When you first purchase a work van, you may not immediately think about rattling and noise. You'll probably first consider its miles-per-gallon, horsepower and cargo space, and rightfully so. However, after you get on the road, you'll likely want to reduce the amount of distracting noises your van generates. Since your staff will likely spend lots of time in their work van, a quiet cabin can help staff stay focused on the road, keep them safer and decrease their overall stress.
If you want to provide a better work environment for your staff, find out more about why noise in your work van can be an issue and how you can reduce it.
Why Is Rattling and Cabin Noise a Problem?
As staff drive from one location to the next, rattling in the cargo area can create high cabin noise levels. This noise can be irritating and stressful for people in the cabin, especially those who have to drive a lot throughout their workday. Alongside being irritating, unwanted sounds can be distracting and even dangerous in certain scenarios. Road noise can also contribute to noise levels in your work van.
Here's why rattling and cabin noise can be a safety and comfort issue:
- Higher risk of accidents: Loud rattling and cabin noises can be a significant problem because it raises the risk of accidents. Since cabin noise can be very distracting, drivers are more likely to take their eyes off the road and end up in a crash. For example, a driver might hear something fall in the cargo area or hear a loud sound and turn around to see what happened, significantly raising their chances of getting in an accident.
- More risk drivers don't hear sirens: When noises in a work van become deafening, drivers may not hear emergency vehicles and sirens. This lack of awareness can slow emergency vehicles if your team's van is in their lane and isn't pulling over.
- Significant hearing damage: As you probably know, sustained loud noises can harm your hearing. Our ears can only handle noise at 100 decibels for 15 minutes before the noise begins to damage them. Loud rattling and vibrating noise in your cabin can raise the decibels your van produces significantly, leading to staff members with hearing damage.
- Greater employee dissatisfaction: Staff often have to drive or ride in work vans for a long time as they go from one client to the next. A lot of rattling can be irritable for drivers wanting to focus on the road and passengers trying to have a conversation or listen to music. Irritating loud noises can also add to their stress during the workday, leading to greater employee dissatisfaction.
How to Reduce Rattling and Noise in a Work Van
Since work van noises can distract drivers and put them in harm's way, you're probably interested in reducing the noise level and rattling your work van produces. You can find a few pieces of equipment designed to lessen cabin noise. Here is some of the work van equipment you can invest in to reduce the amount of noise your staff can hear in their vehicle's cab:
- Composite partitions: Composite partitions place a barrier between the cargo area and cabin. Many partitions can reduce the amount of noise people in the cab hear during a drive, as the partition closes the cab off from the cargo area. These partitions lessen the noise that passengers and the driver can hear, leading to quieter rides. If you're looking for a partition, make sure you go with a full one without any openings sounds could pass through.
- Composite shelf bottoms: If you want to add extra storage capabilities to your work van and reduce noise, choose shelving packages and individual units with composite shelf bottoms. These shelf bottoms lower the amount of noise your shelving units or packages will generate out on the road. These bottoms help to absorb noise, reducing the rattling of your van's shelving units and any cargo in them.
- Shelving bracketry: Work vans with shelving need secure mounting brackets and hardware to ensure the shelves don't move and create noise during transportation. When shelving units have loose brackets, the shelves will start to make noise, and any tools or equipment stored in them will rattle as well. By selecting shelving units with secure mounting brackets, you can make your cargo area quieter and reduce stress on people in the cab.
- Floors: Another excellent product you can use to decrease work van road noise is a specialty floor. Manufacturers often make these floors out of rubber or a composite blend featuring materials like rubber, fiber mesh and other proprietary blends. These floors reduce road noise by preventing equipment and tools from scraping against a metal floor. They also cushion objects when they fall.
- Wheel well covers: Additionally, you can also add wheel well covers and side and rear floor sills to your van's floor to further lessen your van's tire noise.
Other Tips for Reducing Cabin Noise
Alongside adding the equipment above, you can decrease your cabin noise with a few other practices and pieces of equipment. Find out more about some of the main tips for lowering cabin noise below:
- Install noise-blocking weather seals: Sometimes, vans will let wind noise into the cab. You can reduce this noise by installing weather stripping to the van's windows and doors.
- Secure equipment and tools: Loose tools and equipment will shift and roll around in the cabin. If you want to reduce this noise, you can invest in storage units and others materials designed to secure tools and equipment in one location. You can also add felt or rubber pieces to the bottoms of your storage bins to decrease the noise stored tools make during transportation.
- Inspect your tires and exhaust system: At times, your exhaust system and tires can be major sources of noise. Check your exhaust system to ensure everything is in working order and nothing is causing it to make louder noises. Additionally, you can check the tires to ensure they're not making more noise due to issues like not having enough air or front wheel bearing damage.
- Add sound-deadening panels: You can add sound-deadening liners or panels to the walls, ceiling and doors of the work van to reduce the amount of noise your cargo area generates even more. When you combine sound-deadening panels with partitions and floor liners, you can make your cab almost entirely silent.
Want to Get Rid of Cabin Noise for Good? Turn to Advantage Outfitters
At Advantage Outfitters, we carry several work van products designed to reduce the amount of rattling your work van produces on the road. We offer several products, like floors, shelving units, composite shelf bottoms and partitions. You can also find work van equipment custom-designed for particular brands of vans, like ProMaster, Metris, Sprinter, Transit, Nissan NV and Savana.