Sign up for The Wire Newsletter!

Best Cargo Van for New Owner/Operator

Discussion in 'The Newbies Paradise' started by Lane Chase, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. Lane Chase

    Lane Chase New Recruit Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Hi,

    I drove a company Sprinter van for one year about five years ago and really enjoyed the expediting lifestyle. I understand the feast or famine nature of the business. However, I will be specifically purchasing my own cargo van in a couple of months and have my heart set on a brand new Chevy Express.

    From what I can tell, it looks like the extended version of the van is long enough to haul three standard skids but I would lose a couple hundred pounds in payload. Plus, the extended version is a couple thousand more. Personally I would be okay with hauling a maximum of two skids and paying less money for the regular Chevy Express.

    Since I've been out of the biz for the last five years, is it really gonna make that much difference in finding freight if I can only haul two skids compared to three? When I expedited five years ago, I can't really recall having too many loads that I could not have hauled in a regular cargo van.

    I appreciate any and all advice. This will be a big purchase for me and would really like to hear everyone's opinions. Thanks.

    Lane Chase
     
  2. ntimevan

    ntimevan Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    7,473
    Trophy Points:
    855
    Ratings:
    +13,612 / 16 / -2
    Carrier:
    Road Runner
    Vehicle:
    promaster
    Simply put ... the flat top chevy express seriously limits your loads .. 48" door height.
    Rear door height needs atleast 68" high
    144" cargo length (3 skids)
    2500 to 3000 lbs ... LEGALLY
    No Over GVW loads ...
    If you really like Chevy express go 3500 series in cube van with SRW .. . NO Yellow cheap shortcuts

    ... still pond hopping
     
    • Like Like x 2
  3. Lane Chase

    Lane Chase New Recruit Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for the quick reply...Whew 68" high? That sounds too high...The van I'm looking at would be
    124.60" length (2 skids)
    at least 2500 lbs.
    49.40" rear door opening height.

    So even though I would be severely limited in potential freight, you're saying there would still be freight available for a vehicle with these specs?
     
  4. ntimevan

    ntimevan Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    7,473
    Trophy Points:
    855
    Ratings:
    +13,612 / 16 / -2
    Carrier:
    Road Runner
    Vehicle:
    promaster
    Maybe 2 loads a week ... 500 to 800 miles x .70 cents
    $350. to $560... before expenses... gas , food , ..
    Is working at McDonalds starting to sound better ..?
    Just giving out some Hard Facts ...

    ... still pond hopping
     
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Lane Chase

    Lane Chase New Recruit Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Ha ha, no the only McDonald's I want to go to is the drive thru when I'm loaded with freight! I will be keeping expenses low, but would still like to do 1,000 miles a week.
     
  6. Turtle
    Alienated

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    23,815
    Trophy Points:
    1,285
    Ratings:
    +11,551 / 11 / -1
    Carrier:
    Load One
    Vehicle:
    2005 Sprinter
    2 skids versus 3 skids isn't nearly as important as people think it is. Height has become more important that it was a few years ago.

    Customers have moved on to where they now call up or post for bids asking for a Sprinter, even if it's one skid and 20 inches tall. A standard cargo van is still a viable vehicle in expediting, but your load opportunities will be severely limited.

    I have a 3 skid Sprinter that I converted into a 2 skid Sprinter with a permanent bunk, and I've never looked back.
     
  7. RoadTime
    Paranoid

    RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Messages:
    4,272
    Trophy Points:
    655
    Ratings:
    +6,226 / 9 / -0
    Carrier:
    Load One
    Vehicle:
    Sprinter
    1st thing that popped in my mind was 5 years ago is like night and day, compared to the current van market. That was just about the start time of the steady decline in freight and rates. Coupled with a increasing growing population of vans. Just be prepared for the financial realities of today's market.

    Sent from my P00I using EO Forums mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 3
  8. Lane Chase

    Lane Chase New Recruit Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I hope dispatch for whatever carrier I decide to sign on with would still go after those loads even if they specifically request a sprinter. I really want to be driving in the spring and not sitting at truck stops all day, but I also enjoyed being able to see different parts of the country that I would not otherwise been able to visit and sometimes I don't mind sitting for a few days.
     
  9. ntimevan

    ntimevan Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    7,473
    Trophy Points:
    855
    Ratings:
    +13,612 / 16 / -2
    Carrier:
    Road Runner
    Vehicle:
    promaster
    Find Company to lease on to first ...
    Buy a cargo van / sprinter 2nd

    ... still pond hopping
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  10. BlindSquid
    Crappy

    BlindSquid Active Expediter Owner/Operator US Army

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Messages:
    164
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Ratings:
    +124 / 1 / -0
    Carrier:
    FedEx cc
    Vehicle:
    Transit 350
    The heart wants what the heart wants, could lead to heart ache though.
    Long & tall are the words of the day out here. If the load request says sprinter, they could send tall transit or tall promaster.
    Companies know if they send a short van they loose not just that load but future potential loads (I.e. loose the customer). They will not do that.
    Granted some survive out here in older models of what you want. They grow fewer by the month.
    It would not be wise in this fiercely contested market to come in crippled by equipment choices.
     
    • Like Like x 2
  11. crich
    Dancing

    crich Expert Expediter Owner/Operator US Navy

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    Messages:
    363
    Trophy Points:
    90
    Ratings:
    +130 / 0 / -0
    Carrier:
    Self
    Vehicle:
    Hotshot Flatbed
    yes get used to it. shippers always want more space for lower cost. and carriers want the o/o to have to invest more for less pay. I do not buy into that myself. if you want to use a low top van go used so at least if the carrier you decide to go with does not work out at least you can get rid of the thing and get some of your money back without being in debt for 5 or 6 years.
     
