Supreme’s Begins Production On ‘SIGNATURE’ Van Body

Supreme Industries, Inc. announced that it has begun production of the “SIGNATURE” van body -- the result of an 18-month project during which feedback from major industry customers, suppliers and OEM manufacturers drove the design process.

“We actively sought out the opinions of our dealers, customer and suppliers, as well as the Supreme sales team, using our first Customer Sounding Board and Supplier Councils to obtain input on the project,” said Supreme’s Vice President of Sales Mark Beer. “Their ideas were critical to the process.”

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Supreme Industries, Inc. announced that it has begun production of the “SIGNATURE” van body -- the result of an 18-month project during which feedback from major industry customers, suppliers and OEM manufacturers drove the design process.

“We actively sought out the opinions of our dealers, customer and suppliers, as well as the Supreme sales team, using our first Customer Sounding Board and Supplier Councils to obtain input on the project,” said Supreme’s Vice President of Sales Mark Beer. “Their ideas were critical to the process.”

The highlights:

  • Supreme’s new SIGNATURE van body comes standard with a three-year, 36,000-mile warranty and five-year structural warranty.

  • The SIGNATURE Van Body features a steel-framed substructure mounted to the customer’s choice of chassis, with the front wall in Supreme’s own fiberglass-reinforced plywood (FRP) for added durability. Side walls are available in either aluminum or FRP.

  • On the side wall option, Bob Besse, Supreme’s Director of Marketing and Product Planning, commented: “Today, there are innovative side wall materials in development or already entering the market that could be cost-effective, light-weight and durable. The SIGNATURE Body side walls were designed with lightweight steel frames, allowing for aluminum or FRP to be used today, or other materials to be used in the future.”

  • A wider, taller rear door opening, featuring a Todco ToughShell rear roll-up door enables easier loading and unloading of pallets and cargo. Internal gussets in the rear door provide resistance to water penetration.

    “Users indicated that the rear door opening is the most important dimension in the body. Our challenge was making the rear frame smaller (to increase the opening size), while adding durability. Additionally, we needed to eliminate the exterior triangle gusset. We did, giving a cleaner look to the rear, a wider opening and greater strength in the rear frame,” Besse added.

  • The new design also offers a number of standard interior and exterior features that were previously optional, including sealed wiring harnesses that integrate with new LED exterior clearance lights, mitigating downtime for electrical repairs and maintenance.

    “Wiring damage (and resulting vehicle downtime) is a major maintenance nuisance for customers, and this includes the wires going into the corner caps for the exterior lights. Supreme, using a composite front cap, designed a unique two-phase system for the cap wiring. The first are integrated loops in the cap (which we could not have accomplished with the old-fashioned aluminum cast caps) that the wires run through. The second is a wire cover that covers the wiring from load damage inside the body. The innovative use of new materials allowed us to design this system,” said Besse.

  • Finally, Supreme’s puck-mounting system is standard for its Iner-City cutaways sold through General Motors and Ford dealers.

    “Fleet customers prefer having their cutaway bodies puck mounted instead of U-Bolt mounted (the industry standard for decades). The reason is that puck mounting gives a superior ride, of particular importance when renting a vehicle to consumers who do not normally drive a truck,” Besse concluded.

    Supreme’s SIGNATURE Body will be featured at the 2009 NTEA Work Truck Show Convention this March in Chicago. The company also plans to introduce a new model this spring based on its Vanscaper unit—a vehicle ideal for the green industry, including landscaping, lawn care, golf course maintenance and nurseries.


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