Cullen Diesel Chooses UNDERHOOD™ 40 Air Compressor: Improves Efficiency & Morale

This is the third and final blog in VMAC’s three-part series featuring Cullen Diesel, the Detroit Diesel and MTU distributor for BC. Cullen Diesel mechanics are factory trained and certified in Detroit Diesel and Mercedes engines, and frequently work in challenging and remote locations in the logging, marine, mining, and industrial sectors.

Dennis Miskow Cullen Diesel

Dennis Miskow, Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC operations

Dennis Miskow is the Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC operations. In Part 1 of the Van Series Air Compressor blog, he discussed his decision to choose a Mercedes 4×4 Sprinter van. In Part 2 of the Van Series blog, he explains why he chose an UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor instead of a standalone gas drive air compressor for the van. In Part 3, Dennis shares what a typical service job looks like for Cullen Diesel, and how the UNDERHOOD™ 40 is improving morale and helping his mechanics work more efficiently.

Cullen Diesel Service Jobs

Cullen Diesel’s team of heavy-duty mechanics have experience in servicing and repairing mining products, logging and marine equipment, generators, construction and industrial equipment, as well as trucks and buses with Detroit Diesel, Mercedes and Allison transmissions. A typical service job sees mechanics travelling up to logging camps, down to docks for marine repairs, and other remote locations. As Dennis mentioned in Part 1 of the blog series, this is where the Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter van really shines: “On its first service call it drove easily up the logging roads to the job site, right behind the trucks.”

UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Air Compressor: “It’s Been Exactly As Advertised.”

As discussed in Part 2 of the blog series, the Sprinter van is upfitted with an UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor. “Investing in the right tools for the job is part of the professionalism that Cullen Diesel is known for,” notes Dennis. “The Sprinter van provides a modern look for our service vehicle and having an UNDERHOOD™ Air Compressor tucked away is part of that clean, professional look we’re striving for.” Investing in the best quality air compressor is also important for his mechanics’ day-to-day work. Dennis explains: “Having an UNDERHOOD™ air compressor allows my team to work more efficiently, but it also improves morale. My technicians appreciate having high-quality equipment that always works, instead of struggling with a frustrating piece of equipment that doesn’t perform.”

And it’s not just the improved look and morale that has Dennis praising VMAC’s air compressor. “The UNDERHOOD™ Van Series is cleaner, quieter, and quicker than our previous gas powered standalone air compressor,” says Dennis. “Operation of the compressor is convenient and easy-to-use. You just push a button and it’s working and producing full air power.”

It’s now been three years since Cullen Diesel first got their 4×4 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van equipped with the UNDERHOOD™ Van Series Compressor, and so far, “it’s done exactly what we want it to do,” confirms Dennis. “The air power is there and there’s been no issues and no downtime. It’s been exactly as advertised.”

And when asked for his advice to anyone who is thinking of upgrading to a UNDERHOOD™ Air Compressor, Dennis’ answer is confident and succinct: “Do it!”

Subscribe to the VMAC Blog to continue reading customer job stories like this Cullen Diesel story with Dennis Miskow.

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Read more about Cullen Diesel’s story:

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Cullen Diesel Chooses An UNDERHOOD™ Van Series Air Compressor

Welcome to the second installment of VMAC’s three-part blog series centered around Cullen Diesel, the Detroit Diesel and MTU distributor for BC. Cullen Diesel mechanics are factory trained and certified in Detroit Diesel and Mercedes engines, and often work in challenging and remote locations in the logging, marine, mining, and industrial sectors.

Dennis Miskow

Dennis Miskow, Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC

Dennis Miskow, Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC operations took some time to speak with VMAC about Cullen’s fleet, and his decision to choose a Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter in Part 1 of the Van Series Air Compressor blog. In Part 2 of the series, Dennis explains why he chose an UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor instead of a gas drive air compressor, what he likes about the UNDERHOOD™, and his advice to anyone considering an UNDERHOOD™ for their commercial van upfit.

Selecting A Van Air Compressor: UNDERHOOD™ or Gas Drive?

When it was time to upgrade an aging service truck, Dennis Miskow ended up choosing a Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter van. Next, he planned the upfit with Sterling Fleet Outfitters, a commercial van and truck equipment upfit company. Dennis was pleased to find this upfitter was very experienced in cargo van upfits and had plenty of options specifically designed for Cullen’s Sprinter van. When it came time to choose the air compressor, Dennis took the time to reflect on the performance of Cullen Diesel’s current gas drive air compressor.

