Trends in commercial van upfitting  and how to capitalise on them

The demand for van upfitting is growing and customers select a pickup or service body truck for a mobile service application. Few commercial van options are available in the North American Market – three full-size vans and one compact van. And this number is increased more than doubled to 10 van models. These models provide a wider range of roof heights, wheelbases, payload capacities and engines for fleet managers to choose from. 

We noticed that most of the customers switching from pickup trucks to vans because there is more demand for vans especially small vans and euro-style full-size vans. Below are given some new trends that are popular in commercial van upfits. 

Rightsizing the van to the job

Fleets give more importance to their business and focused on selecting the right size van. With greater options, they choose a more effective tailor vehicle that increases efficiencies and lower operational costs. How to upfit a van:

  • Expand upfit offerings that fit each van model
  • Offer modular or adjustable cargo management systems so that technicians can personalize the upfit according to their customer needs. 
  • Reorganize the cargo area inside the high roof vans and create a new upfit design that increases efficiency and productivity. 

Taking weight out of the upfits

New vans are bigger in size with more cargo area and you can fit a lot more gear in it. More stuff in the van increases the risk of overloading. So in these trends, lighter weight materials are used to increase legal payload capacity. Upfitters use lighter material to reduce overall upfit weight, depending on the customer’s functionality, durability and budget requirements. How to upfit:

  • Offer lighter weight options depending on the requirements
  • Help customers to assess the cost-benefit of light-weighting in the form of increased productivity, payload capacity and reduce acquisition costs. 

Higher demand for ergonomic upfit

A number of fleet managers are growing and managers are looking to equip their vehicles with upfits that improve ergonomics to protect their technicians health. The upfit products are designed by taking ergonomics in their minds. For example, drop-down ladder rack, which is especially helpful with taller Euro-style vans because it enables workers to load and unload ladders from the side of the van, while standing safely at ground level, instead of having a strain and lift to load a heavy ladder onto a standard roof rack. How to upfit:

  • Educate customers about ergonomics options such as drop-down racks, grab handles and contoured bulkheads. 
  • Research on how the vehicle is intended to be used in the field to uncover new ideas for designing upfit that help in improving workflow and ergonomics.

Increased demand for mobile power

We’re seeing a trend toward fleets wanting van interiors that offer a more productive mobile workplace, with increased demand for power ports to run laptops, charge mobile devices, and operate electric tools. How to upfit:

  • Expand the product offerings and upfit according to the customer’s mobile power needs for commercial vans in terms of electrification and air power. 
  • Help customers to make the right choice between maximizing onboard power while minimizing the system’s weight and impact on cargo capacity. 

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