Feature: Work truck week delivers the goods

Opportunities for PSA tapes abound in the commercial work truck industry.

Virtually anything you need to know about the present and near-future state of the commercial work truck industry is put on display at Work Truck Week

The 2024 edition ran from March 5 through 8 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis. Billing itself as the largest work truck event in North America, its “umbrella” included the Work Truck Show, the Green Truck Summit, a Ride & Drive event, and the annual meeting of the show’s sponsor, the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA). All took place during this hectic week in Indy.


The Work Truck Show main exhibit hall hosted more than 500 exhibitors, showcasing vehicles, equipment, and other products. It was here that Max VanRaaphorst, business development manager, E-mobility and Automotive, Avery Dennison, spent a very busy day.

“The Work Truck Show is focused on trucks and equipment designed for local use,” said Max. “Think last-mile delivery vans, snow removal trucks, contractor trucks, or the trucks that utility companies use. There’s a wide range of attendees, but I met a lot of fleet owners, vehicle engineers, and manufacturer representatives.”

The electrification revolution continues
Electrification of work trucks was one of the key trends showcased at the event. Max noted major manufacturers, including General Motors, Ford, Stellantis, Lion Electric (school bus manufacturer), Daimler Truck, Paccar, and Navistar, all had one or more EVs on display. 

A significant sub-trend: Manufacturers building their vehicles on top of battery pack platforms produced by other companies. As an example: Blue Arc makes step vans for Amazon, FedEx, and UPS. Now, they’re integrating their standard chassis with EV battery packs built by Michigan-based ONE. 

“EV adoption for work trucks is a bit behind where it is for passenger cars,” Max noted. “Production volume is still a bit low, so many EV truck manufacturers are sourcing battery packs from a handful of companies rather than designing and building their own.”

Adhesives make inroads in vehicle assembly
Another trend on display was the increasing use of adhesives as a bonding solution in areas where mechanical fasteners once reigned supreme. 

“I saw numerous examples of tape-bonded and adhesive-bonded seams,” said Max. A great example was Morgan Truck Body. Their box trucks on display featured lightweight components, including seams bonded with adhesives rather than traditional rivets. 

Max added, “I also saw a lot of adhesives used in various truck cab applications, including as a sealing solution (to prevent water/contaminant ingress) and for buzz, squeak, and rattle solutions.”

Tapes deliver what truck manufacturers need
As evidenced by what Max witnessed in Indy, more work truck manufacturers are understanding and appreciating the value proposition of PSA tape solutions.

  • A lightweight alternative to mechanical fasteners

  • Solutions engineered to perform across a wide range of temperatures

  • Adhesives designed to resist chemicals and UV light

  • Rubber, acrylic, and silicone adhesives engineered for low-surface energy (LSE) materials

  • A wide variety of solutions for buzz, squeak and rattle applications, helping make modern vehicles even more comfortable

Avery Dennison has a long track record in the automotive and transportation industries. Our high-performance tapes can be tailored to the needs of applications throughout the vehicle. 

As this industry evolves toward its electric future, Avery Dennison is again poised to support it. Our tapes and adhesives are engineered for use throughout battery packs, helping manufacturers address challenges such as thermal runaway prevention, boosting dielectric strength, and work optimization at the point of pack assembly.

“This is a really exciting time in the work truck industry,” said Max. “It’s a time of transition and growth, and there are so many ways tapes can help manufacturers facilitate that. We at Avery Dennison welcome the opportunity to discuss all that PSA tapes can offer this dynamic industry.”

Collaborate with Avery Dennison to grow your business
Tape converters, OEMs and tier suppliers interested in exploring PSA tape solutions for the commercial work truck industry can contact Max directly to learn more about working with Avery Dennison.

Max VanRaaphorst is business development manager – E-mobility and Automotive, Avery Dennison Performance Tapes North America. With nearly a decade of technical, sales and marketing experience in the chemical manufacturing field, Max strives to help Avery Dennison tape converters grow their business in the fast-evolving E-mobility and Automotive segments. Based in Michigan, he can be reached through LinkedIn.