Monday, May 29, 2017

Commercial Van Accessories & Truck Equipment by Adrian Steel

Don’t be fooled by imitators. At Adrian Steel, we strive to understand the day-to-day demands of your business and to provide the products and services to fill those needs.

van-interiors

Experienced Van Equipment Manufacturer

Van-interiors
Let our experience work for you: we have upfitted over one million vans in our 60 plus years of business and have leveraged that expertise in engineering our innovative product line. Our strong reputation in the industry is matched only by our resolve to offer the best lead times and highest quality product.  Our van storage products are made to last and it shows.

Cargo Management Solutions

It is a fact that an organized vehicle increases work flow efficiency and reduces inventory damages. Adrian Steel has solutions for your commercial vehicles:

Ladder Racks
Partitions
Van Accessories
Van Shelving
Van Storage
and more

We manufacture Contractor Grade products and storage solutions including:  shelving, drawers, cabinets, partitions, ladder racks, aluminum toolboxes, and accessories.
Not only do we provide all the commercial van and truck equipment to make your vehicle work-ready, we have developed a system to get your vehicle upfitted regardless of where you need to get them done: at the factory, out of dealer stock, at your place of business, or through a bailment pool.

Adrian Steel Supports You

At Adrian Steel we are committed to you beyond the upfit! We have a dedicated Customer Care Team and a network of highly qualified distributors to support you locally. We are dedicated to providing the best cargo management solutions in North America!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Optimizing Truck and Van Specs

Photo courtesy of Ford.

by Mike Antich 

Vehicle specifications should be defined by the fleet application and mission requirements. It is important to design a truck or van that will accommodate your operational requirements rather than trying to make your operation conform to the vehicle. Without fully understanding the fleet application requirements and operating parameters, it is impossible to spec the best chassis, powertrain, and body necessary to optimize productivity.

A common mistake made by inexperienced fleet managers is that they do not know a vehicle's operating parameters and payload requirements. You need to talk with the people in the field to understand what type of service the vehicle is expected to perform and how it will be used. The key objective of your discussions with drivers or technicians is to match the truck or van with the fleet application. When meeting with end-users, ask questions about their current vehicles. For example, is the powertrain right for their application? Similarly, investigate whether the gross vehicle weight (GVW) is adequate for the payload carried, or, is the gross combination weight rating (GCWR) high enough if the vehicle will be towing a trailer?

When talking with employees who are actually using trucks or vans, you may discover they have problems unknown to you. It is common to discover problems with loading height, cab access, lack of bins, limited visibility when backing, or insufficient tool storage. This is your opportunity to ask a lot of questions to determine vehicle or upfit deficiencies. For instance, ask employees about passenger requirements, how the payload is distributed, whether the vehicle will be fully loaded or operating with a diminishing load, and how they load and off-load cargo.

Look at the existing vehicle and investigate the maintenance records. What type of problems has this vehicle had, if any? This will help you determine if the current vehicle is under-spec’d. If it is, then take the necessary steps to correct it. Usually, the majority of trucks or vans that have unscheduled maintenance problems are under-powered and overloaded, which, in addition to increased shop time, results in increased driver downtime. Your maintenance records will reveal that most of the vehicles that experience repeated mechanical failures are under-spec’d.

When you’re building a medium-duty truck, there are a number of key factors that must be spec’d correctly, or you’ll make an expensive mistake. The foremost consideration when building a truck is payload. The weight of the payload determines the engine, transmission, size of tire, frame, and just about everything else.

It is also important to understand how a vehicle will be loaded and unloaded to determine whether a liftgate or pull-out ramp should be chosen for the truck body. Ask how employees will load the payload. Do they use pallet jacks or forklifts? What are the dimensions of the payload? It is important to know the height requirements of the truck. For instance, if payload will be loaded and off-loaded at a dock, what is the dock height? If a forklift is utilized in the loading or unloading payload, it is essential to have the forklift reinforcement option included in the body specifications.

