The first step toward mobile work is purchasing the truck or van you intend to operate out of. Before you head out to the lot to buy your van, here are some things you should consider in advance:
Establish Required Vehicle Functionality
Cheaper vans might be more appealing at first, but failing to plan ahead can come back to bite you. Can you imagine getting your new vehicle off the lot, only to later realize that it isn’t large enough to fit your gear into?? This can be a point of great stress for many people. In order to cut that risk, first consider what your vehicle absolutely needs to be able to do. Do you intend to carry long sheets of plywood in the back? Install tall shelving units? Knowing your preferred minimum length, width and height for your working space can be a great help. Having some idea of the space you require will help you narrow down what you’re looking for in a work vehicle.
Address Potential Vehicle Limitations
Consider all possible scenarios when shopping for your ideal work van. You may not carry long loads regularly, but will you do so often enough that a shorter van will become problematic? Your work vehicle should should always be helping to improve your workflow.
Remember: After buying your vehicle, the amount of in-van work space will always remain the same! It is better for your van to be too big rather than too small.
Consider Roof and Wheel Well Variations
Many models of van even offer different roof heights to choose from, as well. This is another extremely important thing to consider. Are you going to be in and out of the back of your van frequently? If so, you might consider a taller roof so that you are able to stand upright, not hunched over. Do you use the space while seated, or spend minimal time in the back? Roof height may not be as important to you!
Cargo vs. Passenger Van Configuration Differences:
Roof heights aren’t the only variation you’ll find within van makes: There are key differences between cargo and passenger van variations as well. Passenger vans are noticeably cheaper than cargo vans, but do not offer a smooth floor due to the footwells meant to accommodate passenger seats. This prevents installation of any protective liners or storage products without fabrication to create the required flat surface, which adds on to overall costs. Consider whether a compact van is the right solution for you, keeping the additional fabrication requirements in mind.
Everything from your own personal comfort to the things you’ll be carrying around are important and should impact your buying decision. You should consider your desired minimum working space length, width and height, as well as how you intend to fill that space. Purchasing a vehicle is a big commitment, and you should be happy in your work vehicle regardless of profession.