Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Harbor Service Body and Rack Provide Maximum Storage for GM Work Truck


Here's a GM 2500HD Crew Cab that is upfitted for maximum load and storage capacity. The 6.5' short bed is a 40" standard height Harbor service body with stainless steel open top lids. It has a  2-pc cargo bed enclosure, HD non-forklift loadable tapered leg rack with conduit box mounted to streetside of rack. This unit is a GM 2500HD 4x4 with DuraMax Diesel with aftermarket wheels.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Thank You, Knapp Chevrolet. True Harbor Partner!



Thank you, Knapp Chevrolet in Houston TX. You're a true Harbor Truck Bodies partner! See more about Knapp Chevrolet's commercial truck expertise at http://knappchevyfleet.com/

Monday, March 28, 2016

2016 Work Truck Show: RAM Commercial Press Conference



Ram announces Left side PTO capability on 4x4s at the  RAM Commercial Press Conference - 2016 Work Truck Show

Saturday, March 26, 2016

NTEA reports on Work Truck Show 2016



Truck premieres, exclusive ride-and-drive opportunities, and unmatched training drew a record-setting 11,905 industry professionals to The Work Truck Show 2016, North America’s largest work truck event.

This breaks the event’s previous attendance record of 11,005, set in 2015. Attendees came from all 50 states, eight Canadian provinces and 19 countries.

The Work Truck Show 2016 was held March 1 to 4 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Indiana. It is produced annually by NTEA, The Association for the Work Truck Industry.

“It was a great week,” says Steve Carey, NTEA executive director. “The Work Truck Show is the one event where everyone involved with vocational vehicles in North America comes together to share ideas, see what’s new and find opportunities for their business operations.”

Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc. used the Show to unveil its 2018 FTR Class 6 medium-duty truck to a huge crowd. Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc. debuted its prototype Fuso E-Cell all-electric truck and gave attendees the first opportunity to drive it in North America as part of The Work Truck Show Ride-and-Drive March 2 to 3.

Other truck OEMs making news at the Show included Ford Commercial Vehicles, International Truck, Kenworth Truck Company, Mack Trucks and Ram Commercial.

There were significant powertrain announcements made as well. Cummins Inc. introduced its 2017 B6.7 and L9 medium-duty engines, and Daimler Trucks North America gave the public its first glimpse of the new Detroit DD5 medium-duty engine.

During his keynote address at the Green Truck Summit general sessions on March 1, Reuben Sarkar, deputy assistant secretary for transportation at the U.S. Department of Energy, announced SuperTruck II, an $80 million funding opportunity for research, development and demonstration of long-haul trailer truck technology. He also announced more than $12 million in selections for three new projects focused on plug-in electric powertrain technologies for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. In other “green” news, Work Truck Show exhibitors highlighted significant propane fleet adoptions and even converted a pickup truck to run on propane right on the Show floor.

The Work Truck Show 2016 was the largest event in NTEA history. Over the last five years, NTEA expanded the exhibit floor by more than 40 percent, but still had a sizable waiting list of potential exhibitors. In response to this demand, NTEA has maxed out all available room at the Indiana Convention Center for The Work Truck Show 2017 and exhibit space has already sold out.

The Work Truck Show 2017 runs March 14–17, 2017. Registration opens in October 2016 at worktruckshow.com.

Source: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/ntea-reports-on-work-truck-show-2016/

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Alliance AutoGas converts F-150 in 92 minutes

Alliance AutoGas announced today that it set a record this week for the fastest recorded vehicle conversion to propane.



Two Alliance AutoGas technicians installed the company’s latest conversion system in 1 hour and 32 minutes on a 2016 Ford F-150 while at the Work Truck Show on Wednesday in Indianapolis.


“The live, record-setting conversion of the F-150 at the Work Truck Show proved that Alliance’s EPA and NFPA 58 compliant system can indeed be installed in far less than half the time of other products in the market without any permanent vehicle modifications,” says Ed Hoffman, president of Blossman Services, the equipment distributor for Alliance AutoGas.

