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View Full Version : Service 3/4ton Van or 3/4ton Truck?


RedWingsDet
07-06-2008, 11:34 PM
Which do you guys prefer?

I am at the point where I need to get a vehicle for irrigation only.

I often wondered why some use trucks, is their a benefit over vans that I am not aware of?

I have been using my landscape trucks these past few years, and now that I have a good rep. in the area for irrigation and know what I am doing (dont know everything and realistically, never will) and I stand behind my work, I need a dedicated irrigation vehicle.

I personally want a chevy 3/4ton van with swing doors on the side and in back (mainly for the shelving and drawer ability), and thats what I am planning on buying this fall or next spring, however, before I purchase, I want to know if their is an unknown reason for trucks in the irrigation business?

Thanks fellas

KS_Grasscutter
07-06-2008, 11:47 PM
Which do you guys prefer?

I am at the point where I need to get a vehicle for irrigation only.

I often wondered why some use trucks, is their a benefit over vans that I am not aware of?

I have been using my landscape trucks these past few years, and now that I have a good rep. in the area for irrigation and know what I am doing (dont know everything and realistically, never will) and I stand behind my work, I need a dedicated irrigation vehicle.

I personally want a chevy 3/4ton van with swing doors on the side and in back (mainly for the shelving and drawer ability), and thats what I am planning on buying this fall or next spring, however, before I purchase, I want to know if their is an unknown reason for trucks in the irrigation business?

Thanks fellas


Let me start by saying I do NO irrigation work... but anyway, I see a lot of guys around here using 3/4 ton and 1 ton utility bed trucks, and then run a plow on them in the winter.

RedWingsDet
07-06-2008, 11:50 PM
understandable in that respect. however I am looking to see what the best irrigation vehicle is. I dont need plow trucks or landscape trucks as I already have plenty. I want something that will be the best for irrigation.

P.S. what do you guys think of the sprinters for service work??

AI Inc
07-07-2008, 05:23 AM
My service guy drives a ranger with 3 tool boxes 1 acroos the back and 2 side boxes.
I drive a e 250 extended. Then we also have a f 350 for towing the machine. Guy that drives that does the local calls on service only days.

BrandonV
07-07-2008, 06:19 AM
sprinter for the win

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-07-2008, 06:38 AM
sprinter for the win

How do you store pipe on a Sprinter? We are talking investing what? 40,000 on a sprinter right? I love the concept of those sprinters but the more I look the more I talk myself out of them.

Flow Control
07-07-2008, 07:02 AM
How do you store pipe on a Sprinter?

I have no problems storing pipe in my van, we are mostly poly which makes it easier. But I just keep a couple 10' pieces of PVC in the van. BTW: avg mpg is 23.5-24 a day

When I gave the van to my #1 tech for a couple of days he could not wait to get the utility truck back.

FIMCO-MEISTER
07-07-2008, 07:06 AM
I have no problems storing pipe in my van, we are mostly poly which makes it easier. But I just keep a couple 10' pieces of PVC in the van. BTW: avg mpg is 23.5-24 a day

When I gave the van to my #1 tech for a couple of days he could not wait to get the utility truck back.

Curious now. Why did he prefer the truck to van?

AI Inc
07-07-2008, 07:08 AM
A van holds a real lot , but it can get messy in one days time.

Flow Control
07-07-2008, 07:15 AM
Curious now. Why did he prefer the truck to van?

His truck was organized exactly how he wanted it and he did not have to spend the extra time looking for stuff. He also said he just always found it easier to work out of a utility bed then a van.

I bought my van in April and since then put under 10k on it. If you give the Utility bed the benefit of the doubt at 12mpg @ 10k & $4gal (833.33 gal x 4) equals $3,333.33 for fuel. The van at 23.5mpg @ 10k & 4.75gal (425.53 x 4.7) equals $1,999.99 for fuel. So I should save atleast $2500 in fuel this summer. Also it is a kick arse camping van.

