Sunday, September 28, 2014

Reducing Glare in the All-New F-150

During anti-glare testing in the Lighting Lab, which boasts 6,000 watts of lighting and a planetarium-like dome, Ford tested prototype F-150s under a full variety of simulated lighting conditions

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cal-West Truck Accessories - A Rack-It Truck Rack Dealer in Woodland, CA

Visit us in Woodland, California, for top-quality truck accessories including camper shells, bedliner sprays, and utility racks. With more than 16 years of experience, Cal West Truck Accessories provides dependable and affordable truck products. From Leer™ camper shells and lumber racks to bedliner sprays and toolboxes, our truck accessories increase the versatility of your truck. Contact us or visit us on Main Street at Route 102 near Target™ and Costco™. Cal West Truck Accessories has an extensive selection of durable truck accessories including camper shells and bedliner sprays. We sell Leer™ brand camper shells that are available with a lifetime warranty on paint and structure. Van accessories are also available including ladder racks and bulk heads.

Cal-West Truck Accessories is a Rack-It Truck Rack Dealer

Rack it
Model: SERIES 1000

Time for a new truck rack? Need something that has minimal flex and will enhance the look of your truck? Look no further than Rack-it's® Series 1000 truck racks. Designed with unmatched strength and stability, our standard rack provides a versatile and efficient solution for your material handling needs. Features * Full-length formed angle mounting. * Removable rear bar equipped with quick release "D-Clip" pins. * Schedule 40 steel construction * Rope hooks allow for quick and easy tie-downs. * Also available for utility body applications ... see your local dealer for more info.
Rack it

Model: SERIES 3000
Whether you're an avid camper or simply looking for a secure area for your tools, camper shells are becoming an increasingly popular truck accessory item. Our series 3000 racks are designed to fit around your shell, allowing you to utilize the benefits of both components with ease. Features * Offeset legs allow for installation over a camper shell. * Removable rear bar equipped with quick release "D-Clip" pins. * Schedule 40 steel construction. * Rope hooks allow for quick and easy tie-downs. * Schedule 40 steel construction.

Contact us today for more information about our dependable products.


Phone: 530-668-6550

Visit us at:

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014 Ram 1500 Tradesman EcoDiesel Pickup

 The 2014 Ram 1500 EcoDiesel 
should meet all the needs 
expected in a work setting. 

Photo by Vince Taroc.

I recently test drove the 2014 Ram 1500 Tradesman Regular Cab 4x2. This is a no-frills, utilitarian work truck with hand-cranked windows, manually adjusted seats, hand-adjusted driver- and passenger-side mirrors, and manual door locks. To better cope in rugged work environments, the interior has a black vinyl floor covering for easy mop-up of mud and other spills. The pickup bed has a spray-in bedliner to minimize the scratches and wear-and-tear from loading and off-loading of cargo and tools.

The Ram 1500 I drove was equipped with the Tradesman Package, which includes a trailer tow mirror, trailer brake control, and folding trailer tow mirrors.

From my perspective, the 2014 Ram 1500 met all the needs expected in a work setting; however, the key takeaway for me was the enhanced fuel economy provided by the 3.0L EcoDiesel V-6 engine. This is especially impressive considering it is capable of generating 240 hp at 3,600 rpm and producing 420 lb.-ft. of torque at 2,000 rpm.

The 3.0L EcoDiesel, earned a 28-mpg rating from the U.S. EPA, which, according to the Ram, is the best highway-cycle test result ever achieved by a full-size, half-ton pickup.

I experienced similar fuel economy results and, on long-distance freeway driving, I was even able to sustain an average 30 mpg for extended driving distances.

In combined city/highway fuel economy, the 2014 Ram 1500 earned an impressive 23-mpg rating from the EPA.

Impressive Engine Performance

The all-new engine’s block and bedplate are made from lightweight compacted graphite iron. Engine performance was very impressive, resulting in almost effortless acceleration to pass vehicles during freeway driving. The EcoDiesel engine performance is enhanced by the MultiJet 2 common-rail fuel-injection system. The MultiJet 2’s high-dispersion nozzles and advanced-technology servovalve can accommodate up to eight fuel-injection events per cylinder cycle. This results in a quieter engine with minimal in-cab engine noise. In addition, it offers excellent low-speed throttle response.

