Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Prime Design: A Ladder Rack For All Seasons

Guest post by Ken Keller

Uptown Plumbing Heating & Cooling has been serving the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area since 1914. The Uptown Plumbing Heating Cooling technicians make an average of 150 – 200 service calls a day utilizing a fleet of 28 vehicles comprised of Ford Transit Connects and F-150 box trucks.

Chris Grant is Uptown’s Warehouse Manager. “All of our HVAC technicians drive Ford Transit Connects. They don’t need anything bigger than that,” Chris explains. “The plumbers drive both the Transit Connects and F-150 box trucks. We don’t have a lot of storage space in the Transit Connects, so we have no choice but to store our big items, such as PVC and ladders, on the roof. The rack system must enhance Uptown’s professional image for the life of the vehicle (5-year lease), be secure and easy to use.“

Chris found their ladder rack solution with the assistance of their local up-fitter, Aspen Equipment. Uptown selected Prime Design AluRack® (P/N AR1207) with two accessory items: a conduit tube carrier (P/N CON-8010) and a ladder clamp down (P/N ARC-R). The AluRack has an anodized aluminum finish. This finish resists the harsh weather conditions and road chemicals in the Twin Cities metro area.

While steel ladder rack solutions are effective at securing ladders, most quickly rust. Not only is rust an eyesore, it can adversely impact other parts of the vehicle, such as the topper, as well as the image of the business.  “We’ve had steel ladder racks before. They rusted really fast, and it doesn’t look professional,” Chris said. “Image is everything to Uptown, from our uniforms, to the building we rent, to our vehicles, even to our ladder racks.“

The standard rear roller on the AluRack makes loading and unloading much easier, while the clamp down accessory keeps the ladder firmly in place. “The Conduit Carriers allow us to carry full 10 foot lengths of PVC in our Transit Connects,” Chris continues.  “One of the features we love about this ladder rack is that when we step on the brakes hard, none of the product attached to the ladder rack goes flying off.”

For the installers at Aspen Equipment, the AluRack attaches to Ford’s factory mounting points eliminating the need to drill holes, reducing install time.

Prime Design's aluminum, lightweight and ergonomic ladder racks provided the best solution to fit Uptown’s needs. With rack weights ranging from 33 - 96 lbs., AluRack weighs 30% less than a similarly configured steel rack, allowing you to carry more cargo without jeopardizing OEM roof capacity. The crossbar is aerodynamic and reduces wind resistance.

For more information, visit Or, to learn about the additional brands owned by Prime Design’s parent company, Safe Fleet, visit

Monday, August 29, 2016

Adrian Steel and Ford Transit Help Eric Dale Heating & A/C Get Organized

Guest post written by Ken Keller

Eric Dale is the energetic president and owner of Eric Dale Heating & Air Conditioning based in Marshall, Michigan, delivering 24/7 service for a 30-mile radius of the Battle Creek area, with eleven field technicians and a nine van fleet. Eric Dale Heating & Air Conditioning has been providing services for residential, new construction and commercial refrigeration customers since 2005.

“We provide our field techs with the best equipment possible,” Eric said. “Our fleet includes Ford E-250’s and a mid-size Transit van. We all love the Transit and we have plans to convert the entire fleet over to all new Transit vans.”

“All of our vans are outfitted with Adrian Steel products,” Eric said. His company uses an authorized Adrian Steel upfitter: Riverside Vans in Colon, Michigan. “Riverside Vans is a great company. When we buy a new van we simply go to Adrian’s website, write down the part numbers that we want and call Riverside Vans with this information. They pick up the truck at the dealer, take it down to Colon, Michigan, install all the Adrian equipment and drop it off at my door. It couldn’t be easier.”

Some of the Adrian Steel products that Eric’s fleet uses are the Adrian drop down ladders, drawers and shelving, racks and bins, and the Adrian bulkhead and center console. Specific to the HVAC industry, Eric Dale Heating & AC uses Adrian’s refrigeration and nitrogen tank holders. “Basically we order the Adrian Plumbing Package with some of our own tweaks added with Adrian Steel’s accessories.”

