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Desertdweller
03-30-2008, 11:18 PM
Do any of you that do strictly lighting use anything else besides a van or truck? I'm setting up a light truck and won't drive a van. I've used a Tahoe before doing irrigation service and see a lot of companies using the Scion or similar. Any ideas?

JC Lighting
03-30-2008, 11:48 PM
I use a Dodge Grand Caravan. It has two sliding doors, one on either side and the typical rear access gate. I can access everything from outside the van. Unlike the pickup truck I used in the beginning, I can leave the van and lock everything up inside and don't have to worry about the rain. I removed all the back seats, used a sheet of 4 x 8 plywood and a few 2x4's to create a false bottom bed. I place all my small tools, connectors, attachments items, lamps, drills etc. in 7 labeled see-thru plastic boxes with flip lids (bought at Costco 5 years ago). I keep post hole digger, shovels, rakes, extra pvc conduit (10 feet long since I slide them down the middle of the 8 foot bed and the extra two feet go between the two front seats.) I lay my Little Giant knockoff ladder on top of the boxes. I still have plenty of room for extension chord spool, several 500' spools of wire and a couple of 5 gallon utility buckets. When working on a large back yard I hand truck the boxes to the back yard and leave them there during the duration of the job.

Jim C.

extlights
03-31-2008, 12:10 AM
We use trailers. I couldn't imagine not using a trailer just due to the ease of it and you can set it up exactly how you want it. They're cheap, you can put everything in there without it getting all cluttered up and you can get it lettered up and make it really stand out.

The Lighting Geek
03-31-2008, 12:53 AM
We use trucks with trailers as well. the big reason is you can tow a trailer with different vehicles and keep going. When your truck or van is down, you are down.

Mike M
03-31-2008, 07:31 AM
Tommy, with all that gear on, you can just walk to the site.

Lite4
03-31-2008, 09:46 AM
Tommy has the trailer with the magnetic stickers on it. He will be wiring up a transformer and the Antelope emergency scanner will report a hostage situation downtown. He simply removes the magnetic Geek logos from the trailer and underneath is the City of Antelope SWAT-Mobil command Center. He just rolls to the incident. No one can believe how incredibly fast his response times are, but he and his crew are always ready and willing to take command when they are needed and if someone is in crisis. Oh my Gosh, that just gives me a flippin good idea. Tommy, you should market yourself with a SLAT mobile command center sticker on your trailer somewhere on your trailers - SPECIAL LIGHTING AND TACTICS unit. When people see you guys all geeked up in your 5/11 gear, it would fit perfectly. "Protecting the community from inferior and ugly Lighting".

Desertdweller
03-31-2008, 09:52 AM
I've thought of a trailer but would like a shorter one with drawers that can open up almost like a tool or tackle box. Anyone seen anything like this?

JoeyD
03-31-2008, 09:54 AM
Tommy has the trailer with the magnetic stickers on it. He will be wiring up a transformer and the Antelope emergency scanner will report a hostage situation downtown. He simply removes the magnetic Geek logos from the trailer and underneath is the City of Antelope SWAT-Mobil command Center. He just rolls to the incident. No one can believe how incredibly fast his response times are, but he and his crew are always ready and willing to take command when they are needed and if someone is in crisis. Oh my Gosh, that just gives me a flippin good idea. Tommy, you should market yourself with a SLAT mobile command center sticker on your trailer somewhere on your trailers - SPECIAL LIGHTING AND TACTICS unit. When people see you guys all geeked up in your 5/11 gear, it would fit perfectly. "Protecting the community from inferior and ugly Lighting".


Tommy isnt responding right now becuase he is actually on the phone with the printer as we speak. :laugh:

irrig8r
03-31-2008, 11:02 AM
Do any of you that do strictly lighting use anything else besides a van or truck? I'm setting up a light truck and won't drive a van. I've used a Tahoe before doing irrigation service and see a lot of companies using the Scion or similar. Any ideas?

A Scion? :laugh: Seriously?

I worked out of a rented Astro van a few years ago when a truck was totalled and I was trying to decide on a new one... I kinda liked it.

