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What kind of work vehicle do you use?

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Texas_Signmaker, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Right now I am using my old white Ford Expedition as my work vehicle. It's over 200,000 and I'm thinking of replacing it. I also don't like how it looks.. not very professional.

    I don't have a bucket truck, nor the desire to get one. New ones are $$$$ and used ones seem like they are still 20k+ for over 200,000 miles. Eventually I think I'm going to get one of the towable lifts because they have room for two and go 50' (vs a bucket truck is one man and limited to like 34') I not getting a sign truck because I'm not that big nor ever intend on getting that big.

    I'm thinking of getting a service body pickup because I don't like work vans. What do you guys drive and do you have any suggestions on what vehicle would work best for signs?
     
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  2. dukebrown

    dukebrown If they let me make it, they will come

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    I have 4dr 8ft bed F350 with pipe rack with expanded metal over the cab so we can walk on it as scaffolding. I am able to get 5'2" sheets in the rear and anything wider I throw on the top. My bucket trucks have to be the 10ft service bodies to carry to the tools and larger pylon signs. Also have an 8x8ft area on my flatebed on my 1990 hi ranger. Not too often do we need a trailer.
    I have been thinking about modifying the rack to fit my 1999 3500hd with a 30ft ETI because of the tool storage and the bucket comes in really handy when building wooden billboards and just super nice to have incase of ground issues or the need to do another job the customer asks us to do while on site. I have pics on my website, not sure how to upload them.
    Www.herosigns.net
     
  3. ams

    ams Very Active Member

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    I have a 2006 Chevy Express van, a 2005 Ford F550 bucket Truck, a 2009 Kia Spectra and a 18 foot trailer.
     
  4. 2CT Media

    2CT Media Very Active Member

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    We have a 2017 Nissan Titan and are in the market for a NV2500 and towable snorkel lift
     
  5. d fleming

    d fleming Very Active Member

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    Picked up an f600 service body 40' lift a few years ago for under 5k, old but solid truck. They're out there. Most days my pickup and on strictly office days my old vette. I did rent a towable the other day due to access on site, great tool but prefer my truck. Anything I cant reach I sub out or just politely decline.
     
  6. SignProsEast

    SignProsEast New Member

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    2006 Dodge Dully Diesel. Looking for an SUV
     
  7. billsines

    billsines Member

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    Maybe look at only renting the lift when you need it? Build the rental cost into the estimate, then you never have the maintenance costs. I know an excavator that does this. That's right, an excavator with little to no excavator equipment.
     
  8. Shannon Matthews

    Shannon Matthews New Member

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    Believe it or not, I get my work done out of a 2013 scion fr-s and a 1990 Toyota Camry. When I need a truck, I borrow a friends or get my customers to help.[​IMG]

    Sent from my VS988 using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    F150 4x4 Extended cab, 8' bed. 8' toolboxes on either side and full ladder rack. Never liked vans because so many thing won't fit and getting ladders on and off can be a pain. We also have a mini van though for small jobs and errands. We rent a towable lift when needed.
     
  10. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

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    always had cargo vans. you can stand 4x8s up against side wall for transoportation. All your stuff is inside and dont have to worry about weather. I will add this I have an 07 ford E250 and that little 4.6 V8 sucks! It has no power to pull a trailer and the gas mileage is horrible. I would kill to have the old 351 or 350 V8 again
     
  11. DerbyCitySignGuy

    DerbyCitySignGuy Member

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    Kia Souls make amazing install and delivery vehicles, believe it or not. They're pretty easy to wrap and don't look too crazy AND they're inexpensive.
     
  12. Rocco G

    Rocco G Member

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    2008 Ford F250 utility body with full 1"x 2" steel ladder racks, older bucket van (35' W.H.) and a landscape style trailer are my mainstays. The utility body gets the most use anymore since I mostly do mall work. Got it 18 months ago with only 25K miles on it. I DO want a bucket with a bit more reach when it comes time to replace the old beast. I got rid of my 85' crane a couple years ago because it sat more than it was used.