“We knew that the gas drive had lots of problems. It was bulky, it was space-sucking, it was dirty, and we had to fix it constantly,” explains Dennis. “We were so used to it, we just accepted that it was a high-maintenance piece of equipment that we had to deal with.”

Unfortunately, these problems are not uncommon for many mobile mechanics. However, with the surge in popularity of commercial vans comes an increase in the development of specialized equipment, like the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor, the only air compressor that has been specifically engineered for commercial vans. The placement within the engine compartment saves space in the cargo area and solves common safety issues, like toxic fume exposure and risk of gas fires, faced by many operators with standalone gas air compressors installed in the cargo area. With the UNDERHOOD™ 40, the only space required in the cargo area is 1.7 cubic feet for a combined air/oil cooler and air/oil separator tank.

“My mechanic specifically asked for an UNDERHOOD™ Air Compressor for the van,” said Dennis. “Because we’d been experiencing problems with our older gas drive air compressor, I was happy to get him what he was asking for.”

Dennis worked with VMAC National Sales Representative Darren Darnley to get the Cullen Diesel Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter van upfitted with the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series. “Darren was great to work with. He was the point-person, and he gave the same high level of service we would give to our customers,” notes Dennis.

UNDERHOOD for vansLike with any investment in new equipment, Dennis did have some concerns, mainly about cost. “The Van Series Air Compressor is more expensive than a gas drive air compressor, and I also wondered if the UNDERHOOD™ was too much power for our applications, as it’s rated for up to 40 CFM.” However, once the UNDERHOOD™ was installed on the van and his mechanics were using it, he had no more doubts.

UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor Benefits

After having the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor for three years, it’s easy for Dennis to list his top three benefits of this air compressor:

  • Space Savings
    • “Having the air compressor under the hood saves space inside the van, and gives it a clean, open look. There’s less clutter inside.”
  • Quieter Operation
    • “We don’t have a noisy air compressor on a truck right at ear level anymore.”
  • Professionalism
    • “Having the van’s equipment and tools organized gives it a clean, professional look. Having the VMAC air compressor tucked away under the hood is part of the professional look we’re going for, and it feels like one less thing to worry about.”

As Dennis mentioned in Part 1 of the blog series, adding another commercial van to the Cullen Diesel fleet is in the plan. “I want to get another van, and when we do, it absolutely will have another UNDERHOOD™ 40 Air Compressor on it,” says Dennis.

Subscribe to the VMAC Blog to continue reading about Cullen Diesel’s experience with a service van, and the specialized equipment it comes with. In part three of the series, which will be released next, Dennis will share what a typical service job with Cullen Diesel entails, and how the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor is enabling his mechanics to work more efficiently. You can also go back to read part 1 of the series: Cullen Diesel Chooses Mercedes-Benz 4X4 Sprinter Van Over Service Truck.

 

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Cullen Diesel Chooses Mercedes-Benz 4×4 Sprinter Van Over Service Truck

Over the next few weeks we’ll be publishing a three-part blog series centered around Cullen Diesel, the Detroit Diesel and MTU distributor for BC. Cullen Diesel mechanics are factory trained and certified in Detroit Diesel and Mercedes engines, with experience in working with all types of diesel engines, including those in the marine, mining, construction and industrial sectors.

Dennis Miskow Cullen Diesel

Dennis Miskow, Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC operations

Dennis Miskow is the Branch Manager of Cullen Diesel’s Vancouver Island, BC operations. Dennis’ career with Cullen started over 20 years ago, when he was first hired as an apprentice heavy-duty mechanic. Dennis sat down with VMAC to discuss Cullen’s fleet, and his decision to add a commercial van to his fleet.

Choosing the Right Vehicle for Your Business: Commercial Van or Service Truck?

When it was time to add a new service vehicle to his fleet of 7 to replace an aging truck, Dennis went straight to his truck builder. “I spec’d out a truck with a crane and was ready to place the order. It was going to cost about $150k, so I decided to compare it to the cost of a commercial van. The van ended up being half the price.” Because of the significant savings, Dennis decided to explore commercial van options. “We chose the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter over the other vans because the Sprinter comes in a 4×4 option, which is necessary when we’re travelling to jobs in remote locations,” says Dennis.

