Spied: 2017 Heavy Duties


GM pickup truck engineers have been relatively quiet lately while both Ford and Ram Truck make news with new HD products, which includes exotic materials and increased capability. But it looks like that's about to change, given the size of this parade. Our spies have seen several three-quarter-ton and one-ton Chevrolet and GMC pickups doing quite a bit of tow testing and loaded laps around Michigan. That means GM is likely getting close to showing its new trucks to the media, and we can't wait. There's been lots of speculation about new power train ratings, but so far it is only that. Here's what we recently heard from our photographers.

    "We caught a convoy of heavy-duty Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra prototypes on the open roads, giving us our best look yet at the rugged remakes of the crew-cab versions of the single-rear and dual-rear-wheel trucks due out sometime in 2016. The goal must certainly be to bump the current 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel's horsepower, torque and towing capacity to counter Ford's recently upgraded 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo-diesel. Ford's revamped 6.7-liter Power Stroke currently outguns GM's 6.6-liter unit, generating 440 horsepower and 860 pounds-feet of torque (GM is making 397 horsepower and 765 pounds-feet of torque).

    "We can clearly see that part of GM's strategy is to feed more air into the engine via a new functional hood air intake designed into the pickups' redesigned hoods. The new air duct sits prominently near the leading edge of the hood. The GMC gets a circular mesh intake grille, while the Chevy appears to get a diamond-shaped interweaving mesh grille insert. The Silverado and Sierra pickups had uncovered grilles and lightly camouflaged front bumpers, with a heavier vinyl hood hiding the hood's new air intake. We're guessing the new breathing apparatus has been added in conjunction with a revamped diesel engine, reportedly using a modified turbo and new engine management software resulting in a significant power boost.

    "Likewise, Ford is now nearly at completion of a significant aluminum-intensive overhaul of its Super Duty pickups, so GM had better hope that its changes are substantial enough to keep its pickups competitive."

KGP Photography images



2015 RAM ProMaster 1500 Cargo Van Test Drive Video Review

When the Sprinter left the Dodge line-up there was a large spot to fill. The ProMaster aims to fill that spot with a more user-friendly cargo van. The ProMaster is offered in 3 different wheelbase choices and different roof heights. Cargo volume ranges from 259 cubic ft. to 463 cubic ft. It’s a whole new world when it comes to work vans these days. Lots of folks are finding that jumbo vans provide far more flexibility and lots of customization options. The 2015 Ram ProMaster has a base price of $28,800.

Source:  http://www.autobytel.com/ram/promaste...


How a Harbor Contractor II Body Boosts Capacity and Effectiveness

Jordan Lewis, Commercial Truck Manager at Dow Lewis GMC in Yuba City CA shows off a great solution for many contractors who want storage, but also want the benefits of a flatbed truck. This body, mounted on a 2014 GMC 1-ton Dually chassis is a Harbor Contractor II Body. The twist with the Contractor II Body is the tall and deep compartment at the front of the body. The open lid typical upper box is retained, but the real value of this body is the combination of the two types of boxes.

You can see how much more storage capacity there is in the Contractor II arrangement. The shelves are moveable or removable and the compartment is deep enough to carry a wide variety of items, including tall items.

This unit also has a removable forklift loadable rack, fold-down contractor style gates in the rear, and a class IV receiver, and 7-pin trailer connector. It also has a great full-length step for easy rear access.

See more at http://DowLewisTrucks.com



Crosspoint Kinetics Hybrid System Doesn't Use Batteries

Joe Hughes talks with Merritt Becker with Crosspoint Kinetics about their unique hybrid system for class 3 through 7 commercial trucks. This unique system doesn't use batteries and can save up to 30% in fuel costs. In addition, this system can be transferred from one vehicle to another.


Ram Quad Cab with a Harbor TradeMaster Service Body and a Forklift Loadable Rack

This TradeMaster Service Body with a ForkLift Loadable Rack is mounted on a Ram  Quad Cab. This  combination will get a lot of work done and carry the crew in comfort.   

There’s a Harbor Forklift Loadable Rack with over the quad cab protection. It’s built with rugged square /rectangular tubing.  The major share of the weight of the payload is borne by the body portion of the rack between the uprights. The portion over the cab provides support and reduces deflection of long loads such as pipe and conduit. You can see the load bar over the bed is higher than the side bar to allow the forklift forks to leave the load and exit.

