Assuming all of your transit permits are in good order — you’ve passed inspection, your stock is clean — you’re ready to deliver truckloads of plants to customers. Whether they’re headed across town or just across state lines, you need to keep plants safe, fresh and ready to perform. What do you need? Vehicles, of course, and there are options available for nearly every short-haul need. Small loads and cross-town deliveries can be handled with confidence in cargo vans customized for your particular needs.
Let’s take a peek at the vans on today’s market.
1. Chevy Express Cargo Van
Chevy’s vehicle offers an available maximum payload of 4,192 pounds and, if you need to haul something along, it has a maximum available towing capacity of 10,000 pounds. MSRP for the standard model is $30,745.
Two models — the 2500 and 3500 — offer options for size and capability. Extended wheelbase models offer nearly 314 cubic feet of cargo space; standard wheelbase volume is 285 cubic feet.
Standard wheelbase on both models is 135 inches; extended wheelbase models are 155 inches. Overall length of all models is 224 inches.
The load floor length, from rear of the vehicle to the front seat (measured at the floor) is 124.6 inches for regular models and 146 inches for extended wheelbase vehicles. Inside width between wheelhousing is 52.7 inches. Cargo area height measures 53 inches for regular wheelbase models and 53.4 inches for extended wheelbase models.
Swing-out passenger side doors are a 60/40 split, and the line offers an optional sliding door. Opening height is 48 inches; width is 44 inches. At the rear, the door opening height is 49.4 inches, and the width is 57 inches.
2. Ram ProMaster Cargo Van
With a starting price of $29,995, Ram’s ProMaster offers upscale features at a slightly lower price point. Cargo height reaches 65.4 inches, providing more than 460 cubic feet of cargo capacity. Available vehicle lengths range from 213.1 inches to 236 inches.
Standard on all models, 260-degree opening rear hinged doors provide ample loading room; passenger-side sliding doors are standard on all models.
3. Mercedes-Benz Sprinter
For delivering goods across town in style, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter can pack plants and supplies in a reasonably priced vehicle. Prices for the 2017 cargo van start at a sneeze below $34,000 and run to $39,000; that’s without upfitting and customizing for your needs. Special offers and deals on used vehicles are worth considering.
Payload capacity on the lower-end model with a standard roof and 144- inch wheelbase is 3,512 pounds, with a cargo volume just under 320 cubic feet. The Sprinter Worker with high roof (standing height 77.8 inches) and 144-inch wheelbase offers a payload capacity of 3,466 pounds and cargo volume of 373.7 cubic feet. The larger, 170-inch wheelbase model with high roof gives you a payload capacity of 3,116 pounds, but a standing height of 77.8 inches and cargo volume of 486.5 cubic feet.
What’s equally important for loading and unloading plants? Doors. The side door opening measures nearly 60 inches in height with a dual-door width of 51.2 inches. At the rear, door opening height is 60.6 inches and the width is 61.5 inches.
Cargo bed length on the Standard Roof, 144 Wheelbase Sprinter Worker is 137.4 inches, and the cargo width at the wheelhouse is 53.1 inches.
Rear load height is 27.9 inches.
4. Nissan NV
Nissan’s range of cargo vans in the NV line offers eight levels and configurations. From the NV1500 (starting at $27,730) through the NV2500 HD (MSRP $28,730) to the NV3500 HD (starting price $32,030), each provides enough cargo capacity to handle cross-town deliveries.
Access is easy with a 243-degree maximum opening range for all rear cargo doors (opening width is 59.8 inches; opening height on standard roof models is 49.8 inches and 71.5 inches on high roof models). Sliding side doors on the passenger side open to 41.7 inches. Liftover height in the cargo area is 28.5 inches.
Cargo volume for standard roof models is 234.1inches, and 323.1 inches for high roof models. Maximum cargo length is 120 inches; maximum cargo width is 70.2 inches, running 54.3 inches at the wheelhouse floor. Maximum cargo height is 55.8 inches for the standard roof model and 76.9 inches for the high roof model.
Payload ranges from 2,740 to 3,860 pounds, depending on model and configuration.
5. Ford Transit
Ford’s 2017 workhorse Transit van offers enough room to deliver liners or shrubs and nearly anything in between. The line features three wheelbase configurations (regular, long and long extended) and three roof heights (low, medium and high), with a variety of options within each selection.
Wheel bases range from 129.9 inches to 147.6 inches; length runs from 219.9 inches to 263.9 inches; and height measures 82.2 inches to 107.7 inches. Width on all models is 97.4 (including mirrors).
Load height at curb varies slightly among models, extending from 27.8 inches to 28.2 inches.
Side cargo door opening height ranges from 49.6 inches to 63 inches; opening width for both hinged and sliding side doors is 51.2 inches. Choose between rear cargo door opening heights of 46.9 inches, 62.8 inches and 72.2 inches, depending on model; rear opening width is 59.8 inches on all models.
The Transit has a starting MSRP of $31,610.