WHAT van is right for you? Two things: size and weight. When you’re choosing a van, make sure it’s big and strong enough to handle your typical cargo.

Check the width, length and height of the van’s cargo hold. Check its maximum payload. And if you tow, check its maximum trailer weight.

Then ensure the van meets your cargo needs. These typical weights and sizes will help you choose.

Baled hay, straw 130-225kg per cubic metre
Barrel (36 gallons) 275kg
Beer case (24 x 1 pint) 35kg
Beer crate (24 x 10fl oz bottles) 23kg
Books 815-1125kg per cubic metre
Bricks, building 2300-2500kg per 1000
Bricks, engineering 2000kg per 1000
Bricks, house, standard pallet 1000kg
Coal, loose 920kg per cubic metre
Coal, loose 1000kg per 1.1 cubic metre
Copper tubing 3000mm length
Cement, bag 50kg or 25kg
Chipboard, sheet 2440mm x 1220mm
Euro pallet 1200mm x 800mm
Gravel, loose 1635kg per cubic metre
Hardboard, sheet 2440mm x 1220mm
Hardcore 1940kg per cubic metre
Ladders 2000mm, 2500mm, 3000mm, 3500mm
MDF, sheet 2440mm x 1220mm x 25mm weighs 51-62kg
MDF, sheet 2440mm x 1220mm x 15mm weighs 30-37kg
Milk crate, 20 bottles 27kg
Paint tin, 5.0 litres 7kg
Paving slab 600mm x 450mm x 65mm, 40kg
Paving slab 600mm x 600mm x 65mm, 52kg
Plaster, bag 25kg
Plastic guttering 4000mm, 2000mm
Plywood, sheet 2440mm x 1220mm
Potatoes, loose 530kg per cubic metre
Potatoes, bag 50kg
Sand, dry 1330kg per cubic metre
Sand, wet 1600kg per cubic metre
Slate 2800kg per cubic metre
Softwood, lengths 1800mm, 2100m, 2400mm, 2700mm etc
Soil 1200-1490kg per cubic metre
Water, 10 x 1.0-litre bottles 10kg

When choosing a business van it’s important to remember that, if you only need to carry really large items occasionally, sometimes it’s more financially advisable to buy a small van, and rent a bigger van for the days you need it.

Business van operators should also make sure that they keep within the law for van weights, particularly if you are towing.

Now you know what van type you should buy click on our Van Reviews to choose the right van for you.