After five years of economic decline, the economy in Florida seems to be stabilizing, which means the construction industry is picking up again. This has been the busiest year yet in the sale of aluminum Tuff Racks since its inception. We have seen every area in the construction field grow, from electricians to HVAC to plumbers. Sales in the Southwest Florida area, in particular, appear to be equal to the pre-recession era. In addition, several new types of vans have been introduced into the automobile industry in the past couple of years, resulting in many new additions to the Tuff Racks ladder racks. As the vans have progressively gotten taller, we have designed new ladder racks with roller bars for easier access to ladders on these types of vans, including the Ford Transit, Nissan NV and the Dodge ProMaster, as well as the Mercedes Sprinter.
There seemed, however, to be a decrease in sales of full-size vans such as the Chevrolet Express, GMC Savana and the Ford E-series. It seems the taller models are now more popular. We have seen an increase, though, in the smaller vans. The most common commercial small or minivan on the market for years was the Chevrolet Astro van. The minivan that we see most requiring an aluminum ladder rack now is the Nissan NV200. However, the Transit Connect and the Chevrolet City Express, as well as the ProMaster City, are catching up in popularity. A large number of these vans are now sporting newly-designed Tuff Racks ladder racks in addition to shelving packages that have been installed, making them extremely affordable, efficient, and easy to drive in traffic, compared to the larger models in the city. In general, we are all hopeful the economy will continue on the upswing as Tuff Racks ladder racks continue to grow.