7.5 tonne box vans or trucks offer a significant amount of extra space when compared to even the biggest of 3.5t luton vans. This is possible because the vehicle's maximum permitted weight of 7.5 tonnes allows the manufacturer an extra 4 tonnes to play with. The result is that these vehicles are small lorries, not large vans.
The most common type of 7.5t on hire fleets is usually a box van, which as it's name suggests has a box body with rigid sides and rear access for loading. These models may also be fitted with a tail lift, most commonly with 1,000kg lifting capacity.
Other types of 7.5t include curtainsiders and dropside or flatbed models.
A curtainside is a box body with canvas sides that can be slid back to allow loading all down the length of both sides of a truck. These are useful for loads that are too wide for rear loading and for loads that need to be loaded and unloaded from ground level with a fork lift truck. Curtainsiders are typically used for transporting goods on pallets, which can be quickly and easily loaded and unloaded from the sides.
A flat bed lorry has a flat load bed with no enclosures. These are commonly used for transporting construction plant and other machinery, or for large, irregular shaped items that might need to be lifted on and off with a crane. A dropside is a variant of a flat bed with a low retaining barrier around 30cm high around the outside edge of the load bed. This can be folded down to allow easier loading and unloading. Dropsides are most commonly used for transporting building and landscaping materials.
You'll find various makes of 7.5 tonne lorry on most big hire fleets. One of the most popular models is the DAF LF. But the box bodies on these vehicles are generally built by different bodybuilders, so they'll vary even when the base vehicle is the same.
Driving a 7.5t truck: If you've not driven anything of this size before, you'll find it a big adjustment. They're much wider, much higher and much longer. You'll need to allow much more time than usual for your journey and take great care in tight spaces and on narrow roads. You'll also need to pay close attention to any height restrictions - the overall height of the truck should be on a label inside the cab. Make sure you check this against the height of any low bridges on your route.
Take a look at our what size van? page to work out if a 7.5 tonne lorry is the right type of hire van for you.