Skip to main content

When it comes to getting the job done, pickup trucks immediately come to mind. But trucks aren’t the only option for a good, sturdy, get ‘er done type of working vehicle. Pickups have their purpose, but so do cargo vans. In fact, there are some ways a cargo van is better than a pickup truck. Here are three of them.

Updated: 8/6/23

a white Ram work truck on the job
2020 Tradesman Ram 1500 | Ram Trucks

1. Protected cargo

The first and probably most obvious reason cargo vans are better than pickup trucks is their ability to protect cargo. Sure, pickup trucks have plenty of space in the bed. You can even buy a tonneau cover to protect cargo from the weather. However, cargo vans come really equipped with workhorse payloads and covered cargo. A covered cargo that is both weatherproof and private.

the rear interior cargo of a Ram ProMaster being used on a job
Ram ProMaster Interior | Ram Trucks

You can’t drop anything out of the enclosed space that a van offers. That means no damaged goods and the elimination of the liability of unexpected road hazards. There’s also the fact that although you can build out a truck for overlanding or equip it with a nice tent, camper conversions are largely more practical in a cargo van. The vast protected box provided by the cargo area makes for a great living space for overland travel. According to WorkTruckOnline, “vans are typically easier and cheaper to upfit.”

2. A more professional appearance

There’s no denying that most pickup trucks look infinitely cooler than a cargo van. However, if you are using your truck for commercial use, a cargo van is probably a more professional option. In terms of appearance, trucks are more fashionable.

A cargo van will look more commercial on the job. First impressions mean a lot, and the highly professional and undeniably commercial styling of a cargo van may go a long way in terms of branding. For commercial use, a cargo van looks a lot more professional. They just have a more business-designated feeling in the eyes of the customer.

nissan's commercial van lineupdirt field with
Nissan Commercial Vans | Nissan

3. You don’t have to forgo a long list of options

Pickup trucks are loved for their rugged looks and strong capability. They are also appreciated for the incredible amount of options buyers have to choose from when choosing a truck. While there aren’t as many different brands that offer a cargo van, the ones that do offer the vans in a wide variety of options and configurations for your business needs.

The Ford Transit and the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter both come available with factory 4×4. Additionally, the Transit now has a crew cab option. The Nissan NV and the Ram ProMaster don’t come with the 4×4 capability, but they do offer several different wheelbase and roof height options. Plus, they come in the 1500, 2500, and 3500 classifications, just like a pickup truck.

Cargo van or pickup truck?

Cargo vans and pickup trucks serve many of the same purposes. Pickup trucks are inarguably more stylish and come with the possibility of luxury trim levels a cargo van would never even dream of. But they are also workhorses.

A brown 2020 Ford Transit Cargo van on a construction jobsite
The 2020 Ford Transit Cargo | Ford Media

Best Work Vans Under $10,000

Both vans and trucks possess a utilitarian charm and the allure of capability. It’s hard to say which one is absolutely better, but these are 3 reasons we think that cargo vans are better for business. It definitely depends on what you are going to use the vehicle for. But, for these 3 reasons, cargo vans are better than pickup trucks.