One of the reasons we like the National Truck Equipment Association's Work Truck Show in Indianapolis so much is it's not filled with slick-talking marketers, glitzy press conferences or fashion-first new products. In fact, it's just the opposite; people come to this show because they have a business and need new vehicles to get the job done, or they have problem-solving new products to make a business owners life just a bit easier or cost effective. That means a lot of deals are made on the show floor.
This is in stark contrast to some other trade shows we attend, where the main objective seems to be getting the media's attention rather than that of other businesses. If we had a nickel for every time a booth sales person at the 2014 Work Truck Show looked at our media credentials, smiled and then made eye contact with the next person walking down the aisle, we'd be very wealthy right now. A lot of the NTEA attendees don't worry too much about getting on TV or making it into a buyer's guide; they want to solve problems for someone with a need, and they want to use their chassis hauler, dump bed or widget to do it.
In the midst of all that no-nonsense practicality and trade show dealmaking sat a relatively nondescript 2015 Ford F-150 XL two-wheel-drive regular-cab shortbed work truck. At the 2014 Detroit auto show back in January, where loud music, rotating lights and unquenchable media attention is the goal, the new aluminum-bodied F-150 was the star of the show, but at the Work Truck Show, it was just another platform for small-business owners to wander around, take a few measurements and plan an expanded range of their product offerings.
We didn't get much time with the entry-level work truck earlier in the year, so we took a few close-up photos of the new half-ton Ford. There's still no word on pricing, and the hood release cable to this truck was disconnected so we couldn't see what was inside. We'll assume Ford is planning on a full-line media event on its new powertrain lineup at a later date.