Posted in Van Ladder Racks

How does a Single Drop Down Ladder Rack work for vans

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Are you curious about how a single drop down ladder rack works for vans?

If so, you have stumbled upon the right place. In this post you will find a sneak peek on what is a single drop down ladder rack for van and what are its features . You will also find out how it can be operated with minimal effort. The single drop down ladder rack system is part of the G2000 Harrier model, which includes the G2000 Harrier Slide Type 1, Type 2, Type 3, G2000 Harrier (Slide Only), G2000 Harrier & Roof bars kit (complete system), G2000 Harrier x 2 & Roof bars kit and the G2000 Harrier & Roof bars kit & Spoiler kit.

Single drop down ladder rack features

The single drop down ladder rack offers smoothness and safety when bringing any ladder down to the ground. This system can be mounted onto any vehicle provided that a flat surface is available. It also fits most ladders models in the market which is the key feature of our ladder racks, universality! It is designed to provide flexibility and security upon usage, therefore improving space management and productivity.

It is lightweight, strong and durable, therefore becoming one of the most reliable products in the market. The G2000 Harrier model has been tested according to the ECE R17 regulation, through a frontal 20g crash test to guarantee its reliability. After the completion of the test, the drop down ladder rack had not moved and all its components were still in place. As the test proved to be a success, the product has since been TÜV GS certified. This proves the rigidity and longevity of the G2000 Harrier model.

How does it work?

The way it works is quite easy. Firstly, you would have to install it on your vehicle. This is a fast process as the ladder rack does not require any drilling. it uses original holes thanks to specific brackets. The single drop down ladder rack has a high quality ladder management system with an adjustable arrest. This allows the process of sliding the ladder to the ground to be easy and quick.

Find a single drop down ladder rack dealer

Contact their offices by email of phone to find out more information on how a single drop down ladder rack works and where you can purchase one for your vehicle. If you already know what product you want to buy, you can find the closest dealer near your area and speak to them directly.

Posted in Commercial Van, Van Ladder Racks

How Van Racking Can Boost Your Business

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You may have invested heavily in acquiring the van of your dreams but, to truly get the best returns from it, you really should consider a professional van shelving system. For some that probably implies the use of some form of ply-based racking, because it’s cheaper in the short term, and can probably be carried out by yourself. However, don’t be easily fooled. When it comes to busy tradespeople DIY isn’t the solution you should be settling for.

Unlike traditional box-shaped ply racking, this quality steel racking is based on slim-line frames fitted on either side of the van, sitting in the wheel space over the wheel arch to keep most of the central loading area free.

Each customer has the option of designing their own racking kit online using an innovative van racking configuration tool choosing from simple trough shelving, tool case holders, perfo panels with hooks, portable cases, or a mixture of all of them.

Shelves and other accessories are height adjustable, interchangeable, and can be positioned at different depths to follow the contours of your van and make use of space normally unachieveable with traditional van racking. What’s more, the shelves can be moved around within the racking as your tools, kit or work style changes over time.

Vehicle specific designs for small, medium and large vans match perfectly to your van’s existing manufacturer fixing points, eliminating wasted time spent measuring or trimming.

It can also be fitted over the top of the ply lining and is compatible with all manufacturers’ floors. However, if you want an idea of the fitting process before purchase, these instructions are available to view online and, if you have fitting issues, help is available at the end of the telephone.

As well as saving valuable time and money searching for tools, clever removable storage can be taken to the actual jobsite to eliminate the need to keep returning to the van. And, with steel racking weighing less than traditional ply, fuel economy is enhanced.

Despite no official tests or regulations for van racking, each kit is rigorously crash tested to EU EEEC/R17 standards to ensure the highest possible safety. The lightweight steel is fixed securely using the manufacturer’s existing fixing points, so as not to compromise any structural areas of the van.

The system is also designed to keep tool cases and storage boxes firmly in place during transit, the frames having built in lashing rails whilst optional extras such as anti-slip mats and lashings straps prevent loads from sliding around, are offered.

