Upfitting Saves Time on the Job
Often when a company works with Expertec the two things required in an upfitted truck or van are increased space and better storage. Ironically, when Comtek Security – a full service security and alarm company located in Terrace, BC – came to us for their next upfitting project, the end result ran counter to typical thinking.
Several years ago, Expertec upfitted a Ram ProMaster for Comtek. Its co-founder Brett Walker worked closely with Rod Ridewood in Expertec’s Edmonton office to design a work van to handle all of Comtek’s needs. The ProMaster was upfitted with a full suite of shelving, a ladder rack, and a variety of smaller items, and it still serves in the Comtek fleet today.
While the ProMaster had proven its worth over thousands of kilometres, the changing nature of Comtek’s business meant a different vehicle would ultimately be needed. Comtek’s growing reputation in BC – especially in the northwest part of the province – meant more time behind the wheel.
Brett explained, “Many times over the last few years, business took us far from home. While the ProMaster offered a fantastic solution for getting the job done, ultimately, the lack of passenger space meant one thing – if I was bringing my team or if I wished to bring my family along, we were taking two vehicles. At the same time, the ProMaster simply didn’t have the towing capacity to handle a loaded trailer.”
It was time to find a better solution.
Comtek’s services range from home security systems to multiple-zoned commercial units. As the company has grown, their focus has remained on the customer and their needs, and while they specialize in Avigilon access control systems for commercial/industrial customers, Comtek’s team also has the ability to install and service nearly any type of security and alarm system. Even older units using analog technology are well within Comtek’s abilities.
Brett said, “When it comes to security, many people think it’s about protecting an asset. The truth is, it’s also about monitoring that asset. In the remote areas of Canada where we operate, companies may only have the ability to send one person to a job. Our systems can make sure that employee is safe.”
Regardless of what the threat is – theft, loss of power, or environmental challenges – Comtek creates and maintains the systems that protect Canadians’ investments.
The tools and equipment for security systems aren’t found in a local hardware store or big box retailer, making the first requirement for Comtek the ability to carry all parts and supplies with them.
Next was space. The Ram ProMaster had generous interior space, and with the upgrades by Expertec, storage was maximized.
In reality, changing expectations and the evolution of the business made the ProMaster’s large-sized advantages a drawback. A lack of towing capacity and passenger seating had Comtek requiring two vehicles for road trips and all the negative outcomes that implies.
Twice as much fuel.
Twice as much windshield time.
Twice as many miles.
Twice as much wear and tear on company assets.
Comtek chose a diesel powerplant in a one-ton truck as the base for their new vehicle for power and efficiency. Working closely with the Expertec team, Brett shared how Comtek used their trucks. Challenges were uncovered and options were explored.
It was obvious the ProMaster had been too big. They instead chose the SpaceKap Wild, which is the middle-sized SpaceKap system. It was paired with a 4,000-pound bed slide to allow easy access to the interior and any bulky items. This is a proven time saver and a safety feature. Comtek’s team doesn’t need to worry about slips and falls while carrying heavier items.
Additionally, a ladder rack was fitted that serves double-duty carrying conduit.
The Denali was factory equipped with a power inverter and Expertec mounted a 120-volt receptacle to easily charge batteries and use electronics on remote jobsites.
A set of load-levelling airbags were added to help better handle the weight when the Denali would be hauling a trailer and to provide a more stable ride while unloaded.
In all, Brett and the Expertec team spent many hours in discussion and research, and in the end, executing the upfitting process took less than two days.
Comtek has been using their upfitted Denali for over two months, having racked up nearly 5,000 kilometres.
“This thing is just awesome! When we upfitted the ProMaster, my thought process was about being able to carry all the tools and equipment we’d need, no matter where we were. With the SpaceKap, we lost what felt like a lot of room, but, honestly? It was room we weren’t using intelligently,” Brett said.
“We know where everything is now. The storage bins in the SpaceKap are amazing, and our team all knows exactly where everything needs to be. It’s also making us far more conscientious about our inventory and storage systems because we know – before we ever leave the shop – we’re carrying the supplies we need.”
The upfitted Denali easily tows a trailer to the job, with room for up to five people in a spacious interior. Even with a much heavier vehicle – the full rig and trailer is nearing 20,000 pounds – fuel economy is much better.
It’s a more versatile setup even though the actual workspace has been reduced, especially since one vehicle can get the whole team there safely and comfortably. And the SpaceKap is designed to be transferable, so even when Comtek moves to a newer truck, their SpaceKap Wild can go with them.
One unexpected benefit Brett has noticed is the positive reception from Comtek’s clients.
“In the last few months of driving the Denali, the reaction has been amazing. Our long-term clients see it as a reflection of the professionalism Comtek is known for. I’ve had clients compliment me on it, because they know how much time we spend on the road. I even had a customer say how happy they were we had moved up to what they felt was a safer vehicle for the remote work we are sometimes called to do.”
Expertec is the premier upfitter for trucks, work vans, and fleet vehicles in Western Canada. With over a decade of experience, we specialize in upfitting solutions for any business that relies on vehicles to help get the job done. We have locations in Calgary and Edmonton, AB, and Abbotsford, BC, as well as our online store for the do-it-yourselfer or fleet manager.
Despite the success Expertec has had, we hold firmly to our small-business roots and ties to the communities we serve. Our success is driven by a commitment to quality and a carefully chosen network of commercial suppliers across Canada and the US. By holding true to our core mission and vision, we promise every customer and client the service they demand and the solutions they need.
No matter the challenge you might have in creating the perfect truck or van for your business or fleet, the team at Expertec is more than capable of achieving the results you’re looking for.
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