The Work Truck Show 2012 was held in Indianapolis March 4-8 (including the Green Truck Summit) and featured an abundance of educational opportunities, product launches, and chances to see what the industry has to offer.

Work Truck magazine was at the event, attending sessions, press conferences, and checking out the show floor. Here are just a few of the highlights from this year’s show. For even more information, visit www.worktruckonline.com, keyword: NTEA.

Green Truck Summit

The 2012 Work Truck Show kicked off with the Green Truck Summit. The opening keynote speaker was U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Ph.D., who gave a presentation entitled, “Unleasing Innovation to Transform the Transportation Sector.” He quoted President Barack Obama, who said, “It’s time to take control of our energy future.” Dr. Chu also presented climate change data and shared that the Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition has saved more than 72 million gallons of gasoline.

During a session on work truck technology trends, John Boesel, president and CEO of CALSTART, provided this sobering statistic: Since just 1986, human’s have consumed approximately 50 percent of all oil consumed by the human race to date. Those are some frightening numbers!

The presentation on “Gaseous Fuels: A Successful Alternative,” included Darren Engle, director of marketing for Alliance Autogas partner Blue Star Gas. He noted that there is not one “magic bullet” alternative fuel right for everyone. Alternative-fuel suppliers and vehicle manufacturers must work together toward the common goal: reducing our dependence on oil.

Representatives from Altec Industries, Verizon, and Frito-Lay also discussed the electrification of the work truck market, and their successes.

New Product Announcements 

Ford Commercial Trucks announced that the 2013 next-generation Ford Transit Connect will come with a 3.5L EcoBoost V-6 engine. Also on display was the Odyne Hybrid Power plug-in system, designed to interface with a wide variety of truck-mounted equipment, lowering fuel consumption by up to 50 percent, depending on duty cycle, reducing emissions, and providing quieter operation at the work site.

WeatherGuard showed off its new van storage solutions. On display was its easy-to-remove rack system for small and large cargo vans, as well as the standard polycarbonate bulkhead system. The quick change feature of its shelving was demonstrated, as well as a strength-test for the bulkhead window that consisted of dropping an electrical saw straight into it. 

Ram Commercial Trucks launched the Ram Chassis Cab-back Cutaway (ideal for ambulance, emergency vehicles, etc.); the Tradesman 1500 in both Quad Cab and Crew Cab (now giving three cab styles to choose from); and the Ram 2500 Heavy-Duty compressed natural gas (CNG) truck (see, “Finding the Right Fuel-Efficient Fit). This truck is not a conversion of upfit; it is a factory-built CNG truck.

At its press conference, General Motors presented its new bi-fuel 2013 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD extended cab pickup trucks (see, “Finding the Right Fuel-Efficient Fit,” on page 26). The vehicles include a CNG-capable Vortec 6.0L V-8 engine. GM is the only manufacturer to offer a single-source option for its gaseous fuel vehicles. The bi-fuel trucks are built with a specially designed engine; the fuel system is installed by GM’s tier-one supplier, IMPCO.

Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. announced the all-new S2G chassis, which provides the industry with the only factory-installed liquid propane gas (LPG) engine available to the medium-duty truck market. Order banks open in the 4th quarter and will start shipping out in 1st quarter of 2013. 

VIA Motors launched its all-new extended-range electric vehicle (e-REV) cargo van and had Verizon on hand to share how it will be piloting two of these units in its telecom business fleet. Production starts in August 2012.

Omaha Standard PALFINGER announced the launch of five new cranes, including two new small units, the PSC 3216 and the PSC 4016. Manufactured in Council Bluffs, Iowa, expect these new cranes to start production in July of this year.

Truck cap manufacturer A.R.E. also introduced its all-new fiberglass truck cap, the ToolMaster Series, available for all current model trucks. The cap features heavy-duty doors, two steel boxes (with 120-lb. weight capacity each), and a commercial-grade Prime Design AluRack roof rack with a ladder rack roller. Side and rear doors with aluminum inserts for privacy and security also come standard.

Visiting the Show Floor

Work Truck magazine also presented the 2012 Medium-Duty Truck of the Year Award to the Isuzu Reach (see “Isuzu Reach Wins Medium-Duty Truck of the Year” article in this issue). Isuzu and Utilimaster worked together on this new vehicle, first launched at the 2011 Work Truck Show, which is ideal for package delivery and fleets looking to replace their traditional walk-in vans. 

The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) provided an opportunity to understand refueling a propane autogas vehicle, discussing the benefits of propane autogas.

The Truck Accessories Group (TAG) provided an overview of the 40-plus years of TAG’s history and its goal to expand its commercial product line. Representatives from all areas also provided an in-depth review of the brand-new LEER CP98 Composite Service Body.

Maranda had its fully transferable service capsule on the show floor. Requiring no holes drilled into a pickup truck bed, these service caps install with a clamp system. According to the company, these truck caps should last three to four truck lives. It recently delivered 400 of these service capsules to Cox Enterprises.

And, RSC Bio Solutions discussed its new line of Liquid Wrench products including its Penetrating Oil and its Bar & Chain Oil. Both products are biodegradable. The Penetrating Oil is used to remove old rusted bolts and nuts. The Bar & Chain oil is a “total loss product,” which means all of the lubricant ends up in the environment during typical use, making the biodegradeable product a way to keep clean and go green. 

Check out the event's photo gallery for images, by clicking here

Originally posted on Work Truck Online

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