Such a sophisticated system is clearly more expensive than ply but, by the time you take into account the planning, measuring, materials and wear and tear that will naturally occur over the years, it’s much more competitive than it may initially appear. Modules start at around £230 and finance packages are available to spread the cost.
Each system should last for two van cycles and comes with a three-year warranty.

Posted in Commercial Van, Van Ladder Racks

Which is the Best Aluminum ladder Rack for vans?

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A ladder rack for your vehicle can enhance its performance and allow you, the operator, to work easily and with less hazards, making your day at work much easier and way more enjoyable altogether! Ladder racks come in two main materials, steel and aluminum, the latter being the most preferred due to its appearance and weight.

Alurack ladder rack can not only increase the overall performance and look of the vehicle, but also keep it working perfectly fine without causing strain on the engine or lowering its normal speed. This is why most technicians and contractors choose aluminum ladder racks when looking at ways on how to carry one or two ladders on board of their vans. Aluminum ladder racks come in many forms and sizes in order to be compatible with most vans as well as ladder in the market.

Finding the best aluminum ladder rack for vans is no easy task. You have to look at the features and compare various models in order to fully optimise your vehicle with the right equipment. Next, you have to find the right size that fits your ladder as well as the roof of your van. Lastly you have to pick the model that you like best, so you feel comfortable with your upgrade.

Features of the best aluminum ladder racks for vans

One of the main advantages of having a van compared to other vehicles, is that the roof of a van is very easy to mount any type of ladder rack on it, as it is flat. Once you have that thing sorted, what is left to do, is finding the best aluminum ladder rack for your van. The first feature you should look for is the ability to mount a ladder rack on the roof of your van without having to drill any holes in it.

Since ladder racks can be installed and uninstalled when needed, it is crucial for them not to cause any permanent changes to the van and leave it intact when the job is done. In addition, make sure to know beforehand the capacity of the ladder rack you need, as well as the load it needs to carry. Some ladder racks can carry two ladders on board simultaneously.

The third feature to look for is load stop and other safety measure to ensure that your ladder is always fastened securely during transport. This feature also allows easy loading and unloading of the ladder to the ground. The fourth feature that is important is universality. Find something flexible that can be used on any van. Lastly, make sure to find the ladder model that is most easy for you to use, that is not hard on your muscles and your back!

Posted in Commercial Van, Van Ladder Racks

How to Use the G2000 Maxi Vehicle Ladder Rack

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Many professionals use ladder rack for van in their daily work to perform different tasks during the day which are necessary for their jobs. Sometimes, the task requires two ladders to be transported simultaneously and used at the same time. In the past, and probably still in some cases, people choose to transport the ladder in an old fashioned way, on their truck or van, holding it in place through ropes and what not.

A bumpy road can really cause both items to bump into each other as well as the truck. In addition, loading and unloading of both ladders by the operators is harder and more time consuming. This method could also be dangerous for the operator and cause back pain among other health hazards. This is why, thanks to new technical solutions, double drop down ladder racks have been made available. The G2000 Maxi ladder rack is indeed one of these models that has been designed and created in Italy to serve the working community by enhancing their safety as well as their performance.

Advantages of a G2000 Maxi Vehicle Ladder Rack

The G2000 Maxi ladder rack is able to carry two ladders side by side on the roof top of a van or truck. It ensures safety transport of both ladders simultaneously through two load stops that maintain the ladders in place and prevent side movements. These load stops are fitted in the front and the back of the ladder rack. Straps are also in place. In addition, the G2000 Maxi ladder rack has one of the most powerful hydraulic systems that ensures smooth sliding to the ground of both ladders. This prevents bumps or health hazards to the operator.

