This year's Site Commander is built onto a 2004 Ford F-550 Crew Cab platform and includes a 7.3-liter Powerstroke turbo diesel engine, five-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel anti-lock braking system. This truck leads the industry in comfort, power, and space.
This year's Site Commander is built onto a 2004 Ford F-550 Crew Cab platform and includes a 7.3-liter Powerstroke turbo diesel engine, five-speed automatic transmission, and four-wheel anti-lock braking system. This truck leads the industry in comfort, power, and space.

Adam Grampp pulls the 2004 Site Commander onto another jobsite and watches workers drain from the upper levels to check out this year's Ultimate Work Truck and try out all the tools packed into its compartments. It's as if they were waiting for him to arrive. And they were.

"These guys have been looking forward to the Site Commander coming for a long time," Grampp says. "A lot of them have known we were coming after tracking the tour in Tools of the Trade and on the Site Commander Web site." Grampp is this year's tour ambassador, guiding the truck and trailer onto hundreds of jobsites coast to coast and helping Hilti regional managers demonstrate the tools and equipment at Hilti Retail Centers in every major market in the country. "The typical jobsite crowd will be around 150 workers who come down during their break to check us out," says Grampp. "Then we'll go to the Hilti Center where we'll see 50 or 60 more."

Site Commander Turns Five

This is our fifth year bringing Tools of the Trade's Site Commander to construction workers across the country, and it has generated the same kind of enthusiasm and excitement as it did the first year. Our goal each year is to show contractors and crews the latest in work truck features and professional construction tools that will help increase jobsite productivity and efficiency, and improve workers' performance and safety.

Again this year, we've assembled the truck, accessories, tools, and systems from the leaders in each category that best combine to achieve these goals. Ford's 2004F-550 Crew Cab platform is the workhorse driving the Site Commander this year. With a big 7.3-liter Powerstroke turbo diesel engine, this truck has power to spare and room to carry a full crew and all the tools it could need.

And have we got tools. Once again, our Official Tool Sponsor, Hilti, loaded the truck with a complete line of corded and cordless power tools, the company's leading fastening systems, and unique cutting, drilling, chipping, and coring systems. And this year Hilti continued to introduce its newest line of woodworking tools, using the Site Commander as a launch pad.

Team Effort

As usual, we had a long list of work to do and a short time to do it to get the Site Commander ready for its first appearance at the World of Concrete show in Orlando, Fla., last February, but we made it! With the truck finally in its work bay at our St. Louis build-out shop at Craftsmen Industries, we assembled all the parts, tools, racks, rollers, and welders that would transform the Ford F-550 chassis into the latest Site Commander. Designers and mechanics at Craftsmen worked closely with Peter Hempenstall at Reading Truck Body, Gene McBroom and Bryan Baker at A.R.E., and engineers at Cross Tread Industries and Sure Glide, integrating the Site Commander's utility body, cap, ladder rack, and roll-out storage installations. Hilti team members Steve Bishop, Leah Kelso, Paula Bell, and Tim Henry specified the tools that would be on this year's tour, and designated their placement into the compartments.

On behalf of the team of sponsors, we're proud to bring you the 2004 Site Commander–the ultimate work truck for the trades.

Watch for Our 2004 Winner!

The 2004 Site Commander Sweepstakes ended October 31, 2004 -- so keep an eye out to see who won the $93,739 Grand Prize in our January issue. Thanks to everyone who came out to see the Site Commander and entered the sweepstakes. We'll let you know when the 2005 Site Commander hits the road for another exciting tour and sweepstakes giveaway. To learn more about the Site Commander, visit

The Truck

Ford F-550

Ford F-550 Specs

  • Lariat Trim Package/leather seats

  • 7.3-liter Powerstroke V-8 turbo diesel engine
  • Electronic five-speed auto transmission
  • Skid plate
  • Six-way power adjustable seats
  • Dual diesel fuel tanks
  • Adjustable accelerator and brake pedals
  • Transmission power takeoff provision
  • Tilt steering wheel with speed control
  • Dual alternators
  • SecuriLoc passive anti-theft system
  • Side intrusion door beams
  • Remote keyless entry

The Tools

The Site Commander is equipped with a full line of Hilti tools for concrete and masonry work: high-quality tools for cutting, coring, drilling, chipping, and grinding. Hilti rotating laser levels, range meters, and electronic detectors help ensure accurate layout. And this year Hilti introduced an expanding line of woodworking tools.