 Photo by Vince Taroc.

Also contributing to the Ram 1500’s excellent fuel economy is the TorqueFlite 8-speed automatic transmission, which enables optimal engine speed in a wide range of driving conditions. The advanced-technology gearbox has a thermal-management system that quickly warms the transmission oil to reduce pumping losses associated with cold, low-viscosity fluid.

A “Greener” Truck

In terms of CO2 emissions, the 3.0L V-6 EcoDiesel is among today's most advanced diesel engines, emitting 438 grams of CO2 per mile. This is 60-percent fewer emissions than those produced by diesel powertrains 25 years ago. A state-of-the-art selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system also reduces emissions. It incorporates a unique diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) system that alerts the driver to low DEF levels, while also allowing the engine to maintain full power. The Ram 1500 includes an insulated DEF tank with heated lines to mitigate the effects of cold-weather operation. It also features a passive cooling system that does not require engine coolant for the DEF injector. The DEF tank holds eight gallons of fluid. The truck’s duty cycle determines refills, but the average interval is about 10,000 miles.

By the end of my test drive, I was converted into a big fan of the EcoDiesel V-6, and this admiration is apparently seconded by others, such as Ward’s, which named it one of 10 Best Engines for 2014. I believe the EcoDiesel will go a long way toward convincing fleet drivers of the benefits of diesels.

The EcoDiesel is designed and produced by VM Motori, a Chrysler Group diesel engine supplier since 1992.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Colorado and Canyon Will Lead Midsize Pickup Segment in Four-Cylinder Fuel Economy and Payload

DETROIT – The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon will offer segment-leading highway fuel efficiency for four-cylinder midsize pickup trucks, according to EPA fuel economy estimates. The Canyon will also offer segment-leading payload ratings. No competitor in the segment offers more payload capacity than the Colorado or Canyon.
The all-new midsize trucks, powered by the 2.5L four-cylinder engine with 2WD and available 6-speed automatic transmission, will have an EPA-estimated 20 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, for a combined 22 mpg rating overall.
Trucks outfitted with 4WD will have EPA-estimated 19 city mpg and 25 mpg highway for a combined 21 mpg, giving Colorado and Canyon segment-leading highway fuel efficiency and segment-leading power for a four-cylinder models with automatic transmissions.
With the 3.6L V-6 engine, payload ratings for the Colorado and Canyon are 1,590 pounds and 1,620 pounds, respectively. The difference is due to slight differences in curb weight – the Canyon has alloy wheels standard while the standard wheels on the Colorado are slightly heavier steel wheels.
 “Offering segment-leading four-cylinder fuel economy is yet another item to add to the Chevrolet Colorado’s long list of segment leads,” said Tony Johnson, Colorado marketing manager. “It shows once again how the midsize segment can benefit from a fresh competitor offering the latest technologies.”
“The 2015 GMC Canyon uses innovations like available active grille shutters, which close to get the most out of every gallon of fuel and open when more air is needed, like when transporting heavy loads” said Kenn Bakowski, Canyon marketing manager. “Having segment-leading V-6 and four-cylinder efficiency, plus the highest payload rating, proves GMC has applied the latest technologies in just the right places, and our customers reap the benefits.”

Colorado and Canyon fuel economy



EPA Fuel Economy Estimates
200-hp 2.5L I-4 with direct fuel injection and continuously variable valve timing
6-speed automatic

6-Speed manual

The Colorado and Canyon began shipping to dealers last week. For the 2016 model year, Colorado and Canyon will add a 2.8-liter Duramax turbodiesel to the engine lineup. Technical details and EPA fuel economy estimates will be available closer to launch.
With the introduction of Colorado and Canyon, Chevrolet and GMC will offer customers more pickup choices than any other brand, including midsize, full-size light duty and heavy-duty pickups.

