Ladder racks make it easier and convenient to transport ladders and other tools using the van. The racks need to be maintained well to ensure that the ladders are not damaged when they fall. Other road users may also be injured or distracted by falling ladders when the vehicle is in motion. The primary precaution is the professional installation of the ladder rack for a van. When it is installed properly, it will serve you for years without the need for replacement.
Repair is always considered a cost-effective option. Where a few nuts are loose, or a part is damaged, most people opt for replacement. However, even replacement has limits. In other cases, the cost of frequent repair may be unreasonable and relatively higher than replacement.
Professional installation is not an excuse to avoid maintenance. It is natural for the racks to wear out in the process of work. In other cases, the racks are damaged as you load and offload ladders. They will always give you a sign that it is time to replace the rack. Here are three signs that are impossible to miss when you have installed a ladder rack to indicate that you need to replace it.
Damage on the ladder is an obvious reason for you to replace the ladder. A damaged rack exposes your ladders to falling and may also distract other road users leading to accidents.
Damage may result from several factors
- Rust: part of the rack may rust, causing the rack to fall off. Rust is common for racks made of metallic materials like steel and aluminum. Corrosion compromises the integrity of your racks and will make your trips fearful. It is normal for metallic surfaces to rust because of exposure to rain and other weather conditions. The rust will eat away into the metal causing it to loosen on joints and even fall off at the seams. This endangers your ladders and the entire van.
- Structural damage or dents: they mainly occur as you load ladders or in the process of other tasks. Constant knocking-on will eventually break frames. It is common for owners to repair dents and racks with tape. However, there comes a point when the tape cannot hold anymore. You will be forced to replace the rack.
- Loose parts: vibrations and vehicle movements cause ladders to loosen from the body of your van. This is common for all joints but is made worse during motion. When left unattended, it will eventually come off the van, leading to a disaster on the road or damage to your ladders as they fall. Check whether the handle is designed separately or as part of the rack. If you feel that the ladders or the entire rack are about to fly off your van, it is time to take quick action. Any missing nuts, bolts and screws should be replaced immediately. Duct tape will spell doom for your rack because it cannot hold.
Damages should be addressed professionally and in the shortest time possible. Failure to address these damages on time will turn your rack into a dangerous missile. They make the vehicle dangerous for use on the road since the ladders or tools on transit may fall off the roof leading to damage or distracting other road users.
An Old Design
Ladder rack for van designs evolves over time to meet the changing needs and especially to offer efficiency to technicians. If the design of your rack is outdated, you should renew it. Designs also determine the safety levels that come with ladders. In other cases, the design makes it challenging to raise or lower the ladder. In some cases, you might have installed the ladder because it was affordable. Today, you need a design that is more efficient. Check such aspects as the material used, screws and joints. A poor design will cause damage to ladders and endanger the vehicle as well as other road users. It is not worth having a poorly designed rack for your van.
The needs of businesses and technicians change over time. You might have required a small-sized rack during installation, but growth in business or changing environment causes you to change the design or size. A ladder rack for a van that cannot meet your needs will endanger your life and that of people working in that environment.
The new rack or design should be futuristic and take advantage of emerging designs. The rack should improve efficiency by making your work easier. Constantly monitor the performance of your rack to prevent disaster during use.