NightLightingFX
03-31-2008, 11:17 AM
I have a trailer. I love it. I think it is the way to go for all the reasons Tommy said and one more reason I never thought of until it was a problem. Most of the time if I am at a work site there isn't a public restroom around.:cry: The trailer works great for a private place to go in a cup or bucket. :rolleyes:
~Ned

irrig8r
03-31-2008, 11:30 AM
Heard about some service or delivery company in the news recently
where empoyees were complaining because they were forced to use leg bags...

Might not be so bad as long as you're not wearing shorts...:laugh:

The Lighting Geek
03-31-2008, 01:00 PM
Your are so right! I forgot to say we have a toilet in each trailer for the guys and myself. When I was a General Superintendent with a larger landscape company, I watched guys constantly packing up and going to a fast food joint, walking a distance to the nearest plastic porta potty or worse yet they didn't bother and well, you can figure the rest out. I figured that we were losing at least an hour a day with potty runs. Needless to say, we save money in wasted labor and the guys like the convenience. Another great reason for a trailer.

Not long ago 3 of us were gearing up on the tailgate of my truck for a demo, you know, vests, thigh mounts, headlights, etc. We were parked across the street from the house were demo'ing and I saw a lady peaking out the window next to us. She cracked the door and said in a concerned voice, 'What's going on out there?' Without looking at her or stopping, I said, 'We are about to go pimp out that house over there, wanna help?' She subsequently slammed the door. No sense of humor...sigh....

sprinkler guy
03-31-2008, 01:46 PM
Tommy,

The first time I saw your picture at the bottom of a post I thought it was just a cut and paste of the Ghostbusters.

Anyway, I started out with a full-size pickup truck Dodge 1500 quad-cab. I eventually purchased a trailer, which I tow with said truck. It's logoed up and I get quite a few calls from people who see me on the road. It makes having every tool you need right at your fingertips easy, as well as the backup restroom on those remote sites. The only downside for me has been working at some of So Cals beach cities where parking is a premium. In hindsight I would gladly buy a van, but I don't think I could use a minivan, I think I would prefer a full size. The van would still allow the big logo, as well as the storage and access. As I grow, my next rig will be a van.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
03-31-2008, 02:22 PM
Sean I am with you.... I run a Chev Silverado Z71 (4x4 is a MUST here), pulling a Custom Wells Cargo 6x12x7 Trailer with everthing includind the kitchen sink inside. This works great for the big installs but not so great for the smaller jobs and day runs. ( I usually leave the trailer behind on site) I like the ability to run the truck around with just a service kit on board.

I am thinking that the next vehicle will be a Dodge Sprinter... only issue is they are not making them in 4x4 or even AWD. Who knows.

Lite4
03-31-2008, 02:33 PM
I have been debating about buying a small box van or full sized econoline van for installs and just keeping my dakota for small service jobs and estimates. I would normally just do an all in one unit, but with gas prices the way they are I need to try to be as fuel efficient as possible.

The Lighting Geek
03-31-2008, 03:37 PM
Well, I have to admit, being from So Cal originally, limited parking would pose a different problem. I can see where a van would make sense. James I agree with you on the Sprinter or equal. My locksmith just bought a couple and they are pretty nice. They would logo up real nice too. There is always someone who will make 4x4 for you for a price :cool2:

JoeyD
03-31-2008, 06:21 PM
4x4 Turbo Diesel.....I want one of these just to have!!! Diesel cost sucks but the power and the fuel economy far outweighs a gas engine.

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/4x4Van.jpg

Pro-Scapes
03-31-2008, 07:17 PM
4x4 Turbo Diesel.....I want one of these just to have!!! Diesel cost sucks but the power and the fuel economy far outweighs a gas engine.

http://i207.photobucket.com/albums/bb97/ulsjoeyd/4x4Van.jpg

When I need to rock crawl to my next install I will keep thoes in mind. We are highly considering a sprinter too. 24mpg or something like that. We also looked at Express cargo vans with both sliding doors and I have an inquiry in for a quote on a custom trailer much like what james is speaking about now. Trailers can get hairy on long driveways sometimes but would be perfect to leave on site for big jobs as secure storage and a means of advertisment.

