Most manufacturers now offer a range of factory-supplied converted vehicles, be it dropsides, tippers, Luton vans or more specialised products. In this guide, our Vanarama Van Expert Tim Cattlin takes a look at the Top 5 Factory Tipper Conversions on the market today.
If you’re in the building game, then it’s odds on that at some point you’ve unexpectedly needed a new tipper. Whether it’s because one of your old vehicles has had a catastrophic visit to the MOT station, or because you’ve picked up that nice new contract you tendered for, you need one, and you need it quickly.
Great news! Your dealer has a chassis cab available within a week. Not so great news. The bodybuilder won’t have it completed for at least 4 weeks after that. That’s no good to you, it means a costly hire vehicle, and that’s if you can track one down.
Thankfully, now that factory-supplied fully converted vehicles are available ‘off the shelf’, an urgent order can often be fulfilled very quickly indeed. Another advantage of these ready to go tippers is that they are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty (and matching the duration), so that any repairs should be able to be carried out by the dealer, rather than them having to ship your vehicle back to the bodybuilder, costing valuable time and therefore money.
The Ford Transit Tipper
The best-known factory tipper has to be the Ford Transit ‘One Stop Shop’. The body is actually supplied to Ford by Scattolini, a bodybuilder well respected throughout Europe. It can be ordered in 1-way (a simple tip from the front) or 3-way (front or either side) configuration and has a galvanised steel subframe with sides and tailboard constructed from aluminium, painted to match the cab. Offered on the L2 single or L3 double cabs, you’ll get a payload of up to 1257kg and 1084kg respectively (1-way). Body lengths internally are 3202mm and 2825mm.
Wisely for a tipper, Ford includes both twin heavy-duty batteries and their ingenious Programmable Battery Guard options as standard, meaning that you’ll never be stranded with a flat battery due to drain from using the tipping mechanism.
The Mercedes Sprinter Tipper
‘Ready to Work’ is the brand name adopted by Mercedes-Benz for their factory conversions on the Sprinter chassis. The tipper body, constructed by the Southampton bodybuilder VFS is built on the L2 single chassis cab with an internal length of 3320mm and the manufacturer quotes a payload of 1069kg. The side and tailboards are constructed from weight-saving aluminium, left unpainted but still looking the part. Surprisingly, Mercedes-Benz doesn’t currently offer a double cab Sprinter with a factory tipper body.
As with every Sprinter, you’ll benefit from a 3-year / 100,000-mile warranty and 30 (!) years of roadside assistance cover providing the vehicle is serviced annually by a main dealer.
The VW Crafter Tipper
Volkswagen, with their ‘Engineered To Go’ programme use Telford based Ingimex, a long-standing bodybuilder with an enviable reputation for quality for their tipper bodies on the Crafter. With a steel platform and aluminium sides, the Crafter tipper also comes with a high visibility tailboard with reflective markings. You’ve the choice of a single (based on the medium wheelbase chassis) or a double (long wheelbase) cab. Although you’re restricted to the 140PS engine, that will be more than adequate for most operators.
Payloads? Up to 1046kg on the single cab and 836kg on the double cab version. These figures are for the front-wheel drive variant, expect a little less on rear-wheel drive models. 3350mm of load length is offered on both the single and double cab Crafters.
The Fiat Ducato Tipper
Fiat Professional use the ‘Ready For Professionals’ branding for their conversion programme and are marketing the Ducato with a VFS manufactured but factory-supplied tipping body. 1-way and 3-way versions are available with internal body lengths of either 3075mm (MH1, medium wheelbase model) or 3625mm (LH1, long-wheelbase derivative) on single cabs, and 2750mm on double cab versions.
Payloads are unclear from Fiat Professional’s sales materials but given the use of the VFS bodies, we’d expect them to be in the region of 1000kgs for the single cab, 1-way models.
The Nissan NV400 Tipper
Nissan don’t have a snazzy brand name for their factory supplied conversion range, but they do have something that sets them apart from most, if not all the competition – a 5-year / 100,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty on the NV400 tipper. Just a quick heads up, it’s soon to be known as the Interstar as part of the Japanese manufacturers rebranding of their entire range of commercial vehicles.
The single cab with its 1-way tipping body is available in front or wheel drive and has an impressive payload of up to 1242kgs (FWD). You’ll get a load length of 3205mm onboard and, if you need to tow (check tachograph and licencing regulations first though) you’ll have a trailer capacity of up to 3000kgs dependant on model.
If it’s the double cab you need, payloads are up to 1057kg on front-wheel drive versions and the internal length of the body is identical to that of the single cab. There’s also a choice of 2 trim levels on the Nissan, the higher Tekna grade getting automatic wipers and headlights together with air conditioning.
If you’re thinking about a new tipper conversion, take a look at the tipper lease deals available at Vanarama.