  12. Lane Chase

    Lane Chase New Recruit Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    Thanks for all the replies. I will not be getting a van until February and it's defintely made me reconsider what type of vehicle.

    Ideally, I would be happy with 1000 miles a week. And I may only choose to run during the spring, summer, and early fall and maybe drive somewhere warm for the winter.

    I will basically not be renewing the lease on my apartment so all of my expenses will be related to OTR necessities like cell phone, insurance, food and gas money. I have to pay off some debt, including the debt I will be incurring when I purchase an expedite vehicle.

    When i drove the first time, I had the burden of a mortgage, pet care, etc. I feel like I will enjoy being out on the road even more this time around and actually look forward to some down time every now and then.

    I even started downloading some of these gig apps to make some money during my downtime. I remember being stuck in Phoenix in July 2012 for about three weeks and that was the only time I got impatient waiting for freight.

    I figure my backup plan would be to work for a local courier, but really want to stay otr. Since i will be driving my own vehicle, Im thinking that working for multiple expedite companies at the same time might be an option as well. Does anyone have any experience with working for multiple companies at the same time?
     
  13. Grizzly

    Grizzly Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    May 9, 2012
    Messages:
    664
    Trophy Points:
    170
    Ratings:
    +672 / 4 / -0
    Carrier:
    Multi ....
    Vehicle:
    '08 Sprinter 2500 170"
    Have you found any companies that would sign on a Chevy Express?

    Go to the nearest busy truck stop. Hang out for an hour. Grab a bite to eat. Watch the pumps. Tell us what type of expediter vans you see?

    Sent from my VS987 using EO Forums mobile app
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  14. Lane Chase

    Lane Chase New Recruit Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0
    I spoke with a recruiter from A+ Expediting. I was responding to recent ad looking for cargo vans.

    I also noticed some expedite companies looking for cargo vans on craigs list. TLC Express is one name that comes to mind.

    I also noticed 14 different ads on Expediters Online looking for cargo vans. Square One Transport state specifically that they will accept a van with the minimum requirements of 110" length, 48" width, and 48" height with 2500 lbs. weight which would qualify a Chevy Express van.

    It seems to me that finding a company that will hire a cargo van is not the problem. Recruiter from A + Expediting told me that cargo vans are easier to maintain in her opinion.
     
  15. LDB

    LDB Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2004
    Messages:
    16,297
    Trophy Points:
    755
    Ratings:
    +3,329 / 2 / -0
    Vehicle:
    Recliner
    I had the extended G3500. It's a 2 skid van not 3. You still have a couple of feet left over for your stuff. I retired in July 2012 when my dad passed. If I were doing it over I'd go with one of the taller vans. Maybe not as tall as some but with at least 60" height minimum. The difference in comfort putting on your pants is worth it if nothing else.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. ntimevan

    ntimevan Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    7,473
    Trophy Points:
    855
    Ratings:
    +13,612 / 16 / -2
    Carrier:
    Road Runner
    Vehicle:
    promaster
    First .. Recruiters will tell you anything ...
    second ask to see proof (load reports) on how many loads Their Cargo Vans are getting weekly .. sign on costs,signage, pee tests , back ground check are all profit sources for companies ... either upfront or weekly deductions ...
    I drove the Flat top Express for several years ... did well .. but when loaded miles started to drop .. i looked at why ..
    I went to taller freight door white used cube van from Best Buy ... loaded miles increased by average more than 800 a week .. this really open my eyes to the future ... MPG wasn't great so i moved onto Promaster high top long extended vans ... love the freight & personal room .. and love the MPG ...


    ... still pond hopping
     
    • Like Like x 3
  17. BlindSquid
    Crappy

    BlindSquid Active Expediter Owner/Operator US Army

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2017
    Messages:
    164
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Ratings:
    +124 / 1 / -0
    Carrier:
    FedEx cc
    Vehicle:
    Transit 350
    Difficulty learning from others experiences is why the Neanderthals died out, along with "Java" & "Peking" man plus all the others not mentioned.
    This same problem exists today in us. Verified by the fact that for every 100 women there are only 96 men.
    Check utube, gotta be a video out there of a old Chevy van or e-350 with a skeleton (or mummy) in it waiting for a load.
    Probably among all the forklift pancakes, machine chewed up, falling into boiling hot stuff, things blowing up videos of men.
    Adapt or die is still in effect ... It's a jungle out here.
     
  18. Kip life

    Kip life Active Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Messages:
    175
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Ratings:
    +67 / 3 / -0
    You wanna do 1000 miles a week? Bro I just did 1259 miles over this weekend and rest of the week a total of 1550 making me at 2800 miles and thus is Bad week for me

    Having a 1000 mile week is a low goal

    Sent from my SM-N900T using EO Forums mobile app
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Turtle
    Alienated

    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2006
    Messages:
    23,815
    Trophy Points:
    1,285
    Ratings:
    +11,551 / 11 / -1
    Carrier:
    Load One
    Vehicle:
    2005 Sprinter
    And what kind of cargo van do you drive?
     
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Kip life

    Kip life Active Expediter Owner/Operator

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2017
    Messages:
    175
    Trophy Points:
    30
    Ratings:
    +67 / 3 / -0
    I drive a box .. with a cargo can I would probably do more given than I don't have to deal with regulations

    Sent from my SM-N900T using EO Forums mobile app
     
Loading...

Share This Page