Refrigerated transportation is a major investment for any business. It can do a lot for you, too: expansion into new markets, independence from contractors, hiring new employees, spreading word of mouth and branding, and so much more.
But given how much of an investment this is, it is important to make an informed choice and feel confident about your decision. In this article, we’ll look at some questions to ask yourself as you evaluate your options for buying a refrigerated van or truck.
Truck versus Van
First, let’s understand what the difference between the two is. The simplest explanation is that a truck is the bigger option. You would typically refrigerate the entire truck bed, which can give you tons of space. That said, it will take a lot of energy (and money) to cool a space that large, so if you don’t need it, go with a van.
A van more closely mimics a vehicle that you’re probably already used to driving. Many freezer vans actually started as regular vans and the owner had refrigeration installed in all or part of the van cargo compartment.
For What Purpose Will You Use it?
In other words, take a careful assessment of your needs by thinking about when and where in your business operations you will need the refrigerated vehicle. Here are some good questions to get you started:
- How many days of the week will we use it?
- For how many hours will we need the refrigeration running at a time?
- How far will my refrigerated truck or van need to travel?
- How much would I like to carry in the freezer van, and how many cubic meters will that occupy?
Understanding what you will use it for can also help you decide between vehicle engine-powered van refrigeration or diesel-powered. With the former, the refrigerator uses the vehicle’s energy/engine to run, while with diesel-powered refrigeration, you have a separate diesel tank to power the refrigerator.
How Much Can You Spend?
As a business owner, you always have to be careful about how you invest, and a freezer van is a serious investment. Carefully weigh debt against how much money the van will save you or how much it might expand your business.
Another option that might save money is van refrigeration installation. With an installation service, you have a refrigerator added to a vehicle that you already own.
Most people do not have an extra van lying around, but even if not, you can buy a used van relatively inexpensively, especially one that is reliable and has few issues. Since there are far more regular vans on the market than vans that already have refrigeration, you would have more options and be able to customise with a van refrigeration installation service.
How Far Do You Need to Travel?
Distance is a major factor in what type of freezer van is right for you. You may need something that can travel long distances or something smaller that navigates narrow city streets.
Potential Wear and Tear and Repairs
Whether or not a repairperson is available in your area might be a factor in your decision. Your refrigerated vehicle might be a vital part of your business, and if you need it fixed quickly, this means that you need people who can work on it quickly.
Potential wear and tear are also a factor to take into consideration given how far you will travel in the van or truck. Saving money in the short term is not worth it if it will cost you more in the long term with repairs for an over-used vehicle.