MAN TGE dropside van conversion

Van hire size guide: should I hire a dropside or tipper van?

MAN TGE dropside van conversion

The new MAN TGE dropside van conversion, pictured at the Birmingham NEC at CV Show 2017

Choosing the right type of van to hire isn’t always easy. But if you need a dropside or tipper then your choice should be pretty clear, as these types of vans are designed for quite different jobs to standard panel vans.

In this series, we’re taking a look at the popular sizes of vans offered by the hire companies who supply the results for our price comparison system.

Today I’ll explain what dropside and tipper vans are, and what they’re normally used for. But before I get started, here are links to the other types of van we’ve already covered in this series:

Dropside & Tipper vans

The defining feature of these vans is that they have an open load area that’s enclosed by folding sides which lock into place for transport and can be folded down for easy loading and unloading.

Tipper models look the same but have lifting gear which raises the load bed at the front, meaning that its contents are tipped off the back of the van.

Nissan NV400 tipper

A Nissan NV400 tipper van conversion.

The size of the load area can vary widely on tippers and dropsides, but a typical example might be 3m long by 2m wide. Dropsides are likely to be slightly larger than tippers, typically.

Tippers vs. dropside: You can use a tippers like a dropside. The only disadvantage to this is that the available payload (weight limit) will often be lower than it would be on a dropside, because of the extra weight of the tipper gear.

Load capacity: These vans are often used for transporting building materials, which tend to be pretty heavy. With a typical payload of 1,000-1,200kg, it’s easy to go overweight if you’re loading packs of bricks and bags of cement, for example.

Remember — items in the load area are exposed to the elements and may need securing to ensure they don’t move or fall out while being transported.

Crew cab or single cab: These vans are available with a single cab (driver + 2 passengers) or a crew cab (driver + 5 passengers). Crew cab models sometimes have a smaller load area, so if you hiring a tipper or a dropside, make sure you know what you’re getting.

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