To assist fleet managers in transitioning to vehicles that can readily use low cost, clean-burning fuel, ARE, which manufactures truck caps and tonneau covers, has adapted some of its offerings for Ford and Chevy trucks to accommodate CNG fueling options.
“Light weight and durability are especially important in these vehicles, making our aluminum truck caps well-suited for any fleet that uses alternative fuels,” said Jim Blayne, national fleet sales manager, ARE, Commercial Fleet Division. “But just as valuable is ARE’s ability to custom design truck caps for the specific configuration needs of these vehicles.”
The company offers custom Deluxe Commercial Units (DCUs) for trucks in a variety of industries. All its DCUs have a two-week build turn-around time, ARE says.
RELATED: Bruce Smith reviews an ARE truck cap
Fuel cost-per-mile is top of mind for fleet managers and commercial drivers alike, as well as for the federal government, which is pushing for “greener” regulations. This growing trend is making alternative-fuel vehicles such as electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) of increasing interest to those in the trucking and transportation industries, especially for busy, locally-fueled fleets operating in metropolitan areas.
“We understand the dynamics of the large tanks that are required in the back of most CNG-powered vehicles,” Blayne said. “We have the ability and experience in custom manufacturing doors and shelving that work well in CNG powered trucks.”
Because CNG fuel tanks, which require no venting, take up more room than standard gas tanks, ARE has designed its products to allow easy access to the CNG tanks for refilling purposes.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, compressed natural gas powers roughly 112,000 vehicles in the U.S. today and about 14.8 million vehicles worldwide. The electric hybrid vehicle, which uses electricity and combustion, was ranked as the fastest growing segment of the light-duty vehicle market in 2011 by the National Research Council.
So ARE also has designed DCU’s for electric-powered fleets.
“We perform all the engineering work at our facility, customizing the DCU’s to make electric vehicles more functional based on the type of work they’re used for,” Blayne said.
Whether a customer wants caps with ladder racks, flip-up doors with tool boxes on the side and back or side doors for easy access, ARE’s DCUs are designed to offer secure, waterproof enclosures to protect whatever tools and equipment these alternative-fuel vehicles carry, the company says. And because they’re made of aluminum, they won’t rust.
“Our products offer complete utility,” Blayne said. “We’ve designed them to be a cover to put your tools in; not just a cover for your truck bed and your tools.”
For added convenience and safety, ARE can outfit DCUs with clamp-down, or drop-down locking ladder racks to help drivers access ladders on the top of the unit. The company offers ladder racks that are built to easily roll the ladder down off the rear. And customers can also specify tommy lifts or bumper mounted cranes that can work well with ARE products.
As a leading manufacturer of high quality truck covers with a wide range of commercial truck cover options and accessories, A.R.E works to accommodate all advancements in the commercial truck and fleet industry that enable customers to boost both convenience and cost savings no matter the application, or the size of the fleet.
ARE began manufacturing aluminum frame truck caps in 1969 and has become a leading manufacturer of fiberglass truck caps and hard tonneau covers. Its products that are sold through a network of more than 650 independent authorized dealers.