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Thread: Items Carried On a Service Truck For Commercial and Residential.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
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    Texas
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    Items Carried On a Service Truck For Commercial and Residential.

    After reading several hundred post from many people I am a believer that Flat Rate Pricing works for Service Companies. I have seen many of Flyboys post and really enjoy reading them, as you can LEARN a lot from them. Now to my question. I have been doing a lot research locally and I have found a company that does nothing but Flat Rate Pricing and service work. As a matter of fact I swear that they took a page right from Flyboys company as they do multiple trades and invest heavily in sales training, and marketing. I also discovered that they have an agreement with one of the local supply houses to stock their Van. Can you imagine how well organized each Van is? I would like to hear what everyone else does, and see if there is a list floating around out there as to what you should really carry on your van to be successful in the commercial and residential market for service work. These guys are taught to up sell, so it's not just your typical commodities.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakecitieselectric View Post
    After reading several hundred post from many people I am a believer that Flat Rate Pricing works for Service Companies. I have seen many of Flyboys post and really enjoy reading them, as you can LEARN a lot from them. Now to my question. I have been doing a lot research locally and I have found a company that does nothing but Flat Rate Pricing and service work. As a matter of fact I swear that they took a page right from Flyboys company as they do multiple trades and invest heavily in sales training, and marketing. I also discovered that they have an agreement with one of the local supply houses to stock their Van. Can you imagine how well organized each Van is? I would like to hear what everyone else does, and see if there is a list floating around out there as to what you should really carry on your van to be successful in the commercial and residential market for service work. These guys are taught to up sell, so it's not just your typical commodities.

    Crickets!!!!

  3. #3
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    New Jersey
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    Quote Originally Posted by lakecitieselectric View Post
    Crickets!!!!
    People are out, you know, working.

  4. #4
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    Whatever we have on there is not the right one or we sold it this morning.
    Tom
    TBLO

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptonsparky View Post
    Whatever we have on there is not the right one or we sold it this morning.
    When I was a tech doing fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and suppression systems it took me 3 years to figure out what I needed on the truck. It probably took just as long to convince my boss to stock what I needed!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by gadfly56 View Post
    When I was a tech doing fire extinguishers, fire alarms, and suppression systems it took me 3 years to figure out what I needed on the truck. It probably took just as long to convince my boss to stock what I needed!
    I used to do a lot of Dryer work for farms. Small bin dryers. I finally figured out what I needed to keep on hand to be prepared each fall. I now have glass tube type time delays, an ignition transformer along with misc flame boards in stock for the last 15 to 20 years. Same ones. Genetics has make the corn dry in the fields faster and farms have gotten bigger.
    Tom
    TBLO

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
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    It really depends on your truck size, local codes, market, customers, and what percentage of what is your sales.

    I am a big believer in stocking as much of the relevant low cost items as possible.
    Like for residential service a large selection of trim plates and combo plates.
    Noting worse than not being able to finish because your missing a trim plate.
    The labor it takes to run to a local store and supplier could buy boxes and boxes of plates.
    For trims and devices I kept the colors to white and ivory in duplex / toggle and decora.
    Maybe a few left over brown, black, and almond.

    GFI's, dimmers, fan controls.

    At least a few of every type of connector up to 3/4 or 1".
    Boxes of the most common used connectors.

    Back in the day we would have a few remodel and new construction cans, trims, and lamps.
    It was a good extra while we were there, or contractor wanting to add 1 more right before finish.

    We were all conduit resi and commercial so didn't have to deal with plastic boxes and NM cable.

    Had a number of bell boxes as we had a deck contractor call us to do a lot of outdoor electrical.

    Had a few divided containers stocked with categories like reducer washers, lugs / split bolts, washers, coax connectors, cat jacks, etc.

    15 & 20 1p amp breakers of all the common types, and assorted 2 poles.

    14, 12, 10 awg. rolls.

    Kept the bigger fittings 1.5" up in bins in the shop and grabbed when needed.

    A good assortment of screws and a few nails. Deck 1" to 4", self taping, 1/4-20, 6-32, 8-32, 10-32&24, extra trim screws, etc.

    Few feet of 1/2 and 3/4 sealtight.

    Lots of different boxes of different depths. Cut-in, handy, 4sq, 4sq bracket, 4-11, multi gang, brick, etc.

    Few canopy brackets.

    Ceiling fan boxes of different types.

    That's some of what I had doing more resi work.

    Many service company's don't keep a very good stock.
    Lot of left over junk on the truck or all the common items used up.
    Just picking up what they think they'll need and making it work.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    LA basin, CA
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    1,610
    1) Client tells me what they need done, I get unstocked material on the way.
    2) If they don't know, they send me pictures.
    3) If they miss something, they get it while I work, or pay my rate to run around.
    4) If junk* sits in my truck over a month, it gets returned.

    *Junk would be anything not used for device replacements, typical lighting, & power failure repairs.
    Roger Ramjet NoFixNoPay

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Simi Valley, CA
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    I always figured that you could never have too much "I'll use it sooner or later" stuff on the truck (switches & recepts (white and tan), screws, fittings, boxes, wire, different breakers, etc). I was always big on stopping by and seeing what the "real" problem was, so if I didn't have it, I just went and got it and charged for that time.
    I can build anything you want if you draw a picture of it on the back of a big enough check.

    There's no substitute for hard work....but that doesn't mean I'm going to give up trying to find one.

    John Childress
    Electrical Inspector
    IAEI / CEI / C10
    Certified Electrical Inspector

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
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    When I did commercial v/d/v work, items were ordered about 5-10% over what the prints called for. 140 orange Cat6 keystones shown? Order 150. 375 1900 boxes, order 400 and 200 1" mudrings, 200 1 1/8" mudrings. Need 6500' of 3/4" ENT, order 7 1000' spools. None of it was carried on the truck, but kept in a Conex box on site.

    For residential work, I agree 100% with active1's post. You will destroy yourself having to pull off a job or send a helper to get a 30c blank white cover plate to complete a job. and there is no point in keeping 4 gang white Decora plates on the truck or 2" RPVC fittings when you might need those every 2 years. Wood, stainless steel, or gold cover plates are not normally stocked; if a customer wants a new receptacle cut in, you need to ask them in advance if they want any special coverplates. I also dont roll around with a spare panels or cases of light bulbs.

    Mostly having the right tools on the truck and having them organized is more than half the battle. Receptacles, switches, breakers (15 and 20A for most panels), GFCI receptacles, NM of all sizes, fasteners/hardware, 1/2 gang boxes, ceiling fan old work brackets, firestop, AC discos, blank and single gang plates, would be the most common used items. Having a good shop vac with a clean filter, broom/dustpan, clean tarps/drop cloths, charged batteries for the cordless tools, etc. are just as important as having the right parts for the job. Being organized is not a time sink, it's a time saver. Imho, if you cant tell a completely green helper exactly where x item is on the truck, it's not organized.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

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