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Here’s my service van. Back in April 2017 when I passed my masters/contractor exam and paid my licences I bought this beat up 2003 GMC 5.3L savana 350 000 kms for the price of of 1900$

I had 1400$ left in my bank account at that point. I got a job with a terrible employer for 5 weeks renovating school washrooms. I shut up and endured his tantrums, his nonsense and hack work.

I saved my paychecks got a few calls after work, week ends and and luckily full 2 weeks as all contractors were closed for the vacations. I saved my money there too.

When I got laid off I fixed a lot of mechanical problems in the engine compartment. I completely had to rebuild the bottom quarter panels, bottom of the doors and rocker panels, the whole underneath was gone rotted through. It took me 3 months to redo the bodywork and paint while preparing my website during the evening and attending 1-2 calls a week.

Every call I went to with the money gained that day I would reinvest to purchase a little more materials. Then better equipment and specialty tools. Now this what I have. It still needs work...

I won’t wrap the truck as its money wasted as the van may die anytime. I have small magnets with my company name. Mandatory name and organisation logo, my lettering is a little too small. The important thing is it looks clean.


I’ve been building shelves which is not easy when the truck is warped, nothing is straight to work with. I’ve installed unpick-able locks under the armor plate. Plywood behind the windows. I put motion sensors hidden in the trees on each side of the van with the receptor chime in my bedroom for when I sleep. I park my daily driver in front of the van. I will be installing dead switches shortly.

I keep everything organized as I need a bunch load of parts for different residential issues and it wouldn't fit otherwise.


















 

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I didn't want to spend a lot of money and time to make the shelving look really nice, but functional. I had to build these between jobs and the van is old, its not like I'm going to have it for the next 10 years, I wish! It'll have to come down when I get another used truck. I can't see myself spending 40-50 grand on a new high top van. I'd be working just to pay the loan.

I'll try to fix the air conditioning in the spring and this van is 4x4, Amazing grip in the snow!!

I do love side doors on both sides, The passenger side is where I keep my drain cleaning equipment and parts I use less often as its the side in the snowbank or the curb side in the summer where you can twist an ankle.

I keep cleaning spray, paper towels, a tiny broom, and garbage bags. Women are really impressed when I put on my indoor shoes(like 40 times a day), I leave the area all cleaned up. I get brownie points for that!
 

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Great looking setup! Like how you put the slip joint nuts in the toolbox.
Thanks! That's one thing that was a peeve of mine in my employers trucks everything was placed in a single bin. We were 6 guys using a cube van and I used that truck only a couple of time. Trying to find and rummage though a mixed bin of assortment of parts to figure out he didn't have it. Then he would throw a tantrum that he had to go to the supply house to get a 3$ part. We he had to try and work on something else and he would throw another fit because the job was slow going:wallbash:! When he got back he'd buy only 1!!

Its funny they are supposedly a professional company and they never have what you need, always waiting on parts. I call it the cheapness disease! Worse than a drug addiction!


As I'm on my own, I have more than I need in case I scrap a part while I'm installing it. I have every combination possible even if I might never use them. I love to have options when space is tight or encounter difficult situations. I charge those parts so I don't need to be cheap. I never have to go to a supply house in the middle of a job unless someone wants a designer spout.

People will remember that for a decade if you go shopping on their time and they will complain to whom ever listens!" You can learn a lot by just listening." (Quote from my favorite book)
 

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My reasoning buying a new van of what 45 000$ dollar or something is a bit on the nonsense for me. That means you have to find a lot of work to pay it off.

What are the monthly payments? 700$/month plus 200$/month insurance? That would mean I'd have to do 10 service jobs a month to pay for that thing.


Unless I have big business and lots of money coming in I'll buy used. However I'm a little anxious when the major problems come a long, I won't find another van like mine that have side doors on both sides and being an AWD/4x4.
 

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The truck has a balance of warranty for another 2 years. The guy who had it before purchased it. It just had a new turbo installed under warranty. I just specked out the truck on the ford website, the chassis alone was over $80,000.
It's great if you can afford it. I wish I had a high top van with side doors.(I don't think high tops have any side doors).
 

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Unfortunately that's one of the reasons I went with this truck. I wanted something tall enough to stand up in as well as 4x4 due to mud and snow.

