Choosing a van configuration
Most van manufacturers offer their vehicles in a range of configurations to suit varying business needs and the loads they are likely to carry. Whatever your requirement there is a van to suit your needs.
A Luton van is normally constructed as a separate body on a chassis cab; the body is built like a box and extends over the cab area to form a storage space known as a peak. Luton vans are a favourite with furniture and household removal companies, because they have a large internal storage capacity of up to 20m3 with certain manufacturer’s models. The van sides are vertical to increase load space and the walls are generally made from GRP which is a plastic reinforced with fibreglass to make the walls very strong and light which in turn improve the payload capability. Luton vans generally come with a flat internal floor to make loading easier and a rear roller shutter door, which can also usually be substituted for twin rear doors if required.
Panel vans come in a variety of shapes and sizes all of which have a rigid, non articulated body. These are ideal for cities because they have good agility and manoeuvrability and are designed to be compact on the outside while maximising the internal load space. Modern panel vans also have a good level of exterior protection to guard against minor bumps and scrapes. Probably the most popular panel van you will see on the UK roads is the Transit van which has been in production since 1965 and is now in its seventh generation. When choosing a panel van choice is something there is no shortage of, there are vans ranging from small to extra large. Most van models also offer a variety of wheel base lengths, heights, and varying payload capacities, so whether you are a florist or in the construction industry, finding a suitable van shouldn’t be a problem.
A dropside van has an open top with shallow panel sides which are usually around 12″ high and fold down for easy access to the van rear. They are frequently used in the construction and landscape/gardening industries because of their combination of large flat loading area, easy open top access and ability to carry high payloads. Once the sideboard panels are folded down, loading and unloading of goods is made simple for both workmen with shovels and fork lift trucks
A tipper van in much like a Dropside in that it has a large open back for easy loading, with shallow side boards and a tailgate. Unlike the dropside a tipper is fitted with a hydraulic ram which mechanically raises one side of the load area to enable the contents to be emptied quickly. The extra heavy mechanical/hydraulic gear that is fitted to the tipper means that it’s not capable of carrying as heavy a payload as a dropside.