What Should You Look for in a Cargo Van for Your Small Business?
Cargo vans are a necessity for many businesses that need to transport goods or haul equipment between job sites. From catering to contracting companies, cargo vans are an excellent way to get from one job to the next with all your product and equipment securely stored and organized.
How do you know which cargo van is right for your business? It comes down to efficiency, features and personal preference. When inspecting various options, ask yourself the question, “Will this van work for me and help me serve my customers well?”
What Businesses Need Cargo Vans?
Easterns Automotive has been selling vehicles to businesses and commuters in Virginia and Maryland for more than 30 years. We’ve helped all types of businesses find great work trucks and cargo vans to meet their needs over the years, including:
- Party planners
- HVAC professionals
- Wedding vendors
- Pest Control
- Dog groomers
- Delivery services
- Production companies
Key Features of a Cargo Van
Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) – The maximum weight of a cargo van. For example, if a cargo van’s GVWR is 8,000 pounds and it weighs 4,000 pounds empty, then you have 4,000 pounds left to use for loading.
Payload capacity – The payload capacity is how much weight you can add to the vehicle. (i.e., the 4,000 pounds you have left to load.)
Fuel type – Will the van require gas or diesel, and does that matter to you?
Roof height – If you plan on being able to stand inside the cargo van, make sure to find a van with a roof height tall enough to walk around in.
Cargo space – Obviously, you’re purchasing a cargo van for the space in the back. Make sure you consider everything that needs to fit back there and how it would need to be organized in order to meet your needs.
Drivetrain – There are four types of drivetrains: all-wheel drive (AWD), four-wheel drive (4WD), front-wheel drive (FWD) and rear-wheel drive (RWD). Think about what type of terrain and climate you’ll be driving in and determine what will be the safest, most efficient drivetrain for your cargo van.
Safety features — Newer cargo vans have many of the same safety features we see in commuter vehicles nowadays. (i.e., blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, automatic headlights, etc.) These features can help prevent accidents, shielding your business from potentially costly liability claims.
Wheelbase – The general rule of thumb is the longer the wheelbase the smoother the van will drive, and the shorter the wheelbase the bumpier the ride. Shorter wheelbases have more maneuverability, allowing for easier and tighter turns, while longer wheelbases provide a more comfortable, stable ride (this is especially important for passenger vans).
Doors – Cargo vans have several potential door variations. Dual-side doors are fairly self-explanatory; there are doors on both sides of the van. Dutch doors are doors on the back of a van that are hinged to swing out to the side. Some vans even have a rear lift gate like a commuter SUV or minivan. From a business perspective, rear lift gates tend to be the least functional option. Most businesses will want either Dutch doors or dual-side doors.
Powertrain – Commercial vehicles like cargo vans offer more powertrain and fuel options than many commuter vehicle models. Newer models of Ford, like the Transit Connect Cargo Van, have many configuration options and emissions-control features, including things like Eco Mode and CNG/propane packages.
Perks of Driving a Cargo Van
- Fuel efficiency
- Interior and exterior customization and business branding
- Temperate control (perfect for florists or caterers)
- Tax benefits/deductions
For the last 30 years, local businesses in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore areas have relied on Easterns Automotive for their company vehicle needs.