Fixin Up The Old Van !!! - Vehicles - Contractor Talk

Fixin Up The Old Van !!!

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 09-30-2009, 11:33 AM   #1
WICKED WOODCHUCKER
 
mnjconstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish carpentry, drywall, Tile
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bangor, Maine
Posts: 893
Rewards Points: 500

Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


After I bought a new pickup last fall I realized should of gotton a new van. I love the truck but its not the same as working out of a van. I thought it was going to be ok after putting tool box in the back and 2 side boxes, but I still dont have room for anything. And tired of digging threw boxes to find stuff.

Can't afford another payment as I pay over 1,000 a month now for my pickup and my wifes car. So gonna fix up my old van to use for work. I have a 1989 dodge ram 1/2 ton cargo. Just turned 100k. Has the 318 v8. Runs perfect and has no rust. I just finished getting it taped off and ready for paint. The van will have new paint and fresh lettering.

My question is this: Even though the van runs good and will have some new paint, its still an older van. Does it matter? Am I going to lose buisness If I showed up in that compaired to my new pickup?

I do mostly middle to upper class residential work.
mnjconstruction is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 09-30-2009, 11:39 AM   #2
Pro
 
AJAX's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central, MN
Posts: 238
Rewards Points: 150

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Your reputation precedes you. If you do good work, no one cares, imo.

Advertisement

AJAX is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to AJAX For This Useful Post:
skyhook (05-23-2010)
Old 09-30-2009, 11:44 AM   #3
WICKED WOODCHUCKER
 
mnjconstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish carpentry, drywall, Tile
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bangor, Maine
Posts: 893
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


I know it won't matter to past and return clients, but what about the first impressions. Pulling up in the old van to do an estimate. ???
mnjconstruction is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-30-2009, 11:54 AM   #4
Curmudgeon
 
neolitic's Avatar
 
Trade: carpentry/remodeling/"Yes M'am we do"
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Beech Grove, Indiana, Birthplace of the "King of Cool"
Posts: 11,706
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


If they are making their decision
based mostly on your truck,
you have bigger problems.
__________________
Put your location in your profile!
(Sorry....it seems there really are dumb questions)
neolitic is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to neolitic For This Useful Post:
mnjconstruction (09-30-2009), skyhook (05-23-2010), TBFGhost (09-30-2009), Tom Struble (10-08-2009)
Old 09-30-2009, 03:02 PM   #5
Pro
 
jtpro's Avatar
 
Trade: Construction Assistant Superintendant/Remodeler
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
Posts: 1,154
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


As you said it's in good shape.

You gave it a new paint job and it's not leaking fluids I would say an HO,their neighbors or future customers would view it as a pros truck not a heap.

To me the presentation of the vehicle matters more than the year. Plus not everyone can tell years apart when they look "new".
jtpro is offline  
Old 09-30-2009, 03:10 PM   #6
Pro
 
IHI's Avatar
 
Trade: General construction and remodeling
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Waterloo, IA.
Posts: 2,408
Rewards Points: 1,040

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by neolitic View Post
If they are making their decision
based mostly on your truck,
you have bigger problems.
Not bigger problems, just human psycology. They will associate the junk truck with hack status. I did'nt "make the rules" i just know what i get to hear from new to us customers when we're going over things for the first time we meet and i hear about the guy they did'nt trust, drove a junkie looking truck/van/car, and "if that's all he can afford then he must not be very busy"

Looking the part is 80% of the sales routine since first impression mean everything, you can be the best guy int he world, but if they form a bad opinion of you for whatever reasone before you even open your mouth...your already pigeon holed and have a bit of a battle before you win their trust.

