The Utility Show – Open for Business
By Joe Hughes
In the first significant show focused on industry in over eighteen months, the Utility Show was not “virtual,” but indeed in the flesh, face-to-face in late September in Louisville, Kentucky. It was a return to the old “normal” for most of the exhibitors of a wide range of vehicles primarily focused on utility trucks and vans, such as manlifts, digger-derricks, and crawlers of every size and shape that can go just about anywhere and accomplish just about anything.
Ford had a huge outdoor booth, featuring bodied-up F550s, loaded-up Transits, and everything in between. Peter Syvertsen was there, helping customers spec vehicles using CVT software, carrying the flag for Ford commercial. Two very capable engineers specializing in helping upfitters with unique applications, as well as with center-of-gravity issues, were on hand. A number of Ford professionals were on hand too, supporting every phase of what we commercial specialists are involved in. It was like a return to “normal.”
There was a significant presence by The Knapheide Company, with Mandar Dighe, VP of Marketing, and President Bo Knapheide also at the show and in the booth, talking to clients, building relationships. Ian Lahmer and others from Venco Venturo were there, spreading the word. Reading Truck Body was there in spades, showing their new logo, and a wide assortment of products. SafeFleet also had a significant presence, led by Craig Bonham.
The return of shows such as this is a real key to the recovery from the devastating effects of the last eighteen months. Although the vendors estimated that traffic was off by 30-40%, there was still much to see, and many people brought innovative products that point to a bright future.
This is a good time to remind readers how important it is to stay on top of the latest product innovations. For the broadest range of products for the commercial segment at large, the best opportunity is the Work Truck Show. The next show is scheduled to be in Indianapolis, March 8-11, 2022. It is a key part of being prepared to serve our commercial clients, to be knowledgeable, so plan to attend this show and you will stay on top of the exciting changes in the industry first-hand.