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How many miles is too many? (used cargo van)

Discussion in 'Truck Talk' started by Benzoid, Mar 5, 2012.

  1. Benzoid

    Benzoid New Recruit

    I'm looking to buy a used cargo van. Although it won't be used for expediting, I figure you guys/gals would be the best place for me to ask.

    I will be using this van for weekly round trips of about 500 miles hauling x amount of batteries. (Car, Truck, Boat and aircraft type batteries). Likely no more then 2000lbs worth per trip. The rest of the week I will be delivering them around to shops and dealerships in about a 200 mile radius around where I live. I won't have to live in the van and will be home most nights.

    The question is... In looking at used vans listed on the internet I find that most have between 100k and 200k miles (Looking at Ford E250,E350 and GM 2500 and 3500 vans). I'm looking to spend less then $10k on the Van. Would it better to go with a newer van with more miles or an older van with less miles? Gas or Diesel? I found a 2006 E350 Diesel with 200k on it for the same price as a 2004 GM with the 4.8L gas engine with only 125k on it. Still looking at vans, but should I be scared about getting something with 200k on it?

  2. chefdennis

    chefdennis New Recruit

    if i had ALL maintainance records and repair records, and can see that it was taken care of, id have no problem with a van with 200,000 at all...i put a driver in my van with 400,000 on it months ago and he is running it in expediting with no issues at, well at least he hasnt told me of any...

    Oh and that is a 05 gas 4.8 v8 gmc...
  3. Turtle

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member

    At 200,000 miles, like Dennis said, I'd want all of the maintenance records. But even if you do or don't, be prepared to spend some money on it to fix whatever needs fixing. At 200,000 a lot of things that haven't been replaced will have to be, so you had probably plan on replacing them right from the start.

    Newer with more miles or older with less miles, I'd go older with less mile, myself.

    The other thing you should plan on, and you may have already, I dunno, is having a CDL with a HAZMAT endorsement if any of those battery loads weigh more than 1000 pounds. Especially in Michigan, they'll nail you to the wall over that.
  4. Benzoid

    Benzoid New Recruit

    Hmmm.. Maybe I could adjust my budget downward a bit and go for the higher mileage vans... This will be in Northern Michigan so there are some "out of the way" places and I would hate to break down in the middle of nowhere... But I guess that can happen in a new van... What I save on buying one can be used to fix and maintain and older van... At least to start.. Once I build up business, I might be able to afford something newer.. :)
  5. greg334

    greg334 New Recruit

    Check out Penske or Ryder. They have a lot of cargo vans and even sprinters for sale with records and some with warranties.
  6. aristotle

    aristotle Expert Expediter

    Benzoid... I have bought several used vans all of which had 150,000 miles or more at time of purchase. The van I drive everyday was purchased from Ryder trucks. It is a 2003 Ford E350 Super Duty w/7.3L diesel... I paid $4500 for this van. Currently, this van shows 453,000 miles and drives fine. Alternators usually burn out every 150k miles or so. Replaced fuel pump once. Ocassional brake work, belts,etc... routine stuff. Usually, I park, sell or trade my old vans as they approach 600,000 miles. I cannot rationalize the purchase of a new truck for expediting. That's just me. I am too cheap.
  7. chefdennis

    chefdennis New Recruit

    My CV that i have a driver in came from Ryder, the only reason i bought it from them was becuase it was one of their "lease" trucks and not a "daily rental"...and they had the complete history of repairs (including the warranty work) and maintainance records....
  8. aristotle

    aristotle Expert Expediter

    The van I drive was a former lease vehicle from Ryder's fleet. It came with all mainteneance records as well. If interested check out

    Ryder has vans and Sprinters. They have something like 50 sales locations all acoss the country. A couple of tips... don't pay the listed web price. Call several Ryder locations and make an offer by phone. Also, I recommend not buying a van or truck from the Great Lakes region. Too many rust issues which are cleverly disguised by paint.
  9. Benzoid

    Benzoid New Recruit

    I looked at Ryder. Looks like the prices have gone up a bit, but THANKS... I'm still shopping and I will add them to my rotation of sites... This is likely going to happen in the next 2 or 3 months.. SO I have time to find the right van.

    As for the CDL/HAZMAT... It's my understanding that hauling batteries is exempt as long as they are properly secured and a few other requirements... See I don't if Michigan has other rules..

    The "job/business" I'm thinking of going into is where I would buy batteries from a warehouse down state and then sell them to dealerships, repair shops and other users of batteries. So when I'm transporting batteries, they are my personal property. I'm not hauling them for hire. I was figuring on putting "not for hire" on the door of the van and call it good... :)

    Maybe Michigan has weird laws (likely) but I haven't found them yet. Still looking.

  10. paullud

    paullud Expert Expediter

    How much were they asking for the 06 E350 diesel?

    Sent from my ADR6400L using EO Forums
  11. Benzoid

    Benzoid New Recruit

    I believe it was $8900...
  12. cableguymn

    cableguymn New Recruit

    There is a 05 listed on my local craigs list for 5800 I think it is. I was going to go look at it and try to talk um down (they are already under priced but hey.. I am cheap) I stopped looking at it because it is wrongly listed as "extended". it is not.
  13. Benzoid

    Benzoid New Recruit

    I know this has been asked before, but what is the typical gas mileage (or fuel mileage) that people get with a C/V loaded vs unloaded? Trying to figure out what the running costs might be.
  14. paullud

    paullud Expert Expediter

    You can just do a search for your answer if you know it has been asked before. I was getting 21mpg over all in a 2006 E350 diesel.

    Sent from my ADR6400L using EO Forums
  15. roadeater

    roadeater New Recruit

    Im getting 15-17 in a v8 ford f250 and 18-20 in a v6 chevy express
  16. dancorn

    dancorn New Recruit

    20.5 mpg in a Ford 7.3 but I am heavy, 7100 lbs empty.
  17. cableguymn

    cableguymn New Recruit

    I've been looking at smaller cargo vans. The uplander/caravan/freestar cargos..

    Someone (not sure what company) must have dumped a flood of 2006-07 uplanders on the market. I have seen 5 or 6 of them. lowest miles was 212K, highest was 351K..

    Most had issues. Some had those issues "painted over"...

    NONE had service records. All priced 4G-7G depending on who was selling them.

    I'll keep looking.

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