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dan_s 04-21-2018 11:40 PM

For those of you who work alone
 
Sorry if this is hard to read, but can’t post from my computer so I am typing this on the phone. I work mostly by myself, and will sub out jobs when they are too big/timeline is a factor. I mostly (75%) paint, but also do some flooring, finish carpentry, and bath remodels. Right now I am debating if I should get a trailer or not. I use a f250 cc, but for the last 2 years the back seat has been filled with cordless set, drywall mud or anything else that can’t ride in the back of the truck and risk getting wet. I have had my slider compound saw in the backseat which is fun. It is becoming a pain to plastic my sprayer and shop vac when working indoors and the weather is bad for the commute to the site. Not to mention emptying the truck bed every night and filling it up every morning with the tools needed that day.

I know a lot of people use vans for drywall, paint and tile. But I’m not sure that I want another vehicle to maintain, insurance to carry, and I have never worked out of a van so I am skeptical on hauling tools with supplies like 2x and Sheetrock. So what say all of you one man (or woman) crews that do remodeling work that forces you to carry many different kinds of tools, do any of you think that a small 10-16’ trailer has made you more effiecient. My plan would be to leave the trailer at home for my small couple room repaints and take with me for my remodel and bigger paint gigs. I also have a ladder rack that is full over the can style to carry material longer than 10’. The rack mounts on the rail, so most caps would be out of the question. Plus I have worked with a tonneau before and hated crawling to get a tool.

Thanks in advance
Dan

griz 04-21-2018 11:46 PM

You will like a trailer.

The one you buy will be too small in about 2 weeks....:whistling

Calidecks 04-22-2018 12:08 AM

I hate trailers. May have something to do with the traffic here :whistling:

I roll onto the job in stages and roll off in stages. Although I don't work alone. I have all watertight boxes and cover my mitersaw. Even if it poured I'm okay. Leaving equipment at the site is key. Imo.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...805bed4995.jpg


Mike.
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[emoji631] [emoji631]

Mordekyle 04-22-2018 12:14 AM

Two things:

I started out of a Suburban (with 3 rows of seats for the kids) so I had to learn how to make the wisest use of space possible. When I was ready, I bought an e350 extended van, and continued with efficient organization. The van has served me well, carrying any tools I may need, up to 5 sheets, and materials for up to 50' of fence. Uber organized. I have more useful tools in my van than most people have in a 7' x 14' trailer.

If you are organized, even a 6 x 10 trailer is plenty big.

If you're not organized, an 8 x 20 will barely be enough.

Modular organization is key.


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Unger.const 04-22-2018 12:49 AM

I work mostly from a crew cab pick up no rack. But a Tanouee cover that can hold 3/4 of a ton on top of it.

I bought an older 3/4 van for 400 bucks. Then this year bought a tall transit connect. (Van's I paid cash for) and are awesome for the once a week or so needing things like paint projects )

The problem with trailers is they like to get stolen a lot and are hard to park in some places in town. And your transporting lots of things you don't need that week.

Instead focus on simplicity of tasks with rolling modular tool boxes like rigid or dewalt.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...98df6065fa.jpg

dan_s 04-22-2018 05:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Unger.const (Post 7004401)
I work mostly from a crew cab pick up no rack. But a Tanouee cover that can hold 3/4 of a ton on top of it.

I bought an older 3/4 van for 400 bucks. Then this year bought a tall transit connect. (Van's I paid cash for) and are awesome for the once a week or so needing things like paint projects )

The problem with trailers is they like to get stolen a lot and are hard to park in some places in town. And your transporting lots of things you don't need that week.

Instead focus on simplicity of tasks with rolling modular tool boxes like rigid or dewalt.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...98df6065fa.jpg



I think my wife will kill me if I take up our 2+ car garage with all my tools and the driveway with multiple vehicles. The problem with parking them would definitely be a concern, but I donít have a problem right now with carrying things that arenít needed, itís usually the opposite. I will have to decide to leave my shop vac home because of snow/rain.

I also use the boxes. Mine are miss match of brands and donít roll, but are separated between different trades. These 2 for drywall, these for paint, this is my floor prep, tile and spacers, etc.


