Word throughout the industry among upfitters and equipment manufacturers is that businesses are starting to use work vans more often. Some possible reasons are that they don’t require a CDL, they are versatile—offering a covered work space as well as plenty of room to haul equipment and tools—and even because vans are gender friendly as more female employees enter the work van/truck segment.
According to GOODCARBADCAR, the Ford Transit was the top-selling commercial van in 2020, selling roughly 133,000 units. Although those are raw numbers—and it’s likely not all 133,000 of those units are used as a work van—it’s probably safe to say there’s a chance your fleet employs a Ford Transit. So what makes these vehicles so popular? Perhaps it’s the van’s versatility being as it’s offered in a number of packages and configurations. Or it could be the van’s capability with the available EcoBoost engine. Then again, maybe what drives the van’s popularity is the simple fact that it’s a comfortable and easy ride.
POWER & ASSISTANCE
The 2021 Ford Transit Cargo Van comes standard with a 3.5-L PFDI V6 engine (PFDI meaning port-fuel/direct-injection). The difference in the PFDI and the standard 3.5-L V6 is that the PFDI features two injectors per cylinder to increase performance. The engine is capable of pumping out 275 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Owners also have the option of a 3.5-L EcoBoost V6 engine in their Transit. This engine offers 310 hp and 400 lb-ft of torque. What allows the engine to offer these numbers are twin turbochargers and the direct injection of fuel as opposed to intake ports.
No matter the engine option you choose, the Transit features a 10-speed automatic transmission with features such as optimized wide-span gear spacing with drag-reduction actions and three overdrive gears.
Aside from the Transit’s powertrain, the vehicle features handling offerings such as Hill Start Assist, Side-Wind Stabilization, and AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control (RSC). Owners also have the option for an all-wheel drive Transit as well as a heavy-duty front axle and trailer brake control.
More often than not, those who drive work vans aren’t professional drivers. Drivers of work vans are service technicians, plumbers, landscapers, and more. Their van is simply used to store their equipment and tools and get them from the jobsite back to home base. Because of this, driving in a work van should be simple, comfortable, and safe. The Ford Transit fits the bill.
If you’ve ever driven a cargo van, you already know its similarities to SUVs and even sedans in terms of drivability. Depending on the size of your van, it might even be similar to your daily driver. These vans feature a seating position that is relatively similar to popular SUVs on the market. They feature instrument clusters and dashboards that house similar information and controls. And even the maneuverability in these cargo vans is comparable to those of popular SUVs, if not better.
Ford offered all of these consumer vehicle features and then brought on the safety suite. The 2021 Ford Transit features pre-collision assist with automatic emergency braking, a lane-keeping system, forward collision warning, automatic rain-sensing wipers, rear view camera with trailer hitch assist, and Ford Telematics as standard features. Optional features include adaptive cruise control, blind spot information system with cross-traffic alert and trailer coverage, upfitter switches, and a front and rear split-view camera among other features.
A stereo system, Bluetooth, dual USB ports with a 4-inch display is standard with the Transit, but the van is also available with an 8-inch touchscreen with navigation and SiriusXM.
Drivers might like the Transit’s drivability, but fleet owners will like its versatility. New for 2021 are two different packages; one of which is the Parcel Delivery Package. The Parcel Delivery Package adds 50/50 hinged rear doors with a wide 253-degree opening and full interior cargo lighting. Other packages include: an Exterior Upgrade with chrome accents and fog lamps; an Interior Upgrade with vinyl flooring, power-adjusting mirrors, and cruise control; and a Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow with tow/haul mode, a 4/7 pin connector assembly, and frame-mounted hitch receiver.
The Transit is also offered in a number of configurations for all your work van needs. These configurations include cargo van, crew van, cutaway, or chassis cab with low, medium, and high roof. It’s offered in rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, single or dual rear wheels, and two wheelbases. Further, new for 2021 is a new maximum GVWR of 11,000 lbs.
The Ford Transit can be purchased as a ready-to-work van. But for those who require even further modifications, the Transit offers a blank cargo space that is waiting for your upfits.
BENEFIT TO BUSINESS
With cargo vans gaining more attention in the commercial and fleet segment, perhaps it’s time to take a look at the Ford Transit for yourself. Its capability, drivability, and versatility might prove to be beneficial to your business.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Find out more about the Ford Transit, visit www.ford.com.
TELL US ABOUT IT
If your business aligns with the trends in the market, it’s likely you’ve recently purchased or are in the market for a work van. If you purchased a Ford Transit, let us know your thoughts. Send your comments and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.