trucks

trucks

  A truck is a motor vehicle for transporting goods. The word "truck" comes from the Greek "trochos", meaning "wheel". In America, the big wheels of wagons were called trucks. When the petrol engine driven trucks came into fashion, these were called "motortrucks". Slowly the word motor in front of truck disappeared.

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Toyota announced the 2014 Tacoma’s updates and revised pricing this week, and the best-selling Tacoma line actually has some meaningful interior tech for the new model year. Very modest price increases average only about $100 per model, so this is still one of the toughest-ever pickup trucks in its price range of $17,875 up to $28,000.

Available with three cab lengths, multiple bed sizes and plenty of trim levels: buying a Tacoma still takes some research to identify the best one for your needs. From stripped-out white work trucks up to the Baja-ready TRD Sport and TRD Off-road Double Cab models, the Tacoma range has something for everybody.

On the market since 2005 with a few nips/tucks along the way, the current-generation Tacoma is nicely styled but showing its age a bit with the giant clear headlamps and much less chrome up front than the F-150 and Silverado offer customers. The Tacoma is one of the top five most-supported vehicles on the aftermarket, with dozens of firms offering catalogs full of upgraded parts and equipment - so the lights are easily updated that way.

Toyota even gets involved heavily with the accessories and post-sale modifications, which means there is a bolt-on TRD Supercharger that can be bought and installed right from any local Toyota dealer - giving this pickup truck 320 pound-feet of torque and 296 horsepower from the 4.0 V-6 engine.

How does the refreshed Tacoma’s cabin tech rank versus the cheapest Ford F-150 ’s or the Nissan Frontier ?

Click past the jump for all the official updates and info about the 2014 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck line, which seats up to five people in its largest body style.

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The Local Motors Rally Fighter is still going strong two years after the first deliveries of this 2000-unit purpose-built off-road racer’s production run. With 50-state compliance on lighting and emissions, the road-legal Rally Fighter runs a 6.2-liter V-8 to the giant rear wheels before reaching a tire-limited top speed of 131 mph.

Available for special orders from anywhere on the globe, the Rally Fighter is one of the most unique and exciting launch models from a new manufacturer. Outside the muddy ruts of the English countryside and the mutant Land Rovers , like the Bowler EXR-S and RallyRaid DW3 , most new supercar ventures are focused on the 6-lane drag strips of central Dubai.

Local Motors takes a totally different path, with its unique engineering and prototype method leveraging the passion and skills of the internet to draw in R&D talent from across the world.

The result is a steel space frame and crash cage that looks Armageddon-proof, and suspension travel and off-road prowess to stop a 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor Special Edition in its tracks. The final piece of the Rally Fighter puzzle is this: styling so otherworldly that it causes more of a stir in traffic than taking the Gravedigger monster truck to the grocery store.

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2013 Local Motors Rally Fighter, including a mega image gallery, links to the new online configurator, and info on how to order your own custom version of this off-road beast.

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Ford ’s all-new 2014 Transit Connect has broken cover ahead of its arrival in American showrooms during the first quarter of 2014. Big changes to the TC commercial van mean it now offers a long-wheelbase version and an EcoBoost power upgrade. The new model’s fuel economy is expected to easily top 30 mpg on the highway, with base pricing around just $23,000.

The Transit Connect now comes in commercial or passenger flavors, with the passenger model called the TC Wagon and the panel van called the Cargo. This new generation of Transit Connect brings a major overhaul in interior comfort and technology, while also bringing a slightly cool boy-racer image to the TC Cargo’s boxy styling.

The low ride height and sporty nose are the first items to make an impression, and both are a quantum leap ahead of the jutting nose of the current models. Still a front-drive configuration, the TC Cargo now has twin sliding doors and a choice of tailgate designs. Inside the customizable back cab, a large jump in practicality means both more cubic-feet of space and a much greater payload than ever offered before on the Transit Connect.

The Transit Connect will be followed to market by the company’s next-gen, full-size work van – the rear-drive Ford Transit – that is scheduled to arrive in dealers in spring 2014.

The Ford Transit Connect Cargo must duke it out with the Nissan NV200 , Chevrolet City Express and the Ram Cargo Van for small business sales.

Are the Ford ’s sporty new looks, extra space and a redesigned cockpit enough for the TC Cargo to sweep the fleet van championship?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ford Transit Connect Cargo, with all the latest information from Ford on the van’s specifications and new EcoBoost engine option.

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Rising gas prices and dwindling oil reserves have more manufacturers looking for alternative fuels to get us by, and until fuel cell or all-electric vehicles become a cost-effective alternatives, the best option to date is compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquid petroleum gas (LPG). Ford is dipping its toes into the CNG and LPG pool, as it has just announced that the 2014 F-150 will be offered with CNG and LPG options. Unfortunately, these options won’t be offered from factory, as customers will have a Ford Qualified Vehicle Modifier install the new fuel system.

