As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

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simonm
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As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by simonm » Thu Aug 08, 2019 8:11 pm

Over the last two years on our trips between Spain and Germany we see lots of small curtain sided vans with sleeper pods. Typically Renault/Peugeot/Iveco predominantly from Poland but also some from Cz/Sk/Ro and to a lesser extent Bg and H.

They must have found some special niche or they could not compete with the vast number of full sized trucks from the big logistics companies. They can of course go direct from a tiny workshop down a country lane in one country to a similar country lane 2,000km away without the goods needing to pass through a couple of logistics warehouses on the way. But on the other hand the driver is not very “productive” in the sense of tons/m3 of goods per trip.

Any idea how this business works? What sort of stuff do they transport? I suppose I should just ask some of the drivers when I see them at the motorway rest areas but in the meantime, the forum is the font of all wisdom. :-)


This is the type of vehicle I mean.
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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by Rick Hutt » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:52 pm

In the U.S. vans like this are often rented for shorter distance, and smaller moves. I took my son from Chicago to L.A. in one of these way back when.
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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by doug » Fri Aug 09, 2019 5:23 pm

Drivers of small trucks.....less than 26000 GVWR (gross vehicle weight rating).....over here in the US, don't need a commercial drivers license. That means that the driver doesn't have to keep a log book, and can drive as many hours as they want to. Expedited freight trucks usually fall in this category, and haul cargo that is time sensitive.....medical supples, etc. My first cousin and his wife drove an expedited freight truck for several years as team drivers. One would drive while the other one slept in the sleeper. They hauled mainly explosive ordinance for the government, art, and medical supplies.
The roll up sides would facilitate loading and unloading from the side. In a long enclosed freight trailer, if there is more than one delivery, the cargo must be loaded in reverse order of it being unloaded. .....the cargo for the first stop at the rear of the trailer, and that for the last stop put at the front of the trailer. If,for some, reason, the delivery sequence were to be changed, the cargo has to be moved around. The majority of truck freight is on pallets, which can sit two wide in a truck. By being able to access them from the side, it wouldn't matter what order they were loaded in.
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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by simonm » Fri Aug 09, 2019 7:08 pm

Thanks for the replies.

I am wondering if members from Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Rumania, Bulgaria or Hungary know what their compatriots business model is?

What are they transporting, presumable between their own countries and Spain, France or maybe even further afield.

At French rest stops you may see 10-20 of these vans at any one time so something must be working for them as the many of the roads are toll roads. Certainly the driving license thing might be relevant. The limit in Europe on a regular car license is 3.5 tonnes or about 7,700 pounds. For anything bigger you need a truck licence. C1 for up to 8 tonnes and a full C license for more. However, I would not be surprised if many of these guys do have a HGV license.

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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by psmi » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:33 pm

If you meet such cars on the way to Spain and then back to Central Europe, perhaps they import spanish classical guitars to our countries ;)

Just kidding of course, wishful thinking...

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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:53 pm

These and similar kinds of vehicles are known here as campers (sort of). I know nothing about business model, but I often hear that some people are rentig such cars from specialised renting company to take family for vacations; right now a known to me doctor with family of three children has rented some kind of camper for vacation in Croatia.
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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by simonm » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:37 pm

These ones are very definitely not campers. However, the basic vehicle platforms are all very popular for camper vans. The iveco ducato is one of the most popular platforms ever for campers.

What puzzles me is that high value items such as guitars or electronics are unlikely to be transported in canvas sided vehicles and it cannot be economical to transport fruit/veg in something that small apart altogether from the fact that load area is not refrigerated. I suspect that the only way of finding out is asking some of the drivers.

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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Fri Aug 09, 2019 9:48 pm

- yes, I know that these vehicles are not campers, I should be more accurate, and say that they sometime or even quite often substitute/play role normaly played by campers. Why ? perhaps because there are almost no real campers here, and campers are quite expensive.
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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by RJVB » Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:43 pm

Quick guess: they're under the 3500kg limit that would put them into the truck category with all the limitations and regulations that come with that.
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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by simonm » Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:04 pm

RJVB wrote:
Thu Aug 15, 2019 12:43 pm
Quick guess: they're under the 3500kg limit that would put them into the truck category with all the limitations and regulations that come with that.
In fact a lot may be under 2800kg which reduces the limitations even further with regard to monitoring driver hours. However, the question remains, what is economical to transport long distance in such small vehicles?

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Re: As odd question for members from Pl, Cz, Sk. Man with a van.

Post by RJVB » Thu Aug 15, 2019 2:32 pm

Anything that doesn't require hauling even large quantities but that can benefit from covering considerably longer distances in a day?

Also, don't forget that we're now seeing "day workers" from far-away contries, the EU variant of the "hobo" ;) As long as these people don't have permanent residency for longer than 6 (3?) months they're not required to change their vehicle registration. IOW, they could be doing much shorter distances than you think, returning to their country only occasionally.

And FWIW, here in France we also have a non-significant number of light vehicles that have plates from some Eastern country, for reasons of tax and ticket evasion (though that's more often Lithuania, IIRC).
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