National Fleet Products, a manufacturer and global source for aftermarket accessories for commercial vehicles, announced the introduction of its new fold-down Van Step and under-deck Hide-A-Ramp.
The Van Step provides quick ergonomic access in and out of cargo vans, and the Hide-A-Ramp slides out from under its integrated deck housing to provide unencumbered van entry. Both products are initially designed for the Ford Transit platform, with versions for additional makes and models to come. The new, patent-pending American-made products will be displayed to the industry for the first time during NTEA Work Truck Week 2022, March 8–11, 2022, in the National Fleet Products booth 133.
All-New Van Step
The 22-inch-wide, all-aluminum Van Step folds down to provide three-step entry and egress from the rear of any Ford Transit van. Using the steps significantly reduces wear and tear on feet, ankles, knees and hips when entering or exiting off the deck or bumper at the rear of a van.
A steel mounting plate enables easy installation on passenger- or driver-side positions. Application of a second mounting plate allows users to move the steps from passenger-side to driver-side or center locations at will. Removing or relocating the steps is fast and simple, according to the manufacturer, and requires only the extraction and reinsertion of two quick-release pins located at the hinge site on the plates.
When folded up in its storage position, the step nests in just 8 and 1/2 inches of commonly unutilized space directly inside the rear doors and does not block visibility from rear windows. The Van Step’s lightweight yet durable construction means it can be quickly deployed from inside or outside the van. When in use, the steps don’t interfere with hitches, and by stowing inside the vehicle during travel, the steps are not exposed to weather or road debris.
The Van Step is constructed of high-traction aluminum mesh that provides users with a slip-resistant surface for use in a variety of environmental conditions. The mesh allows dirt and other contaminants to pass through it, keeping van interiors cleaner, and can even function as a boot scraper. The entire step is powder coated in high-visibility yellow to promote safety and awareness around the rear of the vehicle.
“Fleets and workers alike will love the Van Step because it reduces the potential for injury while increasing ease of movement, comfort and convenience when entering or exiting a van,” Steven Peterson, president of National Fleet Products, said. “Upfitters will appreciate the Van Step’s simple installation and the fact that it doesn’t compete for space with shelving units, racks or other common interior van accessories.”
Known for its swivel ramp models, National Fleet Products’ new Hide-A-Ramp's no-drill floor-mounting concept utilizes the Ford Transit’s existing factory anchor points and nests precisely between its wheel wells. The top of the Hide-A-Ramp’s housing rises just 6 inches above the Transit’s original deck and becomes a sturdy new floor surface that can accommodate heavy loads on hand trucks and small wheeled vehicles such as lawn mowers, lawn tractors, spreaders, ATVs and more, up to 2,500 pounds.
Because no drilling is required for installation, the Hide-A-Ramp and its housing components assemble quickly and do not foster corrosion, as the integrity of the van’s original floor structure remains uncompromised. The unit’s low profile won’t encumber the installation or use of other interior accessories. All components of the ramp and housing combined weigh only 350 pounds. An optional pallet tray is also available and allows palletized materials such as fertilizer, salt or sand to be loaded through the side door and remain stowed out of the weather and near the cab for easy access when replenishing hoppers before unloading vehicles at a worksite.
The Hide-A-Ramp is deployed from the rear of the van, and two hand holes enable users to secure a good grip as they pull the 10-foot-long ramp from its housing. Once fully extended and placed on the ground, the ramp’s beveled leading edge and top make for a smooth transition from ground to ramp to interior deck, all at a comfortable slope of 23 degrees.
The 48-inch-wide ramp has a flat surface edge-to-edge with raised traction ridges and no side rails. By eliminating the side rails, the ramp’s design allows equipment, like mowers, to move up and down and, if necessary, extend over the edge of the ramp without getting hung up. The ramp boasts a robust weight capacity of 2,500 pounds.
“Both the Van Step and Hide-A-Ramp are 100% designed and manufactured in National Fleet Products’ Buffalo, Minnesota, factory, in America’s heartland,” said Peterson. “Both products come with National Fleet Products’ three-year limited warranty.”