The recession of 2007-2008 forced many businesses to make substantial changes on how they do business, or risk forever closing their doors. Two examples of companies that reinvented themselves and came out of the recession include Ford and GM, who adapted their vehicle lines to meet current market demands from business owners and operators looking to “right-size” their fleets to achieve maximum efficiency and profit. Manufacturers looked to Europe and saw the opportunity to bring Euro-style commercial vans to North America. These vans offered more cargo space, easy maneuverability, and better fuel efficiency, all at a lower price than traditional trucks.
Types of Commercial Vans: Cargo Vans, High Roof Vans
Since then, commercial vans have increased in popularity in North America, with a surge since 2012. The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) has defined 5 OEMS as manufacturers of commercial vans, including FCA Ram, Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz/Freightliner, and Nissan. Commercial vans can be defined as both passenger vans (shuttles or taxis), or cargo vans, with two seats in the front and cargo space in the back. In addition, commercial vans can be segmented as standard roof vans or high roof vans. High roof vans allow for people to stand up in the back of the cargo area—this segment of commercial vans is responsible for the surge in popularity over recent years. High-roof van sales have more than doubled between 2013 and 2016.
NTEA Reports Growth In Commercial Van Sales
The NTEA reported sales of 264,164 commercial van units in Mexico and the United States, as well as an additional 27,932 vans sold in Canada. This adds up to a total of 292,096 vans sold in North America for 2016. The numbers for 2017 are not published yet, however the NTEA predicted an increase of 4% in North America to increase totals to roughly 305,000 commercial van sales for this past year.
With this growth, vehicle manufacturers have expanded their offerings, presenting buyers with different commercial and cargo van options including van chassis, sizes, engines, and drive trains. Manufacturers of commercial vehicle equipment have expanded their product lines as well, with equipment designed specifically for commercial cargo vans.
VMAC Van Series Air Compressor: The Only Air Compressor Specifically Engineered for Commercial Vans
Though there’s increased opportunity and demand for a mobile air compressor for commercial vans, air compressor manufacturers have been slow to adapt their products for this popular style of commercial vehicle. Many compressor manufacturers can only offer vehicle upfitters the option to put a standalone gas or diesel unit in the cargo area of their customer’s van. This solution not only takes up valuable space in the cargo area, but it also creates an unsafe working environment for operators, who are exposed to toxic fumes and the risk of gas fires. Another option is a low cost, low output electric air compressor driven off an inverter. The downside to this option is that it is not designed for commercial applications, producing only a small amount of air for short periods of time.
There is, however, a better alternative, the VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Van Series Air Compressor. The VMAC Van Series Air Compressor is the only air compressor specifically engineered for commercial vans. This desirable option frees up to 10 cubic feet in the van cargo area, reduces vehicle GVW by almost 300 lbs, eliminates common safety issues, and can produce up to 40 CFM at 100% duty cycle.
The VMAC UNDERHOOD40 – Van Series is a must-have for anyone who is looking to upfit their cargo van with an air compressor. For vehicle bodybuilders and upfitters, this air compressor is available for the Ford Transit, FCA Ram Promaster, GM Savana G Series and Express, and the Mercedes-Benz / Freightliner Sprinter.