Service Van Benefits

Cullen Service VanThough the additional draw to the service van option was cost, Dennis was aware of other benefits that come with having a van instead of a truck. “The van is a smaller vehicle, which makes it easier to drive and maneuver. We do service jobs right at the docks, so the van is the best option for driving to these marine applications,” notes Dennis. The Cullen Diesel Branch Manager also appreciates the extra level of protection from theft and the elements the enclosed space of the van offers: “Tools and equipment are kept safe inside the van from theft, but also from rain, sleet, ice, and snow. My team also appreciates the enclosed area to store and organize their tools instead of standing around the outside of the truck in all types of weather.” In addition to the cost, size and maneuverability, and enclosed protection from theft and the weather, the van acts as a moving billboard for Cullen as there’s much more advertising space on the van’s body.

Proven in Challenging Applications

UNDERHOOD for vansHaving never had a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or any type of service van on his fleet before, Dennis did have some concerns about how it would hold up in challenging applications. Cullen Diesel services a lot of equipment found in remote areas, often requiring their vehicles to travel in mountainous areas up logging roads. “I wasn’t sure how the van would be able to make it up the logging roads, even though the Sprinter is a 4×4. But on its first service it drove easily up to the job site, right behind the trucks. Even our logging customers were impressed!” shares Dennis. Another concern was how long the Sprinter van would hold up in these challenging, dirty and demanding applications. “You see a lot of vans used as delivery vehicles, driving on the roads, but we weren’t sure how it would hold up after continuously being tested on trails and logging roads,” says Dennis. But fast forward to years later, and Dennis confirms he no longer has any worries: “It’s been three years and we haven’t had any problems with the van.”

Overall, the decision to add a commercial van to the Cullen Diesel fleet has had a positive impact on Dennis’ operations. “We’re looking to add another vehicle to the fleet and I want to get another van,” says Dennis.

Subscribe to the VMAC Blog to continue reading about Cullen Diesel’s experience with a service van, and the specialized equipment that it comes with. In part two of this series, which will be released next, Dennis will give insight into his decision to choose an UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor instead of a standalone gas drive air compressor for his Sprinter.

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Commercial Van Market Growth Creates New Opportunities for Specialized Equipment

Commercial van sales data from the NTEA reveals that commercial van sales continue to trend upwards, with each year surpassing the sales numbers from the year before. Between 2013 and 2018, commercial van sales increased by 41%.

 

Total Van Sales in North America
2013: 224,723
2014: 239,646
2015: 282,216
2016: 292,096
2017: 301,349
2018: 317,163

With all this consistent growth, it’s understandable that vehicle manufacturers have expanded their offerings, presenting buyers with different commercial and cargo van options including van chassis, height, engines, and drive trains. Manufacturers of commercial vehicle equipment have expanded their product lines as well, with equipment designed specifically for commercial cargo vans.

But why are commercial vans rising in popularity? Let’s look at how we got here.

A QUICK HISTORY OF THE COMMERCIAL VAN INDUSTRY

Back in 2007-2008, the recession forced many businesses to make substantial changes or risk forever closing their doors. But the companies that managed to adapt were stronger, finding innovative ways to revolutionize the industry.

Ford and GM reinvented themselves and came out of the recession by adapting their vehicle lines to meet new market demands. The manufacturers looked to Europe and saw the timely opportunity to bring Euro-style commercial vans to North America.

Commercial vans cater to business owners and fleet managers looking to “right-size” their fleets to achieve maximum efficiency and profit—a winning formula for conquering the recession. Vans offer more cargo space, easy maneuverability, and better fuel efficiency, all at a lower price than traditional trucks.

The recession eventually ended but commercial vans were here to stay.

TYPES OF COMMERCIAL VANS: CARGO VANS, HIGH ROOF VANS

Over the past decade, commercial vans have increased in popularity in North America and their popularity surged in 2012. The National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) has defined 5 OEMs as manufacturers of commercial vans:

  • Ford
  • GM
  • Mercedes-Benz/Freightliner
  • FCA – Ram
  • 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 more than doubled between 2013 and 2016.

van sales by roof height

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.

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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 pounds, 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, Ford Transit Connect, GM Savana G Series and Express, and the Mercedes-Benz / Freightliner Sprinter.

See more info on the VMAC Van Series Air Compressor.

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Van Series Air Compressors: Commercial Van Fleets Gain Popularity

Right-Sizing Commercial Fleets: Increased Sales Of Vans & VMAC Van Series Air Compressors

The term “right-sizing” refers to converting a business unit to the optimal size to achieve maximum profit or efficiency. In this case, it describes the trend of businesses shifting their fleets from trucks to vans. Commercial van sales have been on the rise for the last few years, as fleet managers revise their vehicle needs, and opt for vans over trucks. For many industries, vans provide the right amount of cargo space without the added bulk and price associated with larger work trucks.

