a young delivery man checking a list of packages inside a step van

4 Reasons to Go for a Diesel Step Van

Have you ever seen a United Parcel truck? Such a truck is a variation of a step van. It’s either a light-duty or medium-duty truck commonly used for deliveries with multi-stops. Here are 4 reasons to go for a diesel step van.

What is a Step Van?


A Step Van is a panel truck with a typical payload of a half-ton or 1-ton. It’s taller than a full-sized van allowing a driver to either sit or stand while driving the vehicle. It’s also called a walk-in delivery truck because the driver has easy access to the goods being delivered. In the past, a step van was used for the delivery of bakery goods and milk. 

Today, it’s a popular choice for delivery fleets, large parcels, and transporting linen. This is because it has enough cargo space. This may be the reason why it’s also called a multi-stop truck. A step van is also popularly used as a mobile truck, food truck, and a medical truck. A Step van has a gross vehicle rating (GVWR) of 14,990 lbs. and dimensions of 6.75 feet wide, 7 feet high, and 14 feet long.

Detroit Industrial Vehicles Company (DIVCO) built the first step van in 1926. Its iconic short curved hoods emerged in the 1930s. In 1937, International Harvester introduced its D-Series trucks which featured the Metro multi-stop delivery van

This was followed by the White Horse step van in 1939, Willy’s walk-in van in 1941, and the Dodge route van in 1948. In 1963, Studebaker launched their walk-in delivery vans which they called ZIP vans. In 1998, General Motors popularized the P-series step vans. Most step van manufacturers build step vans under the existing chassis of Ford, Freightliner Trucks, and General Motors. 

Comparison Between a Diesel and a Gas Step Van


There are several differences between a diesel and a gas step van. It’s important to know this factor to decide which type of step van can best serve your needs. A diesel step van goes well for long-haul or longer routes. It has a 20% to 30% better fuel efficiency over a gas step van. 

This economic advantage gives a higher ROI if used for delivery of many miles daily. A gas step van is perfect for stop-and-go routes and only covers short miles within a town. It also commonly cost lesser than a diesel step van. 

4 Reasons to Go for a Diesel Step Van


A diesel step van gives many benefits over a gas step van. Among the 4 reasons to go for a diesel step van are:

Engine Longevity


A diesel step van runs at a much lower revolution per minute (RPM) than a gas step van. Thus, its bearings, pistons, and other parts have lower wear-and-tear. The combustion of a gas step van is powered by a spark. It gives a higher volatility point but a lower flash or speed. 

Also, being a very light oil, diesel lubricates the piston walls, rings, and valves of its engine. Unlike gasoline, which is a detergent that washes away the oils on the engine parts. This makes the engine life of a gas step van shorter than a diesel one. Albeit, a diesel step van has a much higher resale value than a gas step van.

Fuel and Parts Economy


The most important advantage of a diesel step van over a gas step van is its thermal efficiency. It is about 20% to 30% more thermally efficient than gas. The thermal efficiency of a diesel step van has more power and torque. It’s perfect for carrying and hauling heavy loads.  As such, it translates into fuel economy. 

The fuel cost of a diesel step van is commonly lower than a gas step van. A 6.0 L diesel engine gives the same power as an 8.0 L gas engine at the same fuel cost. Besides, the engine of a diesel step van features a removable and removable liner. 

Once it reached a 200,000 or 300,000 mileage, you can simply replace the liner instead of replacing the whole engine of a gas step van. This saves you the cost of parts replacement.

Payload Economy


If you’re in the business delivery sector, a diesel step van means lower costs per stop than a gas step van in the long run. Its fuel efficiency and greater load capacity than a gas step van reduce the cost per payload. 

Perfect for a Mobile Food Truck


A diesel step van is a popular choice among food truckers. It’s because of its appealing look and spacious trailer. It allows food servers to reach customers easily using an improvised window. A diesel step van allows food servers to stand up and move with enough room to cook and serve. 

As they also stand low, it’s easy to enter and exit the food truck area. Plus, its fuel economy gives it the ability to travel to events, festivals, flea markets, and tours at a lesser cost.

Are you looking for a step van to use on your delivery or food truck business? UsedVending offers a wide range of super compact to monstrous step vans all over Canada and the United States. You can also tailor your search according to your budget.