The $40,000 toilet

DannyD

Veteran Expediter
Offline
Yes, I'm referring to the Sprinter.

I just got back from my last run today. I am PEEVED right now. If I said what I really felt Lawrence would pull the plug on my post. Maybe even expel me as a member. The kinder/gentler version of what I'm thinking is I hope whoever designed this friggen thing would be kidnapped by al-qaeda.

Except for the gas milage & that ya could stand up in the back, I didn't like this thing before. My back is always killing me everytime I drive this thing. The radio controls are to far over to the right. The wiper fluid doesn't squirt up well at all. I thought I was out so I went to add some. Nope, I was 3/4 full. Just a whole slew of bad design things. Then ya add to that what another Sprinter driver I was talking to today called "nickle & dime" things.

My dome light fell apart awhile ago, at around 3000 miles. I've plugged a spotlight in the lighter, but I also need the lighter to plug in my back massager cuz the seats are so dang uncomfy. Yes, I can get a splitter, but w/ this piece of chyt I don't trust it. So I'm stuck fumbling around when I want to switch appliances to plug in.

Today we had a storm. Nothing earthshaking there. I live in Michigan & knew I'd be in one eventually. 2 of my runs had 2 hour & 3 hour waits respectively to get loaded. Again, part of the job. Those things happen. What WOULD have been nice though, is once I was loaded, to get in my van & go & NOT have to be messing w/ the mother ($)#*U$# van all nite long. Now I REALLY hate this thing.

Instead what I got was the realization that they didn't design the windshield wiper/defrost system very well either. I had about a 50 mile run. From Metro Airport in Detroit to St. Clair, Michigan. Three times I had to completely pull over because so much ice was on my windshield wipers that I couldn't see. Several times (maybe 17-25, kinda lost count there) I had to slow down while driving, to maybe 10MPH & reach out the window & kind of snap the ice off. This is NOT how I want to be doing my deliveries.

A lot of this could be alleviated if the defrost could have 100% of the heat sent to the windshield. I felt to stupid to ask why this can't be done, but I found out today that I'm not the only one who doesn't know how to do it. I talked to 2 other Sprinter owners today. They both told me if there's a way to do it, they don't know how. The best this flippin van will do is send about 50% to the window & 50% out the vents. If ya close the vent, a little more heat goes to the window, but not much more.

I work for a company I'm really pleased w/. I get a lot of late nite runs & don't have to be up early. I get to sleep in my bed at either my house in Flint or down here by the airport every nite. I like the people I work with. I like how ya can go in pretty much when ya want & leave when ya want.

In about a months time, I've went from wanting to go in at 10AM until midnite if they had the freight. Then it went from noon until midnite, then from 2-3PM until midnite. Now it's 4-5 until midnite. I can see it happening right in front of my eyes. The reason for this is cuz I don't want to spend any time in that #()@#(@ van.

My back if fine now. It was hurtin like a dog when I got out of the thing about 45 minutes ago. It's tough to want to work when it's a constant aggravation w/ something.

I won't do anything illegal, but I really & truly do hope someone steals this thing. I'm going to talk to my recruiter & see if they'll take on any cargo vans. I know I'll make less money per run, but when ya get to the point of not wanting to work cuz of your vehicle, I'm sure I'll end up making more overall & be a lot happier for the simple fact that I'm comfortable.

I basically want to go back to the Ford where the only thing I know I'll have to do is replace the blower motor on a semi-annual basis.

Anyways, I've written a book here. I've mellowed out a lot since I started this post. I do have to tell ya, it's a great therapeutic thing to write out your frustrations & to wish someone who designed something that causes ya so much grief to die a wretched death. =)

Thanx for reading my rant,
Danny
 

greg334

Veteran Expediter
Offline
Trade my van for your sprinter, LOL

If it means anything, the sprinter is German, meaning hard seats and business like cab. The radio is center of the cab because the sprinter comes in two versions, left hand drive and right hand drive. this is a pain for a lot of reasons.

Now my smart a** comment

See D-C has an option that is only available in Europe, it keeps all snow and rain away from the Sprinters and the Varios so the wipers don’t need to be really good and the defrosting unit can be weak. Because of government restrictions here in North America, this option will not be available for a long time.

Smart a** comment end

Seriously, living in Michigan, you know about winter blades? I would get a pair and put them on. The washer fluid thing, wow that is a pain, I could not stand that.

The seat issue is a problem for me too. I had a lot of German vehicles, even my 30/40’s Mercedes had hard seats and was difficult to get used to. I think that their philosophies of driving which means driving can’t be a pleasure but rather a job, hence the need to make things uncomfortable.

Well back to shoveling my truck out of the snow....

How do you know you are in SouthEast Michigan?

