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grizzly

Ford Transit - to small for a service van?

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grizzly

Ford is officially going to start importing thier small european cargo van next year:

http://www.fordvehicles.com/transitconnect/

I can't wait to test drive one. The front wheel drive would be nice in the snow, and the 4 cyl would be nice on the wallet. Not quite sure it it is big enough, but it looks tempting. Since GM stopped making the Chevy Astro and whatever the GMC version was called, which IMO, was a perfect size appliance service van there seems to be a void in the market.

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Samurai Appliance Repair Man

I've started doing some of my further-out service calls in our Prius (that we bought used from some friends). Talk about tight space! (This works out for limited service calls at a time and when you know pretty much what parts you'll need or for return trips where you're completing the repair). That van looks plenty big and the savings in gas would more than compensate for the reduced storage space.

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ROBBYRIG

Believe it or not, our fleet consists of two Hyundai Accents and two Chevy HHR's.  The Accents have had the back seats removed but they are still somewhat difficult to get used to.  You need to be prepped as to the most necessary parts and keep them to a minimum. 

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Scottthewolf

Just my opinion, using passenger cars makes you look very unprofessional and some customers may think you are a fly by night company that may be gone tomorrow.

What do you do if you  get an outer tub to replace on a washer, or doors to replace on a refrigerator?  How can you possibly carry all your sealed system equipment in a passenger car? 

I have sworn by Ford full size Econoline vans and would never want to use anything else. If they are maintained properly you can get around 250,000 miles before you have to send them to the junkyard.  I doubt a cargo van with a 4 cylinder engine will last that long. I will try to hang on to my 2007 Ford E 150 Cargo van with the 5.4 Liter V8 engine as long as I can even if it means replacing the engine and transmission. Maybe I will be retired after that.

 

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grizzly

Some customers may think it looks unprofessional. But on the other hand, if I saw the fermented master show up at my house in his Prius with a less than one pound control board for a Duet dryer, I'd think to myself "wow, this guy is smart to save all those dead dinnosaurs when all he needed to bring back was one small part, he is really on the ball".

When the Transit comes out, if I get one, I'll still keep my Silverado for the big and/or heavy stuff, but I'll ditch my E-150. Its only got the 4.6L V8 anyway.

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ROBBYRIG

[user=19296]Scottthewolf[/user] wrote:

Just my opinion, using passenger cars makes you look very unprofessional and some customers may think you are a fly by night company that may be gone tomorrow.

What do you do if you  get an outer tub to replace on a washer, or doors to replace on a refrigerator?  How can you possibly carry all your sealed system equipment in a passenger car? 

I have sworn by Ford full size Econoline vans and would never want to use anything else. If they are maintained properly you can get around 250,000 miles before you have to send them to the junkyard.  I doubt a cargo van with a 4 cylinder engine will last that long. I will try to hang on to my 2007 Ford E 150 Cargo van with the 5.4 Liter V8 engine as long as I can even if it means replacing the engine and transmission. Maybe I will be retired after that.

 

I don't know about the "unprofessional" part, I've never had anyone say that to me.  But as far as the tub, fridge door, etc. we've taken out the back seat entirely and have a rack bolted to the top.  For the HHR's, we've added a hitch so we can pull a trailer if needed. 

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certified tech group 51

I checked into the HHr, looked small....... I have  a 2003 Astro van now ( see 'the road to work') and at 16 miles to the gal..... thats $500.00 a month in fuel alone.........But when I think of the add-on jobs that come in during the day and I'm out that way, I think, 'glad I had that part on the van'........( see K/M dryer for story about flame sensor that I have drug around for two years and finally used, add-on job)  BUT if I get smaller service, the money I spend in fuel will pay for it, BUT I cannot carry all the parts I could/may use that day...... no more add-ons   "lady needs a dryer repair,  no-go today, do not have any dryer parts tub in the HHR,  Can do tomorrow,"  LOST that service call....... "What do you do?"  "What DO you do?"  

