If you are one of the hundreds of thousands of Europeans who earn revenue driving a cargo van, or if you operate a fleet of vans to serve a variety of industries, then you know how important that vehicle is to sustaining your livelihood. This is particularly true, of course, if you own—rather than let—your single van or fleet. Cargo vans are becoming an increasingly popular and desirable way to render an independent income stream—providing drivers with profit opportunities ranging from running transit jobs for a commerce company, to retail delivery, to moving services.
Following is a quick snapshot at the marketplace, along with some industry dynamics and tips for maximising your investment and keeping your van or fleet in the best possible working order.
Trucking, in general, is predicted to spike by 21 percent before the year 2023. And, cargo van operation can be part of that equation. Kickstarting an indy business making money shipping cargo is easier that most people think. A new cargo van can be purchased for anywhere between 22,000 euros and 40,000 euros. The point to entry isn’t cost prohibitive for those interested, qualified and ready to learn a new business. But it’s essential to master the basics of the delivery and van shipping industry, and an operator’s ability to properly care for their vehicle or vehicles is absolutely central to success.
The average cargo van can support approximately 6,500 kilos. While this figure is dependent on the type of van and exact internal/external weight and size, it shows, in general, that even the typical van can accommodate a pretty serious load. Based on gross vehicle weight, that equates to a lot of boxes, gear and equipment—and some heavy-duty hauling specs. If you’re already in the business, you know that there are almost limitless possibilities to what you can carry around in that vast cavern, but first time owner-operators may be surprised to discover how many “haul for hire” opportunities they’ve been missing.
There is good upside to cargo van ownership. There are numerous advantages to acquiring and driving a cargo van, or pick-up truck, for work purposes. Becoming a van owner-operator provides the flexibility of self-employment and work-life balance—allowing drivers to attract full or part-time jobs, working in various industries—and scale the demand to meet their personal schedule. Whether cargo van driving is a part time job or 9 to 5 day-to-day work regime, owning a work-utility van or truck offers an “economy resilient” form of employment that can help weather the highs and lows of a fluctuating job market.
A work truck is one of the most valuable pieces of inventory any small business operator can own. Just ask anyone who relies on their van or truck for occupational purposes and they’ll tell you that it’s a central element of their business operation and solvency. And owning a vehicle that your livelihood depends on means that regular tune-ups, tire and brake work, and proper maintenance to accommodate the extra load and longer driving schedule is a must. Using solid components, premium oil, and a quality petrol grade selection will ensure that your van remains in optimal working condition.
It’s important to keep your cargo van surfaces well protected. Part of essential maintenance includes keeping exterior and interior surfaces in top shape. Whether you use your van to carry the tools and gear of your chosen trade (construction equipment, gardening tools, repair equipment, motorcycles, and more) or use it for delivery, transport or moving, it’s important to safeguard every square meter of the vehicle. First, your customers don’t want to see a chipped, peeling or faded exterior, because that reflects poorly on your small business “brand.” Second, interior surfaces that are slippery and lacking the proper tread allow cargo to potentially slide around—risking damage to the content you’re carrying. Also, an unsecured van bed makes loading and unloaded more perilous. Third, a severely scratched, dented and damaged exterior can significantly decrease a van’s eventual resale.
Equipping your cargo van or truck bed with a coat of Bullet Liner’s premium protective sealant can keep vehicles looking in prime shape, and ensures that colors remain vibrant—even after exposure to extreme weathering elements. Bullet Liner coating also offers the extra grip that helps keep you—and whatever you’re toting around—safely in one piece and prevent costly cargo from slipping and sliding in transit.
Get to really know the industry before becoming a cargo van operator. If you’re new to cargo van operation, there are certain regulations to be mindful of, and to proactively investigate. Operators should always be aware of various restrictions and guidelines for proper load management—and the danger of equipment transport. Regulations likely differ by country, so it’s essential to have a heads up to the specific protocols for your area of operation and make certain to obtain the correct licensing and insurance policies to protect your small business. Most local governmental entities have departments that offer appropriate information and resource links.