Vehicle Hire Guides | The Flatbed Van – A Van with a Well-Defined Purpose

The Flatbed Van – A Van with a Well-Defined Purpose

The flatbed van is an absolute star when it comes to transporting large goods. It’s a highly efficient van to haul large amounts of cargo in fewer trips. Plus, it makes loading and unloading easy. While flatbed vans may not work for every business need, they are a versatile option, suitable for many applications.

Buying a flatbed van for your business may not make sense. You may not have big projects that need a flatbed van every day. This is why you should look at other options. Hiring a van can prove to be the ideal solution when your business is in need of a flatbed van. It comes with added benefits and you don’t end up paying a huge amount at once.

Flatbed van hire

What makes flatbed vans so great?

You have a tough job ahead of you? Make it easier with a flatbed van.

Flatbed vans are the ideal solution when you work with cargo or equipment that’s outside the norm. That means large and heavy equipment. Or perhaps irregularly shaped materials, or materials that are too heavy or oversized. Imagine trying to fit those into a regular standard van. Not an easy task, is it? For this exact type of need, you have the flatbed van hire.

Flatbed van’s main advantages

There are certain undeniable benefits to flatbed vans, such as:

1. Large load capacity

Flatbed vans can handle immense loads. Because they are open and you have no top, you can fit quite a lot onto them. They are great for tackling heavy weights.

The flatbed van can meet the needs of any business. You can transport a wide variety of things with them from construction materials to prefabricated parts or even crushed cars.

They’re usually seen as builders’ vans, but truly any business could make use of a flatbed van.

2. Load and secure your cargo easily

Flatbed vans can hold almost anything. And whatever they’re holding, loading and unloading are going to go pretty smoothly. Just think of the fact that there’s no door and no ceiling to limit the mobility. You have no obstacles. You can approach loading from the back or from the sides of the trailer. You can use a forklift if you need to.

Securing your cargo is also an easy job. You’ll need some straps, tie-downs, nets or anything similar. You’ll have lots of flexibility and mobility to go around the cargo and secure it. But do make sure your cargo is well-secured for transport.

3. Convenience

It’s more than just easily loading and transporting big, heavy stuff that’s convenient about flatbed vans.

  • They’re quite powerful, with lots of horsepower.
  • They’re easy to drive, don’t get fooled by their size.
  • They have safety features like any other standard van and some of them even have reverse cameras.

Any drawbacks? No van is perfect

It’s important to be aware of two important downsides of the flatbed van.

First, being open space means that your cargo faces the full wrath of Mother Nature. And she has a habit of raining on your parade. Rain or even sun exposure can ruin the goods you’re transporting. If your cargo is weather sensitive, you may want to consider another option.

Then, you have to take into account that exposed cargo is at a higher risk of theft. If you’re carrying heavy, massive goods, the risk of those being stolen is small. But if you’re moving smaller items, you should be aware they’re at higher risk of being stolen.

Decisions, decisions: Which flatbed van hire option is the best for your business?

There are many benefits to flatbed van hire and luckily there are many hire options on the market to suit any business needs. But let’s dive into each option and look at their advantages and disadvantages.

Flexible hire

If your business needs a flatbed van, but you don’t know exactly for how long, you should hire one on a flexible hire contract.

There are many advantages to flexible van hire and our list is not exhaustive:

  • You’re not bound to a renting period. You can hire a van for anywhere from a day to up to three years.
  • You have the flexibility to return the flatbed van hire at any time, without any extra costs.
  • Flexible van hire includes service, maintenance, repairs, tyres, recovery, and road fund licence.
  • If your business demands are fluctuating, flexible flatbed van hire can cover your needs.
  • Add more flatbed vans to your flexible hire contract if you need to.


  • Flexible van hire tends to be more expensive.

Short term hire

Short-term van hire is the ideal solution for quick jobs. If you need a flatbed van hire for a short contract, this is the way to get one.

There are some specific strengths to hiring a van for short-term like:

  • There’s no long-term commitment.
  • The hiring provider usually takes care of any maintenance appointments for you.
  • There’s usually a wide range of flatbed vans to choose from.
  • Short-term van hire is ideal for seasonal projects or to meet an unexpected short-term demand.


  • Deposits can be higher
  • Mileage limits could be restrictive.

Long term hire

If your business has more stable needs that involve having a flatbed van for longer, you should go for long-term van hire.

There are some undeniable advantages to long-term flatbed van hire, that make this choice better than the rest.

  • Smaller initial costs.
  • You don’t have to worry about asset depreciation.
  • You can reclaim up to 100% on VAT.
  • Fixed monthly payments makes budgeting simpler.
  • The hiring provider usually covers MOT, maintenance and repairs.
  • Some providers offer insurance, breakdown cover, or fuel cards.


  • You will be tied to a fixed contract.
  • You will be charged for excess miles, so watch out how many miles you get in the contract.

What types of flatbed vans are available for hire?

flatbed van types

We’re talking here about flatbed vans, tipper vans and dropside vans. All three types are very much alike with small differences only.

The flatbed van is exactly what its name says, a van with a cab and an unenclosed, flat load bed.

A tipper van looks exactly like a flatbed van. The only difference is the hydraulic arm that raises the bed to tip the contents out the rear. For some tipper vans, it can tip to the side as well.

The dropside van is basically another flatbed van, but with side panels that can be folded down.

The most popular models for flatbed van hire are:

  • Ford Transit with a payload of 1,167 kg
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with a payload of 1,471 kg
  • Volkswagen Crafter with a payload of 1,400 kg
  • Iveco Daily with a payload of 1,520 kg
  • Renault Master with a payload of 1,462 kg

Find your flatbed van hire

So, you need a flatbed van for your business. Or a tipper, or a dropside van. Don’t lose time trying to search the market and understand the different offers and requirements of each provider. Let us handle things for you.

Use our free quote tool – it really takes less than a minute to fill in the form – and gives us some details about your specific business requirements. We have access to a wide range of hiring providers, we understand the market, and we are experts in matching businesses with their ideal van rentals.

We’ll find you the suitable flatbed van hire for your business while you focus on running your daily operations.

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