Take Your Work Vans Down a Notch
(July 6, 2016)
The Benefits of Downsizing From Traditional Domestic Cargo Vans
by Loren Holman, Sales Manager
Americans love to go big. We’re into everything huge, from massive sports stadiums to wide-open spaces to gargantuan spectacles. Our propensity for immensity has even affected decisions about the commercial and cargo vans we buy for our businesses and fleets.
Hey, I’m the first to say there’s nothing wrong that. If you ask me, two scoops are always better than one. But over the years I’ve also learned that bigger isn’t always better.
Less Can Be More
In the wide world of commercial and cargo vans, there are small European vans (a.k.a. compact vans), what we’ve traditionally called “domestic” vans, large European vans and cube vans. Different brands come in different sizes, but these categories pretty much cover the industry.
What if you could be just as efficient and productive with work vans that are smaller than proverbial domestic vans? And what if downsizing might actually make your company more profitable than it is now?
First, you need to make sure downsizing to smaller commercial vans will still work for your operation. If smaller vehicles will fit in terms of how your drivers use them, the distances they travel each day and for what purposes, it’s definitely possible.
Advantages of Smaller Commercial Vans
Take acquisition cost right off the top. You can buy smaller work vans for less than than larger vans. It’s only logical.
Fuel economy and maintenance costs comes in a close second and third. Small European-style vans deliver 30-40 percent better fuel economy compared to larger domestic vans. You’ll see about the same difference in maintenance costs; a smaller motor means less expensive parts.
You’ll also gain size efficiencies when you downsize. By that I mean smaller cargo vans can fit into compact space like low parking garages and tight parking spots. They’re also easier to maneuver in challenging inner-city driving environments.
Related to that is flexibility. With doors on all sides of the vehicle, technicians and salespeople can see and access equipment and product while standing on the ground rather than crawling in on their knees and possibly getting injured. The right interior shelving multiplies this benefit.
Speaking of interiors, smaller work vans with the ideal bin, drawer and shelving setup actually can be more organized and improve efficiency over larger vans. Your drivers will be able to carry less inventory because they’ll know exactly what they have and where it is located. And by upfitting with aluminum interiors rather than steel, you won’t have to worry about payload; your staff will be able to carry all the equipment, products and tools they’ve always carried.
Change can be unsettling. I get it. But I’ve also seen the positive proof of the benefits of downsizing to smaller commercial vans with the right interior upfitting.
We’ve been living the “bigger is better” mantra for decades, but when it comes to commercial and cargo vans, it’s time to put more faith in “big things come in small packages.” If you have questions about the upside of downsizing, or if you want more information, please contact us.