Finding a Van or Truck for Work – 7 Tips

by Lori Straus

Finding the right truck or van for work is no small task: you want to balance saving money with getting value for your money. In this blog post, we’ll share with you seven tips on how to find the right van or truck for work.

1.    What’s Your Cargo?

A truck allows for more variance in cargo, whereas a van provides for more organization, storage, and security. If you’ll be hauling loads of 2x4s one day, furniture the next, and lawn care equipment the day after, then a pickup truck will be your best bet.

But if you plan to transport hardware, tools, and equipment that benefit from a high level of organization, you’ll want a van with ample shelving. There are certainly truck accessories that can help you achieve an excellent level of organization, but nothing beats a van when it comes to final cubic space, ease of access, and security.

2.    How Many Passengers Will Be Driving With You?

Cargo vans typically only have space for a passenger next to the driver, whereas a pickup truck can have an extra row of seats behind the driver, besides the front passenger seat. So, if you’ll be taking a team with you everywhere, score one for a pickup truck.

3.    What Payload Capacity Do You Need?

If you expect to be towing trailers, then hands down, you need a truck. Ontario has requirements for heavier trucks, so ensure you have the right licence for the load you’re towing and the truck you’re driving. Outfit your truck properly with towing accessories, like a camera for your trailer and an automatic tire pressure monitoring system, to make towing easier.

However, if you won’t be towing anything, i.e., your cargo will be stored inside, then a van is likely the better bet. As we already described in our answer to the first question, a van offers better security and organization than a truck.

4.    Is Visibility a Concern?

Assuming your cargo is not standing high in your truck bed, the driving visibility a truck offers surpasses that of a van.

But there’s a different visibility you may not have thought of: A van offers better logo visibility because the vehicle is taller. So even if a car pulls up next to you on a city street, people around you will see your logo.

5.    How Important Is Gas Mileage to You?

If you’re looking for the most gas efficient vehicle on the market, you’re likely looking for a pickup truck. That’s because they’ve become consumer vehicles and have therefore attracted a lot of attention in this area of technological improvement.

However, if you find other benefits to purchasing a cargo van, you may save costs elsewhere that balance the extra expense of gas you’ll incur in using a cargo van for work.

6.    Do You Want to Increase the Likelihood of an Easy Resale?

Generally speaking, you’ll have an easier time reselling the pickup truck you bought for work than your cargo van. So, if resale value is important to you, then add another point into the column for a pickup truck.

7.    Do You Want to Buy a Used Work Vehicle?

This is related to the previous question. Obviously, buying a used truck or van for work can save you money and still bring you good value. However, looking for a used cargo van, because there are fewer available for sale, can leave you with fewer options when you’re shopping. However, buying new, though more expensive, can give you access to longer and better warranties, and ideally fewer repair costs in those first years.

Take Your Time to Decide

Whether this is the first truck or van you’re purchasing for work, or you’re considering transitioning from one type to the other, take your time. Ask around for opinions, too. There are a lot of variables to consider when buying a truck or van for work, but once you’ve decided, you want to know you made the right one.