Cargo Van vs. Pickup Truck - GoShare blank

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Cargo Van vs. Pickup Truck

If you are considering purchasing a cargo van, also called a full-size van, or a pickup truck to start a delivery, moving or hauling business, there are a few things to consider. Both vehicles have powerful moving and hauling capabilities. But, each has unique pros and cons. Before making a purchase, be sure to carefully compare these two vehicle types to find the one that is best for your business needs.

Overall Load Capacity
While traditionally, pickup trucks have the edge in load capacity and towing, many new models of cargo vans boast some impressive stats. Both pickup trucks and cargo vans come in half ton, three quarter ton, and one ton options. Depending on the model you select, these vehicles can both bring serious moving and hauling power to the table.

All-Weather Service
One of the key advantages for the cargo van is that it is enclosed. If you live in an area that commonly experiences inclement weather, you may find that you have to cancel or reschedule delivery and moving jobs on rainy days. In some areas, the pickup truck may be sidelined as a delivery vehicle for months at a time. However, with a cargo van, you’ll be able to keep whatever you are transporting nice and dry, increasing your availability and earning potential during those wet weather days. Furniture movers love cargo vans to stay busy all year round.

Theft Protection
Another advantage of the van’s enclosed space is theft protection. Whether it’s your customer’s cargo or your tool box, all items are locked away and out of sight. Pickup trucks have open beds that allow passerbys to both see and sometimes snatch items while you are parked in a lot or at a curb.

Large, Irregularly Shaped Loads
While the open bed of the pickup is a disadvantage in inclement weather, it is very useful when transporting large or irregularly shaped items. From large couches to lengthy loads of lumber, the versatile pickup truck is perfect for tall or long items. Simply drop the tailgate and attach a red flag to the end of a lengthy load, if needed.

It doesn’t get much easier than hosing out the back of a pickup truck. The durable, plastic beds of the pickup are easy to clean and thus ideal for messy loads like hay, dirt, or anything junk-yard bound. The enclosed interior of the van won’t hold up against this kind of mess.

Passenger Space
Passenger space is another area where pickup trucks have the advantage. Most modern pickups offer five seats in the crew cab, making this versatile vehicle perfect for towing and moving jobs as well as taking the family out for a drive. Cargo vans generally do not have seats beyond the driver and passenger chairs in front.

Fuel Economy
The age, make, and model of your vehicle makes a difference here. But, on average, the pickup truck is the winner in this category. Enclosed full-size vans weigh more than pickup trucks and generally have older engines that aren’t focused on fuel economy. Thus, they require more gas. Newer cargo vans have made great strides toward fuel efficiency, but on average, the trucks are still getting better miles per gallon.

The inside of a cargo van can be kitted out however you need. Many offer shelves or drawers to help you keep your tools and equipment organized. You can even store them in the locked van when the vehicle is not in use. For pickup trucks, you may have to resort to tossing those tools in the back of the bed and unloading them at home.

Going Off Road
If you expect your delivery and moving business to take you off the beaten path, the pickup truck is most likely your go to vehicle. Pickup trucks have off-roading capabilities built in. The low chassis of the cargo van was intended for paved streets.

Loading and unloading from the back of an open pickup truck, rather than an enclosed van interior, is generally more convenient and a little easier. It’s easy to climb up and get around or behind a large load in an open bed. In a van, you have to shimmy along the sides to get behind your cargo.
At the end of the day, there is no right or wrong choice. Your unique needs and circumstances will determine whether a pick up truck or a cargo van is the right vehicle for you.

Have a pickup truck or cargo van? Join GoShare’s network of delivery professionals to find local moving and delivery gigs and earn money with flexible hours. Learn more at