The TradeMaster Body features Electro-Galvanized sheet metal construction and standard One-Hand Latch, Self-Opening Stainless Steel Lids with Two Gas Shocks. Lighter and stronger and rust free! (Aluminum Treadbrite overlay is available as an option). Matching Stainless Steel Gravel Guards are standard.  See all the features at www.htbi.net/truckbodies/trademasterservicebody.html

Let Harbor build one for you!  Visit our website and see more about Harbor Truck Bodies at www.htbi.net. Call Harbor at 800-433-9452.


U.S. Military Personnel Take Ford Mustang, F-150 for a Ride at Hockenheimring Racetrack

  •     Ford and the Overseas Military Sales Corporation host first-ever Ford Driving Freedom ride-and-drive event for U.S. military personnel stationed on bases across Europe
  •     U.S. military personnel got the unique opportunity to drive the Ford F-150 and Ford Mustang on Hockenheimring racetrack in Germany
  •     Ford has worked with Overseas Military Sales Corporation since 1995 to offer Ford and Lincoln vehicles for sale throughout the Americas, as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as on select Navy ships
Members of the U.S. military got the unique opportunity to take a test drive of the Ford F-150 and Mustang today at Germany’s famed Hockenheimring racetrack.

“The Ford Driving Freedom ride-and-drive event is designed to introduce the new 2015 Ford Mustang and F-150 to military personnel who are stationed on U.S. bases across Europe,” says Doug Walczak, fleet sales manager, Ford Motor Company. “It’s the first time such an event has been held overseas.”

Walczak says the exercise reinforces Ford’s commitment to U.S. military personnel around the world. “We’re excited to provide this unique opportunity to men and women serving in the military,” he says. “They make many sacrifices on our behalf, and we wanted to give them a chance to leave base and experience something fun while serving their country.”

The Hockenheimring track is home to the German Grand Prix. The venue was selected both because of its history and its central location. Military personnel from U.S. bases across Europe were invited to participate, along with 125 winners of a contest sponsored by Overseas Military Sales Corporation. The group is the only on-base, factory-authorized Ford Motor Company distributor to military personnel. Walczak says the contest, which drew 300 entries, is an example of the community events the group holds to boost the morale of troops and showcase Ford products.

“Ford has worked with the Overseas Military Sales Corporation since 1995 to offer Ford and Lincoln vehicles for sale in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, as well as in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as on select Navy ships,” said Walczak. “Service personnel can order vehicles for use where they are stationed, or place an order overseas and pick it up at a dealership when they return home.”

The ride-and-drive program is a pilot, and could serve as a template for integration in Ford’s future product launches.

The trucks being used for the ride-and-drive, along with others on display, are among the first F-150 vehicles on the ground in Europe.

Ford is top of mind for members of the U.S. military. Overseas Military Sales Corporation was the leading retailer of Ford Mustang in the world in 2014, while Ford F-150 is the most popular vehicle for members of the military – according to a survey by USAA, a financial services company serving military personnel and their families.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 194,000 employees and 66 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.


Singing Wheels - Early 1940's Trucks and Transport in America - WDTVLIVE42

The Motor Truck Committee of Automobile Manufacturers Association sponsored this film in an effort to raise public awareness of the vital role trucks had for the economic and social benefit of America. .
WDTVLIVE42 - Transport, technology, and general interest movies from the past - newsreels, documentaries & publicity films from my archives.