Also, know where and how your drivers are securing the load. Take into consideration the height and bulk of your product to ensure the truck or van has the proper cargo restraint system.

Clean Sheet Approach to Spec’ing
When spec’ing vehicles, past history is important but one negative outcome to using last model-year specs is repeating past inefficiencies. Fleet managers need to adopt a “clean sheet” approach to how they spec their truck or van fleets.

Building a truck or van is a complicated process. Specifying the right vehicle requires hundreds of decisions and choices — and each choice potentially impacts another. When spec’ing a medium-duty truck, there are a number of key factors that must be spec’d correctly. If not, you’ll end up making an expensive mistake.

Where it gets tricky is finding the balance to avoid over-spec’ing or under-spec’ing a truck, each with its own unique set of consequences. Over-spec’ing a truck or van increases the capitalized cost of the vehicle, while under-spec’ing increases maintenance cost.

Another consequence to an under-spec’d truck or van is that it may require multiple trips due to limited payload capacity. Also, when spec’ing a smaller GVWR truck than required, the tendency is to overload the vehicle. Besides accelerating replacement of wear items, such as brakes, an overloaded vehicle also increases the company’s liability exposure if it is involved in a preventable accident.

Overextending a truck or van's payload capacity beyond the chassis’ weight specifications is a good way to shorten the vehicle's service life. Overloaded trucks will cause premature tire wear, decreased fuel economy, and downtime due to engine or transmission repair. In addition, overloading results in fines and possible impoundment of the vehicle by the authorities.

Interconnectivity Between Specs
It can’t be emphasized enough: To properly spec a truck or van you need to talk with the people in the field to understand what type of service the vehicle is expected to perform and how it will be used. You should solicit input from field personnel to ensure that local issues affecting the vehicle’s operation are taken into account.

When consulting with end-users, there are three components to determining payload requirement. The first is payload weight. How much weight will the vehicle need to carry in its daily workload? You need to determine the maximum need, not an average. The vehicle must be able to do the job every day with the maximum load at any given time. Payload weight will also help determine if the cargo can be loaded and unloaded by hand, or whether you will need a power liftgate or some other type of assist to get it up in the body or bed.

Another determinant is in the volume or size of the payload. The vehicle needs to be large enough to handle the volume. And, you need to know how the payload will be loaded. Is it stackable? Can you stack it right to the ceiling? Or, can only the floor space be used? How do you secure the product? Getting any of these factors wrong can mean the truck or van will be spec’d incorrectly.

The third component is the type of payload. Are you hauling loose gravel, pallets, or boxes of merchandise? This will determine the type of truck or van and body combination you need to choose.

The best way to determine actual payload is to take a normally loaded truck and weigh it on a highway scale. Another practical tip is to weigh the front and rear axle. This will tell you if you are overloading the whole vehicle or just one of the axles.

In addition, you need to make sure that the vehicle can carry not only the payload but also any additional equipment you put on it. The fleet manager needs to add the body and equipment weight to that of any tools or other material that could be stored or transported by the chassis.

To determine the correct vehicle size for the intended payload often requires a judgment call as to how much over-capacity to build into the payload capacity of the vehicle when spec’ing its requirements. Spec’ing the vehicle to the minimum necessary payload rating (by basing it on an average load or looking at only today’s business needs instead of trying to anticipate future needs) means that the vehicle will be operating at peak capacity most of the time, which may compromise safety and the length of its service life. Conversely, too much payload capacity is wasted capacity.

Application is King
Specifications should be defined by the application and mission requirements. Trucks must be equipped to handle very specific fleet applications, which require specifying a multitude of components such as the right drivetrain, suspension, and body. By understanding day-to-day fleet applications, you will be able to build a truck that meets the users’ daily needs. Without fully understanding the fleet application requirements and operating parameters, it is impossible to spec the best chassis, powertrain, and body necessary to optimize productivity. The same holds true with vans.

