Best payload for 3.5t tipper

  • 300kg variation between first and last
  • Not all manufacturers offer tippers
  • VOSA cracking down on overloading

With the construction industry back on track, sales of tipper conversions have soared and have been a big contributor towards the record number of LCV registrations in 2015. With VOSA cracking down on overloading vans, everyone wants to know which 3.5-tonne tipper offers the best payload.

The problem is that increased safety and levels of comfort have taken their toll on payload. Twenty years ago, the payload of most 3.5t tippers was between 1,500kg to 1,700kg; however, times have changed.

We’ve given a comparison of the eight registered 3.5t tippers that manufacturers have on the price list. Two heavy vans - the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter and Peugeot Boxer - aren’t included as they don’t have an official relationship with any converters.

N.B. Higher payloads can be specified, but they’re more expensive and will take longer to arrive, as they’re made of premium, lightweight materials like aluminium and they’re made to order.

8 - Ford Transit VFS (Scattolini) Tipper – 1,060kg

Ford Transit tipper payload

A big surprise to us was that the Ford Transit tipper is dead last in eighth place. The previous generation Transit would outsell the rest of the market by a country mile, but this may change soon as news spreads of its low payload.

The rear-wheel drive layout is a contributor to the incredibly heavy kerbweight of 1,948kg, but the lightweight tipper body (492kg) from Scattolini keeps the payload above one tonne at 1,060kg. The large load area measures 3,200mm long, 2,200mm wide and the side walls are 400mm high.

There is a choice of either a 99bhp, 124bhp or 153bhp output.

7 - Vauxhall Movano Scattolini (factory fit) Tipper – 1,122kg

Vauxhall Movano tipper payload

At 1,686kg, the Vauxhall Movano is one of the lightest chassis cabs on the market but due to the extremely heavy tipping gear from Scattolini, the payload is restricted to just 1,122kg. The tipper itself is pretty impressive, with a 50-degree (five stage) tilt.

The load area measures 3,280mm long by 2,100mm wide with 400mm high side walls. Three engines (124bhp, 134bhp and 161bhp) can be specified and there is a choice of a short or long wheelbase.  

6 - Iveco Daily Ingimex Tipper – 1,130kg

Iveco Daily tipper payload

Thanks to a dramatically reduced chassis cab weight, the Iveco Daily tipper has been lifted from the bottom of the pile for payload. The 1,880kg chassis and 490kg tipping gear combine to give a total bodied kerbweight of 2,370kg, leaving 1,130kg for payload.

Only the 126bhp version of the 2.3-litre version of Fiat Powertrain’s (FPT) engine is available, which provides 320Nm of torque. Load area measures 3,100mm long by 2,025mm wide, although the loading height is fairly high at one metre.

5 - Volkswagen Crafter Ingimex Tipper – 1,206kg

Volkswagen Crafter tipper payload

Despite it being the second heaviest 3.5t van, the rear-wheel drive Volkswagen Crafter moves up to fifth place for 3.5t tipper payload. The weight of the 1,794kg unladen chassis and the 500kg body give a total kerbweight of 2,294kg, which leaves 1,206kg for payload.

The load area measures 3,119mm long by 2,026mm wide, and has 400mm side walls and a 600mm tailboard. Two engine options are available; the 2-litre 108bhp and 135bhp, and prices start from an expensive £29,565 plus VAT.

4 - Nissan NV400 Scattolini (factory fit) Tipper – 1,227kg

Nissan NV400 tipper payload

Nissan may be a very small player in this market, but its product is very competitive. The light 1,686kg chassis is weighed down by the heavy 587kg tipper body, giving a total payload of 1,227kg for the complete vehicle.

Only one engine rating is available; the 2.3-litre 124bhp variant, although there is the option of a long wheelbase. The load area measure 3,280mm long by 2,100mm wide, and the side walls are 400mm high.

3 - Citroen Relay Tipmaster Tipper – 1,235kg

Citroen Relay tipper payload

One manufacturer that has put a lot of focus on conversions over recent years is Citroen. The French manufacturer invested £2m last year in its ‘Ready to Run’ range, and its dealer network is now one of the best stocked.

The chassis, at 1,635kg, is the lightest on the market, although the Tipmaster tipping gear is fairly heavy at 635kg, and brings the payload down to 1,235kg. Only the 2.2-litre 129bhp engine can be specified, and the load area measures 3,000mm by 2,035mm.

2 - Fiat Ducato VFS (Scattolini) Tipper – 1,250kg

Fiat Ducato tipper payload

The Fiat Ducato offers the best fuel economy in the range, but has to settle for second best when it comes to payload for tippers. The 1,685kg kerbweight of the chassis cab is 1kg lighter than the market-leading Renault Master, but the 565kg VFS/Scattolini body means the Fiat Ducato falls behind.

Three engine options; the 2.3-litre with 129bhp or 148bhp, and the 3-litre with 178bhp. The body is 3,075mm long, by 2,040mm wide, and the side walls are 400mm high.

1 - Renault Master Scattolini (factory fit) Tipper – 1,349kg

Renault Master tipper payload

At the top of the pile is the Renault Master with the Scattolini tipper body that is fitted in a warehouse just outside the Renault factory in France. The Renault Master is also the lightest 3.5t panel van, and the record 1,349kg is achieved through low chassis mass (1,686kg) and tipper body mass (465kg).

The 2.3-litre Renault Master tipper is available with either the 124bhp or 133bhp output. The body is fairly big, measuring 3,280mm long by 2,100mm wide and 400mm side walls.

Also read: Best 3.5t vans for payload

Also read: Best 3.5t dropsides for payload

Also read: Best 3.5t Lutons for payload

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