Hooniverse Goes To The NTEA Work Truck Show

Hooniverse Truck Thursdays has been growing in popularity among our vast and ever expanding fan base. It is one of the features that helps distinguish Hooniverse from any other car based on-line blog, along with Two-Wheel Tuesday, Modern Art Monday, The Hooniverse Podcast, and the always popular Encyclopedia Hoonatica.

With this in mind, I will be attending the National Truck and Equipment Association (NTEA) Work Truck Show next week, in the beautiful city of Indianapolis, Indiana. The show encapsulates almost 500,000 square feet, and includes displays for work trucks, vocational equipment, and related products.

I will be there for the unveiling of the new Mitsubishi Fuso Canter line of Cab-Forward work and delivery trucks, which will include a new 6-speed Automated Manual Transmission. Also making its debut will be the new Hino Cab-Forward truck with a more powerful engine, and a 6-speed Automatic, along with their new Hybrid Cab-Forward truck. There is suppose to be other announcements at the show, and there should be production versions of the new Nissan NV (Their Commercial Panel Van to compete with the Sprinter, and Econoline), The International Terra-Star (A direct competitor to the Ford F-450 and F-550), and more.

They are setting up specific ride-drive sessions for members of the media, and I will report on as many of these as I can. I will be among the first to drive both the new Fuso and Hino models, so this will be a Hooniverse Exclusive. Be on the lookout all next week as I will be in Indy all week.

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  1. Feds_II Avatar

    Oh very excited. There's a FUSO LCF dealer nearby, and I am lately wondering what the downside of using one of the crew cab models for a daily driver would be. Lots of width for car seats to be sure.
    Also, talk to me about any Forward Control mini-trucks that show up. So far Canada is only allowing battery powered versions, or 15 year old JDMs. I'd like to find someone to supply gas powered Vantages/etc.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      Are they light enough to squeak by under the restrictions set out in the G license, or do you have something higher? Either way, there's probably not much downside that you wouldn't get from a quad-cab dually.

      1. Feds_II Avatar

        G License is pretty permissive as long as the truck has hydraulic brakes, and you write "Not for Hire" on the side to avoid CVOR regs.

        1. Paul_y Avatar

          As I understand, in most of the US, anybody can drive anything with a GVWR under 26000lb as long as it's not for commercial purposes. That includes Class 7 trucks.
          I have, at different times, considered getting a cabover Isuzu stakebed.

          1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
            Peter Tanshanomi

            Haven't we all?

  2. Smells_Homeless Avatar

    Funny, as I'll be attending Indy as well. Of course, I always attend Indy because it's where my house is. Let me know if you need pointers to the good stuff.

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      Jim, I'm with Mr. Smells_Homeless, hit me up if you need to cool places to check out!

  3. Deartháir Avatar

    I have wanted to get a cab-forward work truck and throw a pickup bed on the back, just purely so I can have something decidedly different than all the other pickup trucks running around here. Mind you, if I were to do that, I'd probably just camperize it and call it done.

  4. James Avatar

    The company I work for could really use a Kei sized truck, with a roll-back bed and a ~500lb load capacity.
    We sell and repair scooters, and as it is now, when we have to go pick up a broken down scooter, we have to send two people out to roll the scooter up a ramp into the back of our Ford F150.
    And since there's only two employees there most of the time, it means closing down the store. Being able to pick up a scooter solo would be huge for our business.
    We have very limited garage space to store a truck. Our F150 gets vandalized all the time sitting outside at night. A Kei sized truck, we could pull into the garage at night and keep it safe.
    Too bad DOT and EPA won't let us bring one in…

    1. P161911 Avatar

      Have you considered just getting a crane or tommy-lift for the F-150? You can bring in a Kei truck, you just can't legally drive it on the road.

      1. OA5599 Avatar

        Or, if cost is an issue, get a small landscaping/golf cart/motorcycle trailer for a couple hundred bucks. They have a low loading height and a permanent (or at least stable) ramp.
        Park the trailer inside the shop at night, I'd say use the F-150 as a commuter vehicle, but I guess that's not the point of a scooter store.

    2. theeastbaykid Avatar

      I'm surprised no one has brought up my personal favorite motorcycle/scooter-into-truck solution: bag the truck. This will solve your problem and be totally gangsta. <img src="http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/32/l_6188c4682f22e5c1161b3a06175c1721.jpg&quot; width="600">

      1. Paul_y Avatar

        I like the cut of your jib.

    3. Smells_Homeless Avatar

      I think I just heard someone say "I need an ElCamino."

  5. Deartháir Avatar

    Eggsalad has a great point. Even just a two-by-four out of a Transit would make things a whole lot easier. And it's probably small enough to pull inside.
    I have to wonder about Canadian grey-market imported Kei trucks. They've been around for long enough that I wonder if a.) it's possible to bring something in under NAFTA rules that are legal in Canada, or b.) there are some older ones that would be allowable under the 25-year rules down there.

    1. P161911 Avatar

      You actually see a fair number of newish (less than 15 yr old) Kei trucks in the US now. They are legal to import and own, just not drive on the roads. They are usually marketed as farm or large property maintenance vehicles. Sort of an alternative to the golf cart type trucks or something like a John Deer Gator. Here is a good comparison for the US market for Kei trucks: http://www.buckeyeminitrucks.com/Japanese Mini%…..
      You MIGHT be able to street register a 25 year old one, I know I have seen a few Honda City and the like with license plates in the US.

      1. Hopman Avatar

        I know of a guy who has a cab-forward Suzuki Caryy that lives around the Manchester, NH area. His has a 1.2 3 cylender, is 4×4 AND has a 6-speed stick!!!
        They ARE legal to drive on the roads, but you have to make a few mods like adding marker lights and rasing the height.
        PS: It's nice to see the Altec banner on the main shot. My dad works for them as a mobile service tech.

      2. Feds_II Avatar

        The regs vary state-to-state on the mini trucks. Some states are classifying them as low speed vehicles, which is really pissing off the IIHS.
        [youtube roLcNwRi1Sk http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roLcNwRi1Sk youtube]

        1. P161911 Avatar

          For what it's worth that is a Chinese mini-truck. Most of the Kei trucks that I have seen for sale here are Japanese, a few have even had airbags.

  6. Abe Avatar

    @ James I'm an Assistive Technology Proffessional who has been around the scooter/power wheelchair industry for a while. Have you looked into getting a hitch mounted lift from Harmar? They are pretty inexpensive, tough and fold flat against the back of the truck when not in use. If tailgate access is a must they offer a swingaway option. Check them out http://www.harmarmobility.com/products/itemDetail… . Oh and best of all they are still made n the USA.

  7. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    I drove the Nissan NV in Miami a few weeks ago… better than I thought. The 4.0-liter pulls plenty hard but the 5.6 is a beast. In the high-roof, I can stand straight up… which is pretty good since I am 6'3".
    It will be a tough market to crack, but Nissan is working hard to install serious support at the dealer level…

    1. Maymar Avatar

      For one of my jobs, I have to drive a Chevy Express, so I'm aching to try out the NV (or, you know, anything designed this century). Admittedly, being even bigger, it's probably the wrong tool for the job, but given the company's one size fits all policy for fleet vehicles, it's more likely they'd choose it over the Transit Connect.
      Granted, as a part-timer, it's not even remotely close to my say, but it still feels relevant.

  8. citroen67 Avatar

    I love shows like this. I am going to the Mid-America Truck Show in Louisville, KY at the end of this month. If you would like, I can provide a huge batch of pics for Truck Thursday…