Luton trucks give operators needing more load volume that bit extra. Defined by having additional storage at the front of the box body above the cab, this are can be used for loading more goods on board.
The body is named after the place where it was invented. Hats in boxes are notoriously large, but weight almost nothing. Luton, Bedfordshire was the UK’s centre for hat manufacture (hence ‘the Hatters’ nickname for their football team.)
To get as many hats on board as possible the additional room above the cab was used.
Luton trucks and vans are now used mainly for removal work – again a type of transport that involves bulky but not necessarily heavy items.
Combine the Luton body above the cab with a rear dropwell so that it can be loaded by simply walking up a ramp, rather than using a tail lift, then you have a perfect vehicle for removal work.
More common than Luton trucks are Luton vans that can be used for a variety of tasks. Some of these are ‘low loader’ or ‘low frame’ vans where the vehicle starts out as a front wheel drive chassis cowl and the bodybuilder makes the complete rear end of the vehicle. This allows a very low loading height and excellent cubic payload.
There are an increasing number of low loader vans available with small rear axles, such as the Citroen Relay that use a Luton and walk-in combination.