Posted in Ideas & Tips

Tips To Select The Best Ladder Rack For Your Van

Outfitting your work van with a ladder rack is one of the best decisions you can make for your business. While most vans are factory made for cargo transportation, you can still optimize their capacity by outfitting them with the right equipment. Whether you are a construction contractor, plumbing contractor, landscaper or roofer, installing a ladder rack will revolutionize your trade. This is a game changer as a ladder rack not only maximizes available space but also enhances safety standards in your operations. A drop-down van ladder rack is just one of the many rack systems that you can select.

This article seeks to help you make the right choice when buying a van ladder racks for. If you are looking for the most efficient ladder rack for your van, keep reading.

There are many reasons to install a ladder rack on your van the most important ones being:

  • Increasing safety levels: A ladder rack secures bulky cargo safely and keeps everyone safe on the road. More importantly, loading and unloading your ladder and other bulky items are safer and you will not have to grapple with workplace injuries.
  • Enhancing capacity: A good ladder rack allows you to double your van’s cargo capacity. A ladder takes a lot of space inside the cargo area but when securely fastened on a rack system, you have more room to utilize inside the van.
  • Boosting productivity/ efficiency: A lot of time is normally wasted loading and unloading ladders but with an efficient ladder rack system, you can avoid this situation. Your crew does work that is more effective within a shorter time.

Buying a ladder rack system in today’s market is tough with so many brands building similar systems. To select the right ladder rack, consider the following:

Determine your transportation requirements

The best van ladder rack must suit your transportation need. Firstly, consider the size and number of ladders you will be transporting. If you normally transport other bulky items, consider whether they will comfortably fit on the rack system, you want to buy. To find the best ladder make sure you have a full understanding of your current and future business cargo transportation requirements.

Consider your van type

With so many van models in the market, truck and van equipment manufacturers are now building specialized outfitting accessories designed for specific models. The most common vans on the roads include Mercedes Sprinter, Ford Transit, RAM ProMaster, Ford E-Series, Dodge and Nissan NV Series among others. Ask your supplier whether they have a ladder rack specifically designed for your van model. These racks are easier to customize.

Check for safety features

When comparing different ladder racks, look at their safety features before making the final decision. One of the main reasons for outfitting your van with a ladder rack is to enhance safety and for this reason, the rack must come with features to facilitate this purpose. Look for a rack whose design and construction has passed necessary safety tests. The best racks come with easy-to-use operating systems and fasteners.

Durable and weather resistant material

The most efficient ladder systems fit on a van’s roof and are vulnerable to the elements. The material used to make your van ladder rack must be durable and weather resistant. Steel and aluminum are the most common materials used to make these racks. Aluminum ladder racks are now more popular as they are lightweight, corrosion resistant, easy to install and durable.

Eased of use

The best van ladder rack is easy to operate. Look for hydraulic rack systems, which require a minimal manual operation. This not only boosts productivity but also enhances safety standards in your operations. The best van ladder rack makes work easier for your crew, which in turn leads to higher productivity. In this regard, a drop down van ladder rack works perfectly because it is easy to operate and your crew will have an easy time loading and unloading ladders.

Compare different ladder systems

There are many ladder rack systems in the market and it is important to look at each before making your final choice. The most common are drop down, base racks, side access rotation racks, lockdown racks, aluminum cargo carrier, inside van racks among others. Each of these ladder systems comes with its own features and it is thus important to compare them before making your choice.

There are many van ladder racks on the market and finding the best is a daunting task. With these tips, however, you are good to go. Consider your transportation needs, choose an easy-to-use ladder, durable materials and of course buy the ladder rack from a reliable van and truck equipment supplier for the best product warranty.  

Posted in News & Updates

Eight ways to reduce the cost of your fleet van insurance

Fleet van insurance is the best way to protect your company if you own, hire or lease vehicles for business purposes.

It’s essential if your fleet is two or more vehicles that are operated or owned by the company.

Having all your vehicles under one policy can help reduce the hassle of having multiple policies which can be complicated, expensive and time consuming. However, it can be difficult to know when to start when looking at multiple vehicle policies. 

Luckily, most providers are competitive when it comes to pricing and your policy can be tailored to your individual business requirements.

Whether you’re looking at fleet van insurance with the same vehicle type or a different range of vehicles, there are still ways you can cut the costs of your insurance premiums. 

What affects the cost of my fleet van insurance?

