The iconic Luton van has its origins in the town of Luton in Befordshire, home to the Bedford heavy commercial vehicle plant that produced the popular Bedford model. The Luton body incorporates an enclosed box-shaped body that extends over the cab. The portion of the body that rests on top of the cab is sometimes known as a Luton or a kick.
The Luton body was originally designed to accommodate high volumes of low density loads, especially straw hats which formed a central part of Luton’s local industry. The straw hats were wrapped in long cylinders in order to fit in the van. Early Luton vans used Bedford chassis.
1933 Bedford two-ton Luton Van. Image via Ian Dunster.
Modern Luton Vans
Modern day Luton vans such as the Ford Transit and larger vehicles used by removal companies have retained the basic shape of the original Luton, though the body is usually streamlined to minimise wind resistance. Some vehicles sport a wind deflector on the top of the cab roof which is not to be confused with the Luton body. The Luton body is functional and the Luton can be accessed directly from the main body. The Luton is sometimes hinged especially in vehicles with tilting cabs.
The Ford Transit is one of the most common Luton vans. A Ford Transit 260 SWB Cab-in-van has a 2.2 litre engine that can deliver 92kW of power and haul a 789kg payload in its 4.2 cubic meter body. The top-of-the-range 280 SWB Cab-in-Van has a 2.2 litre TDCi engine that can pump out 103kW of power and haul a 1000kg payload in its 5.2 cubic meter body. The load length for both vans is 1.65 metres.
What are the Benefits of Hiring a Luton Van?
Luton vans offer attractive options for vehicle hire. Unless you will be using your Luton van for other purposes, it makes better economic sense to simply hire one instead of buying it outright. This applies for small businesses as well as for domestic use.
Luton vans are very commonly used in home and office removals. The vans have large enough bodies for furniture, home and office appliances and boxes removals with a minimum of fuss. This minimises the number of trips you have to make when moving your house or office property to a new location. The vans ample space also ensures that you don’t have to dismantle most of your furniture when moving, except for the largest pieces.
If you don’t mind doing a little bit of heavy lifting (which is good for your health!), you can opt for a self-drive hire van and do the removals yourself. This way you can save some money that you would otherwise spent hiring extra hands to help you with the removals. You also get the freedom to do things at your own pace without having to worry about spending too long on the road, especially when you are paying by-the-hour. Luton vans have superior flexibility that makes them great for hire and tail lifts that can help you lever heavy pieces of furniture including bulky wardrobes and sofas.
For business use
For businesses looking to hire vehicles for extended use, hiring a Luton van is a very practical and economical choice. Many small businesses and startups cannot afford to purchase a vehicle upfront when their cash flow is still not stable. Hiring a van for long-term corporate use frees you from the hassle of hiring one every time you need to make those incessant business trips. It’s usually much cheaper to hire over the long-term since the cost is amortised over the period of hire. In most cases, you will be able to take full advantage of the hire company’s breakdown cover as well; so it’s usually a win-win scenario.