How to Shop the Perfect Upfit

The top things to consider when upfitting a vehicle…

April 2015, - WebXclusive

by Todd Goldmeyer, Adrian Steel Co.

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Interior of a Ford Transit van upfitted with Adrian Steel products. Photo: Adrian Steel
Interior of a Ford Transit van upfitted with Adrian Steel products. Photo: Adrian Steel

If you’ve ever been tasked with shopping to upfit a fleet of vans and trucks, or even just a single vehicle, you know how overwhelming the process can be.

With so many different products on the market, made with different materials, it can take a lot of time and effort to find the perfect upfit for you or your company.

To help make your upfit shopping experience a little easier, here are some of the top things to think about when browsing for an upfit…

Quality vs. Price

It’s a good bet that you’re probably looking for the best upfit for the lowest price. Who isn’t? Unfortunately, you often have to make a choice between quality and price or find an option right in the middle. Take a minute to set your priorities and think about how the upfit will be used:

  • How long will the upfit need to last?
  • What types of tools and materials will you transport? Lots of small parts or big bulky equipment?
  • What type of vehicle(s) are you upfitting?
  • What is your ideal upfit constructed of? Heavy-duty steel? Lighter plastic?
  • Do you need trade-specific upfit products to store your cargo?

Once you’ve answered the questions above, you should have a better idea of what you really need out of your upfit. If you’re just looking for a short-term solution, maybe a cheaper upfit is right for you. In most cases though, a higher-quality upfit will stand the test of time and keep your tools safer during transportation. Sometimes a bigger investment upfront can really pay off in the long term.

Manufacturer Reputation

Ask around as sometimes it’s hard to know if an upfit is right for you or your company just by looking at it online or in a showroom. Talk to co-workers and others in your industry to see what they’ve found to work best for them. Take a look at how long the manufacturer has been in business as well. The longer the company has been making upfits, the more time it has had to perfect its craftsmanship.

Available Warranty

Hopefully, you won’t need to take out a warranty claim on your new upfit, but it’s always good to know that there is a warranty available just in case. Ask your upfit manufacturer or installer about any warranties available for the products you’re interested in.

OEM Incentives

If you’re purchasing a new van or truck, don’t forget to look for upfit incentives from the original equipment manufacturer. Ford, GM, Ram and Nissan all have partnerships with upfit manufacturers to help lower to cost of upfitting for their joint customers.

Todd Goldmeyer is the Marketing Manager at upfitter Adrian Steel Co., a leading manufacturer of cargo-management solutions for commercial vans, trucks, and trailers. Editor’s Note: This article was authored under the guidance and editorial standards of HDT's editorial staff to provide useful information to our readers


  1. 1. Dan Shelhamer [ May 18, 2015 @ 06:34AM ]

    INLAD Truck / U.S. Upfitters are a gerat source for Adrian Steel and many other lines of upfitting products for vans and trucks.

    Check them out.


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