Truck vs. Van….what to consider when purchasing your next vehicle!

Truck vs Van

Truck vs Van –  What to consider when purchasing a vehicle
Choosing a vehicle is easy, but choosing the right vehicle for your business is the hard part! Truck vs Van – there are many factors that you need to consider when purchasing your next vehicle as it can be the difference between probability and breaking even.

If you can have a phone that does everything (call, email, text, play music, take photos), then why can’t you have that with your work vehicle? At Sterling our main goal is to help you Get More Done. Are you looking for more billable hours on a job? More time at home with your family? The ability to take all your materials with you to a site in one trip? Working from inside your vehicle?  Whatever you are looking for, we help you accomplish it.

We have listed a few important things for you to consider before you rush on out to make that next investment.


The first question you need to answer before deciding on Truck vs Van is: “What exactly is this vehicle going to be used for”. This simple question enables you to eliminate a lot of vehicles straight off the bat. Put it simply, are you going to work from inside the vehicle? Or is it simply to transport materials to/from the job site?

If you need to work inside the vehicle you will need to allow for a higher roof option so you can be comfortable, and efficient whilst at work. This comfort will help you increase your health & safety as your team can minimize any potential strains and pains if they don’t need to be bent over because the roof height is too low.

High roof van = reduction in work safe claim & reduction in employee absenteeism.

Do you get all your materials dropped to site by a supplier? Why spend additional costs on a larger van if you simply don’t need the space. We see it all the time; Under/Over sizing vehicles that end up being either too big or too small for the client’s needs. Buying a vehicle that is too big can have negative effects such as increased mileage, increased purchase price or limited parking availability if all the work is located inner city. Not only will the vehicle cost you more upfront, it also hikes up the fuel cost.

A crucial part before deciding Truck vs Van, which is often overlooked in the vehicle decision making process is…..who is going to be in the vehicle? Do you need to have the ability to transport 4 people to the job site? Does every technician get their own vehicle? This is important to consider as it will massively impact your decision. If you need the ability to carry a full load of technicians, then a crew cab pickup truck or van is your best option. Ensure that you consider all of this before purchasing. Don’t waste time, and money taking multiple vehicles to the jobsite when you don’t need to!

After you have established the application of the vehicle and who needs to be in it, you now need to think about what you will need to transport. With such a wide range of commercial vehicles available now, the options are endless. If you need to transport long pipes, extension ladders and large equipment; you could consider high roof vans with an extended wheel base like the Ford Transit 148 extended, Mercedes Sprinter 170 Extended, or a Pickup Truck with an 8’ bed that with a premium or standard full-size slip in service capsules.

Are you only taking smaller items to the job site; such as hardware, small electric tools, step ladders and extension cords? Vehicle such as the Nissan NV200, Ford Transit Connect, Ram ProMaster City are fantastic compact commercial vans. If you want to sit higher on the road, then a Compact Pickup Truck will accommodate everything you need and more!

Vehicle Average Miles Per Gallon
2019 Ford F150 Pickup 2WD* 25 mpg
2019 Mercedes Sprinter** 14.5 mpg


Where is the vehicle going, and what conditions will it face? If you need to go off-road, through a mountain range and across the snow; a 4wd Pickup Truck with a slip-in capsule is your best solution compared to a fully loaded full size van. Do you need to go into underground parks? Will you have power where you are going, or will you need to consider inverters or generators.

You can also look at it from another angle; will having a 4wd allow me to access more business opportunities as I can service those sites, or regions? Think about what you are currently using, is it performing, or can I increase our customer base by going to different locations.

Upfitting Options
Talk to a Sterling unfitting expert who can provide you with a lot of knowledge about what options you have with your vehicle. With over 18 years in the industry we have an extensive knowledge of the industry and what storage options are possible. We can offer assistance with a layout design and help put your mind at ease knowing that everything you need will fit and help you with your efficiency.

Ownership vs Lease
Now that you have you have selected your next investment, its time to make the payment. Do you purchase the vehicle outright, finance, or lease the vehicle? There are many advantages with each decision, and each business is different. If you are wanting an option to help with your cash flow leasing could be for you. Not only can you get a new vehicle after x amount of years, you only have to pay for it monthly. This is an extremely popular option for our slip-in truck capsules as they can be easily transferred from truck to truck. This enables you to save money over time as you can extend your payments through 10 years.

We hope this article helps you choose your next vehicle. It’s a stressful, but important decision as it has a massive effect on your business. We at Sterling are here to help! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to talk to us about some of the options you are considering. We have an experienced team, as well as demonstration vehicles we can show you. If you are not in the GVRD, not to worry, we can also do a virtual tour.

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