Lambent Leaves
03-31-2008, 07:55 PM
If you're thinking slong the lines of a Scion in size, I use a Nissan Xterra. Perfect size for my business, has plastic instead of carpet in back (including backs of rear seats when folded down), can fit 10' conduit inside if need be (or tie up on top), ladder up top, etc. For bigger jobs or tear-out I have an old army Jeep trailer (about 4X8) that is very useful when I need extra space, like when haulling Xmas light boxes to several sites. My logo looks pretty sweet on it too. And, I can clean it out, throw in the dog, kid and wife when going to Tahoe for the weekend!

extlights
03-31-2008, 09:10 PM
We thought about something along the lines of a Sprinter, but I still think a trailer is the way to go..for us anyway. You can pretty much customize it however you want on the inside, and you don't need a really large trailer. We have a 7x14 that works great with the way we have it set up and also a 7x20 all aluminum V-nose with front and rear ramp doors plus a man door. Although a little overkill, having a little extra space is nice and keeps things clutter free. We will always have a couple of trucks, so having trailers actually saves us money on more vehicle maintenance and insurance than if we got something like a Sprinter (although they are pretty cool.)

pete scalia
03-31-2008, 10:37 PM
The sprinter is a crappy vehicle for this application. It's too narrow. You put racks on both sides of the interior and you have no room to maneuver inside the body. I priced them last year and they were 45K for the dual wheel 3500 and it's still too light duty. I am told they have gone up 3K for the 08 model due to the exchange rate of the American dollar. The vans are manufactured in Germany by Mercedes benz and the parts are assembled in the US. After sending the van to the upfitter for customizations you'll add another 10K and then another 5K to do a full graphic wrap. Do you really think it's worth 65K after all?

The Lighting Geek
03-31-2008, 10:44 PM
I need an H1 and it will cover everything or tow everything :cool:

pete scalia
03-31-2008, 11:01 PM
I need an H1 and it will cover everything or tow everything :cool:

Maybe the terminator governor of your state will cut you a deal on his.

sprinkler guy
04-01-2008, 02:00 AM
I forgot to mention one of the other advantages of a trailer. With fuel costs getting out of hand, and traveling as far as 60 miles to get to an install, I just purchased a motorcycle to commute on. I put it in the trailer when I need to, but otherwise leave my truck at the job and ride home lickety split. My big logoed rig sits on the site all nite. Funny thing though, the wife didn't tell the husband I was leaving it there, and he called me at 9:30 when he got home. He'd been walking around the house looking for me and wanted to go over a couple of things. He wondered out loud if I was in the house, which we both had a laugh about. Anyway, the bike has averaged 47 miles to the gallon for the last two weeks, so I'm feeling good about the investment so far.

Pro-Scapes
04-01-2008, 08:56 AM
We often go 40 miles or so for installs and service. I have played with getting a small tacoma or something similar for service work and use the big truck when i need to haul heavy loads. I guess a scion xb logoed up would work in this situation too. Maybe its time for a new toy ? Fuel has been absolutly rediculous. Im sure its much worse in so cal. I think I paid 3.19 last time I filled up

JoeyD
04-01-2008, 09:26 AM
$4.10 for diesel the other day and that was at the cheapest station I could find. Most around here are $4.19 +.

NightLightingFX
04-01-2008, 07:10 PM
Will a Scion be able to pull a 5x8 trailer? If it can with gas prices the way they are that might not be a bad way to go. I currently have an Exterra that pulls my trailer. The Exterra isn't bad at all. The Scion would be better for gas but I don't know about how much room I would have in a Scion to put work stuff and etc.
~Ned

The Lighting Geek
04-01-2008, 07:44 PM
I expect to be paying $4.00 a gallon for regular this summer. Crude is around 107.00 a barrel. I just paid $3.59 this week. My bicycle is starting to look good at this rate...10 years ago crude was $10.00 a barrel.

Flow Control
04-01-2008, 08:06 PM
The sprinter is a crappy vehicle for this application. It's too narrow. You put racks on both sides of the interior and you have no room to maneuver inside the body. I priced them last year and they were 45K for the dual wheel 3500 and it's still too light duty. I am told they have gone up 3K for the 08 model due to the exchange rate of the American dollar. The vans are manufactured in Germany by Mercedes benz and the parts are assembled in the US. After sending the van to the upfitter for customizations you'll add another 10K and then another 5K to do a full graphic wrap. Do you really think it's worth 65K after all?

