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Old 05-21-2020, 01:37 AM   #1
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Default Best work vehicle set up

I know this horse has been flogged plenty on this site but I figure one or two more cracks of the whip wont hurt.
I'd money was no object what vehicle would you use and how would you trick it out? And why? Would you change which vehicle depending on type of work?
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:31 AM   #2
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There are a lot of different factors. Of course the type of work will change it. Also the availability of material in your area. Some people have a long ride to the closest supply house, so they have to stock a lot of stuff. In my area I’m always within 15 minutes or less of a supply house so I don’t need to drive a giant box truck with everything in the world on it. At one point I thought the UPS type bread truck would be awesome, but now I would never need it. I have empty shelves on my Sprinter because I’ve been getting rid of stuff that I haven’t used in five years.

I think the best all around vehicle for general service work is a tall roof van. Being able to walk in it makes it easy to get what you need and also gives you extra storage space in the added height. So the end result is similar to using a box truck but much easier to park and maneuver.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:52 AM   #3
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If money was no object
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:53 AM   #4
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If money was no object
or maybe

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Old 05-21-2020, 07:10 AM   #5
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If money was no object
This is business blasphemy and I will not tolerate it. Shut your hippy mouth, money no object my eye. Money is THE object.

Anyway, I know what you mean. So.

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Would you change which vehicle depending on type of work?
Of course. The main thing that drives the choice of the truck, in my opinion, is now you run your inventory. What you carry depends on what sort of work you do, how close you are to supply houses etc., even how bad the traffic is where you work.

For me after very long careful thought, I decided to keep my rolling inventory to a minimum. Some management decisions I am not too sure about and could see changing, but not this one, the longer I work this way, the more silly it seems to work any other way.

So I have concluded that FOR ME, an elaborate storage setup on the truck is a waste of time, space, and money.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:48 AM   #6
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There are a lot of different factors. Of course the type of work will change it. Also the availability of material in your area. Some people have a long ride to the closest supply house, so they have to stock a lot of stuff. In my area I’m always within 15 minutes or less of a supply house so I don’t need to drive a giant box truck with everything in the world on it. At one point I thought the UPS type bread truck would be awesome, but now I would never need it. I have empty shelves on my Sprinter because I’ve been getting rid of stuff that I haven’t used in five years.

I think the best all around vehicle for general service work is a tall roof van. Being able to walk in it makes it easy to get what you need and also gives you extra storage space in the added height. So the end result is similar to using a box truck but much easier to park and maneuver.
Quote:
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I know this horse has been flogged plenty on this site but I figure one or two more cracks of the whip wont hurt.
I'd money was no object what vehicle would you use and how would you trick it out? And why? Would you change which vehicle depending on type of work?
If you're in business, money is the object. Otherwise, it's a hobby. In almost all scenarios, the mind set in buying and spec-ing out a business (work) vehicle should be different from "tricking out" a personal vehicle.

Buy a "tall roof van" like @HackWork suggests. We went with Ford Transits because the dealer is right down the street and they have a fleet truck maintenance repair facility behind the dealership. So, while I've never necessarily been a fan of Ford, it made the most sense financially.

If it was a Ram ProMaster or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dealer that's what my guys would be driving.

For inventory, just follow @HackWork 's advise above. We run a tight ship on everything, especially inventory. For us, given the easy proximity to material and parts an item that doesn't turn in 90 days comes off the truck and/or our parts room and warehouse. It costs money in fuel, wear and tear on the vehicle and shrinkage to haul unnecessary items around.

If you want to stay small that's fine, but treat your business as if you were going to scale to multiple trucks. You'll drop more money to the bottom line.
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:23 PM   #7
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If money is no object, who cares about work
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Old 05-21-2020, 12:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by flyboy View Post
If you're in business, money is the object. Otherwise, it's a hobby. In almost all scenarios, the mind set in buying and spec-ing out a business (work) vehicle should be different from "tricking out" a personal vehicle.

Buy a "tall roof van" like @HackWork suggests. We went with Ford Transits because the dealer is right down the street and they have a fleet truck maintenance repair facility behind the dealership. So, while I've never necessarily been a fan of Ford, it made the most sense financially.

If it was a Ram ProMaster or Mercedes-Benz Sprinter dealer that's what my guys would be driving.

For inventory, just follow @HackWork 's advise above. We run a tight ship on everything, especially inventory. For us, given the easy proximity to material and parts an item that doesn't turn in 90 days comes off the truck and/or our parts room and warehouse. It costs money in fuel, wear and tear on the vehicle and shrinkage to haul unnecessary items around.