Fleet managers must understand how company vehicles are intended to be used in the field; however, it is important to be aware that intended usage often does not match real-world usage. The most important first step to correctly spec’ing a truck or van is to meet and talk with the drivers or technicians who will be using the vehicle. This understanding will influence all truck specifications. It can’t be stressed enough that vehicle specifications must be defined by the fleet application and mission requirements.

One way to increase truck or van productivity is to modify specs to increase mpg.

The drivetrain, tires, engine, and aerodynamics of the vehicle must be properly matched to maximize fuel efficiency.

Selecting vehicles with aerodynamic features can prove cost-effective. The rule of thumb is that for each 10% reduction in air resistance, mpg increases by 5%. Examples of aerodynamic modifications include specifying aerodynamic mirrors, moving air filters under the hood, and eliminating fender-mounted mirrors.

Ergonomic Considerations
Under OSHA regulations, an employer must provide a workplace (which includes upfitted work vehicles) free from recognized hazards. Across a variety of vocational segments, today’s fleet managers are devoting increased consideration to ensuring upfits will be ergonomically safe for the driver over the service life of the vehicles.

More fleets are requesting upfits with additional safety equipment, such as a rear-view camera, reverse sensing, back-up alarm, remote start, grab handles, convex spot mirrors, and drop-down ladder racks to reduce workers’ comp claims and to improve operator efficiency.

To create an ergonomically safe work environment, make sure the vehicle is properly engineered upfront for the job it is required to do. For instance, if applications require crane installation on service bodies, the chassis GVWR should be sufficient for the application. Under-engineering can lead to unnecessary safety risks to drivers. When spec’ing auxiliary equipment, be cognizant of component weights. Extra weight not only increases fuel consumption but also reduces payload capacity.

When selecting upfit equipment, review vehicle requests from the field and ask follow-up questions of drivers to verify the equipment is suitable for the job. Thoroughly train all employees handling the equipment in its operation and safe use. Develop written guidelines covering vehicle and equipment usage. Follow manufacturer guidelines to avoid unnecessary accidents.

Field managers should regularly inspect equipment to ensure it is in safe working condition and that equipment is only used for its intended purpose. Often, decisions are made in the field to modify vehicles without the fleet manager being informed. The home office is often not aware of the modification until there is an issue, such as when someone complains about an ergonomics-related health issue.

Spec to Maximize Future Resale
Trucks and vans are ultimately tools of a trade and the chassis merely provide mobility and power to operate equipment. When these vehicles are built to perform at their optimal performance, specifically in the areas of reliability, fuel economy, and driving experience, there will always be a demand and a market to resell these vehicles. While resale is a very important lifecycle consideration, the most important part of a lifecycle calculation for any type of truck, especially medium-duty applications, or van is building the right vehicle for the intended job function.

How you spec a truck or van has a direct bearing on its future resale. Nowadays you don’t want to spec a manual transmission. There are fewer qualified drivers today capable of driving a manual transmission than in the past. Automatic transmissions are required by most companies when selecting a vehicle, which makes automatics more desirable from a resale perspective. In addition to resale value, an automatic transmission assists in driver acquisition, retention, lower maintenance costs, and more uptime.

In addition, for trucks, always specify the power take-off (PTO) provision. Even if there’s no need for a PTO for the truck’s initial use, the availability of the PTO provision will make the truck more attractive to buyers in the secondary market because it saves the future owner from having to pay to add the provision.

Ultimately, mileage and general condition will likely play the greatest role in determining desirability and resale value.

Source: http://www.worktruckonline.com/channel/operations/article/story/2017/05/understanding-the-variables-to-optimize-truck-van-specs.aspx


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Road to driverless trucks clogged with unanswered questions

Driver training, safety, and cybersecurity among the topics discussed during FMCSA listening session.




With nearly daily media reports detailing new breakthroughs of highly automated commercial vehicles (HACVs), it may seem they are almost ready for large-scale use.

Yet a public listening session sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) illustrated just how many questions remain to be answered before the technology can become a reality on the nation’s highways.

“There is a gigantic void between what is reality and what is the Hollywood version of what is going on. We are a long, long way from a truly driverless truck, and I think everyone in this room knows that,” said Tom Balzer, president of the Ohio Trucking Association.