    I have found that the tow-behind lifts, while nice, are limited in getting into difficult spaces. A bucket truck (and you can get them at a reasonable cost) is a better investment IMO. I'm in a major metro area and so need to back down streets, deal with downtown traffic, etc. Where you are, a tow-behind might be a good choice. Only you can answer that question.

    Also, if you aren't using a big truck three days a week (two at the very least) you're better off not having a bucket or crane because of the costs. I call in a crane as needed and don't deal with the insurance, upkeep, government red tape, etc with having my own crane anymore. The only thing I miss is the fact that it was a really cool toy to have.

    The only other issue with sign trucks is that no matter how long a reach it has, you are often wishing for just a bit more reach.
     
  13. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I have an SUV now and I hate it. My ladders on the roof prevent me from opening up the hatch. (Before that I had a suburban with barn doors so it was easy to get into). Meaning I have to pop the glass to access tools. Anything further back and I have to stand on the bumper. I've slipped off it several times and this last time broke a rib. The thing is PACKED with tools and if I ever get into a wreck I'd be more worried about flying objects in my own car or mercury poising from the lamps I sometimes carry. I have to climb on the roof to get the ladders, just over-all a pain.

    I had a 2003 econoline and gas mileage sucked for me too. Engine was SOO under-powered and I just felt weird driving that thing...never got "used to it"

    I like this idea about a regular pickup with those long toolboxes. I really want a service body but they are not as plentiful at dealerships and cost more. Only thing I was hesitant about was being able to reach into those tool boxes. Is it difficult?
     
  14. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Not ours. They are mounted on top of the side rails and fit between the rack supports. I'm 5'9" and reach everything easily. My first set were steel, I replaced them with a pair of used diamond plate aluminum ones. I worked with a service body at one shop, the narrow bed was pain.
     
  15. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    What was a pain about the narrow bed? Not a lot fit in there?
     
  16. Billct2

    Billct2 Major Contributor

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    Yep, at least the one we had. I want to be able to fit 4x8s no problem so a full size bed is perfect. And with some supports larger sheets can be accommodated too .We can set up so we can put a "shelf" in the back, lay full 4x8s on it and put the digging tools under. Then you have the rack to hold longer signs. I've worked with a lot of types of vehicles, including cranes & buckets, and this is my favorite set up for a small shop. Of course a nice low boy flat bed with a little crane/bucket would be wonderful too...
     
  17. sardocs

    sardocs Active Member

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    Being a 1 man shop, I don't do any complicated installs so I don't need a bucket truck or a big van. I only need room for me and a few tools and my brush kit. I used the Jeep for many years but it's cold in the winter so I just use half a car now. DSCN0452.JPG IMG_5493.JPG
     
    • Like Like x 4
  18. ExecuPrintGS

    ExecuPrintGS Member

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    We have a 2016 transit, long/ tall, we can fit 5'x10' + signs in it and have racking for tools and install supplies all stored in the van.
     
  19. Sando

    Sando 10 years and trying to forget how to count...

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    Standard 8' bed white fleet pickup 2wd, 16' flatbed trailer, for the little stuff a fleet white ford focus station wagon 31mpg, and an F350 Ecololine Bucket. You should probably not get a bucket, you'll end up spending a lot of time in it. It gets lonely, and windy and high, it gives you ample opportunity to form a residual existential crisis. You get a lot more work when you have one, you get to charge a lot of money for that work but you end up having to do said work. One day you'll be 30' in the air thinking you should have gone to college for modern dance 20 years ago but now it's too late. Instead you're 30' in the air, where it is lonely, windy an high, putting up a graphic of a deranged leprechaun prospector who buys gold from people.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    oooooooookaaaaayyyy.... .... i like being in the air.
     
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