Choosing a Dropside Van
A dropside van is the perfect vehicle for builders and landscape gardeners. Not only do they allow for the transportation of heavy or awkward materials, they also make it easy to load and unload them. However, as with any van selection, choosing a dropside van isn’t always easy, especially when it’s for commercial use. You can’t just narrow down your selection to what one you prefer the look off, as you need to factor in the functionality and practicality too.
Factors to consider when choosing a dropside van:
Know your limits
Many commercial van providers cater for the standard van driver, who has a standard car driving licence. However, your licence plays an important part in your overall choice, as if you passed your test before 1st January 1997, the chances are, you can drive anything up to 8,250kg. However, if you passed after that date, your maximum permitted vehicle weight limit is 3,500kg. You need to check your driving licence, to clarify what your limit is, as this will help you narrow down your selection, when choosing a dropside van.
Ensure you know your load criteria
When buying or leasing a van, is knowing that it’s suitable for the type of load you’ll be carrying. It’s no different when choosing a dropside van – you need to check it’s suitable for the job. Dropside vans are popular with the building and gardening trades, as they’re perfect for bulky and awkward loads. However, a dropside van only allows you minimum load protection against the elements. If it’s heavy furniture you’re moving for example, you’re probably better getting a van with a covered loading bay (such as a Luton or compact).
Loading height is an important factor
As the dropside is purpose-built for heavy and awkward loads, you also need to check, when choosing a dropside van, that it’s got the right loading height for you. You don’t want to be bending down or awkwardly lifting materials, otherwise you’re going to increase your risk of injury – so check before you choose!
Choose the right type of loading area
As dropside vans are selected primarily for their functionality, it’s important to ensure the loading area has everything you need, to perform the best job for you. We’ve already mentioned the importance of having a low loading area, as well as making sure it’s the right height for you. Another factor is wheel arch intrusion – as not all dropsides will have wheel arches that don’t protrude into the loading area. Finally, remember the different options for securing your load. You’ll want some kind or anti-slip facility to the load area, as well as load restraints hooks or similar, as it’s your responsibility to make sure you’ve adequately secured your load.
Choosing a dropside van is an important decision to make as, not only does it impact on your business, it’ll impact on your business finances too. If you follow the advice above to narrow down your selection, you’ll have a clearer picture of what dropside van is the best option for you.
Van Pictured: Mercedes Sprinter Dropside