Glad you were not my salesman.

I have spent the last year researching different vehicles. This time last year my "fleet" if you want to call it that consisted of: (1) 1 ton, 4 door diesel dually (for towing the 24' trailer) and (1) 3/4 ton Dodge Ram Van, (1) S-10 extended cab with utility cap, (1) Chevy 3/4 ton. This year I am selling the Dodge Ram Van and S-10 (both are aging), I am putting a utility box on the Chevy 3/4 ton, picking up a Sprinter next week and I am looking to get a new ranger. Will post pics of the sprinter after I get it upfitted the way I want.

And they are coming out with a 4x4 one, a little sticker shock on those, I heard 65-70k

pete scalia
04-01-2008, 08:34 PM
Glad you were not my salesman.

I have spent the last year researching different vehicles. This time last year my "fleet" if you want to call it that consisted of: (1) 1 ton, 4 door diesel dually (for towing the 24' trailer) and (1) 3/4 ton Dodge Ram Van, (1) S-10 extended cab with utility cap, (1) Chevy 3/4 ton. This year I am selling the Dodge Ram Van and S-10 (both are aging), I am putting a utility box on the Chevy 3/4 ton, picking up a Sprinter next week and I am looking to get a new ranger. Will post pics of the sprinter after I get it upfitted the way I want.

And they are coming out with a 4x4 one, a little sticker shock on those, I heard 65-70k

Ok suit yourself then if you don't want to listen to me. Don't come crying when the axle falls off going down the highway because she won't hold the weight. Make sure you have your flares and first aid kit in order. :laugh: Better lose some weight too so you can navigate through the body of the truck. Have they told you the high maintenance costs for that vehicle? Something like 6 thousand for a break job and 4 thousand for an oil change. Only a small handful of Dodge dealers even know how to service them. Mercedes will not touch it. Good luck.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-01-2008, 08:51 PM
Isnt the voice of positivism a wonderful thing?

Flow Control
04-01-2008, 10:20 PM
No prob with me, everyone has their own opinions. BTW The oil changes in the van are cheaper then my VW.

trailboss
04-16-2008, 07:38 PM
What size trailer do you think would be ideal? Until now I have been working out of job boxes out of the bed of my truck - but I am tired of loading and unloading for every job. I have been looking at a 6X12 or 7X14 enclosed with side door. I drive a one ton diesel so pulling it isn't a problem.
Any input and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks, Steve

Chris J
04-16-2008, 08:19 PM
If you are a 1-4 man operation/crew, I believe the 7x14 would be ideal. Trailers are like garages/workshops; once you build it, you wish it was a little bigger.

Pro-Scapes
04-16-2008, 09:24 PM
I am looking at a 6x12 so its a little more manuverable. building the inside to be very organized and maximizing the space you have is important.

Chris J
04-16-2008, 09:30 PM
OK, but remember what I said.......Damn, I wish I had just a little more space!

extlights
04-16-2008, 11:25 PM
I agree with Billy. Our small trailer is 7x14 but if you have it set up right and are organized enough I really think a 6x12 would work. I also think it's dependant on your budget...a 6x12 is going to be quite a bit cheaper than a 7x14 because the 6x12's have single axles...then you outfit the trailer with ladder racks, outlets, lights, generator, cabinets etc and it starts getting pricey. A 7x14 is nice for the extra space, but a 6x12 will get the job done.

klkanders
04-17-2008, 01:03 AM
One thing to consider is no matter how careful you are a double axle trailer will leave marks on concrete or asphalt. For this biz when I purchase one soon it will be a single axle.

Keith

irrig8r
04-17-2008, 04:52 AM
With gas approaching $4/ gal., anyone thought about an electric service vehicle?

This might be small (1000 lb. payload) but it's a start.

http://www.phoenixmotorcars.com/vehicles/sut-specifications.php

http://www.phoenixmotorcars.com/vehicles/fleet-information.php

Pro-Scapes
04-17-2008, 11:05 AM
oh man Geekman will be all over this.

