Every year, truck buyers wait in anticipation to see what new bells and whistles will be introduced with the coming year’s models - and this year is no different. 2016 should usher in bigger bells and louder whistles, especially in the medium duty fleet truck category, which is the class and size of most knuckleboom trucks. Major work truck manufacturers, like Ram, Isuzu, Hino, Fuso, Kenworth, Freightliner, and even Ford (who is getting back into the medium duty fleet market), have many new “goodies” being released on their latest models. For those who need a solid chassis with the latest technology, the new 2016 models may be perfect for knuckleboom trucks, and many other types of work fleet trucks.

Upfitting Flexibility

One common necessity most truck manufacturers seem to be addressing, in order to fill the needs of many different industries, is the greater need for customization and upfitting. Manufacturers have found easier and less expensive ways of adding equipment, or upfitting vehicles at a later time, by using new ideas for chassis and body components, from the start. With a chassis designed to be modified, or to fit various types of service or work truck bodies, buyers will have an easier time obtaining the truck they need now, or in the future when looking for good used boom trucks.

Gas and Diesel to Gas Conversion

With the price of gas stabilizing, and the cost of diesel fuel rising, truck makers are finding the demand for gasoline engines on the rise, as well. Now, the need for a longer service life like that of a diesel, is more important than ever. To meet the needs of the medium duty truck buyer, manufacturers are developing durable and efficient gasoline engines, while continuing to improve their diesel to gasoline conversion technology. 

Telematics and On-Board Computerization

The benefits of telematic systems have been fully realized, with most companies using these systems to help them efficiently manage work truck fleets. Since this has become such an important option, particularly for medium-duty buyers due to the combination of highway miles and actual on the job hours most of these vehicles see, many truck manufacturers are beginning to offer these systems in their trucks.

Collision Protection and Improved Safety Features

Another area where truck buyers are spending money is on safety features, like crash prevention technology. Companies are seeing the benefit of training their staff on the use of this equipment. At the rate companies are adding crash prevention features to their existing vehicles because of their proven benefits, work truck designers are adding these safety items to their list of features more routinely, as the technology becomes available.

Overall Lower Cost of Ownership

Although all of the features referenced above equate to an added initial cost in some cases, it is important for truck buyers to understand the main goal truck manufacturers are reaching for. With the addition of these new features, and attention to things like flexibility in upfitting, safety and vehicle computerization, and performance monitoring, the goal is to build a truck with a lower cost of ownership over time, and that provides a longer service life. This is also good for buyers who may purchase these vehicles down the road, as used boom trucks.

Based on market research, and the manner in which companies are using and upfitting their fleet trucks, manufacturers have incorporated this information as a part of their plans for the latest medium-duty truck models. With some exciting new features and changes expected for 2016, buyers of work trucks, such as knuckleboom trucks, can expect to see some great ideas available to them soon. Whether a company's need is for boom trucks, or some other type of work or service trucks, the upcoming releases from some of the major manufacturers promise new and useful technology, along with a built-in reduced cost of ownership - something all fleet companies can get excited about!

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