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Looking to raise van roof, rear doors

Discussion in 'Truck Talk' started by twinpopusa, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. twinpopusa

    twinpopusa New Recruit

    Does anyone know where and if I can get my Ford van roof and rear doors raised? Are there shops out there who do it affordably? Not finding any good options on Google... Just for handicapped and medical operations.
    I've been getting an unusual amount of cancelled loads lately from frieght being too high, usually because shippers/dispatchers don't get the right info on dimensions of frieght.Is it even worth the trouble and cost, as opposed to replacing my Ford with a used Sprinter when the time comes?
  2. theoldprof

    theoldprof New Recruit

    If you can locate a shop that does van roofs for med/handicap use they should be able to fix you up. The truck doesn't know or care what it is hauling. I put on several raised roofs on vans several years ago for handicap and ambulances. Some had regular doors and some had raised doors. The raised doors were done by a local body shop.
  3. blizzard

    blizzard Seasoned Expediter

    What company do you work for? Also, are the loads you have been losing very lucrative "longer runs?" I'm not sure you really need to convert your van into a sprinter-like van just because you missed a few loads here and there. I have talked with many sprinter owners who rarely ever use the extra space. Once again, that can also depend on what company you are leased on with. But to have your van raised is possible. It will cost you around five thousand dollars to have this done. I know this because there is an older gentleman who runs for Panther that had this done to his ford van. You might have run into him over at the Flying J in Indianapolis. Yet another option to consider is to have current vans box cut from the frame and then replace it with an aerocell. This should cost you the same amount of money give or take a few hundred dollars. One of my friends was going to have this done to his van before he got out of expediting last year. I think there are dealers advertised on this site who can do this sort of work for you. Good luck!!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2008
  4. twinpopusa

    twinpopusa New Recruit

    Thanks for response, blizzard.. I am with Panther, and was thinking more about just raising the roof for more overhead space, and I figured, if I would raise it, why not the doors too. You make a good point about the loads gained vs. the price. Wow, 5 grand.. I'll just leave things be with my Ford and wait a few more years, then I will look at a Sprinter or whatever. Panther told me last week that they won't put a cube van of any kind on now, even if GVW is under 10k. They say "Just raise the roof!" I just would like a little more space. Wow, I didn't know it would cost me 5k to raise the roof on an 04 Ford van. If I want more room and stay under 10k, maybe Panther isn't the way..
  5. dhalltoyo

    dhalltoyo New Recruit

    It would seem to me that a simple verification of the load dimensions and weight would be more cost effective.

    Personally, I don't move unless dispatch can verify the actual dimensions and weight of the freight.

    The standard answer of, "They just called for a cargo van," is simply a poor excuse for not doing one's job.

    I trained customer service associates and it requires little, or no, effort to garner the correct information.

    In the event that you arrive at the shipper and the dimensions given to you are not correct...then you should be paid for a dry run.

    Hopefully, dispatch managers will grow weary of paying for those dry runs and begin to properly train their employees; training that would require dispatchers to demand shippers provide the complete load information.
  6. blizzard

    blizzard Seasoned Expediter

    I once had E-1 send me to pick up a spinter load because it would fit into my van. But since the "customer" paid for a sprinter van, he decided to re-stack two skids into one because it was easier for him to do it this way. Needless to say he was very angry when I showed up and had to re-stack the load. Dispatch also got an angry phone call and they had to reduce the rate on the load. Not my fault!! Some of these Companies try and get extra money out of the shippers and that causes shippers to go with other carriers.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  7. blizzard

    blizzard Seasoned Expediter

    I ran a lot of two skid freight with Panther when I was with them. You do not really need anything bigger than what you already have to be successful with Panther. Panther has a lot of single and double standard sized skid freight to keep you busy.
  8. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    Sprinter know as we all do shippers aren't always forth coming with exact many times you get there expecting 48x48 and they are 45x40 or 48x40, turn em sideways and it's only 10 feet.
  9. Jack_Berry

