Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Thieman Railgates

California Work Trucks is an authorized distributor for Thieman Liftgates. 

This Thieman railgate is on a 12' Stakebed. The railgate is a liftgate but has "rails" that the platform rides up and down in. They are typically mounted on cargo boxes and stakebeds.

You can find more about Thieman Liftgates at:

Whatever your liftgate needs, give us a call at 510-477-8425 and please visit our new website at

Monday, October 28, 2013

Get Outfitted with a Warn Winch

When you're out in the field doing work, winches can be one of the best options to have whether you're pulling yourself out of a situation or helping someone else. This picture shows a Warn Winch with Brush Guard being installed .

California Work Trucks is located at 930 Whipple Road in Union City, CA. Call us at 510-477-8425. See more soon at

Find Warn Winches at 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Gasoline or diesel: Which engine type works best for Class 3-4 truck applications?

Choosing between gasoline- or diesel-powered trucks requires striking the right balance between performance, fuel efficiency, and budget.

This is an age-old question without a clear-cut winner. Each offers advantages and limitations. The key is determining exactly how the truck will be used and then selecting the engine type that strikes the right balance between performance, fuel efficiency, and budget.

What factors should fleet managers consider when deciding between gasoline and diesel engines in Class 3-4 (10,001- to 16,000-lb. gross vehicle weight rating) trucks? Here are nine points to serve as a guide:

1. Fuel Efficiency

Advantage: Diesel
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, diesel engines offer 30- to 35-percent greater fuel economy than comparable gasoline engines.
"By design, diesel engines operate with a combustion process that's leaner, burning less fuel than a conventional spark ignition (gasoline) engine," explained Roger Gault, technical director, Truck & Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), a trade association representing worldwide manufacturers of internal combustion engines used in applications such as trucks and buses; farm and construction equipment; locomotives; marine vessels; and lawn, garden, and utility equipment.

Diesel fuel also has higher energy density than gasoline, which means less fuel is required to generate the same power as gas, improving overall fuel economy.

2. Acquisition Cost

Advantage: Gasoline
The diesel engine's fuel efficiency advantage, however, must also be weighed with its bigger price tag. In Class 3-4 trucks, the incremental cost for the diesel engine is between $5,000 to $8,000 or more than its gasoline counterparts. The diesel/gasoline price gap has nearly doubled over the last seven years due to the exhaust after-treatment technologies developed to comply with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations for diesel emissions (in 2004, 2007, and 2010).

Will the truck be driven a sufficient number of miles per year to recoup the higher up-front cost for the diesel engine with fuel economy savings? A general rule of thumb for a mileage break point is 30,000 annual miles. Above that number, diesel usually makes financial sense. At or below 30,000 miles, gasoline is a viable lower-cost option. Run a fuel-cost/comparison analysis specific to your truck's application to calculate the payback period to assess whether the diesel engine will generate cost savings, within an acceptable timeframe.

3. Fuel Cost Per Gallon

Advantage: Gasoline
"Over the past ten years, diesel has averaged nearly 14 cents more per gallon than unleaded gasoline," said Steve Jansen, truck services account executive, Donlen, a Northbrook, Ill.-based fleet leasing and management company. "At its peak in December of 2008, diesel cost averaged more than 76 cents per gallon more than gasoline. Historically, diesel has been more expensive per gallon as a result of higher taxes and environmental restrictions."

Another benefit of gasoline is availability, according to Michael Macik, a strategic consulting analyst for ARI. "There are certain areas where stations do not necessarily have a diesel pump," he noted. "This could hamper drivers' productivity if they are spending too much time looking for places to fill up."

4. Maintenance Cost

Advantage: Gasoline
"Over time, regular maintenance on a diesel generally will cost more than a gasoline engine," Jansen said. "The diesel engine has components that are either not found on a gasoline engine or require servicing more often. The oil reservoir is larger in a diesel engine and the water separator and fuel filters will require replacement more often. Gasoline engines have longer service intervals for engine oil, spark plugs, and engine coolant."

Gault of EMA agreed: "I think there tends to be greater maintenance with the diesel. Oil capacities tend to be higher. So, if the oil change interval is the same and you have 50 percent more oil in the diesel, then that tends to be more expensive than the gasoline. Also, historically, there has been more maintenance with diesel fuel systems - such as changing filters more frequently."

5. Engine Longevity

Advantage: Diesel
As a frame of reference, according to Brian Tabel, retail marketing manager for Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, the design life of the gasoline engine for Isuzu's NPR cab-forward is 200,000; the diesel engine is B-10 rated for 310,000 miles.

Why are diesel engines expected to last substantially longer than comparable gasoline engines?

"Diesel engines have high-compression ratios and high cylinder pressure and, as a result, require sturdier engine parts - for example, block and cylinder heads, valves, crankshaft, and pistons," said Jansen of Donlen. "This is necessary to dissipate the higher engine temperatures and the higher compression ratios attained in a diesel engine. Also, a diesel engine's exhaust system will outlast a gas engine exhaust system because diesel fuel exhaust is not as corrosive as gasoline engine exhaust."

Gault of EMA pointed to the diesel engine's operating efficiency as another key to its longevity. "The diesel achieves higher torque at much lower speed, so it's operating at much lower rpm [revolutions per minute], a greater percentage of the time than gasoline engines. And the lower engine speed translates into fewer times a piston has to move up and down, the fewer times a valve must close, and so forth. All these things happen lots of times, but not quite as often as it does in a gasoline engine - and that impacts overall life."

