Overhauling Medium-Duty Trucks

Medium-duty trucks are the unsung hero of the trucking industry. Often times these trucks and their drivers must operate in some of the hardest conditions to conduct this type of business. Medium-duty trucks tackle a variety of tasks across a multitude of industries often in high traffic environments with narrow roads and access or parking restrictions. But with many OEMs focusing on upgrades to their medium-duty models, fleets are getting an overhaul in their abilities to conduct business with confidence.

Increasing Fuel Efficiency

Many OEMs have begun focusing on making medium-duty trucks more fuel efficient. This often comes in the form of lighter overall weights and improvements to the engine. OEMs like Isuzu Trucks have made the move to gas engines over diesel engines. This is due to the comparatively low maintenance gas engines require compared to diesel engines with the latest emissions equipment.

Energy Diverse Offerings

In combination with diverse engine offerings, overall medium-duty trucks are getting improved diversity. The goal is to meet the varying needs of customers. Source energy options provide the customer the ability to purchase the right truck for their fleet needs. Fleets can choose if they want the benefits of diesel, the familiarity of spark-ignition, or the sustainability achievable with natural gas, hybrid or electric vehicles. By diversifying the options for medium-duty trucks, customers can evaluate their power and hauling needs in comparison to the total cost of ownership, energy costs and maintainability.

Transmission Offerings

Along with source energy and engine options, OEMs of medium-duty trucks are also diversifying the transmission style. The option between true automatic or manual, or a semi-automatic hybrid, provides the option of truck ideal for their drivers and delivery conditions. True automatic transmissions in medium-duty trucks support quicker route times and faster work cycles. They also continue to dominate as manuals decline in popularity due to lack of driver experience. True automatic transmissions also improve fuel efficiency, driver comfort and fleet productivity. This can also decrease the need for maintenance, extend service intervals and improve uptime. However, manual transmissions offer lower initial costs, and increased shift control.

Heavy-duty Features for Improved Performance

Heavy-duty trucks are the king of the road. They offer supreme driver comfort and advanced technology. But what if OEMs began to pull inspiration from heavy-duty specs for medium-duty trucks?

OEMs are recognizing the performance benefits of features like the compression release brakes and are applying them to medium-duty trucks. According to Gabe Roberts, director of product development at Jacobs Vehicle Systems in an interview with Fleet Equipment, “The increasing use of … technology is also a reflection of the higher loads, temperatures and pressures that are part of the design of modern, emissions compliant medium-duty diesel engines.”

Finding the right medium-duty trucks for your fleet can be a long and frustrating process. Similarly, the right truck can make or break fleet productivity and success. Before purchasing heavy-duty and medium-duty trucks, consider all aspects your fleet’s drivers, service schedule and budget, and business needs. For more information, or to find the perfect medium-duty trucks for your business, Nextran Truck Centers is here to help. With 16 locations across the southeast in Alabama, Georgia and Florida, we’re here to keep you moving forward.

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