Professional van racking vs. DIY van racking

For tradesmen who want to get the most out of their van, van racking is key. The first consideration is often to use ply racking because it’s cheaper in the short term and can be done yourself but don’t be fooled - sometimes DIY isn’t the answer. In this post we explain how much better professional bott Smartvan racking is compared to ply wood racking so that you have all of the information you need to make the right choice.

“I am so happy with my racking – I would never buy ply racking again. Build quality is second to none and my van has never been so organised.” ☆☆☆☆☆ (Michael Kell)

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1. Quality & Service: 

The number one reason for investing in professional van racking is the premium quality & service you will receive.

bott SmartVan is part of Bott Ltd (URL: BOTT LTD), a company that has specialised in high-quality engineering of workspaces & fleet car storage for over 30 years. Made in Britain using German-inspired engineering, manufactured and packed on-site at our plant in Cornwall, bott Smartvan is an incredibly solid, innovative and modular in-vehicle storage system with an outstanding reputation.

Built To Last:

bott Smartvan will last for approximately two van life cycles and comes with our 3-year warranty as standard. Because there is no drilling or cutting involved in installation, if you buy another van of the same spec in the future, your racking can simply be transferred over, module by module.

Customer Service:

Being part of a much larger company we can also provide exceptional customer service. From your initial enquiry and pre-purchase advice to our ongoing after-sales support, there is always someone on hand during office hours to help answer any questions you may have. You can contact us by phone, email, live web chat, or via our social media accounts at any stage of your buying process to find out more.

“Excellent customer service – good honest advice.” ☆☆☆☆☆

“Their support service is top notch…just ring them up and they’re instantly able to help with no hassle.” ☆☆☆☆☆ (Dean Cleaver)

2. Professional & Efficient

Our unique lightweight, pressed steel van racking system has never made it easier than ever to utilise valuable space in your van & organise your tools to ensure you can find what you need as easily & efficiently as possible. Saving you time & helping you get on with the next job.

Clever Design:

Our expertise ensures clever design that utilises otherwise wasted space to give you maximum storage for your tools and materials without compromising on your load space. Unlike traditional box shaped ply racking, bott Smartvan racking is based on slimline frames fitted on either side of the van, sitting in the wall space over the wheel arch to keep most of the central loading area free.


Completely Customisable:

You can design your entire dream racking kit online using our innovative  van racking configuration tool – choosing from simple trough shelving, toolcase holders, perfo panels with hooks, portable cases, or a mixture of all of them. Shelves and other accessories are height-adjustable, interchangeable, and can be positioned at different depths to follow the contours of your van and make use of space normally wasted with traditional van racking. You can also easily move shelving around over time as your tools or work style changes.


“Everything is adjustable and accessories can be easily fitted.” ☆☆☆☆☆  (CBE Installations)

3. Easy to fit & won’t devalue your van:

Vehicle-specific designs for small and large vans are available to match to your van’s existing fixing points perfectly. Therefore no measuring or trimming is required. Most importantly, the bott SmartVan system requires no drilling which can damage and devalue your van. 

All the fixings and fitting instructions you need are included with your kit. bott Smartvan racking can also be fitted over the top of ply lining and is compatible with all manufacturers’ floors. If you want an idea of the fitting process before you buy, we have the instructions available to view online. And, if you have any fitting issues, there is somebody on hand to answer your queries via telephone.

As well as saving you valuable time searching for tools, clever removable storage can be taken to the job site to eliminate the need to keep returning to your van.

Once ordered, your new van racking will be delivered within 3-5 working days. It’s as quick & easy as that.

“Not having to drill my brand new van was a major selling point.” ☆☆☆☆☆ (Raynor Electrical Services Ltd)

Safe & Secure:

Despite no official tests or regulations for van racking, we rigorously crash-test each design to EU ECE / R17 standards to ensure the highest possible safety. 

bott Smartvan uises strong and solid lightweight pressed steel that is fixed securely using the manufacturer’s existing fixing points so as not to compromise any structural areas of your van. The system is designed to keep toolcases and storage boxes firmly in place during transit, and comes with optional extras such as anti-slip mats and lashing straps to prevent loads from sliding around.

“When I am driving I can’t hear any noise anymore.” ☆☆☆☆☆ (Industrial Boiler Services Ltd)

4. It’s more affordable than you think

Our professional van racking is more expensive than ply but by the time you take into account the planning, measuring, materials and wear & tear that will naturally occur over the years it’s more competitive than you may realise. 

To help ease the cost of the initial outlay we have also introduced our new finance options.

So many of our customers have stressed that the time saved on each job has helped increase productivity & efficiency as well as created a more professional impression to new customers.


“The racking has sped up my day to day working. I blooming love it.” ☆☆☆☆☆ (Mark Fairminer of META Heating)

“Excellent racking system that makes the van look professional.” ☆☆☆☆☆ (MJC Domestics)

So there you have it, five strong reasons for considering our expert van racking compared to the ply alternative. For more information, see what others say & look at before & afters on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.