A refrigerated van. That’s exactly what it sounds like. It’s a van with the same properties as a refrigerator. So who needs such a vehicle? A valid question and the simple answer is businesses that commute perishable products like food, medicines, and industrial goods. Such products require to be stored at a constant reduced temperature. Refrigerated vans are ideal for commuting such goods from point A to point B.
If you’re here reading this article, pretty sure you already knew that and looking for some assistance on how to buy a fridge van for the first time. You can head to a local or online fridge van dealer for more information. Refrigerated vans are not ordinary vehicles, and a lot goes into consideration when buying the right fit for your requirement.
It might seem daunting at first, but with a few tips, you can buy the perfect refrigerated van for your business. Let’s take a look.
Determine the Size of the Van Based on Your Need
In the commercial vehicles sector, vans are classified into three broad categories. These are small, medium, and large. To start with, small vans have a payload capacity of 400 to 420 kilos and load space of around 5.75 feet.
On the other extreme, there are large vehicles with around 1,200-kilo payload capacity and 13.2 feet of load space. Medium vehicles are an excellent middle ground and more popular with businesses. But how do you decide which size is ideal for your business?
Here you need to consider three factors – what you plan to do with the van, what kind of products you’ll be transporting, and the size or quantity of the product. Each of these points is crucial while deciding on a van.
To illustrate, if you run a daily delivery service of milk or fresh vegetables, you’ll need a larger loadspace for the pallet of products and thus a larger vehicle. In comparison, businesses like meat delivery or care providers can make do with a smaller size vehicle.
Consider Number of Times Doors Will Open per Hour
Did the question make you scratch your brain? It’s very crucial to consider how many times your van will be opened every hour. Does your business require you to create multiple deliveries in a short span and in a small area? If yes, it’s inevitable that your van’s rear and side loading doors will open a lot.
Such vans will require refrigeration units that can deal with a higher number of drops per hour. Furthermore, this consideration also ties into the size of the vehicle. Such specialized refrigeration units will require more space to be installed.
On the other hand, if your business only requires one drop in one trip and the doors are opened only twice to load and unload, then you don’t need any particular refrigeration unit.
Take Manufacturer’s Warranty Into Account
It’s always recommended to buy the refrigerated van brand new. The sole reason behind this logic is to avail the manufacturer’s warranty that comes with it. Additionally, a brand new fridge van will come with a warranty for the refrigeration unit as well. Buying a used van, say a year old, means you lose out on a year’s original warranty, and that is if the vehicle has not exceeded the mileage limit.
Most vehicle manufacturers offer three years or up to 100,000 miles of warranty. However, some brands like Volkswagen offer a 3-year warranty with two years of unlimited mileage and an extra third year if the mileage doesn’t exceed 60,000 miles. This is good for businesses that do long-haul, one-stop drops.
Businesses involved in frequent small drops will benefit from a more extended duration warranty no matter the mileage. This is because such companies are unlikely to exceed the mileage on their short, small area drops and will benefit from longer.
Ensure That The Vehicle Is ULEZ Compliant
You wouldn’t want to be without your business vehicle or pay a hefty fine. But that’s precisely what will happen if the van you brought doesn’t comply with the UK’s Ultra Low Emission Zone provision. This means any van with an engine dated older than Euro 6 will be looking at a heavy penalty when entering any ULEZ in the country. Therefore, to futureproof your fleet and avoid penalizing, consider buying vans with Euro 6/6.2 engines. Thankfully most modern vehicles come with Euro 6 or 6.2 engines.
Congratulations, you now know the basics before buying a refrigerator van. There are, of course, more technicalities involved, but the following four tips will ensure that you get the right and safe vehicle for the job.