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TheGrizz 04-22-2018 01:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dan_s (Post 7004609)
I think my wife will kill me if I take up our 2+ car garage with all my tools and the driveway with multiple vehicles. The problem with parking them would definitely be a concern, but I donít have a problem right now with carrying things that arenít needed, itís usually the opposite. I will have to decide to leave my shop vac home because of snow/rain.

I also use the boxes. Mine are miss match of brands and donít roll, but are separated between different trades. These 2 for drywall, these for paint, this is my floor prep, tile and spacers, etc.


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I work out of a 2008 Dodge Sprinter, same as a Mercedes. I also work alone 90% of the time, even though I am an employee of a GC. The only time I have help is when Iím installing a double wall oven or something similarly very heavy. The cargo area of my van is a constant work in progress, but has been a definite game changer for me. I used to work out of a 3/4 ton GMC Sierra CC. It started off with a full cap, but I got tired of crawling up in the bed to grab something that had slid all the way up to the cab. I took the cap off and put on a full size Weatherguard toolbox with a Pack Rat drawer in the bed. The issue was I still wanted to carry more tools and supplies than I could really fit in the truck. Boss offered to buy a trailer or a van, I chose van, and Iím really glad I did. I would occasionally tow his 16í tool trailer with my GMC, and always felt like I could never go anywhere that the titanic couldnít fit. With the van, I can go anywhere I need and not worry about getting in and out. I donít need to haul sheet goods very often, but I can when I need to, as well as doors, ovens, freestanding ranges, and whatever else I might need to get to a job. I got a bunch of Bosch LBoxxes yesterday to hopefully improve my organization in the cargo area, and make it easier to unpack on the job and pack back up at the end of the day.


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avenge 04-22-2018 02:21 PM

I hate trailers, have never worked out of a truck and there's no way it would work for me they suck unless you only do one thing and use a limited amount of tools.

I can't use or need all my tools at ounce they go as needed and usually stay on the jobsite until I'm nearly finished and leave when I know for sure they're no longer needed.

Right now I'm doing an empty full house remodel, several areas simultaneously so I've got a crap load of tools on the jobsite.

TheGrizz 04-22-2018 03:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by avenge (Post 7005657)
I hate trailers, have never worked out of a truck and there's no way it would work for me they suck unless you only do one thing and use a limited amount of tools.



I can't use or need all my tools at ounce they go as needed and usually stay on the jobsite until I'm nearly finished and leave when I know for sure they're no longer needed.



Right now I'm doing an empty full house remodel, several areas simultaneously so I've got a crap load of tools on the jobsite.



In contrast, the GC I work for is a Lowes installer, and we also do a good business on the company side. I primarily handle the Lowes installs (other than kitchen & bath remodels) by myself, so in one day I might do blinds, appliances, plumbing, electrical, and carpentry. I VERY rarely am on one job for more than a full day, and my average is 3 jobs per day.


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Ohio painter 04-22-2018 04:46 PM

If you don't want a second vehicle and have no desire to switch from a truck to a van then obviously a trailer is your next best option.
Drawbacks to trailers are the traffic and parking issues you deal with day in and day out. Parking at your home, and the security issues with leaving them on a job site.

I would suggest you buy a trailer big enough, and one with brakes if towing frequently.

I just paint and pack a van full of equipment that is constantly in use with my small crew. I could not imagine loading and unloading a truck daily. I use my 14' enclosed trailer for hauling scaffolding, sprayers and pressure washers around.

If i did multiple trades i would have to pull the trailer daily, and my trailer would be a different set up. I find the biggest waste of time and a real hassle is needing a piece of equipment that i don't have with me.

BillD 04-22-2018 07:17 PM

I have an F-250 club cab also and I got tired of having to take stuff out of the back or cover it during bad weather so I got an A.R.E. cap and I love it.

http://www.contractortalk.com/f41/fi...tuated-329186/

Bill

SearchforSignal 04-22-2018 08:57 PM

So here is my story..

I am a 1 man show. Low Voltage and Handyman work. Was working out of a f150 cc and ladder rack. Knew I needed to upgrade to a transit van or enclosed trailer for hauling supplies and tools.

Went with a 7x16 trailer. Many months of deciding lead to the trailer over the Ford transit. Now I've had the trailer for about 6 weeks now but it has completely changed my day to day work. I take it everywhere I go. I wont be building it out completely until I get more of a feel of how I work out of it. Though having absolutely everything I could need for any job with me at all times has already saved me probably 20 hours of travel time to and from places.