The drop down latter rack is a favorite tool of his field technicians. “We like the Adrian Transit side-mounted ladder racks because you don’t need a ladder to get your ladder down. In the winter, on ice covered ground, your feet can stay on the ground when lowering the ladder,” Eric explains.

“Number one for us is Adrian’s versatility. Adrian Steel has everything we need. Because we have different sizes of vans, we are able to customize the vans to fit our individual technician’s requirements. We can make it fit what it needs to fit. Some techs may need bigger bins, more width or more spacing. You can move the shelving, racks and dividers up and down as needed. You don’t have to change out equipment or buy new shelving,” Eric said.

“Adrian Steel’s equipment is clean, strong and easy,” Eric adds. “We put a lot of weight on the shelves and they don’t fall apart. Over the years I have had at least 15 – 20 vans, and they all used Adrian products. I have never had to send anything back or use the warranty. When we sell our old vans we leave them fully Adrian equipped and have no trouble selling the vans within a week.”

Customer relations is an important part of Eric’s business and Adrian helps by giving the vans a clean, profession appearance. “All of our techs wear pressed uniforms. If they are at a residence and the van doors are open, we don’t want to have tools and parts falling out of the van. Adrian Steel Products helps us to give to our customers the impression that we are a first-class, organized and professional company.”

Eric Dale Heating & Air Conditioning has been growing its business by about 20% each year. With Eric’s fine business sense, his dedicated employees and his fleet of Adrian equipped Ford vans, there is no doubt that Eric’s company will continue this growth into the future.

See more about Eric Dale Heating & A/C at

See more about Adrian Steel Van Interiors at

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Massive Range Means More Time on Road, Fewer Pit Stops: All-New Super Duty Brings Largest Fuel Tank in Segment

  •     All-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty gets a 48-gallon fuel tank on long-box Crew Cab configuration for both gasoline and diesel applications – allowing most productive Super Duty ever to spend more time on the road and less time at the pump
  •     New 48-gallon tank is the largest available in the heavy-duty pickup truck segment – 22 percent larger than 37.5-gallon tank in diesel-equipped 2016 Super Duty and 37 percent larger than 2016 gas-equipped truck’s 35-gallon tank
  •     Improved water separator filter and fuel filter design enables longer change intervals, minimizing time and money spent performing routine maintenance
DEARBORN, Mich., Aug. 26, 2016 – The all-new 2017 Ford F-Series Super Duty is the toughest, smartest, most capable and most productive Super Duty ever – an essential tool for work. Just one way in which it can accomplish this is through the addition of a massive 48-gallon fuel tank – the largest in its class – which aims to maximize time between fill-ups to allow for more time getting the job done.

Thanks to the all-new long-box Crew Cab’s longer wheelbase and wider track, the new tank fits between frame and driveshaft. It is 22 percent larger than the 2016 diesel-equipped Super Duty’s 37.5-gallon tank and 37 percent larger than the 2016 gas engine’s 35-gallon tank. Along with improved fuel economy enabled by light-weighting through the use of high-strength, military-grade aluminum alloy, the all-new Super Duty’s range increases significantly.

Adding to that range is a larger-capacity diesel exhaust fluid tank for Power Stroke®-equipped Super Duty – up 2.5 gallons from the 2016 truck to 7.5 gallons for 2017. An improved fuel filter and water separator filter allow for longer change intervals to minimize time and money spent on maintenance, allowing Super Duty more time on the road getting the job done.

“We want to give our customers a more productive tool for getting the most out of their trucks,” said Brian Rathsburg, Super Duty marketing manager. “This means less downtime at the fuel pump and performing routine maintenance, and more time on the job.”

