As a professional carpet cleaner, choosing the right van size is an important decision.
When selecting a van, you need to consider your budget, the amount of equipment you'll be carrying, and also its ability to carry additional load if you add on services and staff at a later date.
Professional carpet cleaning requires carrying specialised equipment, including heavy extraction machines, hoses, pipes and cleaning chemicals. Knowing the dimensions and storage requirements of this equipment is essential in order to ensure you have a van that can carry the equipment with space to operate (most carpet cleaners find themselves hopping in and out of the back of their vans to find an elusive piece of kit on a daily basis!)
In this article, we'll explore the advantages and disadvantages of different sized vans, so you can make an informed decision on which type of van will suit your business.
Compact vans offer manoeuvrability in tight parking spaces and better fuel efficiency than heavy, large vans. This makes them ideal for operating in busy cities with limited parking spaces and congestion. , making them an attractive option for maneuvering through busy urban areas.
But these benefits do come at a cost.
Limited interior and loading space will pose challenges when trying to fit in all of your equipment, tools and cleaning chemicals. Often, it becomes difficult to fit in racking and reels as you try and maximise every last inch of space.
Medium-sized vans offer a nice balance between compact and large vans.
They provide more loading space, allowing for easier access to the back of the van and it's easier to store equipment without having to leave any kit off your van.
And althoug they won't fit into the tightest of parking spaces, they are far easier to manoeuvre than long wheel base vans.
The fuel efficiency of modern medium-sized vans is also good.
Large vans offer excellent storage options and the ability to add new equipment if you expand your services.
Vans of this size are ideal for businesses requiring extra space for multiple pieces of carpet and upholstery cleaning equipment. However, their size may pose challenges in busy, congested areas and streets with tight parking spaces; it is not just the parking of your van that can prove tricky - you must also consider the space required to open the rear doors to gain access to hose reels.
It is vital you confirm that your van has sufficient payload capacity to accommodate all your carpet cleaning machines, equipment and supplies (along with water weight if you will be carrying a water supply) without exceeding its legal weight limits.
Exceeding its payload can lead to legal penalties, safety risks and significantly increased wear on tyres and mechanical parts.
When searching for your next van, consider if you would like to expqnd in the future beyond your current staffing levels and services.
Will growth require an extra member of staff travelling in the van and increased equipment to be stored in the back?
If it fits within your budget, then purchasing a van that can accommodate expansion will save you money in the long term.
While every business is different, we believe that the mid-sized van with a large side loading door will suit most carpet cleaning companiers best (e.g. Vauxhall Vivaro, Mercedes Vito, Renault Traffic, VW Transporter or Ford Transit).
This type of van will offer good fuel economy, sufficient space for equipment and good manoeuvrability in the majority of working environments