New courier self employed driver, what van?

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by elliotk1993, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. elliotk1993

    elliotk1993 UKBF Newcomer

    13 0
    Hello all,

    I am having a change of career from office to courier driver.

    I don’t really want to get a small van such as a 2006/7 combi I’d rather a bigger van such as a transit connect customer L2 LWB but I’m not sure if this fits 2 UK pallets in the back?

    I don’t really want to go massive straight away as I’m not use to driving huge vans and not sure I will like the job! Plus big vans like sprinters, vivaros do about 30 mpg which if I have to take on small jobs it’s not good money, where as transit custom does around 40-42 which is ok for big and small jobs.
    Looking to spend 5-8k really depending on the van though. Looking to source work from courier companies and local builders, white good companies etc.



    Any help would be much appreciated!

    been looking at Peugeot boxers to just not really sure about reliability.
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: elliotk1993 Member since: Jun 20, 2017
    #1
  2. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper Contributor

    2,113 535
    You have my vote on the Transit Custom my son has one and it's a pleasure to drive. Why not do a short term hirer and see how you get on
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
    #2
  3. elliotk1993

    elliotk1993 UKBF Newcomer

    13 0
    thanks for your reply.

    good to hear, I’m wondering if it can take 2 UK pallets though as if not I may as well get a small van?

    didn’t know you can least short term?! I’ve seen 2 years min!
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: elliotk1993 Member since: Jun 20, 2017
    #3
  4. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper Contributor

    2,113 535
    No just hire one for a couple of weeks or even a month. A transit will take an 8x4 sheet of ply so two pallets should be no problem
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
    #4
  5. Chris Ashdown

    Chris Ashdown Contributor

    12,354 2,590
    Do you have the Licence to drive the bigger ones?

    Just checked myself and see all the tranny style are ok as under 3.5 ton
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: Chris Ashdown Member since: Dec 7, 2003
    #5
  6. elliotk1993

    elliotk1993 UKBF Newcomer

    13 0
    Hi Chris, sorry by bigger ones I mean sprinters or transit etc there not huge but compared to custom and small vans (to me) there big. Won’t be over 3.5t so just need standard license?
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: elliotk1993 Member since: Jun 20, 2017
    #6
  7. paulears

    paulears Contributor

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    My Vivaro has an angled front bulkhead so the floor area is less than the roof area, which messes up flight cases! It's a short wheelbase and has always done over 40mpg, more on a run.
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: paulears Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #7
  8. elliotk1993

    elliotk1993 UKBF Newcomer

    13 0
    Hi wave,

    also what litre and year is your sons?
    Can I ask the mpg he gets and does he courier ? Or in a trade?
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: elliotk1993 Member since: Jun 20, 2017
    #8
  9. elliotk1993

    elliotk1993 UKBF Newcomer

    13 0
    Hi Paul,

    thanks for your reply.

    how many pallets can you fit in? And if that fully loaded to?
     
    Posted: Jul 20, 2021 By: elliotk1993 Member since: Jun 20, 2017
    #9
  10. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE Verified Business ✔️
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    You need to start from beginning

    What business can I get in and then worry about the vehicles
    The trick is getting the business in ! You can get a van anywhere
    I was a tail lift short today at midday and got another in the yard at 3PM you dont need to worry about that :)
     
    Posted: Aug 5, 2021 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #10
  11. MBE2017

    MBE2017 Contributor

    2,478 990
    The trick is as Jeremy mentions, to get the business in, but more importantly business that actually pays you, not leave you hanging. Plenty of couriers help their cash flow but not paying on time.

    Northgate are good for short term hires, but plenty of other companies. If you want your own vehicle, personally I would look at a MWB Hi top, but each to their own.
     
    Posted: Aug 5, 2021 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
    #11
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  12. Stedurham

    Stedurham Contributor

    522 78
    I don’t really want to go massive straight away as I’m not use to driving huge vans and not sure I will like the job! Plus big vans like sprinters, vivaros do about 30 mpg which if I have to take on small jobs it’s not good money, where as transit custom does around 40-42 which is ok for big and small jobs.

