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Thread: Self-Distribution: Van or Small Truck?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    10

    Self-Distribution: Van or Small Truck?

    Not sure if this is a Stupid Stuff question, but for a startup -where self distribution is permitted- anyone have experience with how many kegs fit in what? Let's say 50L and/or draft (1/6) kegs in the back of a 12 foot van? Thinking we go with the van until business picks up, but looking for affirmation.

    Thanks!!!!!
    Thx
    -Jules

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    226
    Consider the weight capacity, too, not just the space. My Dodge Ram Van has a ten-foot-long cargo space in the back and I can fit 23 half kegs in there. It's also rated for up to 9,000# Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW). The van's weight empty is 4,800#. 23 full half kegs at about 170# each is 3,910#. The GVW then comes to 8,710# which means I can squeeze a few sixtels in the gaps or pile a couple of cases in there.

    That said, a van should be fine for your needs, but make sure you get a van that has additional weight capacity.
    Mike Hiller, Head Brewer
    Strangeways Brewing
    2277-A Dabney Road
    Richmond, VA 23230
    804-303-4336
    www.strangewaysbrewing.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Fawn Grove, PA, USA
    Posts
    548
    Van will work fur sure, look for something with hydro assist brakes and 3/4-1 ton rating. Unless you pick up a newer turbo diesel box truck (still pretty pricey) the van is your best bang for the buck. Another thing to consider is product placement, depending on your area, as we all know tap spots are hard to get and keep. We've had much better luck with bottle placement, not as good as tap real estate but a sale is a sale.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    10
    Fantastic notes Mike and SoCo!!! Really appreciate.

    Weight capacity, hydro assist brakes, and the Plan B bottle shelf space are really great recommendations. Looking forward to learning from future mistakes myself and also sharing with the newbies someday.

    Thx!!!
    Thx
    -Jules

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Red Lodge, MT
    Posts
    122
    I would go with at least a one ton. We have a 24 foot box truck with a lift gate. It has a 25,500 GVW which is as big as you can get without needing a CDL. It is dock height which is nice for loading and for delivering to Costco and Sam's Club.

    cheers

    sam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Santa Rosa CA USA
    Posts
    962
    Also consider where you will need to be able to park, and how high you will need to lift to get kegs in and out.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Odessa, FL USA
    Posts
    158
    Rent them both and see which you like best, although a small box truck is much more forklift and pallet jack friendly than a van.
    Bob
    Saint Somewhere Brewing
    Tarpon Springs FL

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