Thule Professional Range — April 2007

Date: Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Best known in the UK for producing those aerodynamic storage boxes that seem to sit atop just about every Volvo estate on the road, Swedish manufacturer Thule has come up with a range of equipment aimed specifically at the light commercial vehicle market.

 

The Professional load carrier system is based upon transverse roof-mounted heavy duty aluminium load bars which feature a three-slot design so that multiple accessories can be fitted simultaneously.

They attach to the roof using feet designed to fit a specific van model, but are easy to switch if a van is exchanged for a different model.

Ladder Carrier

Loading a ladder on to a van's roof is fraught with potential problems; for the person doing the loading and for the vehicle's paintwork. Thule's tilting ladder holder neatly solves both.

The aluminium holder is unlocked, pulled outwards and tilted downwards to the side of the van. From that position the ladder can easily be removed or placed back in the rack and then it's simply a matter of lifting the whole affair back into its locked position on top of the roof.

At this stage of development it's only suitable for low roof vans, but there are plans to introduce one for high roof models in the future.

Load Stops   

Load stops are essential for carrying anything on a roof-mounted carrying system, but they can be a nuisance and get in the way during loading. Thule has come up with a simple solution; its load stops can be folded out of the way when not in use or during loading and unloading.

Pipe Carrier

Copper piping is expensive and notoriously difficult to transport safely. Having it rolling about in the back of a van is hardly ideal and stowing it inside plastic waste pipe strapped to a roof rack is not particularly safe or secure.

Thule's solution is a heavy duty stainless steel Conduit Box which can be accessed from either end and slam locks are fitted to provide a high level of security. There's an optional extra available to section off the interior so that long and short pipes can be separated and it includes a wire trace which can be fitted to the latter for easy extraction.

Awning

Beloved of the motorhome and caravanning fraternity, an awning can also come in handy for anyone using their van as, for example, a mobile workshop. The universal mounting system means it can be fitted to the majority of vans — it's available in three lengths. Constructed from aluminium and tear resistant fabric laminated with PVC it is waterproof and can act as an efficient sun shade.

Once pulled out it can provide a large, covered work area to the side of a van with easy access to the load area via the sliding side door.

“Our overall target with Thule Professional has been to put together a system that saves time for the users, which translates into profits for their companies,” commented Matthias Klein, the Professional project leader. “This has in turn led to products that are both ergonomic and safe.”

For more information on this new range visit the dedicated Professional web site.

VERDICT

The range may be a bit limited at the moment, but from what we have seen so far there is no doubt that a great deal of thought and design integrity has gone into producing the Professional range.

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