All the the TV stations break for a special report with thier storm teams telling you tht snow is on the way.
 

hondaking38

Veteran Expediter
Offline
wow i live in michigan also and havent experienced those problems, i turn on the heater booster, and drive around in a t-shirt, close the passenger vents all the way off and open the drivers just a little, only had to snap the blades one time... winshield washer is weak also...as far as the seats go, they adjust 6 ways...and even though they feel hard, after 12 hours in it, if adjusted right, there more comfy ergonomocally to me, then a highly padded cadillac seat..radio is a stretch i will give you that so i bought a sirrus and have a remote control.....easier for me then switching stations at every town i run across....about the only thing i wish it had was a self cleaning button, instead of trying to wash the ##### thing in 20 deg weather....
 

highway star

Veteran Expediter
Owner/Operator
Offline
C'mon Danny, don't be shy. Tell us how you REALLY feel! LOL!

You may have just gotten rid of any thoughts I had about possibly getting one of those. So much bad press about one vehicle.
 

Draco

Expert Expediter
Offline
I agree with hondaking38 I've not had any problems with that on my Sprinter. Now the EGR valve that's another story all together...lol.

Overall I like the sprinter but it leaves much to be desired in the "no idle" and rumble strip noise in the motor that no one seems to be able to find what causes it.
 

redytrk

Veteran Expediter
Charter Member
Offline
12 times $5.00....A new worlds record!

Please remit to the charity of your choice.
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
Have you looked into a replacement seat? Isringhausen and others make some extremely nice seats. It wouldn't cure everything but might make the rest of the things a lot more bearable if you got out as comfortable as you got in. Good luck.

Leo Bricker
OOIDA 677319
truck 4958
73's K5LDB
Support the entire Constitution, not just the parts you like.
 

dukesadog

Expert Expediter
Offline
A friend of mine has the Mercedes version of the sprinter..he recently got pulled over here in town and it was quite interesting while the vehicle itself says mercedes the registration says dodge..yet the insurance says mercedes...

I personally think its very uncomfortable just going 20 miles, I cant imagine living in it all week.

dukesadog
 

cheri1122

Veteran Expediter
Driver
Offline
When I woke up this morning in Connecticut, & I could see my breath, in spite of the propane heater, I hit the highway west. But three times I had to get off, to whap the ice from the wipers. (I just don't have the wingspan to reach out the window) After the third experience of almost getting stuck on the icy little hills in Ct, I said enough is enough, & checked into a Sheraton. (In 2 hrs on 84, I hadn't seen a single plow or saltshaker, visibility was near zero, & at 40 mph, it wasn't worth the risk)So I will be getting the winter wipers, too - because checking in just aint gonna work too many times. Darn it!
The new seat I got awhile ago, and I think it's worth the money, absolutely. It feels like wearing brand new, super comfortable sneakers! If you have to justify replacing it, just consider it a tool to improve your job performance - even a German would be comfortable with that, lol. :D
 

terryandrene

Veteran Expediter
Safety & Compliance
US Coast Guard
Offline
Leo: Is the price a secret? I can't find a reference to a price anywhere on their site.
 

LDB

Veteran Expediter
Retired Expediter
Offline
I didn't find pricing on there either. I don't know if this is the company but in one of the magazines I get like Overdrive or maybe Heavy Duty Trucking there was an ad for heated blades and it was $80 for a pair. I probably won't be back home till the end of the month but I'll look for it, provided my better half hasn't tossed the magazine out.

Leo Bricker
OOIDA 677319
truck 4958
73's K5LDB
Support the entire Constitution, not just the parts you like.
 

vipra

Expert Expediter
Offline
Nothing personal, of course, but you sound like a spoiled, whining crybaby to me. If you're having problems of any sort, the worst thing you can do is sit there and :censoredsign:. Figure out what's wrong and fix it yourself, or ask others for advice. Yes, you paid $40K, but any vehicle is a rather complicated piece of machinery, and if you want perfection you'll have to pay a lot more than that. The things you whined about can all be fixed easily. Send Daimler Chrysler a list of the things you don't like, and if they get enough complaints they may pay attention and do a better job next time.
I drive a Sprinter and I don't have any back pain. 55% of Americans are overweight or obese, and if you're one of them your back pain is caused by the dozens of pounds of fat hanging off your gut, not your Sprinter seat. Try losing weight and exercising to get your back in shape.

Vipra
 

greg334

Veteran Expediter
Offline
>Leo: Is the price a secret? I can't find a reference to a
>price anywhere on their site.

I sent them an email, thinking about buying a pair for the 'truck'.
 

Broompilot

Veteran Expediter
Offline
Vipra I agree with you to a point. When you spend this kind of $ you expect things to work with out putting more of your own hard earned $ into something thats suppost to make you $ for your efforts not back into the tool.

