Video: 2013 Work Truck Show Products

1 Work Truck Show lead II

The National Truck Equipment Association's Work Truck Show is not your ordinary auto show. Instead of sticking flashy and shiny parts and custom vehicles in the faces of showgoers (like the big automaker shows or the Special Equipment Market Association show), the Work Truck Show is about practical solutions; it's a place where business owners and equipment specialists can meet. And for that reason, it's one of our favorite destinations of the year.

Yes, there are always impressive big rigs on the floor, but the core of the floor space is taken up by small- and medium-sized companies that display products they think could help a business owner work harder, safer and/or more efficiently. Take a look at the video we put together from the show floor to see some of our favorites, and then take a look below that at a few others we found. To see more photos from the show, you can also go to our Facebook page.

 

 

Velvac 2020XG Mirror

Not only is this new towing mirror already being used on some of the Class 4, 5 and 6 trucks, the sales rep told us that some of the bigger "light-duty" truck makers were looking to make the camera/mirror part of a new towing package. That's all we could find out, but this tow mirror looked well done and was packed full of image and mirror stabilizing technology. For more information, call 800-783-8871 or go to www.velvac.com.

Middle Bed Storage

We love this clever use of side-access storage that doesn't lose any of the versatility of a short-bed pickup truck. And although we noted in the video (above) that Ford "used to" do this, we've since learned Ford still offers the Midbox Package through most dealerships. For more information on this CaseCo Midbox, call 800-291-6445 or go to www.midbox.com.

A MidBox II

A.R.E. Bed Caps

We found this new bed cap, called the Work Cover LS, in the A.R.E. booth; what we like about this is you get both maximum side access with gull-wing doors for drop-in gear as well as a scissor-hinged rear latch for oversized slide-in cargo. So far the tops are only fitted to 76-inch Toyota beds, but A.R.E. is planning more applications. It also offered an interesting commercial truck cap called the Site Commander that offers plenty of storage and flexible access in a tight fiberglass package. For more information, call 800-464-2042 or go to www.4ARE.com.

B ARE bed top II

American Force Wheels

Those who are into the 2500 and 3500 pickup market will know about American Force Wheels, makers of heavy-duty custom rims. The company's eight-lug to 10-lug conversion kits are quite popular, but now it's making medium-duty rims for 2500/3500 trucks so hard-working businesses can put more durable and stronger tires on their work trucks. We think that's a great idea, and they look cool too. For more information, call 877-427-6773 or go to www.americanforcewheels.com.

F American Force 19.5 II

EchoDrive Plug-In

It's finally happened. You can now purchase and install a plug-in hybrid kit for your full-size van or pickup truck. It's not cheap, but it's not as expensive as you might think. Depending on the type of duty cycles you have with your fully amortized E-Series Ford van, you could make up the cost of the install in less than three years. Install the electric generator behind the transmission, mount the inverter on the frame rail, swap out the spare tire for the battery pack and you're good - all for $10,000 for a plug-in kit or $8,000 for a non-plug-in kit. For more information, call 855-324-6288 or go to www.echoautomotive.com.

E EchoDrive II

Invi-sa-Rack

If this product looks familiar, you may have seen the hosts of the hit TV show "Shark Tank" misunderstand exactly what this product has to offer. The Invi-sa-Rack is a hideaway cargo bed support system that literally folds into the side bed of a pickup truck. When clicked in place, the truck rack can hold up to 500 pounds and then disappear in seconds. Long-bed racks are around $600, but racks can be configured for just about any size bed. For more information, call 800-779-2102 or go to www.deezee.com.

D Invi sa rack II

GM Heavy-Duty Crew Cabs

As noted in the video, General Motors did not make any official announcement but it will be extending its offerings in the bi-fuel compressed natural gas arena. Previously announced only for the extended cab 2500 HD Silverado and Sierra (in both long and short bed and 4x2 and 4x4), GM will also make the crew cab 2500 HDs available with the same CNG powertrain option. See your local GM or GM Commercial dealer for more information.

