Trucks Come Wheeling Onto the Show Floor

February 18, 2008
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Toyota debuted the Tundra, which has a payload of up to approximately 2,000 pounds.

NEW YORK - Some of the big car companies were out in force at the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo), showing off their latest models of trucks. Show goers climbed in the cabs and looked at the storage space of the different vehicles offered for commercial use.

Available on the Chevy (www.chevrolet.com) Colorado and the GMC (www.gmfleet.com) Canyon, is the Astro Body by Supreme Corp. (www.supremecorp.com), which was highlighted at the Chevy/GMC booth.

The skylight allows ambient light inside, otherwise there are no windows in the truck body. The Velvac mirrors are designed to increase side vision while reducing blind spots. The mirrors can be adjusted up and down and have arms that pivot forwards and backwards. Other standard features include door handles with ignition key-coded lock cylinders, commercial-grade door hinges, and commercial-grade door seals and latches, which help create a water-resistant interior.

Various options on the body include three bin packages; a floor mat, for increased skid resistance, custom ladder racks; backup camera system, which enhances view behind vehicle; 3- by 4-inch color interior camera monitor with dimmer switch that operates in reverse gear for rearward visibility.

The overall height of the truck body is 78 inches, the overall length is 210.7 inches, the interior floor space is 43.1 square feet, and the interior cubic feet is 173.7 cubic feet.

New from Dodge (www.dodge.com) is the Ram 4500 and 5500 Chassis Cabs. According to Jack Warren, at the Dodge booth, these medium-duty trucks sell exclusively to commercial customers. They are powered by a Cummins® 6.7-liter turbo diesel engine. Six forward speeds are offered, in both manual and automatic transmissions. The AISIN automatic transmission includes two overdrive gears.

These trucks have a four-wheel ABS hydraulic brake system with front and rear discs.

“It has built-in exhaust brakes in this truck and the highest frame strength - 50,000-psi frames,” stated Warren.

Toyota (www.toyota.com) came to this year’s expo for the first time, with the Tundra in tow. Three cab configurations are offered on it: Regular Cab, Double Cab, and the CrewMax. The truck has three bed lengths: approximately 5-1/2, 6-1/2, and 8 feet. It measures 50 inches inside the truck bed between the wheel wells.

The company’s truck consultant, Tom Cavanuagh, said “The truck has three engines: a V6 and two V8s - a small V8, and a very powerful large V8. Fuel economy will range from about 20 miles on the V6, 18 miles on the small V8, and about 16-17 on the larger V8. The larger V8 has extremely high horsepower of 380 horsepower, 400 foot-pounds of torque.”

Cavanaugh summed up the truck when he said, “It’s got heavy-duty features, so people can drive it off road and use it to tow heavy loads.”

Publication date: 02/18/2008

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