“We are also confident in saying that fleets can experience a positive ROI (return on investment) with a partial asset life when reduced conversion costs are coupled with low, stable fuel prices as well as our warranty that doubles the industry standard.”

Alliance technicians Stephen Holland and Stacey Snyder used the company’s ‘plug and play’ install which requires no cutting or drilling. Brackets were used to keep components in place.

Reporters and others gathered near the truck to watch Holland and Snyder install the system on the F-150’s bi-fuel 3.5-liter Ford V6, which they were hoping to have done in at least two hours.

“We are proud that our innovative and elegant fuel system design was installed in far less time than we ever anticipated,” says Stuart Weidie, President of Alliance AutoGas.

“Alliances’ state of the art technology is the most durable alternatives fuel system available in the United States, and we are also pleased about the positive environmental impact. It is a winner in all regards. It is a definitive message that our system will take the lead on reducing costs and any barriers associated with fleet conversions going forward throughout North America.”

In early May of this year, the converted F-150 will embark on a 5,300-mile trip commencing in Kansas City, Kan., travel to Portland, Ore., across the country to Jacksonville, FL, and complete its journey in Asheville, NC, on May 20.

The Alliance AutoGas Clean Air Coast-to-Coast Ride, supported by partners and sponsors, will show real time results of using propane in a converted vehicle. Another goal of the ride is to promote emissions reductions.


- See more at: http://www.hardworkingtrucks.com/alliance-autogas-converts-f-150-in-92-minutes/#sthash.uHt7yWnL.dpuf


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

We Own Work: Behind the Scenes of the All-New 2017 Ford Super Duty



Five customers were given never-before access to the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever. Hear in their own words why We Own Work.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016 Work Truck Show: Ford Commercial Press Conference



John Ruppert, General Manager of Commercial Vehicle Sales and Marketing at the 
2016 Work Truck Show: Ford Commercial Press Conference

Friday, March 18, 2016

GMC Sierra HD – Automatic Locking Rear Differential



From boat ramps to construction sites and everything in between, heavy duty jobs often occur in areas with limited traction. That’s where the Sierra HD’s available Eaton automatic locking rear differential comes into play. If one tire loses traction and spins, the difference in speed is detected and the differential locks, providing more torque to the tire with the most grip. Along with advanced traction controls and available four wheel drive, it’s one of many ways the Sierra HD is intelligently engineered to improve traction.

For more information about the GMC Sierra HD, visit: http://www.gmc.com/sierra-2500-denali...

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Ram Chassis Cabs Offer Wide Range of Power Takeoff Options



For 2016, the Ram Commercial lineup will offer each of its heavy-duty pickup truck chassis cabs — the Ram 3500, 4500 and 5500 — with a power-takeoff (known as PTO units) option in several different configurations, more than any truckmaker in the segment.

A PTO unit is a mechanical setup that typically runs off the transmission, using engine power to operate equipment while the truck is stationary, such as an external compressor, generator, water pump, post-hole digger, landscaping cutters or just about anything else that requires energy.

It's not unusual for heavy-duty pickups to offer a PTO option, especially when special-purpose customers or industries are involved (such as oil, forestry and mining), but what is unusual is the array of choices available to chassis-cab buyers. Ram's PTO feature can be ordered on any of its three chassis-cab models with either the 6.4-liter gas engine or the 6.7-liter inline six-cylinder turbo-diesel and with 4x2 or 4x4 drivelines. Buyers also can choose whether to position the PTO on the right or left side of the vehicle — depending on the driveline and/or powertrain choices.

All models of the Ford Super Duty chassis cab (F-450, F-550, F-650 and F-750) can be ordered with a PTO option; the first two offered with a stationary model for gas (V-10) or diesel (V-8), the medium-duty trucks offer three different types of PTO, called "live drive," but must be ordered with the Power Stroke diesel and can operate either stationary or while driving ($280). GM offers a chassis-cab model for its GMC or Chevrolet one-ton trucks (GM offers nothing larger) and only offers a PTO option for the six-speed Allison transmission (standard with the Duramax turbo-diesel).



