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New work truck

Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Posts: 2,186Member
I need a new work truck and I'm not sure what to get. The largest promaster with the high roof is in the running.

I'd love to hear from others about what they drive and like.
Ramer Mechanical
ramermechanical.com
To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.

Comments

  • lchmblchmb Posts: 2,927Member
    my favorite was the F350 truck with a work box on the back.. had a lift gate and plenty of room. Built a work bench in the head of the truck.. kept the oil and heavy end smells in the back and nice clean cab up front...
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 515Member
    Ya gonna spend more time driving it or working in the back? I've tried a little of everything and my commercial rig is a 3/4 ton regular cab with a simple contractor topper and Pack-Rat for fittings. I carry a 4 wheel Rubbermaid cart and load whatever tools and fitting I need on the cart and go to work, but I typically spend 3-4 hours a day driving and I almost always have a work site so I don't need to do any fab in the truck. I'm very happy with it and will get another one set up the same way when this one is junk. My residential rig though, is an enclosed trailer set up with a ton of shelving and storage for everything I may ever need and I pull it around with my personal truck. I prefer that method as if I need to run for parts, I can simply unhook and leave the "jobsite" (inside the trailer) alone and not have to pack everything up to go. Am looking at getting a bigger trailer, but otherwise would do this again too.
  • IronmanIronman Posts: 5,039Member
    I really love my Sprinter with the 3 liter V6 diesel. Lots of power with good mileage. Just make sure you’ve got someone whose trained and certified on that engine.
    Bob Boan


    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Intplm.Intplm. Posts: 753Member
    If your looking to have everything inside for a clean look and securing all the damn stuff we have to haul around without anyone looking in , go with a sprinter or similar vehicle like the promaster you mentioned. I like the ones that are tall with pipe racks on the inside mounted on the ceiling.
    If you do go with a taller model. Be very aware of the height, it takes some getting used to. It really stinks if you hit a overhead sign or worse the parking garage entrance.
  • HenryHenry Posts: 895Member
    We have now probably nearly 30 MB Diesel vans. We started with Sprinters as they were cheaper but they rusted. We have probably 15 Ram 250 Diesel pickups with caps for the foremen. We had a whole lot of recalls on the engines. MB will come to the office with a spare to pickup the MB for service. The Group bought a large plumbing contractor that specialises in very large condo projects last year plus a bankruptcy with 16 plumbers and trucks. They are phasing out all those Sprinter from both companies to MB.
  • Mike_SheppardMike_Sheppard Posts: 481Member
    I’d like to try one of the vans with a utility body. I like the idea of having quick access to stuff on the outside. Never had one before.
    Never stop learning.
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 515Member

    I’d like to try one of the vans with a utility body. I like the idea of having quick access to stuff on the outside. Never had one before.

    They're awesome to work out of! But a hateful turd to drive, IMO. The ones with the truck cab are much more comfortable if you need to spend any amount of time in them. I had both, just hate driving vans and I don't need to carry so much stuff anymore so went back to a pickup with a contractor topper. Still side access for small things and the big tools go up in the front of the bed, Pack-Rat behind. Works awesome for me, much more versatile than the utility truck was
  • ZmanZman Posts: 4,889Member

    I need a new work truck and I'm not sure what to get. The largest promaster with the high roof is in the running.



    I'd love to hear from others about what they drive and like.

    The Promasters are nice. I know in my area, not all dealerships are set up to do service. A buddy of mine drives 1 1/2 hours each way for warrantee work. You might double check...
    "If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough"
    Albert Einstein
  • hot_rodhot_rod Posts: 11,449Member
    I think most of the Euro inspired vans offer 3 different roof heights. For 6 footer you want the higher, maybe a mid roof is tall enough.

    Pros and cons with a van, loud and smelly inside , slow to heat unless up put a header in. I like windows in the rear door for better visibility. I like to stand up to get to stuff, no more crawling on my knees :)

    2wd adequate? Once I put high dollar Michelin snow tires on my Sprinter it was fine in snow, need weight of course.

    The Ford Transits seem to be getting better reviews than the Dodges? I'd go with a gas engine, less $$ to maintain, no DEF hassle and less upfront $$. The diesels are so smogged down these days really not much advantage to the with higher fuel costs, etc.

    Chevy had a van that had a couple side access tool boxes on the driver side to access small tools, that would be ideal for typical troubleshooting boxes or bags, meters, etc. I'll bet aftermarket companies could add a couple outside access compartments.