How long have you been in business?
Tomorrow will be 1 year!
 

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In Quebec a big truck like the dualy in your picture needs an annual safety check at a mandated place. My old boss said they always found something and obviously they had mechanics to take your money. Legit safety repairs I doubt it.

I once bought a 4runner that was sitting a while. I had to go for a safety and I didn't pass because the windshield washer was not spraying at the right spot. Only an inch from factory specs. I had to pay 90$ plus 15% tax to bring it again. Then they said I had a licence plate bulb that was burned another 90$ plus 15% tax to bring it again another day. I went there 5 times! I was about to... use your imagination.
 

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That’s really dangerous to have heavy unsecured items in the cab. In an accident they’ll be flying and can do major bodily harm to you.
That’s a good point I think I’ll move a few things around


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Not to chew your butt but to think safety...If you have an accident with your van and it causes bodily harm to others or an accident on the highway for example there will be a police investigation and the blame will be put on you. Jail and huge fines are a reality.


I also suggest you keep the cab closed off with thick or appropriate material. You don't want a 60 pound vise flying by your head and possibly killing you in a roll over. It happened to me, 2-3 barrel rolls while towing another truck in winter. The vise and other heavy metal objects literally crashed by my face in mid air. That was a lesson learned!
 

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Stared a new job about two months ago. What do you think about the way I set up the van, I’m sure you’ve never seen someone block the side cargo door with an additional shelf!

Check out my van, shelves on both sides. Yes I have an ultra rare 8 door AWD van!
 

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Tango.. here is a picture of the stair cat you passed on in Buffalo....

and the back of my work truck....


https://photos.app.goo.gl/6sqSn4UrCfnRddVT7
My oh my that's a big truck. Tell me how you go in and out to get stuff with the deck that high?

For example today I had to grab stuff from the van at least 10 times. I only had to open side of back doors to get things. Do you raise and lower that ramp 10 times a day and open the huge door each time?

By the was I didn't really pass on the staircat, the guy didn't want to sell it to me!! I even offered full price and he ignored me. Grrrrr.
 

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If they look into the back of my truck, usually they are impressed with the amount of stuff I have
packed in the 14 footer box.... nothing looks clean or new just like the truck..... but as some have
said to me ---- lord , you have a whole workshop back here....

Also, The people that think you are as low as garbage pickers probably have a college degree that they
hope and pray that Biden erases and cancels for them..... Their is nothing smarter than getting 200k in debt
and the only thing you have to show for it is a social studies degree in something like "African studies"...LOL
Somehow this gives them the right to look down on EVERYONE these days including me and you....
even though I might be debt free and have more money in my wallet than they have in the bank......lol
My van is packed tight and those who want to look are amazed how much is needed.

I've had high money makers make comments of the high rate, whatever theyr'e not the only ones allowed to make money. All they have to do is hire a cheaper company who'll leave on their dirty boots.
 

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Dude
If you are a licensed and insured plumber, that’s WAYYY to cheap. From Florida-Georgia-Utah-Colorado
Everywhere I’ve worked is pushing $250-$480 a Billable hour

billable hour = time performing job, not time to get materials, time to diagnose, time to talk to customer and time to clean up.
Garbage disposal is quoted at 1 billable hour
A water heater is 3-4 billable hours

idk how Canada is, but the states are prime
In the big cities in his province they have to compete with 250+ other companies plus 1000 unlicensed plumbers, hacks and fake companies. My first year I got a call to unclog a drain and the previous hack put 2 bottle of draoo in the main line and put expanding foam in the floor drain, collected the money and disapeared. I got caught in the mix the customer was a durka and didn't want to pay the bill...

I just redid one job last week from a fake plumbing company. The woman called at what she thought was a plumbing company, she wasn't so sure about him and he seemed like he didn't know what he was doing. Once done she opened the dishwasher door and the whole unit pulled out, the idiot didn't know how to use the brackets and he left them in the bag. He put a screw in the side where it didn't anchor anything, he just shoved the machine re-used the damaged flex, put 20 turns of teflon on the rubber seal and wired it without connectors.

Over there these hacks can put all the plumbing ads they want and their ministry don't give a $hit. The hacks charge 20$ and people love it and scoff at the real plumbers. It's so ridiculous I no longer service that area.
 
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