The Ram PTO reportedly provides a best-in-class 60 horsepower and 250 pounds-feet of torque, at a cost of $295. Ram Commercial has a network of 950 dedicated dealerships across the U.S. and Canada.

Manufacturer images

Source: http://news.pickuptrucks.com/2016/03/ram-chassis-cabs-offer-wide-range-of-power-takeoff-options.html

Monday, March 14, 2016

The Most Capable Super Duty Ever - Ford Tough



The all-new 2017 Super Duty is built Ford tough and ready to go to work with you every day. Bigger axles and a re-designed fully boxed frame, made of over 95% high strength steel help make the 2017 Super Duty is the most capable Super Duty ever.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

New Ergonomic and Tech Options Enhance 2017 Ford Transit Lineup; New Engine for E-Series Stripped Chassis, Cutaway



  •     Walk-through center console and power running board options added for Ford Transit for 2017 model year in response to fleet customer feedback
  •     SYNC® 3 communications and entertainment system is newly available for 2017 Ford Transit Connect cargo van and Transit Connect Wagon
  •     6.2-liter V8 engine proven in Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks will be available midyear for 2017 Ford E-Series stripped chassis and cutaway
INDIANAPOLIS, March 1, 2016 – Ford, America’s commercial van leader, is introducing enhancements across its van lineup for the 2017 model year that are designed to make the vehicles trusted by fleet and small business customers even more flexible.

Offering a choice of 64 configurations, up from 58 in the previous model year, Ford Transit’s best-in-class flexibility has helped it become America’s best-selling commercial van. Now, new optional features – from low-profile center consoles to power running boards – are available to help customers tailor Transit even closer to their business needs.

Some of the newly available configurations include Transit 350 regular-wheelbase van – and chassis cab and cutaway – with single rear wheel and 9,500-pound GVWR. The 3.7-liter engine will now be standard on dual-rear wheel van and wagon models, lowering the base price and providing the option of CNG or LPG capability.

Enhanced interior ergonomics and utility for new Transit
2017 Ford Transit is updated with a number of interior changes driven by fleet customer feedback. A low-profile center console option is available on all Transit variants for delivery drivers and others who want easier access to walk from the cab into the back of the vehicle. The feature also makes it easier for fleets to install computer equipment in the center console area.

“Walk-through center consoles are just one enhancement we are adding in response to real-world driver input,” says Yaro Hetman, brand manager, Ford Transit, Transit Connect and E-Series. “Fleet customers tell us they love Transit, and we are making it even better for the 2017 model year.”

Heated driver and front passenger leather and cloth seats are available, and 10-way power-adjustable seats can be ordered in cloth on all Transit variants.

High-capacity upfitter switches are available across the Transit lineup. The switches are enhanced with two increased amperage outputs, two battery hot outputs and two un-switched outputs. The output connector has been moved to an easy-access location behind the glove box in response to upfitter requests.

The available high-capacity upfitter switch upgrade includes a heavy-duty alternator, auxiliary fuse box, modified vehicle wiring system, dual heavy-duty batteries and a new interface connector that provides read-only CAN access in addition to a variety of signals useful to upfitters – including power supply, engine start, engine run, stop lamp, door ajar, turn indicators, vehicle speed and handbrake engagement.

For 2017, Transit’s base audio system is enhanced to include four speakers with a tweeter and woofer.

A rearview mirror is available for Transit cutaway models.

LED lighting is enhanced and made standard in Transit vans for better cargo area visibility while loading and unloading. A 12-volt powerpoint in the D-pillar is standard on vans for powering equipment like cordless tool batteries.

Power running board among exterior changes for Transit
A passenger-side power running board is available for Transit wagons and vans without dual sliding side doors; the running board also has been widened.

Transit cutaway and chassis cab now can be ordered from the factory configured so upfitters can easily activate the rear stop lamp and rear turn signal to operate independently. This modification is common for certain vocational uses like ambulances and school buses, and separating the light functionality on Transit vehicles used to require a trip to a Ford dealer to reconfigure the Body Control Module.