BrandonV
07-07-2008, 07:32 PM
I thought you were looking for a service vehicle, aka not needing to carry massive amounts of pipe. I've been looking at a sprinter for our next service vehicle, maybe in the budget for next year depending on how things go this summer. Anyways I like the sprinter because you can keep tons of fittings, head, clocks and whatever else and you have it all w/ you. We work in some distant places and driving an hour or 2 to get a fitting is not a good option. As for installations my plan is to put a pipe rack on our now now used landscape trailer, that way you can carry the pipe when you need it, and the larger sprint would surely tow that.

Waterit
07-07-2008, 08:11 PM
We do service and installs.

My vehicle is an F150 LWB extended cab, lots of room for parts, tools, clocks, etc, and up to 8' lengths of pipe. I use milk crates for the fittings, 2 each from 3/4 up to 1-1/2", one for 2", and crates with sprays and rotors.
Plano over-under tackle box for nozzles, fits in my toolbox along with mechanics tools and my saw, cutters, glue, etc.

My rack truck is an F250 LWB with a toolbox body stuffed with fittings on one side and all the hand tools and accessories (nozzle box, valves, wire, etc.) on the other side. Built an expanded-metal insert for the bed - shovels, etc. go under, cut-off pipe pieces, funny pipe, etc. on top. Chain vise welded to bumper.

Both trucks have (2) fuel tanks, one with external pump to fill trencher (in addition to 30 gal. aluminum tank mounted on trailer).

The extended cabs give us room for extra parts, heads, or extra labor when we need it.

That's my setup, works pretty well for me.

Flow Control
08-11-2008, 10:19 PM
I added another truck to the fleet

http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii285/SenorBob08/07ColoradoUTL.jpg

Space will be precious but it should work. Going to put a pipe rack, false floor and some other modifications on it before next spring.

Probably a little more excited about this truck then the Sprinter. I want to drive the Colorado but I can't bring myself to let the guys drive my baby. I am a nut about the MPG's on the Sprinter. I can avg 24mpg but everyone else can't get above 22mpg with it. We are getting rid of an late 90's Dodge cargo van, anyone need a cargo van that gets 8mpg???

Waterit
08-12-2008, 12:36 AM
Space will be precious but it should work. Going to put a pipe rack, false floor and some other modifications on it before next spring.

See my post above - we welded expanded metal into an angle-iron frame and mounted it about 8" up from the bed with some angle-iron verticals (also bolted it to toolbox). Bottom works great for shovel & backfill tool storage, top works good for the rest of the crap you end up hauling around.

bicmudpuppy
08-12-2008, 01:14 AM
I've worked with a lot of guys who prefer vans. I have always prefered to work out of a truck. A utility body just feels right. On the other hand, I've worked out of vans and it didn't change my productivity that I could tell. Once you "know" your rig, a tech is lost in another truck. I worked for one outfit that had me driving an Isuzu "pup". The bed was sub-floored w/ plywood. The lower section was divided into 3 compartments. The middle compartment was just the right size for a bulb crate to slide in and out of. I carried three crates in the middle. On either side were tools and scrap pipe. On top were more crates divided into compartments and stacked two deep. A regular locking tool box right behind the cab for all the "valuable" parts and I was set.

Mike Leary
09-29-2008, 03:26 PM
Here's what we're currently running, my partner bought the van from the electricians,
so it has "shore power" hookup for microwave and lights; gonna sure be nice for them
in the winter. My pick-up in front.

Wet_Boots
09-29-2008, 03:53 PM
Where are the 6-inch valve boxes?

Mike Leary
09-29-2008, 04:32 PM
Where are the 6-inch valve boxes?

They have one in the cab for garbage.

CAPT Stream Rotar
09-29-2008, 05:46 PM
I don't care for the van rigs..
give me a utility body any day of the week

Mike Leary
09-29-2008, 05:56 PM
I agree, my legs would be killing me at the end of the day. I did see a cube van with
fold downs on both sides: best of both worlds.