5 considerations of selecting a steel body van for contractors

Commercial Vehicle Truck Van Lorry

5 considerations of selecting a steel body van


Security must rate as the most critical of all the concerns on the mind of a plumber. Details spell the difference here between making criminals see your vehicle as an easy target, or attempting to get into too much trouble.

To begin with outside handles, including hardened chrome, should be made of durable material. These should work at each corner of the cabinet doors with metal locking rods plated with an anti-corrosive material such as zinc.

Added strength comes from welding steel brackets behind a hinge block onto the interior of each frame. The latter grips the wall of the compartment tightly, so that it is not possible to pry the door out from the bottom. To keep all locking hardware in place, look for steel rivets.

A master locking system is a common add-on for defence. This is accomplished by the use of long rods, one on each side, that extend within the body length. By pulling or turning a handle at the rear of the body, the rod is engaged, at which point a male and female stop are combined.


When it comes to the actual design of the service body, the characteristics that make a service body a success in the field begin in an engineer's office on the drawing table or computer screen. This is because of the sophistication of today's electrical systems and engines.

So, everything as basic as a brake light is now bound into the vehicle's Controller Area Network. Diesels need to use complicated urea systems in some states that require an additional filler neck near the back of the vehicle. Also, requirements for crash-worthiness play a part.

If the manufacturer is a member of the Service Body Institute of the National Truck Association and has earned MVP status is one way to ensure that a given service body meets certain requirements. Also, inquire if the producer supplies any major fleets or not.

Style aspects also apply to how the body of the service looks. For a lot, appearances count. A professional looking truck or van means facilities that are professionally delivered.


Huge capacity shelving at multiple levels should be flexible. Gas shocks represent an easier way than metal struts to open and hold vertical doors and top compartments in an open position.

Other handy features include rope hooks to attach objects to the ladder rack and tie downs to hold cargo in place along the interior walls of the truck bed. Small items also help speed up a task, such as roll-out drawers and portable storage trays.

Convenient access to the truck bed is supported by a retractable utility bed cover. Electric roll tops that telescope on themselves for compact storage are expanding access beyond that point. The operation of the push-button helps avoid injuries because the worker does not need to climb into the bed to open or close the top manually.

For easier loading and unloading of tall items, and tailgates that allow one-hand operation, convenience can also apply to overhead racks with swing-away crossbars. These should have no chains to get in the way, or side brackets.

Quality of materials

Consider the grade and type of metal used for the racks and cabinets first. A-60 galvanised steel, for example, with a thick zinc coating, is currently one of the best materials to keep rust and corrosion at bay.

It's equally important how the metal gets coated. Gloss preservation and longevity are maximised by an automotive-style high gloss finish. Acrylic-urethane enamels, for instance, provide resistance to chipping, corrosion, UV, and chemicals. Objects prone to very heavy usage, such as ladder racks, bedliners and bumpers, should be protected by sprayed-on powder coatings to cover their metal surfaces that have much greater permanence and will not wash away from use.

A significant aspect is the use of composites for fender flares, as composites will not rust. Neoprene weather stripping around shelving and cabinet doors in the automotive style offers warmth, ozone, UV degradation, freezing and compression resistance.


Multiple steel crossbeams should support the service body. Tailgates should be double-panelled with machined hinges that are heavy duty. Maximum strength is given by hinge rods with oversized blocks. Strong, double-steel construction should also feature doors.

Seams should be caulked inside and out between service body components. Modular wiring harnesses that are secured by a plastic loom or similar can help prevent electrical shorts from causing water and physical harm.