Sponsor Spotlight: Safe Fleet, Prime Design, American Van, Rear View
See the whole article in
the FordPro Magazine Fall 2019 Edition 51
By Rich Sprague
Most people are familiar with the names American Van Equipment and Prime Design. American Van, which manufactures ladder racks and van shelving products, has been doing business since 1978. And Prime Design has engineered and produced ergonomic ladder racks since 1992. Another player in the work truck arena which merits mentioning is Rear View Safety.
What may not be common knowledge is that all three companies are now part of a much larger organization: Safe Fleet. Headquartered in Belton, Missouri, Safe Fleet is the leading provider of safety solutions for fleet vehicles.
In 2013, a private investment firm, The Sterling Group, acquired ROM Corporation and Specialty Manufacturing, Inc. from Century Park Capital and formed Safe Fleet. Since then, Safe Fleet has acquired 14 more leading fleet safety brands. But Safe Fleet’s safety roots trace as far back as 1902 with the founding of its leading firefighting equipment brand, Elkhart Brass.
Safe Fleet’s vision is to be the leading global provider of safety solutions fo fleet vehicles. Their mission is simple: to make fleets smarter, so that people are safer. Their goal is to reduce preventable accidents in and around fleet vehicles to zero.
In addition to their three companies which serve the work truck market, Safe Fleet’s portfolio includes leading safety brands which serve bus, rail and RV, truck and trailer, first responders, waste and recycling, construction and agriculture, and industrial and military.
At the present time, Safe Fleet owns 16 brands in the United States and Canada. They have more than 1,600 employees and over 500,000 square feet of manufacturing space in 14 manufacturing locations.
American Van was acquired by Safe Fleet in May, 2018. “The product fit, customer reach, and upfitter capabilities American Van brings to Safe Fleet Work Truck are game-changing,” says Mr. Knox. “The acquisition will solidify Safe Fleet’s position within the work truck industry as the preeminent provider of safety and productivity solutions.”
American Van is a leader in providing work truck solutions. They compete with the likes of companies such as Ranger Design, Weather Guard and Kargo Master. They mail millions of catalogs to contractors across the country every year. All products are manufactured by over 100 employees in a 130,000+ square foot manufacturing and distribution facility. Products can be ordered on their website or through their customer service team which offers extended phone service hours 8:30 am to 8 pm weekdays.
Founded in 1992, Prime Design is a pioneer in ergonomic ladder racks that help reduce back and muscle strain for work truck fleet operators. Again, in line with the Safe Fleet mission, Prime Design hopes their products will reduce the risk of work-related injuries, while increasing worker productivity.
Rear View Safety was founded by Joseph Schechter in 2009 and acquired by Safe Fleet in 2016. It has grown to be one of the most recognized players in vehicle safety solutions. RVS Systems manufactures high-quality backup cameras, dash cameras, backup sensors, and DVR’s. They understand how important safety is, and their aim is to make the world’s roads as safe as possible.
John Knox is the Chairman and CEO of Safe Fleet. Prior to joining Safe Fleet in 2014, he held senior executive positions, including president and chairman, at four major companies. Since 2014, Mr. Knox has been a catalyst in building the Safe Fleet brand through the company’s strategic acquisitions.
Michael J. Schulte has been the president of Safe Fleet since he joined the firm in March, 2019. Previously, he was the president of several diverse technology and manufacturing firms. He has a reputation of delivering double digit revenue growth. Previously, he was with Atkore International