The best vehicles for international haulage

Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 16:29
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EXPERT: James Jeffries, of S&B Commercials

In our latest Expert Blog, James Jeffries, National Fleet Van Sales Executive at S&B Commercials, explains the pros and cons of different vehicle types for your pan-European haulage needs…

Just like any commercial application, international haulage works best when the right vehicle is used for the specifics of the job.

In mainland Europe, crossing international borders is as easy as crossing county lines in the UK, reducing the need for oversized trucks for transportation of goods and tools.

This guide briefly discusses the types of vans available and the practical international haulage applications of each.

Tipper Truck

Specifically designed for moving aggregate like sand and gravel, the hydraulic flat bed of the tipper truck allows for quick unloading on site.

Carrying up to 1.45tonnes, the tipper truck is generally best-suited to use around cities and towns.

Tippers are not generally designed for international haulage or long trips, although their compact size (up to three metres in length) and large seating capacity (six adult passengers in some models), does offer some scope for longer distances if required.

Tipper vans cost approximately £28,000 new, and second hand models can be acquired for approximately £8,000.

Panel Van

A panel van provides ample space to carry tools across borders or to create a mobile workshop allowing your workforce to work almost anywhere in the world.

Carrying up to 1.5tonnes in a compact, four-metre long chassis, the panel vans is a great option for workers on the road, potentially crossing international borders.

Expect to pay around £18,000 for a new panel van, or £8,000+ for a used model.

Luton Van

The perfect intermediate van for intra-urban use, the Luton is capable of hauling 1.6tonnes and comfortably seating a three-man team.

The large rear storage capacity is perfect for carrying mixed loads, making the Luton a good all-round choice.

New models are available from £20,000, with well looked-after versions fetching up to £19,000 second hand.

Dropside Van

When you need to transport large tools or heavy loads quickly and easily, a dropside van could be the answer.

The 4.75metre chassis can carry seven passengers and up to five tonnes of cargo over virtually any distance – internationally if required.

Bear in mind that the open bed of this truck may not be suitable for all uses.

A brand new van starts at around £18,000 while a well-maintained used vehicle is priced at £11,000 or more.

Curtainside Van

The ultimate long distance haulage vehicle for smaller applications, the curtainside van can carry up to 18tonnes across continents if required.

Measuring up to 6.7metres in length and carrying a three-man team, there is little you cannot do with this vehicle.

Prices for a basic model begin at around £20,000, although a good quality second-hand curtainside van costs around £18,000.

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Which to Choose?

The choice of vehicle depends on the load you need to transport internationally.

You must also consider which of the styles can best accommodate your workforce and load according to your budget.

Finally, bear in mind that some vehicles, like the Luton and the curtainside van are much better suited to transporting materials and tools over long distances.

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