Thursday, 15 August 2013

The History Of Step Vans

The word "van" derives from the term caravan, which is defined as a large, covered vehicle intended to carry many people over a long distance. One type of van that is larger than most passenger vans, are called "step vans" due to the fact that the operator can easily step into or out of the van to make deliveries or meet with customers. These vans have a boxier shape and higher roof than other types of vans, and they rarely carry any passengers. Today, most of these vans are used for commercial purposes in a wide variety of industries. Below is some information about the history of step vans in North America.
Step Van History

Step vans, also referred to as multi-stop vehicles, became popular during the 1930s, when the first refrigerated trucks were manufactured for the food delivery industry. The original vans were much narrower and shorter than those in use today, and these vehicles were typically used as milk and bread delivery trucks. Due to the high profile roof on the vans, drivers were able to stand upright in the vehicle, making them optimal for use as food service vehicles and ice cream trucks, as well. Today, one of the most common uses of vans is for parcel delivery by the United Parcel Service, FedEx and other courier companies and for mobile food service.
Step Van Manufacturers
Throughout the years, many vehicle manufacturers have released their own version of this famous van.
  • Chevrolet
  • Divco
  • Dodge
  • Ford
  • International Harvester
  • Studebaker
  • Swift
  • White Motor Company
  • Willys
  • Workhorse Company
Divco, International Harvester and the White Motor Company pioneered the development and manufacture of the first vans. Today, most step van manufacturers build step vans and place them onto an existing forward control chassis made by Ford, GM, or Freightliner.
Uses of Step Vans

In the United States and Canada, vans have historically been used for delivery vehicles and postal trucks. The uses of these types of vans, however, are plentiful. Today, it is not uncommon to see this van used for any of the following applications:
  • Ambulance
  • Bread / bakery truck
  • Event display vehicle
  • Fire truck
  • Ice cream truck
  • Light delivery vehicle
  • Mobile command center
  • Mobile food truck
  • Parcel delivery truck
  • Promotional truck
  • Utility vehicle
  • Much, much more.
There are several companies that specialize in conversion services in order to provide custom-built step vans for use in any industry. Some of the most popular conversions performed today include refrigeration and freezer compartments on food delivery vehicles and ice cream trucks and fully-functioning kitchens for mobile food trucks.

MAG Trucks is a fully integrated truck dealership and manufacturer that specializes in medium duty vehicles for various industries. We sell new and used vehicles, including step vans, sprinters, box trucks, delivery trucks and mobile food trucks. In addition to our new vehicles, our production facility has the ability to refit 15 to 20 trucks per week. These refits range from standardized industry builds to complex one-off solutions. Call 800-805-6818 today to learn more about our products.