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  1. #1

    service truck other than van

    What's are you tech's and business owners using besides cargo vans, cube vans, Transits etc?

    I'm considering buying a used utility bed and building a custom sheet metal enclosure. I want the four wheel drive and the mpg's of a diesel while not sacrificing too much space. Long bed of course 3/4 ton. The custom sheet metal would have access to the top sides for easy access storage. I'm thinking a custom hitch reciever for added space on retrofits. Big enough to hold a furnace and condesing unit. Installs with duct would be done with a cargo trailer. Toying around with the idea of the enclosure being able to lift up for head room if need be. Hydraulics or pneumatics, actuators might not be strong enough.

    So what unorthodox service vehicles are you using? Photos too!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Goose Creek ,SC
    Posts
    252
    not sure how unorthidox this is but I have a suburban as a work truck . I like it. It is enough for what i do
    "I just think things should work properly"
    Freon is a brand name-word


  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by PalmettoMaintPro View Post
    not sure how unorthidox this is but I have a suburban as a work truck . I like it. It is enough for what i do
    Exactly what I want to hear. I'm sure it does it's job. Do you run your own business? Back seats removed? How is it set up?

    I thought about using my cherokee classic for service just to start but I would think from a mobile advertising aspect how "professional" could a cherokee even with the best graphics actually appear. My logo and business screams "professional" as it was designed by a firm that handles very large corporate clients. It's even a registered trademark. I don't want to take away from that by using an suv. But a 4 wheel drive setup for the way I envision it wouldn't.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    Posts
    819
    Take a look at these.

    http://www.readingbody.com/bodies.ph...y_subcat_id=25

    We had a couple of them on F350 chassis a few years ago. Nice rigs. We are moving to the A.R.E. Service Caps on GMC 2500 pickups now.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Toronto Canada
    Posts
    1,090
    These caps are Awesome! You do not see them around hear at all well thats not true think the cops have one to transfer inmates but no Trades men use one. So they are interchangable with Trucks just have to have an 8foot bed on it? Like you could have a Chevy 8 foot box Then put it on a Ford 8 foot bed and it would fit?

    What are the prices like one a cap like that?

    To the poster I think that right thier is what you need! You can have your cake and eat it to. You will look so pro and have your truck and 4x4 to go along. I think those caps are Great if the $ doesn't kill ya for one.

    OP Get one of those way more Pro then Mickey mouse Caps. Leave those to the scarp guys. Seen one today made out of plywood and Foo ton Frames.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Coastal Maine
    Posts
    819
    They can be pricey, but you definitely get what you pay for. There are cheaper options, but they don't hold up.

    We had some of these on the road in the harsh conditions of Maine for 10 years. To the question of interchange, that is true within a scope of certain year models. Some models had frame rail differences. I think that Dodges and Ford line up in some year models and Ford and Chevy in others.

    Definitely the look for professionalism. We are also having good luck with the A.R.E. caps. They are professional and you can get them color matched to the truck. It depends on how much stuff you are trying to carry.

    http://www.4are.com/product/dcu/

    We do heavy commercial, institutional, and industrial so some of our guys are specialized. The guys that do a wide variety of stuff still use vans, but we are looking at other options. May go back to the chassis boxes.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hobart, In.
    Posts
    324
    I worked out of my Diesel F-250 the first 2 yrs. I was in business. It is a BFT with Black leather, Carbon fiber, and a 5.5" Fabtech Lift. I installed ladder racks and side boxes as well as a huge chest in the bed. In short I destroyed my dream truck I kept perfect for 10 years. I hate working out of it, it sucks. I bought a New Transit Connect and the truck has been parked ever since. I could not imagine a less efficient work vehicle for what I do.
    Twilly is my hero!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    The Woodlands, Texas
    Posts
    64
    I have been using diesel Isuzu NPR box trucks with lift gates... I love them! The one I have now is 14' and it can hold just about anything I need, without the need to tie it down. Throw and go!

    I have also turned a portion of the back into a mobile workshop.

    4x10 sheets of duct board, NO PROBLEM! Unloading a 150lb condensing unit with the lift gate, no problem! Hauling 20 bags of flex duct, no problem!

    I bought a 2006 with just under 100k miles for 9k. The Isuzu diesel lasts for forever.

    Here is a quick link to one for sale in my area... With pictures for an example.

    http://houston.craigslist.org/ctd/3028394817.html

    My two cents.
    Tony

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,164

    Cool depends on the mission

    http://www.readingbody.com/bodies.ph...dy_subcat_id=3

    I have a 2006 version of this and love it. It is a multi-role vehicle that can be quickly converted from one role to another by sliding in and out crates and tools. You can transport most boilers, water heaters and furnaces and condensers up to about 4 tons inside. The outside compartments turn it into a rolling hardware store/ workshop.

    The pickup body is good if you need 4wd or towing trailers. One concept to explore is the use of an enclosed jobsite trailer for installs.

    HTH

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Goose Creek ,SC
    Posts
    252
    Quote Originally Posted by HVAC/R-Wizard View Post
    Exactly what I want to hear. I'm sure it does it's job. Do you run your own business? Back seats removed? How is it set up?

    I thought about using my cherokee classic for service just to start but I would think from a mobile advertising aspect how "professional" could a cherokee even with the best graphics actually appear. My logo and business screams "professional" as it was designed by a firm that handles very large corporate clients. It's even a registered trademark. I don't want to take away from that by using an suv. But a 4 wheel drive setup for the way I envision it wouldn't.
    I get what you are saying about business professional as that is a debate I have in my mind constantly. I have two parts crates that need some better organizing and I have my nitro and stuff here and there. Mainly where I can attach them to something so they don't go flying around in my truck. I have seen some suburbans look cool graphic-ed up but I dig what you said about the Jeep. I don't like the big white vans sometimes those scare people. I try to not look like a big corporate company while maintaining a very high level of professionalism. Presentation is everything. I will get you a pick of inside my burban when I get a chance this week. I am not showing you the "how it gets sometimes" way it looks right now. I work for my self and the helper side of me hasn't been out to clean the truck this week. I like the "I am a small company and I not afraid to show it:" attitude.
    "I just think things should work properly"
    Freon is a brand name-word


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Radford, VA
    Posts
    32
    I went a different route when I started my business earlier this year. I decided I needed a truck that I could work out of (doing a mix of HVAC service/replacements commercial and residential), could haul me wife and 2 kids on vacations, have some room for our dogs in the back, tow our camper, and get reasonable fuel economy. I picked a fullsize crew cab short bed Silverado with a DCU top on back. So far it is working out just fine. Tailgate height is a little bit of a pita sometimes, but overall so far going well. I plan to add some shelves inside the bed under the side boxes (if that makes sense) for more parts storage as I build an inventory. Anyway, for a few pics see this post: http://hvac-talk.com/vbb/showpost.ph...11&postcount=8

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Barrie Ontario
    Posts
    318
    Because of my work area I needed a 4x4 so I went with a dodge 1500 4 door leer comercial cap with side doors I custom fitted with shelving and dividers and put a bed slide in so I don't have to crawl up in the back of the truck. Works great and nicer to drive then a van I find it easier to work out of as well and won't switch back.
    For some reason I learn more with my mouth shut

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    4,413
    Quote Originally Posted by atoreson View Post
    I have been using diesel Isuzu NPR box trucks with lift gates... I love them! The one I have now is 14' and it can hold just about anything I need, without the need to tie it down. Throw and go!
    Whats your gas mileage?

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