Cargo Vans vs. Pickups: Which One Is Better?

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Building a fleet is an important part of any supply chain, but what kind of vehicles do you really need for one? The most common choices are pickup trucks and cargo vans, but which one is really better? Let’s take a closer look at these two vehicles and their strengths and weaknesses to see which of these options is really the best one for your supply chain.

Pickup Trucks

Pickup trucks are the classic work truck. You’ll see them on every single jobsite and in many supply chains across the country. What are the benefits of using a pickup truck instead of a cargo van?

First, you’ve got more cargo space in a pickup truck. Tall or long pieces can easily be secured in the bed of the truck, and it’s much easier to load and unload anything you’re hauling. You can also tow a trailer or other heavy equipment with a pickup much easier than you can with a cargo van.

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Most pickups also get better gas mileage than cargo vans of comparable size, which can lower overall costs in the long run. If you’re transporting crew instead of cargo, you’ll find that a truck with a crew-cab can carry more people than a cargo van can — your cargo van can usually carry only two to three people.

On the other hand, the bed of a pickup truck doesn’t offer any protection from the weather unless you add a topper to it, which would interfere with your ability to transport large items.

Cargo Vans

Cargo vans have a great number of benefits when they’re being used as work trucks. They’re enclosed, which has some primary benefits — it helps to keep your tools and equipment secure. You don’t have to unload your truck at the end of the day to guard against theft. Just lock the door, and you’re good to go.

It also helps to protect your equipment from bad weather that might blow up unexpectedly. If you use electronic devices throughout the day or carry cargo that could be damaged by rain or weather, a cargo van can save you a lot of money and trouble.

In addition, it’s much easier to organize tools and equipment in the back of a cargo van than it is in the back of a pickup. Even if you’re not worried about the weather, it’s harder to install hooks, shelves and other items for organizing all your tools.

Finally, cargo vans give you a lot more space for advertising on their sides and back. You can advertise on a pickup, but you have less room, so you can convey less information.

Cargo vans don’t have the towing capacity that pickups do, and while they may have more storage space in the cargo area, you’re limited in their available space — large pieces might not fit in the cargo area without being broken down.

Final Verdict

The final verdict on which vehicle is better depends largely on what you’re doing with it. If you have to carry a lot of tools, especially those that could potentially be damaged by the weather or stolen overnight, a cargo van is your best option. If you need higher towing capacity or to be able to transport more than two people, a pickup truck becomes the best choice.

If you want to use your vehicle to advertise your business as you’re driving around town, a cargo van is a better option. If you need to be able to transport large items that won’t fit in the back of a cargo van, the pickup truck becomes the best selection.

If you find yourself needing things that both of these vehicles offer, you might want to split your fleet between trucks and cargo vans. That way, you have the best of both worlds available to you at all times without having to worry about tying large cargo to the top of your cargo van or trying to squeeze a large advertisement into the space of a tailgate.

Both vehicles have their pros and cons, and the one that you choose is entirely up to the needs of your business. Hopefully, these strengths and weaknesses will help make the decision a little bit easier.

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