: Best contractor truck/van?

04-02-2010, 10:07 AM
I might have a new job soon, and I'd be required to get my own van/truck or what not. I was thinking of going with either an E250 or E350, but I don't know which motor to go with. It's going to be used for apartment maintenance, but I guess I would mostly be at one complex, sometimes at others so it wouldn't get driven real far all day, although I'd probably take it for some long drives just so it can get driven like it should be. Probably going to do some towing with it too. So out of the three, 4.2L V6, 4.6L V8, and 5.4L V8, should I go with? I don't know much about any of those. Also, which truck/van do you guys think is best?

04-02-2010, 10:47 AM
You can get vans cheap on CL. There are tons listed all the time.

I'd get a trailer and set that up the way you want even it you end up getting a van.

If a van breaks down and you have to unload all your equipment into something else versus just hooking up to a different truck.

04-02-2010, 12:10 PM
If you live outside of a city and have plenty of room for driving around i'de agree with a trailer, however the convenience of a van/box truck is unmatched, especially in tight neighborhoods and areas.

Go for the best deal you can find IMO.

04-02-2010, 12:45 PM
I don't think you can get a 4.6 in an E250 or E350.

04-02-2010, 02:10 PM
I have been driving E250 Ford vans for quite some time. Currently my work van is an E250 with 186 k miles and runs and drives great. My race van(haul vehicle to and from the racetrack) has 426,000 miles on it and runs great. Both vans have 5.8 l v8's. So ,in my opinion get yourself an e250 and enjoy not working on your work ride for a few hundred thousand miles.

04-02-2010, 02:39 PM
I've got a 5.4 in an '06 E250 Comm-Trans conversion van and it has ~188k on it and runs pretty solid still...id say thats a solid platform to go with!

04-02-2010, 02:43 PM
another thing to consider is if you will be needing to carry alot of heavy loads on a rack, if that is the case, you may want to look into a pickup, but if thats not the case, vans are the only way to go, you can build some nice racks in the back, and also, if you got an old ambulance, there is tons of room for racks and tool storage in those.

04-02-2010, 03:26 PM
For what its worth- I offer my insight on this.
I had a van for about a year before selling it off to get into my truck in the avatar. It was a 05 chevy extended 2500 with the 4.8...but I didn't like it for my use. dont get me wrong...it was fairly nice for a work van-ran great, decent milage and all. But once I got the shelves and storage on the sides and the bulkhead to keep it in the back end, I found my ability to haul longer, bigger items was greatly cramped. Something I hadn't seriously considered while upfitting it. I also usually carried a Generator/welder. not an issue in a pickup bed...but in an enclosed van I got sick of the smell of fuel that came up front. Again...not something I'd considered (yeah I did change gas caps and try to clean it up-but it didn't work). Cargo style vans typically don't have ventilation for exhausting smells. So after 7000 miles I sold it. For general maintenance, I suppose it is a wise choice of vehicles I think the Ford Vans have a bit more interior room for driver and passenger than the Chevy did.

04-02-2010, 06:26 PM
I'd look for a box van. Its nice to have the height inside so you can walk in it, and you can build shelfs in it, have a work bench or whatever. You can never have too much room.

04-02-2010, 07:31 PM
I'm pretty much dead set on a E250 or E350. For apartment maintenance it should work out good. I do maintenance already at my current company out of a Ranger, so a E250 or 350 would be a huge improvement. A ladder rack is a must. This looks like a great van... http://milwaukee.craigslist.org/cto/1672493199.html I would probably swap ladder racks though, that one isn't the style I like. You can't put short things up on it.

04-02-2010, 08:09 PM
I drive an extended E250 at my job and it works great.Shelves and freon rack on the drivers side and a cabinet/workbench between the slider and rear door passenger side.I carry lots of parts and four different freons so the shelves/rack are good but I'm seriously thinking of pulling the workbench cabinet out to free up some cargo space.I have to sit on a milkcrate to use it, it's not really heavy enough,and the noise of power tools inside the van is loud as hell.As for storage,I really like milkcrates.You can put job specific tools and parts in em,stack em,sit on em,and they make excellent possum traps.
I wish Ford made a van body like the Dodge Transporter,something tall enough to stand in.A local HVAC company uses them and they look very tech friendly.

04-02-2010, 09:26 PM

04-02-2010, 09:55 PM
I do mobil service work, and over the years I've had regular vans, then a truck with a service bed, then a 16' box van, and now a truck with an enclosed box, and out of all of them I liked the 16' box van and the truck with the box the best. The box van had the most room and was convienient to work with and in, but the down side was it was wide and tall and tree branches and narrow driveways was always an issue when going to homes in more remote areas. The truck I have now beats that since its just a pick-up with a box on it so there is no width or height problems. Plus with it being a pick-up I could get 4 wheel drive, a big fun engine, and its a lot more comfortable to drive. I have as much stuff in it too, but at the cost of having to use space very efficiantly and I have no room to work inside it. In fact you can't even get in it. All my parts and tools are axcessed by full length drawers that pull out of the back. With all the trucks I've had I like my new one the best. I don't know if you were wanting to spend that kind of money or put that much time in to building something, so if not a regular cargo van will always do. Maybe if you're still at it years from now you can build a truck dedicated to suit your needs 99%.

This is my current truck

I'll have to get some pictures from the back so you can see how its all laid out.

04-02-2010, 10:05 PM
Cool! Looks nice. Yea I thought about a pickup but for some reason I just dig the vans. It's probably because they're easy to find and convenient. I thought you used the F150 for work though Mike? Or was that a while back.

04-02-2010, 10:28 PM
my dad has a 2000 e350 with a 7.3 with just under 200k on it, aside from a tear in the seat and a few dings you would sware it was new. its been pretty good to him, only things that gave him problems were related to the diesel engine. as far as the chassis and body, zero problems.

04-03-2010, 01:15 PM
Cool! Looks nice. Yea I thought about a pickup but for some reason I just dig the vans. It's probably because they're easy to find and convenient. I thought you used the F150 for work though Mike? Or was that a while back.

I never have. That eyesore would tarnish my image. Plus I like having vehicles that doesn't have my name on it and is in no way related to my business so I can drive like an asshole in them and no one would know it was me.