Easy-to-clean styled aluminum-alloy wheels with locking lug nuts are now available for all Transit variants with GVWRs less than 9,500 pounds. Molded wheel well liners for the front wheels are available as well.

White Gold Metallic paint replaces Lunar Sky Metallic for the new model year.

Customers can begin ordering their 2017 Transit online starting April 4, with availability at Ford dealerships in September.

New smart technology for Transit Connect
Ford Transit Connect – America’s best-selling compact commercial van – also gets enhancements for 2017.

SYNC® 3 with 6.5-inch touch screen and navigation is standard for 2017 Transit Connect Wagon Titanium. The system features faster performance, more conversational voice recognition, a more innovative smartphone-like touch screen and easier-to-understand graphical interface to help Ford customers connect on the road. SYNC 3 is optional on Transit Connect XLT cargo van and Transit Connect Wagon XLT.

Transit Connect Wagon will be available in two new premium packages for Titanium and XLT trim levels, while short-wheelbase vehicles can be ordered in Titanium trim for the first time. Reverse sensing, automatic headlamps, roof rails and six-way power driver’s seat are now standard equipment for Titanium and XLT trim levels.

Guard Metallic paint replaces Tectonic Silver Metallic for Transit Connect Wagon late in the model year.

Ordering for the 2017 Transit Connect cargo van and Transit Connect Wagon begins online March 14, with vehicles available at Ford dealerships in September.

New engine for E-Series stripped chassis and cutaway
Ford E-Series stripped chassis and cutaway models – frequently modified into ambulances, delivery vans and motorhomes – get a new engine for 2017.

The 6.2-liter V8 engine proven in Ford F-Series Super Duty trucks will be available midyear for 2017 E-Series cutaway. Customers can choose from the new 6.2-liter V8 or the standard 6.8-liter V10. 

The 6.2-liter V8 engine’s single-overhead-cam design and dual-equal variable cam timing help optimize power through the entire power range. The engine is E85 flex fuel-capable – meaning it can run on unleaded gasoline or E85 (85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline).

A CNG/propane gaseous engine prep package is available for conversion to compressed natural gas or propane autogas. An E-Series cutaway with the CNG/propane package can be upgraded with aftermarket upfits to bi-fuel capability – enabling it to run on either unleaded gasoline or natural gas.
About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 199,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

GMC Introduces 2016 Sierra with eAssist

Technologically advanced premium 
truck offers greater efficiency, capability


DETROIT – Building on GMC Sierra’s advanced powertrain technologies, new eAssist technology enhances its position as one of the industry’s most innovative and capable trucks, helping it achieve up to 13 percent greater city fuel economy – and solidifying its segment-best ranking for V8 efficiency.

Starting this spring, the new eAssist system is exclusively available on the already well-equipped 2016 Sierra 1500 SLT crew cab 2WD model with the SLT Premium Plus package. For 2016, we will monitor the market closely, producing 200 Sierra eAssist models for California, and adjust as appropriate moving forward.

“Innovative technology that enhances capability is at the core of everything we do at GMC and the new Sierra with eAssist takes it to a higher level,” said Duncan Aldred, vice president of GMC Sales and Marketing. “Its advantages are delivered in a compromise-free package that enables real-world fuel savings with premium content that provides a very high level of refinement, comfort and connectivity.”

Compared to a comparable Sierra 1500 with a 5.3L/eight-speed powertrain, the Sierra with eAssist offers an EPA-estimated 18 mpg city – a 2-mpg improvement – while highway fuel economy improves 2 mpg to 24 mpg. The combined estimate improves 2 mpg to 20 mpg. The 5.3L eAssist V8 has a GM estimated 355 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque.

