Truck Technology on Display


photos provided by NTEA

NTEA – The Work Truck Association’s Work Truck Week this year took place March 5 to 8 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, and consisted of Green Truck Summit, Ride & Drive, educational sessions, NTEA Annual Meeting, and the main event, the Work Truck Show, which this year featured more than 500 exhibitors.

“One of the reasons busy industry professionals make time to attend Work Truck Week is to take advantage of the unmatched opportunity it provides for them to not only see, but touch, explore and even drive the latest products from more than 500 exhibiting companies,” says Steve Carey, NTEA president & CEO. “Plus, only at Work Truck Week can they meet one-on-one with manufacturer engineers and technical specialists, industry experts and their peers to discuss technology, trends and how to improve their operations.”

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Another big part of Work Truck Week are the educational/breakout sessions. Some of the highlights included: Considerations for Driver Assistance Technology and Second-Stage Commercial Vehicles; Work Truck Industry Economic Overview and Market Forecast; Exploring Idle Reduction Technologies for BEV and ICE Vehicles; The Top 10 Misconceptions of Vehicle Certification; Global Work Truck Market Trends and Implications; A Guide to EV Technology and Work Truck Applications; Understanding and Working with CARB Regulations; Expanding TCO Calculations: Factoring in Tax Credits and Incentives for Advanced Fuel Considerations; Electrified Propulsion Vehicles (xEV) High-Voltage Electrical Safety Standards; various OEM chassis updates; and many more.

“Work Truck Week education and training sessions bring in experts from across the global commercial vehicle industry—including chassis and equipment manufacturers, government officials, business consultants, fleet managers and others—to help attendees stay current with trends, technology developments and vehicle changes,” says Jennifer Mitchell, senior director of content development, NTEA. “WTW and GTS sessions address challenges attendees are facing right now, like grappling with recruiting and training employees, specifying and upfitting alternative fuel vehicles and maximizing productivity.”



A part of Work Truck Week for many years, Green Truck Summit looks at alternative fuels, green technology, and clean energy options for commercial vehicles. This includes electric vehicle trends, how to get to zero emissions, updates on clean technology, and government programs to help with going green.


Each year, one of the main highlights of the show is the ride and drive. It is one thing to look and touch the available vehicles, but it is a highlight to be able to drive them. This year the list of 19 available vehicles included:

  • Vehicle equipped with Allison 9-speed fully automatic transmission;
  • Truck equipped with Allison eGen Power e-Axle;
  • Vehicle equipped with Voyager All-In-One (AIO) safety technology;
  • Battle Motors fully electric City Tractor;
  • Blue Arc Class 3/4 electric commercial delivery vehicle;
  • Bollinger B4 electric truck;
  • Truck equipped with Cummins B6.7 Octane gasoline engine;
  • Freightliner Custom Chassis all-electric MT50e Class 5 walk-in van chassis;
  • International eMV Series 25,999-pound non-CDL GVWR vehicle;
  • Isuzu 2025 NRR EV Class 5 battery electric truck;
  • Kenworth T480 Class 8 truck featuring PACCAR TX-12 Pro automated transmission;
  • Lion6 all-electric Class 6 urban truck with J-Tech’s TMA truck body;
  • Mercedes Benz fully electric eSprinter van;
  • Mullen THREE all-electric, Class 3 low cab forward chassis;
  • Peterbilt Model 220EV zero-emissions vehicle;
  • J-Craft dump truck featuring new advanced technology from TBEI; and, 
  • Workhorse W56 electric vehicle.

“There are a lot of choices when it comes to specifying new commercial vehicles, and the field keeps growing,” says Chris Lyon, director of fleet relations, NTEA. “In addition to chassis with various powertrain options from traditional OEMs, many newer manufacturers are launching additional platforms to consider, not to mention all the new technology being deployed. Most fleet managers don’t have the time and capacity to arrange individual meetings with all the players to test drive the equipment. With Work Truck Week Ride & Drive, we’ve done that legwork for them by gathering subject matter experts and vehicles from 18 participating companies in one place for two days.”


The who’s who of the work truck industry were on hand and many of them displayed their most up to date products and technologies. 



