We have all seen them out and about on the roads, and we’ve probably used them when moving house, but have you ever taken the time to find out what is a Luton van? Luton vans (also known as box trucks or box vans) are chassis cabs built with a large cubed or rectangle cargo area. It does not get its name from the manufacturer, breaking the usual pattern. Instead, the Luton box van gets its name from the town in Bedfordshire where the British manufacturer (Bedford Vehicles) produced the first Luton van to transport mass amounts of straw. Flash forward to today and Luton vans are now known for transporting pretty much everything from one place to another. With their box shaped body that extends over the driver cab, they have a striking appearance no matter what wheelbase they have.
Versatile Volume Load
Though they are the number one choice for people moving house and removal companies, the Luton van is actually an incredibly versatile vehicle, being designed for secure loading and dry freight (meaning things that do not go bad like clothing or furniture). They have a heavy load volume, and even when full they are less than 3.5 tonnes, making it one of the biggest vehicles you can drive with a standard UK driving licence. For an even easier time loading more cumbersome items, like sofas or beds, you would be better off hiring a Luton van with a tail lift – it makes the heavy lifting much more manageable, meaning you can save a bit of money by hiring less people, ideal if you are just starting out your own haulage company. Or if you already have a Luton, feel free to have a tail lift fitted!
Dimensions of Luton Vans
There is a vast range of dimensions for a Luton van, though it is always worth reading up on what they are in each particular manufacturer. Some of the more popular options are the Iveco Daily Luton, the Ford Transit Luton, and the Mercedes Benz Sprinter Luton. In general, Luton vans have a load length of around 4000mm, a load height of 2200mm and a load width of 2000mm, but this is just a rough guide – it all depends on what you need a Luton for as to what type of van you should get, and which van size.
Panel vs Luton
If you are in the market for a van on the bigger size, you may also be eyeing up some panel vans. Whilst these vans are also great for transporting cargo, it really comes down to why you need a van in the first place as to which one you should get – remember, buying a van is a long-term commitment, so it’s a decision you shouldn’t make too lightly. Whilst panel vans are more compact and a slightly easier time with wind resistance, a Luton van more than makes up for this with the additional space made available because of the overhanging section above the cab, which is known as the ‘Luton peak’ or the ‘Luton box.’ Some Lutons have been improved upon anyway, with design features to make the aerodynamic elements easier to manage. They are great for long distance drives too, meaning you are not choosing between cargo space and driving range.
Most of the top manufacturers produce Luton vans, with a variety of dimensions, it really depends on what you need your van for. The Nissan Interstar (NV400) Tipper is great for working in construction where you need support for loading and unloading, but if you need an enclosed load space then the Renault Master Luton van will be much more beneficial to you.
The 3.5 Tonne Luton
The 3.5 tonne Luton van may be smaller and carry less than its big brother, but that doesn’t mean it is anything to scoff at. Consider that the largest panel vans are typically 17-20m3 whereas the Luton van is built with lightweight materials and on a chassis cab, can be 25-28m3. The height of this Luton can be around 2.2m, and the interior load space roughly 5m long without a tail lift. For perspective, one trip with a 3.5 tonne Luton is the rough equivalent to moving the contents of a 2-bedroom flat.
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