Unfortunatly with our rural area we often log alot of highway miles. I do not think the electric as of yet would cover it. I definatly see this as a great option in the future as the technology advances.

irrig8r
04-17-2008, 11:46 AM
Somewhere on the website they claim you can do 95 MPH with a full payload..... probably downhill? :laugh:

Seriously though, if there are tax incentives planned for zero carbon emission vehicles (which could actually be real and not just on paper if your power company uses hydro, solar, wind or nuclear) then we all win.

Except maybe the oil companies, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.

As I recall when I first heard about Phoenix, maybe a year ago, I remember reading that the bodies are made in Korea, but the rest is made domestically.

100 miles on a one hour charge is impressive, suburban or rural.

Pro-Scapes
04-17-2008, 12:01 PM
Somewhere on the website they claim you can do 95 MPH with a full payload..... probably downhill? :laugh:

Seriously though, if there are tax incentives planned for zero carbon emission vehicles (which could actually be real and not just on paper if your power company uses hydro, solar, wind or nuclear) then we all win.

Except maybe the oil companies, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.

As I recall when I first heard about Phoenix, maybe a year ago, I remember reading that the bodies are made in Korea, but the rest is made domestically.

100 miles on a one hour charge is impressive, suburban or rural.

wow 10 min charge to 95% with the external power source? 5-6 hours is what im seeing for the internal charger just plugged in.

Have you seen a price tag on these ? 47k to 50k ?The only issue I see is we often have extra stops during the day.. Now if I could mount a very small honda generator in the bed with that external power source that charges in 10 min your on to something here An issue might be it needs a 220 power source.

I think over the next few years this will be making extreme leaps in technology and pricing will also be better off.

JoeyD
04-17-2008, 01:22 PM
My dad was jut telling me (he owns a Napa Auto Parts) about a new transmition coming out for full size trucks. I think he said it was an aftermarket tranny. But it has 2 electric motors in the tranny that are supposed to double your fuel milage and when you put the pedal to the floor could give you up to 600 total HP, depending on the truck it is in I suppose. I will try to get more details. Cool enough to look into.

NightScenes
04-17-2008, 05:58 PM
My trailer is a 6X10 with a side door and it works very well. I don't see a need to be any larger than that unless you just feel like you need a lot of space or you want a dual axle.

extlights
04-17-2008, 07:42 PM
If there could be a way as a "quick charge" on the go if you will, I think it would definately be worth it. Using their calculations we'd save almost 9K a year compared to one of the trucks. Maybe in a few years when it evolves it could be something to consider. We put on a ton of miles so that 100 miles per charge would definately be an issue....they did say that they are working on an expansion pack though that would allow up to 250 miles. I didn't read a whole lot on it, but I wonder how much it would effect the electric bill every month from the charges.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-17-2008, 08:16 PM
I run a custom Well Cargo 6x12 with a interior clear height of 7'. ( I am 6'4" tall)
Left side is shelves with bins for everything, right side is wire and digging tool storage, up front I have a work bench with storage below, mounted vise, etc. I have a 3 way interior power set up, with an inverter, 'shore power' and a generator hook up.

It works out very well and hauls a ton of equipment to site. If I were buying a new one I would either get the V nose or have a nosecone mounted because pulling it really eats the fuel now. I would also have put e-brakes on it even though it is a single axle.

Regards.

The Lighting Geek
04-17-2008, 09:15 PM
oh man Geekman will be all over this.

I think I may have left an impression of some sort, eh? LOL I am looking forward to a hybrid truck when they come up with one.

Note on the trailers: tandem axles eat tires like crazy, and leave marks, and electric brakes are a must. I have a 7x14 and it seems so small (Chris is sooooo right) I am thinking of using 6x12 and 1/2 ton trucks maybe even a smaller truck.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-17-2008, 09:22 PM
Did somebody say Hybrid Pickup Truck?

http://www.leftlanenews.com/chevrolet-silverado-hybrid.html

The Lighting Geek
04-17-2008, 09:29 PM
WOW, thanks James. Now I won't be able to sleep tonight..lol

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
04-17-2008, 09:44 PM
I was going to get a new Toyota this year, but have decided to hold off and see how this Chev Hybrid pans out in the market instead. I only hope it has a bigger not smaller towing capacity then my 2006 Chev. I have a big boat and hence why I was thinking the Toyota as it can pull 10,300 lbs.