    Jack_Berry Moderator Emeritus

    suds43 was in tulsa friday and was joined by 2 bolt sprinters.. saturday both sprinters went back out for loads requiring the taller doors. today he is still in tulsa.

    earlier last month i was talking to bolt about the difference in sprinter req. frt as opposed to e250 frt. i ws told that the sprints at that time were not moving sprint tall frt and taking cargo van rates. it comes down to being ready when the frt is being called in.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2008
  10. theoldprof

    theoldprof New Recruit

  11. davekc

    davekc Senior Moderator Staff Member Fleet Owner

    May want to PM Terry O' Connell. I believe on one of his vans he had a Turtle top. Maybe installed in St. Louis?
  12. RLENT

    RLENT Seasoned Expediter

    Well ..... duh ........

    Uh-huh .... yeah ..... I can see how that might work out real good:

    Customer: "Is that truck rolling to the shipper for pick-up ?"

    Load Planning/Customer Service/Dispatch: " .... uh .... well .... no ..... not exactly ..... the driver said I should call you back .... and have you call the shipper .... and get the shipper to go measure/weigh/verify/count the cargo ..... and then call us back so the driver can verify that it will actually fit on his vehicle .... he doesn't like to roll before we have completed this verification process ..... so .... could you do that ..... please ?"

    Customer: " ...... HUH ? ..... what ..... ? ....... nevermind .... cancel it ...... I'll call someone else ...... GOODBYE ......"

    And sometimes it is merely providing the customer what they asked for ......

    You have heard the expression "The customer is always right ?" haven't you ?

    This actually does often apply - even when they aren't - and are wrong. Perhaps a hard concept to grasp for some ....

    David ...... I would think that having been involved with expedite for at least some amount of time .... that you would have at least a clue ...... your statement above is glib at best (meaning you can talk the talk, but can ya really walk the walk ?)

    While it is true that it requires little or no effort on the part of CS or LP or Dispatch to ASK FOR the information when they book the load ... actually obtaining that info is not always a simple matter ..... unless you perhaps reside in some magical world where all the T's are crossed, and all the I's are dotted ......

    For instance, the shipper may not be the customer who is booking the load ...... the customer who is booking could be a different company, in a different city or state ...... or even in a different country ......

    And the person who actually has the info - or can get it - may not be easily accessible ..... or even accessible at all at that particular moment ......

    The person who is booking the load may not even know who to contact to verify the dims info .....

    (I'm on a 984 mile run right now that had no delivery address when it was dispatched .... I know, I know .... I probably should have told Dispatch: "I'm not rolling ... until you have all the all information ..." ..... yeah ..... that's the ticket ..... not ....)

    It's an imperfect world in which we live ....

    Again .... WELL, DUH ......

    Got news for ya ..... if the carrier is worth their salt, it ain't the Dispatch managers or the carrier that is paying ...... it's the customer - because Dispatch/CS/Load Planning has attempted to find out the info, and if the customer isn't providing it, and are requesting a specific vehicle and it's wrong, then the customer is the one that is paying ..... at least that's the way it ought to work (and usually does)

    Yeah ..... DEMAND IT OF THEM ...... sounds like a sure fire recipe to build ongoing customer relationships and keeping them happy ..... kinda like a drill sgt. barking orders ..... I'm sure it will bring 'em in in droves to book loads ...... :cool:

    Lemme tell ya about "Carl" (actual true story with a real individual) ..... Carl runs the shipping department of a high-end graphics and signage company ...... somewhere in the midwest. He's a pretty crotchty old man and he don't take no crap from no one - probably very little from his boss even - and certainly not from some dip-wad dispatcher or CS agent.

    Ships some very expensive stuff that usually never is "rush" but is "time-critical" (meaning that there usually isn't a big hurry to get it delivered, although often there is a delivery appointment involved) .... he can't afford to ship it LTL due to the potential for damage.

    When Carl calls in and requests a truck it will be for a specific type of vehicle - and that's the vehicle you send - 'cause if ya don't, Carl ain't gonna be callin' anymore. And, if you're smart, the most you might do is just repeat the request back to him - just to verify that you got what he said ..... forget about quizzing him about the dims ......

    If Carl screws up and orders the wrong size vehicle, well then, that's Carl's error - and he picks up the tab. The likelihood of ever DEMANDING anything from Carl is exactly zero/zilch/nada ..... he'd eat ya for breakfast. And you could kiss his business goodbye.

    Nice enough guy ..... but you really don't want to argue with him - he wants what he wants, when it wants it.

    'Nuff said.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2008
  13. piper1

    piper1 Active Expediter

    Vision Manufacturing of Georgia makes Ford and GM vans "tall" however, I don't know if they will do an existing van, I've only ever seen them do new ones. They do a nice job but it is a bit pricey.
  14. gotta go

    gotta go New Recruit

    I used to drive for a company out of Elkhart, IN, that delivered van tops. There are several manufacturers in that area. Millenium, Bremen, Global, and Vulcan are just a few. There are also surplus yards there.
  15. OntarioVanMan

    OntarioVanMan Expert Expediter

    Rlent..THANK YOU for your view of the REAL world. :D
  16. MCBuggyCo

    MCBuggyCo New Recruit

    I second that. I also have an extensive customer relations background and I learned a long time ago the importance of the basics ... establishing what your customer needs, promising to provide it, and doing so. You also have to understand that some customers will treat you like family and some will treat you like dirt but in the end all that matters is if the check clears.

    As to a taller van the one thing I would add is to avoid those with extended roofs but not extended doors. That would seem obvious but I see many of them on the roads.
  17. Jack_Berry

    Jack_Berry Moderator Emeritus

    there is a terry and renee article in driver profiles from april 11, 2004. pix of the inside of the truck. at least in this truck terry did not bob the door to open into the top.
  18. Jack_Berry

    Jack_Berry Moderator Emeritus

    okay so i have done some calling around on this subject. company further north in wisc says 2500 for the roof and they don't do doors but can send them out to a mobility company. maybe 1500 more. 4 grand for an upfit.

    fella in chgo called and he said he can do a 24" roof for about 6 grand but the doors will only be about 10" higher than std. he said it also depends on the kit he receives for the doors and how much is available from the back f the raised roof.

    that is still a lot cheaper than the van i see at bass truck center in lorain oh for 23K$ with a raised roof and full rear doors. also a lot less than an hcv from vision mfg.
  19. Jack_Berry

    Jack_Berry Moderator Emeritus

    here is more research from a thread a few years old. you can search for the rest. the other referenced companies in ga. are no longer at the phone numbers listed in the post or on the net.

    this is the title of the thread. first post is from terry

    Cargo Van Outfitters ?
    We've bought three vans since 1992 and had each of them outfitted with a high-top after purchase. The first by the now defunct "Malibu Van Conversions" in St Louis and the last two by "Osage" in Linn, Mo. The initial cost ($1800, $2200 and $3000 successively) and slight loss in fuel ecomomy were greatly offset by the added headroom and storage, TV, VCR space. As we approach 500,000 miles on our 2000 Chev 3500, we will be looking for a comparable replacement after the first of the year.

    Has anyone bought a high-top recently and was pleased with the product? Where did you get the High-top? Was it a retro-fit or purchased as a whole with the van? Any pleasurable experiences withe Elkhart, In conversion companys?

    BTW, the MSRP for 2005 Chev with all the goodies is $29,984 for a near identical GMC, $30,269.

    i also called midwest specialty in indiana. no was the answer to used customer vehicles.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  20. jeffman164

    jeffman164 New Recruit

    Had a raised roof installed from Connolly Enterprises out of Plymouth , Mi . Raised roof $2800.00 . Higher doors would have been $ 2400.00 . Could not justify the extra cost for doors . Now I can stand up and have extra storage area above the drivers seat and also 3 ' towards the rear of van . Well worth it in my opinion !!

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