Work Truck Show 2016 to Highlight 3-D Printing and Lightweighting Technologies

Among the many products on display at The Work Truck Show will be a 3-D printed SAF Holland truck and bus suspension, as well as a special display area for vehicles using lightweighting techniques.


Three new features give attendees at The 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.

The Work Truck Show is North America’s largest work truck event. Produced annually by NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry, the 2016 show will be held March 1–4 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, IN. Educational sessions begin March 1, and exhibits open March 2.

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 lbs. 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 finish. These wheels are typically about 50% lighter than the same size steel wheel.
  • A Switch-N-Go hoist 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% 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.          

Large-scale 3-D printing feature area

“Additive manufacturing” or “3-D printing” is the process of making a three-dimensional solid object of virtually any shape from a computer-designed model. The printer uses an additive process where successive layers of material, usually structural plastic, are laid down in different shapes a little at a time, building up to a final three-dimensional model.

“When you consider that roughly 60% of everything built in the work truck industry is customized in some way, it’s easy to see the advantages of 3-D printing,” says Sumrall. “Manufacturers can use their CAD system to design a component and then use the 3-D printer to make a life-size component model which they can look at from all angles and test fit into its space. That’s a huge potential cost saving that can also drive innovative R&D.”

To demonstrate the incredible potential of this technology, The Work Truck Show will feature a full-size 3-D-printed replica of a Shelby Cobra convertible and an SAF Holland truck and bus suspension in Booth 3400 next to NTEA’s booth. Both models were built by Cincinnati Incorporated. The company will have representatives on hand to answer questions about 3-D printing and its Big Area Additive Manufacturing (BAAM) product line.

The Work Truck Show Ride-and-Drive

Formerly known as the Green Truck Ride-and-Drive, NTEA is expanding the focus of this popular show feature to include the latest advanced productivity technologies as well as alternative fuel applications. The Work Truck Show Ride-and-Drive is open to all show attendees on Wednesday, March 2, and Thursday, March 3, from 12:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. The event gives show attendees the opportunity to drive a variety of vehicles on city streets or in a closed course.

“If you have ever wondered how an all-electric, battery-powered work truck performs on city streets, or how a hybrid heavy truck rides on the highway, or what’s new in multipurpose truck bodies, this is your opportunity to gain the firsthand experience that can help you match the right technology to your applications,” says Christopher Lyon, NTEA Director of Fleet Relations. The vehicles available to drive in The Work Truck Show Ride-and-Drive include:

  • Alliance AutoGas — Bi-fuel propane autogas Ford Transit 15-passenger van equipped with a 3.7-L V6 engine running on propane autogas.
  • BEAU-ROC/Palmer Power & Truck Equipment — Kenworth T370 with a municipal BEAU-ROC body and bed.
  • Cummins Inc. — Greenhouse gas 2017 compliant ISB6.7 high-efficiency diesel box truck, optimized for pickup and delivery.
  • Eaton — International DuraStar 4300 crew-cab chassis with the all-new Procision seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
  • Eaton — Kenworth dump truck featuring an automated VCS UltraShift PLUS transmission.
  • Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation — S2G propane-powered medium-duty truck featuring an 8-L engine with a CleanFUEL USA liquid injection propane fuel system and equipped with a bobtail bulk propane delivery tanker body.
  • Hino Trucks — Hino COE 195H Class 5 electric hybrid truck.
  • Hino Trucks — A second Hino COE 195H Class 5 electric hybrid truck.
  • Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc. — Isuzu low cab forward N-Series Class 4 truck upfitted with an IMPCO bi-fuel system.
  • Kenworth Truck Company — Kenworth T-880 straight truck equipped with a roll-off system and powered by a Cummins ISX12-G natural gas-fueled engine.
  • Lightning Hybrids — Ford E-450 cargo truck featuring the company’s energy recovery system for medium- and heavy-duty trucks.
  • Mitsubishi Fuso Truck of America Inc. — FUSO FE E-Cell prototype all-electric, battery-powered medium-duty cabover work truck.
  • Peterbilt Motors Company — Peterbilt 337 tractor equipped to operate on natural gas utilizing a Cummins Westport ISL-G engine and Agility CNG fuel system. 
  • VIA Motors Inc. — 2015 Silverado with VIA’s eREV electric hybrid powertrain.

A complete list of participating vehicles can be found online. Manufacturers’ representatives will be on hand to answer questions.

Participation in The Work Truck Show Ride-and-Drive is free, and no advance registration is required. The Ride-and-Drive is sponsored by Hino Trucks.


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