Danny- get a sleeper screen like the ones between the sleepers to keep the cold air back in the back. Last year in my first snowstorm Dec 22, in Michigan and Ontario. The other professional expierenced drivers were tell'n all us rookies to turn off the Defrost put it on Heat or Vent and walla no ice at all on the wipers and the windows stayed clear, also close the rear curitans or turn the heat on in the bunk to keep the entire temp consistant this is what causes windows to fogg up.

As for the seat get rid of it go to any truck dealer, probably freightliner and look at what they could do for an air ride just a suggestion. Good luck.
 

greg334

Veteran Expediter
Offline
Don't mean to be a Smart A**, but defrosters are not made to remove ice from wipers.
 

TJ959

Veteran Expediter
Offline
I was out in the same storm and my wipers iced up too but I intend to get a set of winter blades to cure that problem. I like the seat myself and I'm fairly chubby. I'll have to admit it took me a while to figure out how to adjust it just right though. The dome light is cheap but I fixed mine with just a little silicone adhesive. I really like my Sprinter so far. The only problem I have is the dealers not stocking service parts.
 

TeamCaffee

Administrator
Staff member
Owner/Operator
Offline
We have the everblades. Bought them at the EO conference in August. About 80.00 a set, if you work for FedEx you can get 10% off. You install them yourself and Bob say's they are very easy to install. We have tested them out several times now and really like them. We have not had to stop once and whack the blades!
 

DannyD

Veteran Expediter
Offline
Terry & Rene,

I like this idea & looked at the site. I couldn't find the price though. Like you, I also couldn't find the price on the heated wipers. Not sure which of the two would work best, but I'm thinking the heated fluid would work better year round because in summer I can see it doing a better job on the bugs.

Highway,

I work for a pretty decent company. Gimme a call & I'll tell ya about em. The problem though, is they want ya to have a Sprinter. Obviously I'm not gonna recomend one of these things unless I want ya to be miserable. If I remember it right you can drive a bigger truck. They need those too. And yes, next time I won't be so gosh dang shy about things. =) Talk to ya soon.

Draco,

One of the guys I was talking to that day started asking me things like "has your transmission started to slip yet?".. "does your engine make funny noises too?" & questions of that nature.. It sure didn't give me a good feeling about what I was in store for. I didn't have the heart to tell the poor guy that these things were notorious for the EGR valves.

Redytrk,

I had to laugh. If I spent $60 on Bea Arthur Posters, would that constitute a charity? I might need some serious help here.

Leo,

A replacement seat is next on the list. I actually thought of that myself. Meaning I was wondering if the other stuff would be so aggravating if I wasn't so uncomfortable. The windshield situation would be annoying under any circumstances. The other stuff though, might be easier to take if it was overall an enjoyable drive. Still, for the money I just spent I'd think they'd already have had comfy seats in em.

Duke,

Geez, that lil tidbit sure makes me feel better. =) Maybe I could just have "Jalopy" printed on all important paperwork & get by w/ that. By golly, I think if I get pulled over my best option would be to tell the cop I stole it & maybe he'll take the thing away from me.

Cheri,

There's a lot of good quality advice on this site. But daaaaaaaang, I'm not real sure where ya can buy some longer arms. =) If I come across some I'll def. let ya know.

Vipra,

Nothing personal of course, but you're clueless. I'm in the 45% of people ya didn't comment about. In the past I've played hockey for 13 years, martial arts for 4, baseball, golf, name the sport & I've pretty much at least tried it. Though this job takes a fair amount of time, I still play tennis & racquetball when I get the chance & use the Bowflex on a semi regular basis. My back ONLY hurts when I'm in the Sprinter. Nowhere else. Nice try but wrong assumptions. And hey, if expecting a new $40,000 vehicle to be at least as good as a 5 year old $12,000 vehicle is whining, then call me a whiner.

Broom,

That's a pretty good idea. What I did was buy a shower curtian & hang it up behind the seats. It seems to keep enough heat in the cab area to be warm enough. I had a hunch when I bought the thing that the heater wasn't going to put out enough heat to keep the whole van warm. No major qualms w/ that aspect of things, I wish that the windshield would defrost faster though.

Greg,

True, defrosters won't remove ice from the wipers. Once the ice is removed from them though, they shouldn't be icing up every 2-5 miles. A decent defrost can prevent that to a point. I understand that eventually they'll ice up again. This storm though, was not that bad. It definately didn't warrant the wipers icing up so frequently. If enough heat can get to the window, the wipers work better. At least in every vehicle I've driven before this one, the longer the defrost has been on the better the wipers have worked.


Tom,

I guess comfort is subjective. Do you also enjoy sitting on cement floors? =) Hope your new company is treating ya good. Drop a line & lemme know how it's going. Be safe out there.

Bob & Linda,

How many times have ya tried these out & in what kind of weather? Ie, what's the worst weather you've used em in & gotten good results. Thanx in advance for any further info.

Be well everyone,
Danny
 
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