If you want to stay small that's fine, but treat your business as if you were going to scale to multiple trucks. You'll drop more money to the bottom line.
Settle down. It was just a harmless “What if?”.
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:14 PM   #9
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Old 05-21-2020, 02:18 PM   #10
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A Chevy HHR is the only answer.
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Old 05-21-2020, 03:22 PM   #11
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Settle down. It was just a harmless “What if?”.
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Old 05-21-2020, 05:34 PM   #12
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I love the new Transit box truck. I love the lift on the back. I still need to organize it better and add more shelving, but so far so good. I need the inventory. Would I want to run this around Boston all day, no. Next time I'll get one with an eco boost or whatever they have for the next size up gas motor. I've actually been keeping it fairly clean of late.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:41 PM   #13
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Settle down. It was just a harmless “What if?”.

This is the type of response you get from those that worship the dollar.....


There is much more to life than money.
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Old 05-21-2020, 06:45 PM   #14
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A Chevy HHR is the only answer.
My oldest daughter had one. She came to pick me up one day to go out to lunch and I about needed to fold my head into my lap to get in it.

Not for peopel that come in adult size heights.
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Old 05-21-2020, 08:52 PM   #15
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No matter what I drive I think that a different vehicle would be better. In a van I want a bigger van to stand up in, in a bigger van I want a pickup truck to fit into parking garages, In a pickup, I want a van so I can be better organized (WHICH WILL NEVER HAPPEN, get organize that is)
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:11 PM   #16
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Another thing that needs to be considered is the way that you work. Some people want to get a call from a customer, go to the customer’s house to talk about what they want installed, sell the work, then do the job right then and there. For that type of work a bigger box truck or UPS truck might work best.

I never do that. When I go to look at a job I am only there to look. I will usually group a bunch of estimates together along with trips to building departments and other administrative type work. I’m not in manual labor mode. I always schedule a job and go to the supply house in advance to get all the material that I need.

So for me I only need to stock hardware, small material (connectors, wirenuts, that type of stuff), and some extra material that might be needed if little Changes or issues arise.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:00 PM   #17
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If I ever go back into business again, I think I will try the tall side truck bins that you can attach a ladder rack too. Other than a camper shell, this is about the only other vehicle set up I have not worked out of yet. And like HAX said, things change over the years.

Carrying around lots of small "make it happen" materials, like KO seals, reducing washers, assortments of connectors, couplings, fasteners, washers, breakers and misc what-not stuff is what works best for me. This kind of materials doesn't take up an enormous amount of space cause it's small stuff, however, it's essential for working in existing buildings doing install jobs.

These are what I've been eyeballing lately...
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:05 PM   #18
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Quote:
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There are a lot of different factors. Of course the type of work will change it. Also the availability of material in your area. Some people have a long ride to the closest supply house, so they have to stock a lot of stuff. In my area I’m always within 15 minutes or less of a supply house so I don’t need to drive a giant box truck with everything in the world on it. At one point I thought the UPS type bread truck would be awesome, but now I would never need it. I have empty shelves on my Sprinter because I’ve been getting rid of stuff that I haven’t used in five years.

I think the best all around vehicle for general service work is a tall roof van. Being able to walk in it makes it easy to get what you need and also gives you extra storage space in the added height. So the end result is similar to using a box truck but much easier to park and maneuver.
Funny how things change over the years. You think things will go one way and then they go completely different.

My second year in business I bought an enclosed trailer. 220/221 sent me some plans for shelving that was similar to what his guys had in their box trucks. I used to carry EVERYTHING around. LOL! I generally had enough materials to wire at least 1 house, do 10 service calls and a few small remodels on the truck....

After blowing through the 10 sets of tires and 2 axels, I decided to cut back a little.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:18 PM   #19
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I have always liked doing service upgrades, even 20 years ago when doing side work. So when I first got my van I kept enough material on it to do at least two service upgrades. However, I didn’t stock panels on my van. So after years of carrying all that material I asked myself why I didn’t just buy it when I went to the supply house to buy the panel. So now the only thing I stock is hardware level material like 2-hole straps and then some “oh sh1t” material that I might realize I need after I start.
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Old 05-21-2020, 10:23 PM   #20
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To me the best is the vehicle that makes you the most amount of money with the least investment possible.

That means it doesn't constantly break down, it looks good (That doesn't mean new, just clean, straight, and professional), it carries necessary stock and materials, carries and protects tools and equipment.

Other than that, I don't give 2 Chits if it is Ford, Dodge, GMC, or Honda.

Does it make me money? That is my only concern.
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