A van is a small truck that has a gross vehicle weight of up to 3.5 tons. The payload of a small van is about 0.5 and 1.5 tons. The small vans include the so-called high roof station wagons and delivery vans / panel vans. But vans with a permissible total weight of more than 3.5 t are also referred to as small vans. Up to a total weight of 7.5 tons, these vehicles are also referred to as light trucks. The Mercedes Sprinter is a typical example of this. Vans are now often equipped with a closed transport system, i.e. a box body, which means that they have, among other things, a tail lift that overcomes the loading height between the road and the loading area, so that trolleys and pallet trucks can be loaded.
The average loading floor height of vans is 55 cm. This results in special requirements for door solutions, hall floor heights and dock levellers for the loading stations.
Extremely high flows of goods in times of online trading are forcing hauliers and logistics service providers to replace the usual delivery traffic in goods logistics with large trucks with more flexible solutions with smaller trucks. That is why more and more vans are being used, which are significantly more effective on short distances and can withstand the high time pressure of delivery.
The Nani floating bridge type VBKS (feed bridge, folding segments, floating hydraulics) is often used in small transport logistics. It is a universal dock leveler. It was specially developed for the application in which both a “normal” truck and a small delivery van / transporter are to be loaded or unloaded. It is used wherever a wide variety of vehicles are handled. A visible difference to a conventional dock leveler is the three-part feed. The outer parts can be folded down if necessary (or: they are not even folded up when they are moved out) so that the feed can be pushed into a narrow vehicle.
Another invisible difference is in the hydraulic system. When handling a small vehicle, the platform weight of a conventional dock leveler could overload the vehicle. To prevent this, the dock leveler is placed in the so-called floating state. The plateau weight is “caught” by the hydraulics. As a result, only a very small, arbitrarily adjustable force acts on the vehicle. This small amount of force is required for the floating position of the dock leveler, so that all spring movements of the vehicle can be compensated for.