The FridgeXpress Guide to Temperature-Controlled Vans

Mercedes-Benz Refrigerated Van Conversions

Many different businesses have rules and regulations when it comes to transporting goods. Temperature-controlled vans come in all shapes and sizes and are usually employed to carry perishables, whether that’s food and drink or something like pharmaceuticals.

Here we look at what types of temperature-controlled vans you can hire or buy for your business and a few factors that you need to take into account when making your decisions.

What is a Temperature Controlled Van?

A temperature-controlled van is specially converted to maintain certain conditions in the storage area of the van. For example, you have chiller vans which use insulation on the walls and doors to help keep the area cool. This is often the type of set-up that florists use to transport bouquets, especially during the hotter summer months.

Larger vans can have refrigeration units attached to them which means they can create ideal conditions that meet the regulations of their industry. For example, food transportation requires strict temperature regulation. That could mean chilling goods down to a certain level or even freezing them.

Above all, a temperature-controlled van needs to be very reliable. Once you’re out on the road, if the system breaks down it could mean that all the perishables you are carrying will need to be thrown away if a solution isn’t found pretty quickly.

Small Van Conversions

When it comes to smaller vehicles, converting them into a fridge van is entirely possible but you need to be aware of the space that you have to play with. A van can look to have plenty of room but once the insulation is added, this is significantly reduced. If you have small loads and need a chiller van rather than a freezer, this can be a good option otherwise you might want to go for something larger.

The Vauxhall Corsavan range gives you a few great options if you are unsure whether a small temperature-controlled van is right for your business. With exceptional fuel efficiency and state-of-the-art controls, this could be a good choice if you’re just starting up and want a reliable van that is easy to run.

Temperature-Controlled Sprinter Van

Sprinter vans are the next step up in size and include panel vans with more space and scope for conversion. If you want your temperature-controlled van to have, for example, different compartments at different temperatures, then this is a pretty good mid-range option. Today’s sprinter vans are not only easy to handle but are very energy efficient and come in petrol, hybrid and electric models.

The Mercedes-Benz Sprinter range is one of the most popular commercial options out there at the moment. The company say that you can get around 1,700 different variations on the standard model depending on the customisation choices you make. These are ideal for temperature-controlled vans as they have plenty of space as well as a choice of side or backloading.

Box Van Conversions

Luton vans are used for much larger deliveries and are often employed by meat packing and poultry services. A box van has a large amount of space and is the highest size van that you don’t need a special licence for. There’s no doubt that, because of its roomy storage, there are more options for conversion if you need tight temperature control.

Temperature Controlled Trailers

Another option your business should consider is a static fridge trailer. These are designed to be hooked up to a local power supply and can be useful if you, for example, need to add temporary cold storage space to your operation.

At FridgeXpress, we’ve recently developed our own range of temperature-controlled trailers that use the latest German cooling technology. You can find out more about refrigerated trailers here.

The Benefits of Contract Hire for Temperature-Controlled Vans

There are several ways to finance temperature-controlled vans. You can rent them out for a short period or buy the vehicle outright. Another better option is to go for contract hire. This is where the hire company lets you have the temperature-controlled van for a monthly lease fee.

There are several benefits to this:

  • First, you can control your operating budget by paying a set monthly fee rather than having the initial big expense of buying a van.
  • Secondly, you don’t have to worry about the depreciation of your asset. It’s not owned by you and you can upgrade at any time in a more sustainable way for your business.
  • Finally, contract hire agreements usually come with maintenance and repairs included.

At FridgeXpress, we understand that many businesses don’t want to be tied into rigid contracts, which is why we are always happy to review arrangements and make changes to better suit your needs.

Find out more here.

Partner With FridgeXpress Today

We have several decades of experience providing temperature-controlled vans to businesses all across the UK. It’s the sole thing that we focus on and we’re pretty good at it. One of the underpinning philosophies of FridgeXpress is that we want to offer our customers flexible options.

If you need to rent a refrigerated van for a few days, we’ve got a solution for that at very competitive prices. If you would like to enter into a contract hire arrangement, we’ll work with you to find the best solution. Perhaps you need a bespoke conversion and want to work with us to reach the right outcome.

We understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution which is why our support team will always be there to give you good advice and plenty of different options. FridgeXpress operates across the whole of the UK and provides its services to many different businesses in different sectors, both small and large.

Want to find out more about temperature-controlled vans? Contact our expert team today.


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We have kept our range simple, but with enough diversity to cater for the varying applications that are regularly required by our partners in the food transport industry.

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