Ford CNG Transit 150/250/350 3.7L Full-Size Van & Wagon

CNG System Specifications:             Transit CNG System Brochure
• 2015/2016 - Ford QVM Approved Bi-Fuel CNG Systems.
• 3.7L Ti-VCT V6 FFV with CNG Engine Prep Package (98C).
• Cargo or Passenger Models, Class 1 only. We can convert engine groups FFMXT03.75HF & FFMXT03.76BF. (No Heavy Duty Models Class 2 or 3, engine group FFMXD03.76BU or FFMXD03.77BU)
• 24 GGE CNG Cylinder Package for Cargo Version (1 Tank). Tank Diagram
  20.3 GGE CNG Cylinder Package for Passenger Version (2 Tanks). Tank Diagram
• CNG Driving Range from 250 - 400 miles.
• Comes with Standard Metal Black Carpeted CNG Tank Cover.
• Includes Quarter Turn Manual Shut Off Valve Located Under Drivers Side Door.
• CNG Fuel Economy Equivalent to that of Gasoline.
• Meets EPA Certification Standards.
• Seamlessly Intergrated with Ford Vehicle and Equipped with Ford On-Board Computer Control System.
• Sequential Fuel Injection and Proprietary Fuel Delivery System.
• Serviceable Through Ford Dealer Network with Standard Ford Diagnostic Equipment.
• Delivers Excellent Horsepower and Torque.
• Performs In Extreme Cold or Extreme Heat, High or Low Altitudes, or Any Inclement Weather Condition.
• Original Ford Warranty Remains Intact & Altech-Eco 80,000 Miles/8 Year Emissions Components Warranty Included.
• 10 Micron In-Line Coalescing Filter Assures Miles of Trouble Free Operation.
• Maintains All OBD II Functionality.
• HOV Lane Eligible in Many States.
• Tax credits may be available, check with your tax advisor.

Find out more at:  http://www.transecoenergy.com/pages/Transit-3.7L.htm


Product Review: Weigh-Safe Hitch

Monitoring Trailer Tongue Weight The Easy Way

Trailer tongue-weight. Why is that important? Business liability. Vehicle warranty. Driver safety. Vehicle handling. Avoiding accidents.

The weight a trailer places on the hitch, i.e., tongue-weight, plays a critical and decisive role in how a vehicle responds when it’s rolling down the road.

That includes, steering control, and braking in an emergency, the ability to control trailer sway, and the integrity of both the hitch system and the vehicle itself.

Those aspects of safe trailer towing are why every vehicle and hitch manufacturer places a maximum limit on how much tongue-weight is acceptable in keeping the tow vehicle and hitch compliant with safety and operational guidelines.

Exceed those limits, and, in a court of law, anything that happens afterwards is the sole responsibility of the vehicle’s driver.

The only way to make sure the trailer you are towing is within the guidelines set forth in the vehicle’s owner’s manual – and/or as noted on the hitch itself – is to weigh the weight the trailer tongue places on the hitch ball.

 The Weigh-Safe 6″ Hitch Drop Shank kit as tested by HWT staff.

That’s where the innovative Weigh-Safe Hitch comes into play. It has the tongue- weight (TW) scale built right into the portion of the hitch shank that holds the stainless steel hitch ball.

Weigh-Safe measures the downforce on the hitch ball. That force is then displayed in a dial gauge that’s easily read and has increments between 0-1,500 pounds, with green and red backdrop showing what is regarded as “safe” and “dangerous” weights.

Adjusting the load in/on the trailer deck allows you to easily control TW just by monitoring the dial.
the hitch, which is rated for 12,500 pound trailered weight and 1,500 pounds TW, is as much a piece of art as it is a safety tool.

The machine work and tooling in the metal of the drop shank and the hitch ball/gauge housing are exceptional, the fit of the pin that locks the hitch ball, the shank adjusting pins, and grooves where the hitch ball slides up/down the shank all align perfectly.

There’re two stainless steel hitch balls – a 2” and a 2-5/16” – with the kit, making it ideal for all conventional towing applications.

Build quality: None better. I have never used a more convenient or better-designed drop-shank hitch setup.

I was also impressed with the price: $288 for the 6” Drop Hitch I tested.

That’s a good price for business owners who tow equipment trailers loaded with a skid-steer, min-excavator, or other heavy parts without employing a weight-distributing hitch per the vehicle manufacturers recommendations/requirements.

Related - Towing Accident Lawsuits

Improperly-equipped pickups towing trailers costing companies millions in lawsuits

At least with the Weigh-Safe Hitch in place the load can be adjusted so the TW is within the correct range, maintaining some semblance of proper handling and vehicle attitude.

Again, it’s a towing safety and liability issue.

The Weigh-Safe Hitch takes the guesswork out of trailer towing—and it leaves no doubt as to whether or not you are towing the trailer in compliance with the vehicle and hitch manufacturer’s safety guidelines.—Bruce W. Smith/Senior Editor



Vanair Under Truck Air Compressors and Generators

Jim Perschke of Vanair Manufacturing shows of some of their product line to Joe Hughes of the National Ford Truck Club. As Jim said, a lot of people do not know the power that can be added to the Ford Super Duty Truck. Here is a glimpse. To see more, check out Vanair's website at http://vanair.com/


A New Way to See the World | Built Ford Tough Good Works: Episode 4

Meet Ian and Shelly Cox, a Colorado couple that provides charity hot air balloon rides to youths in need of a new perspective on life.