C GM CNG Crew II

Curt's HD Hitch

As full-size HD pickups continue to increase towing capacities, so do hitch companies. Curt Manufacturing makes a full lineup of heavy-duty bumper hitches that include the XD (rated to 16,000 pounds), the XD+ (17,000 pounds), the Commercial Duty (18,000 pounds) and now the new Commercial Duty Plus, rated for a 20,000-pound trailer. The hitch uses a 2.5-inch receiver and thicker steel reinforcements; we're told it costs less than $500. For more information, call 877-287-8634 or go to www.curtmfg.com.

SuperSprings Support

In the world of heavy work with heavy-duty pickups, overloading a truck's suspension with a plow blade, work equipment or trailer happens with regularity. For that reason, SuperSprings offers both front and rear "airless airbags" to help control and support extra weight. The best thing about the airbags is that you get their full benefits only in overload situations - otherwise they have no effect. For more information, call 805-745-5553 or go to www.supersprings.com.

G SumoSprings Coil II

Rotary Portable Lifts

You have to admit, as impractical as it might be to purchase portable lifts for yourself (although we'd love one of these), this would be a great thing to have available for a fleet business. Not only can you lift just about anything you can drive into a big-rig garage, you can take the four lifts on the road and meet your injured truck wherever it sits. Each corner is independently battery powered, but the controls work wirelessly with system control units on each pillar. Yes, it's a little pricey but think of the neighbors you'll impress. For more information, call 800-640-5438 or go to www.rotarylift.com.

 

Comments

I am glad to see that young man with the Invi-sa-Rack finally get his product to market. The Shark Tank liked his idea but they wanted him to make it overseas and he insisted that it be made in the USA to create more jobs. Glad to see this work out for him and I hope this product goes over well. It is nice to see the independent guy get a break.

JeffS. I agree with you , I thought I saw that before, but could not rmember where, I hate those filthy rich P O S , expecial Kevin (Mr Wonderful)???? in his own mind! there is only one on the show that has gevin the American workers a break, and that is the guy on the left, who never wears a tie, and owns a ball team, cant think of his name, but he always tries to give the domestic guys a chance. Near where I live is where they make a rack that is callled Trac-Rack, and I rmember when they started, I was driving trucks at the time, and was making deliveries there, and got to talk to the owner, who was on the floor every day! tring to make it work, and KEPP it in this country, well he did move, but only out of this unfriendly to busi. state, Mass. he took his co. down south and has done better since, and he was paying very good $$, but culd not keep up with the state taxes and un-emploment ins. among other things, and the product he makes is second to none, we all need to start supporting these guys, before it is to late! I cant stand it when those sharks say you could make more $$$ if you make it overseas!!! and what they are talking about is a couple of dollors, I wonder how they would have felt if someone from overseas had done what they had done to get rich? and they never remember! This product will do goo! and will continue to do so, if made here, as we all know after it goes to China ins. it will be junk! as that is where they are always talking about anyway, because the other countires are almost the same price as the U.S., and then when you add shipping cost.......

Could you provide info on the servie body you profiled in the last video? I couldn't find anything

@sandman 4 X4 and @Jeff S
Could not agree more. To see someone have a better idea and make it locally from a concept is great. Plenty of that here and their should be more everywhere.

Plenty more of that here and there should be more over there.

I would like to see a invisi truck sides. I don't need the ladder rack but sides would be nice. For example:
http://randsco.com/_img/blog/0806/cord_of_wood.jpg

Sandman

The guy you are thinking of is Mark Cuban. He is....eclectic to say the least. He has no problem speaking his mind (which admire) and it has largely benefitted him. That said he has made his billions on selling out too. He has done it 3 major times that I know of and that has provided virtually all of his net worth.

I doubt that many of his original companies still operate much out of the US because of this. (no proof, just speculation)

howamOO: thanks for the reminder, and yes he is eclectic, thats for sure, but I have respect for the guy, and he oes stand out in that crowd of ridh folk, like he is just a reg guy, I mean look at that one guy there, from FOBOO? I had never even heard of his clothing line before that show! and the blond from QVC is fair also, and the guy on the right seasm to be fairly level headed, but that one guy, kevin he is real a piece thats for sure.

