Utility Need Not Cramp
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STYLE IN LAUNDRY VANS
THE laundry trade has always used a van with sufficient headroom. to enable the driver to stand up inside it, easily to reach any parcel or hamper, also to arrange the load as the work of delivery proceeds. The tilted van, with its sloping top to the peak front, has given place to the Luton-type vehicle, with its various
degrees of streamlining. The sides of the body are flat or barrel-shaped and the back is slightly curved.
Many vans carry a mixed load of various-sized baskets, hampers and parcels. For this type of load, some shelving is an advantage, in order that the smaller parcels may be placed on the shelves, and the larger ones, also the hampers, carried on the floor.
For a Luton-type van, the partition behind the driver's seat is restricted to about two-thirds of the width of the body, thus leaving an opening on the near side to afford access to the load from the cab. If the van has full protection at the back, such as,a tailboard with doors, or a roller shutter above it, or a full-height shutter, a sliding door for the partition may be dispensed with.
The Sliding Door a Time-saving Feature.
As an alternative to the usual hinged door, the cab may have a sliding door on each side, travelling into a casing in the body. When calls are frequent and close together, the door may be left partly open. without danger, or without causing an obstruction. Moreover, the vanman's time is saved-.
Be With an opening on the near side of the partition, any gangway in the loading portion is maintained, so far as possible, on this side, and the shelving for parcels is on the off side. If required-, one of these racks is accessible from behind the driver's seat by making the partition only waist high.
The shelves have front fillets to keep the parcels in position, and the upper rack is on the same level as the floor of the Luton front. This part of the van is also used for parcels and if it be deep from front to back, access is facilitated by means of a step at the base of the partition.
This step may be the top of a locker for tools or other articles. The lower shelf should be high enough to enable the largest hamper to be placed under it.
For a van that carries a load of small parcels, the central-gangway type of body, with shelving on each ,side, is to be recommended. When there is a comparatively large body space in proportion to the wheelbase, such as a forward-control chassis provides, there is scope for streamlining, and some loss of loading capacity, owing to the shaping of the back of the body, is not of great importance.
The interior may be lighted by the side windows of a clerestory roof, or
the roof has windows in the centre above the gangway. These lights are fixed, or are hinged on the front edge, so that they may also be used as ventilators.
Parcels are kept in position on the floor by a fillet on each side of the gangway, whilst the two upper shelves slope downwards to the body sides. The partitions and shelves may be of slatted construction, or solid, but, in any case, if the upper racks be not fixed to their supporting fillets they are quickly removed to provide extra room for larger parcels. As the van is entered frequently, it has a step inside the body at the rear, the same width as the gangway. The inside step is better than an outside folding one, which is apt to be damaged when the vehicle is backed and the step has been left extended.
The centre gangway is also accessible from the cab. If, owing to the position of the steering centre, the driver's seat encroaches on the gangway, the depth of the neb,r-side shelving is reduced in front to afford sufficient width of entry, which should not be less than 1 ft. 8 ins.
For house-to-house deliveries and collections, a side-loading van that does not have to be entered has its particular merits. The body is prao■ tically a platform with a roof canopy.
There is a single platform, or an upper deck is fitted for the better arrangement of the load, or for the lighter p‘ackages. The body may have two intermediate pillars and three roller shutters on each side, with another shutter at the back, or the lower platform has drop sides and only upper shutters. A more attractive style of body may be designed if only about twothirds of its length is required for side loading. Then the remaining portion of the side is panelled, and there is room for a display of curved mouldings to give the back a streamlined effect. A full-depth skirt panel is fitted below the main platform and, incorporated with a paddlebox and the rear side panel, gives the body a distinctive appearance. This is enhanced by painting the body and cab below the waist in a colour that forms a strong contrast with that used above this level. The rear compartment of the body has a mid-way shelf and is protected by a pair of doors, or a roller shutter.
This type of body may be modified by omitting the cross-partition to the rear compartment and continuing the upper deck to the back of the van.
Vans having a fixed partition behind the cab may have full-width shelves across the front of the body. In this instance, a drop side in the front half affords easy access to the parcels on the floor under the shelf.
The Most Suitable Colour Schemes for Bodies.
Although each laundry proprietor has his own preference with regard to colour schemes, white and light blue are, perhaps, the most suitable. As a rule, dark colours should be avoided and, like the food purveyor, the owner of the laundry van should keep the paintwork in first-class condition, so that the vehicle itself is an appropriate background for the message conveyed by the writing display.