Underfloor Racking & Deck Kit - Everything You Need to Know

Van racking is a huge help when it comes to organising your van and when we develop each piece of kit, we try very hard to think about what our customers need. One element that can really help organise your van is a floor kit or raised deck unit. In this post we explain everything you need to know about these kits & why they are an excellent addition to your van racking system.

Why use an underfloor van racking or deck kit?

When you need to carry large parts, ladders, pipes and bulky items, the only space you can generally use is the floor space of your van. However, piling materials onto the clear floor space can really hold you back on fully organising your workspace and accessing your kit easily and safely. Especially if you ever need to take items out to reach other parts in your van.

That's why the bott Smartvan team designed our popular floor and raised deck kits. These are customised to each van model for the ultimate fit. In this post, we're going to take a look at the essential facts you need to make the best decision about the right floor kit for your set-up.

Which floor racking or deck kit solutions are available?

bott Smartvan produces a variety of different flooring options for a wide range of van makes and models, you can use our online configurator to help find the best items for your van but here is a guide of where to begin.

The most basic flooring option in the range is the Floor Kit. Made from 12mm hard-wearing water-resistant ply, the floor panel sits between the side racks in the van and provides a durable non-slip hatched grey surface to protect the floor of your van and to keep you safe while you're jumping in and out for parts, even in wet weather.

The floor panel is supplied to reach from the bulkhead to the rear doors of the van and is supplied with a vehicle specific fitting kit. The panel is secured to the van floor with a heavy-duty adhesive and for this reason, we would always recommend that any manufacturer supplied plastic or wooden flooring is removed from the van before fitting, to ensure the most secure adhesion.

The other option, ideal for those who require even more storage than the side racking provides, are the raised Deck Kits which come in 2/3 length, 1/2 length and Full length (dependant on van model). The raised deck can generally be purchased with or without the lower floor panel but always includes a water-resistant, non-slip raised surface which is load tested to 200KG for your bulkier items to safely sit on top of.

Available floor options vary by size and model of the van due to the internal load space available and as the floor system is supplied as part of bott Smartvan's no-drill range, the van's manufacturer fitted fixing points. To find out what flooring options are available for your van, visit the bott Smartvan configurator.

How high is the floor decking?

The raised deck kit is ideal for keeping those bulky or long items out of the way during your day-to-day jobs while still maintaining the full length and width of your load space.

The usable underfloor height in a medium van - such as a Ford Transit Custom - is 265mm and in its default position on the rack, it will sit at around 312mm high. This means your tools and kit will always be quick to hand and can be securely stowed out of the way of potentially damaging, heavy or awkward shaped items which may sit under the deck.

Due to the height of the floor, you may find that the lowest level of accessories in your bott Smartvan side racking will become a little less easily accessible as they will sit behind the floor. To address this, we recommend that customers reposition their lowest level of accessories a little higher in the rack, as they are all fully moveable and customisable to the needs of the user.

It is also worth noting that many of our customers use this space for shelves and store some of their less commonly used items here so that the need to access them is less frequent. However, we believe that the additional space gained by adding the floor deck should more than make up for the necessary adjustment!

Can You Raise the Deck?

Yes. This is something we have worked hard to bring to our customers as we were aware that many were keen to use their under-deck storage space for more secure and lockable tool storage. Thanks to some clever design-work, all of our new floor kits for medium-sized vans come with additional parts which will allow the floor deck to be raised by 100mm, allowing enough space for a VanVault slider or Armorgard TrekDror to fit underneath, protecting your valuable tools and giving you peace of mind while you're away from your van.

Don't worry if you already have a floor kit installed, it's now possible to purchase the parts you need from our online accessory shop. If you're thinking of retro-fitting a secure storage option under your existing deck, we recommend you give our Customer Service team a call on 0800 915 6013 or live chat through the bott Smartvan website so that they can advise you on the correct parts to buy for your model of van and ensure that your installation is as smooth as possible.

Does the Raised Deck Affect Access to the Bulkhead Hatch?

We know that this is a very important feature in many tradespeople's vans and when you need to carry longer items such as ladders, pipework or beading, the bulkhead load-through hatch ensures that your essential kit is kept safe inside the van. The great news is, the raised floor kit is open at the ends, other than a short adhesive stopper on the 1½ length deck to prevent storage items from rolling into the open floor space, so there is no reason that long items can't be pushed through into the cab as usual.

And, best of all, by keeping this kit stored under the deck you can be sure that it's protected against damage from moving or falling equipment, loading and unloading of bulky items - or a misplaced workboot!

Can You Move the Divider to Fit Wider Items?

Yes, the divider panel supplied with the raised deck kit is provided to ensure that items placed on one side of the underfloor space don't slide around, but the deck itself is fully secured and stable without it.

It is possible to offset the divider if you require more space on one side of the deck for wider items or it can be removed completely for full-width use of the load space.

Can You Have a Deck Without Side Racking?

The deck is designed to sit between the two rear side racks. Unfortunately, this means that in order for the deck kit to be fully secure and safe for holding such heavy loads, the deck kit cannot be supplied to customers who do not have bott Smartvan side racking at the rear of the van. You will see on our configurator that the deck kits can only be selected when both of the rear side modules are placed into the configuration.

However, if you would like to retro-fit a deck kit to some existing side racking, the Customer Service team will be able to help you. Give them a call on 0800 915 6013 or live chat through the bott Smartvan website for help.

Which Additional Parts/Accessories Can I Purchase for My Deck Kit?

There are a number of useful accessories that can be supplied for the flooring and deck kits to help you to maximise your racking's storage potential.

As mentioned previously, it is now possible to purchase and fit VanVault slider or Armorgard TrekDror units under the raised deck and both of these items can be purchased through our online accessories shop, or the Slider can be added as a recommended accessory through the configurator when you purchase your complete racking set-up.

Another very popular addition to the raised floor kit is the Swivel Vice Unit which can also be purchased through the configurator as a recommended accessory or on the accessory shop. The vice fits to the underside of the raised deck kits and, thanks to the lock/release handle for safe stowage, it is possible to achieve a 600mm extension on the arm. The vice also has a lock/release handle to enable 360-degree swivel.

bott Smartvan can offer a wide-range of professional racking solutions which are customisable to your business needs. Visit our online configurator today to design your own.

If you have any questions or would like some advice on how to design and purchase the best racking set-up for you, give our dedicated customer service team a call on 0800 915 6013, email the team at bottsmartvan@bottltd.co.uk, or contact us through the LiveChat feature on the bott Smartvan homepage.