Steve McNeal’s sleeper-/six-skid-box-outfitted custom ’17 Ford Transit expediter

The following article originally appeared in HWT’s sister publication, Overdrive. It was written by senior editor Todd Dills and appeared in his Channel 19 blog. 

The expedited freight niche is owner-operator heavy, in both the Class 8 and smaller truck areas — but also in the cargo/sprinter-van space, where small fleet owner Steve McNeal operates.

McNeal, based in Holland, Mich., has several Ram ProMaster sprinter-type vans operating leased to Load One, prominent among expedited-niche carriers particularly in automotive-related freight.

Small fleet owner Steve McNealSmall fleet owner Steve McNeal

In the video above, hear a conversation I had with him at the Expedite Expo last weekend about, and catch plenty views around and inside of, a custom creation he and partners put together with a mind toward maximizing payload with a non-DOT-regulated vehicle, one of the perks of the cargo-van niche — he’s plated under 10,001 lbs. The box/custom sleeper he and his team built for the 2017 Ford Transit cutaway is designed to accommodate up to six 4′-by-4′ skids, as long as they’re no higher than 69 inches.

And as McNeal notes in the vid, his company’s got several more of these cutaways on order, so he may well be looking for drivers fairly soon. Or interested owner-operators looking to purchase, perhaps.

I know one thing — in a booth at the Expo (Load One’s) that also included one of Brad Keselowski’s actual NASCAR racecars, this unit I’d say was getting the lion’s share of the attention. Here’s a few more views of the van unit: