Sprinter Van... The perfect medium duty van?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by BSDeality, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    Here is the scenario,
    Next year I'm looking to drop my maintenance and focus on doing plant installs, hardscaping, turf renovations, and Ponds and one other unrelated business venture. What I've been finding so far is that with the ponds I only end up picking up my supplies with my truck, and have all my materials delivered to the site ($40-75) per load. I'd much rather pay to have it delivered in one shot than have to make one or two trips with my F350 PU. That being said, I would like to go to a van operation for the same reasons people like the box trucks and enclosed trailers. (security, big billboard, out of weather, no unloading/loading, have more parts/tools with you). With the ponds I would like to have a stock of PVC pipe, connectors, manifolds, valves, fittings, silicone, etc all with me on every jobsite, so a van with lots of storage space would be perfect. Of course I would still need room to pick up the liner, boxes, pumps, etc. I can get a typical pond kit into the back of my shortbed Toyota pickup with a load of my tools and pond gear, so a van would be more than plenty. My other business venture is an unrelated outdoor service in which a van would be perfect. Right now I run around with my gear exposed in the back of a Toyota which is fine, but I would like to hide it all in between jobsites to keep my edge on the business. A van with plenty of storage space is right up my alley again. Neither business would require more than a 3/4 ton vehicle. For the heavy-duty haulin work I have my F350 PowerStroke.

    I've been seeing more and more of these Dodge/Freightliner/MB Sprinter vans around so I wondered whats so great about them?

    Well, lets start with 25-30mpg (real world)!
    2.7L Turbo Diesel (Mercedes Benz), 154hp/243ft/lbs
    72" standard height in the back
    offered in 3 wheelbases (118, 140 and 168)
    3600lb payload
    5000lb towing cap.
    26gal fuel tank (a 675 mile range!)

    Its only a 2wd, but most of my business would be on pavement and in warm season, so its not too big of a concern for me. I really love turbo diesels and the mileage is very attractive to me too. Price starts around $27.5K

    What are your comments?
  2. crash935

    crash935 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    The Sprinter vans have become very popular for all the reasons that you have listed. I would get the long wheel base in a high top but DO NOT get one with a factory partition (unless yoour really short). There is no room with the factory partition to move the seat back or recline it slightly. Look into Adrian Steel for a partion and shelving.
  3. DodgeTruckMan731

    DodgeTruckMan731 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 414

    Ive seen more and more of them latley, there so big inside i was in one at an auto show, and they can really be used for anything too, and what a great advertising oppertuinty its like a moving billboard with that huge thing.
  4. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    also if you want to even pull a trailer or stock the thing heavy they offer a dually version
  5. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    For my operation I would go with the 140" WB. 168 is approaching the length of my F350, and its a PITA to park in the parking lots we have here in suburbia.
    Dually wouldn't be necessary, 5K lbs towing capacity would fill out a trailer with some turf renovation machines quite perfectly. If i needed to haul big/heavy I've got the bigger diesel
    Thanks for the tip about the partition, I'm 6' so I would will take all the room I can get.

    Edit, The correct length of the largest WB is 158" not 168" sorry.
  6. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    sounds like you've already sold yourself on it......makes sense for you and the mpg, i had no idea it was that high??

    but now i'm more interested in knowing what your other business is?????
  7. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    Just did some more reading and the CDI diesel also carries a 5yr/100K mile warranty like the powerstroke. 3yr/36K for the rest
  8. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    they seem to be as good as advertised. All the owners I've chatted with love them. Only recommendation was to get the biggest alternator, and forget the factory hitch, (too whimpy, aftermarket better / cheaper) but get trailer wiring,

    Mileage has been good for users, frequently 25+

    There is supposedly an AWD version coming, as well as hybrid (best for package delivery - regen braking:) )
  9. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    I'm going to see if I can chat with some owners around here and see how they like them. Now that I've got my eye on them I've seen dozens of them, about 8 just today. Everything from FedEx to a plumber, to a locksmith to a sign company.

    The factory hitch is too whimpy even for 5k lbs?

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