How to use the G2000 Maxi ladder rack on your vehicle

The G2000 Maxi ladder rack is one of the most innovative and high tech solutions when speaking of ladder racks. It is able to match any vehicle and any ladder. In addition, it is also adjustable and removable when needed. The G2000 Maxi ladder rack comes in 3 models, differing in size, respectively 98.42 inch, 112.20 inch and 129.92 inch. They are appropriate for low roof vehicles, medium and high roof vehicles. The ladders are mounted side by side onto horizontal bars.

The main parts of each model are made of anodised aluminum and stainless steel components. With this item, both ladders can be slid very close to the ground. They arrive in a vertical position which allows for ergonomic management and smooth operations.

Posted in Commercial Van, Van Ladder Racks

How Van Racking Can Boost Your Business

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How your van can play a crucial role in racking up extra business success.

You may have invested heavily in acquiring the van of your dreams but, to truly get the best returns from it, you really should consider a good quality ladder rack for van. For some that probably implies the use of some form of ply-based racking, because it’s cheaper in the short term, and can probably be carried out by yourself. However, don’t be easily fooled. When it comes to busy tradespeople DIY isn’t the solution you should be settling for.

Each customer has the option of designing their own racking kit online using an innovative van racking configuration tool choosing from simple trough shelving, tool case holders, perfo panels with hooks, portable cases, or a mixture of all of them.

Shelves and other accessories are height adjustable, interchangeable, and can be positioned at different depths to follow the contours of your van and make use of space normally unachieveable with traditional van racking. What’s more, the shelves can be moved around within the racking as your tools, kit or work style changes over time.

Vehicle specific designs for small, medium and large vans match perfectly to your van’s existing manufacturer fixing points, eliminating wasted time spent measuring or trimming.

It can also be fitted over the top of the ply lining and is compatible with all manufacturers’ floors. However, if you want an idea of the fitting process before purchase, these instructions are available to view online and, if you have fitting issues, help is available at the end of the telephone.

As well as saving valuable time and money searching for tools, clever removable storage can be taken to the actual jobsite to eliminate the need to keep returning to the van. And, with steel racking weighing less than traditional ply, fuel economy is enhanced.

Despite no official tests or regulations for van racking, each kit is rigorously crash tested to EU EEEC/R17 standards to ensure the highest possible safety. The lightweight steel is fixed securely using the manufacturer’s existing fixing points, so as not to compromise any structural areas of the van.

The system is also designed to keep tool cases and storage boxes firmly in place during transit, the frames having built in lashing rails whilst optional extras such as anti-slip mats and lashings straps prevent loads from sliding around, are offered.

Such a sophisticated system is clearly more expensive than ply but, by the time you take into account the planning, measuring, materials and wear and tear that will naturally occur over the years, it’s much more competitive than it may initially appear. Modules start at around £230 and finance packages are available to spread the cost.
Each system should last for two van cycles and comes with a three-year warranty.

Posted in cargo van, Commercial Van

The Ultimate Guide to Van Shelving

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Have you ever seen a cargo van that looks like the owner’s business exploded inside it? Imagine the impression a messy scene like that can make on a customer or potential customer. Plus, it’s not a fun or safe work environment. Don’t let this be your van!

Now picture a perfectly organized van with every tool and piece of equipment in its own designated space and plenty of room to get things done. Van customization and organization can keep you focused and help you avoid losing equipment or running late trying to find it. There are many ways to improve organization, but installing shelves is a great place to start. With the right shelving, your van will not only be more organized, but more professional-looking, enjoyable and safe.

An Introduction to Van Shelving

One of the primary reasons businesses choose vans over trucks is the ease of creating a custom, enclosed and mobile workstation to conveniently get work done on-site and keep employees and equipment protected from the elements. Van interiors can be customized to meet the needs of many specific industries and professions, from plumbers to electricians and many more. Perhaps that’s why full-sized vans are one of the fastest-growing and most-lucrative vehicle types.

