Lightweighting Emphasis at Recent Work Truck Show

Three new features gave attendees at the recent Work Truck Show® 2016 solid insights into the future of vocational trucks. A demo truck displayed near the Show entrance highlights the life cycle cost benefits of spec’ing trucks that weigh less and use less fuel. A bright red, life-size Shelby Cobra convertible replica on the Show floor will draw attention to the power of 3-D printing to reduce manufacturing and R&D costs, and maximize innovation. And outside, attendees can test drive commercial vehicles incorporating the latest advanced technologies and alternative fuel applications to identify those that might work in their fleets.

Lightweight and Advanced Technology Demo Truck display

“It’s one thing to talk about advanced work truck technology. It’s another to build a truck and be able to show people, here, this is it, and this is what it can do,” says Doyle Sumrall, NTEA managing director. “The idea is to configure a vehicle that will do the same or more work than a typically configured truck, but will weigh less and use considerably less fuel. This display is a visible, tangible example of the Green Truck Association (GTA) and its Lightweight Materials Technology Council bringing together the industry — upfitter companies, OEMs and government — to show the possibilities for fleets and truck buyers to significantly improve both their fuel utilization and the environmental aspects of their commercial vehicles.”

The Lightweight and Advanced Technology Demo Truck display consists of an Isuzu NRR diesel Class 5 truck upfitted with lightweight components. The truck itself is lightweight — weighing 760 pounds less than a conventional cab — and equipped with a driver feedback reporting system, speed limiting and idle shutdown to maximize fuel efficiency.

The truck is upfitted with:

  • Alcoa one-piece forged aluminum wheels with corrosion-resistant Dura-Bright® These wheels are typically about 50 percent lighter than the same size steel wheel.
  • A Switch-N-Gohoist system from Deist Industries Inc. This detachable body system permits total unloading of a full, partial or empty body onto the ground, removing body weight and load. Switch-N-Go equipped vehicles operate with no body at all during transport trips. Utilizing a detachable truck body system may allow fleets to use one chassis for multiple applications, such as dump, dumpster, chipper and flatbed.
  • Voth Truck Bodies lightweight aluminum detachable dump body. Aluminum bodies provide an average weight reduction of 50 percent compared to steel units, which results in reduced fuel consumption and greater payload capacity.

The GTA, an NTEA affiliate division, teamed up with its Lightweight Materials Technology Council to build the lightweight concept truck. To analyze the vehicle’s life cycle costs, GTA worked with the National Renewable Energy Lab, which is part of the Department of Energy and is associated with the Clean Cities Program that seeks to cut petroleum use in transportation. The results of the National Renewable Energy Lab’s in-depth analysis will be available in the display at The Work Truck Show.