Fleet Maintenance Magazine editor chosen to be industry judge


The editor of Fleet Maintenance Magazine, David A. Kolman, was among a select small group of truck journalists invited to serve as a judge for the 2013 American Truck Dealers (ATD) Commercial Truck of the Year. Now in its fifth year, it is a national award recognizing the top truck entries in the heavy and medium duty categories.

Kolman, along with four other long-time truck writers, evaluated the nine nominees using an especially-created scoring system that encompassed three judging categories, each of which had sub-categories:

- Innovation and design, which includes fitness/uniqueness for intended, purpose/targeted market, styling and attention to detail.

- Safety, which includes cab access and egress, visibility and safety equipment.

- Driver satisfaction, which includes, noise in cab, control convenience, dash and driver display, cab space and storage, steering ease/effort, ride and underhood daily service features


The nominees

The medium duty (Class 3 through 7) nominees for the 2013 ATD Commercial Truck of the Year are: Ford F-650, Hino 195h Hybrid, Isuzu Reach, Kenworth K370 Cabover and Peterbilt 337 Extended Day Cab.

The heavy duty (Class 8) truck nominees are: Freightliner Cascadia Evolution, Kenworth T680, Peterbilt Model 579 and Western Star 4700SF.

The hands-on judging, which included driving each of the vehicles to determine on-road performance characteristics, took place in North Las Vegas, starting at the ADESA used vehicle auction location.


Qualifications for the award

To qualify for the 2013 nominations, vehicles have to have been launched or introduced in calendar year 2012.

“Launched” does not mean available to the market, explained Barbara Robinson, ATD director, but it does mean a public launch with subsequent opportunity for editors to evaluate and drive the new model.

This allows for new models that may have been announced prior to 2012 to still qualify by virtue of the availability of the trucks to customers during the year, she said.

What’s more, nominees need not be all-new, noted Robinson. Significant enhancements to an existing model will qualify a truck for nomination.

The winners of the ATD Commercial Truck of the Year will be announced during a special presentation at the annual NADA/ATD Convention and Expo, to be held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL, February 10, 2013.