Equipment Roundup: 2018 Chevy Silverado gets retro Big 10 conversion; Compact wheel loaders going head-to-head with CTLs, SSLs; Ford unveils 2018 F-150 diesel fuel economy; Cat updates PL61 pipelayer; Volvo unveils first electric truck

Updated Apr 24, 2018
Retro Big 10 Chevy Silverado 9

Volvo unveils the FL, the company’s first electric truck

Volvo Trucks recently introduced its first all-electric truck which will be used in pickup and delivery, refuse and recycling and other applications in Europe next year.

The Volvo FL, which offers up to a 186-mile range through a 185 kilowatt (248 horsepower) motor, can be charged in one to two hours with a DC fast charger or in 10 hours with AC charging.

“We’re immensely proud to present the first in a range of fully electrically-powered Volvo trucks ready for regular traffic. With this model we are making it possible for cities that aim for sustainable urban development to benefit from the advantages of electrified truck transports,” says Claes Nilsson, President Volvo Trucks.

Volvo reports that its zero emissions electric trucks can be used in indoor terminals and environmental zones, and the motor’s low noise levels allow for more nighttime jobs which means having fewer trucks on congested European streets during the day.


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Cat updates PL61 pipelayer with better maneuverability, improved fuel system

Caterpillar has introduced an updated version of its PL61 pipelayer that the company says offers improved performance and new safety features.

Powered by a Cat C4.4 ACERT Tier 4 Final engine delivering 130 horsepower, the PL61 provides 40,000 pounds of maximum load capacity in an easy to transport 128-inch width.

On the new model, Cat has improved the machine’s steering for faster response allowing for increased maneuverability on the pipeline. The new pipelayer also packs an improved fuel system which stands up better to lower quality fuel. A cold weather package is available on the machine, offering greater cab comfort and more reliable engine performance and starting in cold weather.


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2018 Ford F-150 with 3L Power Stroke will offer most half-ton diesel power and 30 mpg

A first-of-its-kind option on the company’s flagship F-150 pickup, Ford’s 3-liter Power Stroke diesel engine received an EPA-estimated rating of 30 miles per gallon highway, 22 mpg city and 25 mpg combined, Ford announced Thursday – the highest EPA-estimated rating available in a full-size pickup truck.

Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, product development and purchasing, lauded the work of Ford’s “crazy-smart” engineers in developing a segment best engine after more than a decade of work developing the engine, which is built from aluminum and compacted graphite iron for durability, reduced weight and torque.

“Even a few years ago, customers wouldn’t have imagined an EPA-estimated rating of 30 mpg highway would be possible in a full-size pickup,” he adds.


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Latest compact wheel loaders boast new abilities to compete with skid steers and CTLs

We’ve talked recently about the ongoing turf wars between compact track loaders and skid steer loaders. It turns out there’s a third combatant waiting to claim market share: compact wheel loaders.

As evidence of this trend, B.J. Meier, product specialist, compact wheel loaders, Caterpillar, says he encourages dealership sales personnel to bring along a compact wheel loader when demo’ing a skid steer. (We define “compact” here as we do in the Equipment World Spec Guide as machines with up to 90 horsepower.)

There are several traits that unite these machine types; perhaps the most obvious is the ability to work in tight quarters. In this respect, skid steers rule. The ability to counter-rotate and execute spin turns makes them the best in extremely confined areas. Compact track loaders can do spin turns, but that’s tough on tracks and undercarriage components and isn’t recommended. Still, the ability to use differential steering allows CTLs to make tight turns. Compact wheel loaders can’t counter-rotate the wheels, don’t have differential steering, and therefore have the widest turning radius. Of these three equipment types, they’re the least adept at navigating confined spaces. How much does this matter?

Not much, for two reasons.


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Retro 2018 Chevy Silverado Big 10 conversion proves two-tone truck styling is timeless

At least two Chevy dealerships in the U.S. and two in Canada are offering a retro Big 10 conversion on the 2018 Silverado which is quickly gaining traction among fans of the iconic truck.

Introduced in the early 1970s, the Cheyenne Super 10 is easy to spot thanks to its distinct two-tone paint job and Big 10 badging. Look for it again on this 2018 Silverado conversion which is being offered by at least two Chevy dealerships: Blake Greenfield Chevrolet Buick in Wells, Minn. and Valley Chevrolet in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.

Regardless who’s selling it (Blake Greenfield Chevy claims to be the first), the retro truck’s getting a lot of praise including a big endorsement from longtime Chevy devotee and retired NASCAR great, Dale Earnhardt, Jr.


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