So fix it up, age dont mean chit, condition counts for ALOT though.
IHI is offline  
Old 09-30-2009, 03:51 PM   #7
Pro
 
genecarp's Avatar
 
Trade: LI,NY designer, new homes, renovation work, concre
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 5,425
Rewards Points: 2,000

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


If the van is neat and clean, and you are neat and clean, i see no problem with an older van. I always worked out of an older van. G
__________________
genecarp is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to genecarp For This Useful Post:
Framer53 (09-30-2009), HanerEnterprise (09-30-2009), mrmike (12-04-2009), skyhook (05-23-2010)
Old 10-01-2009, 07:37 AM   #8
Pro
 
AJAX's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Central, MN
Posts: 238
Rewards Points: 150

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


If you feel that maybe a new client maybe "that type", take your new truck for the estimate. Problem solved. Once you have the job it shouldn't matter what you drive.
AJAX is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to AJAX For This Useful Post:
mnjconstruction (10-01-2009)
Old 10-01-2009, 09:24 AM   #9
Pro
 
slowforthecones's Avatar
 
Trade: scab
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: California
Posts: 618
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


What's your wife drive? bmw... $1000 is pretty lazy for two cars. I have 4 vehicles on payments right now, about 220 each month..offcourse I got in on the 1.9 or 2.x deals.
slowforthecones is offline  
Old 10-01-2009, 11:44 AM   #10
WICKED WOODCHUCKER
 
mnjconstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish carpentry, drywall, Tile
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bangor, Maine
Posts: 893
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by slowforthecones View Post
What's your wife drive? bmw... $1000 is pretty lazy for two cars. I have 4 vehicles on payments right now, about 220 each month..offcourse I got in on the 1.9 or 2.x deals.
my pickup was 38k. 0%
she drives a expedition, 36k 3.9 %

my payment is 480 a month
hers 505 a month

payments add up quick when your not buying beaters!
mnjconstruction is offline  
Old 10-01-2009, 09:25 PM   #11
Pro
 
slowforthecones's Avatar
 
Trade: scab
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: California
Posts: 618
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


I usually have some sort of trade in value as the down payment to lower my monthly payments. i guess it's a never ending cycle of trading in.
slowforthecones is offline  
Old 10-01-2009, 09:29 PM   #12
Pro
 
nlgutters's Avatar
 
Trade: seamless gutters
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: new hampshire
Posts: 992
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Why dont you just drive the truck to the first appointment and then the van if you get the work?
__________________
www.nlseamlessgutters.com
nlgutters is offline  
Old 10-02-2009, 05:28 AM   #13
WICKED WOODCHUCKER
 
mnjconstruction's Avatar
 
Trade: Finish carpentry, drywall, Tile
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Bangor, Maine
Posts: 893
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by nlgutters View Post
Why dont you just drive the truck to the first appointment and then the van if you get the work?
I do sometimes, But other times I hit the estimate on my way home from the job site.
mnjconstruction is offline  
Old 10-02-2009, 05:51 AM   #14
Pro
 
nlgutters's Avatar
 
Trade: seamless gutters
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: new hampshire
Posts: 992
Rewards Points: 500

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by mnjconstruction View Post
I do sometimes, But other times I hit the estimate on my way home from the job site.

Well then i guess it dosen't really matter. I'm guessing you show up sweaty,stinky and dirty anyway? If you are stopping by estimates after work. So i dont think the van will make a diffrence really.
__________________
www.nlseamlessgutters.com
nlgutters is offline  
Old 10-02-2009, 08:00 AM   #15
Pro
 
stp57's Avatar
 
Trade: carpenter/ handyman
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Conroe, TX
Posts: 1,705
Rewards Points: 1,000

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


How about some photos as you fix up the old van?
Steve

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnjconstruction View Post
After I bought a new pickup last fall I realized should of gotton a new van. I love the truck but its not the same as working out of a van. I thought it was going to be ok after putting tool box in the back and 2 side boxes, but I still dont have room for anything. And tired of digging threw boxes to find stuff.

Can't afford another payment as I pay over 1,000 a month now for my pickup and my wifes car. So gonna fix up my old van to use for work. I have a 1989 dodge ram 1/2 ton cargo. Just turned 100k. Has the 318 v8. Runs perfect and has no rust. I just finished getting it taped off and ready for paint. The van will have new paint and fresh lettering.

