Vans are an integral part of businesses worldwide. From catering companies to roofing contractors, these vehicles are suitable for getting the job done in many industries. Though, like other automobiles, there is room for improvement.
Companies looking to upfit their work vans should consider these six additions to help their employees.
1. Upgraded Partition
One of the first things a fleet owner can do is upgrade the partition. This divider is handy to protect the passengers from the cargo in the back. Most vans have a solid partition, which divides the cab and the cargo space. Adding an entryway between the two areas can make life easier for workers so they can come and go as they please without having to exit the vehicle.
If a van has a door, the fleet owner could replace it with a solid partition because this option provides better insulation in the cab. This adjustment may come in handy when extreme temperatures hit. Another option is to add perforated partitions or windows to help the driver see the rear cargo while keeping the cab at a comfortable temperature.
2. Better Lighting
When upfitting work vans, many fleet owners will prioritize upgrades they can make to the exterior. These are essential, but they should still find ways to help their staff by upfitting the interior. One of the best ways to do that is with the lighting — fleet owners can change the lights inside the van or allow more natural light with a translucent roof.
Lighting is essential for work vans, especially for businesses where employees must be inside the work truck frequently. Upgraded lighting will help workers see better when the sun sets earlier in the evening, but work still requires completion. Fleet owners should consider upgrading to LED lights because they’re brighter and use less energy than incandescent bulbs. Also, they emit little heat, helping the van drivers in the summer months.
3. Hydraulic Liftgate
Another practical upfit for a work van is a liftgate. Many people may associate liftgates with long-haul trucks, but there are options specially crafted for work vans. These hydraulic systems make lifting and lowering cargo much more manageable. Adding a liftgate can lessen the workload for drivers because they won’t have to strain themselves during loading and unloading.
There are a few options for upfitting a van with a liftgate. The first one is a conventional liftgate. This gadget is the most common for vans and is best for freight loading. Their lift capacity is high and they’re generally affordable. Also, they lie against the vehicle when workers aren’t engaging the liftgate.
Fleet owners could opt for a rail gate — ideal for vans that load and unload heavy items. Rail gates keep workers safe because they move straight up and down. However, they can be burdensome because it has to lie against the doorway of the van. Some see this rail gate as unfavorable, but it can deter thieves who try to enter the van.
4. New Cabinets
The cargo space of a van can say a lot about a company and how they prioritize cleanliness. When a client or new employee sees the back of a van, a fleet owner should show they respect the cargo space by keeping the areas clean consistently. One way they can do that is by installing or upgrading the cabinets.
When upgrading the cabinets, van owners must think about the material used. The cabinets must be firm but not add too much weight to the van simultaneously. Aluminum fits the bill because it’s lightweight and durable, which is practical for work vans of any business. Aluminum cabinets are easy to install and their military grade will last a fleet owner for years.
Other benefits of aluminum cabinets include a low level of maintenance and supporting sustainability. Aluminum doesn’t give off odors and is highly resistant to corrosion and cabinets with an aluminum oxide layer will protect the surface from wearing down. Also, if the fleet owner decides to change the cabinets, they can easily recycle the aluminum because it retains its composition during the recycling process.
5. Safety Upgrades
One of the top concerns for fleet owners is the safety of their drivers. Van owners can and should change their fleet to give their drivers as much protection as possible. They can be perfect drivers, but predicting what other drivers will do is nearly impossible. Some safety upfits van owners should consider are:
- Grill guard: A grill guard is among a work van’s most accessible and practical upfits. These guards protect the van’s front end from other vehicles and animals that run into the road at night. Fleet owners can upgrade their grill guard by adding lights, aiding vision at night.
- Telematics devices: Another excellent way to protect safety while driving is to add telematics devices. Telematics technology combines information systems and telecommunications to add security to vehicle fleets. For example, these devices track driver habits like speeding, phone usage and more. They can also detect problems in the work vans, often before the drivers find them.
- Upfitted locks: Van operators need safety while driving, but what about while at the worksite? One safety upgrade could be switching out the locks. A fleet owner could opt for a device that locks the door whenever the operators close it, which would be fitting for courier services. Van operators who need to leave the van unattended could use deadlocks because they’re challenging to open, even for experienced car thieves.
6. Interior Ladder Rack
Thieves can be an issue for work vans. In many trades, the staff must leave the van unattended for hours at a time, so anybody could snoop around the vehicle and find something to steal. An easy target for criminals is the ladder because vans typically carry them on the outside of the work truck. So, fleet owners should look for alternatives, such as an interior ladder rack.
Interior ladder racks work best for companies with extra space in the van or are concerned about safety because of the company’s area. They fit nicely on the walls or ceiling of the cargo area and are easy to load and unload. Putting the rack inside can help preserve the ladder’s condition by shielding it from bad weather.
Upfits for Work Vans
Work vans make the world go round in many countries. HVAC, plumbing, roofing and other businesses use these vehicles to provide quality service to customers. Each company typically customizes the van based on its trade. Fleet owners looking to upfit their van can use these six additions to help their employees.