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What’s New in Truck and Van Upfits for 2023?

As you evaluate your truck and van specs, where do you see the best opportunities for improvement?

Perhaps you could take weight out of the vehicle to reduce fuel costs or increase legal payload. Or upgrade your equipment to be more efficient and ergonomic, improving crew productivity and safety. Or electrify your onboard equipment to cut fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Whatever your specific goals, here are seven new developments from truck and van equipment manufacturers to help you achieve them.

Stellar Industries
What’s New: Six lighter-weight telescopic service cranes

Stellar Industries has launched six new telescopic cranes with the exclusive CDTpro Remote with Range Finder technology. The new cranes are redesigns of the 9,000-, 10,000- and 12,000-pound class cranes, with a sleeker design and reduced weight while maintaining the same strength as the previous models. The new design also includes an octagonal boom that allows for greater reach in smaller spaces and a new ergonomic remote control for smooth operation and precise load placement. The Range Finder feature allows for lift planning without unstowing the crane.

What’s New: JEMS BG

Altec has introduced JEMS BG, a new solution for reducing environmental impact and noise pollution at job sites where enclosed step vans operate. JEMS BG uses advanced lithium-ion batteries integrated with the generator to supply power to the job site, eliminating the need for generator idling and reducing operating expenses by cutting fuel and maintenance costs. The system is optimized for daily performance and has an intuitive display for monitoring status, battery level and alerts. JEMS BG also includes Level 1 and 2 plug-in options and advanced battery-warming technology to ensure performance in harsh climates.


Vanair has launched EPEQ IDLE MITIGATION, the latest addition to its EPEQ Electrified Power Equipment line. EPEQ IDLE MITIGATION is an end-to-end system that automatically turns off the vehicle’s engine when not used, allowing fleets to operate power equipment on job sites with zero emissions and significantly reduced noise. The system can be paired with a telematics package to provide valuable usage information to fleet managers. EPEQ IDLE MITIGATION can also be designed to turn the vehicle on/off based on run time or battery state of charge using the onboard vehicle battery or the EPEQ ELiMENT LiFePO4 auxiliary battery.

Terex Utilities
What’s New: Optima all-electric bucket truck

Terex Utilities has launched the utility industry’s first all-electric bucket truck. The Terex Optima 55-foot aerial device is powered by the HyPower SmartPTO by Viatec and is mounted on an International eMV Series battery-electric 33,000-GVW chassis from Navistar. The bucket truck has a 60-foot working height, a 135-mile driving range and is commonly used for electric distribution line work. The bucket truck can operate for an entire workday on a single charge, making it an ideal solution for utilities looking to meet their electrification and sustainability goals. Terex Utilities will continue to expand electric options to other models in their product line.

Con Edison was one of several utilities that made an early commitment to the all-electric bucket truck. The utility displayed its Terex all-electric bucket truck in front of the New York Stock Exchange on December 13, 2022.

Ranger Design
What’s New: E-Floor van flooring system

Ranger Design has launched the E-Floor, an impact- and puncture-resistant van flooring system with no risk of thermal expansion. The E-Floor is explicitly designed for electric vehicles but is also compatible with gas-powered vehicles. One of the unique features of the E-Floor is its easy installation, which can be done directly into the van’s D-rings without accidental drilling into the wiring below the surface of the vehicle’s OEM floor. This ensures better resale value for the vehicle. The E-Floor is also compatible with Ranger Design’s entire product line, including the redesigned Partskeeper line, now available in aluminum, providing a lightweight, sturdy storage solution for fleets.

Vermeer Corp.
What’s New: QuickDig hydro-excavation tool

Vermeer Corp. has launched the QuickDig nozzle, a hydro-excavation tool that helps vacuum excavation crews increase their efficiency while trenching, digging for utilities and digging pile holes. The QuickDig nozzle is 35% more efficient than traditional rotary nozzles due to its 18-degree cone rotation and laminar flow design. This technology reduces water usage while providing a wide aperture of coverage. It will be available on all Vermeer truck vacuum excavators and many trailer vacuum excavators built in 2023 and can be compatible with most industry vacuum excavator makes and models. The QuickDig nozzle is also durable, with a stainless-steel body and tungsten-carbide nozzle tip. It can be rebuilt in the field quickly using a QuickDig nozzle repair kit.

The Knapheide Manufacturing Co.
What’s New: Lightweight aluminum utility van

The Knapheide Manufacturing Co. has introduced a new Knapheide utility van made of lightweight aluminum. The new van is durable, resistant to corrosion and, on average, 35% lighter than its steel counterpart. This allows for hauling heavier payloads and increased efficiency on the job site. The van is available in various sizes and configurations, including ultra-low, low and high, for both single- and dual-rear-wheel models. It also has an ABS partition with a sliding door, LED lighting and proprietary taillights with strobe capabilities.


Sean M. Lyden

Sean M. Lyden is the editor of Utility Fleet Professional magazine.