My question is this: Even though the van runs good and will have some new paint, its still an older van. Does it matter? Am I going to lose buisness If I showed up in that compaired to my new pickup?

I do mostly middle to upper class residential work.
stp57 is offline  
Old 10-02-2009, 09:28 AM   #16
Pro
 
SC sawdaddy's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 1,949
Rewards Points: 1,018

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Man I can really relate to this thread.
I bought a 99 F150 back in '01 and thats all I've worked out of up until this spring. I found an 83 Dodge van, rough as a cob, rust here and there, big ass crack in the windshield, scratches, you get the picture. But the thing runs like a sowing machine(smokes a little when you crank it) and after being used to digging around in the tool box, having everything laid out on racks and shelves in the van is great. No worries about the rain on the compressor, nails, lumber, and so on.

My thoughts were the same as the OP. If I show up in an old smoking van, how will that affect me being able to sell the job. Will they look at the van and say if his work vehicle is rough, how will his work be? Its just human nature.

I tried to convince myself that my work will speak for itself, and it will if I have the chance to show my work. But I still always took the Ford to the first meeting not to make an impression but to not make a bad one.

Last week I traded the Ford for a '03 Dodge. I'm in the process now of putting shelves and racks in the back. Getting some ideas about lettering on the side. And I feel good about my decision to trade. I've never been one to worry too much about "what people thought" but I guess I sold out to the first impression theory.
SC sawdaddy is offline  
Old 10-02-2009, 01:05 PM   #17
Pro
 
IHI's Avatar
 
Trade: General construction and remodeling
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Waterloo, IA.
Posts: 2,408
Rewards Points: 1,040

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by SC sawdaddy View Post
I've never been one to worry too much about "what people thought" but I guess I sold out to the first impression theory.
Very wise BUSINESS descion Sometimes we need to check our pride at the front door and realize we're dealing with "the masses" and the mentality that goes along with it.
IHI is offline  
Old 10-02-2009, 02:10 PM   #18
Member
 
JK Floors's Avatar
 
Trade: Flooring installation
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: West Chester, PA
Posts: 53
Rewards Points: 75

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


You need to realize that someone who doesn't know you has to work off something. You don't necessarily need to show up in a brand new vehicle. But when I don't have much information, that old beater is going to leave an impression. That old beater is more likely to break down. If you do good work you should make good money and should be able to afford a "decent" vehicle.

It's not that you are dealing with "the masses". You are dealing with people. That ugly chick at the bar? She might be the most fun to bring home. But you aren't even giving her a chance because she looks like an old beater.

If I know that you do good work I don't care what you drive. But if I don't have a lot of information you need to do everything you can to at least convince me that you are not a slob. Of course, if you try to fool me by dressing up a Dodge to look like a Mercedes, I have to wonder what other lies you might tell. It's not necessarily about impressing people, but you have to make sure they don't think you're a slob.
JK Floors is offline  
Old 10-03-2009, 08:45 AM   #19
Head Grunt
 
woodchuck2's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical Contractor&Home Maintenance
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: North Creek, NY/Lower Adirondacks
Posts: 3,270
Rewards Points: 2,196

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


IMO repainting and re-lettering your van is a great investment. No rust, no dents and being clean shows that you care about yourself and your image. The vehicle doesnt have to be new, just clean and presentable. As said above alot of people dont know much about vehicles and what year they are. Hell, Dodge ran the same body design for their vans from the early 70's right into the early 2000's, they only changed the tail lamps and grilles. If memory serves me all the doors interchanged through the years, the glass stayed the same, alot of the drivetrain remained the same.
woodchuck2 is offline  
Old 10-03-2009, 08:58 AM   #20
Registered User
 
Steve G.'s Avatar
 
Trade: electrical
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 10

Re: Fixin Up The Old Van !!!


Any pics of the van?

Advertisement

__________________
Earth first, we'll log the other planets later!
Steve G. is offline  


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?