The cost of your premiums for your insurance will depend on the type of vehicles you have on your policy along with their age and the number that you have. Often, you’ll find that discounts are provided the more vehicles you add to your policy. 

It will also depend on the location, where the vehicles are kept overnight, the business trading history, any previous claims and the age of the drivers.

How can I reduce the cost?

There are a number of ways to reduce the cost of your fleet van insurance, some of which you may be able to achieve:

Increase the excess

Although not always an ideal option, increasing the excess on your vehicle can help to cut down the cost of your insurance premiums. Opting for a higher excess will reduce the price, but you would pay out a higher amount if there were to be an accident.

Therefore, you might want to put additional safety or security in your vehicles or have a policy whereby the driver will pay the excess in case of an accident to promote safer driving.

Secure your vehicles

Having immobilisers on your fleet vans as well as storing them in a locked garage or secure parking overnight can help to reduce your insurance premiums.

It may also help to include any tools or equipment that you might carry on the van within the policy, or, alternatively take out any expensive equipment overnight to remove the risk of theft.

Select your drivers wisely

The age of your drivers will affect the cost of your insurance premiums. Any driver under 25 will increase the cost of your fleet van insurance. Therefore, opting for older drivers or those with a clean driving licence can help to reduce the cost of your insurance. 

Technology

Technology such as telematics also known as a black box can help to save you some money. These devices record driver behaviour including the speed, GPS locations and braking. They also help to track the maintenance of your vehicle so that you can be one step ahead of the game when it comes to servicing your van fleet. 

This not only helps reduce the cost of repairs, but also can help to reduce your insurance premiums. Furthermore, investing in dashcams for your vehicles can help to provide evidence and support any claims if there was to be an accident. 

Choose or remove extras

Often when purchasing fleet van insurance there will be a whole array of optional extras. When looking at quotes, make sure you don’t forget this section as sometimes providers can add on extras without you being aware of it. 

It’s also always good to check the policy terms as some of these extras may actually be worth your while or vice versa. 

Change the size of your vans

Smaller vehicles are generally cheaper when it comes to insurance. If you’re at a position where you are purchasing new vehicles, consider downgrading to a smaller model or even opt for an electric or hybrid vehicle. This can save you money on your insurance premiums as well as your fuel consumption too!

Build up your no claims

If it’s not the first time you’re looking at fleet van insurance, you can cut the costs by claiming your no-claims discount. You can use your no claims on more than one vehicle at once, so if you’ve got a good driving history then you’ll likely get cheaper fleet insurance. 

If you don’t already have a no-claims discount, you can start to build up a new one which will inevitably cut costs when it comes to renewing your policy. 

Compare

It’s always best to do some research and compare quotes with different insurance providers to find an affordable policy. Different providers will have different extras or add in other benefits too included in the price and a fleet insurance broker will be able to secure you the best policy at the best price. You will also likely experience a higher discount the more vehicles you have on the same policy. 

By shopping around you can find the right policy that will suit your business needs and check that you’re getting the best deal. 

Have these Commercial Vans facts whetted your appetite for more information? We welcome your views in the comments section below.

Posted in Uncategorized

Five Weird Refrigerator Facts!

Refrigerators aren’t often thought of as being interesting (unless you run a refrigerator van business like we do), but we know that there is much more to the world of fridges than you’d think. That’s why we at Cool Vans have put together this list of weird refrigerator facts!

We offer the best reefer and refrigerator vans. All of our vans are cutting edge, a step above the competition, and ready for a full day of work. We offer rentals for those who use reefer vans every once in awhile, and reefer van purchases for those who will need a van daily!

There Is a National Clean Your Fridge Day

That’s right, there really is a day for every occasion. On November 14th of every year, refrigerator owners are expected to clean out their fridges. We do hope that this isn’t the only day of the  year that people clean their fridges, but it’s a free country. Much like our refrigerator vans, we think that fridges should be cleaned often for best use. If you need tips for cleaning your refrigerator or refrigerator van, check out our cleaning guide here.

The Largest Fridge in the World is 27 Kilometers Long

That’s right, five hundred feet beneath France and Switzerland there is a near 27 kilometer (~17 mile) long refrigerator. Though it could contain several lifetime supplies of ice cream sandwiches, it is actually where the world’s largest particle accelerator is. Called the Large Hadron Collider, the facility helps physicists run experiments to further their understanding of the way the universe works.

