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Discussion Starter #1
Do you feel that a truck or a van is better suited for a contractors needs. I am between getting a New 4 Door Toyota Tacoma or a used Dodge Van. I like the idea of a pickup but a van seems more secure and also better in the winter. What do most of you feel is the better choice.
 

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You have to fit it to your needs.
I like vans for the security and that we get a lot of rain here. I can carry as much as any pickup AND keep it dry and locked up. Important features here. They do restrict you to 48" in height, if that matters.
My personal model doubles as a camper for an overnighter when the shrimp or flounder are running.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
what make and model do you recommend. I personally am not a fan of either Ford or GM and dodge is only slightly better.
 

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I mostly run bowties although I still have some old Fords on the road. Dodges have never stood up to our enviroment.
 

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...depends what you're gonna use it for. Hauling granite slabs? Get apickup. Hauling loads of tools that you need every day but would get ruined by rain or stolen if left in the back of your truck? Get a van.

I have 2 chevy's and 1 dodge. All have been bought used. All have over 100k miles and all have no problems.
 

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I would get one of each, I say a nice van, a nice pickup and a nice dump, with some nice trailers, an enclosed and open one you name it.



GET EM ALL!
 

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I've been driving a Chevy Astro Ext AWD for the last 3 years. It's been pretty good. Got over 240k on it without any major problems. Oh we replaced the fuel pump and tires, sepantine belts. But for 240k w/o any major engine or tranny work, that's pretty good.

I really like trucks for my flooring work because I can seperate the dust and chemicals from the driving compartment. So, I've been driving my classic '68 chevy 3/4 ton here recently. Really nice to have the 8'3" bed for halling. All the junk is in the back.

Truck over van any day for me.
 

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hard to beat a truck, or so i thought.

lately, i've been driving a 89 honda crx i got swapping 4wheelers...i had a customer wanting work on his lake house which is 50 miles each way so what the heck....

just for grins, i took the front seat out and started loading it up. i can put every tool i need for handyman work and small additions inside the car and lock the doors, including a 6 foot step ladder and a few 93 inch studs if i really need to....sold the compressor and use the cordless paslodes.

if i need, i tie everything else to the roof......the car is just over 14' long and carries a 32' ladder no problem.

i ordered a hitch from uhaul and plan on towing a 4x6 once its installed....roof rack coming soon. if i need laborers, they drive the old truck.

i've owned both trucks and vans. as much as i thought i would miss my truck, i don't one bit. i don't like a van because of bad visiblity and i hate working on them. plus, you'll bump your head if you aren't careful. if i can't carry it in the honda, they'll deleiver it.

i get 43 empty and 38 with all the tools in it. customers eat it up because its different. not only that, i get to wiggle out of the trash hauling unless they care to pay me to drive the pickup thats been sitting in the driveway.

times are changing......
 

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I suppose you could beef up the leaf springs and put solid tires on it.

The little Euro vans are cool too. Personally I need at least a 3/4 ton pickup, no topper. 1 tons are great but I think duallies are overkill unless your using a 5th wheel. Cab forward would be my choice if I upgrade.

I'd like to come up with a hybrid/bio diesel design that puts out 450lbs of torque, gets 60 miles per gallon and retire.:cheesygri
 

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You might also consider a utility trailer. Good for locking up at same sight day in/out. Not all areas have to worry about theft. That way you don't have to haul everything back and forth and save some gas.
 

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It does depend on what you'll do with it. I install tile, haul backerboard, demo large areas, etc., and wouldn't have anything but a one ton pickup. Really think about what you'll potentially be hauling. You can haul smaller amounts in a one ton, you can't haul larger amounts in a mid-size. And get an 8 foot bed -- nothing worse than having 15 sheets of plywood slide out of your open 6 1/2' bed.

As far as rain/security goes, I had a folding cover (four 2-foot hard plastic sections) installed and it's the best thing I could have done. Much better than the hinged 8 foot pieces of fiberglass. They really limit your load.
 

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The Deck Guy
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If you are lazy like me, you won't want to unload all your tools at the end of the day because they are sitting in the bed of your pickup. You won't want to drive in the rain and get them wet either. I have an F150 but now wish I bought an F250 due to weight concerns.

The best thing I ever bought was an ARE DCU truck cap with built in toolboxes. Tons of organized storage and everything stays dry.

The only thing I'd change would be to get a taller cap that permits 48" sheets on edge for more versatility.

Vans are nice too. But who wants to drive a van?

One thing to keep in mind is resale value. In my area, Ford pickups are the cream of the crop price wise. Chevys and Dodges were always a lot less for the same truck--sometimes $2k less. White holds its value better than any other color I found out.
 

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I'm not to proud to say...
I drive a mini van, 260.000 all I've done is a trans only reciently, and a wheel bearing, 25 mile t the gal.

on lg jobs I bring a trailer
pontiac transport 1996
 

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Greg, vans are rolling billboards. I get 2-3 decent calls just from them.

Other than having the entire van stolen (past post), they're pretty secure. Also acceptable? Overlooked by security?, in high class neighborhoods.
 

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Tile Setter
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Teetorbilt said:
Greg, vans are rolling billboards. I get 2-3 decent calls just from them.
I had recently thought about this truck vs van thing a few months back. Bought myself a GMC Savanna 2500. I have had this loaded with tools and full of hardibacker and tile and it doesn't sag and drives just fine.

Glad to hear the advertising brings decent calls. I will be having vinyl lettering placed on mine tomorrow.

- Bob
 

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I've tried everything and just this year went (back) to a GMC 3/4 ton truck, extra cab with a camper shell. I built a sliding drawer for parts with a 2x4 surround for hanging elec cords, hoses. I can fit 4x sheets inside (with the back window tied down) and I plan on getting a rack for larger loads, although if they're much larger I would have them delivered anyway....
I've tried this setup before and find it to be the most overall flexible, the only drawback being the lack of ability to carry stuff needing an open bed (concrete, debris etc..)
I've tried vans, utility trucks, open bed trucks with tool boxes, trucks with trailers, you name it! I find this to be the best , for me at least...
And I think it looks a little classier than a more worklooking truck...

And the wood inside is set up to unscrew easily so that it's ready for a trip to the desert (it coincidentally happens to be a 4x4 :biggrin: )
 
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