Hilti Tools

Drilling & driving
SI 100 Impact Wrench
SF 121-A 3.0 Cordless drill/driver
SF 150-A 3.0 Cordless drill/driver
SF 180-A 3.0 Cordless drill/driver
SF 4000 Drywall screwdriver
SF 4000-A Drywall screwdriver
SMI 55 Screw magazine
SD 2500 Screwdriver
SME Magazine extension
UH 240-A Universal hammerdrill
TE 2-A Rotary hammerdrill
TE 2-M Rotary hammerdrill
TE 6-A Rotary hammerdrill
TE 6-C Rotary hammerdrill

P8000 Pneumatic dispenser
MD2000 Manual dispenser
BD 2000 Battery dispenser

TE 15-C Rotary hammerdrill
TE 25 Rotary hammerdrill
TE 35 Combihammer
TE 46 Combihammer
TE 56-ATC Combihammer
TE 76-ATC Combihammer
TE 905-AVR

Breaker/demolition tools
WSR 650-A Reciprocating saw
WSR 900-PE Reciprocating saw

DG 150 Grinding system
DC 500-S Grinding system
HG 500-D Grinding system

Leveling & measuring
PML 32 Line laser
PR 20 Horizontal rotating laser

PD 30 Laser range meter
PS 20 Multi-detector
PR 16 Rotating laser
PD 28 Laser range meter
PM 24 Multi-directional laser
PM 22 Plumb laser

GX 100 Gas-driven fastening system
DX 351 w/ MX 32 MagazinePowder actuated fastening system
DX 460 MXPowder actuated fastening system
DX 460-F8Powder actuated fastening system
DX 460 SMPowder actuated fastening system

DS-KC 62 12" Handheld gas saw
DS-KC 80 14" Handheld gas saw

Drilling & coring
ST 1800 Adjustable torque screwdriver
SDT 25 Stand-up tool
DD EC-1 Diamond drilling system
DD 130 Diamond coring system
PA 932 Tripod

Aftermarket Truck Features

The Site Commander looks great going down the road, but its inner beauty really shines when it's on the jobsite - with all the doors open. The Reading Truck Body service/utility body provides maximum tool storage, convenience, security, and durability. And A.R.E.'s Deluxe Commercial Unit (DCU) truck cap encloses the Site Commander's body and increases tool storage with side-load tool compartments, as well as rear-bed storage for large tools and equipment.

Reading Truck Body features

  • Reading's Classic II service bodies provide convenient and secure storage for the Site Commander's full load of tools. Features include:

    Rugged understructure double-coated for corrosion resistance

  • A-60 Galvanealed steel construction
  • Thicker, heavier-gauged, double-panel doors
  • Dual weather-seal system that also reduces paint deterioration
  • 5-year limited warranty
  • Light guards in rear compartments
  • Keyless locking system for all doors
  • Fully concealed stainless steel hinge pins
  • A.R.E. cap features

    Full-length side compartments with interior lighting

  • Full-opening hatch-type rear door for access to truck bed
  • Welded aluminum frame for added strength
  • Base rails: .080-thick T6 aluminum with MIG welded corners
  • Structural tubing: .050-thick T6 aluminum tubing framework with TIG welded joints
  • Door frames: .050-thickwall tubing with TIG welded joints and continuous hinges.
  • .040-thick exterior aluminum skin
  • Fossliner fabric prevents condensation on interior of roof
  • Gas cylinder door props
  • One-year warranty on materials and workmanship, three years on locks, five years on gas props

Sure Glide Bed Extender

  • Sure Glide's rear bed extender is still the best one we've seen. Tools and equipment stored in the rear of the Site Commander are easily accessible. The drawer rolls in and out easily and can carry a real load of heavy-duty tools.

    All steel construction

  • Black powder finish coat
  • 6 heavy-duty bearings each rated for over 600 pounds of load
  • 1,200-pound weight capacity with cargo evenly distributed
  • Top of deck 33/4 inches above the truck floor
  • Installs in 30 minutes or less
  • Two heavy-duty, stainless steel locking pins; locks in three positions
  • Cross Tread Ladder Rack

    This ladder rack is strong, sleek, and ready for work. The Site Commander rack features:

    Bed-rail mounts

  • Adapter plates for camper shell applications
  • 750-pound load capacity
  • High gloss black powder coat finish
  • Adjustable crossrails
  • Removable rear bar for taller loads
  • Ladder positioners
  • "X-Tra Bar" for added stability >
  • Diamond profile side rail system

Thanks to our team members

The Site Commander Ultimate Work Truck tour and sweepstakes is an annual Hanley Wood, LLC promotion. We'd like to thank the following sponsors and contributors whose combined creative energies and support were central to this project's success.

Official sponsors

Ford Trucks



A.R.E. Inc.: Truck cap

Reading Truck Body: Service body

Cross Tread Industries:
Ladder rack

Sure Glide Bed Extenders: Roll-out tool storage


Craftsmen Industries, St. Louis

Tour Management:

Pro Motion, St. Louis