Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Whose coming north and who's going south...

As you may already know, back in April, Ford announced its plan to build a new auto factory in Mexico to resume building the Ranger and Bronco for the U.S. market. The $1.6 billion assembly plant will be built in the San Luis Potosi state and it’s expected to generate 2,800 jobs. It is said to also take-over production of some of the company’s small cars which are currently being produced in the U.S., according to the Associated Press.

Republican presidential campaign front-runner Donald Trump ridiculed Ford’s plans, saying it will just continue to drive down wages in the U.S. and increase unemployment. Trump believes that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the cause of heavy job loss in the United States. He said that, if elected president, he will alter the NAFTA so that it will punish the U.S. companies that continue to operate under the original 1994 agreement.

In response to Trump’s judgment, Ford expressed that it continues to heavily invest in the United States. Ford reported that it currently spends more than 80 percent of its capital in the U.S. and plans on spending $8 to $9 billion more over the next four years.

Now a  month after Ford’s announcement, apparently General Motors plans to move its pickup production back to the United States from south of the border. According to The Detroit News, a memo from the United Auto Workers Local 598 reports that GM’s Flint Assembly will be taking on pickup production from the company’s plant currently in Silao, Mexico. 

The memo states, that the Flint plant will have to add a Saturday shift and possibly hire part-time workers to help with the increased work load next year. The plant currently employs approximately 2,800 workers. The UAW feels that the production move will satisfy customers that want more vehicles produced in the U.S. We all know how Trump will feel!

Fleetwest is proud to say that our Load’N’Go transferable truck bodies are made in the USA. They universally fit most standard pickup trucks like Ford, GM, Dodge and Toyota with 8’ and 6.5’ beds. The Load’N’Go is fully transferable from one truck bed to another, even fully loaded, with a no holes drilled installation. They are made with heavy duty 16 gauges steel and finished with a rugged white powder coat. Call a representative today for a quote at (866) 497-7200.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A new breed takes safety to the next level

Safety is always of top priority amongst all Fleets; not only for drivers, but for pedestrians and other vehicles in general. The average mid-sized truck has a blind spot that can extend up to 160 feet behind the vehicle, according to the National Safety Council. The larger utility trucks can find it even more challenging to see pedestrians, vehicles or property when backing a vehicle due to their wider bodies and that they sit higher off the ground. For these reasons, a growing number of utility fleets are installing backup cameras to reduce incidents and increase rear visibility.

A Newport Beach, Ca. based company, Convoy Technologies, has stepped up the game with their vehicle camera systems. Their technology equips a backup camera with a motion sensor that automatically turns on the camera, records footage and even alerts the fleet manager in real time when someone is attempting to steal equipment from a truck. The camera is also combined with GPS telematics data to help exonerate drivers and the company from false claims.

Aptly named Videomatics, Convoy Technologies (www.convoytechnologies.com) has trademarked this combination of technology with cameras, digital video recorders and telematics. Videomatics provides drivers and management with live and recorded video from inside and around a vehicle accessible via PC, tablet or smartphone. Thus generating high-quality video evidence for fleets in proving fault for incidents and also improving drivers overall behavior.

At Fleetwest we take safety very seriously. All of our units are designed with technician safety in mind. The Fleetwest fiberglass composite utility bodies provide higher safety ratings with their 60/40 rear door split for safer curbside cargo access. Convenience and ergonomics are paramount with our ‘perimeter standing access’ with which the total content of the capsule can be reached from the outside. Therefore, no more head, neck or back injuries from crawling in and out of a van. Not to mention an array of additional options including:

·        single or dual slide outs- to safely load and unload heavy equipment
·        side mount and backup cameras-to assist with visibility and reduce incidents
·        additional interior and exterior LED lighting- to shed some light on your tools  and work area
·        low-profile ladder racks- for safe loading/unloading of ladders and easy  access for garages

I almost forgot to mention that they are 100% transferable! This unibody capsule will transfer from one truck to another, even fully loaded! To learn more about our transferable truck bodies, call a Fleetwest representative toll-free in the U.S. at (866) 497-7200.   

Composite Truck Bodies,CTB, by Fleetwest
“Innovative Fleet Solutions”


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Re-Engineered, Re-Branded, and Ready to go!

Fleetwest has re-engineered their popular fiberglass Composite Truck Body.  The newly branded CTB 175 & 145 models, formerly known as the Durashell, are fitted with larger 60/40 rear split doors, water drip channels, truck-grade hardware and heavy duty slam-latching mechanisms redesigned for years of use. They universally fit most full-sized pickup trucks with a no-holes drilled installation that allows them to be transferred on/off a standard truck bed, even fully loaded. It’s ergonomically engineered with an industry leading 320˚ perimeter standing access. All still available with a multitude of options. 

Options could include:
  • Custom shelving
  • Additional LED lighting
  • Single or dual 1000 lb. capacity slide outs 
  • Patented low-profile ladder rack. 

Re-Engineered & Re-Branded CTB 175 by Fleetwest


For more information call (866) 497-7200       

Friday, June 3, 2016

Innovative solutions to decrease fleet downtime

Many manufacturers, like Michelin and Continental Tire, are developing self-sealing tire technology focused for light-duty passenger vehicles. The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. main focus with the DuraSeal self-sealing tire line is especially for truck fleets. This is music to utility fleet’s ears. Self-sealing tires can be a great asset and allowing operators to travel across hazardous terrain without worry of a flat tire.

How does this self-sealing tire technology work? Each tire contains an extra layer of a unique, sticky substance that covers the inside of the tire from side to side. When a puncture occurs, this substance seals the hole automatically. The DuraSeal technology seal punctures up to a quarter-inch in diameter, within the repairable area of the tread. Drivers are able to continue traveling indefinitely, as long as the sidewalls aren’t affected. In instances where repairs are needed, the self-sealing technology buys the driver time to reach a safe place to work.