The all-new Super Duty is available fall 2016.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is a global automotive and mobility company based in Dearborn, Michigan. With about 203,000 employees and 67 plants worldwide, the company’s core business includes designing, manufacturing, marketing, financing and servicing a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles, as well as Lincoln luxury vehicles. At the same time, Ford aggressively is pursuing emerging opportunities through Ford Smart Mobility, the company’s plan to be a leader in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, the customer experience, and data and analytics. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company.  For more information regarding Ford, its products worldwide or Ford Motor Credit Company, visit

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Work Truck Solutions Is An End User Oriented Super Tool

Work Truck Solutions provides ‘end users’ – commercial dealers, with an easy way to display their commercial inventory online, as a button on their retail site, on a separate commercial website, or both!

As a result, when the dealers ‘end user’ the truck buyer, sees that the dealer is in the commercial business, and that they not only offer inventory, they offer online convenience as part of their promise of service to the truck buyer, it’s a win-win for everyone.

Here is an easy chart so you can see, at the end of the day, how Work Truck Solutions’ service helps both ‘End Users’:

Your Truck Buyer
Truck Sales Professional
Simple online access
Simple online access
Two clicks to a vocationally specific truck
Two clicks to a specific truck for a buyer
Easy to communication with the dealer
Easy to communicate with the buyer
Great photos and information on both the chassis and the body
Great information on both the chassis and the body, including backend details
Enhanced product information from the manufacturers
Enhanced product information from the manufacturers, including distributor contacts
Easy to share a truck with co-workers,
bosses and friends
Easy to send the right truck(s) to past or prospective truck buyer
Save a truck for later in a personal Garage
Quick Quote: email a quote while the buyer is on the phone, or save it to their Garage
Know you are working with a professional!!!
Look professional, knowledgeable; include
your signature and contact info always
Have many commercial vehicles to choose from
Use the optional trade network to show extra trucks and vans, and to help move inventory
Reach a professional, commercial salesperson quickly
‘UP’ system notifies Salespro what buyers want via text and email
Learn more about work trucks
Informational marketing emails sent monthly

You can see that Work Truck Solutions’ service is designed to help both sides of the sales process!

And it is SO easy to set up, just sign up online, answer some questions, and give access to body invoices. Then inventory listing and prices are automatically updated nightly. At any time, the salespro can easily post a sale price online or feature a specific truck or van. Work Truck Solutions can also feed online media such as Commercial Truck Trader to help drive leads to the dealer’s inventory.

Work Truck Solutions’ service can even integrate with the dealer’s retail CRM so that leads assigned to salespro are not accidentally grabbed by retail sales personnel. The monthly Google Analytics report is being used by smart dealers to track interest in specific chassis, body types, stock numbers and more to help them plan flooring and keep their days on lot low.

And the newest way Work Truck Solutions is helping their dealers? Dealer inventory is now being displayed on body manufacturer and distributor websites to help customers locate your inventory quickly no matter what site they start looking online first! Examples include: Knapheide, Smyna Body, Allied Body, Reading Equipment, and more.

Find out more about Work Truck Solutions at

Friday, August 26, 2016

Spied: 2018 Ford F-150 Turbo-Diesel


All truckmakers are pushing their powertrain engineering teams to explore and innovate multiple paths to better fuel economy in order to meet the aggressive EPA and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration fuel-economy thresholds by model-year 2025.

To meet those new light-duty truck mpg standards in just eight short years, Ford is looking to diesel and hybrid powertrains. Our spy shooters just caught a camouflaged F-150 with tagging that could mean a new baby Power Stroke diesel engine could be available as soon as the 2018 model year. Here's what they sent to us.

"Today we bring you further proof of a 2018 Ford F-150 with a turbo-diesel engine destined for sale.

“Caught earlier testing on Michigan roads, this emissions certificate on the back window of the prototype pickup indicates it is a 3.0-liter unit rather than the 3.2-liter diesel that's offered in the full-size Transit van. The JFC1-3.0-966 on the sticker is the emissions calibration code. The JFC1 is the control unit catchword; the 3.0 is the engine displacement; and the 966 is the last three digits of the vehicle tag number.

“This further confirms that Ford will be using the Lion V-6 found in current Jaguar/Land Rover vehicles such as the Range Rover. The engine was developed while Ford still owned JLR. The F-150 diesel is also identified by the venturi exhaust tip, necessary to more efficiently cool down gas temperatures.

