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Ridgid tool user
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Discussion Starter #1
I plan on buying a isuzu npr with a hackney p2000 body in the far off future. Got a couple questions;

-Do you regret it or wish you bought something else?
-fuel mileage?
-what kind of back door do you have or like? Roll up or double door?
-what kind of options are worth getting? Thoughts on ramp and back up camera?
-How do you like the tilt foward cab?
-What's the around about price for one?
-any other disadvantages or thoughts?
 

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I plan on buying a isuzu npr with a hackney p2000 body in the far off future. Got a couple questions;

-Do you regret it or wish you bought something else?
-fuel mileage?
-what kind of back door do you have or like? Roll up or double door?
-what kind of options are worth getting? Thoughts on ramp and back up camera?
-How do you like the tilt foward cab?
-What's the around about price for one?
-any other disadvantages or thoughts?
I drive one every day though I don't own it. I think it's a 95 though I'm not sure. It gets just over 10mpg and is loaded with materials. It does suck on big hills. If you have to stop on a big hill you can forget about going over 20mph or so, hit it running and maybe you'll make it to the top at 35. Our truck might be overweight, I've never weighed it so I don't know.

We have the roll up door which I have no complaints about, I like it because it gives you more options when building your shelves. I don't like those barn door style trucks because you need 3" or so on either side to swing them open. It's a PITA in tight spaces especially when you have something next to you that you can't let the doors swing into.

I love the cab over because it gives you a great turning radius. You can turn around in tighter spaces then smaller regular cab trucks can. The only disadvantage I can think of is safety. I'm not sure but I'd assume a regular cab is safer then a cab over in a head on collision as you have nothing in front of you but some sheet metal. It might also be easier to roll over because of that better turning radius. Again I'm not sure on that one.

As for ramps we just have a step in the back. The only thing we would really need a ramp for is boilers but we just use a bunch of guys lifting it for small boilers, for larger ones a small trailer with a ramp.

The transmission was replaced at 75k to the tune of $4,500. 20k later it's not doing well but that's a lousy rebuild, not the trucks fault. The motor runs strong, she burns about a quart of oil every thousand miles and defiantly needs to warm up while it's cold out. This truck is not maintained though. They refuse to get any fluids changed and before I started working on it the previous guy didn't even add oil so it was only topped off when it was changed once a year at inspection time.

Properly maintained I bet it's a great truck which gets excellent gas mileage for a box truck. Diesel emissions standards have changed since this truck was build so the newer ones might get slightly worse mileage and have a complex emissions system that is expensive to replace if it goes bad. I'm not sure, just something to look into.

All in all if I were ever to buy a box truck I would defiantly go with one of these.
 

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residential service
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I plan on buying a isuzu npr with a hackney p2000 body in the far off future. Got a couple questions;

-Do you regret it or wish you bought something else?
-fuel mileage?
-what kind of back door do you have or like? Roll up or double door?
-what kind of options are worth getting? Thoughts on ramp and back up camera?
-How do you like the tilt foward cab?
-What's the around about price for one?
-any other disadvantages or thoughts?
-Love it. Don't know how I survived without it.
-11 mpg fully loaded (don't know the weight but it's as full as I need it to be)
-double doors (I like them a lot. Easy to open and no pad lock to fumble
around with or be cut, I have the p2000 box)
-if you have sewer gear get the ramp :thumbsup:. I don't have the back up camera and visibility is an issue, just go very slow. I do have the back up alarm which is worth every penny. It is very loud and let's everyone know to get out of the way. The door ajar alarm was also money well spent because with it you can't not know that your rear doors are open if you start the engine.
-Honestly I have never tilted the cab forward because I took it in for its first service. I don't know if I will always take it in for service or if at some point I will start doing it myself but up to now I've had no reason to tilt the cab.
-I think I paid $47,000 for the Isuzu NPR HD w/14' Hackney P2000 box and shelving.

The only thing I don't like so far about this truck is that the ride can be very rough in certain places. I traveled the same roads and highways that I traveled before and got a rude surprise in stretches where the road was bad. Primarily patched areas tend to be the worst I think. If you hit a dip or hump (I'm assuming you would avoid pot holes in a 50k truck) at speed, you WILL leave your seat so wear your seat belt at all times. Once you know these things though it seems to alter the way you drive and it's not nearly as troublesome. Just be aware of the road conditions and slow down if you need to.