Source: http://fleetowner.com/regulations/road-driverless-trucks-clogged-unanswered-questions




Sunday, May 21, 2017

You Shouldn't Need a Ladder to Get Your Ladder


Adrian Steel's new Drop-Down Ladder Rack can be operated by technicians 5'4" or taller. These new ladder racks are constructed of durable and corrosion-resistant aluminum and have innovative adjustment knobs that allow users to set up their ladder rack in seconds.

Learn more at http://upfit.adriansteel.com/ladder-r...

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Monday, May 15, 2017

National Fleet Products Lineup At NTEA Work Truck Show


Jacob Peterson and Wim Knell shows off a unique crane loading system for cargo van bodies. Rather than a small crane that swings in and out, this is a much more stable solution due to the linear travel and the strength of the system. In addition, it can be stowed to the side to all human traffic or tall and large item storage.

They also show off a WM Ramp that has a swivel feature to move out of the way and they have one that is on the interior and another model for the exterior. One model handles up to 3,300 lbs. and yet is extremely easy to use. One of the best features is the longer ramp to make it easy to move large items in and out of the van.

Jacob also shows off their polyethylene truck fenders, a superior cargo door locking system, and a line of power springs to help stabilize heavier loads.

See more about the National Ford Truck Club and Ford Pros at http://www.nationalfordtruckclub.com

See all the products offered by National Fleet Products at http://nationalfleetproducts.com/

Saturday, May 13, 2017

BrandFX - The UltimateFX at the 2017 Work Truck Show

BrandFX introduced the new all-composite service truck body and

UltimateFX is purpose-built to handle all worksite conditions and is the latest in the line of BrandFX’s composite truck service bodies.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

FORD'S BIGGEST WORK TRUCKS RECEIVE PERFORMANCE AND SERVICE IMPROVEMENTS TO HELP DO EVEN MORE WORK

Hero Image
  • Electronic stability control and traction control brakes now standard on tractor models (optional on F-750 diesel straight frame model*)                         
  • New diesel engine soot trap regeneration inhibitor allows driver to postpone incinerating trapped soot until regeneration can be performed in a preferred location, plus new easy-to-access oil dipstick location to check oil levels
  • New high-output 240-amp alternator now available for 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine models
  • Available three-inch bumper extension limits potential hood wear and collision damage
DEARBORN, Mich., May 3, 2017 – Ford, America’s truck leader, is updating its biggest trucks to improve performance and serviceability. Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks are the fastest growing volume Class 6-7 brand**.

Ford F-650 and F-750 trucks were completely redesigned for 2016, enjoying their best sales since 1997 last year. Ford’s largest trucks are available in straight-frame, kick-up frame Pro Loader and dedicated tractor models, with Regular Cab, SuperCab and Crew Cab body styles. Ford is the only manufacturer to offer a choice of gasoline or diesel powertrain in the medium-duty conventional truck market. All F-650 and F-750 trucks are built at Ohio Assembly Plant near Cleveland using domestic and foreign parts.

“Customers are moving from other brands to Ford F-650 and F-750 medium-duty trucks because they’re affordable and Built Ford Tough in America,” says Kevin Koester, Ford medium-duty truck and Super Duty fleet marketing manager. “Our segment-exclusive gasoline engine is appealing to fleet managers who recognize not every duty cycle requires the torque of a diesel engine, and who prefer the cost and maintenance advantages of gasoline power.

“The success of our new truck design is apparent from our growing sales and the fact it was named Medium-Duty Truck of the Year by Work Truck magazine in 2016 and 2017,” adds Koester. “For 2018, we’re enhancing this successful platform based on customer feedback.”

Electronic stability control and traction control brakes are now standard on all 2018 F-650 and F-750 tractor models. The system will initially be optional on certain F-750 diesel air-braked straight trucks with high-center-of-gravity-body upfits.

