When it comes to having glass carrying and racking systems installed, you may find yourself having to search a little harder for someone capable of doing the job as it is more specialised than more general van storage and racking installation. After all, a window or sheet of glass flying off your van as you drive along could be catastrophic.
However, while it’s a relatively specialised field, there are still no shortage of companies qualified to complete the job, and they’re all striving to make their products and services the best they can be.
Wolverhampton-based Top Fleet have their external racks tested by Ceram for strength and carrying capacity. In testing, the ultimate failure load was equivalent to more than two tonnes per metre length – more than sufficient when you consider that the average racking system weighs a mere 69kg.
As well as this, now Top Fleet fit a rack-protector system to all their external racks as standard. Originally designed by the company in 2010, Top Fleet’s rack-protector is essentially a wraparound bumper fitted to the front and rear of the external rack, and adds that little bit of extra protection to your rack so if you do suffer a small bump, the cost of repair won’t be as costly. The rack-protector also includes a reflector for extra visibility, a concept that has also been picked up by Merseyside-based Supertrucks, who add reflectors to the front and rear of their panel van racks.
A lot has been made of type approval, and the ‘N1 Enhancement Scheme’ that has been agreed means that many bolt-ons for vans have been exempted, as long as the supplier has a ‘Certificate of Production’ (CoP) issued by the VCA.
The racking from Vantage Systems, launched by the Mobile Installations Solutions Group (MIS) in 2013, falls under this scheme, and are able to convert vehicles without compromising any legislation.Their products are fitted by their trained and experienced engineers, either at the company’s workshops in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, or at the customers’ premises using their mobile engineers with operate nationwide.
Both Vantage and Supertrucks also have SO9001 accreditation.
Rent a Van?
Businesses have to be frugal with their money, especially in times of economic uncertainty. For many buying a brand new van with all the equipment needed simply isn’t an option. In 2014 Supertrucks launched a rental operation, supplying vans capable of carrying glass for either short or long term hire.
Supertrucks Manager, Dave Hill, explains: “Anyone whose business entails transporting big pieces of glass know well that when an urgent requirement for additional transport arises, the local van hire outlet is not an option because their vehicles are not fit for purpose.
“Glass is a fragile product so what’s needed is a specialised vehicle, built to do the job. And that’s where we come in.”
Available for hire is a converted 3.5 tonne Mercedes-Benz Sprinter fitted with anodised external racks which can carry glass sheets of up to 3,215mm x 2,540mm in size. Additionally, they also have roof racks with drop down ladders at the rear and inside there are two further racks.
Osborne Motor Bodies
Saffron Walden-based Osborne Motor Bodies have been creating bespoke commercial vehicles bodies since 1920, and have since moved into the glass carrying area. They have a reputation for producing high quality bodywork and bodybuilding.
As a partner of Supertrucks, Osborne are able to off sales, fitting and repair services for Supertrucks products.
Their product range includes exterior racks, which are available for most panel van models, and are made of aluminium and rubber profile sections, and instead of securing poles they use multi-straps so the racks can used for windows units too. Osborne also offer roof ladder racks, rear door ladders and cutting tables. Each rack can be specified with a range of optional/standard features, including an inclinometer which indicates the angle of rack to make sure it is safe to load/unload, rubber base blocks with side reflectors which give better vehicle visibility
All installations come with a three year 100,000 mile guarantee and a Test Certificate.
T: 01371 831313 W: www.osbornemotorbodies.co.uk
ISO 9001 registered Supertrucks is fully approved for Whole Vehicle Type Approval and supplies converted vehicles to UK and European CV Dealers. Supertrucks supplies specialist racking for glass, window/door frames and conservatory trades. These racks are suitable for virtually any panel van on sale in the UK.
The bodies are custom built and can be mounted on chassis from 3.5 tonnes to 32 tonnes GVM.
For added safety, all Supertrucks panel van racks have reflectors to the front and rear.
In addition to its work with LCVs, Supertrucks also builds coachbuilt glass-carrying bodywork for vehicles in the 3.5 – 26 tonne GVW range.
T: 01744 25348 W: www.supertrucks-uk.com
Top Fleet are experts in manufacturing and fitting glass racks and other frame and glass carrying solutions – they’ve supplied to everyone from one-man operators to multinational blue chip companies since 1988.
Top Fleet will work with you or directly with your customer to draw up detailed specifications and prices, as well as offering illustrations of the finished vehicle, to make sure everyone’s happy with what they’re getting.
Their product range includes frame transport systems which are ideal for carrying window frames, large frames and garage doors, glass transport systems which has been specifically designed for the safe transportation of glass, and roof systems designed for ladders, trim and fascias. Their racks are also all tested by Ceram for strength and carrying capability, and they offer a three year/100,000 mile warranty.
T: 0845 500 8800 W: www.topfleet.co.uk
After a year of marketing their internal racking systems, Vantage Systems spotted a growth opportunity in the glazing niche for a lightweight system that could be tailored to each individual customer.
The resulting product range is available for most panel vans and comes in four types. Constructed from lightweight aluminium, the
The basic frame carrying rack comes without any restraining poles or strapping systems. It has been designed for the safe carriage of window frames or garage doors.
Customers can add integral load restraints and fastening straps to the basic frame which then makes it ideal for the safe carriage of window frames and garage doors with the strapping system built in for extra safety and speed of loading.
Vantage’s standard glass carrying rack comes fitted with a spring loaded pole system, designed for the safe carriage of glass.
For added flexibility, customers can specify a combination of the two types of rack with both the spring loaded poling system and also the strapping system. It is ideal for the carriage of glazing products and garage.
T: 01302 892059 W: www.vantagesystems.co.uk