-volt plug is included for powering up electronic equipment.
Industry exclusive features include:
- Exclusive power take-off (PTO) options for left- and right-side components
- ParkSense park assist system with fit-to-use backup camera and front/rear parking sensors provides visual and audible indications and a 270-degree camera system with trailer reverse-guidance view
- Trailer tire-pressure monitoring (TPM) system accommodates up to six truck tires and 12 trailer tires with up to four trailer profiles
- Vehicle system interface module (VSIM) eases communication between aftermarket equipment modules and various chassis cab controls and functions
- Dual alternator systems up