Freon Isn’t in Fridges Anymore

The chemical that most people associate with refrigeration is actually no longer used for it. Freon is considered too environmentally detrimental for consumer use, and cheaper, safer refrigerants like HCFC-22 and HCFC-14 have replaced them. These days freon is only used outside of the US in refrigerators, and even then, it is rare. Our own refrigerator vans haven’t used freon ever. The models that we carry, are some of the most advanced on the market, and we proudly rent them out in the Las Vegas area at very affordable rates.  

There Are Secret Fridges that Protect Plants All Over the World.

These secret refrigerators are dotted in far reaching places like Antarctica, Finland, and Russia. Other ones are even under universities! They were built to hold seeds for long periods after the start of the cold war because genetic engineering was on the rise, and a potential nuclear war could drive away all life. The fridges were built to hold seeds for both research and to replant the earth. Pretty dark, but still cool to know that there are refrigerators out there like this.

Portable Fridges Are Growing in Popularity

Despite the fact that over 8 million fridges are purchased every year in the United States, a growing amount are not the full-size home fridges we normally see. This is because, these days, young adults expect to rent for most of their lives or have taken up semi nomadic or nomadic existence by working on the move from vans or trucks. Using portable fridges is, therefore, easier to move from apartment to apartment or have strapped in the vehicle they live out of. If anyone is looking for a more mobile lifestyle and lives in the Las Vegas area, we sell reefer vans that would make fantastic live-in refrigerated vans, if retrofitted well!

Well, we hope that this article is as entertaining for you as it has been for us! If you need perishables protected in transit or for short term storage, check out our rent or purchase one of our state-of-the-art refrigerator vans!

Posted in Van Ladder Racks

How to Safely Load and Unload Your Ladder Racks

Ladder racks are an essential part of work for many people, but it’s important to use them as safely as possible. Loading and unloading the van ladder racks can be dangerous if not done correctly, which puts not only you and your coworkers at risk but also other people on the road. If you have to transport ladders, here is what you need to know about loading and unloading your racks safely.

Always Secure the Ladders

Driving without securing your ladders is extremely dangerous to you and everyone else. This is true even if you don’t use the ladder racks and put the ladders in the bed of a truck or trailer. Use straps that are designed specifically to secure your ladders’ sizes and weights. Even going a short distance without securing your ladders is risky, so always err on the side of caution and use the straps.

Be Aware of Weight Distribution

Loading up your ladder racks can alter the aerodynamics of your car, which will change the way it handles. This is especially the case for high-profile vehicles, such as vans, that are equipped with racks. The best way to maintain control of your handling is to distribute the weight evenly across the racks. Avoid overloading your ladder racks, as the excess weight could cause your vehicle to tip. Excessive weight also increases the stopping distance of your vehicle.

Secure Moving Sections of the Ladders

Any sections of your ladders that move should be secured before you load them onto racks. Double check them after you have strapped down the ladders to ensure that they are still secured, so that they remain secure during transit. Before you unload them, check again that the parts are secured. For long extension ladders, always use two people to load and unload them.

Posted in Van Ladder Racks

Ladder Rack Benefits for Companies and Techs

Ladder racks may seem like an optional piece of equipment to install in a work vehicle, but for technicians working in service industries or construction, hauling ladders from their fleet vehicles can be a tiresome and dangerous business that can be greatly improved with the installment of one.  

Ladder rack benefits

Ladders are a necessary tool for service and construction industries. Ladder racks become a must-have for companies who wish to improve the productivity of their technicians and keep them safe and comfortable during the work week.

Augment cargo space

By not having to load the ladder inside your work vehicle, a ladder rack helps increase the space inside your vehicle and keeps the ladder safely secured on top of your van or truck.

Better time management:

A ladder rack benefits both technicians and companies because it boosts productivity. When this piece of equipment is installed in a work vehicle, technicians can arrive at their job site and waste no valuable time unloading and reloading the ladders.

Time adds up, so with a more streamlined ladder use, workers can go straight to focusing on getting their job done.

Safe storage

As essential as they are, ladders can also be an expensive investment which makes a ladder rack a way to keep it safe during transportation, loading, and unloading. One of the many ladder rack benefits is that due to the rack, your ladder won’t slip or get loose while on the move.  

