Brian Straight

Managing Editor

Brian joined Fleet Owner in May 2008 after spending nearly 14 years as sports editor and then managing editor of several daily newspapers.  He and his staff  won more than two dozen major writing and editing awards. Responsible for editing, editorial production functions and deadlines.

Utilimaster takes a step up with low-entry Velocity platform

INDIANAPOLIS. Utilimaster has a history of introducing new vehicle bodies here at the Work Truck Show, most recently unveiling is Reach van four years ago. Today, Utilimaster added another option for work trucks with the Velocity walk-in van.

“This vehicle is a culmination of input from customers, innovation and a product of speed and excellence,” said John Forbes, president. “In our business, we’re very focused on our customers, responding to their needs… and the Velocity is in response to that.”

Ram adds CNG options to 2500 models

INDIANAPOLIS. Ram Trucks announced new compressed natural gas models for its 2500 models, going from one available model to four in the process.

The announcement was made on Wednesday at the NTEA’s Work Truck Show in Indianapolis by Becky Blanchard, director-Ram Brand. Blanchard also gave a brief overview of the product line, including improving sales numbers for the commercial lineup.

“One way we’ve been able to grow the business is through a commitment to [being] best in class,” she said.

Faster processing speed, new engine ratings among new International products

INDIANAPOLIS. Navistar International announced some new features on its Diamond Logic electrical system and provided a quick overview of its Uptime program during a press briefing Wednesday at the NTEA’s Work Truck Show.

Diamond Logic is getting a new body control module that offers six times the processing speed, 16 new inputs, three new data links and meets 500K baud regulatory standards, said David Hillman, general manager-vocational truck line for Navistar.

Chevrolet adds rear seat, “box delete” options to midsized Colorado

INDIANAPOLIS. Chevrolet has introduced new customization options for its 2015 Colorado midsized pickup this week at the 2015 Work Truck Show here.

The new “box delete” option is available immediately. It is the only such option offered in the midsized truck segment, the company said.

Freightliner awards Indianapolis as its first Hardest Working City winner

INDIANAPOLIS. Freightliner Trucks kicked off its Hardest Working Cities program by handing its first award to the city of Indianapolis.

“We see the economy is not only getting more jobs done, but it’s absolutely recovering,” said Richard Saward, general manager-vocational sales, in announcing the promotion.

The Hardest Working Cities program will recognize 4-6 cities each year that are finding ways to get the work done, he said.

Mercedes-Benz: The Metris is the right-sized van

INDIANAPOLIS. An enticing countdown on a large screen and the sounds of a distance thunderstorm kept the audience’s attention, building to the unveiling of the new Mercedes-Benz Vans USA Metris.

Mercedes-Benz unveils Metris commercial van

Mercedes-Benz unveiled its new Metris van this week at the NTEA's Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. The van will be available in October at dealerships in both cargo and passenger variations. The OEM also reviewed its Sprinter sales performance in 2014 as part of the press event.

Concerns aired as GHG Phase II regulation proposal nears

INDIANAPOLIS. Industry anticipating, and growing concern, is building as the release of the official proposed EPA Phase II regulations grow closer. Attendees at the Green Truck Summit here in Indy received a general outlook at what the EPA is looking towards when those rules are released “this spring,” according to Matthew Spears, center director of heavy-duty diesel programs for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Building a safer and more sustainable Navy

INDIANAPOLIS. The Green Truck Summit kicked off today with a decidedly military feel as keynote speaker Capt. Alex Stites, director of shore energy for the U.S. Navy, delivered an overview of the Navy’s alternative fuel and sustainability approach to a packed house here in Indianapolis.

Ford: “Big trucks are big fun”

INDIANAPOLIS. Ford Motor Co. harkened back to the days of yesteryear during its press conference Tuesday night to kick off the NTEA’s Work Truck Show here. Back to a time when kids played in the sandbox dreaming of one day owning their own construction vehicles. A time when the only concern was whether mom thought the ground was too wet to play outside.

Quite simply, it was a time of playing with Tonka trucks.

Ford Motor Co. showcase at NTEA Work Truck Show

Ford Motor Co. is showcasing its entire lineup of commercial vehicles at this week's NTEA Work Truck Show in Indianapolis. Ford said that it is the only manufacturer to offer a commercial solution in all classes from 1 through 7. Among the vehicles on display are the new F-650 and F-750 trucks and a specially-designed Tonka Truck F-750.

Drone deliveries may be grounded before ever lifting off

When the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued its framework of regulations that would limit unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), i.e. drones, it was immediately perceived as a major setback for Amazon, which desires to create a fleet of package delivery drones.

Golden State turning green 

From reusing rainwater to electric standby power for its refrigeration fleet, Golden State Foods (GSF) is making every effort possible to be a leader in environmental stewardship in the greater Chicago area. That includes the recent opening of a 158,000-sq.-ft. distribution center that is the company’s first ISO 14001 certified facility. It is also the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold distribution center (DC) in the GSF system.

February 18, 2015: Road salt destroying vehicles; city ignores road upkeep; finding solutions to the driver shortage

Here is a look at what is happening in the world of transportation today:                

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