In reference to Marlin's post, I live in the foothills of the Appalachains and providing I can get to speed before starting up a steep hill I can stay at speed with little or no loss. There is one in particular which is actually what we would call a mountain (others would laugh) that has a very steep grade and is probably a little over a mile long and I make it at around 55 mph with no problem. Smaller, less steep hills I can even accelerate on.
 

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Good truck for the money and that body is great. The Aluminum shelves will turn anything that touches them black with oxide, so line the shelves. We used the divided tote trays, but be careful about pulling one out and resting it on your knee or you'll have crud on your knee to show for it.

The ramp was something we didn't get and wish we had. No door warning and that did cause some close calls. Rear view cameras were added later and really helped a bunch.

Practical pipe lengths will be limited to 12' for inside storage, but you can carry a mess of it on the top racks. There was no place to store a used heater if that was your first call, so you'll be motivated to dump it as soon as possible.

We used the rear doors as they allowed us storage on the doors. The roll up will not allow for that and will cut down headroom some.

We had two leaks in the box at the front we repaired on one truck, the others were fine. In city driving these things will turn and handle just like a small japanese car, only with a tighter turning radius. You can easily make a U-turn on most wide residential streets and the short wheel base is great for tight spaces.

Cab over takes getting used to and yes it will buck you out of your seat if you're not prepared. One thing I wish Isuzu had offered was an air or gas ride seat like on their bigger trucks. But since you are sitting on a shelf that essentially sits just under the bottom seat pad, there is no room for a better seat.

Storage in the cab is horrible. A typical office trash can will sit on the floor in the middle position, sort of wedged in, so that is nice, but as for books/small items, you will have to build something to store them in. We just belted a plastic tote in the middle seat and put stuff inside it.

Gas model gets about 10MPG and we did have a problem from the factory on one truck burning coolant. It was into a low pressure area, not exhaust area and not one lubricated with oil, so it was difficult to fix, but didn't hurt anything.

We did maintain the trucks regularly and they served us well.

I would get the outside box options and get rid of some of the inside shelf space in the box. Makes it easier to move sink machines and keep the dirtier stuff like shovels and meter keys, closet augers and such where they won't mess other things up.

When you get the box mounted on the truck, do not plan on putting it into service right away. Take some time and lay out how you want to store your stuff and seriously consider getting the totes with the dividers. You can carry three tons of stuff in the back, so be realistic.

I recommend the set up.

I think George Brazil has some nice pics of their trucks and they run essentially the same thing.

The really nice thing is that the box will come off and mount on a new chassis, so you will only have to buy it once.

Oh, and keep at least one tote on one shelf near the doors for all the small junk we plumbers seem to collect, don't drop them back in with the new stock.
 

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Ridgid tool user
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Discussion Starter #5
Really great post guys, thanks alot. Can't wait to hear more. It sounds like I'll get the doors instead of the rollup door. Do the rest of you like the outside boxes?
 

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I've been thinking about this for quite a while.

I don't like outside boxes because once inside you have access to everything without standing in the rain or wind. I don't like extra things that can rattle. I don't like extra things that can break.

I've been primarily looking at Supreme boxes because they're a bit larger than the Hackney. I believe their standard truck is a 12' box and you can order a 14' but it ups the wheelbase.

No doubt the Hackney is king of prebuilt plumbers' trucks, but I'm guessing that those shelves are pricey, especially if you get all the plastic boxes.

Translucent roof would be nice.

Ramp a necessity - those heavy old water heaters, ya know. Big sewer machines, too. No sense trying to lift 'em.

I like the 14' box with the shorter wheelbase, personally, but with the 16' box you could really load it up.

Older trucks had a slightly lower horsepower diesel - new ones are about 205 hp. Gas engines are about 300 HP. I'd think the diesel would have more torque.

Hackney also has foldable side racks that could be useful if you needed to haul a long extension ladder or steel pipe. And their two-step rear entry is far better on the knees than the big L-bumper on the Supreme box. And their swinging doors also have a latch on the inside - you could do some bench work in there with the doors closed in the winter. If you had a bench . . .
 

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The 10mpg we get is a diesel. The gas box truck we have gets about 3.5mpg. We do not have outside boxes. I don't know what I like though. Without the boxes you have a ton of room inside to build your shelves, ad drawers, etc. With the boxes you can still do that but you're more limited in the spaces you have. It's also annoying to lock and unlock six locks every day but that isn't a big deal.
 

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I really like the Isuzu especially for the turning radius. As for the Hackney beds they are the bed George Brazil designed for what he was doing. He use to get a piece of every body they sold. Look at it carefully and make sure it will work for what you want to do.