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grey shrek

Back in my sears days , went from a Ford150 to  smaller Chev. Amazing how many timers I hit my head on the lower Chev. Think we had around $7000 parts in the vans. Motors were good for weight in the winter to plow snow, put them at the back.Refrigeration equipment , wet/dry vac ,little step ladder , vans were full. Now in my semi-retired work I use a Mazda mpv with seats out , and parts in plastic totes.Try to read between the lines on service orders in morning and take what I can.    The transit looks like it may work. Looks higher so I wouldn't hit my head so often.

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volleyball

You may want to inquire about a diesel. Most in Europe are diesel, they offer several diesel engines and only 1 gas. If you carry lot of weight, the gas may not last long.

I do think that with some forethough, you could rack it so that things like doors would fit because of the extra headroom.

As far as lugging around a part for 2 years so to get an extra service call, how many parts do you have like that and how many will get used and how much did it cost to carry all those parts around?  An organized and clean vehicle says more for the appearence of professionalism than the size of the vehicle.

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ROBBYRIG

[user=33058]volleyball[/user] wrote:

As far as lugging around a part for 2 years so to get an extra service call, how many parts do you have like that and how many will get used and how much did it cost to carry all those parts around?  An organized and clean vehicle says more for the appearence of professionalism than the size of the vehicle.

HERE-HERE brother volleyball!!

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NCSU_laundry_tech

i would love to have a dodge sprinter personally

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grey shrek

A shave and shower sure made a diff.:D

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flatland

I drive a repaerostar!

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kdog

Ditto on the Sprinter, what a great service vehicle!

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Scottthewolf

As far as the Ford Transit goes it actually has MORE cargo space than the Ford Econoline vans, BUT they cannot handle as much weight as the Econoline.

I say as long as you don't do much sealed system work or HVAC work, the Transit looks very promising.

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completeapplianceservice

that transit does look nifty. i am too cheap though, i'll run my s10 with a cap into the ground and then get either a mpv like my wife has, or by then maybe a mazda5, the mpv's replacement.

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BrntToast

i really like this option on the transit

 

Tool Link™ uses Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags that adhere to the tools or objects themselves and scans the cargo for tools and inventory items prior to leaving the job site.

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denrayr

i like them, like already stated the 136 HP 2 liter I4 seems a little underpowerd. Hopefully they will throw one of the new ecoboost engines in there.

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Scottthewolf

I saw my first Ford Transit van yesterday. Looks nice and has sliding doors on both sides, but looks really small.

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GErepairman

The question in my head is this: does this cargo van use up a lot of fuel?

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Scottthewolf

Nope, it only has a 4 cylinder engine in it.

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J5*

this is the van i am using now

VW caddy

1.9 turbo diesel , i do all suburban work and do about 7.5 litres / 100 Kilometres

60 litres tank and i fill after about 750-800 which is around a week for me

its based on the VW golf 5

there is now 1 called the maxi which is 47cm longer

I only service 1 brand , about a 94% completion rate

but to be honest i only regularly use about 10% of what i carry

there is heaps of storage under the front seats which extends part way under the cargo floor

I seriously was thinking about the bigger van but its so easy to park and i can fit up driveways and turn around in tight spots 

very comfy to drive and a 4 star crash rating  

I can fit a dishwasher or washer in the side door if i need to but extremely rare

WHEELS001.jpg

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volleyball

You cannot get a caddy in the US. The HHR or the transit is about it for enclosed small vehicles. I would think a trailer would be a good backup for when you have to carry equipment. Leave it at the shop most of the time by the curb painted with your business

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Scottthewolf

No, it does not use alot of fuel, and most of them can run on ethanol 85 octane, (Flex-fuel) as Ford calls it.

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RegUS_PatOff

How about a used  Limousine...

or if you're feeling lucky,

a Hearse   ...

"Appliance Coroner"

"Appliance Exorcist"

"Last Rights"

"Last Call"

any other suggestions ?

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