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 www.primedesign.net. Or, to learn about the additional brands owned by Prime Design’s parent company, Safe Fleet, visit www.safefleet.net.

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