Cargo vans are arguably the greatest invention that has happened in the delivery service industry. The beauty of the vans is the fact that it is possible to put all the tools and equipment that are related to your business at the back of the van and literally work out of the van at all times.
However, it is also important to make sure that you have the storage space at the back organised in the best way possible. Proper organisation is what helps you avoid eventualities such as losing your tools, having to spend hours rummaging through the clutter to get a tool that you need and even injuries.
Here, are a few ideas to look into regarding storage space, and the type of space which van shelving may be most appropriate to suit your needs.
The material used to make the shelves
The three most commonly used materials in making shelving for cargo vans include wood, galvanized steel and vinyl. Wood was used a lot in the past because it is easily accessible and also simple to customize.
However, the material also tends to age fast and if the wood is not of good quality, it will buckle and break under the weight of the heavy equipment.
The other commonly used shelving material is vinyl. This is quite good and durable, but only when you will not be placing heavy items on the shelves.
The last and most popular material for the job is galvanized steel. This is a composition of steel and aluminium. It is ideal for shelving because it can withstand any amount of weight and does not get affected by corrosion and rusting among other related degradation and deterioration issues.
The space you have available
Not all vans will have the same amount of internal space. Before getting shelves installed, you need to inspect the back of your van and see how you can maximize on the space through strategic placement of the shelves.
Instead of taking the installation of van shelving as a DIY, it is recommended that you get professionals to handle it for you. The benefits of having a professional install the shelves include the fact that the shelving unit installation process will yield superior quality results, you will not have to go through too much of a hassle with repairs and adjustments. The professionals will also make sure that:
- The van space has been optimized for maximum storage.
- The spaces will be customized such that tools can be kept from crashing around.
- You will not waste a lot of time with the construction process.
When getting the shelving installed, either DIY or by a professional, insist that they add some corner shelves into the mix. This will maximize your space while keeping your work organized. You can have the corner shelves stacked from the bottom of the van all the way to the top.
Additional elements to the shelving process
The other important consideration to make is whether there are additional elements that you want to be part of your shelves. Additional elements include:
- Adding drawers to some of the units
- Addition of hanging units at the top of the van.
- Addition of clips to keep materials locked in one space and stops them from moving around.
- When having the shelves installed, have them customized in a way that the ones that will hold the most commonly used materials will be more easily accessible than the others.
Understanding the loading capacity of the shelves
The other important thing that you need to think about in connection with your shelves is their loading capacity.
As mentioned, the material of the shelves is the first factor that determines how much weight your van shelves can bear. Other factors that contribute to the loading capacity include the manner in which the shelves are constructed and the reinforcements used if any.
It is your responsibility to ask the person in charge of creating the shelves about the loading capacity of the shelves before you start using them. If you need to store heavier objects, place them at the bottom most shelves and strap them in place because moving them around leads to the shelves buckling.
Homemade van shelving systems
People who need shelves for their vehicles but are strapped for cash should consider going for home-made shelving systems. The two most commonly used materials in making DIY van shelves are plywood and wood.
These materials can be custom designed to suit your unique storage needs. Metallic shelves are avoided because the tools, machinery, and expertise needed to install them are often more than what a person can handle as a DIY.
However, if you have skills in metallic joinery, you can still buy galvanized steel metallic pieces and use them to install your van shelving.
Proper maintenance processes
Once the shelves have been installed, it will be upon you to determine the length of time and quality of service that they will give you. Here are a few of the dos and don’ts to follow when using van shelves:
- When cleaning and caring for the shelves, make sure you use the right materials and processes as this will protect you from ruining the shelves or shortening their life.
- Ensure that any cracks or other weaknesses on the shelves are rectified before they completely fall apart.
- If you will store reactive and corrosive substances, make sure that they are tightly sealed; this will reduce the possibility of them spilling on to the shelves and ruining them.
- Do not overload the vehicle, this puts too much pressure on the shelves and they start buckling or breaking down.
These are some of the considerations that are important to think about when installing shelving. Lastly, always make sure that building and transportation standards have been followed during the design and installation of cargo van shelving. It is the only way to achieve robust structures which will serve you for a number of years. This can only happen when you have the right professional guidance.