What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?

 
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:17 PM   #1
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What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


I'm just starting my business and I'm currently looking for my first vehicle. I'm an Electrical Contractor that will mostly be doing service calls and some small installations. Having said that I will let you know that I'm a pick up truck kind of guy. I really don't like driving vans, but I know they have their advantages . I have about $10,000.00 (cash) budgeted for my vehicle. ( I'm trying to start my business without going into debt) From your experience , what vehicle would be the wisest choice for a guy in my shoes? Thanks. - Craig
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Old 01-23-2007, 07:14 AM   #2
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


Well, wisest choice would defenitly be a van. Especially for mainly service. But if your not a van guy, how about a pickup truck with a service body and a cap.

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Old 01-23-2007, 07:55 AM   #3
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


I started out with a truck. It is really not a good choice for the electrical trade unless you want to have a lot of supply or tool runs. We now use full size vans. We can haul loads of tools and supplys without worrying about rain getting to them. No matter how it starts you will end up with a large supply of small parts and tools. The utility body may be a good choice. I would still like to add one to the company. I know alot of guys use step vans which the longer I am doing this the more useful I see they could be.
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Old 01-23-2007, 10:30 AM   #4
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


Not naming a vehicle, just naming purposes;

#1. Something that you will not quickly outgrow.

#2. Something that you can have lettered for a traveling billboard.

#3. Something that is professional enough to project a good image without spending to much.

#4. Something that is large enough to haul most of your material so you will not have to pay deliver fees or make multiple trips.

#5. Something that is easy to maintain.

Maybe a used u-haul truck or along that line.
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Old 01-26-2007, 10:15 AM   #5
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


I am not an electrician, but would a trailer work? I love my trailer so much I dont know how I worked for 3 years without it. Then you can still have your pickup and you can add a rack for holding EMT. You can also add a tool box or 2 for the light duty days when you know ahead of time what you will need.
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Old 01-26-2007, 05:41 PM   #6
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


cue,

do yourself a favor and buy a new van (if you are doing service work, look at the sprinter or a isuzu with a box/utility body)

you can trac lease one for $0 down, decent payments and a $1 buyout.

Take the $10k and put it in an ING bank account at 4.5% (or whatever it is) If your truck payments are $600/month you'll have almost 1.5 yrs of payments in the bank.

But your truck is not an expense, it's a cost of doing business. it will pay for itself.

buy a used truck and what happens when it's out of warranty and breaks down? you lose time from work, you lose money.

If you are pricing right, and you are generating $600+/day, you can make that monthly payment.

plus, you have $10K liquid in case of an emergency, and not tied up in someone else's headache.

just a different POV...
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Old 01-31-2007, 07:18 PM   #7
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


I spent 4+ years driving whatever I could afford, paying cash along the way. They were all vans with the full size extended working the best. About two years ago I bought a newer F250 diesel 4x4 with a contractor cap. The 4x4 was great, the cap was not. I spent 20-25% of my time crawling in the back looking for materials. About a year ago, I ought a new E350 van with a Stahl utility body. My days are now more productive as I know where everything is. Look around, everybody's driving them now. Try to find a leftover, they are a much better deal. I bought mine, a leftover '05, for $9000 under sticker with 2.9% financing. There is a leftover '05 Chevy near Pittsburgh for $25,000. For that price I'd definately buy the new van with the warrenty.
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Old 02-02-2007, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


YOU like me not a van man get a truck with excellent towing power, then get a enclose trailer its kill 2 birds with one stone your work then your play
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Old 02-03-2007, 12:32 AM   #9
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mahlere View Post
cue,

do yourself a favor and buy a new van (if you are doing service work, look at the sprinter or a isuzu with a box/utility body)

you can trac lease one for $0 down, decent payments and a $1 buyout.

Take the $10k and put it in an ING bank account at 4.5% (or whatever it is) If your truck payments are $600/month you'll have almost 1.5 yrs of payments in the bank.

But your truck is not an expense, it's a cost of doing business. it will pay for itself.

buy a used truck and what happens when it's out of warranty and breaks down? you lose time from work, you lose money.

If you are pricing right, and you are generating $600+/day, you can make that monthly payment.

plus, you have $10K liquid in case of an emergency, and not tied up in someone else's headache.

just a different POV...
Post or PM me some more details if you know a good company to deal with.


Quick story: I had two of my subs last year who would buy cheap vehicles every month. They would both miss a few days a month getting their specials of the week repaired or shopping for a new one. My extra vehicle was not in my garage for most of the summer one of them was always using it. This all ended when one of my magnetic signs was stolen and they both played the finger pointing game. Neither one would pony up the money to have it replaced. Both of these guys are looking for work now. The moral of the story is a cheap vehicle can sometimes cost you more in the end.
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Old 02-15-2007, 08:07 AM   #10
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


buy a used white chevy express-they can be had w/ low mileage a few years old for a bit more than what you are looking at. I found a 5 year old express box van-10' body, and built shelves in teh back. It's great to wrok out of, but the 9+ mpg doens't make me happy. The Sprinter is definitely what I wanted, but didn't want the new price tag of +$30k. The chevy express w/ a v6 has enough oomph to move you around and get descent gas mileage at the same time, and if you get one w/ the contractors storage inside, the shelving may be just what you need.
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Old 02-15-2007, 11:24 AM   #11
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Re: What Is The Best Vehicle For A New Electrical Contractor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 72chevy4x4 View Post
buy a used white chevy express-they can be had w/ low mileage a few years old for a bit more than what you are looking at. I found a 5 year old express box van-10' body, and built shelves in teh back. It's great to wrok out of, but the 9+ mpg doens't make me happy. The Sprinter is definitely what I wanted, but didn't want the new price tag of +$30k. The chevy express w/ a v6 has enough oomph to move you around and get descent gas mileage at the same time, and if you get one w/ the contractors storage inside, the shelving may be just what you need.

The Sprinter gets 20+ mpg, your van get the same mpg as my truck. I spend about $7000 a year in gas. Assuming diesel cost around the same as gas, I would save $3500 a year in fuel. Also assuming that your monthly payment is $600 on a new Sprinter, your fuel savings would pay your monthy payments from Jan-June. Lots of assuming but something to think about.

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