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Business van: how to organise your interior

Your business van interior is like any working space: it needs to offer a productive environment wherein you can operate at maximum efficiency. To organise your van is to set the scene for a workspace that perfectly suits the demands of your new business.

Making the effort to plan your business van interior will make your life easier and save you significant time and energy later on. Let’s assume that you’ve done your basic planning in choosing the right van for your business. For instance, if you need to carry timber or other lengthy items, the 4.15 metre capacity of the Renault Trafic Business+ and Sport models’ load-through bulkhead could have been the deciding factor. Now that you have the right van, it’s time to plan.

Planning your business van interior for an easier life

The simplest level of planning for optimum operation – if, for example, you are delivering parcels – is merely a matter of “last in, first out”. In this case, it follows that your most distant delivery should be first inside the van, while the closest, or your first stop, goes in last. Of course, things are never quite so simple. Here are some of the factors to take into account at the planning stage.

  • Inventory. Before you even set foot inside your van for organising purposes, start in the office or at the kitchen table. Compile a list of all the routine equipment, tools or instruments you will always carry as part of your work. Categorise them into large or small, heavy or light; measure the large ones. This process should naturally evolve into a good picture of your storage needs, the shape of boxes, drawers, shelving, cabinets and so on.
  • Think ergonomics to avoid strain. Work some injury protection into your outline storage plan. Place heavy items at waist height or lower, and never put them where you need to stretch over an obstacle to move them; also, remember to bend those knees when lifting! If you have any weighty equipment on wheels, always store it facing side to side across the van. That way, it can’t crash into the doors should you experience restraint failure.
  • Frequency of use. What do you need first; what do you need most? Identify those tools and items you use most frequently in a working session, and plan your storage so they are the closest and easiest to access.
  • Visibility. When you’re organising your van interior, convenience trumps tidiness. If it makes life easier to have your tools on display on a side rack or magnetic strip, that’s how it should be. Good visibility also makes it easy to check everything is accounted for before you leave for a job, or when you’ve finished at a customer’s premises.

Safety. Safety trumps all other considerations. This almost certainly means installing a bulkhead partition if you don’t already have one. Separating the cab from the storage area has other advantages too, including noise reduction, easier temperature control, a more professional look, and additional storage space on the back of the bulkhead. 

Not the safest way to do it.
Not the safest way to do it.

Putting your van interior storage plans into practice

You’ve got the principles of your storage arrangements. The next step is deciding on materials. Broadly speaking, there are three options: bulkhead only, a modular racking system (generally in metal), or a DIY set-up (usually in wood). This modular racking option is really two, with a choice between pre-fitted or bespoke systems for your particular business demands.

  • Bulkhead only. This could be a quick and obvious decision if your activity mainly involves transporting bulky items. If you opt for a Renault Trafic, which comes ready-fitted with a full steel bulkhead and 16 load anchorage points, you can load up three Euro pallets even in the SWB version. Job done.
  • Organising your van with a modular racking solution. A modular racking solution is almost certainly the most efficient option if your transport, storage and organising needs go beyond the super-simple. A metal system, or a combination of metal and plastic, is generally lighter than wood, leaving you with more payload, but also more durable. Racking systems can include lockable drawers and boxes, shelving and hanging space. They can even accommodate a worktop with vice and a sink as part of the set-up. If your vehicle has side doors, a modular system can fit around them and be configured on the left or right side of the van, or indeed both. Note that all Renault vans can come pre-fitted with a Ready4Work by Sortimo modular system. Each unit is marked with a weight limit, a further safety feature which helps to avoid overloading. Make sure you know your payload limits and [what maximum permissible weight] you can carry. A further advantage is that you can roll up the cost of the van and racking system in the same package when deciding [how to finance a van for your company].
  • A bespoke racking setup for your business van. We understand that all businesses are different, and often those differences are enough to require a custom racking solution. If you have a Renault Kangoo, Trafic or Master van, you can choose your own racking set-up and have it made in a Ready4Work by Sortimo bespoke configuration. This also applies to off-the-shelf Renault Master van conversions such as a tipper, dropside van, a Luton LoLoader or crew van version, among others.
  • DIY solutions for a business van interior. Wood lining with a few shelves and strapping restraints could be adequate if you only have to carry small number of tools and easily stackable packages. Do note the drawbacks, however. While DIY can be a comparatively cheap option for simple structures, it can also increase your overall weight – especially when absorbing water and spills. Mind the fact fitting and/or removing the panels can also cause damage to your vehicle and therefore lessen its resale value.

Quick tips and tricks on how to organise your van

You’re sure to have plenty of creative ideas and innovations to make your life easier. Here are a few sample tips for storage and retrieval to get you thinking.

  • Designate one of the small flat drawers or a secured plastic box for a first aid kit.
  • Fit the hanging rack inside the roof with quick-release push levers to accommodate poles, brooms and the like.
  • Racking with the same quick-release clips can be mounted on the side panels for smaller tools.
  • Line up small metal tools on a magnetic strip panel for instant visibility.
  • Colour-code any multiple items like paint-brushes or types of screwdriver for easy-grab identification.