No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll likely require shelving and storage in your van interior, and there are a wide variety of options to consider. Adjustable metal shelving is a great option, and comes in a wide variety of sizes to meet your storage needs. Open shelving is ideal for storing tools or materials that you need to access regularly and easily. For more protected storage, there are plenty of storage modules available that combine drawers, cabinets and shelving to keep everything you need secure and organized.

van interior accessories

Benefits of Commercial Shelving for Your Business

Van Shelving may seem like a simple addition to your van, but it can make a world of difference for your business and your day-to-day tasks. Commercial van shelving is popular for many reasons, including the following benefits:

  • A well thought-out and organized workstation can improve your efficiency and productivity. By getting more done more quickly, you can thereby increase your revenue and profitability.
  • With all your tools and equipment in their designated spots, you’ll have more open space to work with.
  • An organized van looks more professional and reflects positively on your business and brand image. Each passerby is a potential customer, so you want your van to be neat and organized at all times.
  • Loose tools and equipment present risks and hazards. Storing everything properly and securely will improve safety while on the road and on the job.
  • Knowing exactly where everything is kept in your van will allow you to keep a more accurate inventory.
  • Having all your equipment and tools secured can reduce noise and damage while you drive.
  • Studies show that visible clutter can cause mental clutter. A clean and organized work space can lead to a more enjoyable and fulfilling work life.

With these great benefits in mind, it’s clear why most work vans view shelving as a must.

commercial van interiors

Key Considerations for Van Interior and Van Shelving

It’s important to note that there is no “one-size-fits-all” van shelving setup. In fact, the more custom to your specific line of work, the better.

Choosing which type of shelving best fits your needs can get tricky. Your best bet is to make a list of everything you know you want in your van(s), find a reputable shop to install it, and bounce your ideas around with them before making any final decisions.

First, you’ll need to measure the dimensions of your van and figure out the layout you want for your tools. You should take inventory of all the tools and equipment you expect to haul daily, as well as other larger items you may need to carry every once in a while. You should then consider your workflow and what you typically use, in what order. Think about what needs to be most easily-accessible and what needs to be secured or protected. Another important consideration is workplace ergonomics improvement, or the process of removing risk factors that can lead to physical strain or injury. For example, if there is a heavy tool that you are constantly bending over to lift, this could lead to a back injury over time. Why not find the perfect shelving solution for that tool to make it more easily accessible and reduce the risk?

Once you size up all your needs and plan the layout, you’re ready to choose from one of the many shelving options available to you. Below are some professional van shelving options and ideas to help get your started.

6 Professional Cargo Van Shelving Ideas

Before getting into the options below, keep in mind that choosing to have custom van professionals design and install your shelving and/or buying ready-to-install systems will not only save you time, but also result in a more professional, high-quality and long-lasting van interior.

1. Metal Shelving Systems

Metal shelving systems come in many sizes and are often adjustable, so they can easily fit into a wide variety of vans. They are also more durable and easy to maintain than other types of shelving, such as wood, for example. That’s why the vast majority of cargo vans incorporate this first type of shelving.

Different materials can be used for metal shelving; these are most commonly steel, aluminum or composites. Traditional steel shelves tend to be more cost-effective up front and are very durable. Steel is the preferred choice for those carrying lots of heavy-duty equipment. For those who frequently drive on roads that aren’t in such great shape, it will keep your equipment and drivers protected. On the other hand, aluminum is lighter-weight and can help improve gas mileage and fuel efficiency. If you require lots of drawers and shelving to carry small parts, keeping the load light with aluminum or composites may be best. Composites are sometimes favored because of their noise-reduction capabilities.

Metal shelving can either be closed or open. While closed shelving units prevent items from falling and breaking, opened shelves allow you to quickly grab what you need.

custom van interiors

2. Custom Shelving Systems

Custom shelving systems for your cargo van provide an organization system tailored exactly to your needs. You get to create your own idea about what you want and then leave it up to the professionals to put together, to save you time and hassle.

