What’s the difference between dropside and tipper vans?

If you’re looking for a van with a specialist platform, chances are you’ll come across Tipper and Dropside vans. Both are popular with businesses who need robust and practical commercial transport.

These workhorses are designed to carry heavy material, making them commonplace in the construction industry. Let’s explore what you need to know about leasing a dropside and tipper van.

What is a dropside van?

A dropside van has an open rear flatbed, which has been extended and reinforced. It lets you release and drop the sideboards down, providing easy access to the van’s platform. Depending on your dropside van lease needs, they are normally available as a single or crew cab variant.

What industries typically use dropside vans?

Dropside vans are popular in the construction industry, with scaffolding and landscaping companies preferring the easy access of dropside van leasing. We’d suggest choosing a dropside van if you regularly carry commercial materials and prefer a fixed flatbed.

What is a tipper van?

Tipper vans have a hydraulic rear flatbed, which can be tilted forwards to unload cargo. They are typically only available as a single-cab variant and are designed to handle loose material such as dirt and gravel.

What industries typically use van tippers?

Tipper van leasing is popular with waste management and construction companies, especially if they are transporting loose material from site to site.

What are the key differences between a dropside and a tipper?

Now we’re more familiar with dropside and tipper vans, let’s explore some key differences between the two van types.

Body type

The first thing to consider is the difference in body type. A tipper van lease has an under-floor tipping system, whereas dropside van leasing has a fixed platform with foldable sides. Choosing between the two will depend on your business leasing needs and the type of commercial goods you regularly transport.

Loading and unloading times

The difference in loading and unloading times can vary between tipper and dropside vans. If your business transports soil, gravel, or other loose material, you might find using the hydraulic platform on a tipper van easier. However, if you transport fragile items that need to be unloaded by hand, you will likely find unloading easier and safer with a dropside van.


Whichever model you choose, expect higher payload figures compared to large vans. Dropside vans often have a higher payload overall, but always consider how many passengers and the amount of cargo you’ll carry on average.

Benefits of dropside van leasing

If you choose dropside van leasing, you’ll benefit from:

  • easy access to the rear platform for manual loading and unloading
  • easy platform cleaning and removal of debris
  • higher payload figures, which means heavier loads can be transported.

Benefits of tipper van leasing

If you choose tipper van leasing, you’ll benefit from:

  • flexible and convenient unloading of loose materials
  • a reinforced platform that can handle heavy construction-style activities
  • a cost-effective way to transport materials without needing multiple smaller fleet vehicles

Should I lease a tipper van or a dropside van?

If you need help choosing the right van, our team will explore your tipper and dropside lease options to find one that meets your business needs.

Choose Synergy, and you’ll also benefit from our special offers, exclusive discounts, and in-stock deals. Get in touch to find out more.