Mark
 

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Professional Bullshioter
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I looked at these before I bought my latest truck.

I liked the posibilty of curb-side door in a bed.
Turning radius was great.
Frame height was good.

Cons-
Not much trailer capacity
Not much cab room
Didn't like the idea of being the first guy to the wreck
Not much power (maybe I'm just a hot rod)

For service work it would prolly be very nice. Due to manueverability.
Also, they cost considerably less than my latest rig.

Get air-ride seats if available. I LOVE my seats.
 

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LeMarr Plumbing, Inc.
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I would love a npr also. But I have thought about the Sprinter with a hackney or supreme body with shelving. The Sprinter because of MPGs. But don't really know much about the Sprinter as far as durability. Shoot I don't know, I even want a trailer jetter:eek:I want it all:thumbsup:
But a bigger truck would be nice.

In Christ,

Song Dog
 

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residential service
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I think anybody looking at Sprinters should be very careful. I looked at trucks for a looooong time before I could afford to buy. For most of that time the Sprinter was at the top of my list. I would pull off the road just to talk to the driver whenever I would see one parked around town. Everyone I ever talked to loved them. They would often mention some fault or other but they didn't care because they loved it in spite of any fault.

There is a Chrysler/Dodge dealership not far from my house and I used to drive past it almost every day. At some point I began to notice that there seem to always be about a half dozen sprinters there at any given time waiting for some kind of service. I didn't think that much about it but then I began to think that I was seeing some of the same vehicles more often than you would expect. I started looking around online to see if I could get info on what sprinter owners had to say. It was not pretty. Basically there are about 4 or 5 problems that are wide spread with these vehicles. I thought well there are a lot of sprinters on the road your bound to have a certain number of complaints. Isuzu had been second choice up to this point but I started looking a little closer. I searched for Isuzu complaints. I couldn't find ANY! Now that doesn't mean that they aren't out there but I couldn't find them! Sprinter by comparison had tons and they all centered around these 4 or 5 somewhat major items. Somewhere along the way I had a guy that a ran across in town one day that had one, telling me about how much he loved his and how when he blew the engine out of it Dodge was great and the warranty took care of everything and they put a new engine in it, no fuss, no muss :eek:! The whole time he's talking I'm thinking "yea, well I'm pretty sure Dodge didn't pay you $1200 a day in lost revenue for the week or so it took them to get the engine delivered and installed!"

That was it for me. I abandoned the "Sprinter Dream". 20+ mpg sounds great but how good will it sound when your truck is down and your losing calls because you can't get there?
 

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I actually had two trucks at the shop confused. The one I was talking about in my first post is actually a Diesel Mitsubishi box truck.

The Isuzu we have is a flat bed. It is a diesel and has tons of power even with a few thousand pounds in the back. I think it gets around 14mpg and it has a load back there most of the time. Around 100k it got a new transmission and a few other expensive repairs though.
 

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Ridgid tool user
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Discussion Starter #14
Since every one has a problem with seats when going over bumps, why not just install an air-ride seat?
 

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Since every one has a problem with seats when going over bumps, why not just install an air-ride seat?
Because your seat is basically a 4" cushion sitting on sheet metal. You could put an air ride seat in there but you better get a sunroof and a good set of goggles first.
 

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I did a quick google. Couldn't find a decent photo but, there are used ones out there with air-ride seats.

My air-ride seats in the f-650 have about 5" of travel. Not as much as a semi but, much better than getting your ass beat after working all day.

I think you can buy just the suspension for a few hundred bucks for a standard seat. Make sure you get medium duty height.


Also,
Depending on budget. I love my air-ride suspension. Very smooth and has a dump valve to lower the rear of the truck 9" when parked. And air-brakes. Love em. Only bad thing is the noise when you clear the brakes when parking. Stops as fast as you wanna stop though.


I noticed GVCWR was only around 14,500 lbs I think. By the time you get the truck and the bed in that. And tools and supplies I don't think you'll have much breathing room. Or trailer towing capacity.

My insurance man told me if I was loaded over gvw to forget having coverage in the event of an accident. Apparently that is checked on medium duty trucks when there is a claim.
 

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I'm 6" and I fit in there with room to spare so I wouldn't worry. You're going to sit in it before you buy it I'm sure, so you'll find out then if it's comfortable for you.

I would imagine you could buy them in a higher GWCVR. As for the air ride seat, I've never seen one personally but I wish I had one. I can deal with getting bounced around now but ten years down the road I'm sure I'll be sick of it.
 
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