These benefits of custom shelving include:

  • Optimized your van space according to your specific needs.
  • Specially-designed spaces custom made for your tools to keep them from falling or crashing around.
  • The results will be more professional and fit perfectly to your van.
  • Once installed, they can save you time by maximizing efficiency.
  • A customized shelving system also offers you a safer drive and saves you money in the long run by building the storage customized for the equipment it will hold.

Custom shelving is great for those working in more specific industries, such as electricians, plumbers, or pest-control workers, with unique equipment and needs.

3. Corner Shelving Systems

If you lay flooring, install siding, or work any other profession that often requires large, free spaces for materials, you may find corner shelving most useful. You can choose to install them on the floor or up at the ceiling. This type of shelving maximizes space for larger items while keeping your tools organized.

4. Durable Storage Modules 

Storage modules combine drawers, cabinets, and shelving all in one unit to maximize the space and provide plenty of storage for a wide-range of tools and equipment. They come in many sizes and can be installed on the van interior walls, the inside of the van doors, a van partition, or even in a cargo trailer behind the van. As with metal shelving, they are usually made of either steel, aluminum or composite materials, each with their own pros and cons.

5. Homemade Cargo Van Shelving: DIY Wooden Shelves

Deciding to make your own shelves will require more of your time and may appear less professional, but can save you money.

If you have the time and know how to build shelves in a cargo van, you can use plywood to make DIY custom shelving. One neat idea to try: build cabinets into the shelving for stuff you want to keep covered while you drive. Once you learn how to build van shelves yourself, you open the door to all sorts of conveniences.

Another convenient shelving trick is to build a shelf that runs the length of the van, like a false floor. This works for organizing large amounts of carpet, siding, or other long materials, that you do not want to stack.

If you aren’t 100% confident in your skills or want to ensure optimal results, you may want to leave the van shelving installation to the professionals.

6. Finishing Touches for Your Shelving Systems

Many businesses can benefit from organizing with more than simple van shelving. Little van storage tricks will make a huge difference with staying organized.

If you go the DIY route, consider building drawers into the unit, to keep tools and blueprints. For basic shelving, use milk crates to organize materials and keep them from tumbling around. Also, you can add hanging units to the top of the van and use clips to keep drawers closed.

If you’d rather purchase professional cargo shelving accessories, below are a few great add-ons to consider:

  • Shelf dividers and doors.
  • Drawers or shelf bins for smaller tools.
  • Cases for organization.
  • Hooks to add on to the sides of your shelving.
  • Bottle restraints to keep bottles securely in place while on the road.
  • And much more!

Van Shelving Costs

The price of shelving for your van interior will vary depending on the type you choose and whether you go the professional or DIY route. Generally speaking, van shelving can cost anywhere from a couple hundred dollars for something simple to a couple thousand for a more complete set up. Professional installation will add to the cost, but ensure long-lasting results and a more professional appearance.

Other Van Accessories to Improve Organization 

In addition to shelving units, other commercial interior accessories you may want to consider are:

  • Interior LED lighting to improve visibility and safety while on the job.
  • Ladder or cargo racks to free up space in your van interior and store equipment securely on top of your van.
  • Utility hooks for storing a wide variety of items.
  • Paper holders to keep all your paperwork in order and easily accessible.
  • Tool boxes for securely storing tools and equipment.
  • Partitions and wire window screens for safety and security.
  • Reel holders for cable and wire storage.
  • Drill bit holders, hard hat holders, tank holders, and so much more!
Posted in cargo van, Commercial Van

Van Storage Ideas

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Making the most of the space in your van can help save you time and therefore, money. Suitable interior vehicle storage will make journeys far more efficient. Goods and equipment can be safely stowed, thereby preventing accidental damage in transit. With optimal use of the available space, you can carry all essential equipment or goods to avoid mix-ups or repeat journeys. An organised vehicle also creates the right impression. Customers will have confidence in your ability to work efficiently and to a high standard.