The new eAssist powertrain is available in the Sierra SLT crew cab with the up-level Premium Plus package, a package that is also available with the standard 5.3L non- eAssist engine and the 6.2L V8 engine.  The SLT Premium Plus package includes an extensive list of premium technologies and features:
•    High-performance LED headlamps, LED taillamps and thin-profile LED foglamps
•    Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility (subject to their terms, privacy statements and data plan rates, as well as a compatible smartphone)
•    IntelliLink with navigation and 8-inch-diagonal color touch screen
•    Bose premium audio system
•    Wireless phone charging
•    Heated and vented leather-appointed seats
•    Heated steering wheel
•    Lane Keep Assist and Forward Collision Alert
•    IntelliBeam headlamps
•    Front and Rear Park Assist
•    Rear Vision camera.

The max trailering rating is 9,400 lbs. and the Eaton locking rear differential is standard, for sure-footed traction on slippery surfaces.

eAssist details
The Sierra’s eAssist powertrain is a light electrification system leveraging General Motors’ latest electrification technologies. It builds on the advanced technologies of the 5.3L V8 engine, including direct injection, variable valve timing and Active Fuel Management (cylinder deactivation), complementing them with a compact lithium-ion battery pack to enhance efficiency through:

•    Stop/Start capability: Additional fuel savings are achieved by turning off the engine when stopped at a stop light or heavy traffic and restarting the engine when the driver lifts his or her foot from the brake pedal
•    Electric power boost: The on-board electric motor provides a power boost during acceleration and passing, while enabling the engine to operate in four-cylinder mode for longer periods, for additional fuel savings
•    Regenerative braking: By using the on-board electric motor as a generator, the energy recovered while braking is converted to electricity to recharge the onboard battery system
•    Aero enhancements: A 6 percent improvement in aerodynamics contributes to fuel economy due to a standard soft tonneau cover and automatic grille shutters, which can close at speeds over 30 mph in order to further reduce drag and fuel consumption.

The eAssist system includes a 24-cell, air-cooled 0.45 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, located under the center console (or front bench seat). It adds only about 100 pounds to the vehicle’s curb weight.

A compact induction motor, located on the accessory drive, provides 15 kW of peak regenerative capability, thanks to advanced software controls based on the Chevrolet Volt. It performs like an electric torque booster, providing up to 44 lb-ft (60 Nm) and up to 13 hp (9.7 kW) of additional boost in high load situations. There’s also a liquid-cooled power inverter module located under the hood.

GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, with innovation and engineering excellence built into all GMC vehicles. The brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC’s highest-volume vehicle, the Sierra pickup, is the most powerful light-duty pickup on the market, and the first full-size pickup to receive the highest-possible five-star Overall Vehicle Score for safety since the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration changed its New Car Assessment Program for the 2011 model year. Details on all GMC models are available at http://www.gmc.com/, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at http://www.facebook.com/gmc.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Ford Rolls Out Aluminum Chassis-Cab Super Duty Trucks




Powering the 2017 Super Duty chassis-cab line is Ford’s optional, second-generation Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 engine, which is upgraded with 30 more horsepower and 90 extra lb-ft of torque for a respective total of 330 hp and 750 lb-ft. It comes mated to Ford’s 6R140 six-speed automatic transmission.

 INDIANAPOLIS—Responding to the need for more specialized, rugged and capable work trucks such as aerial lifts, field-service vehicles and medium-duty haulers, Ford Motor Co. is debuting a new chassis-cab model of its aluminum-bodied Super Duty trucks at this month’s Work Truck Show.

Employing a new, high-strength, aluminum-alloy cab and a higher-strength steel frame than the outgoing generation, the 2017 F-350, F-450 and F-550 chassis-cab lineup offers best-in-class capability, Ford claims, with a front gross-axle-weight rating of 7,500 lb. and a gross-combined weight rating of 40,000 lb.

“Commercial truck customers need tough, capable trucks the can haul heavy equipment to crush challenging jobs,” says Craig Schmatz, Ford Super Duty’s chief engineer. “The innovations our team has put into the next-generation Super Duty chassis-cab are paying off by delivering capability that surpasses the competition.”

