If you are thinking about purchasing a refrigerated van, then cost is probably a big concern for you. However it’s important to take into account not only the price of the van, but the durability you require, and the function that you are going to be using the refrigerated van to perform.
The size of the refrigerated van is going to be a big factor in the price. It goes without saying that large refrigerated vans are going to cost a good bit more than smaller models. You may be surprised at just how small refrigerated vans can be these days. Improvements in technology have made it practical to convert even the smallest light commercial vehicles into refrigerated vans. That means refrigerated vans are more affordable than they ever have been before, as long as you are happy to only carry a small refrigerated load.
If you’ve ever bought a car, you’ll be well aware than some car manufacturers sell cars that are considerably more expensive than others. This is the case with refrigerated vans too. A Mercedes Sprinter of a similar size will generally cost more than a Ford Transit. There is a good reason for that though. In most cases, the more expensive manufacturers will have created a more precisely engineered and more reliable machine. They may also have introduced innovations such as fuel saving measures and other systems that improve economy. It’s important to look at these statistics and try to determine if buying a refrigerated van from a more expensive manufacturer might save you more money in the long run.
Another huge factor that influences price is the quality and thickness of the insulation. Most refrigerated vans are insulated with a type of polymer foam. However this foam can vary in density, and also in thickness. If you need your refrigerated van to maintain lower temperatures, or to operate in warm climates, then you’ll need a thicker layer of insulation. The thicker you go, the more your refrigerated van will cost. This is why freezer vans tend to cost more than refrigerated vans, not necessarily because of the higher power of the refrigeration equipment but because of the thickness of the insulation materials. Insulation is an incredibly important element of your refrigerated van, so it’s absolutely vital not to skimp and get the thickness of insulation you require to maintain the temperature that you need.
The vast majority of refrigerated vans are cooled by a standard evaporator system. While there have been many innovations in this technology to improve efficiency, it basically works in the same way it did when it was invented. It’s a similar system to the one you’ll find in a domestic fridge or freezer, but on a much larger scale. These systems vary in size and power, and they will have an influence on the price of the refrigerated van.
The other type of system used is called “eutectic cooling”. This is still a fairly uncommon way to cool a refrigerated van, but it’s starting to become more popular due to recent innovations. The basic operation of a eutectic cooling system relies on large frozen beams, which are filled with a heat absorbing gel. The beams are frozen during the night using an external electricity supply, and as they melt during the day they absorb the heat in the insulated compartment of the refrigerated van, keeping it cold. This system can cost less money than the traditional system, and it also offers the advantage that it’s extremely quiet. However you should be aware that it’s not suitable for many types of refrigerated van (click here to learn more about our range of refrigerated vans), and if you are carrying fish, dairy, meat or similar products then it may not be suitable for your needs.
Many refrigerated vans come with multiple compartments, each held at a different temperature. This is extremely useful if you want to deliver both frozen and refrigerated products in the same delivery schedule. They are widely used by food companies throughout the world. However, they generally cost a bit more than single compartment refrigerated vans of the same size and payload. This is because they require extra insulation in between the compartments, and extra doors and seals.
Some of these multiple-compartment refrigerated vans have separate cooling apparatus to deal with each compartment. This is exceptionally useful if you have products that you need to keep at a very precise temperature, but of course can cost more than just having one cooling system for both compartments.
As you can see, there is a wide range of factors that determine the selling price of a refrigerated van. While there are certainly exceptionally cheap refrigerated vans on the market, it’s worth bearing in mind that a more expensive van could save you money in the long run. Glacier Vehicles sells a wide range of both new and used fridge / freezer vehicles, so give us a call today to discuss which van is right for you and your business!