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7 Things to Consider When Buying a Cargo Van

Buying a Van?  

Are you looking to get into expediting or just wanting to retire that old van and upgrade to something new? With so many different options available, this decision can quickly become a headache. Here is a list of seven points to keep in mind. 

1. Carrier Requirements & Recommendations

For beginners, start by making a list of the top four or five carriers you would like to lease with. Give them a call and get informed. What van specifications do they require? Do they require a lift gate? Which ones are their favorites to work with? Not only will these carriers be able to tell you which vans they work with but they’ll give you valuable tips on what to avoid and why. 

2. New or used?

Deciding whether or not to buy a new or used van is a huge decision. A new van is a blank slate, it usually comes with a warranty, and it should outlive a used van. That being said, a new van also comes with a heftier price tag and higher insurance premiums. 

On the other hand, buying a used van will come with a significantly lower price tag and lower premiums. It will also most likely come out of warranty and uncertain history. 

Buying a used van is a great option for those of you on a tight budget or those who are not sure if expediting is for them.  It’s safe to assume if you are looking into the purchase, you’ve already done extensive research on the job itself.

However, there are some things you cannot know until you start working. Purchasing a used van will be less of a financial impact if you decide that expediting isn’t for you. If you decide to get a used van I highly recommend having a mechanic inspect the van before you sign the dotted line.

3. Payload capacity

Payload capacity refers to the maximum weight the vehicle can safely carry after subtracting the weight of the vehicle itself and its occupants. This will depend heavily on the carriers you are working with. During your initial research ask the following questions;

What are your requirements regarding payload? 

What type of freight do you haul and what is the average weight?

Answers vary depending on your carrier and their customer pool.  

4. Cargo area

Cargo area refers to the length and width of the space for freight in your van. This is another one of those things carriers have specific requirements on. 

One thing to keep in mind is how much space you as a driver need. Will you be installing a sleeper or using any additional storage space? Utilize your online forums and social media groups. The expediting community is very helpful and creative. There are plenty of ideas on how to get the most out of your space. 

5. Engine

Are you looking for a gas or diesel engine? What type of cargo are you hauling? How much engine power do you need? In general, diesel-powered engines fare better on highways in comparison to their gas counterparts. Diesel motors work with more power and therefore, are more compatible with larger loads and driving long distances.

However, if you’ll be driving on the streets in the city most of the time, a gasoline cargo van will fare better. City driving on a diesel engine will only run up your costs.

If you’re wanting a diesel engine, you’re limited to the Sprinter and the GM vans. They offer both gas and diesel options. Ram and Ford are also gas engine options.

7. Comfort & Safety Systems

Over the years manufacturers have added tons of comfort and safety options. The key here is to determine which fits your needs and budget. Rearview cameras are now standard on all van models. Other features could include the following; 

-Blind Spot Assist Mirrors & Blind Spot Awareness

-Attention Assist 

-Lane-Keeping System

-Adaptive Cruise Control 

-360- Degree Camera

-Forward Collision Warning with Active Braking

-Park Sense & Parking Assist

Final Remarks:
We hope this article has helped steer you in the right direction of things you need to consider when buying a cargo van. We wish you safe travels ahead.

? BH Xpress is always looking to add quality drivers and Owner Operators to our fast-growing team.


1️⃣6 months of experience as an over-the-road driver (state to state).

2️⃣Vehicle Requirements:
– BH Xpress only works with vehicles 5 years old or newer.

The qualified vehicles are:
?Mercedes Sprinter
?Ford Transit
?Ram Promaster
?Freightliner Sprinter.

The vehicle must have 144″ (12 feet) of cargo area length, 52″ of cargo area width, and 69″ of cargo area height.

To apply, fill out the application on our website.


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