In the current climate, buying a van might seem like an particular extravagance to many industries. But in this time of crisis, the country is relying more heavily than ever on vans and delivery vehicles in key sectors and essential businesses. Here at CoolKit, we’re doing our very best to ensure that business remains running as smoothly as possible. So if a key vehicle in your fleet reaches the end of its useful lifespan in this critical period, and you’re looking to make a replacement swiftly to avoid any further disruption to your operations, here are some of the most crucial things it can help to consider.
As one of your primary considerations, you’ll want to ensure that the vehicle you’re purchasing has sufficient capacity to meet your requirements, and that of your intended cargo. Most vans come in a variety of wheelbases and roof heights, ranging from H1, H2 and H3, so you’ve got plenty of options and configurations as to which ones you deem most suitable. Bear in mind that while it might seem the most intuitive option to get a van that’s the same size as existing vehicles in your fleet, you may want to consider going for one with more capacity, as it may provide extra flexibility for you to make additional deliveries in the same run.
The weight is an important factor that goes hand in hand with size, too. In short, you’ll need to ensure that it’s got the necessary payload capacity so that you’re never at risk of overloading your van. (If you know you’ll be making regular deliveries of shipments fixed at a certain size, these calculations tend to be easier.) An overloaded van is not just inefficient, but is even actively dangerous, and it’s estimated that tens of thousands of vans are regularly driven overloaded on Britain’s roads every year.
Depending on your individual circumstances, getting a larger refrigerated van may enable you to double up on certain suitable deliveries, which could save you on the extra purchasing and running cost of a further van later down the line. Just make sure that all cargo is transported at a compatible temperature!
Access is another key consideration, even for fridge and freezer vans that may not see intensive daily use. Thinking about access and ease of loading at the buying stage can help you save your staff valuable minutes each day, which can equate to a sizeable boost in productivity over months or years. Some fridge vans, for example, provide access from the side as well as the rear. And rather than doors that go out as far as 180°, you can even get ones that go as far as 270° – which can be handy when loading the van in particularly tight quarters or busy environments.
Van security will always be pretty high up on the list for buyers across a range of industries, but especially so for buyers of fridge vans – particularly if they’re transporting significantly valuable cargo like pharmaceuticals. A fully loaded van typically won’t be left overnight anyway, but occasionally drivers or passengers can forget valuable personal items left in the cabin. Due to the cost and inconvenience involved in replacing mobiles, tablets and specialist tools or equipment, it’s still a good idea to bear security in mind.
Efficiency is perhaps one of the most important considerations after size and payload, as fuel economy makes up a significant proportion of ongoing operation costs. It’s worth ensuring that the engines are in line with current environmental regulations (e.g. the Euro 6 regulations and the Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London), and as part of that you’ll also need to make the decision between petrol or diesel engines.
Each has their own set of strengths – the general consensus is that petrol is better for shorter journeys, with cheaper purchasing and maintenance costs. On the other hand, diesel is usually agreed as the better option for longer-distance deliveries, and its increased torque makes it easier to move bigger loads. Those are just a few points though – it’s always a good plan to do your own research too!
When you’re running a business it always helps to ensure that your staff are easily contactable, and today’s world of modern automotive technology allows them to stay safely connected behind the wheel, with a variety of Bluetooth connectivity options and infotainment screens at their disposal. These sorts of infotainment screens can also prove incredibly useful with their in-built navigation systems, helping drivers adapt their journeys on the fly. It’s not just all about the technology though – even something as simple as in-built cabin stowage can go a long way towards making a driver’s life easier.
And of course, if you’ve got any questions or need any advice, we’re always on hand here at CoolKit. You can get in touch with us using any of the contact numbers on our website, and rest assured that as long as we’re able, we will do all we can to help those customers who need support in vital roles during this national effort in a safe, responsible manner at all times.”