5 tips on how to choose the best seats for your van
Aftermarket van seat conversions are more popular than ever before. With good reason. Converting a works van to include extra seating along with a cargo area makes so much sense. Contractors are able to transport a full crew to site while packing all the equipment they need into a single vehicle. This is far more practical, efficient and cheaper than using multiple vans to transport employees and their equipment.
The most common van seat conversions involve adding a row of seating behind the existing driver and passenger seats. A bulkhead is then added to separate the new seats from the cargo area to the rear of the vehicle. Another option is to position the new seats along the side of the van. But this is less practical and really restricts or even eliminates the space available for cargo.
So, a row of seats sited behind the driver is the most popular solution to add extra capacity to a works vehicle. This is easily the most common van seat conversions we see here at AlphaSeating.
But how do you go about finding the right seats for your conversion project? Here’s our top five tips to help you choose the best seats for your van.
1 – Make sure the seats you buy are compliant
As you can probably imagine there are a lot of regulations and standards van seating have to meet. This isn’t surprising. Safety is paramount. Seats must be manufactured to meet EU standards. But don’t automatically assume van seats you see for sale on the internet, especially auction sites, are legally compliant. They could be low-quality imports or counterfeit seats. Don’t risk it. Make sure the seats you buy for your van seat conversions comply with all the current legislation.
2 – Use the best rails and accessories for your van seat conversions
You’re rightly going to be particular about which seats you buy but you should be equally picky about how you secure them in the vehicle. Here at AlphaSeating we highly recommend using Unwin or NMI fitting kits. These are the only fixing kits we use and we stock them simply because they are the best. They’ll securely anchor your new seats. And don’t overlook the importance of the seat belt fittings. They must also pass the strict criteria set by the EU.
3 – Buy from trusted suppliers
It’s very tempting to buy van seats from auction sites on the internet. Be very careful when doing this. Especially if you’re bidding on items listed by a private seller or a trader who obviously imports their products. It’s best to forget auction sites. They’re a false economy at best.
Look first at suppliers who have an established reputation in the business. AlphaSeating have been supplying van seats manufactured at our Leicestershire base to businesses throughout the UK since 2002.
4 – Check the seats are suitable for your vehicle
Pretty obvious thing to say but make sure any seats you’re looking at are suitable for your van. But you do have to be careful. Different seats are only suitable for certain classes of vehicle. So, for van seat conversions you need to match the specification of the seats to that of your vehicle. To help you do this you’ll see all the seats on the AlphaSeating website clearly labelled as suitable for M1, M2 or M3 vehicles.
5 – Don’t cut corners
Good advice when you’re driving but it also applies to your van seat conversions too. Invest in the best-quality seating you can. And make sure the seats are anchored securely. Your employees (or your customer if you’re a professional van conversion company) will be spending a lot of time in the vehicle. They deserve the best and most comfortable seating.
AlphaSeating are a UK manufacturer of high-quality van seats and can supply both private and commercial van converters. Call 01455 856816 for advice and further information on finding the best seating for your van seat conversions.