The Lighting Geek
04-17-2008, 11:23 PM
Just make sure you give the squirrels an extra Starbucks the morning you need to tow the boat:laugh:

Chris J
04-18-2008, 11:01 PM
I passed a car on the highway today that looked similar to a golf cart. I don't know what it was as this is the first time I've seen one, but I'm sure the mileage is off the charts!

Eden Lights
04-18-2008, 11:06 PM
I passed a car on the highway today that looked similar to a golf cart. I don't know what it was as this is the first time I've seen one, but I'm sure the mileage is off the charts!

Chris you would look good in one of these with a ladder on top.

http://www.smartusa.com/

Chris J
04-18-2008, 11:12 PM
HA HA! That's the CAR! Is that cool or what? You wouldn't catch me dead in one of those toasters.

extlights
04-18-2008, 11:31 PM
That Smart car is pretty crazy. Our neighbor just bought one for his daughter and he said it was almost 19K! I guess the gas mileage is supposed to be pretty good but I wouldn't feel safe in something that small.

David Gretzmier
04-19-2008, 01:00 AM
soapbox time:

I have a full size van, a diesel panel truck, and a couple of 1/2 ton trucks to pull my trailers. honda odyssey w/ladder rack on top for service work and small installs. I've said it here on the forum before, and I'll say it again, fuel is a cost, pure and simple. If you can minimize it and get the same work done, you make more money. there is a local bug company here that has 11 rigs and they are converting to scion xb's and gutted toyota prius's for service calls. They charge the same price whether they drive a full size truck at 12mpg or a xb/prius at 30-50mpg. why not make more profit? The bottom line is they are looking at the bottom line. I agree you can get more jobs done SOMETIMES with a giant truck and trailer, and thus make more profit by creating more revenue in a given amount of time.

I could do all installs and service work all year out of a small sprinter with ladder rack. 30 mpg, yes, but I can't afford one. yet. I can do 95% of my installs with wire, connectors, trans, pathlighters, underwater fixtures, bullets, an assortment of bulbs, a small little giant ladder, and 2-3 garden tools. it might fit in an xb,( 28-32mpg ) but tight. service and bid work could easily be done out of a prius with bulbs and a small little giant ladder and tool bag.

At what price do we finally, begrudgingly decide to get a more fuel efficient vehicle? a very good used sprinter can be had for 15-20k. most new trucks are 15-30. I like trucks as much as anyone, but I hate filling up at 10 mpg pulling a trailer.

running the math, 10 mpg verses 30-

15000 miles per year, 3.50 per gallon, 10mpg truck and trailer, $5250 per year. 4 bucks per gallon, 6 grand. 5 bucks ( oh yeah, we'll see it within 3 years ) 7500 bucks per year.

15000 miles, 30mpg, diesel, 4 bucks per gallon, 2000 bucks per year. 5 bucks per gallon, 2500 per year. 6 bucks, 3000, so forth. when gas hits 5 and diesel hits 6, you can just about pay the payment on a used sprinter in fuel savings alone over a truck and trailer.

the prius is the most extreme. at 50mpg, 15000 miles per year, 3.50 per gallon it costs you about 20 bucks a week to drive. remember The truck and trailer costs 100 bucks a week.

if your company is large enough to have multiple vehicles, who wouldn't try to do whatever work you can out of the most fuel efficient vehicle possible?
The diesel sprinter guy, or scion xb guy, prius guy, is insulated more from high fuel prices. If you look overseas where gas and diesel are 5, 6, 8 bucks per gallon, they have already figured this out. most cars, even full size trucks and vans over there run turbo diesel 4 cylinder engines and get 30-50mpg.

Eden Lights
04-20-2008, 12:31 AM
soapbox time:

I have a full size van, a diesel panel truck, and a couple of 1/2 ton trucks to pull my trailers. honda odyssey w/ladder rack on top for service work and small installs. I've said it here on the forum before, and I'll say it again, fuel is a cost, pure and simple. If you can minimize it and get the same work done, you make more money. there is a local bug company here that has 11 rigs and they are converting to scion xb's and gutted toyota prius's for service calls. They charge the same price whether they drive a full size truck at 12mpg or a xb/prius at 30-50mpg. why not make more profit? The bottom line is they are looking at the bottom line. I agree you can get more jobs done SOMETIMES with a giant truck and trailer, and thus make more profit by creating more revenue in a given amount of time.