When the box-off trucks go on sale this fall, they will be available in regular, extended and crew cab configurations. Pricing has not yet been announced.

Powering the new Super Duty chassis-cab line is Ford’s optional, second-generation Power Stroke turbodiesel V8 engine, which is upgraded with 30 more horsepower and 90 extra lb-ft of torque for a respective total of 330 hp and 750 lb-ft, which Ford claims is class leading. It comes mated to Ford’s 6R140 six-speed automatic transmission. Standard gasoline engines include Ford's 6.2-liter V8 for the F-350 and a 6.8-liter V10 for the F-450/550.

Ford says it is confident that durability of the new aluminum cab has been thoroughly addressed through thick-gauge material and extensive product testing.

“Aluminum bodies are nothing new to heavy trucks,” Mike Levine, Ford truck spokesman, tells ENR. “They have been around a long, long time, on everything from big rigs to fire trucks.”

The Work Truck Show, which the trade group NTEA organizes, runs March 1-4 at the Indiana Convention Center and covers more than 500,000 sq ft of exhibit space.

Photo: Ford Motor Co.

Source:  http://www.enr.com/articles/38909-ford-rolls-out-aluminum-chassis-cab-super-duty-trucks

Sunday, March 6, 2016

GM Delivers Most Segment Awards in Dependability Study Eight models ranked most dependable in segment

  • ·    Four Chevrolet segment leaders most of any brand
  • ·    Buick Verano ranked most dependable vehicle in the industry
  • ·    11 GM models place in Top 3 of their segments
DETROIT – For the second consecutive year, General Motors’ brands deliver the most segment awards in the J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study.

“GM’s customer-centric focus on quality and dependability is yielding results for our customers,” said Jeff Wrona, General Motors executive director, Global Quality. “These awards reflect our ongoing commitment to delivering the industry’s best ownership experience.”

The 2016 study tracks 2013 model year vehicles in their third year of ownership.
All GM brands ranked above industry average with Buick, GMC and Chevrolet ranking third, fifth and sixth respectively.

Chevrolet delivered the most segment leaders of any industry brand, led by Malibu as the segment leader for the second year in a row in the highly competitive Midsize Car segment. Camaro ranks highest in the Midsize Sporty Car segment for the fourth consecutive year and Silverado HD ranks first in the Large Heavy Duty Pickup Segment for the second year.  Equinox ranks first in the popular Compact SUV segment.

Buick Verano becomes the industry’s most dependable vehicle and segment award recipient in Compact Car.  Encore leads the Small SUV segment, adding to the popular SUV’s 2013 JD Power Initial Quality Study and Automotive Performance Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study segment awards. LaCrosse also receives an award for the second year in the Large Car segment. 

The GMC Yukon ranked first in the Large SUV segment for the third year in a row.

Model Highlights by Brand

Chevrolet
  • ·    Malibu – Segment Award, Midsize Car (2nd Year in a Row)
  • ·    Camaro – Segment Award, Midsize Sporty Car (4th Year in a Row)
  • ·    Equinox – Segment Award, Compact SUV
  • ·    Silverado HD – Segment Award, Large Heavy Duty Pickup (2nd Year in Row)
  • ·    Tahoe – Ranks Second, Large SUV
  • ·    Silverado – Ranks Third, Large Light Duty Pickup
Buick
  • ·    Verano – Segment Award, Compact Car
  • ·    Encore – Segment Award, Small SUV
  • ·    LaCrosse – Segment Award, Large Car (2nd Year in a Row)
GMC
  • ·    Yukon – Segment Award, Large SUV (3rd Year in a Row)
  • ·    Sierra – Ranks Second, Large Light Duty Pickup
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. 

