Commercial fleet managers look at vehicles like employees. When they’re considering a new hire, they mainly look at the job the vehicle needs to do. So, when it comes to the commercial vehicle debate of team truck vs. cargo van crew, the deciding factor is usually the vocation to which the automobile will be applied. However, there are some circumstances in which either would suffice. In those cases, it comes down to which is the most efficient in terms of purchase price, resale value, operating expenses and the cost of commercial auto insurance.
Advantages of a Pickup Truck
Today’s pickup truck is, in a lot of ways, more like a passenger car than the trucks of yore. They can be equipped with features like GPS and a wide variety of driver assistance features like lane keeping assist, rear cross traffic monitoring and even smart cruise control.
Some even feature the ability to track the vehicle online and establish boundaries outside of which the truck can’t travel without you getting a notification. These features bring the cost of insurance down considerably, as each of these features ultimately makes the truck safer and easier to locate if it is stolen.
Meanwhile, on the job site, it’s much easier to access equipment from an open pickup bed than it is to deal with material in a closed in cargo van. Pickups are usually capable of towing heavier loads and carrying larger payloads as well. What’s more, given the wide variety of cab configurations available today, a pickup truck can haul equipment and a crew of five to a location in complete comfort.
Advantages of a Cargo Van
With a cargo van, your gear is enclosed inside a lockable structure, which means it’s more thoroughly protected against theft. In addition to providing protection from unscrupulous persons, cargo vans shield your equipment form bad weather. Custom shelving is available to keep a van far more organized than a pickup could ever be, And, with roof racks, a van can be configured to haul longer lightweight items on the roof.
Another advantage of vans is all of that blank square footage along the sides and on the back doors. With a pickup truck, you’re limited to small signs on the doors and possibly the tailgate. But with a van, you have two rolling billboards (one on either side) to advertise your company and what you do. There’s room on the back doors for signage, too.
The downside is cargo vans tend to be outfitted in a far more Spartan fashion than pickup trucks, because they are designed primarily for hauling cargo. So, all the creature comforts and advanced safety gear you can get for a pickup truck isn’t always available for a cargo van. What’s more, you’ll be limited to a crew of two if the cargo section is configured with shelving for material.
The Bottom Line
It really comes down to different horses for different courses. If you’re towing, hauling heavy loads or carrying around passengers, a truck is the best choice. If you have gear to keep safe, dry and organized, the van is a better move. However, if you’re engaged in a line of work in which either will suffice, the pickup truck also offers more comfort and more flexibility.
Before you decide however, crunch the numbers for yourself. Among the key factors to consider: the cost of acquisition, running costs and the commercial auto insurance rate. Luckily, CoverHound can help you find an affordable policy with minimal effort. Learn more today!