Cargo vans can serve a lot of different purposes. If you bought your cargo van so you can have a mobile workplace, then you should consider upfitting your cargo van. A cargo van upfit can help you get your job done much more quickly and easily.
But before you take your cargo van to a shop that does upfitting, you need to ask yourself a few questions. These questions will help you decide exactly what kind of upfit you should have for your vehicle.
Question #1: For what purpose is your cargo van going to be used?
Consider how you intend to use your cargo van before you get your upfit. Aside from using it to transport you and your tools from place to place, what other purpose do you have for it? Is your cargo van simply a transport vehicle for yourself, your tools, and whatever other equipment you need to deliver? If so, then you need to upfit your van with the appropriate storage solutions.
But what if you plan to work inside your van too and make it sort of like your mobile workshop? Then you’ll need to install a work surface and maybe a chair where you can do the work. How you envision yourself using your cargo van should tell you what kind of upfit you need for it.
Question #2: Who is going to use your cargo van?
Before you purchase your upfit, you should think of who will use your cargo van. Will you be the van’s sole user? If yes, then you can upfit the van as you see fit to suit your needs and personal work style. But if someone else will be using the van aside from you, then you must consider their needs too. One way you can do that is by installing shelving that’s well within everyone’s reach. Labeling the storage compartments clearly will help a lot too.
Queston #3: Will your planned cargo van upfit help you do your job efficiently?
Efficiency is important in any job. That goes without saying. So, your cargo van upfit must contribute to how efficiently you get to do your work. How do you ensure efficiency with your upfit? It depends on the intended usage of your cargo van and your work style.
The important thing is you have to be able to find your tools, equipment, and supplies within seconds. Thus, your shelving and storage solutions should guarantee that your stuff will have their own dedicated space, clearly labeled, and easy to find.
You should also consider the lighting inside the cargo area of your van. The better lit your van’s interior is, the easier you’d be able to work inside. LED lights make the best interior lighting. They’re generally brighter without giving off glare, and they’re more energy-efficient. They should shine towards three different directions – both sides of the shelving and right at the center of the cargo area.
Lastly, you should consider adjustable storage if you’re going to transport different types of tools and equipment. Maybe on one trip you’d be loading only larger equipment. On another trip, you have only small tools to transport. In this case, your interior should be able to adjust to your needs. Storage that can be removed or adjusted with a screwdriver would be ideal in such situations.
Question #4: What materials should you use for your cargo van upfit?
The kind of materials your cargo van upfit will be made of is vital to the performance of your vehicle. Your choice of materials can affect the weight and payload of your vehicle, its fuel efficiency, along with other factors.
The materials your upfit will be made of should depend on how you intend to use your cargo van. Steel is a good choice if you’re concerned about upfit cost and you want your upfits to last a long time. That’s because steel is durable and cost-effective. Steel interiors are also better able to withstand rough road conditions.
However, if fuel efficiency is your priority, you should consider aluminum interiors instead. Aluminum is lightweight, so it will save you on fuel costs. On the other hand, if you’re storing small or delicate tools and supplies in your van, you may want to opt for composite interiors instead. Composite storage systems are better able at protecting your tools. They will prevent your tools from breaking and making clattering noise.
Question #5: Will moving inside and around your cargo van cause injuries?
Ergonomics is another essential factor you must think of when upfitting your cargo van. You must ensure that moving around and handling stuff within and around your van won’t cause your body injuries later on.
For example, if your cargo van has a high roof and you need to install a rooftop ladder rack, you should choose a slide-down ladder rack. Having a slide-down ladder rack means you will not have to climb on tires and bumpers to be able to reach the rack. In turn, this minimizes the chance of you slipping and falling down in trying to reach for the rack.
Another example is loading heavy equipment in your van. You can choose to stash your heavier gear close to the door of the van so you’ll have easier access to them. But if space is going to be a problem, you can upfit your van with a sliding mechanism instead. In this way, you won’t have to lift and haul your heavy gear from deep inside your van. You can turn on the sliding mechanism instead and have the gear brought to you.
Question #6: Is your cargo van safe?
Definitely you should never ignore the safety within and outside your cargo van. Whatever gear you’re going to store in the rear of your van should be secured properly with hooks and other locking mechanisms. This will prevent breakage during transport.
Your cargo van itself should be safe at all times, especially if you have expensive tools and supplies stored in it. A secure locking mechanism and alarm system will keep them safe from thieves. You should also feel safe driving and parking your van. You can make that possible by installing gadgets like rearview cameras, parking sensors, and anti-collision devices.
If you’re thinking of upfitting your cargo van, it’s important that you give your cargo van upfit some serious thought. In that way, you can be sure that you’ll get the exact solutions you need and you won’t be wasting money in the process.