“Ford will be gunning after the Ram 1500 EcoDiesel, which uses an Italian-sourced 3.0-liter V-6 and eight-speed automatic transmission, for the segment fuel-economy victory. Whether or not the F-150 diesel (which may or may not be called a baby Power Stroke) will debut with the face-lifted F-150 series is uncertain (see last photo below), but it should come equipped with the new 10-speed automatic jointly developed with GM and going into the 2017 F-150 and Raptor. We expect to get our first chance to drive it next year."


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

VMAC launches compressor for F-650, F-750 with Triton V10


VMAC announces the launch of its latest Underhood150 rotary screw air compressor system designed for Ford F-650 and F-750 6.8-liter Triton V10 gas engine work trucks.

The announcement marks VMAC’s fourth product launch this year after the VMAC Raptair-G30 gas drive, the DTM70 PTO drive air compressor and the VMAC Underhood-Lite air compressor system, all rotary screw air compressors.

“Continually developing and expanding our product lines to meet our customers growing needs is what positions VMAC as the global leader in advanced mobile compressed air systems,” says Gordon Duval, VMAC vice president of marketing and sales.

“The addition of the Ford F-650 and F-750 expands our Underhood product range to now include the top range of Ford’s medium duty F-Series truck.”

VMAC’s Underhood system provides 100 percent duty cycle and up to 150 CFM and 175 psi and is designed to work in extreme climate conditions. The mounting kit, designed for easy installation, is engineered to fit the Ford F-650 and F-750 engine and chassis taking only a few hours to install.

“VMAC’s Underhood line of air compressors offer significant advantages in that they are much more compact and lightweight than typical mobile air compressors,” Duval states. “There is no installed deck footprint compared to up to 76 cubic feet of typical deck mounted compressors, which provides our customers with more free deck space.

“The system weighs in at a mere 200 pounds, substantially lighter than a typical utility mount system of 1,900 pounds (861 kg), and according to the Environmental Protection Agency fuel savings of up to 2 percent per 100 pounds can be achieved by reducing the GVWR.

“We’re very proud of this product announcement. It underscores our commitment to exceeding our customers’ expectations by continually evolving our advanced air solutions to help them reduce expenses, improve productivity and grow their bottom line.”

- See more at:

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Pick One: Gas or Diesel Ford Work Truck | Ford Commercial Vehicles | Ford Tough

With all the benefits of Ford Medium Duty trucks offered with gas or diesel, it’s hard to pick the right truck for your business.

Darren Crawford, Fleet Manager for Farmer Brothers Coffee, has a tough decision to make when filling up his fleet and has to choose between the Ford F-650 6.7L PowerStroke® V8 Turbo Diesel or the V10 Triton gas engine. With best-in-class* standard horsepower and torque, the gas engine looks good, but the diesel engine can be prepped for biofuels**, so which one will he choose?

*Class is Class 6 and 7 Conventional Chassis Cabs based on Ford segmentation.

**See your dealer for details.

Learn More:

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

AUV - Access Utility Vehicle by Monroe offers loads of benefits for contarctors!


Features and Benefits:

High Grade Aluminum Construction, aluminum is corrosion resistant, saves weight of the body and saves fuel.

Fully opening sides, tools and parts are easily accessible, and saves climbing in and out of the rear of the body

Overhead door design allows for increased length of reach into the storage area and shelters technicians from rain.

Waist High work surface.

Shelves are fully adjustable and bins can be added to suit the storage requirements.
Large, clear side areas available for signage and logos.

Various vocational packages available with many customizable options.

Find out more at:

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Test drive: Ford’s F-650, Super Duty’s biggest brother

Sitting in Ford’s F-650, towering above the surrounding traffic, feels strangely familiar. Strange only because I haven’t driven the truck before, but familiar because of how much of its design is shared with its Super Duty siblings.

This generation F-650 gets a facelift that puts exterior styling and interior comforts more inline with the rest of the Super Duty lineup.