Reduced risk of injuries

Not only is the process of loading and unloading a ladder made faster and more comfortable with a ladder rack, but it also improves the safety of the process. Ladder racks are meant to gently lower ladders down to a person’s reach. This rids the need to strain to reach the top of the van or force the back and muscles from hauling the ladder out the back of the truck.  

The installment of a ladder rack benefits everyone in the company by making the job easier, keeping important equipment safely guarded and diminishing the risk of work injuries. This allows employees to offer customers better service and therefore, leading to the company’s’ overall success.  

Get know great variety of commercial vehicle Van ladder racks available in the market and find the one that best adjusts to your fleet.

Posted in Ideas & Tips

Selecting the Right Ladder Rack for the Job

Proper ladder rack selection for commercial vans is important, because it impacts initial cost, cargo capacity, worker safety, and productivity.

But, with pricing that can range from $200 to $2,000 per rack, the process can get complicated and needlessly expensive. What are the factors to consider when selecting a rack?

Knowing the Options

The best starting point is to become familiar with the different types of racks and their strengths and limitations.

In a nutshell, ladder racks are segmented into three main categories — utility, lock-down, and drop-down — although each manufacturer may have its own branded name for each type.

Here’s a breakdown of the three main categories, including their pros and cons, to provide a framework for understanding the style that best fits specific applications.

Utiity Rack

Pros: Flexibility to haul multiple ladders and material types; lowest price point.

Cons: Difficult to access, depending on van height; potential for overloading.

Suitable Van Types: Compact and standard-roof full-size vans.

The most economical option, a utility rack can be as simple as two to three adjustable crossbars mounted separately on top of the van or a one-piece gridiron platform with a fixed perimeter and adjustable crossbars. The utility rack offers flexibility to carry materials beyond just ladders, such as pipe and lumber, secured onto the rack using bungee cords, straps, or tie downs.

“The utility rack creates a flat surface on the van and offers a lot of flexibility, where you can haul boards of wood or other material, like electrical conduit.


And, depending on the weight of the ladders and frequency of having to access the rack, the difficulty to load and unload ladders could increase the risk of injuries for workers, resulting in expensive claims and lost productivity.

The utility rack’s flexibility advantage also presents a potential downside: the possibility of being overloaded. “You’ll see fleets that misuse the three-bar utility rack, exceeding the parameters of ladders, in terms of weight and length of materials.

Another concern with utility racks is that the load is secured using bungee cords or straps, without a standard “foolproof” mechanism for locking down the cargo. This can cause headaches for fleet managers who are responsible for multiple vans in the field, having to hope that drivers will follow through on proper procedures.

Lock-Down Rack

Pros: Easy-to-use, dependable locking mechanism.

Cons: Cargo limitations; difficulty to access on high-roof vans.

Suitable Van Types: Compact and standard-roof full-size vans.

Available in single and double-sided configurations, with the capacity to carry one ladder per side, this style features an easy-to-use torsion system that “locks” the ladder into place. Although lock-down racks are designed exclusively for hauling ladders, some manufacturers offer accessories, such as conduit carriers, that are compatible with this style.

In terms of pricing, lock-down racks represent a mid-level option, ranging from $300 to $800, depending on single or double side installation and other factors.

Drop-Down Rack

Pros: Less strain on workers; increased safety; easy-to-use locking mechanism.

Cons: Cargo limitations; high price-point.

Suitable Van Types: High-roof and standard-roof full-size vans.

Similar to lock-down racks, the drop-downs are available in single- and double-sided configurations with a built-in locking mechanism to secure the load. The rack lowers to a level where the ladder can be easily loaded and unloaded, and then raises to its secure travel position with a mechanical, pneumatic, or electric assist, taking the strain completely off the worker’s back.

“The drop-down rack is better ergonomics — it’s more efficient,”

And, good ergonomics can be smart economics for some fleets — but it comes with a steep price tag, ranging from $1,000 to $2,000.

“For larger fleets that have liability concerns with ergonomic-related injuries, and not wanting to deal with workers’ compensation claims, the drop-down rack helps reduce risk of injury of loading and unloading ladders.
That’s why fleets need to analyze their claims’ spend rate versus the higher cost of the drop-down rack to see what makes the most financial sense, said Nelson with Wheels. “There are some customers who will go with the more expensive rack because they have had claims with drivers with back injuries,” he continued.

