Whether you are a seasoned scaffolder looking for a new set of wheels or a novice setting out on your own, a van for transportation of your scaffolding is an essential tool in your arsenal.
Regardless of how small or big a project is, scaffolders can mainly be found working from the back of their vehicles while loading or unloading materials. That is when they don’t have a cup of tea in hand! Since loading and unloading scaffolding from the van is part of their everyday job, working from vehicles is completely unavoidable. Materials need to be loaded and unloaded regularly from their vehicles so choosing the right van to make lifting equipment as easy as possible.
Scaffolds come in a varied range of shapes and sizes and are very heavy. Therefore, based on what the project requirements are, a scaffolder can choose from a range of vehicles. Consider your typical sized projects and have a rough idea of what you will be transporting so that you can choose the right van to carry the load.
In this article, we have got you covered with everything you need to know – about the types of scaffolding and the right sized van for your job. We have even compiled a handy guide on choosing the best vans!
Mainly, there are two types of scaffolding which include – conventional scaffolding and system scaffolding.
Scaffold companies use conventional scaffolding which is appropriate for all kinds of jobs. Conventional scaffolds can be easily built to almost any size and shape and offer great durability too. Since it is not DIY friendly, it requires the expertise of a skilled scaffolder to erect it.
System scaffolds are valued for their versatility in the scaffolding trade. System scaffolds are generally made using diagonal and horizontal tubes and vertical posts. The tubes used are of various sizes and are generally dependent on the type of construction project undertaken. The connection points on the vertical posts are fixed and put at standard intervals.
Deciding On The Right Size Van For Scaffolding
These tubes come in a variety of lengths, usually up to 6.4m. The longest tube size which can be accommodated in an extra-long wheelbase panel van is 4m. If you need to transport your scaffolding this way, it is better to do it in a steel bulkhead van and ensure that you push the scaffold tubes hard up against the steel bulkhead.
Since the size and weight of the tubes used for big jobs are usually large, you must transport these on a dropside truck of 7.5 tonnes.
Scaffolds like Cuplock and Kwikstage often come in shorter lengths due to the modular way they are constructed. Their longest length range is approximately 3.6m and so scaffolders can easily load them into an extra-long panel van or a wheel base van. Ensure that the tubes are pushed up against the bulkhead and lie down flat.
While planning to transport your scaffolding, ensure that you understand the weight and dimensions correctly before choosing any van. You should be conscious of finding a van with the right load space dimensions and suitable payload.
Choosing The Best Vans For Scaffolders
It goes without saying that scaffolders need efficient vans which provide simple and flexible loading of scaffold towers and equipment. While some look for the most fuel-efficient vehicles, there are many who look for the best payload vehicles. Be it your need for a 7.5-tonne van or a 26-tonne vehicle, there is a range of scaffold vehicles with different weights and body types to choose from.
When you choose the right van it gives you the flexibility and peace of mind to grow your scaffold business without further capital investment. The best vans for scaffolders a worthy investment because they can even serve as a great marketing tool. You can paint the vehicle in your company colours so that it acts as a rolling billboard wherever you go.
Wondering how to choose the best van according to your desired load capacity? Check out the vehicle types below.
a) Small Vans
These vehicles offer a conveniently large space for loads which is similar to a medium-sized car. Other than the great load space, scaffolders can enjoy the benefits of low running costs, great fuel economy and better load security since everything remains hidden here. What’s more, these small vans are easy to drive making them great for City projects.
Some of the top small vans are-
- Volkswagen Caddy
- Ford Transit Connect
- Renault Kangoo
- Vauxhall Combo
- Peugeot Partner
- Citroen Berlingo
b) Compact Vans
These are the modern type of small vans which have gained huge popularity over the last few years among scaffolders. Perfectly sized between a small van and a car-based van, these have great load space and are economical to run. They are easy to drive too. The smaller external dimension of this new breed of van makes them ideal for City use.
Some of the most popular compact vans which are currently dominating the scaffolding industry are-
- Fiat Fiorino
- Citroen Nemo
- Peugeot Bipper
c) Medium-Sized/ SWB Panel Vans
Without being too large, medium panel vans provide users with a larger load space than those above. Due to their practicality, not only are these a popular choice among scaffolders, but also plumbers and other delivery drivers.
With creature comforts like electric mirrors, windows and aircon, these vans boast a great natural performance. The modern turbo-diesel engines of these vehicles provide an impressive fuel economy. Some of the top SWB (short wheelbase) panel vans are-
- Mercedes Sprinter SWB
- Ford Transit SWB
- Vauxhall Vivaro
- Fiat Ducato SWB
- Volkswagen Transporter
- Citroen Relay SWB
d) Long Wheelbase Vans
Long wheelbase vans can be your best choice if you need a vehicle which can assist you with heavier, longer or larger loads. Unlike SWB vans, these come with a maximum laden weight of 3.5 tonnes.
As expected from a bigger vehicle, fuel consumption is lower with slightly higher costs. Even driving a large panel van won’t be a problem for most car drivers.
Some popular LWB models you will come across are-
- Fiat Ducato
- Mercedes Sprinter
- Ford Transit
- Citroen Relay
- Renault Master
e) Extra-Long Wheelbase Vans
The extra-long wheelbase vans usually form to be the top choice for scaffolders who work on large-scale scaffolding projects. Due to their impressive internal load space, they can easily carry a wide variety of loads. Though the Mercedes Sprinter XLWB had dominated the market for years, the Ford Transit Jumbo can be another excellent, efficient and hard-working vehicle for your big scaffolding projects.
f) Dropside Trucks
There are some building materials which are not suited to panel vans and dropside trucks are the ideal solution for these loads. They provide a large and open, flat area which remains surrounded by side boards. These sideboards can even be folded down allowing direct access to the load area so that goods can be unloaded easily.
So what are you waiting for? Quickly invest in the right scaffolding van and start escalating your business to new heights!