Is it a pain to park sometimes? Yes. Though the benifits of having it.... I will never not have an enclosed trailer again.. I can just buy whatever I need for a job and just lower the ramp and throw it in.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...37a0cbe87a.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...c8ab0978b4.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...f7597437fd.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/201...78fc1a881a.jpg

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dan_s 04-23-2018 03:49 PM

Thanks
 
Thank you for all the replies, great points to ponder that will help me not overlook details that I might have missed. I want to keep my truck and liked the idea of a trailer, but seems that everyone that has a van loves it. Also they seemed to be easier to get around and park at job sites.

I think that I will need to invest in my work vehicle in stages, either more boxes or a small trailer. I think the end game would be a transit/sprinter van that I can walk in (the cargo style ones i think I would fill up to quickly and sheet goods will be hard to transport), but for now the price will be too much with other things I have going on. So maybe a trailer will be the stop gap. Been looking around at new ones for a few thousand dollars, seems like when the time is right to upgrade to a van, I could sell it and use the money towards a dump trailer or use the money towards customizing the van.

After talking to a guy today in a Lowe's parking lot and looking at his Ford van setup, I think it will be the best way to go. It is raining today and all his tools and supplies are organized and dry. my step ladders, boxes, and shop vac hoses are wet with my crew cab filled to the brim with bags of hot mud and cordless tools:mad:


Quote:

Originally Posted by Mordekyle (Post 7004289)
Two things:

I started out of a Suburban (with 3 rows of seats for the kids) so I had to learn how to make the wisest use of space possible. When I was ready, I bought an e350 extended van, and continued with efficient organization. The van has served me well, carrying any tools I may need, up to 5 sheets, and materials for up to 50' of fence. Uber organized. I have more useful tools in my van than most people have in a 7' x 14' trailer.

If you are organized, even a 6 x 10 trailer is plenty big.

If you're not organized, an 8 x 20 will barely be enough.

Modular organization is key.


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I think a well organized 10 footer will be plenty, I'd like bigger, but organization will need to be paramount

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGrizz (Post 7005481)
I work out of a 2008 Dodge Sprinter, same as a Mercedes. I also work alone 90% of the time, even though I am an employee of a GC. The only time I have help is when Iím installing a double wall oven or something similarly very heavy. The cargo area of my van is a constant work in progress, but has been a definite game changer for me. I used to work out of a 3/4 ton GMC Sierra CC. It started off with a full cap, but I got tired of crawling up in the bed to grab something that had slid all the way up to the cab. I took the cap off and put on a full size Weatherguard toolbox with a Pack Rat drawer in the bed. The issue was I still wanted to carry more tools and supplies than I could really fit in the truck. Boss offered to buy a trailer or a van, I chose van, and Iím really glad I did. I would occasionally tow his 16í tool trailer with my GMC, and always felt like I could never go anywhere that the titanic couldnít fit. With the van, I can go anywhere I need and not worry about getting in and out. I donít need to haul sheet goods very often, but I can when I need to, as well as doors, ovens, freestanding ranges, and whatever else I might need to get to a job. I got a bunch of Bosch LBoxxes yesterday to hopefully improve my organization in the cargo area, and make it easier to unpack on the job and pack back up at the end of the day.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Im going to look into the boxes, but sounds like the van is very versatile for you.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ohio painter (Post 7006137)
If you don't want a second vehicle and have no desire to switch from a truck to a van then obviously a trailer is your next best option.
Drawbacks to trailers are the traffic and parking issues you deal with day in and day out. Parking at your home, and the security issues with leaving them on a job site.

I would suggest you buy a trailer big enough, and one with brakes if towing frequently.

I just paint and pack a van full of equipment that is constantly in use with my small crew. I could not imagine loading and unloading a truck daily. I use my 14' enclosed trailer for hauling scaffolding, sprayers and pressure washers around.

If i did multiple trades i would have to pull the trailer daily, and my trailer would be a different set up. I find the biggest waste of time and a real hassle is needing a piece of equipment that i don't have with me.

