Sometimes a name simply does not do a product justice. Take the case of light duty vehicles. Sure, the loads they carry tend to be lighter. But these days, with the wide variety of light duty vehicle options available (and businesses’ increasing reliance on them), a different name may be more apt: heavyweights.
What’s the attraction of light duty vehicles, especially highly maneuverable cargo vans? For starters, their ability to make tight urban and suburban deliveries is legendary. Better yet, new configurations are saving on everything from fuel costs to workload, sleeker designs make them easier to use and more efficient.
Exactly how efficient can a light duty vehicle be on fuel? Ryder’s newly redesigned MetroVan gets a whopping 25 miles per gallon—significantly better than other delivery vehicle options—creating a real, tangible bottom-line difference for any business.
Typically falling into the Class 2 category, the most versatile of the new light duty trucks and vans tend to be spec’d as follows for the widest variety of commercial uses:
- 547+ cu. ft. of cargo space (at 8,500 lb. gvw)
- 54.5” turning radius
- 6” feet of standing headroom
- Load capacity up to 3,005 lbs.
- Pass-through cab and cargo containment system
- Fuel efficiency of up to 25 MPG
- 6.4 ft. interior height
- 54.6 ft. turning radius (door to door)
- Six-cylinder turbo diesel performance
- Electronic stability control
- Both side and rear door openings
- One and a half times the cargo space of ordinary vans
Cargo vans: Benefits and popular uses
Covering everything from specialized sprinters to reefers, cargo vans are great at two things: handling extra capacity and overall efficiency. When seasonal demand ramps up, nimble fleets expand with van rentals for just-in-time capacity. Special deliveries and light freight requirements are popular uses. But the short-term strategic use of vans has a proven track record of meeting demand without incurring heavy added costs.
Benefits of this class of vehicle are well known: they’re easy to load and easy to drive. They tend to be ideal for transporting smaller loads in bad urban traffic. That covers a range of use cases, from spot deliveries to hauling commercial cargo short distances. For this, vans offer the right amount of capacity, power, and fuel economy.
Properly spec’d vans make all the difference in real-world applications. Smaller city vans favor low cab-over designs for increased maneuverability and tighter turning, with options including hydraulic lift gates, ramps, slat interiors and E-track for easier cargo loading, securing, and handling. Sprinter van variations have rear and side doors to make short work of loading and unloading.
A little larger: Panel vans, parcel vans, and box trucks
Larger panel vans feature side doors for easier cargo handling. Parcel vans—the workhorse “delivery truck” in many fleets—make lifting easier with walk-through doors from cab to cargo box, as well as walk ramps and slat interiors to help protect and secure loads.
On the larger side of small, box trucks (aka, straight trucks) are ideal for light or medium-duty hauling—think items like bulky furniture and appliances. These diesel-powered dynamos come in a wide range of payload capacities and box sizes.
Cooler option: Reefers
Keeping it cold at all times, popular refrigerated or “reefer” trucks keep perishable cargo at steady cool temperatures. Most models have heavy-duty insulated interiors and efficiency options, including electric standby or automated stop/start features.
Small and quick: City vans
These days, with customers often expecting faster and faster deliveries, city vans are becoming more popular than ever before. With their great reputation for getting in and out of tight delivery spots, renting these light duty vehicles for on-demand and fast-turnaround work is a solid strategy for maximizing revenue. Their fuel economy is also appealing, as each dollar saved drops directly to the bottom line.
Given this wide variety of versatile vehicles, it’s no wonder more businesses are turning to light duty vehicles for a stronger delivery reputation—and savings.