What a great time in Indianapolis at NTEA’s Work Truck Week! Show exhibitors, attendees, coordinators, and all others carried an energy at the show that was electrifying—and it wasn’t all due to the many electric chassis, trucks, and products on the show floor. In many respects, I think everyone was just glad to be back, soaking in all the new products from their favorite manufacturers and service providers since the last time we all got together before the world shut down due to COVID-19 back in March 2020.
Each year I’ve attended the show since 2018, I noted that the show had a theme of electrification. This year, I would say a theme of electrification was even more pronounced with an electric truck, chassis, or some sort of electric product in just about every booth. If you missed the show, we’re here with a show roundup.
Chevrolet, Ford, Ram, Hino, International, Peterbilt, Isuzu, Freightliner—just about every truck OEM in the building had an electric vehicle either on the show floor or detailed plans as to when to expect to see one from them.
Two trucks garnering a lot of hype in the media and on the show floor were the Ford F-150 Lightning and the Chevrolet Silverado EV. We showcase the Ford F-150 Lightning on page 16, but Ford also announced a complete scope of charging solutions for the home, the depot, and when taking the Lightning on the go with Ford Pro Charging. Ford also announced Ford Pro Intelligence, a charging software similar to telematics that directly integrates with utility companies and can schedule charging between electric vehicles in your fleet.
The Chevrolet Silverado EV was on display in the Chevrolet booth. The engineers at Chevrolet developed the all-new pickup from the ground up. The truck will feature a range of more than 400 miles per charge, 510 hp and 615 lb-ft of toque, DC fast charging capabilities that enable the truck to add about 100 miles of range in just 10 minutes of charging, up to 10 outlets to power devices and equipment, and more. The vehicle will launch next spring to the fleet market first. The Silverado EV Work Truck trim will also feature 15 active safety features as a standard offering. Be looking for a showcase of the truck in an upcoming issue.
Ram also announced its plans for an electric pickup coming in 2024 after its electric ProMaster and ProMaster City set to launch in 2023. Using input from Amazon, Ram designed the electric ProMaster to be suited for the delivery segment.
TRUCK MARKET UPDATE
If COVID-19 taught us anything, it’s that the work truck segment is vital to our society. But the pandemic did more than solidify the necessity of the work truck segment—it caused businesses to adapt. Online shopping has remained popular, and bringing services directly to the customer has impacted the work truck side of the business as well. Ram reported a whopping 25% sales increase of its ProMaster vans in 2021 alone, while sales for its ProMaster City skyrocketed by 40%. On the truck side, manufacturers just couldn’t, and still can’t, get trucks on the lots fast enough.
Morgan Truck Body couldn’t ignore the demand for trucks in last-mile delivery, either. Morgan Truck Body also can’t ignore the current driver shortage or compliance concerns. So, the company has developed and will continue to develop ways to make drivers more comfortable and safe, ways to reduce truck body weight, and more.
At the show, Mack Trucks reported 3.7% market share for its Mack MD, a medium-duty truck launched in the winter of 2020 just as COVID-19 was ramping up. Mack reported that one-third of the sales for the truck were used in segments the manufacture wasn’t even targeting, showcasing the versatility of the truck as well as industry demand.
NEW & NEXT
Along with all the innovation in EVs and ways to improve operations for a robust work truck market, several manufacturers and providers debuted their results of the past two years of development. One manufacturer, Stellar, showcased new service van updates, a new telescopic hooklift, a new control system (CDTpro) with Range Finder, and a new truck body and welder body.
At its first appearance at Work Truck Week, REE Automotive proved it’s making its way into the US market. Its innovative REEcorners were on display in its booth. REE essentially redesigned vehicles as we know them with its REEcorners that integrate all critical vehicle components into the arch of the wheel. Each REEcorner is independent, powered by its own ECU. REEcorners allow fleet owners to tailor the vehicle platform specifically for what they need. Although revolutionary—and with REE literally reinventing the wheel—REEcorners have the potential to be even much simpler to maintain than any other vehicle on the market. Be watching out for REE Automotive, because this innovation is going to make waves.
We’ve talked a lot about EVs and electric products, but Vanair showcased something different. Its next generation Air N Arc 330 Diesel was brought on through a collaboration with Lincoln Electric. It features a Vanair 60 CFM rotary screw air compressor, a Lincoln Electric 330Amp welder output, and a 10kW generator. It can be used as an air compressor, a welder, a generator, a battery booster, and a battery charger. It’s small, saving valuable space for other equipment and tools. But if you’re still pining for operations that are all electric, Vanair also showcased its EPEQ electrified equipment lineup.
SEE YA IN 2023
It was so nice to attend this year’s show and to see all the new products and trucks and all the familiar faces in the industry. If you attended the show, connect with us through our social channels, and let us know what you’re most excited about. We’ll see you next year at Work Truck Week in Indy!
See more about this year’s show and find out about next year’s show at www.worktruckweek.com.