Ford will, however, modify the 3.7-liter V-6 engine with a gaseous-fuel prep package that includes hardened valves, valve seats, pistons and rings. This optional package runs $315 on top of the base MSRP, then the customer will head off to the modifier to have the LPG or CNG system installed. Depending on the fuel tank size, the final conversion procedure costs between $7,500 and $9,500. Sure, that’s a huge investment, but CNG-converted trucks show a quick return on investment, as the average CNG price in the U.S. is $2.11 per gallon and in some cases, it is as little as $1 per gallon and the F-150 can run up to 750 miles with a single tank of CNG.

CNG-capable F-150s will come with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine, but Ford has not released its specifications when powered by CNG.

This option makes Ford the only manufacturer with an available CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup. Ford also plans to add the CNG/LPG option to eight more commercial vehicles in the next year.

Click past the jump to read more about the standard Ford F-150.

Callaway Cars is best known for tuning Chevrolet and other GM models, and pushing them to unworldly numbers, but its history goes beyond just GM models. It has also taken BMW , VW , Porsche , Audi Mercedes-Benz , Aston Martin and many other models under its tuning wing. To be perfectly honest, though, most tuning enthusiasts consider Callaway a Chevy tuner.

Well, with the 2014 Silverado bringing a new generation to the legendary line of pickup trucks, it was only a matter of time before Callaway laid its tuning hands upon the model. Callaway is currently piecing together its version of the Silverado and anticipates the 5.3-liter engine to exceed 450 horsepower and the range-topping 6.2-liter V-8 to crest the 540-horsepower mark. These increases amount to minimal gains of 95 horsepower in model’s with a 5.3-liter engine and an estimated 120 horsepower in the 6.2-liter engine.

The biggest addition to the 2014 Callaway Silverado is a supercharger, but the tune will also include some electrical updates and a computer remap. Buyers will also have several optional features available, including: wheels and tires, suspension updates, interior refinements, body modifications, Honker intake systems and DD exhaust systems.

In the released image, we can see that there aren’t many additions to the body thus far. All we can see are some "Callaway" badges and some shiny, new rims.

This makes the second 2014 GM model that Callaway is working on, as earlier this year we got a look at the 2014 Corvette Stingray Aerowagon Concept . Whether you think it is blasphemy or the baddest Corvette mod you’ve ever seen, we can all agree that it is a dramatic sight.

More details will follow, but it looks like even though Chevy likely won’t offer up a competitor for the 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor or the 2014 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor models, at least Callaway will offer up a version that provides some competition.

Update 8/14/2013: Callaway has successfully installed its supercharger setup on the 5.3-liter Eco-Tec engine. There were some electrical issues that the tuner had to overcome, but after a few drive cycles it was working just fine. Callaway will release the final horsepower and torque specs soon. Callaway did announce that its tuning kit for the Silverado will start at $17,395.

Click past the jump to read more about the 2014 Chevrolet Silverado

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A monster 6.4-liter V-8 joins the Ram Heavy Duty ranks for 2014 along with two new air suspension designs for the rear ends of the 2500HD and 3500HD. Big motors and soft rides make sense at some of these hefty entry prices.

In bottom Tradesman trim, the 2500HD is a capable hauler with new fifth-wheel towing abilities but a stripped interior. In top trims, the Ram 3500HD Cummins diesel can do all the dirty work and heavy lifting. The goal of the both 2014 Ram HD series models is to do all this with new levels of cabin tech, quietness and ride comfort.

There are typically big trade-offs when moving from the half-ton class upwards. The new Ram HD line aims to literally smooth some of the edges from one of its most distinctive vehicles and make it an easy – but pricey – transition to a real work truck.

Paired with the big purchase price comes some of the most capable and sophisticated technology ever to grace one of these full-size middleweights.

Where Ram Trucks loses points for the generic Ram HD name, it regains face with 2014’s new intake design called… Ram Active Air – or just Ram Air for short.

How do the Ram HD trucks carve out appeal beyond bragging rights for best-in-class towing and cargo loads? Is the evolutionary look too cautious in the face of the Chevrolet Silverado HD 2500 and the Ford F-250 SuperDuty ?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Ram 2500HD and 3500 HD pick-up trucks with details on all the latest changes and updates.

Updated 10/23/2013: This article has been updated with the latest specs, photos and even full 2500HC and 3500HD Tow Charts, in downloadable PDF form from Ram Trucks.

New-for-2014 Laramie Limited and Outdoorsman trims also join the Ram Heavy Duty line, with high-res images of both new trucks after the jump.

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The full-size van segment is facing a big shakeup at the moment. Mind you, the standards for improvement are pretty low – these vans skipped all the manners and refinement courses undergone by their pickup-truck siblings, like the Ford F-150 and Chevrolet Silverado .

New competition from the Nissan NV , Ram CV, Mercedes Sprinter and the upcoming full-size Ford Transit means the Express will have to work harder than ever to maintain its huge 44-plus-percent market share in the segment.