Holman had five vehicles in their booth, including a Kia PBV concept van, with VR experience that offered a glimpse of the customization opportunities. Also on hand was a Ram ProMaster High Roof featuring double drop-down ladder rack and rigid van flooring; and a 2023 GMC Sierra 1500 featuring the forklift loadable ProRack; among other vehicles. Also at the booth was a tailgate section featuring cornhole and smores around the “campfire,” and a buy, drive, service, sell journey “highway.”

Holman also was the recipient of two Upfit Package of the Year awards from Work Truck. In the truck/SUV category, the company won for its ProRack heavy duty rack system for full-size work trucks and services bodies. It also won in the van category for its mobile service package.

“We’re extremely proud to receive these awards from our peers across the industry, as they further validate the extraordinary efforts of our exceptionally talented team of engineers, design experts, and upfit specialists,” says Peter Dondlinger, president of manufacturing and distribution, Holman. “At Holman, we pride ourselves on our ability to deliver innovative solutions that allow our customers to maximize their fleet as a strategic business asset.”


Ford Motor Company was at the show and marked the 10th anniversary of its Transit van, which is America’s best-selling van. The E-Transit was the focus at the show, as Ford mentioned that it now offers 32 per cent more range, includes a NACS (Supercharger network) adapter, and offers dual onboard chargers to improve charging.

“We’ve assembled more than 1.2 million Transit vans in the last 10 years, and 99 percent of Transits are still on the road, working hard for customers today,” says Tim Baughman, general manager, Ford Pro. “It’s America’s bestselling commercial van because it’s Built Ford Tough, and businesses on every streetcorner rely on Transit to keep the country moving—from plumbing to carpentry and yes, delivery, too.” 


Ram announced that it will be starting a new business unit called Ram Professional. The new unit will feature ProMaster EV, 1500 REV, 1500 Ramcharger, Heavy Duty, and Chassis Cab. It will offer direct products and vehicle solutions, upfit friendly solutions, commercial service support, connected services, electrification and charging, mobility, and more.

“With Ram Professional, our commercial-vehicle customers will benefit from a simplified and all-encompassing business solution with products and services that feature best-in-class performance, capability, advanced technology and value to best fit their business needs,” says Ken Kayser, vice president, Ram Professional. “We know our customers depend on us day-in and day-out, and Ram Professional is committed to delivering the best commercial vehicle lineup and serving our customers with the most important tools of their trade.” 


Optronics International introduced the smoke-lens Thinline STL59SRSHB Series 9-LED and STL87SRSHB Series 11-LED surface-mount, stop/turn/tail lamps, this was in addition to Optronics’ family of blackout-style lamps. The company now offers a selection of LED smoke-lens lighting products, including from small, 3/4-inch round, single-diode marker/clearance lights to diamond-shaped, three-diode marker/clearance lights, as well as four-inch round, six-diode backup lights and six-inch oval, six-diode stop/turn/taillights, among others. The company is also planning a blackout version of its popular Fusion Series stop/ turn/tail/backup combo lamp.


The Green Truck Summit keynote was presented by Mary Aufdemberg, general manager of product strategy and market development for Daimler Trucks North America.

“While most of Work Truck Week is focused on commercial vehicles, equipment and technology available now, Green Truck Summit is all about what’s happening in the future, exploring where the industry is moving and how we are getting there,” says Nikki Wilson, senior director of technology and AI implementation, NTEA. “We were excited to welcome Mary Aufdemberg and all our panelists to share their vision of the industry’s progress over the next five years.”

Jerome Bettis and Emmitt Smith, two former NFL running backs, presented the keynote at the NTEA annual meeting.

“Jerome Bettis and Emmitt Smith reached the pinnacle of their first chosen career—professional football—and then went on to build successful careers off the field, as well,” says Jason Ritchey, 2024 NTEA Convention chair and president and owner of Curry Supply Co. 

The opening reception took place at Lucas Oil Stadium and allowed for a plethora of networking at the home of the Indianapolis Colts.

“This year, we’re emphasizing the many ways Work Truck Week increasingly gives you more: more equipment, more connections and more answers,” says Carey. “From an exhibit hall packed with innovative new vehicles, equipment and technology to an educational conference second to none, Work Truck Week is where the business of commercial vehicles gets done.” 

About the Author

Mario Cywinski is the editor of Modern Work Truck Solutions and has worked in the automotive industry for nearly 20 years, both as an automotive journalist and working for a local dealership. He is a member of the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada and has been a judge for the Canadian Truck King Challenge. He can be reached at

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