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Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch

 
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:25 AM   #1
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Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


Well, pretty sure I'm gonna go buy a new Transit Connect tomorrow. I'm nervous as hell but I sat down and spent many hours developing a game plan to make this all work. I could be wrong but this will not only save me a ton of money but will also give me even more of a competitive advantage.

My current truck is a 1 ton Ford E-350 van with the 12' Spartan Supreme conversion putting me at darn near 500 cubic feet. Currently I'm using all of it. The van gets 5 -7 mpg.

The Transit Connect has about 130 cubic feet I think. Many people get 22-24 mpg.

I'm excited about the challenge. Many people I know in construction are now using them.....just not for plumbing. They are paying for themselves quickly.

Here are the steps I took to make this work (on paper)

1.) Went through 3 years of customer invoices and built a simple spread sheet of what parts I used and on what service calls.

2.) Built another simple spread spread sheet showing me frequency of usage on repair parts.

3.) Came up with an inventory system that works in conjunction , and shares a direct relationship, to a new and innovative way of scheduling jobs combining pre-planned jobs and emergency service.

4.) Once I had the inventory count established I designed custom racks and shelves with a series of pullouts that would be light enough to never exceed the max payload yet still hold everything. I'll be welding all of it from scratch because nothing on the market makes any sense whatsoever for a plumbing business.

And, I had to be able to haul a 50 gallon power vent witch has a box dimension of 29" x 30 3/8" x 62 1/4". With a bulkhead installed for safety that gives me 3" to spare before hitting the rear doors.

------------------------

The Transit Connect is an XLT loaded up with pretty much everything. The difference between a base and a loaded van is about $1,300. The van has no glass on the rear or sides. I designed the lettering already it that will happen immediately...... if I don't chicken out tomorrow.

If I get it I'll post photos of it and a diary as I set it up and build it for my business. If my math is correct it will completely change the way I do service plumbing.

Mike

Last edited by Oconomowoc; 07-01-2013 at 12:30 AM.
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:27 AM   #2
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


I wish you luck. Your business escapades are always enjoyable to watch and learn from.

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Old 07-01-2013, 12:37 AM   #3
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


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I wish you luck. Your business escapades are always enjoyable to watch and learn from.
Lol, I love owning a business and my favorite part is thinking of ways to improve it.

This could really backfire on me. 130 cubic feet is like running on almost 25% of what I have now.

I have many friends who are plumbers and not a single one says it will work, they think it just can't be done. That just makes me smile, I swear I'm gonna prove them wrong.

Even the manager of the commercial fleet sales department tried to make me change my mind.

We'll see. Lol
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:50 AM   #4
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


So are you trading in the big box too, or will you still have both.
Having both could help if and when your in a pinch to haul something larger than your new transit


That thing will look awesome with 10' sticks of pipe hung all over it
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Old 07-01-2013, 12:58 AM   #5
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


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So are you trading in the big box too, or will you still have both.
Having both could help if and when your in a pinch to haul something larger than your new transit

That thing will look awesome with 10' sticks of pipe hung all over it
Nope, I have a fellow plumber that hired a guy and wants my truck. I have to time it so I sell it to him tomorrow and go down and write a check for the new one and drive it home the same day and load tools and some parts in it immediately for some work I have in the evening.

Gotta keep that ball rolling. I'll be working out of plastic boxes until I get the shelves fabbed up, bulkhead in and rack installed..... and lettering.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:07 AM   #6
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


I'm in the market for one of those vans too.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:08 AM   #7
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I'm in the market for one of those vans too.
What trade are you in?
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:14 AM   #8
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


finish carpenter mainly...
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:18 AM   #9
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


I know Ford is opening a plant in Kansas City. Is it up and running yet? Where are they made now?
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:20 AM   #10
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


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What trade are you in?
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finish carpenter mainly...
No Finish but Irish carpentry mainly.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:27 AM   #11
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


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I know Ford is opening a plant in Kansas City. Is it up and running yet? Where are they made now?
I believe they're assembled in Turkey.
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Old 07-01-2013, 01:30 AM   #12
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


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I know Ford is opening a plant in Kansas City. Is it up and running yet? Where are they made now?
Turkey. Then, because of a stupid thing called the "chicken tax" (look it up), it comes here and Ford converts them. Long story.

The new Ford full size Transit which replaces the long running Econoline series, will be made here in the states.

Unfortunately they are having supplier issues and won't be available for another year.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:13 AM   #13
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


My buddy switched to one a while back. Added air leveler bags,hitch and one of those steel mesh platforms that slide in the receiver. For the occasional extra load.
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Old 07-01-2013, 05:28 AM   #14
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


I hate to doubt you, but I can't imagine how that cu ft will work. You state that you are currently using all of the 500 cu ft. You seem to be a rather efficient guy with the way you run things, so cutting back 70% seems undoable. You will need room to maneuver in there also, so that means even less space for storage. If you have it packed too full, there will be time lost on every trip just moving things around unnecessarily. If anyone can pull this off, it is you though, Good luck Mike.
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:11 AM   #15
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


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I hate to doubt you, but I can't imagine how that cu ft will work. You state that you are currently using all of the 500 cu ft. You seem to be a rather efficient guy with the way you run things, so cutting back 70% seems undoable. You will need room to maneuver in there also, so that means even less space for storage. If you have it packed too full, there will be time lost on every trip just moving things around unnecessarily. If anyone can pull this off, it is you though, Good luck Mike.
Yeah, you're right Warren. I'm walking on a very fine line with this. Below is a photo when I went to the dealer with an empty 50 gallon power vent box and put it inside.



Ford Transit - Making the big switch-forumrunner_20130701_061110.jpg




Ford Transit - Making the big switch-forumrunner_20130701_061146.jpg



Ford Transit - Making the big switch-forumrunner_20130701_061215.jpg
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:23 AM   #16
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


If you can keep current truck plus new transit it my work . Can you get big items delivered to site .
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:27 AM   #17
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


A little dose of truth: I woke up this morning scared out of my wits. If this doesn't pan out it will cost me a great deal of money and aggravation.

But then I thought to myself that, in my life anyhow, every time I've been this nervous with business decisions or taking a new direction for the company....... that meant great things going forward. Change is tough, I've had years worth of experience as well as years worth of conditioning into thinking us plumbers need big overloaded vans. I can't help but wonder if we have been doing things the wrong way with the wrong mentality.

Imagine how efficient this could make me? If this works as anticipated that really sends a signal to me that my customers have ultimately been paying for gross inefficiencies.

Mike
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Old 07-01-2013, 06:29 AM   #18
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


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If you can keep current truck plus new transit it my work . Can you get big items delivered to site .
Yes, free next day delivery from all my wholesalers. BUT, part of my plan is to keep a small inventory in my garage.
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:26 AM   #19
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


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My buddy switched to one a while back. Added air leveler bags,hitch and one of those steel mesh platforms that slide in the receiver. For the occasional extra load.
adding expandability to have one of the hitch racks, or pull a trailer for the occasional large job seems like a great idea.

Remember, some of the greatest businessmen in history were the ones that took the biggest risks
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Old 07-01-2013, 07:33 AM   #20
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Re: Ford Transit - Making The Big Switch


You'd still have your personal truck wouldn't you Mike? I think it can be done. Get a rack for that thing just so I can see it. I'd really like to get one myself but it's just not in the budget. That and I wouldn't be trading I'd just be adding. I'm with you though. I've done a few service calls in my time and I can see your point on being over loaded. Most times we pull out the same tools and often times the same parts.

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