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#158120 03/30/06 09:44 AM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 40
I bought a chevy express 3500 work van. It is a 2003 model and was used as a fleet vehicle for TYCO-Simplex alarms. The milage is high at 95,000, but the van was serviced as required, and I got the carfax report with it. The van has a rating of over a ton and a half, and is equipped with a lot of options like power windows, good ac, towing electronics ,cruise control, etc... The engine is the largest v8 you can get, gas milage is ok, and I will deduct my milage at tax time anyway so I want power and torque on demand. I got my company logo on both sides and the back, and I am proud to drive this vehicle to do my service work. Also, it came equipped with full roof racks and parts bins as well as a driver shield from flying parts. I was able to finance this at 6% interest and paid 11,500.00 for it at five years making the payments at 216.00 a month. This van new with all the accessories would be about 30,000.00. My business is too new to afford something like that.

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#158121 03/31/06 10:38 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 23
neutron Offline OP
Junior Member
I'm looking to get into the commerical market should that have any part in my decision?
By the way thank you to all for all the great info this is a great site.

#158122 04/06/06 10:16 AM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 138
Hard to beat a used van. Yeh, you'll have some maintenance costs but I'd rather have a truck I could spend money on during the slow times than one I had to make large payments on every month.
Vans keep materials dry, have nice large sides for advertising, and an accessible top for your ladders.
I have a 2000 extended one ton Chevy that I bought with 120,000 miles. It gets 10 mpg but I paid $6,000 cash for it. Have bought tires, done my own brake jobs, and put a ladder rack on top. I've put 30,000 miles on it will little to no money other than what was mentioned. I did put an alarm system on it for $200 (bought on Ebay). It'll tow the largest trencher you can rent and will fit 10' material inside when needed.

[This message has been edited by PE&Master (edited 04-06-2006).]

#158123 04/28/06 08:02 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 259
Last month I bought an 06 Express diesel van. Paid 26k out the door. Low finance rate, 3.8 I think so I put nothing down and keep my cash in the bank I would have put down on it to keep the payments low.
Milage is just over 18mpg. Quiet and rides very nice.

#158124 04/29/06 09:26 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 141
2 things I want in any van from now on

- remote control mirrors cause I'm fed up with not being able to adjust the passenger side mirror while driving.

- a light on the dash if any door is open. Anyone who has driven off with the side or rear door open will understand that one.

#158125 05/07/06 02:04 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 81
Number one priority for service van?
Get power door locks. You make lots of trips to your van in a day and you need to lock four doors every time.

My last van was a 2003 cargo express 1 ton, and I liked it a lot but didnt like putting fuel in it. It drove like a car.

I since have gone out on my own and bought a used astro cargo which I like also but for different reasons. Its smaller but my shop is now at my home (my garage) so I dont need to carry as much. I go home every night so I can store some stuff I dont use as often off the vehicle which saves fuel. They are discontinued however and will not be made in 2007 I am told.

#158126 05/13/06 12:25 PM
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 10
Do you have ford connect vans in the US? small front wheel drive vans very good I have one.

#158127 05/13/06 06:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 141
I used to have a Transit till I snapped the chassis in half.
I wouldn't mind working out of an old Bedford again. I've been using Hi-Aces for years because of their reliability but the old Bedfords had much more style and room.

#158128 05/14/06 09:13 PM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 687
Nope. Ford had a Windstar. I don't think I seen a cargo one. Not sure if they still make them. Before that was an Arostar but that was a rear wheel drive.

#158129 08/03/06 11:56 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 200
I'm part-time self employed outside of my normal 40hour week. I have a computer background in addition to electrical. So far I'm not encountering the kind of work that requires me to have a loaded 1-ton van handy at all times.

I'm looking at various station wagons.... possibly a Focus or Jetta, even a Mercedes 300TD caught my eye. Sprinter looks promising, but too new still for my budget. (Heck, a Liberty CRD is cheaper!)

I can always use the family vehicle (F350 crewcab) if I have a serious load of material or equipment to deliver.

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