    There is is some great racking and tie down stuff available from Sotimo (sp)
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    The magic is in hydronics, and hydronics is in me
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Posts: 1,043Member
    Still have my Express and will probably replace it with another Express. The Express still has the body on frame and I’m always carrying 8500+ lbs. All the Euro vans are unibody and I’ve read Ford has seen some issues with the Transit recently and said people are over using the van for its intended purpose. All the unibodies have point of loads and if not followed correctly could twist the whole body.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • nibsnibs Posts: 263Member
    Tata is bringing out a van, all of its controls, steering brakes etc are on a wireless dashboard. You do not ever have to reverse, just take the dash and chair to the other end of the van.
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Posts: 2,186Member
    Thanks for all the suggestions and ideas.
    I currently have a chevy express with a utility body. Tough as a rock but hard on gas.
    I like the utility body but the outside doors wear out to fast and before you know it, you are getting water damage to your tools.

    The advantages I see with the Transit or Promaster is you get everything inside. Better security and better protection. Plus I'll be able to get an interior shelving and racking package that will keep everything organized better than the utility body and probably last for several vans. When a utility body truck is worn out, it is practically worthless. With this setup, I should be able to swap my shelving and racking package to a new van and be able to sell the old van as a cargo van.

    The main differences I see between the Promaster and the Transit;
    Promaster has front wheel drive.
    Transit has rear wheel drive.
    Promaster has a lower cargo floor, easier to get in and out of.
    Promaster seems to have more driver amenities.
    Promaster is less expensive.

    Both the Promaster and the Transit seem to be pretty reliable in the later models. Earlier models had their kinks and bugs.

    Definitely going gas engine. Can't afford to get a MB deisel worked on in these parts.

    I kind of like the idea of front wheel drive. With proper loading in the cargo space, I would think it would outperform rear wheel drive in adverse conditions.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • GroundUpGroundUp Posts: 515Member
    A few guys around here have had an excessive amount of transmission trouble with the FWD Promasters. Perhaps the new ones have remedied that issue, but the older ones when loaded like a 1 ton van is usually loaded were notorious for eating trannies every 40-50k. At least the ones around here anyway. Something to consider. Also if snow/ice is a thing where you are, traction is AWFUL with a FWD vehicle when you have a ton of tools and fittings on the rear axle and nothing but an aluminum V6 on the front. Loaded lightly, I'd take a FWD any day in this MN climate but loaded heavy I'd think twice
  • ch4manch4man Posts: 134Member
    most of out promasters eat a headlight every other oil change.
    many have had radiator issues and a few engines crap out

    OTOH the turning radius is great, the cab is sealed from the back end so its quiet. ladders are a pain if you get a hi top and if you live in snow and ice land better get good tires, you will have more tools and parts in the back than the engine/trans weighs
  • The Steam WhispererThe Steam Whisperer Posts: 342Member
    I bought a new 2017 Chevy 2500 express cargo about a year ago. We installed the inside liner with 1/2 inch duct insulation on the walls and ceiling. Nice and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We also put in a shelving unit and a bulkhead. We got the optional 4 cylinder turbo diesel.....same torque as the 6.0 liter gas v-8 but at half the rpm. This little diesel really launches all that weight quite nicely. It's probably quicker than any of the gassers around town. We are usually running between 7500 and 8500 lbs and run about 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg to 33 mpg on the highway. Since we run about 20,000 miles a year, the diesel pays for itself in about 18 months ( its only about a $3500.00 option). The savings of $200.00 a month in fuel pays for about 1/3 the payment on the car loan, so its like getting a brand new trunk for only $425.00 per month. If you buy one, just tack on the cost to get good shocks as the factory ones are useless with any weight. Also figure on replacing the old sealed beam style headlights with some aftermarket DOT approved replacements from Hella, Vision X or United Pacific. There are some really go LED ones too, but they are pricey.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Dave0176Dave0176 Posts: 1,043Member

    I bought a new 2017 Chevy 2500 express cargo about a year ago. We installed the inside liner with 1/2 inch duct insulation on the walls and ceiling. Nice and warm in the winter and cool in the summer. We also put in a shelving unit and a bulkhead. We got the optional 4 cylinder turbo diesel.....same torque as the 6.0 liter gas v-8 but at half the rpm. This little diesel really launches all that weight quite nicely. It's probably quicker than any of the gassers around town. We are usually running between 7500 and 8500 lbs and run about 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg to 33 mpg on the highway. Since we run about 20,000 miles a year, the diesel pays for itself in about 18 months ( its only about a $3500.00 option). The savings of $200.00 a month in fuel pays for about 1/3 the payment on the car loan, so its like getting a brand new trunk for only $425.00 per month. If you buy one, just tack on the cost to get good shocks as the factory ones are useless with any weight. Also figure on replacing the old sealed beam style headlights with some aftermarket DOT approved replacements from Hella, Vision X or United Pacific. There are some really go LED ones too, but they are pricey.

