Choosing Between Vans and Pickups

The May 2016 Automotive Fleet featured “Choosing Between Vans and Pickups,” and highlighted the considerations a fleet manager must take into account when deciding what vehicle would be best for his or her fleet.

Mike DeCesare, regional truck manager for ARI, said that he believes the major challenge in the van market is the lack of all-wheel drive or 4X4 capability, along with towing concerns. “We typically do not recommend towing in the van segment,” he said. “With the ability to put a large volume and weight in a van, max towing capability declines quickly.”

Rob Jackson, also a regional truck manager at ARI, noted “The pickup comes out on top when towing is involved. Comparing the Ford Transit 250 versus the Ford F-250, the F-250 has double the towing capacity of the Transit.” Jackson noted an additional factor to consider: “Another challenge when fleets switch from pickups to vans is the driver’s field of vision. Work vans typically don’t have cargo door glass, so getting used to the reduced visibility could be a concern.”

The “limitless number of configurations” with today’s van offerings still allows for the most flexibility in a light-duty fleet that requires enclosed cargo space. “Upfitters have adjusted quickly to customer demands for customized interiors that will reduce driver injuries and increase productivity,” DeCesare said. “With increased availability of the drop down ladder rack, van heightis no longer an issue for trades requiring ladders. For those where height needs to be minimized, interior ladder racks are available as well.”

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