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North America’s largest gathering of vocational trucks and transportation equipment––The Work Truck Show 2009 held in early March in Chicago—featured displays by 490 exhibitors this year. 

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North America’s largest gathering of vocational trucks andtransportation equipment––The Work Truck Show 2009 held in early March inChicago—featured displays by 490 exhibitors this year. Attendees also took partin the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) 45th annual convention,which included more than 40 educational and training sessions.

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Many suppliers took the opportunity to introduce newproducts at the event. By one count there were as many as 80 technologyinnovations introduced. Also, making headlines at NTEA’s Green TruckSummit—part of the convention program— was the presentation by Navistar of anInternational DuraStar Hybrid to its new owner, the City of Chicago.

The first hybrid work truck in the city’s fleet and in theregion, the DuraStar Hybrid reflects the City of Chicago’s recognition of theimportance of saving fuel and reducing emissions, noted Howard Henneman,commissioner of fleet management. “The International DuraStar Hybrid will playa critical role in Chicago’s green truck fleet, and we are pleased to be thefirst municipality in the region to utilize this new technology,” he said. “Weexpect that this technology will be an important part of our environmentalefforts moving forward.”

The International DuraStar diesel-electric hybrid uses aparallel-type architecture developed by Eaton Corp. The hybrid system featuresregenerative braking, a system to recover energy normally lost during braking,store the energy in batteries and add power back into the driveline during startsand acceleration. When the truck reaches a work site, the hybrid system canpower booms, aerial devices and other tools needed at the location for up to 90minutes without the engine running. That capability, according toInternational, has the potential to generate fuel savings of more than 60% inutility type operations, along with significantly reducing noise and emissions.

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 Ford Commercial Truckalso chose NTEA to showcase three new offerings. New for North American fleetsis the Ford Transit Connect, a commercial van built in Turkey that is in use in58 countries. With 135 cu. ft. of cargo space and a 1,600-lb. payload capacity,the van is available in multiple side, door and window configurations, and canbe upfitted with bulkheads, racks and bins to meet the needs of specificapplications. Built on a dedicated front-wheel drive commercial platform, theNorth American version of the Transit Connect will be powered by a Duratec2.0-L I-4 engine and a four-speed automatic overdrive transaxle.

Ford also introduced its new 2010 model F-59 Super DutyChassis at NTEA. The F-59 stripped chassis will be available in January 2010.Produced in a dedicated facility in Detroit it is designed for parcel/

courier services, food distributors, laundry specialists, constructiontrades and government fleets, among other users. Powered by a 6.8-L Triton V-10gas engine that is mated to a TorqShift five-speed automatic overdrivetransmission, the F-59 chassis will be offered in GVWR ratings of 16,000,19,500 and 22,000 lbs.

New from Ford at NTEA as well was the E-Series Super DutyAmbulance Preparation Package. Available for order in late 2009 in van orcut-away configurations, the package features several heavy-duty componentsdesigned for the extreme operating conditions in this market segment. Of greatinterest to private and municipal ambulance customers, Ford also noted, will bethe lower acquisition cost of the new E-Series prep package, driven down by theuse of a 6.8-L Triton V-10 gasoline engine. The engine, the OEM said, deliverssignificantly more horsepower for critical emergency response than previousgasoline offerings while also providing torque comparable to dieselpowerplants.

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Ford’s new offerings at The Work Truck Show this yearreflected an expanded presence by the company at NTEA. Signaling the ongoingvalue of this unique industry event, the OEM said its intention was not only todisplay its latest technologies but also use the convention and show as a forumfor listening to customers and for finding ways to help lower their cost ofownership and improve productivity. 

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