There are plenty of great ideas that backyard inventors come up with that don't see the light of day.

Most of the best ideas come from people fed up with, or having a better way to do a job.

It's good to see alot of the stuff manufacturered in the US.

In Australia we had a TV show that show cased new local inventions and ideas. The show would follow up on some of the inventions and some actually made it commercially.

This is good for any country, to showcase ideas, that's progress. A manufacturer may see what some are trying to achieve.

@sandman--I agree with you about the Chinese. I have no problems with a global market except you need to have some manufacturing left. We cannot just be doing each others wash. In other words we cannot just be a service based economy and produce nothing. Some of the Chinese products literally fall apart the first time you use them.

The Middle Bed Storage is what you can get on a Ute bed. I have not seen it on a Pickup bed before.
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_XKisQ1U6R5Y/S1KkgEBtQuI/AAAAAAAAK3E/78N-5yb9u7I/s400/10-toolbox.gif

@Jeff S
Global trade is about a country being able to capitalise on what it does well.

In Australia we can't compete in manufacturing, so we sell commodities. The German are good at engineering etc.

So what you do well you sell and buy what you don't do so well at you import and hopefully it comes out even.

When a country starts to artificially balance out trade is when problems occur. This is what the US (and other) vehicle manufacturering nations did in the past to protect jobs.

Now, believe it or not global trade is becoming fairer with more and more players. But the "West" is struggling to change decades of culturally ingrained practices. They don't work anymore, just look at the Big 3 compared to other global manufacturers.

The established manufactuing countries pretty much had manufacturing all to themselves for decades and now must compete. They are finding it harder than the newer developing economies to be competitive in a new world of trade.

These newer economies are being structured to operate with the higher commodity costs, ie, fuel and energy. We still are trying to operate as if not much has changed.

Things will change and there will be casualties. More from the developed economies than the developing economies, as they now have 50% of world trade and thats just between themselves, not counting us.

@Jeff S
Global trade is about a country being able to capitalise on what it does well.

In Australia we can't compete in manufacturing, so we sell commodities. The German are good at engineering etc.

So what you do well you sell and buy what you don't do so well at you import and hopefully it comes out even.

When a country starts to artificially balance out trade is when problems occur. This is what the US (and other) vehicle manufacturering nations did in the past to protect jobs.

Now, believe it or not global trade is becoming fairer with more and more players. But the "West" is struggling to change decades of culturally ingrained practices. They don't work anymore, just look at the Big 3 compared to other global manufacturers.

The established manufactuing countries pretty much had manufacturing all to themselves for decades and now must compete. They are finding it harder than the newer developing economies to be competitive in a new world of trade.

These newer economies are being structured to operate with the higher commodity costs, ie, fuel and energy. We still are trying to operate as if not much has changed.

Things will change and there will be casualties. More from the developed economies than the developing economies, as they now have 50% of world trade and thats just between themselves, not counting us.

@Jeff S
Global trade is about a country being able to capitalise on what it does well.

In Australia we can't compete in manufacturing, so we sell commodities. The German are good at engineering etc.

So what you do well you sell and buy what you don't do so well at you import and hopefully it comes out even.

When a country starts to artificially balance out trade is when problems occur. This is what the US (and other) vehicle manufacturering nations did in the past to protect jobs.

Now, believe it or not global trade is becoming fairer with more and more players. But the "West" is struggling to change decades of culturally ingrained practices. They don't work anymore, just look at the Big 3 compared to other global manufacturers.

The established manufactuing countries pretty much had manufacturing all to themselves for decades and now must compete. They are finding it harder than the newer developing economies to be competitive in a new world of trade.

These newer economies are being structured to operate with the higher commodity costs, ie, fuel and energy. We still are trying to operate as if not much has changed.

Things will change and there will be casualties. More from the developed economies than the developing economies, as they now have 50% of world trade and thats just between themselves, not counting us.

@Jeff S
Global trade is about a country being able to capitalise on what it does well.

