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Choice of work vehicle

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 10:03 am
by TP1650
Hello Shannon
My name is Tyrone Parker and I'm somewhat at the a jack of all trades in beginning stages of branching out. I'm trying to make a decision whether to purchase a work van or truck. I think I could easily carry 2×4s or drywall in either one. And with a van I wouldn't have to worry about transferring my tools back and forth from the garage. Do you have a preference?...

T. Parker

Re: Choice of work vehicle

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:23 pm
by A. Spruce
It is truly personal preference as well as what you need to carry and secure. My set up was a truck with an 8' bed, lumber rack, and canopy. I built slide out tool boxes for the bed of the truck that were equal to the height of the wheel wells with a plywood wall on the left side that was the height of the bed rail. The three slide out drawers housed my tools and most used consumables, caulk, fasteners, misc plumbing parts, etc. Behind the plywood wall were things too long or bulky to house in the drawers, a 6' ladder, a 12 drawer fastener storage tower, power cords, sledge hammer, that sort of thing. The space between the plywood wall and the other side of the tailgate opening was just over 4' wide so that I could fit full sheets of material or debris AND still have access to all my tools. The canopy had locking hinged windows on both sides as well as the back hatch, so I had full access to the back of the vehicle. The truck was an extended cab, giving me more space up front for passengers or clean materials.

Personally, I like being isolated from all the stuff in the back because the constant squeaking and banging of stuff moving around back there drives me absolutely nuts! Before I went out on my own, I worked out of vans for other contractors and hated every minute of it. I hated the noise, the smell, I hate the way vans handle and drive.

Vehicle size matters too. When I bought the rack for my truck, I stipulated that the truck MUST fit in my standard residential garage, door height was just over 6'8", vans are too tall, especially if you put a lumber rack on them. Tow capacity of trucks is generally more than for vans, if this is something you need to keep in mind. Lastly, when it comes to resale, you will get way more money return out of a truck than you will a van.

Re: Choice of work vehicle

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 1:53 pm
by Shannon
The thing about trucks with caps IMO that i hate is crawling in or out to get things that have slid to or where placed in the front of the box. Maybe the hinged side windows would help this? Anyways a van is easier to get in and out of the back I think.
In the city I work most guys like me have a cargo van and truck. Mine is my rolling work shop and tool storage . If getting around and parking is not to big of a deal that would be my go to every time.

Re: Choice of work vehicle

Posted: Tue Dec 25, 2018 2:32 pm
by A. Spruce
With the side wings I could reach in about half way across the truck, which is why I mentioned having the wings on the canopy. If I couldn't reach it, a stick or hammer usually could, so I very rarely had to crawl in to get anything.