I could do all installs and service work all year out of a small sprinter with ladder rack. 30 mpg, yes, but I can't afford one. yet. I can do 95% of my installs with wire, connectors, trans, pathlighters, underwater fixtures, bullets, an assortment of bulbs, a small little giant ladder, and 2-3 garden tools. it might fit in an xb,( 28-32mpg ) but tight. service and bid work could easily be done out of a prius with bulbs and a small little giant ladder and tool bag.

At what price do we finally, begrudgingly decide to get a more fuel efficient vehicle? a very good used sprinter can be had for 15-20k. most new trucks are 15-30. I like trucks as much as anyone, but I hate filling up at 10 mpg pulling a trailer.

running the math, 10 mpg verses 30-

15000 miles per year, 3.50 per gallon, 10mpg truck and trailer, $5250 per year. 4 bucks per gallon, 6 grand. 5 bucks ( oh yeah, we'll see it within 3 years ) 7500 bucks per year.

15000 miles, 30mpg, diesel, 4 bucks per gallon, 2000 bucks per year. 5 bucks per gallon, 2500 per year. 6 bucks, 3000, so forth. when gas hits 5 and diesel hits 6, you can just about pay the payment on a used sprinter in fuel savings alone over a truck and trailer.

the prius is the most extreme. at 50mpg, 15000 miles per year, 3.50 per gallon it costs you about 20 bucks a week to drive. remember The truck and trailer costs 100 bucks a week.

if your company is large enough to have multiple vehicles, who wouldn't try to do whatever work you can out of the most fuel efficient vehicle possible?
The diesel sprinter guy, or scion xb guy, prius guy, is insulated more from high fuel prices. If you look overseas where gas and diesel are 5, 6, 8 bucks per gallon, they have already figured this out. most cars, even full size trucks and vans over there run turbo diesel 4 cylinder engines and get 30-50mpg.

It sounds like you have some real world knowledge of the Sprinters mpg? My local dealer had been giving me figures in the 24mpg range, but he couldn't produce any names or phones numbers for me to reference. I have found a local trucking line that has two in service and have fuel tracking software for their trucks: mpg, avg. mph, and etc. They are getting some numbers together for me, but one their techs told me it's looking more like 20mpg but he's just guessing. If you have any info, please share?

David Gretzmier
04-21-2008, 12:05 AM
If you do a google search on sprinter mpg, you will find several diesel chat groups of sprinter owners. most owners of the smallest sprinter and the next size up are reporting 30mpg plus. the larger ones, duallies, etc, are running 22-24 from the owners. there are several guys that haul small loads cross country that get better than 30 mpg. but you can't drive 80 miles per hour and expect to get that.

The model I am planning on buying is the one with high roof and about 11 feet behind the front seats.

Pro-Scapes
04-21-2008, 09:42 AM
I passed a car on the highway today that looked similar to a golf cart. I don't know what it was as this is the first time I've seen one, but I'm sure the mileage is off the charts!

man I would of thought they would get better than 45mpg. I agree tho I dont think I would feel safe. A speed bump could send that thing airborn. They need to come up with a hybrid pheonix sut! Im sure they could pour about 90mpg out of one.

extlights
04-21-2008, 01:20 PM
I have a feeling that some of these car companies are feeling a little heat from somewhere about engineering more of these electric cars. We have a few guys who come out to the race track and race full battery powered cars and trucks down the track. Now if some joe can build a full battery powered car in his garage that runs in the 12's in the 1/4 mile you would surely think that a car company would have electric cars perfected by now and there would be more of them out on the road. I could be wrong, but I'm sure there's a reason. I am, however, waiting for the new VW hybrid diesel. I hear rumors of the 60mpg range.

JoeyD
04-21-2008, 01:36 PM
Something tells me they dont want a bunch of electric cars running around, they are getting to rich on oil and gas right now to want to push tooo hard. Paid $4.45 for Diesel yesterday.