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#162144 - 04/13/07 07:26 PM cargo van or step van?  
u2slow  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 200
Salt Spring, BC, Canada
I have a chance to get into a '97 E250 cargo van with a fresh rebuilt V6, or a '90 E450 step van with diesel & 5-speed. Either one is about $4k. Which would you choose?

I'm using an 80's Suburban right now, but its not working out so well for space and access. I used to despise the vans since I work on my own vehicles, but its looks like I don't have much choice anymore.


Business, Office, Estimating, Legal:

#162159 - 04/13/07 10:13 PM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: u2slow]  
macmikeman  Offline
Member
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 717
Honolulu, Hawaii
What kind of work do you mostly do? For residential service work, the step van is probably the better choice. For other types of work, parking and low branches in driveways is the issue. For downtown hi-rise work, pickup trucks rule.


#162186 - 04/14/07 10:49 AM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: macmikeman]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
Vehicle height is a real concern .... my truck is just a bit too tall, so I have some places I can't go. Not to mention needing a ladder to ... get to may ladders!

Parking, and turning radius is an issue as well. I swear car lots are sized for Yugos.

Width ... I went 'full size' after years of driving mini-trucks, and have the body damage to prove it!

You'll need at least a 3/4 ton truck, if you want to to a scissors lift.

Visibility, especially when backing or changing lanes, are major concerns.

Now, if I could get one of those little postal mini-box trucks..... laugh


#162188 - 04/14/07 11:22 AM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: renosteinke]  
Tiger  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 706
Crystal Lake, IL USA
I've used a pickup for 15 years & I'm ready for a van. The added space will be a real plus. What I've enjoyed about the pickup is that I can get at most of my tools standing up...without climbing in. If I could get at my tools & materials in a step van walking & standing...instead of bending & crawling, I'd be all for the step van. Good space for a billboard too if you're in residential service.

Dave


#162222 - 04/14/07 10:12 PM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: u2slow]  
e57  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
S.F.,CA USA
Are you a tall man? Yes, a step van offers an advantage of being able to stand in it. Something it sounds like your Suburban is giving you a back ache about.

Are you in in urban, or hilly environment? The one with the automatic is for you. Once lost a clutch in rush hour with jerks pulled up 2" off my bumper on a steep hill - had to get the cops to re-route traffic to back me off the hill to get towed.

Do you have a big rainy/snow season? Both are good for you. In a pick-up everything is soaked.

Only residential? A diesel wakes up the neighbors in the morning.

You work on it yourself? The step van has better enginge access. Most you can sit in the drivers seat and work on it, but not much to do to a diesel until it really breaks...

Parking ain't great with either if you only park in garages. But in high-rise I often get loading dock parking off to the side or nearby street parking, any garage with space available is blocks away anyway.

Roof top ladders? They make swing-down ladder racks for taller trucks.

I drive a Savanna, but next one just might be a 10' box conversion Cut-Away, or a Step Van. Maybe a Sprinter...



Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

#162282 - 04/16/07 12:08 PM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: u2slow]  
u2slow  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 200
Salt Spring, BC, Canada
This is all great info! Thanks guys!

My work varies a lot. I do commercial/light-industrial, farm, and some residential (usually limited to service upgrades and shops/garages). Downtown stresses me out regardless of what I drive, so I tend to avoid that work altogether.

I thought the step van may prove too cumbersome due to its size, but it seems some of you embrace that for the headroom and and cargo space it affords. (I'm 6'4" tall btw wink ) Having at least 10' of load floor - for conduit, unistrut, etc. - is very necessary feature.

I forgot about towing. I could use my personal vehicle to deliver a scissor-lift if/when I get one. Still, a valid point that makes V6 power less desirable.

I really can't stand automatic transmissions, but if a basic cargo van was 'ideal', I would manage to put up with it.

Changing the subject a little here... how does a dually van (step or cube) compare to a single-wheel version? Is the additional load capacity worth the width penalty?


#162734 - 04/24/07 07:31 PM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: u2slow]  
u2slow  Offline
Member
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 200
Salt Spring, BC, Canada
I made buying a work vehicle my job for a few days. By Friday I had made my decision, finished the paperwork, and was driving it home.

Its a '97 E350 diesel. smile
[Linked Image]

Anyone have a favourite type of lock to put on the doors? I'e seen puck-locks used, but also a different one that looks like a burly hinge that's open flat. (Know what I'm talking about? crazy)

Last edited by u2slow; 04/24/07 07:32 PM.

#162741 - 04/24/07 11:38 PM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: u2slow]  
dougwells  Online Sleepy


Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,140
kamloops BC Canada
with my luck if I found something like that it would be school bus yellow laugh anyhow nice van I like it


#162742 - 04/24/07 11:47 PM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: dougwells]  
renosteinke  Offline
Cat Servant
Member
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 5,316
Blue Collar Country
We might joke about the "short bus," but I'm beginning to like the idea.

First, you have windows, which will help you in traffic.
You have room to stand, and move about.
That flat front part of the 'box' is a natural place for your company logo ... or even temp site lighting.

The downside? You still need to add ladder / pipe racks ... and it's tall enough that you'll need a ladder to reach them. Low clearance buildings might also be an issue.

Still ... it's got me thinking!


#162748 - 04/25/07 03:15 AM Re: cargo van or step van? [Re: u2slow]  
e57  Offline
Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,876
S.F.,CA USA
You could probhably get all but an extention or 12'A-frame ladder inside it if you got creative. Security would be my big problem - the fewer windows the better in my mind, and that big bus door would get all but welded shut. Can't you just tug on it and it opens?


Mark Heller
"Well - I oughta....." -Jackie Gleason

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