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Work Truck Show heads for Indianapolis (with related video)

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The NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry, touts its annual Work Truck Show as “the must-attend event for the work-truck industry.” Given the size and scope of the event—and the trucks—the association has a strong point.

This year’s Work Truck Show, which takes place March 6-8 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, will feature 500,000 square feet of Class 1 through 8 vocational trucks and equipment from more than 550 exhibitors.

"The Work Truck Show is the premier event of the year for the vocational-truck industry," says Shawn Jacobs, NTEA 2013 Convention chairman and president and CEO of STS Trailer & Truck Equipment. "This is the one show vocational fleets from across North America return to every year to see the newest products and techniques to improve their operations. There's going to be something for everyone, including fleet managers, equipment buyers, maintenance personnel, manufacturers, distributors and dealers."

Government-fleet managers will be able to kick the tires, so to speak, on the latest truck chassis, truck bodies, snow- and ice-removal equipment, cranes and aerial devices, and material-handling equipment, and get answers to technical questions from the manufacturers.

They also will have an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of work-truck specifications, new products and best practices by choosing from the more than 60 educational sessions offered during the event.

Sessions will provide expert knowledge on critical topics such as truck specification and upfitting, industry trends and benchmarks, legislation and regulations, fleet management and life-cycle costing, and vehicle certification.

A number of educational sessions will highlight chassis updates from manufacturers such as Hino Trucks, Ram Commercial, Smith Electric Vehicles, Freightliner Trucks, Daimler Vans USA, Mack Trucks, Nissan North America and others.

Also of interest to government-fleet managers is the Fleet Management Symposium, which will take place March 5-6 (a ticket is required).

“Designed for all fleet-management professionals regardless of industry, the symposium focuses on best practices and strategies that dramatically impact your fleet, shop, parts, fuel and technology functions’ financial, operational and productivity performances,” according to the NTEA.

Kelly Walker, president of Kelly Walker Associates, and Bob Johnson, director of fleet relations for the NTEA, will present the symposium.

Green Focus

The educational component of the event includes 24 breakout sessions covering all aspects of green fleet technology and fuels, as part of the Green Truck Summit on March 5-6.

Held in conjunction with the Work Truck Show, the Green Truck Summit will feature nationally known experts on the deployment and application of sustainable technologies for commercial vehicles.

Government-fleet managers will be able to learn about the latest clean technologies and trends, deployment strategies, viable alternative fuels (including propane and natural gas) and upcoming green technologies for commercial trucks.

However, the green education won’t be limited to seminars. As part of the Work Truck Show’s free Green Truck Ride-and-Drive on March 6-7, attendees will be have the opportunity to test-drive more than 20 commercially viable advanced-hybrid and alternative-fuel vehicles in a real-world environment.

“Unlike some other new product test-drive events, the Green Truck Ride-and-Drive offers vehicles that are viable in the real world right now,” says the NTEA’s Johnson. “Drivers get to take real commercial vehicles out on actual city streets in order to get a true idea about how they perform. There’s no other event where you can get behind the wheel of so many cutting-edge vehicles like these on an open course.”

New technologies in this year’s Ride-and-Drive vehicles will include high-efficiency engines, hybrid powertrains, alternative-fuel systems, noise-reduction systems, as well as lightweight, aerodynamic bodies. The broad spectrum of vehicle-power systems represented will include diesel, compressed natural gas, autogas (propane), bi-fuel, hydraulic hybrid and electric-hybrid (series and parallel).

Lee Styslinger, III, chairman and CEO of Altec Inc., will kick off the 2013 Green Truck Summit on March 5 with the keynote address.

Michael Pacheco, associate laboratory director for deployment and market transformation at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, will deliver the summit’s keynote address on March 6.

Jeff Foxworthy

While the trucks will deliver the innovation and muscle, comedian Jeff Foxworthy will deliver the laughs.

Foxworthy, who rose to popularity with his redneck jokes and “Blue Collar TV” series, will be the keynote entertainer for the 2013 Work Truck Show. The comedian will address attendees at the President’s Breakfast and NTEA Annual Meeting on March 7, during which he will share his humor and experiences from a successful 27-year career in the entertainment industry.

Foxworthy’s comedy won’t be the only dose of fun during the event. On March 5, attendees will have an opportunity to visit Lucas Oil Stadium—home of the Indianapolis Colts—during the opening reception. The stadium, which boasts spectacular views of the Indianapolis skyline, is the venue for the 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four, the 2011-2015 Big Ten Football Championships and many other world-class events.

See highlights from the 2012 Work Truck Show in this video.

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