Box truck as a service vehicle.

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I'm contemplating buying a small (10-14') box truck as my next service vehicle. We each do different kinds of work so I'm not asking which kind of vehicle would be best because everyone here will have a different answer. I just want to know if anybody is using a box truck and what your experience is.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
I’ve thought about a bread truck, unlike vans, stand up access front to rear. Unlike box trucks, easy access to tools and material without having to climb.
 

Coppersmith

Senior Member
Location
Tampa, FL, USA
Occupation
Electrical Contractor
I've looked at Step-vans. Definitely lower to the ground for ease of access. I'm concerned they don't have the carrying capacity. I'm thinking I need 3000 lbs.
 

Hv&Lv

Senior Member
Location
-
Occupation
Engineer/Technician
I've looked at Step-vans. Definitely lower to the ground for ease of access. I'm concerned they don't have the carrying capacity. I'm thinking I need 3000 lbs.
Step vans (fed ex style) have cargo capacity up to 19,000 lbs.
they make awesome substation maintenance vehicles FC6D90E9-D2FF-43CC-B1BA-F07ED3492C6B.jpeg
 
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petersonra

Senior Member
Location
Northern illinois
Occupation
engineer
3000 pounds does not sound like all that much carrying capacity to me. You get a couple of good sized electricians, some ladders, conduit, various tools, and supplies, and it can add up quick.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
I drove a step van (16 or 18ft) back in thd 90s at the company I started with. It was really nice to work out of, looking back.

I was mostly wiring new homes, but did some residential service, too.

It had a countertop made on both sides, with no cabinets under. I kept long ladders under one side. The other side was cases of can lights and wall boxes, plus wire.

Above that counter was kitchen cabinets on both sides, with latches to kerp the doors closed.

Up there were all the smaller materials - devices, connectors, breakers, conduit connectors, all kinds of crap.

I could carry enough materials to rough in and finish 3 houses (approx 1800 sq ft) as well as doind service.

At the time I was 22 years old and thought they were picking on me by making me drive an old Butternut truck. But how many times have I longed for a bread truck of my own.
 

augie47

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Tennessee
Occupation
State Electrical Inspector (Retired)
Had step-vans for my shop years ago. Poor milage, devil to park, but kept enough supplies that once on site, I seldom had to make a trip to the supply house. Lots of storage and easy to move around inside, a + in bad weather.
 

James L

Senior Member
Location
Kansas Cty, Mo, USA
Occupation
Electrician
Had step-vans for my shop years ago. Poor milage, devil to park, but kept enough supplies that once on site, I seldom had to make a trip to the supply house. Lots of storage and easy to move around inside, a + in bad weather.
The one I drove got around 6 or 7 miles to the gallon.

If a guy had enough supplies and kept it stocked really well, it might be unbeatable as a service van
 

__dan

Senior Member
Jobbed out of a Hino FB for 10 years, 16 kGVW, 11k normal running weight. I could go to HD and put two 2K lb tile pallets in the back and drive home, without unloading anything (did that a few times).

16 mpg 4 cylinder japanese turbo diesel, bought it used and put 100k miles on it. Engine is still good, rust took the frame out. The cabover style has a super tight turning radius and makes it easier to manuever than the Tundra. 12 ft length, box height to top was 10' 6", so parking was height limited in some places.

Stand up storage was great with Acro Bins on three sides. Just get in and go to the job, never had to load up. There is no comparason to a cabover diesel box truck and a regular van. You have to be careful about insurance, can be a lot more compared to a regular van. A Hino will outlive a typical van 2 or 3 to 1. For some customers, it has an impressive look pulling into the driveway. Like anything else, you have to have the right work for it.

They make an all electric fuel cell version, if you can get fuel for it. And they make a 195h, which is what I would put on the list for comparason shopping.
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
I got where I didn't like box truck flex on rough roads. Now have KUV-SUV and would never go back to stepvan or box truck View attachment 2556612
I almost bought a Ram diesel truck with a similar bed years ago, dealer admitted that the previous owner passed out and rolled it over on its side. Being a diesel, it probably ran a while on its side. Decided it wasn’t such a good buy!
 

hillbilly1

Senior Member
Location
Atlanta,Ga
Occupation
Field coordinator/ technical support
A friend of mine was selling a one ton four wheel drive truck with a 454, when asked what kind of gas mileage he got, he said “If you have to ask, you can’t afford it!” LOL!
 

oldsparky52

Senior Member
I got where I didn't like box truck flex on rough roads. Now have KUV-SUV and would never go back to stepvan or box truck View attachment 2556612
I considered one of those once but decided on sticking with my 1-ton van. The legal payload of my cargo van was more than that unit. Payload was a big deal for me because I carried a lot of weight.

I had the van setup with drawers and shelves that you could access almost everything from outside the van. I would have to climb in (hands and knees) to reach some shelves for the not used often items. I really could carry a LOT of stuff. I had one guy (another EC helping out) tell me he'd rather go to my van than Home Depot, :)

Then I had a 5x12 trailer I used when the van just wasn't enough.
 
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