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Author: Zak Jones

Box Truck Into Mobile Office

I love working at this job because I get the opportunity to transform someone’s ideas into a reality. A very nice woman stepped into our showroom looking for a way to turn her Chevy box truck into a mobile office. She worked for a non for profit company that receives funding from the community and buys supplies for homeless and less fortunate people. Wanting to branch out her company and reach more people in need, they came up with a plan to bring the supplies to the people, rather than the other way around. The whole team came together and we yet again made the impossible, possible.

empty back of box truck

This is the space that we had to work with. Not a lot of room for a whole office, but just enough to really create something nice. We already installed a Maxon Lift gate on the truck previously, and now it was time to focus on the office space. We hoped online and began researching the best custom layouts that would fit in this box truck. We searched everywhere from weather guard, to Kargo master, to Adrian steel shelves, all over.. then we found EZ Stak.

large metal shelf on pallet

EZ Stak is a company that offers many different designs and customizations of shelves to be mounted in box truck, vans, and even food trucks. With the help of EZ Stak, we were able to pick and choose the right parts that the customer found beneficial to their company, including this locker cabinet and 60″ long shelves. She also ordered a 48″ long shelf and a counter top with a 6 drawer unit underneath it for added space. These shelves aren’t just any ordinary shelf, they are steel 18″ deep shelves that were very heavy and durable. One of the best looking products I have seen in a long time. If you look at the first picture of this blog, you can see that we tapped off areas in the box truck. Once the customer found the parts she was looking for, we took some painters tap and measured where that shelf or cabinet would sit in the truck. We then labeled that tap according to what the part was and how long it was. Once the parts came in we looked at the tap and knew exactly were each shelf would go. It was now time to install the office.

  • large sectioned shelves and closet with door installed in box truck

  • large sectioned shelves installed in box truck

  • large silver tool chest installed in box truck

The office space looked amazing once finished. Every shelf, cabinet, and drawer lined up perfectly to our measurements, and was secured to the floor and through the wall of the truck. The customer was so amazed by the professional look of the truck and she decided to include our logo in their wrap design. We were so happy to see her vision come true, and now she can travel outside her stationary office and help those who are maybe in your community.

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New Mercedes Sprinter Van: Shelving Install

New Mercedes Sprinter Van: Shelving Install

The day that we got the opportunity from T&B auto sales to install some shelves into one of their new Mercedes sprinter van was one of my favorites. Yes, it was just installing shelving, but this van is amazing, and the brand speaks for itself. Let’s dive in on how CATO installs some of their heavy duty shelving.

This is the new Mercedes Sprinter van that we worked on, and I have to say they are pretty impressive.

This was our workspace for the shelves, and inside one of these vans you are able to stand straight up without worrying about hitting your head. This van is brand new and very clean, so we want this van to leave the same way it came in; just with some new added upgrades.

For this van, we ordered three shelves to be installed. One 30 inch shelf that will be mounted on the passenger side over the back fender well. A 60 inch shelf bolted together with another 30 inch shelf that will be mounted on the driver side of the van over the fender well up to the back of the cab. We mounted the shelves this way due to the side sliding door on the passenger side so that the customer still has access through that door.

The shelves are bolted together with the back of the shelf facing up. You then simply attach the bottom shelf to the sides, and one back panel and repeat the process until the whole shelf is built. Tighten all the bolts, stand it up and the shelf is complete. Here you can see Mike attaching the last back panel of this shelf.

Here is what a completed 60 inch self looks right out of the box. excuse the mess in the background, a lot of unboxing took place to build these shelves.

Once all three shelves were built it was now time to install them into the van. Before we set all the shelves into the van, we went ahead and bolted together the 60 inch shelf and one of the 30 inch shelves. That way when we pre set them in the van we know exactly where we want to drill out our holes into the floor of the van.

Here is the 30 inch shelf mounted and ready to use. As you can see we have mounted two brackets on each side of the shelf as well as four more bolts in the floor of the van to really secure this shelf when the van is moving.

On the driver side of the van, we have the 60 inch and 30 inch shelves mounted together with again two mounting brackets on each side and six bolts through the floor. I tried tipping over the shelves, and let me tell you, these shelves aren’t going anywhere.

Here is the full picture of the back of the van with all of the shelves mounted, secured ready for action.

It was an absolute pleasure working on one of these new Mercedes vans. If you can tell, we made sure that the van was spotless before we handed back the keys. It is critical that we keep our customer’s vehicles looking great, and with these shelves installed, this van is ready to hit the road with one happy customer.

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Damaged Service Bed Gets an Upgrade

Here at CATO we are always striving to help out any customer who is in need. We are never to surprised about what comes through our door, but every now and again we are faced with some challenges.

here you can see where the service bed was damaged right at the filler neck position. This is also where two of the doors on the service bed are damaged as well leaving this side of the bed inoperable.

here is a better look at the damaged side with one of the doors removed. As you can see the top door will not close due to the damage above and below it.

With a lot of hard work we were able to unbolt the bed from the frame and jack up the bed in order to get our forklift to lift the bed off of the truck and begin preparing for the new bed. 

