What's new in: Racks and toolboxes

Aug. 1, 2013

Engineering efforts for shelving, racks, drawers and toolboxes used on commercial vehicles are focused right now on helping mobile technicians work more effectively, says Phil Anderson, sales manager at Ranger Design.  “Other goals include reducing noise...and using materials and manufacturing processes that enhance durability.”

Providing customers with products that are safe, secure and durable is important, notes Jeff Kotz, senior van product manager at Knaack LLC, maker of Weather Guard brand products.  “We are focused on delivering products that continually meet the needs of [those] who need to organize and transport tools and materials.”

“As OEMs offer more commercial options, there is a strong commitment to engineering products for vehicles that help improve overall efficiency and offer fleets more upfitting options to fit their needs,” says Jenn Voelker, marketing manager at Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products, which offers the Masterack product line.   “There is also a focus on modular solutions that provide weight and cost savings.”

In the fall of 2013, the company will launch SmartSpace, a lighter weight composite cargo management system for new cargo vans that are on the market.  “The new system has a design that will utilize the size of the vehicle effectively, no matter the configuration,” Voelker relates.  “For example, it will be adaptable to the Ford Transit cargo van, which has seven length and cube configurations, and the Ram ProMaster, which has eight configurations.”

Introduced this spring, Weather Guard van starter packs from Knaack include shelving and drawers that can be customized for installation in full-size, high-roof, and compact vans, including Ford, GM, Chevrolet, and Nissan models.  The van starter pack has three 42-in. shelf units with 16-in.-deep shelves and eight adjustable dividers, along with a diamond mesh screen bulkhead.

Built for quiet strength

Ranger Design has been focused on developing shelving systems that are quieter and stronger.  New shelving and bin systems, such as the company’s fold-away design, combine  aluminum extrusions with a solid substrate shelf base to create a sound deadening effect, and to provide rigidity so there is no flexing in the shelving.  The shelving and bin units are available in hundreds of different height, length and shelf depth configurations.

Ranger Design’s ladder rack lineup has also been revamped.  The system uses stainless steel and aluminum to eliminate rust, and plastic to protect ladders from being damaged by metal rack components.

Industry truck and service body manufacturers can be the source of specification assistance and upfitting services for a range of shelving, bin, and toolbox and rack solutions.  Some are building storage into new vehicle designs.

Reading Truck Body’s newly launched Reading ready van SL, for example, is equipped with a bulkhead storage shelf for smaller, frequently used items, vertical shelf attachment strips on 4-in. centers for adjusting a shelving network, height-adjustable corrosion-resistant shelving, and a full-length compartment top storage area.

Knapheide Manufacturing has added Sortimo Globelyst shelves, boxes and other accessories for Ford Transit Connect and E-Series, Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana, Ram C/V, Nissan and Sprinter vehicles.  The Sortimo Globelyst aluminum and plastic van equipment system is available in different packages for a variety of vocations.

Faster turnaround

Equally important to fleets is the ability to source products quickly.  Masterack offers turnkey service near OEM vehicle assembly plants, and has factory-certified ship-through service on over 40 different models of vans and trucks.  The company also maintains a pool of Ford and GM vans.

At Knaack, all Weather Guard products can be purchased through an extensive network of dealers that also provide installation services.  The company has partnered with online retailers as well.  Its van storage equipment and ladder racks are also eligible for upfit assistance through OEM programs such as Ford Commercial Connection and GM Business Choice Upfit Assistance.

Ranger Design offers ship-through service and local installation at authorized dealer locations.

“We work with upfitters and local installers at authorized dealer locations,” says Phil Anderson, “so the turnaround time for delivery is minimal.”

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