In Australia we can't compete in manufacturing, so we sell commodities. The German are good at engineering etc.

So what you do well you sell and buy what you don't do so well at you import and hopefully it comes out even.

When a country starts to artificially balance out trade is when problems occur. This is what the US (and other) vehicle manufacturering nations did in the past to protect jobs.

Now, believe it or not global trade is becoming fairer with more and more players. But the "West" is struggling to change decades of culturally ingrained practices. They don't work anymore, just look at the Big 3 compared to other global manufacturers.

The established manufactuing countries pretty much had manufacturing all to themselves for decades and now must compete. They are finding it harder than the newer developing economies to be competitive in a new world of trade.

These newer economies are being structured to operate with the higher commodity costs, ie, fuel and energy. We still are trying to operate as if not much has changed.

Things will change and there will be casualties. More from the developed economies than the developing economies, as they now have 50% of world trade and thats just between themselves, not counting us.

@Jeff S
Global trade is about a country being able to capitalise on what it does well.

In Australia we can't compete in manufacturing, so we sell commodities. The German are good at engineering etc.

So what you do well you sell and buy what you don't do so well at you import and hopefully it comes out even.

When a country starts to artificially balance out trade is when problems occur. This is what the US (and other) vehicle manufacturering nations did in the past to protect jobs.

Now, believe it or not global trade is becoming fairer with more and more players. But the "West" is struggling to change decades of culturally ingrained practices. They don't work anymore, just look at the Big 3 compared to other global manufacturers.

The established manufactuing countries pretty much had manufacturing all to themselves for decades and now must compete. They are finding it harder than the newer developing economies to be competitive in a new world of trade.

These newer economies are being structured to operate with the higher commodity costs, ie, fuel and energy. We still are trying to operate as if not much has changed.

Things will change and there will be casualties. More from the developed economies than the developing economies, as they now have 50% of world trade and thats just between themselves, not counting us.

@Hemi V8 aka Lautenslager and all the other names.
If you had the ability you could debate me on any issue you want. But, I (we) understand you're challenged in both knowledge and intelligence.

But to debate me would require you to read and learn. Is it all propaganda?

You are also very weak, like a terrorist or you would not hide behind your computer.

I think you should go to Yemen, Mali or Sudan and find like minded people and maybe you could be a coward with them.

What are you defending? From some of your comments you stated how strong the pickup culture is in the US.

Why do you need to defend it? I shouldn't have any influence.

Or are you scared? You seem to fear, fear itself.

You really need some form of medical intervention.

As I stated you aren't an American.

GUTS
GLORY
RAM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8AN-_kPZtw

@Big Al from Oz--I would agree with you on most of what you said. I do believe however that just a service based economy is not a sustainable economy. The US still has some manufacturing left, even though much of it is foreign based but that is part of the global economy. I would much rather have Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Kia, Hyundai, VW, BMW, and others have manufacturing plants in the US and NA than not. If these companies are able to save money as well then that gives them more of an incentive. Nevertheless I am still for the independent individual coming up with a better product and being able to produce it in the US and provide decent paying jobs.

An economy based on mostly Walmart and McDonald's does not create the jobs that will sustain the US economy in the long run. Industries that create good paying jobs whether these industries are US or foreign based has to be in the economic mix and the growth of these industries is critical to the US economy. Education and training to prepare workers with the proper skils for these jobs plus a tax system that encourages growth in domestic jobs. The US tax code gives breaks to US based companies to outsource jobs overseas. This is wrong. Al all this fighting over balancing the budget and huge deficits can be mostly fixed by the creation of good paying jobs. Yes we need to cut spending but we cannot sustain and grow an economy on just budget cuts and lowering taxes. More job paying jobs creates more demand for products and provides more tax revenue as well.

I agree with you on the Big 3 auto manufacturing and in order for them to survive they need to have more competive products which is happening but not quick enough. American cars for the most part are using more globally based platforms and have been evolving into more global products. Pickup trucks is another story and that evolution is much slower. Al if you read the junk yard section of TTAC you will see many pictures and articles about old domestic land yacht cars that scrapped, not because they are not running or rusted out, but more that there is no demand for a car that gets 8 mpg. Most of those cars featured from that Denver salvage yard have good bodies and interiors and most could easily be put in running order without much effort. At $4 a gallon gasoline people would rather scrap them than keep them, unless these cars are highly desirable classics which most are not.

