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Tops in Trucks: More Entries, Better Designs, and Additional Winners

Originally published: 06.01.12 by Terry Tanker

Tops in Trucks: More Entries, Better Designs,  and Additional Winners

Our June Tops In Trucks fleet-design contest issue has clearly become a reader favorite based on the number of emails, phone calls, and contest submissions we receive. Each year the contest attracts more entries and better designs.
When we first began this contest five years ago, many of the designs we reviewed were very simple. Often there wasn’t much of a design, with just the name of the firm and a corresponding phone number.  The winners we selected were clearly in a league of their own — GallettAir in West Babylon, NY, for example. In fact, GallettAir’s winning design is still among the elite. And, they’ve launched a new energy-
management division with a new design that is excellent (see page 21). Fast forward to 2012, and the roles have reversed. It’s rare we dismiss an entry out of hand for falling short. This year’s contest was by far the hardest to judge, and it took our staff over a month to narrow down and finally select our five winners.  Yes, that’s right — we’ve added two additional winners. That was easier than trying to figure out how to whittle so many good designs to three.

/>It’s our hope that the attention we’ve placed on fleet design has convinced you what an important part of your branding and marketing strategy fleet design is. Each year, as the entries have increased and designs have improved, our staff has taken great satisfaction in the fact that we are helping to make a difference in your business.

The sponsorship of the Tops in Trucks contest has also grown, and I’d like to mention each one here.

Visual Marking Systems (VMS): For over 50 years Visual Marking Systems (VMS) has been a leader in the high-performance custom graphic design services and printing industry producing products for the OEM, point-of-sale, public transit, and fleet graphics industries. Their marketing and branding expertise in fleet graphics incorporates design, production and installation to create outstanding visibility for your company. We first introduced you to VMS President and CEO Dolf Kahle in our March 2012 issue where he appeared as the subject of my monthly 20 Questions interview. For more information, see

Nordyne: A trusted name in our industry, Nordyne has been designing and manufacturing reliable heating and cooling products for more than 90 years. The company focuses on creating value through innovation, product performance, and responsive support. Nordyne uses proven technology to build reliable commercial and residential systems. If you are interested in learning more about Nordyne CEO Dave LaGrand, see my May 2009 20 Questions interview with him. For more information on the company, see www.heynordyne.com.

Have you checked out www.masterack.com? You should, because when it comes to choosing high quality, professional-grade commercial vehicle equipment, Masterack is an industry leader with over 75 years of experience in product design, manufacturing, and installation. They have a huge selection of steel and composite van inter-iors, pickup equipment, ladder racks, and accessories; and can provide pre-designed trade packages or customized packages.

HVAC Excellence: HVAC Excellence is a not-for-profit organization that has been serving the HVACR industry since 1994. Their goal is to improve competency through validation of the technical education process. By setting standards and verifying that they have been met, HVAC Excellence inspires the industry to excel. They believe that all of the challenges our industry faces can be addressed by continuous improvement in the way that we prepare technicians. HVAC Excellence programs identify areas of weakness in education; assist employers with hiring competent technicians; allow the public to identify competent technicians; pinpoint current deficiencies in the technical workforce for education program development; and aid manufacturers in warranty-cost reduction. My 20 Questions interview with HVAC Excellence Executive Director Howard Weiss appeared in the March 2011 issue. For more information, see www.hvacexcellence.org. 

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