Friday, March 4, 2016

Ram Commercial Upfit Center



See how the Ram Commercial Upfit Center can help your business reduce the time to have quality upfits installed and delivered to your business.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Unique Mobile Climate and Road Simulators Help Knock Out Squeaks and Rattles in All-New Ford F-Series Super Duty


  •     Unique mobile climate and road simulators test all-new F-Series Super Duty and other vehicles for squeaks and rattles so Ford can minimize these noises ahead of production
  •     The company’s eight mobile climate and road simulators are completely portable, allowing Ford to efficiently test prototype vehicles; one unit was moved to Kentucky Truck Plant to conduct noise testing of the all-new Super Duty
  •     In these mobile labs, vehicles in development are subjected to simulated rough terrain and road surfaces, as well as to extreme differences in humidity and temperature – from 20 degrees below zero to 120 degrees Fahrenheit – to help detect and minimize squeaks and rattles

DEARBORN, Mich., Feb. 25, 2016 – Ford is using mobile climate and road simulators to minimize squeaks and rattles in the all-new 2017 F-Series Super Duty – the toughest, smartest, most capable Super Duty ever.

Rigorous testing with this equipment includes some of the most extreme conditions imaginable. The simulators are known as Transportable Environmental Four Posters, in reference to their 18-wheeler portability and four-point road simulators that sit under each wheel when a vehicle is in the chamber. Ford is the only automaker to use these mobile simulators.

“Mobile climate and road simulators are absolutely key to finding unwanted noises in the early stages of vehicle development,” said Craig Schmatz, Ford F-Series Super Duty chief engineer. “Extreme climates and terrains are especially known for bringing out squeaks and rattles. Identifying and mitigating these noises long before a vehicle goes into production is one more way Ford is working to deliver great vehicle quality.”

In these mobile labs, Ford puts prototype vehicles through their paces on all manner of simulated terrain and road surfaces, as well as in extreme humidity and temperatures ranging from a bone-chilling 20 degrees below zero to a blistering 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thanks to the portability of these simulators, Ford can move them all over the world to test prototypes wherever and whenever a vehicle is undergoing development. To test the all-new Super Duty, Ford moved one of the simulators to Kentucky Truck Plant, which has produced more than 5 million Super Duty trucks since the vehicle was introduced in 1999.

Before the first all-new Super Duty charges off the line, it will have logged more than 12 million cumulative miles of testing – more than any of its predecessors – to ensure the promise of Built Ford Tough.

Controlled environment allows for comprehensive testing

These initially patented mobile climate and road simulators help Ford ensure quality in a way that’s as unique as it is innovative. The ability to perform tests on-site at Ford facilities is immensely more efficient than sending a vehicle to another location and waiting for results. Prototypes undergo testing all the way to production, with the controlled environment allowing trained experts and advanced audio-sensing equipment to identify the causes of noise.

For each vehicle launch, climate and road simulation testing is overseen by a Ford launch engineer and a plant vehicle team engineer who work diligently to prevent squeaks and rattles; for Super Duty, this was Abdul Mohammed and Dave Massengill, respectively. This testing is part of the company’s focus on quiet quality – a motto boldly emblazoned on each of the eight simulators as a reminder.

“Ford takes its commitment to delivering quiet quality seriously – devoting a lot of resources to deploying the best people and tools,” said Vy Tran, Ford North American launch supervisor for squeak and rattle testing. “Ford’s approach to testing for squeaks and rattles, both for Super Duty and other vehicle launches, helps the company put customers behind the wheel of vehicles they can enjoy with their ears as much as their eyes and hands.”

Ford worked with suppliers and other companies to develop the Transportable Environmental Four Posters, which have now been used for more than 100 global vehicle launches.

Aside from full-vehicle testing, Ford also performs component-level testing to help limit squeaks and rattles. For instance, the company subjects instrument panels to shake testing on custom stands called Transportable Instrument Panel Sound Testing Evaluation Rigs.

“Simulator technology has come a long way in helping to reduce noises in vehicles,” said Timothy Wittrock, Ford North American current model supervisor for squeak and rattle testing. “Transportable Environmental Four Poster technology has been instrumental in reducing squeaks and rattles under various operating conditions to deliver a whisper-quiet driving experience for customers.”

Mobile climate and road simulators are but one part of a large suite of tools Ford uses to create high-quality vehicles.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 199,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit www.corporate.ford.com.