While every business’ storage needs are unique, there are a couple of considerations that apply to everyone. Firstly, it’s important to know your vehicle’s payload capacity, as it is both dangerous and illegal to exceed it. Any storage installed in a van eats into the payload and reduces the weight of additional goods or equipment that can be carried. Another important consideration is stability. Weight distribution is important for load and road safety.

With these factors in mind, lightweight racking offers an ideal and flexible solution. From large shelving units for bulky equipment to lockable cabinets for small items or power tools, modular racking can help to meet your particular storage needs. Take advantage of some innovative van shelving ideas to help make the most of the space in your van.

Under floor drawers

If you require more room to transport equipment in your van, raised floors, fitted with under floor drawers are an ideal space saving solution, exploiting space that would otherwise go unused. Fitted at the rear and along the sides of a vehicle, they can provide a considerable volume of additional storage space. Movable aluminium dividers and boxes of various sizes can be used to divide, secure and contain different items or material.

Under floor drawers can help you make the most of the available space and ensure everything you need is easily accessible. The loading platform can be kept clear which impacts positively on loading and storage operations.

Folding shelves

Many tradespeople and delivery drivers require storage solutions that offer maximum versatility. Lightweight and strong, folding shelves provide good storage capabilities. When the vehicle’s floor space needs to be used, the shelving stows safely and securely, providing a much greater load area.

The shelves are equipped with gas struts, allowing them to be raised and lowered with ease. There are no latches and once the shelves are in the up or down position, they are held firmly in place.

Internal ladder holders

Internal ladder holders offer safe and efficient storage of a ladder in the vehicle’s cargo area. Equipped with a gas strut to facilitate loading, the holder ensures the ladder is secured while the vehicle is driven.

Internal ladder holders can be secured to the interior roof of a vehicle, enabling efficient and safe ladder stowage, leaving the load area of the vehicle free for the transportation of other essential equipment.




Broom holders

Your work van is fundamental to your business and an efficient storage system is essential. Rather than cluttering the load area, make the most of all the available space, including interior walls and the ceiling of your vehicle.

Often overlooked, the ceiling offers the ideal space to store brooms. By stowing bulky items, using interior roof accessories, such as broom holders, on the interior roof of your vehicle, you will have more available space in the cargo area.


Wheel arch lockers

Wheel arch lockers are designed to fit over the top of your van’s wheel arches, maximising available storage by using the empty wall space. A frame is placed over the wheel arch, providing a secure foundation for drawer units or lockers. Cover panels can be added to the frame along with a drop-down door or a door that opens vertically upwards. It’s also possible to fit extendable bench tops to the lockers to create additional work surfaces. They extend out from the rear of the vehicle, making them easy to access. These versatile storage systems are designed to create maximum storage while preserving valuable floor space.

Safes

In some instances, it may be necessary to store valuables in your vehicle. Lockers provide effective storage for your cargo, helping to keep valuable tools and equipment safe. Secure lockers can be combined with drawer units and other modular components to create the safe storage you require while on the move.

Clever storage allows you to exploit those areas of your van that may not seem obviously or be normally available for use, thereby helping to create an ergonomic and professional mobile work environment.

Posted in Commercial Van, Refrigerated Van

Van body types explained

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Looking to get a van but confused about the different shapes? We’ve got you covered.

There’s a wealth of van types on the market to suit most needs. Each body style has specific benefits, depending on what you want it for.

And different van types will have varying repair costs and performance. This could have an impact on your van insurance costs.

But how do you know which is right for you? Here we’ll break down the most popular van types and what they’re good for.

Compare cheap van insurance quotes

Do I need a special licence to drive these vans?

Your car driving licence lets you drive vans of up to 3,500kg in weight. Anything above that and you’ll need an upgraded licence.

Pickup truck

Pickup trucks have an iconic shape due to their open rear cargo bed. They’re useful for hauling materials without the worry of height restrictions.

Pickup trucks can also come as a 4×4 if you need a little extra power.