    Good mileage, I’m averaging roughly 12 MPG with the 4.8 8 cylinder. I consider it not too bad considering the weight of the vehicle. Wish I had the 5.3 or 6.0 though.
    DL Mechanical LLC Heating, Cooling and Plumbing 732-266-5386
    Specializing in Steam Heating, Serving the residents of New Jersey
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/dl-mechanical-llc

    https://m.facebook.com/DL-Mechanical-LLC-315309995326627/?ref=content_filter

    I cannot force people to spend money, I can only suggest how to spend it wisely.......
  • ratioratio Posts: 2,008Member
    I've got a ¾ ton Chevy van as well, with the li'l V8. Just turned 100k a few weeks ago. No real problems so far other than the factory battery is just too durned small for a working vehicle. If it's below zero out, it'll >just< start on Monday if I don't open any doors over the weekend. I went through three warranty batteries before I figured out that my GPS that I left plugged in was what was killing it.

    I despise the look of the new Transits, etc., but I suppose my next truck will be that style; it looks like my company is one of the last ones to transition to them.

  • Tom_133Tom_133 Posts: 619Member
    Harvey,

    The 2020 Transit coming this fall will be AWD, that will be a great option. I currently have a 2018 denali 3500 diesel, 4wd with a Morey slide in body, its awesome to work out of just kinda high to get in and out of. I think I am going to get the 2020 Transit, AWD with the ecoboost, that motor is really good.
    Tom
    Montpelier Vt
  • Harvey RamerHarvey Ramer Posts: 2,186Member
    Sounds like more people like the transit. I might go that route.
    Ramer Mechanical
    ramermechanical.com
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Steve MinnichSteve Minnich Posts: 2,422Member
    I had the Transit, couldn't get rid of it fast enough. It just wasn't built for the work I was doing - all boilers. I switched to the Chevy Express 2500 for my next two and I love them. I still have one of them even though I'm not a contractor anymore. Only 31k miles on it and I'm more comfortable in that than a car.

    My wife calls me creepy van guy?
    Steve Minnich
    Tell me I can't, and I'll show you I can.
  • The Steam WhispererThe Steam Whisperer Posts: 342Member
    My business partner has a 3 year old Express 3500 with the 6.0 gas. Gets about 12 mpg also in our Chicago traffic with the whole city being turn up for new water and gas lines.
    To learn more about this professional, click here to visit their ad in Find A Contractor.
  • Big Ed_4Big Ed_4 Posts: 1,122Member
    I Like the Isuzu NPR HD with the utility box . 14,500 LB gross weight with the 12 box ..You can turn on the dime with the short wheel base,, great urban crawler . My first I had the Supreme box , my newest came with the DeJana . So much better box . Much better made doors and hardware The shelving is nice and can be adjusted .But once you stock it with our stuff "Fittings" They needed more reinforcement . Ask me how I know that . The aluminum hinges started to bend . They said well you must be putting too much weight on them ... Duh , I did not know I bought a bread truck ... Remember when they were used in our field .

    I was looking into the EURO van , hoping to down size . I feel they really can't handle our weight and not enough space needed for me. . I would have had to leave tools and parts behind ...Today I find we have to carry so much more tools ,parts , pipe and fittings ,then years back . Years back we used black and copper . Torch , threader and a few drills and wrenches ... Also back then you could have relied on a local supply house to have what you need ...
    I have enough experience to know , that I dont know it all
  • Solid_Fuel_ManSolid_Fuel_Man Posts: 1,523Member
    Was talking to another heating guy who is on his second winter with a Promaster. He said it is awful in the snow when there is a load in the back (there always is isn't there).

    I too was interested in the lower floor etc of the Promaster. Not sure now. There are a lot of guys with the MB Van's who have nothing but good to say about them.

    I've had Chevy Express, pickups, Econolines, and a station wagon (years ago). I'd really like to have something I can stand up in and not have to hunch over finding parts....which all fell on the floor.

    Contents may settle during shipping.
    Master electrician specialising in boiler and burner controls, multiple fuel systems, radiant system controls, building controls, and universal refrigeration tech.
  • fixitguyfixitguy Posts: 79Member
    20 years 4 Dodge Caravan Minivans, small but real comfy, safe with good resale, parts are cheap. Keeps my business right sized. If I need something big, I rent. Park anywhere, runs on E85.
  • WazWaz Posts: 4Member
    The promaster is great to work out of. Snow tires are needed in the winter if you have them it’s great in the snow with out it’s useless. It’s not the fastest but it’s great to work out of. You can get the sliding doors on both sides as well.
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