In this week’s episode, we head to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, home of Ian and Shelly Cox, the owners of Pegasus Hot Air Balloon Tours. With a little help from their 1983 Ford F-150 named Smurf, Ian and Shelly offer troubled youths an opportunity to see the world in a new way.

To learn more about Pegasus Hot Air Balloon Tours, go to http://steamboatballoontours.com/Home...


Check out an Inside View of How a Rear Differential Works

Have you ever wondered how your car is able to get around a corner without the wheels locking up? The outside wheel has to be traveling faster to keep up, so how are the wheels able to spin at different rates of speed?

While the solution to this problem, the differential, seems rather intimidating to come up with an understandable explanation for, the engineering is quite simple.

Check out this interesting demonstration in the video below and tell us what you think of the simplicity of this explanation. It all seems so simple now, doesn’t it!?


GM to Invest $1.2 Billion in Full-Size Truck Plant

Fort Wayne construction to continue 
award-winning pickup manufacturing  

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – General Motors is investing $1.2 billion in its full-size pickup truck plant for upgrades and technology that will improve the plant’s competitiveness in assembling high-quality light- and heavy-duty models.
Construction of the new pre-treat, electro-coat paint operation and sealing facility, expanded body shop, expanded and new material sequencing centers, and upgraded general assembly area is expected to begin in June and take several years to complete. Full-size truck production schedules will be unaffected by the construction.

“This investment is more evidence that the customer is at the center of every decision we make,” said Cathy Clegg, GM North America Manufacturing vice president. “Truck customers demand top quality. The upgrades at Fort Wayne Assembly will enable our team to continue delivering for them for years to come.”

The investment includes many technological and environmental upgrades:

·         New pre-treatment facility featuring thin-film paint pretreatment
·         E-coat paint customized to each vehicle style, resulting in superior coverage and curability
·         GM-patented radiant tube ovens for exceptional paint finish and lower energy use
·         New equipment that accommodates the many variations of the truck cab and box being placed on the chassis
·         New skillet conveyance systems for instrument panel assembly intended to improve worker ergonomics, leading to better product quality.

“These new technologies and equipment will help fulfill the mission of the men and women of Fort Wayne Assembly and UAW Local 2209 to build the best full-size trucks available,” said UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada. “The investment improves the plant’s competitiveness so we can continue contributing to the community as well.”

Said Indiana Gov. Mike Pence: “Around the world, Indiana is known as a proven leader in advanced manufacturing. Powered by a pro-growth business environment and a highly-skilled workforce, GM is leveraging Indiana’s strengths to help it remain competitive across the globe. Today’s announcement marks a significant promise to the Hoosier State and ensures GM’s presence in Indiana and its support of Hoosier jobs long into the future, reaffirming that Indiana is a state that works for business.”

Fort Wayne Assembly began building light-duty trucks in 1986. Today, it is a three-shift operation with approximately 3,800 employees who build light- and heavy-duty regular and double cab full-size trucks.

The investments in Fort Wayne are part of the $5.4 billion that GM said April 30 it would invest in U.S. facilities over the next three years. 

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.


A Walk-Around the 12' Harbor Contractor Body at Platinum Chevrolet

See all the features of the Harbor Contractors Body.

Platinum Chevrolet is located at 3001 Corby Ave, Santa Rosa CA 95407

Ask for Greg in Commercial Truck Sales 877-221-6097


Harbor Bed Enclosure protects your tools and equipment

Cargo Bed Enclosures are very popular options that help keep cargo in the bed area out of sight and secure. They are available in 2-piece for 8' and 9' bodies and so it opens up approximately 50% of the bed area when the top is pushed all the way rearward and the 3-piece for the 8' and larger bodies that opens up approximately 66% of the bed area. The 3-piece Enclosure is available as a Raised Enclosure with barn doors on the rear for the secured transport of taller items.

To find out more, you may call Harbor Truck Bodies at 800-433-9452.

Also find us at http://htbi.net/