Different Types of Blood Drive Vehicles

Exterior of a green coach style blood donation vehicle

During a time when we are facing a national shortage of blood donations, it is increasingly important for medical professionals to find creative and effective ways to collect blood donations.

One popular tool for conveniently reaching larger numbers of donors is using a bloodmobile or blood drive vehicle. If your team is considering adding a blood drive vehicle to your fleet, there are different types of specialty vehicles to choose from. In this guide, we’ll look at the most common styles of bloodmobiles, as well as discuss how to determine which type of vehicle is the best fit for your needs.

Blood Drive Vans

One of the smaller options on the market is a blood drive van. These vans are usually upfit on a small chassis, such as a Ford Transit or Mercedes Sprinter.

Key features of a blood drive van include the following:

  • Storage space for equipment and supplies: Since the primary use of a blood drive van is to transport equipment to blood drive locations; these vehicles focus on organization and ample storage options.
  • Ease of use: As the smallest option for a bloodmobile, a van build is the easiest to drive. These vehicles can be maneuvered on small roads and can be parked in any standard parking space.
  • Fuel efficiency: For teams that need to transport supplies across a large number of miles, the fuel efficiency of a van build is ideal. Additionally, these vans are extremely reliable, allowing for low maintenance and repair costs.

Step Van Bloodmobiles

Another common style of a blood drive vehicle is upfit on a step van. Step vans are slightly larger than their Transit or Sprinter counterparts but are still small enough to navigate almost any road comfortably.

Step vans are a beneficial specialty vehicle choice due to the following key features:

  • Simplicity in entering and exiting the vehicle: For medical professionals making numerous stops, step vans are a more efficient vehicle choice. The design of these vans makes it easy to quickly enter and exit the vehicle curbside, and the sliding doors of the van make it more efficient and less stressful to repeatedly open the doors.
  • Large storage bay: Step vans feature ample cargo space behind the driver’s cab. This space allows large amounts of equipment and supplies to be transported to donation sites.
  • Reliability: Step vans are a durable choice. Often used in the parcel industry, step vans have long been appreciated for their reliability on the road.

Coach Bloodmobiles

One of the largest bloodmobile styles on the market is the coach bloodmobile. Built on a bus or commercial truck chassis, these large blood drive vehicles are designed to act as a mobile medical unit.

The following features make coach bloodmobiles a wise choice for many medical teams:

  • Mobile donation center: One of the top benefits of choosing a large bus or truck chassis for your bloodmobile is it allows the vehicle to become a mobile donation center. Rather than simply transporting items to be used at a blood drive, the mobile medical unit becomes the host location for collecting blood donations.
  • Multi-use options: With ample space and private screening areas, a bloodmobile can be utilized for additional medical purposes. For example, if the community requires a pop-up vaccination clinic, a coach-style bloodmobile can be quickly converted to serve this purpose.
  • Comfort: From the driver’s cab to the patient’s seats, coach bloodmobiles are designed with ultimate comfort in mind. Not only that, but many layouts for these vehicles include break rooms, restrooms, and other luxury onboard features.

How to Pick the Right Type of Blood Drive Vehicle

While there are numerous types of blood drive vehicles on the market to choose from, most medical teams will benefit from a specific style due to their planned use for the vehicle and needs.

Ask the following set of questions to help narrow down your search:

  1. What is the primary use of the vehicle? If you are simply transporting blood bags and supplies to donation sites, you will most likely benefit from a smaller van build. If, however, you plan to use the vehicle as a mobile donation center, you will want to explore larger options that accommodate patients on board.
  2. If patients will be seen onboard, how many do you need to comfortably host at once? Bloodmobiles can be designed with a small seating area, allowing 2-3 patients on board at a time, or they can be created with multiple screening and donation areas. Think through your proposed strategy before choosing a layout.
  3. Is maneuverability a concern? A large coach bloodmobile offers an immense number of benefits when it comes to onboard space and comfort. However, these vehicles will be harder to navigate on tight roads and may require additional training for the staff member who will operate the vehicle.
  4. What onboard equipment will your team need? Make sure to work with a specialty vehicle manufacturer that can source quality medical equipment for your blood van.
  5. What is your budget? Before you begin browsing inventory, have a clear understanding of how much you plan to spend on the vehicle. Keep in mind that many specialty vehicle manufacturers also offer financing options.

Contact Summit Bodyworks to Find a Blood Drive Vehicle

If you are interested in adding a blood drive vehicle to your medical fleet, our team is here to help. We provide specialty blood drive vehicles with numerous unique designs and layouts.

Whether you are hoping to purchase a small van to deliver supplies to a blood drive site, or you need a bloodmobile that can host patients, we have you covered. Contact our team to learn more about our current inventory and blood drive vehicle options.