Tesla Scores Semi Truck Order From First Furniture Retailer In U.S.

Red Tesla Semi exterior front

MAY 6 2018 BY STEVEN LOVEDAY 21

Delivering furniture may be one of the best future roles of the Tesla Semi.

Many have argued that an electric semi might not really be the best option for most trucking routes. This is especially true when it comes to long-distance transport, and the issue is complicated significantly in areas where charging infrastructure may not be present now and for some time into the future.

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However, the Tesla Semi seems like the perfect answer for local routes. Residential furniture delivery could be an even better outlet for the upcoming all-electric hauler. Most trips are short, from the local store to a neighborhood home.

This means that range would likely never be an issue. Having a charging station installed at the furniture store could make this an even more lucrative venture.

Additionally, navigating a large tractor-trailer through a neighborhood is no easy task. First of all, most are not very agile (to say the least). Also, dealing with a ton of gears and a lack of strong, initial acceleration makes trips in and out of cramped neighborhoods a tedious and timely process.

The Tesla Semi reportedly drives like a car. Obviously, a truck that large can’t really drive like a car, but it’s nimble for its size, provides plenty of initial torque, boasts seamless acceleration, and offers maximum comfort and plenty of tech for the driver.

Ft. Lauderdale-based City Furniture is one of Florida’s largest furniture retailers. The company only delivers within Florida from 17 different locations and contracts out for other deliveries, which makes it the ideal situation for a Tesla Semi delivery fleet to handle local deliveries.

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21 Comments on "Tesla Scores Semi Truck Order From First Furniture Retailer In U.S."

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For delivery, you want a truck with no trailer. Just like Volvo’s upcoming electric truck, which I believe will be available before Tesla’s semi.

Usually called a straight truck.

Excatly. I don’t understand how this could work out. Delivery trucks are not semis.

Where I live, there’s a chain of stores called Ashley Furniture. They have both kinds of trucks. One ships to stores from a factory, the other delivers to your house. That’s my only thought here. The Volvo truck begins production on 2019. The Tesla Semi will begin production in 2019. It’s a race to see who delivers their vehicles to customers first, but with news about the close-to-600 mile range on the Tesla Semi, and no updates about the Volvo truck, Tesla certainly is making engineering increments more public. Both companies need to announce their factory locations pretty soon. My guess is that the Fremont factory is or will be maxed out with the Model III, S, and X. Whoever announces their factory first wins, in my book.

From Volvo press release in April: “The first trucks in the Volvo FL Electric range are now entering regular operation with customers in Gothenburg, the home of Volvo Trucks.”

Customer trials, not fully production yet. I think they are ahead of Tesla (different type of truck though).

Actually, it’s not all that uncommon to use semi trucks as delivery trucks. Just drove by one the other day delivering appliances IIRC.

Agreed. I think this might be highly location dependent. Where I live, the distance from the stores to the customer is often under 20 miles, yet I see semis delivering furniture and appliances all the time.

Depends on which country I guess, but I have received fuel pellets from a semi once. Mostly trucks with trailer (24 m in total) they park the trailer on the main road, and drive the last bit with the truck only.

If you say so, but I have never seen a semi truck used for delivery in a residential neighborhood. Even large moving vans are not semi tractor-trailer rigs. It doesn’t even make sense, because semi trailers are designed to use loading docks for loading and unloading. How do you even get the furniture off the high bed of a semi trailer when it’s parked in someone’s driveway? Obviously it’s not impossible, but standard semi trailers certainly are not designed for that. They don’t put lift gates on the rear end of standard semi trailers!

The only application where semi trucks are commonly used for local deliveries is stocking supermarkets. That makes sense because of the high volume they sell every day. And supermarkets do have loading docks designed to receive semi trailer deliveries.

Mayflower, Allied, United uses full 53’ foot trailerswith huge sleeper cabs (not uncommon to have 4 bunks) these are used for full house moves cross country.

ABF U PAK uses pup trailers you load your self, still a semi

Lift gates are actually pretty common on lot of trailers used by LTL and dedicated accounts. Think
Small stores that have no docks like in strip mall type stores
Clothes on racks, flowers on racks ect……… auto parts stores

Car dealership parts delivery’s normally dropped at night in a cage with wheels, via lift gates

Thanks for the info, Bunny!

It’s good to have a professional truck driver share his/her knowledge with us.

you might want to take a look at many of those. Most are simply a semi truck with a box on it. Look at Cement trucks, garbage trucks, etc. They are the same way.
Tesla just needs to contact some of the box builders and have them available for them.

I’m not a trucker, so those with experience should chime in. But it seems to me that a semi with a short trailer might be easier to maneuver in tight neighborhoods than a one piece truck with the same size load.

Distribution trucks usually don’t have the same size load as a semi, that’s my point. You dont need 40 tonne, more like 5 tonne.

It’s very hard to maneuver a tractor-trailer rig in tight spaces, or to back it into (for example) a residential driveway. A freight truck with a van (cargo box) behind the cab is much easier to maneuver in residential streets and driveways.

Day cab with a 28’ pup trailer you can go just about anywhere normally old neighborhoods with large low hanging trees are a bigger problem if you have 13’6” high truck

But even 48 or 53 ft trailer between button hooking turns to get there. You sometimes have to disconnect trailer midway during the back and reposition the tractor to get it in the hole, same when you leave.

Delivery’s to construction sites are typically incredibly tight.

I run irregular long haul but have had deliverys to some incredibly tight locations

Most old cities in downtown areas like Chicago, Philly, Boston, have incredibly tight docks because everything was designed for 1930 trucks

“Residential furniture delivery could be an even better outlet for the upcoming all-electric hauler. Most trips are short, from the local store to a neighborhood home.”

Makes no sense at all. Nobody uses Class 8 (heavy truck) semi tractor-trailer rigs for local furniture delivery. Sure, there is a potential market for market for BEV medium trucks (Class 4-6) for local delivery. But the Tesla Semi Truck ain’t gonna serve that market.

I don’t think it makes much sense to mount a fixed van (cargo box) on the rear of a Tesla Semi tractor, either. A “5 ton truck” for local delivery doesn’t need that large a cab or that large a battery pack. That would be using a sledgehammer to swat a fly!

If the space is 9 ft wide and 85 ft long
Believe me somebody will put a truck on it LOL it’s called street delivery at the curb

It’s no fun when you have to get 10 parked cars moved to make a delivery in places like Long Island and NYC (nyc 48ft trailer max) been there done that many times

Google “rooms to go delivery truck”
You’ll see that they definitely use pup trailers for room of furniture deliveries
And also box trucks

Thanks Bunny. Sorry for all the misinformation I posted. 😳

Trucking is so diverse, it’s almost funny on how a simple concept of moving goods from point A to point B can take the form of so many different business models of how its done.

I enjoy your posts, we both learn from each other.