    I ran a transit connect the smaller van and mainly long runs that only got 40mpg and was 2016, put 2 pallets in the back and i think you would be lucky to get in 30s, especially if its short local deliverys. Run some transit long wheel bases, fully loaded they are lucky to hit low 20's
    Theirs a reason amazon now have electric vans, saves fortune on running costs
     
    Posted: Aug 10, 2021 By: Stedurham Member since: May 11, 2018
    #12
  13. atmosbob

    atmosbob Contributor

    4,955 1,213
    My suggestion is get the van with the best seats. You will spend a lot of time sitting in it.
     
    Posted: Aug 10, 2021 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
    #13
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  14. JEREMY HAWKE

    JEREMY HAWKE Verified Business ✔️
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    I think you best bet is to get a job with a sameday courier company for 6 months and see if you like it and learn some tricks
     
    Posted: Aug 10, 2021 By: JEREMY HAWKE Member since: Mar 4, 2008
    #14
  15. Lucan Unlordly

    Lucan Unlordly Contributor

    2,428 468
    Good call, but with reservations going from an office to driving job over night.

    I done just that when setting up my business around 15 years ago and would hope that it's changed somewhat? The biggest problems for a newcomer were *long runs, Essex to Liverpool with no return job, getting home at 2am in the morning and too cream crackered to drive safely the next day. More established drivers got 70 mile runs against the traffic with drop offs on the way and return to base collections.
    I was fortunate that I wasn't relying on the courier work to survive.

    *job offer of the day was Essex to St.Michaels Mount in Cornwall to take a 10k box to Aberdeen on an Easter Sunday. I declined, much to the annoyance of the office girl who had no concept of driving the 1016 mile, 16 hour trip just to get there! 'Your on call and the only driver in the country who's answering his phone'!:eek:
     
    Posted: Aug 11, 2021 By: Lucan Unlordly Member since: Feb 24, 2009
    #15
  16. bodgitt&scarperLTD

    bodgitt&scarperLTD Full Member
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    Secondhand vans are very expensive currently, and new stock non existent. It might well be a case of 'beggars can't be choosers I'm afraid. Personally, I would wait for the market to cool- it's showing signs of starting to.
     
    Posted: Aug 11, 2021 By: bodgitt&scarperLTD Member since: Nov 26, 2018
    #16
  17. atmosbob

    atmosbob Contributor

    4,955 1,213
    So you missed the wonderful opportunity of checking the tide tables first and driving across the causeway. I've done it a few times. Its a bit bumpy.
     
    Posted: Aug 11, 2021 By: atmosbob Member since: Oct 26, 2009
    #17
  18. MBE2017

    MBE2017 Contributor

    2,478 990
    I know two lads who use black vans as their company colour scheme, but they carry a huge premium on initial cost. They now buy white vans, and have them vinyl wrapped to save waiting several months for a vehicle, and they save a couple of thousand doing so.

    Loads of vans are being converted to live out of these days, not quite what I call ideal from youngsters perspective of getting on the housing ladder.
     
    Posted: Aug 11, 2021 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
    #18
  19. Lucan Unlordly

    Lucan Unlordly Contributor

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    Lol, yes. She probably meant St.Michaels - Marks and Spencer ;)
     
    Posted: Aug 11, 2021 By: Lucan Unlordly Member since: Feb 24, 2009
    #19
  20. roydmoorian

    roydmoorian Verified Business ✔️
    Contributor

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    Just a few more things to think about when deciding which van to go for.
    There’s Europallets and Standard pallets as well as specials. A pallet weight can be as little as 40 kg including the pallet or up to 2 tonnes. Heights can vary from 30 cm to 2100 cm. Not all heavy (1000 kg +) pallets are over 30 cm high.
    Renault Trafic / older Vivaros (low roofs) can carry up to 1200 kgs but new long wheelbase Sprinter will not legally carry 1000 kgs (1 tonne) whereas a Renault Master or a PSA Group van get close to 1500 kgs. ( These can carry 5 Europallets )
    If you have any back problems you need a van you can stand up in. For the tallest pallets you need a Luton (possibly curtainside body with/without a tail lift).
    Not trying to put you off just making you aware of some of the anomalies.
     
    Posted: Aug 20, 2021 By: roydmoorian Member since: Nov 6, 2009
    #20