For applications with high electrical demands – such as tow trucks, road service vehicles and other well-lit work trucks – a high-output 240-amp alternator is now available with the 6.8-liter V10 gasoline powertrain. Ordering the higher output alternator to power auxiliary lights and equipment can eliminate the need to specify a second alternator or generator.

Ford offers an optional automatic regeneration inhibitor on 2018 diesel trucks to give the operator more control over when the engine goes into regeneration to clean the diesel particulate filter.

To limit potential hood wear and front-end collision damage, an available bumper extension moves the full-width front bumper from flush with the grille to three inches in front of it. This provides additional protection to the grille and components behind it in case of a collision, potentially reducing repair expenses.

It’s easier to check the oil and transmission fluid levels on 2018 F-650 and F-750 diesel trucks thanks to relocated dipsticks that can be accessed from ground level. The transmission fluid dipstick has also been moved to provide ground-level access on gasoline models. The gasoline engine’s oil dipstick was already accessible from the ground.

Powertrains purpose-built for Ford trucks

Ford is the only manufacturer to design and build its own medium-duty diesel engine and transmission combination – ensuring the powertrain will work seamlessly with all chassis components and vehicle calibrations, and providing customers with streamlined service.

The 6.7-liter Power Stroke® V8 turbo diesel engine delivers best-in-class standard 270 horsepower and 675 lb.-ft. of torque, as well as available engine outputs of 300 horsepower with 700 lb.-ft. of torque and 330 horsepower with 725 lb.-ft. of torque. The diesel has a B10 engine design life of more than 500,000 miles***, and is backed by an unsurpassed standard five-year/250,000-mile limited warranty. For additional braking assistance, an exhaust brake comes standard with every diesel engine.

Ford’s segment-exclusive 6.8-liter V10 gasoline engine provides 320 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque for less than the cost of a diesel engine. It can be factory-prepped for conversion to compressed natural gas or liquid propane.

Both engines come with the Ford-built TorqShift heavy-duty six-speed automatic transmission. An available live-drive power takeoff provision features an output gear linked directly to the diesel engine crankshaft for 300 lb.-ft. of stationary torque and 200 lb.-ft. of mobile torque. For the gasoline powertrain, the optional power takeoff’s stationary and mobile mode deliver 250 lb.-ft. and 125 lb.-ft. of torque, respectively.

The transmission’s SelectShift® feature has two driver-initiated modes – progressive range select, which limits the range of gears to lock out overdrive for consistent speed over hills, and full manual mode, which provides control up and down the gearbox. Selectable tow/haul mode compensates for grade and load to reduce gear hunting and improve power delivery. Engine braking and selective gearing improve control on downhill grades and help minimize brake wear.

Like all Ford trucks, Ford’s medium-duty F-650 and F-750 vehicles are supported by the company’s Commercial Vehicle Center program. Program dealers nationwide are committed to providing fleet and commercial customers the vehicles, financing options and service support their businesses need to maximize productivity and uptime.

Ordering for 2018 Ford medium-duty F-650 and F-750 trucks begins this summer, with vehicles available at dealers this fall.

*Electronic stability control and traction control brakes will initially be optional on certain F-750 air-braked straight trucks with high-center-of-gravity-body upfits.

**Based on IHS Markit TIP registrations for gross vehicle weight Class 6-7 vehicles with sales over 1,000 units for calendar year-to-date December 2016 versus calendar year-to-date December 2015.

***B10 design life based on 330-horsepower output version and Ford engine dynamometer testing.

ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 202,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Half a Century of Cutting Edge Engineering...Creates the Harbor ComboMaster


Nearly half a century of cutting edge engineering coupled with our obsession to create the perfect contractor body resulted in this design. You told us you want more space. So we created the ComboMaster series which boasts more work and storage space than any comparable contractor body in its class.