What has happened with the big American barge cars will be the fate of most of the American full size trucks. At a certain cost most owners will not buy them. When gas gets to $5 a gallon and beyond then consummers will trend toward more efficient trucks as they have cars. The trick for the manufacturers will be to retain as much cab and bed space of the current full size trucks while shortening the fronts and reducing the weight and using smaller more efficient engines and more efficient transmissions. This has been happening with many of the new engines and transmissions. Again Al this is evolutionary and many truck owers will adapt over the long run.

@Jeff S
You're very correct.

There are only two ways to make money, create something that didn't exist and sell it, or invest. Both have risks. But investments are riskier.

Developing economies are creating "stuff" that didn't exist and selling it and we are investing in them.

Creating something that didn't exist requires many skillsets and better jobs.

Education is important, but it must be targeted, just having a degree isn't good enough if it isn't really required.

It would be better if governments, bankers, industrialists, etc looked at the fundementals before shoting themselves in the foot.

I hope we as a society learn, but I we are going to shoot oursleves in the foot first, then complain because it hurts.

I do know in Australia now many tradesman earn more than a degreed person, some food for thought.

@Big Al from Oz-Exactly. Education that targets the skills necessary for these jobs. I appreciate the opportunity to get a traditional university education but today's workers and the workers of the future need specific skills to get the better paying higher skilled jobs. The politicians and the bankers are looking at short term solutions which are not what is required to have a sustainable economy over the long run.

Mike Rowe, who did the Dirty Jobs program and who was a spokesman for Ford (a much better spokesman than Leary) is going around the US with the message that there needs to be more tradesmen such as plummers, electricians, and mechanics. Mr. Rowe is a college graduate, who majored in music and before Dirty Jobs he performed in musicals. There was more money in the Dirty Jobs than in singing. Who could blame Mike for making a career change himself. Ford needs to get Mike back and let Mr. Leary go.

Having said I appreciate my 3 university degrees, it is the Accounting degree that has enabled me to have a good job and provide a means for me to live. I appreciate the Greek classics and the history of the World and Western Civilization but it was the subject that was my least favorite that provided me a means of support. I also have a BBA in Business Management with a minor in Marketing, but again it was the Accounting degree that openned the doors of opportunity for me for job advancement.

The SuperSprings coil spacer will be damaging in any truck where the suspension bumpstop is located outside the coil bucket. The spacer will allow the spring to bottom out before the bumpstop is contacted, likely causing the strut body to buckle and break.

I liked the folding rack. The mirrors with the built in camera is a great idea. It would be nice to toggle it on without using the turn signal.
Smaller manufacturers have the advantage in filling niche markets like those truck racks. They can more easily adapt and modify their product range to meet local demands. A local fabricating company in my area ended up monopolizing the local market for running boards, box liners, tool boxes and headache racks for a few decades until their line was eroded by factory running boards, box liners, and "big box" retailers selling cheaper Asian stuff. They still do well because of the reputation they built.

The USA does need to do more to stimulate manufacturing and high paying jobs. Unfortunately, the public school system is run by '60's era hippies that feel that self esteem is more important than education. That same "it doesn't matter as long as I feel good about myself" attitude is breeding generations (plural) of underachievers.
The top 0.1%. the ultra-rich control most everything. The super rich or about 1% of the population either work for the ultra-rich or work with them to run everything. The "American dream" has become a fallacy unless one's goals aren't extremely high. The only one's who are joining the ranks of the top 1.1% are the "superstars". Those are people that have exceptional skills in their fields of endeavour. They often end up employed by the 1.1 %.

@Robert Ryan
The US Chevrolet Colorado was available for fleets with the midbox option.

http://www.astoriainc.com/images/midbox01.jpg

@Liam,
Thanks for that.



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