The Pitfalls Of DIY Van Racking

There are plenty of reasons why you might be tempted by DIY van racking. Building a system yourself from scratch can be rewarding. Afterall, it’s a pretty big challenge that helps you to get creative and brush up on your crafting and engineering skills. But regardless of your ability, it’s rarely a good idea. In this blog, we’ll explore the reasons why do-it-yourself van racking can cause issues for your van, tools, and professional reputation.

The problem with DIY ply van racking

Often, tradespeople opt for DIY ply van racking. With a system like this, you can usually guarantee a cheaper initial cost; however, long-term there are a huge number of financial implications. 


Not only is ply heavy (therefore difficult to fit and costly on fuel) but it also has a much shorter lifespan than metal alternatives. When your van racking is unreliable - breaking, snapping and falling apart in transit - your tools and equipment are also at risk. Altogether, this can have extensive cost implications. Far more than an initial investment in good quality, professional racking. 

DIY ply van racking also compromises on safety as it cannot be crash tested. While it may feel like the easier option, you could end up in danger if anything were to happen on the road. It’s also extremely flammable, further endangering you and your vehicle.

At bott Smartvan, every solution is thoroughly crash tested to guarantee its inherent safety. This is particularly important when considering your bulkhead. In the event of a crash or emergency stop, racking fixed to your bulkhead will be affected most by the impact, and its important that it's designed to be able to cope with this.

To find out more about ply van racking specifically, read our article called ply vs metal van racking.

Van racking that costs time

A custom build project will clock up a lot of hours; this isn’t something that can be done over an afternoon. With dimensions to measure, materials to source, and time putting together and testing the overall system - you’re looking at several days worth of time. Days that could be spent on the job, closing the gap and likely earning more than an investment in an easy-to-install metal option.

bott Smartvan solutions are simple to fit due to their lightweight, self-fit, no-drill nature. And because they’re modular, you can connect together the correct parts first time to suit your precise requirements. 

Whether you create your dream solution via our van racking configurator, or give us a call, within a few hours the order for your new setup will be received and commenced by our brilliant factory team.

Sacrificing customisation?

Often, tradespeople enjoy working on DIY van racking projects because they can create the exact, often niche, solution they need to suit every requirement. From specific shelving layouts to storing capacity, building something yourself can feel like the best guarantee for fulfilling your needs. However, it is worth exploring the bespoke nature of a system like bott Smartvan first!

Our configurator represents the best in industry personalisation. Taking your van’s make, model and series, you’ll be presented with a number of options for all panels that make up your overall racking kit. By working through the easy-to-navigate process, you’ll create a solution that not only suits your storage requirements but fits snuggly to the sides of your vehicle.

Furthermore, our brand new van racking accessories store stocks a vast array of boxes, secure storage options, perfo panels, trolleys, shelves, cases and more! Regardless of the tools you need to make room for, we’re pretty confident we have an expert solution to benefit your day-to-day. All without the threat of damage or poor security.

DIY doesn’t futureproof your van racking

Constructing a solution that suits your needs right now doesn’t pay off long-term. The nature of DIY, often ply, van racking prohibits easy customisation in the future. If your needs change and you need a refit, it’s another few days of hard work, complex engineering and lost hours doing what you do best.

The best thing about professional van racking is the adaptability. Because everything’s no-drill at bott Smartvan, you can shift modules around, add new ones, move and stack accessories, and create brand new layouts as you go. Something that is often impossible with drilled-in, heavy, brittle ply.

The allure of do-it-yourself van racking can be a tricky one to avoid. But with the foresight provided by the information above, you can choose to invest in strong, good quality, adaptable racking that’ll stand the test of time. Your van racking will last when you invest in a lightweight metal solution. Plus, it’ll better represent your professional reputation, showing your clients that you’re the perfect person for the job.