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Estwing magic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Considering buying one of these. Once we get materials to site, we don't need to be driving a gas hog. It's surprisingly comfortable to drive. Kinda gutless, though.
 

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Reminds me of the old panel trucks, which i've always been partial to 99

Are they FWD? RWD? what kind of ground clearance do they have?

~CS~
 

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Estwing magic
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
FWD. It's a little four banger. Not much ground clearance. I was surprised how comfortable it is to sit in. I'm 5' 11" and I could drive this around all day. The back end easily takes a small step ladder, tools, some materials, etc. MPG is really good on these things. It's not very big but could be good for running around.
 

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You could do resi work out of that easily, except for the larger ladders. Service work too.

I actually stopped stocking a truck (Ford E350 Extended Van) 20 years ago. Now I buy for the job. Depending on how I feel customer may or may not be charged for the shopping trip.
 

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Estwing magic
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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
We almost have it down to a science now with tool bags - one for bits and pieces, one for hole saws, meters, etc., one for cordless drivers, Hackzall, etc. We buy Nalgene screw top containers for fasteners, Wagos, etc. They're great and almost indestructible. Everything is grab and go...

You can always run to a retail store for bits and pieces on the fly. I'm not sure if a truck is needed every day.
 

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You could do resi work out of that easily, except for the larger ladders. Service work too.

I actually stopped stocking a truck (Ford E350 Extended Van) 20 years ago. Now I buy for the job. Depending on how I feel customer may or may not be charged for the shopping trip.
A most sensible approach!

As to the OPs topic, it interests me since we are currently up for a replacement vehicle at my work. Currently we are driving an older van and I have to admit to despising vans. A more aggravating style of service vehicle I cannot imagine. I don't care how you organize it you are constantly pulling two things out of your way to get to the one you need. Then you get the thrilling pleasure of putting the other stuff back. Day after day. And they are either hot as ovens or cold as an ice cave. Yeah, yeah. Air conditioning. Unless you have the bulkhead, which we don't, you cannot control inside temps worth a darn. And the NOISE. Everything rattles. And rattle and rattles. You can't hear yourself think. We are pushing for truck with service bed on it but have been warned it may come to another van. If so we want to stay away from the typical Chevy or Ford style cargo van and investigate something like the Ford transit or possibly something like the Chebby shown above. The Transit looks better to me since it has rear doors on each side that slide back. You never realize how handy sliding doors are til you need to park somewhere in a lot for a service call. Try opening those barn door styles up next to a car in a lot. You may get them open but you cannot carry anything out of the vehicle til you set it down and close the doors. Again, I just don't get on with vans very well:) Anyone use the Transit?
 

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Estwing magic
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Me too. I hate vans. Our old beater truck is an F150 with a contractor canopy. We can load that thing up with all sorts of $hit and big ladders go on top. Access from three sides is great. Best thing is that you're completely isolated from your cargo area.

A Transit might be okay but they seem to be kind of expensive for what they are. We still need something to haul the big and heavy stuff.

This HHR is used. Chevy discontinued them.
 

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My buddy had one of those when he worked for the Geek Squad. Was amazing how little room there is in there. There are a bunch of new small work van options out there that are way better suited for what we do than the HHR.

2014 Ford Transit Connect:
http://www.ford.com/commercial-trucks/transitconnect-commercial/



2014 Nissan NV-200:
http://www.nissancommercialvehicles.com/nv200-compact-cargo?tool=global.nv200.link



Ram C/V Tradesman:
http://www.ramtrucks.com/en/ram_cv/


Chevy City Express (rebadged Nissan NV):
http://www.chevrolet.com/city-express-small-van.html



All will give you more usable room than the HHR, with about the same fuel economy. There are also quite a few used Ford Transit Connects out there now, since they have been making them since 2010, so there are deals to be had.

 

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I used to wire quite a few in-fill houses. As they were usually surrounded by populated houses I deemed them safe. I would deliver my material and leave the stuff on site.

My tools and drill were placed in a 12" cube 'skill saw' box, then on the rack for daily transport.

The vehicle...



The year: 1973 in this pic. The bike is a 1972 CB750 Honda. I have '75 version (identical) in the shed now. My old apprentice still has the '72 in the pic.

I want to go back in time now.
 

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Many years ago Shunk said he got an HHR for when he drove around to do estimates. He said he was getting it upfitted with shelving for basic tools and material, but he never posted pictures like he said he would.

Anyway, I would definitely listen to Going_Commando. For a boy in skinny jeans, he makes a great point. If you are looking for something smaller and more fuel efficient that you can zip around in, all of the vehicles he posted would be better than the HHR, IMO.

For me, that's exactly what I have been doing all this time and I am sick of it. I'm ready for the fully stocked van ready to make money everywhere it goes :thumbup:
 

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Estwing magic
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I used to have a KLR. Loved that bike. I was doing my own home renos once and loaded it up with 4" DWV (cut it into 3' pieces).
 

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Estwing magic
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Many years ago Shunk said he got an HHR for when he drove around to do estimates. He said he was getting it upfitted with shelving for basic tools and material, but he never posted pictures like he said he would.

Anyway, I would definitely listen to Going_Commando. For a boy in skinny jeans, he makes a great point. If you are looking for something smaller and more fuel efficient that you can zip around in, all of the vehicles he posted would be better than the HHR, IMO.

For me, that's exactly what I have been doing all this time and I am sick of it. I'm ready for the fully stocked van ready to make money everywhere it goes :thumbup:
True, but I'm just looking at a cheap econobox. We could keep the old beater truck parked half the time and replace it in a couple of years. Right now I'm not interested in putting a lot of money into vehicles.
 

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ET rocks
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"..will i need testosterone shots?"...

No, throw on an exhaust tip and you're good to go.

 

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Not testosterone shots but definitely a beef injection
 

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True, but I'm just looking at a cheap econobox. We could keep the old beater truck parked half the time and replace it in a couple of years. Right now I'm not interested in putting a lot of money into vehicles.
The Transit Connect is a good vehicle and it's been out long enough that there should be plenty of used models to choose from.
 
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