Options to vans
Following on from last weeks Blog about the load carrying ability of vans for the glass and window industries I thought it'd be appropriate to look at the vehicle options available for glaziers and smaller glass companies for non-route vehicles.
Firstly Utes and pickups are an option. This category covers a wide range of alternatives as the smallest Japanese vehicles in this category have similar issues to vans, and the largest American style pickups are essentially trucks. We build a range of decks and bodies for this style of open vehicle ranging from single side racks (similar to a van rack but connected to the side of the vehicle and braced) to a full deck and body with dual external racks and dual internal racks. The options are endless and in some Australian and American markets this style of vehicle is very popular.
The second option is a bottle-truck style vehicle, being a low hard sided body on a truck cab chassis. These are like a van body on truck running gear – a bit like a Hino Dutro or Toyota Dyna. The hard sides allow for ease of securing a glass rack, and the internal space provides options. Customers often buy these trucks as traded items for a good price.
The third option is light trucks. Over the years Isuzu, Fuso and others have built small cab over chassis vehicles which suit glass body installations due to their narrow rear wheel widths, narrow chassis, and good weight carrying ratings. Being a cab over design the percentage of the total vehicle length which can be used for glass carrying is far higher than with utes and pickups which have an engine forward design. The turning circle is also generally good which is appreciated by those used to driving vans as site vehicles. We build a range of covered and open vehicles for this type of cab chassis including those with an open back and a lockup storage area. For many of our customers this style of vehicle is very complimentary to a fleet of vans as it provides the ability for larger glass items and larger loads to be carried, and over the extended life of the truck, can be quite cost effective.
Looking forward we predict that light trucks will become increasingly popular as vans become less popular.