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Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking at buying my first service van for the company ! I'm debating on a chevy astro mid sized or a full size express 2500
Just wondering what you guys think would be best for a residential/commercial company!!
 

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Don't get a Astro as they are way to small. You mentioned service? Is the van going to be stocked? If so I'd get a NPR or moving van. 2500 is a nice van and can be set up well but doesn't lend it'self to keeping a inventoried stock very well unless you really like being on your knees. That said I don't maintain stock and like my Dodge 2500 van plenty.
 

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No I'm not keeping stock, and I was considering the astro only because if fuel consumption but I'm afraid It will be to small!
 

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No I'm not keeping stock, and I was considering the astro only because if fuel consumption but I'm afraid It will be to small!

A service van for tools only?

Get the least expensive one with no rear windows and the best milage.
 

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A service van for tools only?

Get the least expensive one with no rear windows and the best milage.
You'll end up carrying some stock, just not stocking it if that makes sense. I don't maintain a list or buy stock. I just put extras in the van and use them whenever I can. I think an Astro is way to small.
 

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I like having windows in the side doors, helps the blind spot. We have one van without them and he must enter roads at 90 degrees so he can see to his right.
 

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I do mainly resi service so I now carry the bare necessities and I am downsizing to a Chevy HHR believe it or not. Most of the stuff you carry in the van other than the common devices/wire are worth a trip to the store rather than carrying it. Gas prices will start to add up real quick when you want to carry everything you could possibly need. 5-10 yrs. ago when gas was much cheaper it wasn't so bad but if you are paying for gas then I would stick to a smaller vehicle with good gas mileage. I have a back up chevy 2500 fullsize van for jobs where I will need it.
 

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full size van is a must those astos wont hold up and you cant haul much. We stock our service vans with lots of odds and ends that we have found neccessay to carry plus a 4,6,8,12 and extension ladder along with tools.If you dont carry an ivory GFI and a combo switch gfi plate you will start to loose money quickly in a service van. We have thousands of small boat docks so we carry special items just for that market like a blue CFL bulb and photo eyes.Customers don't like paying for trips to the supply house and in todays ultra competitive market you can't afford to loose them because you didn,t carry a replacement cord for their dishwasher.
 

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Resi Service Electrician
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full size van is a must those astos wont hold up and you cant haul much. We stock our service vans with lots of odds and ends that we have found neccessay to carry plus a 4,6,8,12 and extension ladder along with tools.If you dont carry an ivory GFI and a combo switch gfi plate you will start to loose money quickly in a service van. We have thousands of small boat docks so we carry special items just for that market like a blue CFL bulb and photo eyes.Customers don't like paying for trips to the supply house and in todays ultra competitive market you can't afford to loose them because you didn,t carry a replacement cord for their dishwasher.
You must do alot of work where stores are pretty far away from all of yours jobs. 4,6,8 and 12 ft? That is waay overkill if you ask me. I'm sure if you add up the extra gas spent on carrying those items you will want to raise rates. 12ft's are for customers that tell you they have a job where it is needed. If they didn't tell you then account for that in your job cost.

Guess the story changes if you are doing alot of commercial work.
 

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You must do alot of work where stores are pretty far away from all of yours jobs. 4,6,8 and 12 ft? That is waay overkill if you ask me. I'm sure if you add up the extra gas spent on carrying those items you will want to raise rates. 12ft's are for customers that tell you they have a job where it is needed. If they didn't tell you then account for that in your job cost.
You show up at a customers house and then say I'll be back I don't carry parts or I have to go get a bigger ladder you wont be in the service business long not in todays market. We charge a flat rate just to bring our van to the customers door and the reason we can charge that fee is our vans are stocked with all the needed tools and equipment along with parts to get the job done quickly.
 

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You show up at a customers house and then say I'll be back I don't carry parts or I have to go get a bigger ladder you wont be in the service business long not in todays market. We charge a flat rate just to bring our van to the customers door and the reason we can charge that fee is our vans are stocked with all the needed tools and equipment along with parts to get the job done quickly.
Been doing service long enough to know my clients and what the average calls consist of. If we ask a customer what they need and they say they have a light install, then another customer with a single story house with a partial power outage an hour away from where I am at why would I need to haul around a 12ft. ladder. Key 'in todays market' is communication. I rarely ever need a 12ft. ladder and when I did I noticed the drastic change in gas fills when I did or did not carry it.

Again, if you use it alot I understand, but we always talk to customers and ask questions before we show up. Too many contractors ask low show ups or waived show ups for us to always carry unnecessary weight in our vehicle. I have yet to show up to a customers house without the right tools, and rarely do not have the right part. This is where smart inventory, not overkill inventory works best.
 

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I do mainly resi service so I now carry the bare necessities and I am downsizing to a Chevy HHR believe it or not. Most of the stuff you carry in the van other than the common devices/wire are worth a trip to the store rather than carrying it. Gas prices will start to add up real quick when you want to carry everything you could possibly need. 5-10 yrs. ago when gas was much cheaper it wasn't so bad but if you are paying for gas then I would stick to a smaller vehicle with good gas mileage. I have a back up chevy 2500 fullsize van for jobs where I will need it.
My mom has a HHR and I really like it. a local DJ for hire has the panel version with his logos all over and it looks awsome...love to have one myself when I can swing it
 

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Been doing service long enough to know my clients and what the average calls consist of. If we ask a customer what they need and they say they have a light install, then another customer with a single story house with a partial power outage an hour away from where I am at why would I need to haul around a 12ft. ladder. Key 'in todays market' is communication. I rarely ever need a 12ft. ladder and when I did I noticed the drastic change in gas fills when I did or did not carry it.

Again, if you use it alot I understand, but we always talk to customers and ask questions before we show up. Too many contractors ask low show ups or waived show ups for us to always carry unnecessary weight in our vehicle. I have yet to show up to a customers house without the right tools, and rarely do not have the right part. This is where smart inventory, not overkill inventory works best.
So customer says I have no power to my bedroom . What do you bring? Ask what kind of panel and they say I dont know?
We role three service trucks and asking for details sounds nice but in the real world what you get most is the basics.The other part of the equation is the upsell we dont rely and just fixing the problem we were called about but always look for that 'while your here" job that makes even more money. Today a truck needed its twelve foot lader to replace a smoke detector with a new rechargable battery model and that was because we had the ladder on the truck.We are not dealing with low end track homes but custom homes with lots of high ceilings and most are not next door to a supply house. I have only been doing this for seven years but I have learned what works and what doesn't in those few years and believe me the few extra pounds do not take as much out of my pocket as they put into my pocket and without them It would be zero.
 

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I work out of a Ford E250 van and it is the best all around truck for carrying ladders, parts stock, and tools.. IMO.. :thumbsup:
I thought you worked out of your pick up, finally get a van?
 
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