About Us News Careers Apprenticeships Customer Care DAF Webshop Login Motus Star

A Guide To Van Racking: Top Tips For Getting It Right

Getting a van is one thing, but once you’ve customised the actual build of the vehicle itself – the number of seats, the height of the roof, and so on – you have to get a little more DIY knowhow to make it perfect for your own needs. That often, if not usually, means you need to consider van racking.

Luckily for most van-driving traders, they know a thing or two about how to custom-build and fit a rack to hold their tools, secure their belongings and sort things into the perfect system for easy use and storage. But what if you don’t? Here’s our guide to making sure that your time creating a van rack isn’t wasted… 

Figure out what you’ve got, and what needs securing.

Yes, it’s a pretty simple point to start with, but before you start sketching what you need, you need to look at what you’re actually carrying – even if it’s something you rarely use regularly. Get everything out of your van, get some photos, and then start measuring the items that need more than just a shelf or basket.

From here, make a note of the items that need protection or waterproofing, and work smartly from there.  

Get the right material for the job…

Wood’s great, durable and cheap, but it comes at two major costs. Firstly, it can be incredibly heavy, especially if the racking you’re fitting is a two-sided affair. Obviously, if you’ve only got racking on one side, it could also disproportionately affect your van’s balance. Secondly, it needs a lot of upkeep – to protect it from paint, oil or other chemicals, it will need treating (and regular retreating). Don’t forget to look at steel and aluminium options, too.

…and check your insurance covers it!

Remember that by fitting certain racks – at least, wrongly, in excess or non-compliant with safety standards – you could effectively undermine your employee liability insurance, or at least your van insurance policy. Think smart – call your insurers before committing to your build.

Don’t overcomplicate things…

You may find that putting in removable shelves may be great for loading and unloading your van, or a door or sliding partition may protect things to a greater degree, but the more moving parts you have, the harder to maintain it could be – and there’s only so much space in your van. Plan accordingly – look at clearance space you’ll need, first and foremost.

…and don’t overload your van.

Holding everything you need at once in your van may be perfect for a longer-term job away from the depot, but bear in mind that everything you carry adds inevitable weight, and can really impact the performance – and long-term ability – of your van. If you absolutely must carry heavier items, make sure the weight is distributed evenly along both the width and length of the vehicle!

If in doubt, ask an expert.

Whether you’re a relative newcomer looking to save money with DIY, or an engineering veteran who takes challenges like this in your stride, it often pays dividends to speak to an expert about your options. We personally work with the excellent Mackworth, which specialises in van conversions with its own vehicle racking, and has gone so far as to crash-test its wares at the world-famous Millbrook Proving Ground (as occasionally featured in Top Gear). Get in touch with them for a quote – a quick chat may save you a lot of hassle!

This website uses cookies

Some cookies are necessary, while others allow us to enhance your experience, personalise content and ads (across your devices), and provide insights into how the site is being used. Our recommended settings are that these cookies are all active but if you aren't happy with this you can manage your preferences by clicking Customise Cookie Settings.

Necessary Cookies

Necessary cookies enable core functionality. Our website cannot function properly without these cookies, and they can only be disabled by changing your browser preferences (please note if disabled our website may not work or show correctly on your device).

  • On
  • Off

We use personalisation cookies to understand how you engage with our website across all your devices, this includes recording your browsing habits and activity. This information is used for profiling purposes and to help identify you, so that we can show personalised content.

  • On
  • Off

We use third party cookies on our site to serve you with advertisements that we believe are relevant to you and your interests. You may see these advertisements on our site and on other sites that you visit on any of your devices where you've accepted marketing cookies. Please note that if you disable these, you will still see adverts but they won't be specifically tailored to you and your interests.

Representative Finance Example
Cash Price £13194.00
Deposit £2199.00
1st Monthly Payment £240.56
58 Monthly Payment £240.56
Final Monthly Payment £250.250.56
Amount of Credit £10995.00
Total Amount Payable £16642.60
Total Charge for Credit £10995.00
Fixed Interest per Annum 6.25
Duration 60 Months