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Choosing the right size of the van for your refrigerator conversion is important. There are vans that can serve your chiller business efficiently and knowing their wheelbase and which one is suitable for your business is a step in the right direction.

What Is the Wheelbase?

The wheelbase is the distance between the centre point of the front wheels and the centre point of the rear wheels. It differs from the length of the vehicle. The length of a vehicle is calculated from the front-most point of the vehicle to the rearmost point. The wheelbase is measured from the centre of the wheels and serves as a sign of the level of interior space for the given external size.

The wheelbase provides the basis for one of the most common vehicle size class systems. In fridge and freezer van conversions, it is one of the major factors that determine the vehicle a client will go for. Because of the effect the wheelbase has on the weight distribution of a vehicle, wheelbase dimensions are crucial to the balance and steering.

Types of Wheelbase for Refrigerator Vans

There are three major types of wheelbase:

  • Long Wheel Base (LWB)
  • Medium Wheel Base (MWB)
  • Short Wheel Base (SWB)

Some van manufacturers only produce long wheelbase and short wheelbase vans while some produce all three while also adding the fourth option which is the extra-long wheelbase.

Long wheelbase

A long wheelbase van has a wheelbase which is longer than a vehicle’s standard wheelbase option when the distance between the centre of the rear wheel and the centre of the front wheel is calculated. An LWB vehicle has the longest available base length. It has a huge interior space because there is more space between the axles. A van with a longer wheelbase will make better use of the cabin space and feel more stable on the road.

If what you require is a used jumbo refrigerated van, then LWB vans are the best option. Vans with long wheelbases offer greater comfort on rough roads and feel more stable at speed.

Some benefits of purchasing LWB vans are:

  • They have more storage space
  • They offer smoother rides and greater comfort on rough roads.
  • They are fuel-efficient
  • They have less vehicle body roll
  • They are more stable at speed because of their larger footprint on the road.

Medium wheelbase

As the name implies, they are medium-sized vans with a wheelbase longer than the SWB, yet shorter than the MWB. If you consider the short wheelbase base vans too small for your business and the LWB too large, then the MWB is a perfect choice.

It is important to note that the way different manufacturers classify these shapes and sizes varies. Therefore, what is an MWB from one manufacturer may be an LWB from another manufacturer. Consult our engineers and technicians at Glacier Vehicles to check the dimensions. The benefits of choosing an MWB van for your new freezer van are:

  • It offers bigger cargo space and capacity than the SWB
  • It has the lightness of the SWB.

Short wheelbase

The short wheelbase has the shortest available base length. Vans with short wheelbases have less cargo space because there is less space between the axles. If your business does not require carrying too much cargo or you deliver temperature-controlled goods to a small area, then short wheelbase vans are ideal. In the case of a spin out, a van with a short wheelbase will ultimately have less time for the driver to adjust and prevent a crash.

Some benefits of purchasing a short wheelbase van for your small fridge or freezer van include:

  • It is more suitable for city traffic and narrow streets so if your delivery business is not long distance, a short wheelbase van is ideal.
  • It offers a better turning circle for doing three-point turns.
  • It is easier to manoeuvre at high speed.
  • It has a reduced tendency to pitch and roll compared to other vans.
  • It is more fun to drive and gives a sporty feel.

The Ideal Wheelbase for Your Refrigerator Van

Before you choose an SWB, an MWB or an LWB van for your chiller or freezer van, you need to consider the size of cargo you deliver, your budget, and the distance or terrain your new refrigerated vehicle will be plying. This will help you make an informed decision. Also if you are considering installing a dual refrigerator system, a long wheelbase van will be better than other sizes because it offers more cargo room.

Here at Glacier Vehicles, we source for different vans whether used or new in different wheelbases and convert them to fridge or freezer vans. Most of our vans come in small, medium, and large sizes so you can choose the one which suits your business. In the rare case we don’t have the wheelbase you want in the make and model you prefer, we will source them at incredible prices. Some of the vehicles in our stock include:

The sizes of LWB, MWB and SWB vans differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, and from model to model. Contact us to get the one that matches your business needs.

If you want to buy a used refrigerated van, a used freezer van, a new refrigerated van or a new freezer van call, Glacier Vehicles on 0208 668 7579.