About Chevrolet
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.9 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at
About GMC
GMC has manufactured trucks since 1902, and is one of the industry's healthiest brands. Innovation and engineering excellence is built into all GMC vehicles and the brand is evolving to offer more fuel-efficient trucks and crossovers, including the Terrain small SUV and Acadia crossover. GMC is the only manufacturer to offer three full-size hybrid trucks with the Yukon, Yukon Denali SUVs and the Sierra pickup. The Sierra Heavy Duty pickups are the most capable and powerful trucks in the market. Details on all GMC models are available at, on Twitter at @thisisgmc or at

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2015 Toyota Tundra Lineup Goes All V-8

Toyota has announced it will kill its 4.0-liter V-6 option for the full-size half-ton Tundra. Officials at Toyota say the decision was made to kill the smaller engine option because the take rate (the number of Tundras ordered with the V-6) was "well below" 5 percent of all Tundras ordered.

This decision probably doesn't surprise anyone who's driven the relatively heavy Tundra with the less-than-exciting 4.0-liter V-6. Power ratings for the V-6 offered in the Tundra had lower horsepower and/or torque numbers than just about every other competitor in the class. And with the 4.6-liter V-8 offering solid power numbers, the decision to remove the V-6 was simple.

It's our guess that the higher-output 4.0-liter DOHC V-6 (270/278 horsepower/torque) that has been offered in the Tundra will be moved into the Tacoma for the next model year to replace the Tacoma's existing V-6 (236/266).

It's worth noting that all regular-cab Tundras (4x4 and 4x2) will come standard with the bigger 5.7-liter V-8, as will the new-for-2015 TRD Pro models (which are all 4x4). Chevrolet and GMC offer a V-6 and a choice of two V-8s, while Ram offers two V-6 choices (one an EcoDiesel) and one Hemi V-8. Ford's 2014 F-150 did offer two V-6 choices (one an EcoBoost) and two V-8 options; 2015 F-150s will have three V-6 choices and only one V-8 option.

Pricing for the 2015 Toyota Tundras will increase either $275 or $315 over 2014 models, depending on configuration, with the number of trim levels increasing by one (to six) with the entrance of the new off-road package. Trim levels include the SR, SR5, Limited, Platinum, 1794 Edition and TRD Pro.

To read the full 2015 Toyota Tundra press release, click here.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Spied: 2016 Toyota Hilux or Next Tacoma?

The race is on between spy photographers sitting in wait and a team of Toyota Hilux and Tacoma engineers doing high-altitude and hot-weather testing right out in the open. Many are speculating that popular midsize pickup platforms for the Hilux and Tacoma will not be separate for long; in fact, it's likely that all the recent spied vehicles caught on camera are hybrid test units in one form or another.

We're hearing that the 2016 models are likely to be an evolutionary improvement, rather than something dramatically different than the current trucks. No doubt Toyota will have a more aggressive Plan B ready for implementation just in case the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon become the runaway hit parent company GM is hoping for. Here's the note our shooters just sent us.

"We have a new look at a prototype for the the 2016 Toyota Hilux pickup, caught testing in a revealing state of graphic camouflage. Given that a new Toyota Tacoma is due for the U.S. market on a similar timeline, we are left to wonder if these Hilux spy shots give us any sort of preview of the design direction we'll see on Toyota's redesigned midsize pickup.

"The current-generation Hilux saw a distinct design departure from the U.S. market Tacoma, with Hilux getting a more aerodynamic front fascia and cab design than the existing U.S. model. These new shots of an eighth-generation Hilux prototype reveal a truck that looks even less aerodynamic than the current model, looking more like a traditional American truck. The new lines look more consistent with something we could see in U.S. showrooms, which has us wondering just how much of the next Tacoma we could be seeing in this unauthorized look at the foreign-market Hilux prototype.

"We know that a new Tacoma is in the works for the U.S., with our earlier shots of a Tacoma mule caught testing in the southwestern U.S. That mule didn't give up any design details, but we could see that an all-new interior is in the works, along with what appeared to be a massaged version of the current platform with similar size and packaging.

"We are still on the lookout for full-on, U.S.-spec Tacoma prototypes to hit the testing scene on U.S. soil. For now, we're left to wonder if this Hilux prototype provides any foreshadowing for the new Tacoma that's coming to battle in a rejuvenated midsize pickup market in America."

KGP Photography images