Luton and box vans

Both Luton and box vans have closed, raised cargo areas. They’re the biggest kind of van you can drive on a standard driver’s licence.

Given their size, these vans are useful for large haulage and removals.

The difference between a Luton and a box van is that box vans have a separate cargo area from the cabin. Luton vans have it all integrated.

Some box vans have a plastic curtain on the sides to allow forklift trucks to pick up goods. These are sometimes called curtain-side vans.

A typical Luton van has these dimensions: 7 metres long, 2 metres wide and 3 metres high.

Panel van

Panel vans are one of the most popular types of van around – they’re likely what you think of when you think ‘van’.

Panel vans tend to not have windows in the sides or rear, which can be useful for security.

If you’re after an all-rounder for business and pleasure, a panel van could be for you.

Tipper truck and flatbed vans

Like pickup trucks, flatbed vans have an open cargo space at the back. The main difference is that flatbed vans:

  • Are longer than pickup trucks
  • Have lower sides.
  • Have a separate cabin area.

You can fit a flatbed van with a hydraulic arm to tip the cargo area – these are ‘tipper trucks’.

Flatbed vans and tipper trucks are good for hauling tall items, or if you’re in the building trade.

Some flatbed vans can have their sides dropped for better access. As the name suggests, these are sometimes called drop-side vans.

You can get flatbed vans under 3,500kg, but most tend to be heavier than this. You may need an upgraded licence to drive them.

Refrigerated van

Refrigerated vans are used to keep goods and medications below a certain temperature.

If you’re in the food business, these would be an obvious contender for transporting food.

Refrigerated vans are often converted from standard vans.

Mobile catering and ice cream vans

Both are used for selling food to customers. Some ice cream vans only have a freezer – some also have a machine to serve soft ice cream.

Like refrigerated vans, these are often conversions of standard vans.

Posted in Commercial Van, Refrigerated Van

What is a reefer truck or trailer?

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To be able to transport temperature-sensitive products, refrigerated trucks and trailers must be able to keep a consistent temperature regardless of the outside weather and windchill. In hot weather, a unit must be able to cool, while in very cold weather a unit might need to heat the consignment

Also called chiller trucks, they can be small class 1 trucks right up to the largest combination vehicles. Reefer come in two types of body: box body (or hardside) and curtainsider. Box body reefers have more natural insulation. Curtainsiders run insulated curtains, which are harder to slide backwards and forwards, but make up for the loss of thermal mass. Curtainside reefers, as standard benefit from being able to be loaded and unloaded from both sides along the length of the deck, as well as from the rear. However, custom bodies can be ordered, like this one from T&G.

The refrigeration unit sits at the front of the semitrailer or pull trailer, or above the cab in a truck.

Reefers have a control panel to set the temperature and monitor the load. The driver sets the thermostat well before they reach their pickup point so that the chiller has time to adjust the load space to the correct temperature.

The driver will wait until the last minute to open the doors or curtains, so as to maintain the temperature inside. The vast majority of chilled trucks and trailers are white because they reflect the most heat, meaning the chiller doesn’t have to work so hard.

Fuel for the chiller unit is contained in a tank underneath the trailer. These typically allow up to a few days of continuous operation, depending on the difference between the outside and inside temperature.

Within the trailer, the floor has channels to allow air to circulate. The cool air is introduced from the front, near the chiller unit – you can see the vents at the top of the bulkhead, below.

Dual temperature reefers are available, as are double-stacking reefers that have a mezzanine floor so that produce that can’t be stacked too high can be transported more efficiently.

As refrigerated loads are often delicate or fragile, it pays to have good quality air suspension. The trailer should be cleaned out between loads so that it doesn’t smell or go mouldy.

Chilled trucks have rubber seals on the doors to keep the cool air in and the warm air out.

There are refrigerated containers, too. These sit on skeletal or flatbed trailers.

