The winner of What Van?’s inaugural Aftermarket Award is a company that has been in the vanguard of the country’s pick-up accessory market for some 35 years, becoming especially renowned as the foremost supplier of hardtop covers to all the leading manufacturers in the sector.

Recent Truckman products include three hardtops and two tonneau covers developed for Mercedes-Benz’s debut pick-up truck, the X-Class. Among the features of the Grand, GLS and S-Series hardtops are remote central locking, an automatic interior light, tinted windows, a spoiler, sliding bulkhead windows, a heated rear screen, a high-level brake light and 55kg-capacity roof bars. In addition, the Grand has pop-out windows, the GLS has sliding side windows, and the S-Series has either glazed or solid side gull-wing doors.

All the hardtops are non-drill clamp fitted and come with a three-year warranty.

Excluding VAT, prices are £1,771 for the Grand, £1,909 for the GLS, £2,037 for the glazed S-Series, and £2,130 for the solid S-Series.

Meanwhile, both the new tonneau covers are made from aluminium and can carry up to 100kg. The Retrax, constructed from industrial strength twin wall extruded aluminium slats, has a compact storage cassette unit with a spiral track system that prevents the inner and outer surfaces coming into contact. The cover runs on sealed-for-life roller bearings and can be locked into any position, and an optional styling roof bar in either matt black or polished stainless steel is also available.

The Mountain Top tonneau features multiple locking positions, and can be fitted with cross bars for extra load capacity.

Truckman has also introduced an innovative waterproof drawer system for pick-ups this year. The Decked accessory is ideal for traders such as electricians, builders and landscapers or for outdoor adventurers engaged in shooting, hunting and fishing.

The product consists of a raised deck, which incorporates a galvanised steel sub-frame and can carry up to 1.0t, and two full bed-length drawers, which can carry up to 100kg each.

Decked comes with a three-year warranty.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has approved the Decked system for its Amarok pick-up and has this year also approved the BedRug bed liner, and a tailgate damper.

The BedRug is water and chemical resistant and helps prevent items from sliding around in the load bed. It has a closed cell foam floor that acts as a shock absorber, protecting the bed from impact damage, and a low-impact polypropylene surface.

The tailgate damper is a bespoke kit designed to help users lower the Amarok’s tailgate easily and gently.

This year also saw Truckman team up with Nissan to launch a new package for the Navara.

The Load Bed Storage Pack combines the Decked truck bed drawer storage system with the Truckman Grand hardtop for a cost of £2,997, excluding VAT and fitting, which represents a saving of £100 compared to buying the products separately. The accessory pairing was introduced on Nissan’s limited-edition Amazon Green version of the Navara but is now available for all paint colours.

The versatility of Truckman’s hardtops was evidenced early in 2018 when the Lancashire police force took delivery of four RS hardtops for its Ford Ranger pick-ups. The products, which feature a wipe-clean interior and solid sides for extra protection in storing and transporting equipment, are used primarily for storing forensic suits, evidence recovery bags, and specialist equipment for handling livestock and wildlife.

Highly Commended: Vehicle Weighing Solutions

Overloading vans renders them unsafe and illegal but Vehicle Weighing Solutions offers its Van Overload Protection System 2 (VOPS2) to ensure operators can avoid falling into the trap of exceeding their payloads.

VOPS2 load sensors are installed between the axle and the body of the vehicle to detect the load applied to the axles. The system provides continual data, via an in-cab indicator display (the M3505 indicator), giving drivers clear weights – net, gross and axle weights – for the front and rear of the vehicle. VOPS2 can be fitted to most types of commercial vehicle starting from 3.5t GVW.

The retrieved data can be outputted to storage devices or live data fed to a telematics device. Alternatively, information can be sent via SMS if the vehicle is overloaded.

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