 “Utility fleet trucks often travel across challenging, debris-strewn surfaces en route to their destinations and are sometimes exposed to objects that have the potential to puncture their tires, which can result in vehicle downtime, an expensive proposition for utility companies,” said Norberto Flores, marketing manager at Goodyear. “Goodyear DuraSeal Technology is designed to help minimize downtime by allowing truck tires to retain air pressure and continue rolling.”

Flores goes on to explain that the DuraSeal technology offers its benefits throughout the tire’s life cycle, including multiple retreads. There is currently a wide range of tires available in the U.S. with the DuraSeal Technology; however, these tires do come with a much bigger price tag. Even though these tires cost about three times as much as a standard tire, they will eventually pay for themselves over time. Fleet managers need to factor in the decreased vehicle downtime and fewer tire replacements to justify purchasing. 

Another great way to decrease your fleet downtime is with a Fleetwest transferable truck body. Fleetwest offers both heavy duty steel and lightweight composite models. All models are 100% transferable from one truck to another, even fully loaded, in minutes. They universally fit most full size pickup trucks, 8’ and 6.5’ beds, with a no holes drilled installation making it built to last multiple truck cycles. Fleetwest provides the innovative solutions to optimize your fleets’ productivity and work flow.  For more information, call a Fleetwest representative today toll-free in the U.S. at (866)497-7200 or visit www.fleetwest.net.


Friday, May 27, 2016

More Ford F-150 recalls issued

2014 F-150 STX Sport Package
Ford has announced that it will recall approximately 271,000 F-150 pickups in North America. There are concerns over a potential fluid leak that could reduce braking power in the front brakes on the 2013 and 2014 models equipped with 3.5 liter V6 engines. Ford is aware of nine reported crashes without injuries. Notices will be sent out starting in July for affected vehicles or you may contact your local Ford dealer for more information. Dealers will replace the master cylinder and the brake booster, at no cost, if leaks are found.



2016 Ford F-150 King Ranch
Ford also issued a recall back in March 2016 on certain 2016 F-150 trucks manufactured April 27, 2015 to November 22, 2015 equipped with Multi-Contour Seats (MCS). This recall is for the front passenger seat air bag in affected trucks. The Occupant Classification System (OCS) that calibrates the air bag deployment level could possibly classify an adult as a child when the seat’s massage feature is activated. If this classification error occurs, the air bag on the front passenger side will not deploy during a crash, therefore increasing the risk of injury. Ford started notifying owners March 7, 2016. Dealers will update the Occupant Classification System Module (OCSM) with new software, free of charge, in affected trucks. If you feel your vehicle may be at risk, you may contact Ford customer service at 1-866-436-7332 and reference recall number 16S05.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Snow business in the spring?

2016 APWA North American Snow Conference
The 2016 APWA North American Snow Conference is the premier Event in Snow & Ice Management. The Snow Conference, hosted by the APWA New England Chapter, is being held at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, May 22-25th. The Show for Snow will bring together more than 2,000 snowfighters from all regions of the winter maintenance circle. The conference features an exhibit floor guaranteed to educate you with the newest snow related equipment and products, training programs and technical tours. It’s the best opportunity to network and exchange ideas with manufacturers, distributors, consultants, and other public works professionals. For more information about the 2016 Show for Snow, visit www.apwa.net/snow.

Even though Fleetwest will not be in attendance, we extend our warm Tempe sunshine to Hartford.

If your business is snow, then you won’t want to miss this show! 
2016 APWA North American Snow Conference


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Ford F-150 Safety Recall

Ford Emblem
Ford has issued a safety recall for 2011-2012 Ford F-150s due to a potential issue with the output speed sensor on the transmission lead frame. Ford says the transmission controls could force a temporary downshift into first gear under certain conditions. The recall notice goes on to say that depending on the speed of the vehicle during the downshift, the driver could experience an abrupt reduction in speed that could cause the rear tires to slide or lock up. A loss of vehicle control, which increases the risk of a crash, could occur under these circumstances.

Ford is aware of three reports of accidents with no injuries related to this situation. There are around 202,000 vehicles affected by the transmission recall that includes the 2012 Ford Expedition, Ford Mustang and the Lincoln Navigator.

These vehicles are equipped with a 6R80 transmission and include certain 2011-2012 Ford F-150 vehicles built at the Dearborn Assembly Plant and the Kansas City Assembly Plant from August 19, 2011 through March 9, 2012. As well as, 2012 Ford Expeditions built at the Kentucky Truck Plant from August 19, 2011 through December 19, 2011; Ford Mustangs built at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant from August 19, 2011 through February 21, 2012; and Lincoln Navigators built at the Kentucky Truck Plant from August 19, 2011 through December 17, 2011.

If you feel you may be affected by this recall, vehicle owners can call Ford at 866-436-7332 for more information; or go to Cars.com to find your local dealer for service. Dealers will inspect the powertrain control module for diagnostic trouble codes related to the issue. If no trouble codes are present, an update in the powertrain control module software will be provided to eliminate the condition. In addition, Ford will provide a one-time replacement of the lead frame at no charge within 10 years or 150,000 miles from the warranty start date.  If the trouble codes are present, then dealers will update the software needed and replace the lead frame at no cost to the customer.


If your work truck is a F-150 affected by this recall and you have a Fleetwest transferable truck body, there is no need to worry about technician downtime during repairs. Simply transfer your work truck body out of the F-150 and into another truck bed and in a matter of minutes your technician is back to work. Fleetwest has the innovative solutions to optimize your fleets’ evolution. 

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