What applications benefit the most from drop-down racks? “The key question to ask is: How often are they going to load and unload cargo off the top of that van?” “In some telecom applications, extension ladders may weigh 70 pounds to 80 pounds, and technicians have to lift them off the van several times per day, which can cause a lot of fatigue and strain. In other applications, which may use a ladder once or twice per day, the utility rack or lock-down rack could be a good fit.”

Considering Accessories

Other rack options to consider that can enhance worker productivity and safety include:

  • Interior rack: Ceiling-mounted inside the van’s cargo area, the interior rack is ideal for stepladders that are to be used inside a home or business. The ladder is protected from the elements and prevents snow, dirt, or road grime (which might accumulate on ladders stored on exterior racks) from being tracked into a customer’s home or place of business.
  • Conduit carriers: These allow fleets to haul pipe and conduit in a container that protects the materials from the elements and can be easily locked for security.
  • Rollers: These are typically available for gridiron-style utility racks, installed on the outer bar at the rear of the rack. The technician leans the top end of the ladder onto the rollers and then is able to push the entire ladder up onto the rack with less strain and effort.
  • Light stand: These are mounted on the rack and designed to help improve visibility at night.
  • Auxiliary step: This step offers a larger slip resistant surface that’s mounted on the rear bumper to offer safer “step-up” access to the rack.

Putting It All Together

What style of rack and options best match the job? Here are four questions to help guide the choice of the right rack for the job:

1. What exactly will be stored on the racks? If more than just ladders are being stored, the utility rack may be the best match because of its flexibility to haul different types of materials.

2. How many ladders? If it’s just one or two ladders, then any of the available rack types will work fine. The utility rack allows for carrying more than two ladders.

3. What van height? High-roof full-size vans, such as Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, Ford Transit, and Ram ProMaster, are driving greater demand for the drop-down racks because the roof heights put ladders out of reach for most workers without some sort of assistance to make the ladders more easily accessible.

4. How often will the ladders need to be accessed? If the ladders are heavy and need to be accessed several times per day, especially on high-roof vans, the drop-down rack is the most suitable from an ergonomic and productivity perspective. For standard roof heights and compact vans, where the ladders are within a worker’s reach, a lock-down rack would be appropriate for those high-use applications.

The Bottom Line

Frequency of use, type, number of ladders, van height, accessibility, and initial cost — these are all important factors to consider when selecting ladder racks and options that are optimal for the job and the fleet’s budget. 

Posted in Ideas & Tips

Advantages of Adding a Van Ladder Rack of Your Fleet Vehicles

Ladder racks are a necessary tool throughout the trade industries because they keep ladders safe and secure while you are driving. This blog is very helpful to find out what are the top advantages of adding a ladder racks to fleet vehicles and how to select the right ladder rack for your needs.

Advantages of a Ladder Rack for Fleet Vehicles

  • Streamline ladder usage – The more your company can streamline processes such as loading and managing job sites, the more efficient and cost-effective your workers can be. Ladder racks are one of the best streamline ladder usage, so workers can be more productive.
  • Protect your employees – For workers in construction and other service industries, hauling and loading ladders is not only tiring, but it can also be dangerous. A ladder rack is a simple yet effective solution.
  • Promotes safety – Ladder racks secure ladders during transit, they promote public safety. A ladder that falls off a fleet vehicle could seriously injure other drivers or passer-by.
  • Save time – It saves the time of loading and unloading the van when employees are always placing ladders on racks compared with when they’re trying to pack everything in the back of the van.

Benefits of Van Ladder Racks

Ladders are expensive, necessary pieces of equipment for many industries, thus it is important to keep them safe and secure. By using a van ladder rack, your business can reclaim space inside the cargo van. More interior space means it is easier to load in tools and equipment.

It’s also easier when ladders are out of the way, yet securely within reach. Ladders stay where your workers placed them when you use a ladder rack, rather than sliding around the cargo van where they could damage other supplies.

How to Select a Ladder Rack for Your Fleet Vehicle

Actually van ladder racks are not created equally. It is important to invest in quality equipment that will serve your business for years to come, rather than focusing on a price point. Higher prices show that quality of ladder rack is good and it is used in business for daily use. 

A cheap ladder rack may not be reliable, becoming a liability to your business rather than an asset. It is always recommended to purchase the best ladder rack you can afford.

Ladder racks come in many different shapes and sizes, which means you will be able to find a ladder rack that suits your vehicle’s needs no matter what type of fleet vehicle you own.