22 Cool and Unusual Truck and Van Accessories

BrandFX makes composite truck bodies and this BFX Easy Lift, a tonneau cover that pivots up on a pair of arms with gas cylinder assists. When open, it provides shade for anyone standing behind the tailgate. When closed it provides security. If you need to haul a load that won’t fit under it when closed, you can drive with it open at up to 75 mph. The cover weighs about 180 pounds and sells for about $2,600. Click here for video of it being operated.

Weightlifter makes lifts for trucks and vans. This is their newest van model, which is so new it doesn’t have a name. Powered by electricity and hydraulics it is capable of lifting more than 1,000 pounds. It installs using existing holes in the floor of the van and can be configured to fit many makes and models. Click here to see this gizmo in action.

The DECKED Truck Bed Storage System fits in the bed of a pickup. Made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) the unit can support 2,000 pounds on the deck. Available for 5’6” and 6’6” beds, it has two 4’ drawers—each rated to carry 200 pounds. The drawers ride on rollers and are secured by heavy spring-loaded latches. If the tailgate doesn’t lock there’s the option to equip the drawers with keyed cylinders. The unit is 12” tall and is held in place using existing hold-downs; there’s no need to drill any holes in the bed. The DECKED storage system is available for multiple makes and models of vehicles. Click here for video.

Adrian Steel makes any number of interior packages for outfitting cargo vans. This is the General Service Interior for the Chevrolet City Express, a cargo van about the size of a long wheelbase Ford Transit Connect (there’s a package for that too). It includes a steel partition, shelving, drawers, removable bins, hanging hooks, a locking door kit, and a ladder rack for the top of the van.

Western Mule is one of a number of companies that make cranes that fold into the bumper when not in use. This is their A-Series crane. Models are available to lift between 750 and 2,500 pounds. Click here for video of how the crane works.

ARE’s 3DL Series fiberglass tonneau cover provides three points of access and four inches of storage above the bedrail. The bed can be accessed by lifting the cover from the rear or opening doors on either side of the lid. The unit can be painted to match the vehicle. Options include LED strip lighting and remote keyless entry that allows the fob for the doors of the truck to also control the locks on the bed cover. Click here for video.

Cummins (the diesel folks) owns Crosspoint Kinetics, the company that made this Kinetics Hybrid PM Motor. It installs behind the existing transmission and functions as a regenerative braking assist, in a manner similar to that of the motor in a hybrid car—but with a couple of major differences. The electricity generated by braking is stored in a large capacitor pack instead of a multitude of batteries. And the unit doesn’t completely power the vehicle; it aids during acceleration from 0 to about 30 MPH (speeds where traditional engines are least efficient). The unit fits class 3-7 trucks and busses and is currently aimed at fleets.

A Ford Transit upfitted with a MasteRack shelving system geared towards HVAC work. The bins on the left, with chains across the front of them are for Freon tanks. The white “box” on the bottom right is a Fleet Gold inverter.

A variety of ErgoRack ladder racks were being shown on vans. This one is on a very tall Sprinter and the fellow in back is in the process of bringing the ladder down. The rear end of the ladder swings farther down and can be brought lower still by pulling on a slide mechanism. The ladder can be lifted off of the rear bracket and then off of the front. Click here for video of how the rack works.

The cylinders on either side of this custom Freightliner chassis may look like torpedoes, but they’re actually compressed natural gas (CNG) tanks. There were many CNG-powered vehicles at the show because CNG is cheaper than diesel—and the cost of fuel is major expense for companies that run fleets of trucks.

The TruckOffice replaces the console and jump seats found in extended cab trucks. The console replacement is a lidded box with places for office supplies and files. The area behind is an enclosed platform where tools and other supplies can be stored. This one is mostly metal. A second version, made from blow molded plastic has hinged lid compartments in the section behind the seats. Both versions can be outfitted with 120V receptacles and an inverter.

Most service bodies are made from steel, aluminum, or fiberglass. Stahl’s Razorback service body is made from high impact polypropylene—and that’s a first for the industry. Lighter than a steel body, it allows for better fuel economy and larger payloads. Supposedly, you could hit the thing with a hammer and the hammer would bounce off without leaving a dent. Available in black or white, it would be painted to match the vehicle. If the vehicle is black or white, then scratches won’t show. The other construction details are as one would find on any high-quality service body: stainless steel hardware, gasketed doors, and the like.

Maxilift’s Ant M50 is a crane small enough to be mounted inside a van—though it can also be mounted on the bed of a truck. It can lift 1,100 pounds with the boom retracted to 3’3” and 440 pounds when fully extended to 8’1”. It’s available in several configurations; the simplest model uses a hydraulic hand pump for lifting. There are also options to use hydraulics or electro hydraulics.

These Sortimo T-boxxes were at the Knapheide booth and were being used to outfit trucks and vans. The removable bins are modular and can be mixed and matched with all other sizes. This allows you to outfit a box with the size bins you need for the tools and supplies you carry—or for any particular task.

This particular Sprinter has 7’ of headroom in back, which according to Mercedes, is more than can be found in any other van.

Via Motors turns new trucks and vans into plug-in hybrids. The vehicle is powered by an electric motor connected to batteries, which can be charged with household current or the engine. The batteries are installed under the bed; the transmission is removed because it isn’t needed. Under battery power alone, the truck has a range of 40 miles. When the batteries get low a small 2.0 to 2.4 liter engine kicks comes on to drive the generator used to recharge them. The motor is not connected to the drivetrain; it only powers the generator. Total range (electric gas) is said to be 350 miles. Price: about $90k.

Switch-N-Go makes detachable work truck bodies that are hoisted onto the vehicle the way dumpsters are hoisted onto their trucks. With this system a single truck can be used to haul multiple bodies, including storage boxes, flatbed/equipment bodies, stake beds, and of course, drop boxes (dumpsters).

SpaceKap makes fiberglass service bodies. Built on the same principle as slide-in camper bodies, these service bodies can be quickly removed from the truck and transferred to another without unloading. Or it can be dropped at the jobsite and left on the jacks (only one shown here).

You’re looking at MasteRack SmartSpace configurable van shelving installed in a Morgan Mini-Mover Pro box. Made from structural foam and aluminum, they are up to 33% lighter than comparable steel interiors. The units are modular, so they can be quickly reconfigured.

This Ford Transit 250 is equipped with a Reading Classic Service Van Body. Made from welded aluminum, it is said to be half the weight of a steel body—which results in greater fuel economy, payload, and life (it won’t rust like steel). Two of the side access doors are hinged; the one in front is a roll-up—as is the access door in the rear.

Ford turned an F-750 into a Tonka (yes, like the kid’s toy) by painting it yellow, customizing the grille, and adding a dump body. It will be used to promote the company’s F-650 and F-750 trucks at tradeshows and other events.

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