6. Trailering

Advantage: Diesel
"The diesel engine is a more suitable choice if towing capacity is critical to your operation," Jansen of Donlen advised. "The torque advantage of diesel engines is better suited for pulling heavy loads up steep grades. The relatively high-compression ratio necessary to ignite the diesel fuel (17:1 diesel versus 9:1 gasoline), allows the diesel engine to generate all its torque and power at a lower rpm."

Macik of ARI agrees. "It's all about using the right tool for the job," he said.  "While appropriate for certain demands, using a gasoline truck for heavy towing in most cases will result in significantly reduced engine life and increased gasoline consumption."

Do the truck's towing requirements necessitate a diesel engine? Or will a gasoline engine work fine? Consult the manufacturer's rep or fleet advisor for max trailer ratings of the vehicle and engine type under consideration.

7. Specialty Body/Equipment Options

Advantage: Depends on upfit requirements
Are there body or equipment considerations with gasoline versus diesel?

"Yes, normally with diesel engines, depending on manufacturer, the DEF [diesel exhaust fluid] tank or exhaust pipe may need to be relocated to accommodate equipment," Jansen answered. "In regards to PTO provision availability, normally a PTO prep option is available with diesel engines only. However in recent years, depending on the manufacturer, PTO provisions are being offered on gasoline engines as well."

If your truck equipment requires a PTO, contact the truck manufacturer's rep to confirm the gas truck availability. This will save time and headaches up front, should the gas engine prove incompatible.


8. Disposition/Resale

Advantage: Diesel
Which is better for resale values? "The market perceives that a diesel-powered truck with 150,000 miles on it has much more remaining useful life than a gasoline-powered truck with comparable miles. And therefore, the diesel commands a higher price," Jansen of Donlen said.

Macik agrees and added that "there's such a variety of companies and industries that legitimately need diesel trucks for towing and increased payload. Many of these companies are smaller, and, consequently, have a smaller fleet budget - they are going to be looking for used vehicles. This means an opportunity to attract a larger buyer base, increased demand, and therefore command higer premiums."

9. Environmental Impact

Advantage: Comparable
What's the difference between gas and diesel in terms of environmental impact? Which produces fewer emissions? "Historically, diesels struggled with that," said Gault of EMA. "They had higher emissions in terms of particulates and NOx (nitrogen oxide). With the latest round of regulations, the differences between gas and diesel are pretty much non-existent. If you're buying the new product that meets the latest emissions standard, I'm not sure there is a differentiating level [in emissions] at all."

Tabel of Isuzu agreed: "Both [gas and diesel emissions] are about the same since the 2010 EPA diesel emissions requirements have been implemented."

Jansen of Donlen pointed to diesel's fuel economy advantage as the equalizer with emissions. "Diesel as a vehicle fuel emits more greenhouse gas emissions when consumed than unleaded gasoline, but its higher energy content per gallon results in higher fuel efficiency," he said. "Therefore, in similarly equipped vehicles, a diesel vehicle can go further on a single gallon of fuel than a similar truck on gasoline. As a result, diesel's greenhouse gas emissions are comparable to those of a gasoline engine due its increased fuel economy."

Article published in

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tommy Gate Panel Van Lift Gate

Tommy Gate Company's Cantilever Series is specifically designed for panel vans. 

For more information, visit 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Specialized Aluminum Truck Bodies from Alum-Line

Alum-Line Specialized Aluminum Truck Beds are custom designed to your specifications. These heavy duty aluminum flatbed truck bodies are designed for rugged use. Looking appealing on the road, at the show, and on the job site is important. It is also important to have aluminum flatbed truck bodies that will take the demands of hard work lasting years and years. The Alum-Line Specialized Aluminum Truck Beds are all about workmanship that lasts a lifetime. You can’t go wrong with Alum-Line’s aluminum flatbed truck bodies.

Specialized Aluminum Truck Beds are available in lengths form 6’ to 28’. Alum-Line aluminum flatbed truck bodies are easy to maintain while offering a lifetime of service. The extruded aluminum gives the strength needed with a professional look, the look you want. With a 5 year workmanship warranty, the Specialized Aluminum Truck Beds are a must have.

Click on the “Standard Features & Options” tab to see all the ways we can customize your next Alum-Line Specialized Aluminum Truck Beds. We have a knowledgeable staff on hand to help build aluminum flatbed truck bodies of your dreams.


To find out more, you may call California Work Trucks at 510-477-8425.

Also find us at

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New Suspension Systems for 2014 Ram 2500 and 3500 Trucks

Mike Cairns, Vehicle Line Executive, takes a look at the new air assist system on the 2014 Ram 3500 Heavy Duty truck that, unlike systems offered by other truck makers, is factory designed, factory installed and factory warranted. Cairns also demonstrates the new link coil suspension system offered on the 2014 Ram 2500 Heavy Duty truck.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Dodge Quadcab Gets a Flatbed With Crane and HD Forklift Loadable Rack

This Dodge 4500 gets a HD Tapered Leg Forklift Loadable Rack, an RKI tool box and a Liftmoore 206R 2,000 lb mast electric crane. Here are some specs on the Liftmore crane: 206R Specs

This was a retrofit installation. We don't always build bodies new, sometimes we just upgrade and improve your commercial truck for your current needs. 

Give us a call at 510-477-8425 and let us help you upgrade your truck. Visit our website at