What is the best vehicle for a tradesman? Well, the short answer is any vehicle that works for you. That being said, here are some pointers on what to look for as a vehicle for your business.
Are you tired of getting to a job site, only to discover that you forgot to load an important piece of equipment? One of the most important aspects of a tradesman’s vehicle is storage space. It goes without saying that you’ll need to be able to carry hand tools and some power tools. But, if you use pneumatic nailers, you’ll need the compressors to run them. Can you carry the compressors on the vehicle you currently have? Some tradesmen prefer to have the compressors on a trailer, or on a separate vehicle that can be driven back to the yard when the work day is over. Others prefer the all-in-one approach, with the compressor on board with the rest of the equipment.
Now, this issue is as important as the first: Can you reach everything on your truck? It’s no good to get to a job site and have to unload your truck to get to equipment on the bottom at the back. You need to be able to access any tool or supply you want, when you want it, rather than having to go through a tool box that has had everything dumped in it.
Advertisement is another issue with your vehicle. Most tradesmen have the name of their company on the side of the vehicle. With that in mind, you want a vehicle that represents you and your company well. Is the logo big enough to read? Is the vehicle in good condition, or is it beat up and limping along? Customers are often turned off by any kind of contractor that drives beat up, worn out vehicles, because they’re afraid that you’ll leave their stuff looking just like theirs. Your vehicle is an advertisement for your roofing company.
Does your vehicle keep your roofing equipment and supplies secure? Theft is a major problem on worksites. You don’t make much money when you return to a work site in the morning only to discover that your trailer with your compressor on it has been stolen. And the two story extension ladder? It’s history. Apparently, it wasn’t too heavy for someone to walk off with, after all. With some vehicles, you can lock and chain everything down to keep it safe.
So, what should you choose for your roofing vehicle, with these things considered? Many tradesmen are coming to the conclusion that a van of some kind is the answer to their mobile business. Sprinter vans are pretty good in this respect. You can stand up inside a sprinter van, and walk around, which gives you more accessibility to your equipment. Panel vans are great, too, because of the extra space inside. Both can be fitted with racks on the top to carry poles and ladders.
Some people get a long way with moving vans – the kind that U-Haul has. These have the granny-bed over the cab, for longer ladders. They can also be fitted with racks for the 40 foot ladders that some areas use. The great thing about buying a used moving van from a national company is that you know it has been maintained.
Finally, if you’ve ever seen delivery vans backed up to one another, you know one of the major advantages to using a van for your roofing company – security. With everything contained within your van, and the only access to your equipment through the back door, you can back that baby up to another vehicle or the side of your building, and nobody’s getting in there.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Steve Holt is a vehicle fanatic. When he isn’t writing articles on all varieties of vehicle, he works for Autohaus a company that does T5 Campervan Conversions.