America’s hardest working vehicles

Updated: Jun 04, 2014 8:54 PM UTC | Originally published: May 18, 2013
Courtesy: Nissan

Nissan NV200

In 2011, after a spirited competition, New York awarded Nissan the right to replace the city's traditional taxi cabs as they were retired from service. Nissan would have started phasing about 13,000 of its NV200s into service if not for legal delays.

Courtesy: General Motors

Chevrolet Caprice PPV

The Caprice police patrol vehicle is a favorite of police departments in North America. Cops like rear-wheel drive because of its fast acceleration and superior handling in chase situations. This Chevy is a rebadged sedan built by General Motors' (gm) Holden subsidiary in Australia, imported for sale to police agencies since 2009.

Courtesy: Daimler AG

Daimler AG Sprinter luxury van conversion

Since 2007 Daimler has imported this popular van from Europe to North America, where it gained distinction for its usefulness and somewhat tall profile, compared to classic Ford (f) and General Motors designs. Today, Sprinter is converted for all sorts of uses, from ambulances to recreational vehicles. It's quite popular as a people carrier, used by airlines to shuttle passengers from parking or between terminals.

Photo: That Hartford Guy\/Flickr\/CC

Cadillac XTS Hearse

For that final ride, little is as luxurious and comfortable as a stretch version of Cadillac's XTS sedan. Introduced in 2012, XTS replaced Cadillac's DTS and STS sedans. The XTS could turn out to be a very popular vehicle in the People's Republic of China, where GM this month said it will build a new factory for the model's manufacture.

Courtesy: Freightliner


There are about 5.6 million semi-trailers on the road in the U.S., Freightliner being the top seller of tractor-trailers that pull the big loads. Freightliner, based in South Carolina, is owned by Daimler AG, the German automotive company. The name "semi" comes from the fact that the trailers have no means of propulsion and only can be pulled by tractors.

Courtesy: Toyota

A Toyota Not Exactly Built for Families

The Toyoda family, back in the day, started out as a manufacturer of knitting looms. As the company learned how to make cars and other vehicles, it grew interested in all varieties, including forklifts. Today Toyota (tm) owns a strong reputation on factory floors for its ability to move materials.

Courtesy: American LaFrance

American LaFrance Fire truck

American LaFrance remains one of the storied names in firefighting equipment, though the company has endured financial hardships and a Chapter 11 filing. In the early 19th century its predecessor built horse-drawn wagons, which evolved a century later into the familiar red trucks. Pictured is the 2003 model, custom 10-person cab, owned by Ridleyville, Pa.

Courtesy: Peterbilt

Peterbilt front-loader garbage truck

A used 2003 garbage truck sells for about $90,000, according to A new Peterbilt lists for $229,000, though the price can vary depending on options and specifications.