Photo of long wheelbase Transit 350HD courtesy of Ford.

Photo of long wheelbase Transit 350HD courtesy of Ford.

Ford is offering four models of its 2015 Transit full-size cargo van with a Class 3 chassis that expands the payload and towing capability of the van without the need for a cutaway or chassis cab model.

The four models are among 86 different configurations of the versatile Transit cargo van listed on Ford's commercial truck website. Fleets can acquire the Transit 350HD high-roof van with an extended wheelbase (147.6 inches) that has a GVWR of 10,360 pounds.

"Our Transit 350HD vans fill the need for current van owners seeking even greater payload capability," said Tim Stoehr, Ford's commercial truck marketing manager.

Fleets can purchase the Transit 3500HD with a pair of optional engines, including the 3.5L V-6 or 3.2L inline-5 diesel engine. Ford is offering the van with a 3.31 or 3.73 rear axle ratio. The higher ratio is what gives the van its greatest boost on towing capability. Fleets seeking a Class 3 Transit for greater payload may want to opt for the 3.5L V-6.

"We offer two different rear axle ratios to better cover the weight range associated with Transit, plus offering a higher trailer weight option for the higher numerical axle," said Chris Brewer, Ford's chief program engineer for the Transit.

The diesel Transit with the 3.73 axle ratio provides the highest towing (6,900 pounds) capability, while the V-6 Transit with the 3.73 axle ratio can tow a maximum of 6,700 pounds. The V-6 Transit in either axle ratio offers the greatest payload of the four models with a rating of 4,560 pounds.

As a result, the Gross Combined Weight Rating comes in at 13,500 pounds for the 3.73 diesel Transit, 13,000 pounds for the 3.73 V-6 Transit, 11,200 pounds for the 3.31 V-6 Transit, and 10,600 for the 3.31 diesel Transit.

Mercedes-Benz is the only other manufacturer offering a full-size Class 3 cargo van in the U.S. with its Sprinter 3500 high roof van. That vehicle is offered in three wheelbase lengths (144 inches, 170 inches, and 170 inches with extended body) that carries a GVWR of 11,030 pounds.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet