Cargo Van Advice Needed

Discussion in 'The Newbies Paradise' started by hapearce1, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. hapearce1
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    hapearce1 New Recruit Driver

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    I got with a fleet owner, been driving 4 months, I like the business to this point, and am ready to take the plunge and buy my own van.

    While I like the more head room in my fleet owners Dodge/Mercedes Sprinter, the Sprinters in his fleet has been constantly going down, maintenance seems really high, and frankly, it always seems like something is going wrong with this van, and it's left a bad taste in my mouth for diesel sprinters.

    I do own a 2009 Chevy Silverado, bought it new, and I know Chevy, their engines, and I love people can actually work on them, so I'm partial to making a 2500 Chevy Cargo Van with a 6.0 my first vehicle.

    Questions:
    1 - How many expediter companies are moving away/no longer accepting these types of vans?

    2 - I don't have a huge budget, so is any used year models better than others, or are they pretty consistent across the board?

    3 - I said I am looking at a 2500, but is there any reason I shouldn't count out a 1500 or a 3500?

    4 - How many pallets should I be able to fit into one of these? (I plan on putting a permanent bed immediately behind driver seat, because I am tall, 6'6", I will probably need 36" width bed to sleep corner to corner. Prefer Wider if I could.)

    5 - How much weight will I be able to carry?

    6 - Any and all other advice to a new o/o is welcome. :)
     
  2. hapearce1
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    hapearce1 New Recruit Driver

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    The silence says something.

    Would people recommend I get a Sprinter?
     
  3. LDB

    LDB Veteran Expediter Retired Expediter

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    You do not want any 1500 of any sort. They are not strong enough. The G3500 is the way to go if you go Chevrolet because it can handle more weight. Insulate the van well and plan to sleep stretched out on a foldable cot lengthwise. At 6'6 you'll never sleep well crosswise. Don't let them use your van for storage space so you'll wind up unloading before sleeping anyway. With a G3500 you'll be able to carry two 48x48x48 skids with a little over a couple of feet left over. I ran a G3500 with the 6.2 engine. I ran it 62-63mph almost all the time in spite of those flying past and I averaged 17.2mpg. I put Airtabs on it and highly recommend them.
     
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  4. hapearce1
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    hapearce1 New Recruit Driver

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    My biggest grievance in this business is lack of a permanent sleeping space. For a short time I drove a Freightliner Sprinter that had a mounted fold down bed going side to side. I would be lying if I said it was ideal, but it was always there. Now, I get a lot of weekend loads that pick up Friday and deliver Monday. Right now I'm laying on a mattress that is on top of 3 pallets, and I'm not far from the ceiling, very coffin like feel. Not cool, don't like it. Nope, not at all. Hunh unh. Nope, nope nope nope nope.

    So, even though I can lay my mattress long way when I'm empty, this is horrible, and I really really really really really want a permanent sleeping space.

    But I also hate turning down a load. Go figure.
     
  5. Turtle
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    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    My Sprinter has a permanent sleeping space. I started out in this business in a short wheelbase Ford E-350 and my second load ever was two oversize skids of roofing materials (moisture barrier, mostly) from Chicago to Haywood, CA (Oakland). No place to sleep while loaded. A permanent sleeping space instantly became the #1 item on the list of must-haves for the next van.
     
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  6. RoadTime
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    RoadTime Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    I waited +5 years too long to make a permanent bed #1 priority. Best add on I've done. Would not have another van without one.

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  7. Andyinchville1

    Andyinchville1 Rookie Expediter Owner/Operator

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    I know most vans don't have it BUT could a 3 person bench seat be easily installed up from and then some "filler" be used for the foot wells so that can somewhat approximate a bed?

    Has anybody tried that? its space not often used for sleeping and it would always be there.
     
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  8. Marc Patrick Stanley

    Marc Patrick Stanley New Recruit Owner/Operator

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    I am a sneeze under Six Feet Four Inches Tall. I was running a 2003 Extended GMC Savana 2500 Cargo Van - I have not run, for 4 Years, due My and My Mother's Health. The Van is in my Driveway. It is On its Second 6.0 Litre V8 - The First Engine got up, to well over 420,000 Miles. I upgraded, to the same Tires, as the 3500 has: P245/60R16 - GVWR is only 300 Pounds fewer, than the 3500 - Long Wheelbase gives most of its Grunt - I had to sometimes put 1 Ton just inside the Rear Doors, with No Performance Problems. There were times I had, to nap quickly, for a short period - I had Storage, and Pillows, between the Front Seats, to raise Level even. I slept Fetal Position, and was Out Cold quickly. I had One Inch Foam, in Ceiling, and 2 Inches Foam, in the Side Walls - I stuffed Doors, with Rockwool Insulation. Inner Walls were 1/8th Inch Thick Composition Board. It was cosy! As, for Overnight, I surrendered, and slept in Choice Hotels Chain Location, at Discount Prices. I own a 7 Foot Long HD Cot, which I bought at Cabelas. I have 2 - 30 Degree Fahrenheit Sleep Bags, zipped together. I have a Double Height Air Mattress. I put Flexible Aluminum Bubble Wrap, and Windshield Reflector, in Front Windows. I was never Cold - just constricted! I had One, of those Spring Loaded Shower Curtain Rods, between Wall, directly behind Front Seats, with Moving Blanket Doubled over it, Ceiling-to-Floor - kept Heat, & Cool Up Front. I covered Rear, and Side Windows, with that same Flexible Aluminum Bubble Wrap. Even at Cot Height, in the Rear of the Van it was close, to Ceiling, and Uncomfortable. Overall, General Motors Cargo Van with that Powertrain was Phenomenal, Powerful, Solid, and ate Asphalt! [Post Script: Certain Toll Booth Trolls think the 2500 is a Half Ton, and will charge You Less! lol]
     
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  9. RedBird

    RedBird Veteran Expediter Fleet Owner

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    I used a sofa sleeper from a conversion van, and it worked great for me. My Dad used a bench seat from a Ford passenger van, but it was the long bench seat normally used as the last row bench seat in the 15 pass. models. It worked good for us.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G900A using EO Forums mobile app
     
  10. Marc Patrick Stanley

    Marc Patrick Stanley New Recruit Owner/Operator

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    Andyinchville1

    Neither Mr. HA Pearce, nor I are Shorter, than the Door-to-Door Van Width Wise Dimension - I leveled the Gap, between the Bucket Seats, but I am still Unconscious, In The Fetal Position - fine, for Naps Only. BTW hapearce1 asked, about Load Weights, in a GM Cargo Van - I stupidly was 7000 Pounds Unloaded, with All my Camping Gear (I had a Row, of Large Rubbermaid Storage Containers strapped-in Right Behind the Bucket Seats, and along Dead Zone even with Wheel Wells, along the Sides of the Cargo Area. This was a Flexible Solution, as I had to take something longer, than 8 Feet. Automotive usually ships, in Four Foot Cube Shapes, but other Skidded Freight is often hanging-off: Front, Back, Sides, and Height. I carried 2500 - 3000 Pounds Maximum. If One Piece, then it got jammed Halfway, between Wheelbase, and I had plenty of Chains, Tie Down Straps, Ropes, etc. to remove Skids, Where Short Fork Tow Motors/HiLows were Only Available.

    Since the Advent, of Daimler/Mercedes/Dodge/Freightliner 4, & 6 Cylinder High Roof Vans Shippers have become even more lax, and inaccurate. Before these White Weathervanes came into being We were All in Regular Cargo Vans. Many a Time I arrived, at a Shipper, and the Load was Dock Height Only, or Too High, or Too Long... It was Hair Pulling, and Annoying! Typical Loads were Boxes, On Skids, so Top Row(s) were removed, and put On the Side. As long, as my Freight Carrier Company Employer accepts Me, in an Old School Cargo Van, then that is How I Will Roll! Dodge Rams, Ford Econolines, General Motors Savanas/Expresses are far more Solid, and Stable Vehicles. How many Times have I seen Taller, Narrower, Lighter Sprinters, and Their Cousins catch Wind, like they were Sailboats, and Not Cargo Vans? There were The Rare Long Wheelbase American Cargo Van Conversions, as Hybrids, between RV, & Cargo Van - they were Sweet! GM Versions wore out Front Tires faster, than Stock! BUT, You had Dedicated Sleepers, Amenities, and Cargo Room - this was possible, as they widened behind the Cab, to increase Wall-to-Wall Width, to possibly 8 Feet. I could discuss All this, for Hours....
     
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  11. Worn Out Manager
    Amused

    Worn Out Manager Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator US Air Force

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    My 2¢ is to pass along the advice most EO members gave me - buy the longest, tallest, most GVW you can afford. I have never met a driver that wished they had a smaller one! If you can find something you can afford that is a couple years old less than 200K miles, go for it.

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  12. ntimevan

    ntimevan Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    I agree with WOM .... except some van drivers need the Pontoon & Trolling motor available package ...

    my Poking sticks are donated by OVM Mfg. of Bison , SD.
     
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  13. Marc Patrick Stanley

    Marc Patrick Stanley New Recruit Owner/Operator

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    How many Retired, or Otherwise Expediters are there, in Bison, SD, USA?
     
  14. Worn Out Manager
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    Worn Out Manager Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator US Air Force

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    Ouch!

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  15. Worn Out Manager
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    Worn Out Manager Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator US Air Force

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    Two! Judi & Ken, AKA the King & Queen of Pork.

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  16. Turtle
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    Turtle Administrator Staff Member Owner/Operator

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    Imagine what you could save in ferry costs.
     
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  17. Marc Patrick Stanley

    Marc Patrick Stanley New Recruit Owner/Operator

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    One of The Prayers to Guardian Angels:

    "O Angels of all who travel by air, land or water, be their guides and companions, protect them from all dangers of collision, fire, and explosion and lead them safely to their destination. Amen"
     
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  18. Moot

    Moot Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    I spend more time driving than sleeping. I wouldn't last long sitting behind the wheel on a bench seat.
     
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  19. Moot

    Moot Veteran Expediter Owner/Operator

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    300 lbs. less on the GVWR doesn't seem like much but when it comes to van expediting its huge.
     
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