Top Picks from the 2018 Work Truck Show

March 09, 2018 by Ryan ZumMallen

It would be an understatement to say the 2018 Work Truck Show, held in Indianapolis, was busy. The show featured the most exhibitor press conferences and product unveilings since its 1964 founding.

General Motors re-introduced itself to the medium duty segment and Ford showed the cargo version of its new small van. Navistar International Corp. rounded out its refreshed lineup with a new International and Toyota’s Hino Trucks subsidiary made its grand entrance to Class 8 trucks. Fuso made the case for its new gasoline engines in Class 4-5. There was even a Nissan Titan pickup truck modified for the ultimate tailgating experience.

Chevrolet Silverado medium duty truck

Chevrolet Silverado 6500. (Photo: Chevrolet) navigated the crowded show floor to identify the cream of the crop. Here are five of the top new vehicles from the show:

  1. Chevrolet Silverado 4500-6500HD

GM’s return to medium duty has been a long time coming. Its departure back in 2009 essentially left the segment to Ford and Ram. Chevrolet dealers are celebrating the arrival of the 2019 Silverado 4500HD, 5500HD and 6500HD because they haven’t had a Class 4-6 product to offer in nearly a decade. The truck has a 6.6-liter turbodiesel Duramax engine with 350 horsepower and 700 pound-feet of torque and a frame that is completely flat on top to ease upfitting. Ford currently holds a dominant sales lead in the Class 4-5 segments and production on the Silverado trucks won’t begin until late 2018, but GM likely has a long-term strategy in place, said Steve Tam, an analyst with ACT Research.

International MV work truck.

International MV work truck. (Photo: Jerry Hirsch/

  1. International MV

The International MV medium-duty truck is the fourth new vehicle introduced by Navistar in the last 18 months, completing the company’s strategy to refresh its lineup. The new MV replaces the DuraStar work truck and offers two Cummins engines with up to 360 horsepower and 1,000 pound-feet of torque. Production is already underway and customers will begin to take delivery in the spring.

Hino XL8

Hino XL8. (Photo: Ryan ZumMallen/

  1. Hino XL Series

Toyota will have a stake in the Class 7-8 market as its subsidiary Hino Trucks unveiled the XL7 and XL8 heavy-duty trucks to compete with Freightliner, Kenworth, Mack and others. New entries in Class 8 are rare, and Hino is enlisting the help of proven trucking commodities such as Dana axles, Hendrickson suspension and Bendix brakes. The engine is Hino’s own A09 turbodiesel, which is currently in use in other trucks around the world. Competition in this market is fierce, but Hino has a strong reputation thanks to its current Class 4-7 trucks and association with Toyota. The company plans to build 2,500 Class 7-8 trucks next year once its new plant in Mineral Wells, W. Va. comes online.

Ford Transit Connect cargo van. (

Ford Transit Connect cargo van. (Photo: Ford)

  1. Ford Transit Connect Cargo

One month after showing the passenger wagon version, Ford unveiled its 2019 Transit Connect Cargo Van in Indianapolis. Like the wagon, the cargo van will offer the first diesel engine in the segment – a 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel that the company expects to be rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at more than 30 mpg on the highway. Two four-cylinder gasoline engines, a 2.0-liter and a 2.5-liter, will also be available. Along with a new design, the 2019 Transit Connect Cargo Van comes standard with automatic emergency braking, a 4G LTE Wi-Fi connection and an eight-speed transmission. The van can be ordered in short-wheelbase or long-wheelbase configurations with either dual rear doors or an optional liftgate.

Fuso’s new gas-powered FE cabover truck.

Fuso’s new gas-powered FE cabover truck. (Photo: Fuso)

  1. Fuso Cabover

Daimler’s Fuso brand is looking to capitalize on the growing trend of gasoline engines in Class 4-5 with its new gas-powered cabover trucks. The FE140, FE160 and FE180 will be powered by a 6-liter V8 engine making 291 horsepower and 351 pound-feet of torque. About 40 percent of the medium duty market consists of gasoline engines, the company said. The new models are expected to be 2-6 percent more efficient than competitor trucks and will be available later this year.

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