This. Buying a small tool or fasteners that I have sitting in my garage is the worst thing. I hate the waste, as well, of driving home to grab something that is too expensive to purchase but is needed to finish the work.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BillD (Post 7006529)
I have an F-250 club cab also and I got tired of having to take stuff out of the back or cover it during bad weather so I got an A.R.E. cap and I love it.

http://www.contractortalk.com/f41/fi...tuated-329186/

Bill

A set up like this may work. I will have to weight the cost of boxes and cap to the cost of a trailer.

AustinDB 04-23-2018 03:54 PM

Iím a one man show and work out of a long and tall Sprinter that has been reworked a couple of times. I can load a 12x25 deck that was torn down and haul it to the dump as well as get 16í stock inside the van. Itís all about putting stuff back in itís place.

A down side is thereís only room for two passengers.


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dan_s 04-23-2018 05:15 PM

I've recently sworn off driving help to the job sites, it gets old waking up 45mins earlier than needed to pick up someone who can't manage to keep a car. Do you guys build your own storage shelving for sizes you want/need. Or is it not worth the savings, and go with metal shelves that are designed for work vehicles

TheGrizz 04-23-2018 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dan_s (Post 7009081)
I've recently sworn off driving help to the job sites, it gets old waking up 45mins earlier than needed to pick up someone who can't manage to keep a car. Do you guys build your own storage shelving for sizes you want/need. Or is it not worth the savings, and go with metal shelves that are designed for work vehicles



My sprinter had some parcel delivery shelves in it when it was bought, so Iíve just been working within that framework. I would rather have the Sortimo van racking that can be configured for service work, which is essentially what I do. Alternatively, I could build my own shelves, but since the van isnít mine, I havenít wanted to spend my own money to go that far with it, and the boss hasnít expressed a desire for me to do that either. I only want the Sortimo stuff because it meshes with my current collection of LBoxxes, and can be reconfigured by me to suit my needs if they change. When I eventually buy my own van, thatís what Iíll get before I ever put it in the field.


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BillD 04-23-2018 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dan_s (Post 7008889)
A set up like this may work. I will have to weight the cost of boxes and cap to the cost of a trailer.

The cap is 29" high and has 15" deep boxes and electric locks. Cost was just under $2,800. I am planning on getting a custom rack which will probably run close to 2k.

Bill

TheGrizz 04-23-2018 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGrizz (Post 7009105)
My sprinter had some parcel delivery shelves in it when it was bought, so Iíve just been working within that framework. I would rather have the Sortimo van racking that can be configured for service work, which is essentially what I do. Alternatively, I could build my own shelves, but since the van isnít mine, I havenít wanted to spend my own money to go that far with it, and the boss hasnít expressed a desire for me to do that either. I only want the Sortimo stuff because it meshes with my current collection of LBoxxes, and can be reconfigured by me to suit my needs if they change. When I eventually buy my own van, thatís what Iíll get before I ever put it in the field.


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Also, after talking to a local locksmith who has Sprinters as well, the plywood built shelves add a LOT of weight to the cargo area compared to metals shelves.


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AustinDB 04-23-2018 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheGrizz (Post 7009121)
Also, after talking to a local locksmith who has Sprinters as well, the plywood built shelves add a LOT of weight to the cargo area compared to metals shelves.


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used aluminum angle to make the shelves in mine and layed 1/4" plywood down with occasional braces beneath the plywood. Not sure what it weighed empty, but it's definitely a lot heavier now.

RickP 04-23-2018 09:24 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by dan_s (Post 7009081)
I've recently sworn off driving help to the job sites, it gets old waking up 45mins earlier than needed to pick up someone who can't manage to keep a car. Do you guys build your own storage shelving for sizes you want/need. Or is it not worth the savings, and go with metal shelves that are designed for work vehicles

I prefer to build my own out of plywood. I can customize them, but the best part is that they are much more quiet than metal shelving. In 1995, I bought a brand new pickup and tried working out of it. I even bought a cap for it. I sold it 6 months later and have had vans ever since. I got lucky with my latest purchase. I found a 2000 Ford E350 for $1,500 with 99k miles and a high top since it used to be a wheel chair shuttle van. Yes it has windows, but I covered the windows with vinyl wrap with a color similar to the van. I'm getting the roof repainted in a week or two. However, I'll probably get a box truck at some point because I never seem to have enough room for all my tools.


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