Searching for a step van to add to an existing fleet can be an overwhelming task. Several questions and concerns swirl around inside of your head... how can you tell if the step van is reliable, fairly priced, who is a reputable dealer, etc? This article outlines a list of Questions to Consider When Purchasing a Step Van that will help you navigate the process and ease the anxiety of a large purchase. Specialty dealers like MAG Trucks have onsite sales and a mechanic team to help with your specific needs. MAG even has over 50 used step vans on their lot, ready to be delivered within 7-10 days. From custom shelving, white paint, and graphics to engine and transmission repairs, MAG has provided reliable and affordable step vans to hundreds of contractors across the nation.
Let's start with one of the most popular questions...
What size of step van do I need?
The most common size of step van for IPS contractors is 18 - 22 feet. The length can vary based on several factors, including the route size and city or county/rural driving. If you are commonly running routes in the city, the smaller and more compact the truck size, the better. Having a truck that is 14-16 feet will be easier to maneuver in traffic compared to one that is 22-feet. Not only will be it be easier to park in the city, but you will most likely be running shorter routes which equates to less cargo space in your step van. If you aren’t driving in the city and you are traveling longer distances with your truck you will probably want to consider 18-22 ft. step van. It will allow you more cargo space for your delivery needs.
What standard equipment is included in the step van purchase price?
Each step van listed for sale has a slightly different description of what's included in the purchase price. Some include new paint, custom shelving, and a back-up camera, while others are essentially the shell of the step van. If your dealer (or seller) does not include a standard list of equipment, you will find the costs of upfitting to increase quickly and expensively. Here is a basic equipment list that MAG Trucks uses for their step vans.
Shelving is great if you need organization within your truck. Installing shelves in your truck to store your packages, tools, and other items eliminates stacking your items on the floor of your truck. A lot of delivery trucks have shelving in them, but if your current trucks don't have shelves it would be something to consider. If you are looking to purchase new step vans visit www.magtrucks.com and see our inventory. We can install the shelves in the trucks for you, or we might have some trucks with shelves already in them.
Air Conditioning and Fans
Delivery drivers can get hot while they are on their route. Summer can be brutal in many areas and when drivers get how they tend to work slower. Air conditioning is already installed in many step vans but it will cost you a bit more. If air conditioning is not a priority to you, or your summers are not as brutal as other areas, fans would be a good option. Fans can be installed in the truck that aim towards that driver, which will really keep the driver cool during their delivery route.
Back-up Cameras and Sensors
Step vans do not have a rear-view mirror, and that can make backing up difficult. Installing backup cameras will make it easier on your driver and it will help prevent them backing into something that is behind them. Not only will backup cameras help your driver but adding sensors for backing-up will help too. Sensors will alert the driver if they are too close to something and they will know when to put on the breaks. Having a backup camera and sensors in your delivery trucks can immensely help your drivers and help prevent accidents to your trucks.
Life Gates, Ramps, and Dollies
Often deliveries are heavy and after doing several deliveries it can become exhausting with heavy items. Your driver may slow down on delivery time if they are lifting extremely heavy items throughout the day. Adding a lift gate to the rear of your step van can assist the driver with getting items out of the truck in a more efficient way. Also, adding ramps into your step vans can help the driver get into the truck and get the items in and out of the truck. Along with a lift gate and ramp, ensuring their is a dolly in all of your step vans can be extremely beneficial to the driver. They can get more items to the door quicker and easier. When adding these accessories to your truck it is important to remember that they will help your driver in the long-run and can increase the amount of deliverers that can be done in a day.
Is the truck DOT inspected?
Being DOT certified means that there are no mechanical safety issues with your truck. Not all sellers have the production and manufacturing facility to bring used step vans up to DOT standards. MAG Trucks will fix anything that is preventing the step van from being DOT certified before we sell the truck. This will eliminate headaches and unexpected expenses in the future.
Is a warranty offered?
One of the most important questions to consider when purchasing a step van is the warranty. If the step van is being sold by an individual or private seller, it probably doesn't have a warranty. However, if the step van is being sold by a dealer, like MAG Trucks, it can carry a warranty. Be sure to ask the details on that warranty! Let's explore MAG's warranty as a reference.
MAG Trucks prides itself on its workmanship but knows things can happen unexpectedly. Every MAG used or reconditioned truck leaves the Kansas City facility equipped with a six-month or 6,000-mile nationwide limited engine and drivetrain warranty.
The MAG Trucks warranty encompasses 8 major components, including the engine, transmission, drive axle, water pump, turbo/supercharge, seals and gaskets, fuel tank, and radiator. Let’s take a closer look at What’s in an ISP Contractor Truck Warranty specific to MAG Trucks…
MAG covers all internally lubricated parts of an engine in our 6-month, 6,000 mile warranty. Internally lubricated parts include: pistons, piston rings, piston pins, crankshaft and main bearings, connecting rods and bearings, camshaft and bearings, timing chain or belt, timing gears, intake and exhaust valves, valve springs, valve guides, oil pump, push rods, rocker arms, rocker arm shafts, hydraulic and solid lifters. The engine block and heads are also covered if the damage is caused by a failure of any of the above-covered components.
Internal transmission parts include a torque converter, vacuum modulator, and mounts. The transmission housing is also covered if the damage is caused by a failure of any of the above-covered items. If applicable, this warranty does not include clutch assembly, pressure plate, flywheel, throw out bearing, worn synchronizers, cables or electrical items. All internal parts of the transmission are covered under a MAG Trucks warranty.
3. Drive Axle
The drive axle is split into two parts which connect to the wheel and allows your truck to move freely. Axles also allow the wheels to turn when driving creating a smooth ride. All internally lubricated parts covered by our warranty are contained within the housings and include the axle shafts, differential housing, transaxle housing and final drive housing.
4. Water Pump
Water pumps allow the coolant to flow through the engine straight to the radiator. Impeller shafts, bearings, bushings, and housing are all under MAG’s warranty.
A turbocharger works to fuel the trucks and increase its efficiency. It is under the hood of the truck, compressing air to the combustion chamber. All internal parts of a turbocharger such as vanes, shafts, and bearings are covered by our warranty. The Turbo/Supercharger housing is also covered if the damage is caused by a failure of any covered component.
6. Seals and Gaskets
Seals and gaskets work to prevent leakage within the vehicle. They work to fill the in-between spaces. These are primary parts of trucks that work tirelessly to keep it in shape. Seals and gaskets are replaced as part of repair or replacement of the above-covered components.
7. Fuel Tank
The fuel tank is designed to hold and disperse fuel throughout the truck. The fuel tank is covered under warranty for leaks to ensure you don’t have any costly fuel leaks no matter where you’re driving.
The radiator is your engine’s cooling system – which is critical to your continued operation. The radiator is covered for failures due to leaks.
We hope this article has provided some tips for questions to consider when purchasing a step van. If you have specific questions, feel free to reach out to MAG's team at 800-888-4614.