an update for us, we were able to get some stuff done thursday even though we had some snow on the ground and roofs. we ran 4 full crews on friday and finished up all our paying customers. we are left with my house, our training house, and my brother in laws house for monday. one crew should be able to knock out those three on monday and we are officially done. never have finished this early before that I am aware of. I did not keep real good records in 2000-2002, so maybe we beat it way back then.
Although this is the first year we have run 4 crews on takedowns, the limiting factor for us this year was again the size of the jobs and boxvans. usually by 2:30-3pm the guys had no more space in the boxvans for the next one or two jobs.
I knew this going in, and I looked at 18 and 20 footers when we bought 2 this year, but just worried about the guys driving them. just about anyone that can drive a pickup can adjust to driving a 14-16 foot box van. but jumping to 18 or 20 feet is a much longer wheelbase and even I have to pay close attention on turns.
choosing an Isuzu cab forward type would help with this, and I wish I could afford to buy 5 isuzu diesel or similar 3 across seating rigs with 18 foot bodies on them. but I can't. In the used market I really don't have much problems finding very good used ford e350 or e450 van bodies with 15 foot boxes, around 100k or less miles for 5 grand or so. Isuzus run about 3-5k higher each. you do get back some of that money on fuel savings and resale value, but repairs on those are very costly. I bought an isuzu body a few years back and it blew the gas engine this season after an employee busted the oil pan. The guys like driving it, but to replace the engine is 4k. to buy another ford boxvan was 5k. no brainer. selling the isuzu for scrap for 1300.