Standard Features:
  • 36-inch Rear platform with fold-down 10-inch and two 33"Lx 10"H x 19"D under-deck storage compartments.
  • Overcab rack legs attach to the back of the horizontal compartment, giving extra work room on the platform, yet able to store a 15-ft. ladder with ease.
  • Stainless Steel self-opening pop-top lids w/ body length compartment bins & 4" dividers
  • Push Button locking system with red band locking indicator
  • Modern gas shocks on each side opening door to keep them open during loading and unloading
  • 8" deep recessed bumper for sure footing when entering bed
  • Adjustable, but lockable, shelving system
  • Weather shield system around locks, doors, and hingles, preventing leaks and securing the tools of your trade. Neoprene door seals, water-proof gaskets, self-sealing stainless steel rivets, and silky smooth three-point door latches with Teflon glides.
Want a super-mega version? Ask about our Maxi Combo.

Learn more at: http://htbi.net/




Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Harbor WorkMaster Truck Body ...Working for Your Protection.


The WorkMaster secures the tools of your trade unlike any other enclosed service body. Constructed with steel, built like a vault, the “walk-in” WorkMaster is designed for heavier-duty cutaway vans…and we have been known to mount them on a chassis or two. The WorkMaster is constructed in different lengths and heights to meet your every tool, material storage, and interior height (up to 6’3″) requirement. Need to carry more than your typical van? This is your truck!

Standard Features:

  • Tightest security system in town, featuring double-bit keys and a Master Lock internal locking system
  • Modern gas shocks on each side opening door to keep them open during loading and unloading
  • Rear side access door for storage of conduit or other long (10-ft.) materials
  • 12" step bumper and side-wall grab handles for ease of entrance into the bed
  • Interior ladder storage on hooks mounted along inside shelf
  • Weights up to 300 lbs. lighter than competing brands using FRP
  • Weather shield system around locks, doors, and hingles, preventing leaks and securing the tools of your trade. Neoprene door seals, water-proof gaskets, self-sealing stainless steel rivets, and silky smooth three-point door latches with Teflon glides.
Need to carry more than your typical van? This is your truck!

Learn more at: http://htbi.net/




Friday, May 5, 2017

Sortimo By Knapheide at the 2017 Work Truck Show


Work Truck Show 2017. Here's a look at some of what was shown from the most innovative line of van equipment in the industry: Sortimo By Knapheide.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

FORD F-150, F-250 SUPER DUTY, TRANSIT, TRANSIT CONNECT, TAURUS WIN VINCENTRIC BEST FLEET VALUE IN AMERICA AWARDS

Hero Image

DEARBORN, Mich., April 25, 2017 – Seven Ford Motor Company cars, trucks and vans have won the Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America awards for 2017. The awards recognize vehicles that provide fleet customers with lowest total cost of ownership.

Ford’s 2017 winners are proven performers that have taken home awards in prior years:
  • Ford Taurus SE: Seven-time large sedan winner
  • Ford F-150 XL: Five-time full-size half-ton pickup winner
  • Ford F-250 Super Duty XL: Two-time full-size three-quarter-ton pickup winner
  • Ford Transit Connect XLT: Five-time small commercial passenger van winner
  • Ford Transit 150 XL low-roof van: Three-time full-size half-ton passenger van winner
  • Two Lincoln models, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and Lincoln MKX Premiere, also earned awards.
Vincentric Best Fleet Value in America awards are based on fleet lifecycle costs in eight key areas – depreciation, fuel, insurance, financing, repairs, fees and taxes, opportunity costs and maintenance. Winning vehicles have the lowest lifecycle costs across 28 ownership and mileage scenarios – ranging from 24 months of ownership/10,000 miles annually to 60 months/40,000 miles annually.

Learn more, including the specific trim levels of the award-winning vehicles, at www.vincentric.com

ABOUT FORD MOTOR COMPANY
Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 202,000 employees and 62 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks and SUVs, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. To expand its business model, Ford is aggressively pursuing emerging opportunities with investments in electrification, autonomy and mobility. Ford provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products and services, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.

Monday, May 1, 2017

How we punish the Ford Transit during testing


Drivers at the Ford Test Track in Lommel, Belgium, put the all-new Transit through hell before it goes on sale. The van is driven the equivalent of 11 million km -- about 275 times around the world --