Advice for buying a fridge van

Buying a fridge van, can  be for refrigerated food transport or pharma delivery? Are you unsure of exactly what to go for? Different refrigerated vehicles will come with different specifications, so you’ll always find an option that’s going to suit your needs and requirements. At Fresh Logistics we have decades of experience of buying fridge vans indeed all types of vehicles as a consumer which is an alternative view.

If you are in the market for a fridge van in the UK? Whether you’re a caterer, florist, or run any other business that requires temperature-controlled transportation, buying a fridge van is a significant investment. Here’s what you need to know before making a purchase.

Determine your exact requirements when buying a fridge van:

fridge van at fresh

Before you start browsing different models, determine your requirements. Consider the size of the van you need, the type of cargo you will be transporting, and the distance you will be travelling. These factors will help you narrow down your options.

Check the van’s temperature range:

Different vans have different temperature ranges. Ensure that the van you purchase can maintain the temperature required for your specific cargo. For example, if you need to transport ice cream, you’ll need a van that can maintain temperatures of -18°C.

Consider the van’s insulation :

The insulation in a fridge van is essential for maintaining a consistent temperature. The thicker the insulation, the better the van will maintain its temperature. Look for vans with at least 50 mm of insulation.

Check the van’s refrigeration unit:

The refrigeration unit is responsible for maintaining the temperature inside the van. Look for a reliable brand with a good warranty. The unit should also be easy to maintain and repair.

Check the van’s loading capacity:

The ‘gross weight or maximum weight a van can carry is 3500kgs. Most panel vans are weight or load weight is 1200 Kgs to 1500kgs and that is without a fridge fit out. When the fridge is fitted into a van, the best load weight I have ever seen is 960 kg. The normal or average is c750kgs. When carrying ‘pharma’ this weight carrying capability is not an issue but carrying ‘meats’, vegetables, fruits etc needs to be considered. Some of our temperature controlled ADR service can be up to maximum carrying weight.

Check the vehicle Warranty if Buying a fridge van under 3 years old.

When buying a fridge van you will find most brands have a warranty for 100,000 miles or 3 years apart from VW (MAN), MB, Isuzu which have unlimited miles for 3 years. If you are in a company supplying refrigerated distribution services the 100k miles warranty is not enough, but a local butcher delivery service a Nissan etc would be suitable.

Review Fuel efficiency.

With all the increase in fuel costs (click link) and the removal of rebated red diesel One lesson has been learned. Fuel efficiency is very important to the health of the business

Dual temperature also called ‘split chamber’ ‘mattress’ ‘dual compartment’.

Buying a fridge van

Vehicles carry a mobile mattress that can be moved up and down the chamber to create two chambers.

The vehicle can hold two evaporators. One for each chamber or a cheaper option of a single evaporator with a fan in the mattress.

Handling and transporting samples includes strict protocols. Samples should be kept at the necessary temperature and in a similar quality condition of the sample’s time of sampling. Refrigerated vans with partitions are a great option, ideally with dual refrigeration units. This is so that samples can be kept at a constant temperature. The racks can be fold away but although aluminium still cut into the vehicles carrying weight

Do you want Single temperature or Multi Temp. (MT) when Buying a fridge van?

At Fresh Logistics our vehicle heat as well as cools, so if it’s a cold morning at – 5°c and transporting bananas with a +12°c unlike our competitors we can transport the bananas within the product spec. At Fresh Pharma the heated vehicles are a must to carry out as a positive ambient courier for pharma and food industry.

Conclusion

Buying a fridge van in the UK can be a significant investment, so it’s essential to make an informed decision. Consider your requirements, check the van’s temperature range, insulation, and refrigeration unit, and check the van’s loading capacity before making a purchase. With the right van, you can transport temperature-controlled goods safely and efficiently.

Buying a fridge van

  • Do I need a special licence to drive a fridge van?
    No, you don't need a special licence to drive a fridge van. However, you will need to comply with UK laws and regulations regarding the transportation of temperature-controlled goods.
  • Can I buy a used fridge van?
    Yes, you can buy a used fridge van. However, ensure that the van has been well-maintained and has a good service history.
  • How much does a fridge van cost?
    The cost of a fridge van can vary depending on the model and features. A new van can cost anywhere from £35,000 to £80,000, while a used van can cost anywhere from £5,000 to £20,000.  
  • What type of maintenance is required for a fridge van?
    Regular maintenance is essential for keeping a fridge van in good working condition. This includes regular servicing of the refrigeration unit, cleaning the interior, and checking the insulation for any signs of wear and tear.  
  • Q. Can I lease a fridge van instead of buying one?
    Yes, leasing is a popular option for businesses that don't want to make a significant upfront investment. Leasing allows you to use the van for a set period of time and make monthly payments.  
  • How long do fridge vans typically last?
    The lifespan of a fridge van can vary depending on how well it's maintained and how often it's used. Generally, a well-maintained fridge van can last up to 10 years or more.  
  • Can I customise a fridge van to meet my specific needs?
    Yes, many manufacturers offer customisation options to meet specific requirements. This may include adding shelving or storage compartments, installing a specific type of refrigeration unit, or adding additional insulation.  
  • Are there any government grants available for buying a fridge van?
    Yes, there are government grants available for businesses that want to invest in low-emission vehicles, including fridge vans. These grants can help offset the cost of purchasing a new van and can be worth thousands of pounds.  

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