The bright orange 2016 F-650 dump truck I piloted through the greater Ann Arbor, Mich., area featured Ford’s Triton V-10 gasoline engine. Pumping out 320 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque, the 6.8 liter is the only gasoline engine offered in a Class 6-7 truck.

Whether in or outside of the cab, engine sound is minimal – hardly louder than you would expect from any standard size pickup – and that offers additional benefits.

“Pulling up on a job site before 7 a.m., people really appreciate not hearing the diesel clatter coming down the road,” says Kevin Koester, Ford’s medium duty truck and Super Duty fleet brand manager.

An optional 6.7-liter Power Stroke V-8 turbo diesel is also available with three power ratings. For anyone who’s driven the current generation Power Stroke diesels, you know “diesel clatter” is pretty minimal as well.

Regardless of which engine you choose, you’ll wind up with a fully integrated “Built Ford Tough” powertrain. The Cummins inline-six and Allison automatic transmission are no longer available. After the dissolution of Blue Diamond Truck Company – a partnership between Ford and Navistar – Ford went all-in on its own gasoline and Power Stroke diesel engines along with its built-in-house TorqShift HD 6-speed automatic transmission.
IMG_3403Inside my 4-door Crew Cab test truck, many cues are again borrowed from smaller Super Duty models, like the XLT cloth seats. Gauges, auxiliary switches and controls – including power window and locks – were all conveniently located and within reasonable reach for the driver.

“The ergonomics are very similar to Super Duty,” Koester adds. “You’re just riding higher.”

The air conditioning was cold on a cool June afternoon and the truck is standard with Ford’s SYNC system, which offers hands-free calling, AppLink and Bluetooth capabilities. If creature comforts are important, you’ll find plenty in the new F-650.

The chrome snout brings a little bling to a truck otherwise designed to be battered around a construction site, but the white 22.5-inch steel wheels bring you crashing back to the reality that this really is a work truck.

Egress in and out of the truck is surprisingly easy thanks to strategically located grab handles and side steps.

The front axle, a 8,500-lb. Dana D-850F, features 8,500-lb. parabolic taperleafs while the rear gets a 17,500-lb. Dana S17-140 (6.50 ratio) on 19,000-lb. multi-leafs.

Longer leaf springs versus prior generation models give the F-650 a smoother ride, almost like you’re driving your pickup – if your pickup was huge and had a GVWR of upwards of 26,000 pounds. Okay … so it doesn’t ride or handle exactly like a pickup, but it does drive more like one than you otherwise might expect. Steering was tight for a truck of its size.

Maneuverability, thanks in part to the massive windshield and the visibility it provides, was incredible. Navigating some of Michigan’s rural roads in a truck with a 194 inch wheelbase loaded with 5 yards of top soil was surprisingly easy and comfortable and posed little challenge to the rear springs. Ride and handing actually improved significantly with a dump full of dirt.

- See more at:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

The Tough 10 Reasons the Ford F-150 Outpaces Every Other Truck

Those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to drive it. Here are 10 reasons why the forward-thinking Ford F-150 continues to leave all other trucks in the dust

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Smartest Super Duty Ever

With up to seven available cameras & LED lighting, the 2017 Ford Super Duty is the smartest Super Duty ever.

Towing is at the center of the Super Duty mission. Equipped with up to seven available cameras, the 2017 Super Duty can help make hitching up a standard or gooseneck trailer a snap. And the first-ever, factory-available trailer camera can be attached to a trailer to improve visibility while backing up.

Explore the 2017 Ford Super Duty:

Friday, August 5, 2016

How F-150 Raptor Sticks to Trails: All-New BFGoodrich Tires Are More Capable, Comfortable Than Ever

The toughest, smartest, most capable F-150 Raptor ever gets a specially developed set of BFGoodrich tires that improve both on- and off-road performance while increasing comfort.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Weather Guard - 2016 - Dan Laurx Demonstrates Toolbox

WEATHER GUARD Toolboxes designed and built utilizing the latest technologies and toughest materials to provide the most complete selection of high-quality storage equipment available.