Category: Fleet

The New Class

From a new entrant in the “stand-up” van segment, to an explosion in small cabover truck offerings, truck manufacturers have kept busy over the past several months, upgrading existing models and developing brand new ones, all of considerable interest to beverage fleet operators. After a bit of a lull, new models with hybrid and natural gas powertrains are also back in the news.

Here are the newest beverage trucks for 2013:

Name: 2014 Ford Transit
Configuration: Class 1-4 Van
Primary Application(s): Merchandising, Hot-shot deliveries
Key Features - Details: Global Platform, “stand-up” capable. • Following on the success of global vans like the Sprinter and the first (North American) generation of the Transit Connect, Ford will bring the newest iteration of its global full-size van platform to the US market beginning in late 2013. Replacing the venerable E-Series “Econoline” van, the Transit will be available in cargo, passenger and cutaway versions.

Name: 2014 Ford Transit Connect
Configuration: Class 1 Compact Van
Primary Application(s): Merchandising, Delivery, Service
Key Features - Details: Global Platform, compact cargo hauler • Arriving in late 2013, the latest version of Ford’s Transit Connect will, like its big brother the Transit, be built on a single global platform that meets the needs of all markets in which it will be sold. The earlier version that debuted the Transit Connect in North America was a capable but upgraded version of an existing European model.

Name: Freightliner Cascadia CNG
Configuration: Class 8 113” BBC Conventional Daycab
Primary Application(s): Local/Regional Bulk Delivery
Key Features - Details: Factory installed/warrantied natural gas engine • Building on the success of its cross-country CNG tour, fueled entirely by public-access CNG stations, Freightliner is now offering its Cascadia 113” BBC daycab model with a factory installed natural gas engine. With the availability of public-access CNG fueling locations growing exponentially, Freightliner expects the CNG Cascadia tractor to be popular with fleets using end-load trailers to serve bulk accounts.

Name: Hino 195h Hybrid
Configuration: Class 5 Cabover Truck
Primary Application(s): Urban Route Delivery
Key Features - Details: Hybrid powertrain, maneuverability, visibility • Hino’s 195h combines the urban-friendly design attributes of the cabover configuration with a hybrid drivetrain optimized for the stop-and-go environment of routes in dense urban areas.

Name: Kenworth K270/K370
Configuration: Class 6-7 Cabover Truck
Primary Application(s): Urban Route Delivery
Key Features - Details: Maneuverability, visibility • What better endorsement could there be than Coca-Cola Refreshments taking the first seven K370 models to come off the assembly line and putting them into service in the tight urban confines of the Seattle market? While the import brands have offered cabover models for decades, they’ve never quite made the business case for this nimble configuration. Given Kenworth’s experience in the worktruck market, look for a cascade of cabover converts.
Name: Kenworth T680
Configuration: Class 8 124” BBC Conventional Daycab
Primary Application(s): Local/Regional Bulk Delivery
Key Features - Details: Mid-width cab, serviceability, visibility • Wider than the ultra-aero long-haul tractors built to thrive on the open highways, and narrower the luxury sleeper rigs built for team drivers, the T680 sits right in the middle, “just right” for regional operations.

Name: Peterbilt Model 210/Model 220
Configuration: Class 6-7 Cabover Truck
Primary Application(s): Urban Route Delivery
Key Features - Details: Maneuverability, visibility • Like their Kenworth cousins, Peterbilt’s Class 6-7 cabover models will bring newfound credibility to this capable configuration. With GVW ratings up to 33,000 pounds and box lengths up to 26 feet, the Model 220 can haul the cargo for a full route in the footprint of a hotshot truck.

Name: Ram 1500
Configuration: Class 1 Pickup
Primary Application(s): Merchandising, Sales, Service
Key Features - Details: Fuel-sipping V6 engine with 8-speed transmission • A long way from the purely utilitarian shop trucks of decades past, the Ram 1500 brings the amenities one would expect from an upscale passenger car into a pickup that is still quite work-capable.

Name: Ram 3500/4500/5500
Configuration: Class 3-5 Conventional Chassis Cab
Primary Application(s): Reefer/Bulk Route Delivery
Key Features - Details: Cummins diesel, six-speed automatic transmission • Loaded with electrical system, frame and suspension improvements, the Class 3-5 Ram Chassis Cab models bring the user-friendly interior of a modern pickup to a serious contender in the medium-duty straight-truck segment.

Name: Ram C/V
Configuration: Class 1 Cargo Van
Primary Application(s): Merchandising, Sales, Hot-shot deliveries
Key Features - Details: Compact cargo hauler • Packing capacity and capability into a parking-lot -friendly package, the Ram C/V compact cargo van is the work-ready version of Chrysler’s long-popular minivan.

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