Posted in Commercial Van, Refrigerated Van

Refrigerated vans and fresh food – it’s not simple any more

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The grocery business has become more and more reliant on the sale of fresh produce over recent years. Around 40% of grocery sector income is made up of baked goods, fruit and veg, dairy products, meat and fish. The supply chain has to be right, as the handling and transport of these goods can lead to a great deal of wastage.

Refrigerated vans are a key part of the logistics process with many benefits, but it takes more than simply purchasing a van to get the process running smoothly. The products are easily damaged, perishable and quality control processes can be very costly.

As more and more consumers seek a healthier lifestyle and want to eat fresher food the task becomes more complex. An expanding range of fresh food must be transported, requiring distinct environments in terms of temperature and humidity, and different handling strategies.

The most successful food retailers indeed take a strategic approach to their refrigerated van fleet and to every step in the transportation process. They focus on offering a value proposition, rather than just trying to do everything as cheaply as possible. They merchandise well, ensuring that customers appreciate the quality of what they have to offer. Their sourcing and supply chain processes focus on the best producers, who are aligned with their goal to get the food produce to market as fresh as possible. They consider the procedures in the shop, to make sure that the last link in the chain is as strong as every one before it. They also take a pragmatic approach to waste and quality management, considering the two as an integrated dynamic that are intrinsically linked to the quality they offer.

Refrigerated transport and handling processes

At every stage of the process there are people and there is transport. When these two come together there is the possibility for mishandling or mismanagement. The people and transport are often the most important aspect of the supply chain; sometimes costing more than it actually cost to produce the food. Choosing a van and temperature controlled environment is down to the type of produce, the distance of transport, the value of the product, and any handling difficulties.

In any retail supply chain dealing with fresh produce it is vital that some key principles are built into the refrigerated transportation process.

  • Transport times should be reduced as much as possible
  • The fresh food must be kept safe and protected from physical damage and temperature changes
  • The good must not become dehydrated
  • Airflow, humidity and temperature must be carefully controlled and continuously monitored

The quality of refrigerated vans these days, with flexible storage, closely controlled atmospheres, and a range of sizes to meet different logistical requirements means retailers are more able to transport fresh goods than ever before. We have come a long way from the ice being transported from Lake Wenham in the US to be used in London retail outlets. Refrigerated vans are now versatile enough to tackle the plethora of needs any retail could have.

Every step is crucial

The chain to get fresh produce from the field to the consumer involves many small journeys. The truth is that the shorter the journey the less important it is normally deemed by those making it. The reality is that every short journey counts, and the entire chain must be aligned in the same vision; to get the food to market as fresh as possible. Journeys at source are hard to control (hence the need to choose sources carefully). Challenges in the chain can increase wastage, reduce end consumer satisfaction with products, and even lead to poor handling practices and injury amongst workers. Modern equipment can work hand in hand with transport vans to increase the speed and safety of transportation over these short repetitive journeys. Investment in the supply chain certainly pays dividends.

Some steps that can help in the supply chain include.

  • Choosing packaging that fits the process, and is easily loaded
  • Providing training on food freshness and loading to all staff in the chain
  • Using ramped loading bays
  • Using conveyors, fork lifts and trolleys for the shorter journeys to the vans
  • Using small refrigerated vans for small journeys

Loading onto refrigerated vans should not be a haphazard process. Staff need to be able minimise the motion of the food produce whilst maximising use of the available space. They need to leave ventilation gaps and spread the weight as evenly as possible. With loads of mixed produce they should be mindful of the load order; last in first out. It is also important to have well trained van drivers too. The great things is that vans these days come with side loading and rear loading doors. The storage containers within can be bespoke built to ensure they are appropriate for the produce.

Refrigerated vans are not necessarily a must at every step of the way. Enclosed vans can be used for shorter journeys; especially if they are cooled. Open vans offer natural ventilation. However, in the majority of cases refrigerated vans provide the optimal environment for ensure the safe passage of perishable food produce from the field to the consumer.