Earlier this week, we discussed a transformation in cargo management product development. Well-respected brands like BEDSLIDE, DECKED, and Cargo Ease chimed in about traditional truck bed storage and innovation within the segment. Now it’s time to talk Back to the Future with some of your other favorite aftermarket brands.
Van Innovation on the Heels of Pickups
Industry professionals require more thoughtful storage solutions than the average Joe. As Euro-style vans become more of a staple within various service sectors, then the face of cargo management will evolve yet again. Cargo Glide is one of the largest sliding-solution manufacturers in North America. And when it comes to fleet bids, its products are asked for by name. We stopped to talk shop with John Gleason of Cargo Glide to get a pulse on the commercial market and how van evolution is on the heels of trusty pickups.
A Professional Point of View
“I have been in the automotive aftermarket for more than 25 years, joining in the early 1990’s. At that time, toolboxes in the beds of trucks dominated the market. And they were viewed as the only option to secure valuables in the bed. Also, extended cabs and 4-door cabs were just coming in to the markets. For years, the 2-door standard cab was the only option. Since the 90’s, the truck bed has become THE toolbox with increased popularity of truck bed covers, fiberglass caps, bed dividers, and slide-out trays like Cargo Glide. No longer are the valuables limited to what can be put inside the toolboxes. Larger items are now left in the beds. In the past, they had to be removed when away from the truck,” said Gleason.
“With the truck bed now the toolbox…bigger, wider, and more stuff as well as organization and management of cargo, equipment, and miscellaneous items have created the next opportunity—getting at the items easily and safely. Cargo Glide was established in 2010 and is the first of its kind to offer full extension. Also, our
units require no additional assembly and are available in weight capacities from 1000 lbs. all the way up to 2200 lbs.—70% extension and 100% extension models across all weight capacities,” he said.
Growing Alongside Our Customers
“The needs of the end-users continue to evolve. Several years ago, if you were to walk through the National Truck Equipment Association (NTEA) Show, you would have seen a handful of cargo vans on display. This past February, cargo vans dominated the show floor. More and more fleets, municipalities, and contractors are choosing cargo vans over pickups for their vehicles of choice,” continued Gleason.
“Cargo Glide has answered the call for storage solutions in the van segment by developing and manufacturing the Wall Slide, which, in our opinion, will be more popular than the floor glides. Cargo Glide’s Wall Slide system allows for the end user to access cargo from outside the vehicle and the safety of the ground. No more ducking down to crawl across tools and gear to access the parts stored on van shelving or at the front of the van behind the driver’s seat. The Wall Slide can be tailored to fit the needs of any type of end user and will appeal to a wider customer base. Wall Slide is going into full production by the end of this month,” said Gleason.
A Well-Organized Future
So, what’s next in the area of cargo solutions? No matter where innovation takes us, “the demand for high-quality products and must-have accessories will never change,” said Jake Plappert, VP of Marketing and Sales at BEDSLIDE. Just look at the brand development of Cargo Ease; they started out making only two slide models. “Everything else we’ve developed is because someone asked if we could make their vision come to life. And 9 times out of 10 the answer is yes,” said Jordin Lyne, Sales and Marketing at Cargo Ease. No different than any other company within the segment, Cargo Ease will continue to add to the application guide in years to come. “However, it’s not what is in the application guide that sets Cargo Ease apart from the competition. It’s our willingness to custom design and develop slides and/or lockers to meet consumer demand,” she continued.
As for newcomers DECKED, they’ve only hit the tip of the iceberg. Next the manufacturer will ramp up production for mid-size trucks like the Toyota Tacoma and Chevy Colorado, peeking around the corner at more efficient organizational systems for SUVs as well. “And one thing is for sure,” he added. “We will continue to keep our eye on addressing what the consumer wants and needs. And we’ll continue to manufacture everything here in the USA.”