Once we removed this bed from the frame, we were able to really see the damage caused to the filler neck, wiring issues, bent or cracked brackets, or any other issues we may come across when going through our checklist. The filler neck needed to be replaced, new wiring for the tail lights and 7-way harness, and a real good pressure wash on the frame and brackets for the new service bed. 

With the damages fixed and the filler neck replaced, we then set the new service bed onto the frame.

Now that he new service bed is on the frame and bolted down, we could then start on the new bumper and wire all the tail lights, brake lights, and 7-way harness.

Here you can see Mike, our number one mechanic, installing all the wiring for the back bumper. You can also see where we decided to replace the hitch and kept the original brackets in place.

Here is a great close up picture of Mike heat shrinking the wires together on the 7-way harness. 

In addition to completely replacing the service bed and bumper, the customer had a steel transfer fuel tank, diesel fuel hose, and a mega compressor that was all welded to the bed of the truck. All of these tools needed to be put back on the new service bed and welded into place.

Once everything is secure and ready to hit the road, we wanted to give the new and improved truck and overall wash. Making the truck look brand new the day the customer drove it off the lot.

Here is the finishing look to the new service bed with the transfer fuel tank in the back, the mega compressor in front, all securely welded, and the new bumper.

The complete look of the truck with a new service bed and washed clean.

This truck was a challenge for all of us, but nothing that we can’t handle. I loved that we all were ablet o work together solving critical problems and completing a task for a customer that was overjoyed to see his truck back in action. 

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Dixie Horn Install

Today was very interesting and a shock when we heard that we were installing a Dixie horn on a Dodge Ram for a customer. It was a shock because well frankly we don’t get too many orders like this. The cool part about this install was that we got to use some creativity on how we were going to make this work for our customer. So lets dive in and see how CATO installs a Dixie horn.

If you don’t know what a Dixie horn looks like here is a good picture of each horn laid out as well as the wiring, tubing, and compressor that is at the top of the picture.

Instead of placing each horn side by side, we decided to use one straight bracket as a center point, and connected the horns on each side with a L-bracket. By doing this saves us space and looks pretty cool in my opinion. Happy with the results, we went ahead and mounted the compressor to the straight bracket and connected the tubing.

Now that the horns are bolted together it was time to mount them into the truck. Before we started on the truck we decided to look for better options on where to mount these horns and get the best quality out of them. We found that under the front bumper was the best place and not under the hood.

Here you can see that we have all the room to work and there is nothing to muffle the sound coming out of the horns.

To mount the Dixie horn under the truck we had to use two more straight brackets to extend out to the frame of the truck. This will give us a great place to drill and bolt down the horn ensuring us that it will not fall off.

  • As you can see we extended the middle bracket with two more straight brackets out to the frame of the truck. In the bottom picture you can see where we had to twist the extension brackets so that they are flat on the frame.

After the Dixie horn was mounted we ran the wiring to the battery, and to the on/off switch in the cab of the truck. This was a fun job to do and something that will not do often. The customer was very pleased with the result and is now a lifetime customer.

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Installation of a B-Cool Unit

black and white terminals on white van roof

At Central Arkansas Truck Outfitters, we are able to do so many different things besides just basic truck accessories. One of our long time customers wanted us to install three more B-COOL Units in their 2023 RAM Pro-master Vans. We have had the pleasure to work with this company many times and they continue to trust us with their needs, and we always deliver! 

This B-COOL 12000RV-12V- Air Conditioner is an awesome choice for many different businesses. Such as, a flower shop, bakery, or even a food delivery service that just wishes to keep things cooled. 

young man looks through cut out square in roof of van

We are able to knock out these units pretty quickly because we have done them so many times. This is Kobe. He is one of the guys here and loves getting things done. First, he started off by measuring and cutting the hole needed to place the unit in. The hole has to be done correctly because it isn’t always easy to patch up these kinds of roofs. We like to use that saying “measure twice, cut once”. 

  • technician installs hardware on ceiling of van

After Kobe cut the hole, Kobe and Walt both started the install process. They begin with installing the light and then will add the A/C unit. We work as a team here so being able to have help is always nice! 

man caulks top of van

Let’s not forget that we have to seal around everything. This helps all of the air from coming out of the cracks. This is an A/C unit therefore we want the air to stay inside of the van for our customers. 

van with exposed insulation

The guys then install some R13 Insulation. This will help the van get nice in cool in the different types of weather that we experience here in Arkansas. Without this it is pointless to add the A/C unit. 

white van wall

Of course, no one wants to see that ugly insulation, so the guys put the walls back up to cover it and make it look nice and neat! 

man in blue shirt cleans back of van

When having to cut the roof we leave behind metal shavings. This is why Kobe is blowing out the van with an air hose so it can be nice and clean for the customer.

black and white terminals on white van roof

Just like that!! This RAM Pro-Master Van is complete!! We have a very happy customer. 

If you are in the market to add a cooling unit to your van. Just give us a call at 501-993-0848 or stop by the store to see us. We are always here to help you and are more than willing to answer any questions that you may have! 

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