Vans offer a variety of attractive benefits, including a reduced environmental footprint, lower fuel consumption, better cargo organization, theft and weather protection, and easy driving and maneuvering. In some cases, vans even offer more payload than some light-duty pick-up trucks.

Delivery services and mobile work sites are two industries readily adopting van fleets, with the latter often requiring special equipment on the vehicles. These special equipment requirements present an opportunity for manufacturers to offer van-specific solutions. For example, many mobile work sites use air tools to perform jobs such as tire servicing, utility servicing, and forklift repair. VMAC’s UNDERHOOD40 Van Series Air Compressor has been developed specifically for service vans performing these applications. In addition, it addresses unique safety concerns associated with vans and traditional standalone air compressor systems.

VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Air Compressor For Vans

UNDERHOOD for vansThere are several options available when considering an air compressor for your van, but many options are truck solutions modified to fit inside vans. Installing a traditional air compressor inside of a van can cause many issues, as these compressors can be bulky and heavy, reducing available cargo space and payload capacity. Even more importantly, these air compressors compromise operator safety, and can be dangerous if important precautions are overlooked.

The VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Van Series Air Compressor eliminates each of these issues, all while being the only air compressor specifically engineered for commercial vans, including popular models by Ford, GMC, Mercedes-Benz, and RAM. The VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Van Series rotary screw air compressor delivers 40 CFM at 100% duty cycle, allowing operators and businesses to maximize productivity without sacrificing space and safety.

VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Air Compressor Van Series Benefits

Like all VMAC air compressors, the VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Van Series Air Compressor is lightweight and compact.

  • Saves space, frees up to 10 cubic feet
    • The VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Air Compressor mounts in the engine compartment of the van, freeing up space in the cargo area.
  • Reduces GVW by almost 300 lbs
    • The VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Air Compressor weighs 290 lbs less than other comparable air compressors. This lightweight air compressor can help improve your fuel economy, or allow you to transport more.

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VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Air Compressor Safety Considerations

Being specifically engineered for commercial vans, the VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Van Series Air Compressor eliminates safety hazards associated with traditional air compressors being mounted in the van’s cargo area. Being stored safely under the van’s hood ends lifting injuries, toxic fume exposure, and even the risk of gas fires.

Learn more about the VMAC UNDERHOOD40 Van Series Air Compressor or watch a video of the air compressor in action.

Continue reading about commercial vans and the van series air compressors:
Van Safety: Keep Workers Safe And Save Money Doing So
Air Compressor Options Available For Service Vans

5 Reasons to Choose An UNDERHOOD™ Air Compressor For Your Work Van

Over the last decade, the popularity of commercial vans has steadily grown, as fleet managers and business owners look for cost-savings and improved efficiency in their vehicles. Many companies offer different outfitting options specific to vans, including shelving, storage boxes, tools, and accessories. In the case of air compressors, there are several different solutions, but only one air compressor has been specifically engineered for commercial vans, and that’s the UNDERHOOD™ 40 Van Series Air Compressor. Continue reading “5 Reasons to Choose An UNDERHOOD™ Air Compressor For Your Work Van”

Choosing an Air Compressor for your Commercial Van 2019

New Possibilities for Fleet Managers

All-new commercial van models have entered or will soon be entering the North American market. These vans are causing fleet managers to take a fresh approach to different application possibilities including: plumbers, handymen, construction contractors, mobile mechanics, and mobile tire service technicians. These European-style vans are fuel efficient and have a tremendous amount of cargo space – over 75 percent more than the largest E-series. Continue reading “Choosing an Air Compressor for your Commercial Van 2019”

Learn what an average job looks like for a typical commercial van operator

Mobile mechanics who choose commercial vans instead of traditional service trucks work with a different set of clients. Service trucks are equipped with a crane and a large air compressor so operators can work on heavy machinery wherever it has broken down. Service vans are equipped with electric or air powered hand tools and have work benches inside the cargo area so operators can work on smaller items in comfort. Continue reading “Learn what an average job looks like for a typical commercial van operator”

Commercial Van Education

Interest in commercial vans to replace traditional service trucks continues to grow. Sales figures provided by the NTEA (National Truck Equipment Association) show it’s a trend that is not fading. Growth has been sustained over about a 5-year period, and the reasons for this are clear. Continue reading “Commercial Van Education”