In addition to far more modern options from Dodge and soon Ford, the full-size segment is under assault from above via pricier pickup trucks and from below via the Ford Transit Connect and other urban commercial runabouts. Despite the challengers, the Express logged nearly 77,000 sales in the U.S. in 2012.

So, the Chevrolet Express is long past its glory years where it represented the most sophisticated and modern full-size van available in the U.S. Despite seeming like it’s been around for eternity and beyond, the Express debuted in 1996 to rave reviews by thousands of contractors, conversion van companies and Church groups happy to have (slightly) more refinement than the previous models and the competition of the time.

No one will argue that 17 years is a long time on the market, but its tenure on dealer lots means the Express is both super affordable and also mechanically customizable with four engines, passenger or cargo setups, multiple wheelbases and a myriad of other options.

How does the Chevrolet Express stack up to the latest buyer priorities, and comfort and safety demands? Can its low price and spray-clean cargo area overcome the harsh ride, unbelievably bad seats and almost complete lack of modern interior tech?

Click past the jump for the full review of the Chevrolet Express.

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There’s a big shakeup taking place in the full-size van and truck market as Ford prepares to replace its wretched Econoline with a far superior vehicle called the Transit. At first, the setup for the new Transit seems all wrong, as a uni-body is the polar opposite of the traditional body-on-frame truck construction.

The Transit is indeed a big change for a group of hard-working van buyers who are scarily familiar with all the gritty details of the Econolines they’ve run for the last 50 years. The Transit, at first, looks like a botched Euro import, but in fact, Ford’s spent years of planning, engineering and customizing the global Transit line to make sure it answers every question asked of the Econoline by American van buyers.

Part of the admirable and smart “One Ford” strategy, the Dearborn teams take a long, hard look at which of their worldwide models is best fit to tackle global challenges. In the case of the Mustang , it turns out Europe has been clamoring for it all along, so the next-gen car will be sold in Europe and in many more global markets than ever before. In the case of the large commercial van market, the Transit is simply a far better model than the Econoline in terms of fitness for purpose, modern safety and efficiency needs.

Yes, it is a V-6 uni-body without off-road options or the four-wheel-drive system of some Econolines. As we’ll discover over the full review of the lineup, these things bring only benefits but keep the core attributes: a dozen plus different body styles and engine configurations, massive passenger or cargo payload ratings, better performance and economy, more comfort, more tech and finally, more safety.

As Ford educates and comforts the long-trenched Econoline market, the two models will briefly overlap before the eventual phase-out of the E-series altogether after 2015. Let me be the first to say it: good riddance Econoline!

Click past the jump for the full review and image gallery of the 2014 Ford Transit.

If our love affair with the Ford Raptor isn’t quite clear, please allow us to let you know that we think it is one of the most bad-ass trucks ever built. It not only has a 6.2-liter V-8 engine with a mean 411 horsepower and 434 pound-feet of torque that gets it to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, but it is also built to handle some of the meanest terrain you could imagine driving a street-legal truck on.

Well, we apparently aren’t the only ones that fell in love with it, as a one was displayed at the Cipate Police Equipment Exhibition in Beijing, China. And this is no normal Raptor, as Haiqiao Industry removed the bed and put a massive RV-like cab on the backside.

So, why would a police vehicle need a cab? Well, this particular model is designed for long-distance border patrol in China. Inside this massive cab is a bed, so the officer can take a much-needed break after a long shift; a cooking set, so the patrolling officer is properly fed; and a set of red seats for taking a load of comfortably.

This Raptor isn’t all comfort either, as it comes with the standard police equipment, including: search lights, a light bar and a speaker.

What makes this even more interesting is that the Raptor isn’t even available in China . Nope, Haiqiao gets them shipped in on the “grey market” from California and dresses them up for the government. It seems odd for a Government to purchase grey market vehicles, but so be it.

This particular model runs 1.3 million Chinese Yuan ($211,500) and only the Chinese government can purchase them for now, but the company is debating opening up to the civilian market.

Click past the jump to read about the 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

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In most of the countries, the trucking sector dominates the commercial transportation industry, and the U.S., of course, is no exception, as previous studies reveal that more that 83 percent of all transportation is made by trucks. They deliver everything from food to clothes and bicycles to motor vehicles.

In the U.S. alone, there are a total of 3 million registered class-8 trucks (18 wheelers), meaning a total of 54 million individual truck tires are required by all of them. These trucks travel about 11,609 miles a second, meaning that each year the 3 million trucks go around the Earth about 14.7 million times. That’s a whole lot of hauling!

On average, a class-8 truck needs 9.3 gallons of fuel per hour, while driving at speeds of 65 mph. By doing a little math you will see that the trucking industry requires 52,300 million gallons of fuel per year.

While it requires lots of resources, the trucking industry is paying a total of $35 billion just in Federal, State and Highway use taxes alone. Needless to say, just these statistics show just how necessary the trucking industry is.

Click past the jump to read the full infographic on the trucking industry and the impact it makes.


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