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Thread: Ram promaster 1500

  1. #11
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    Mar 2003
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    New England
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    I have an E250 and when I was doing my own work, the best thing I ever did was to empty it out and keep it as light as possible. There's no reason to have a van full of stuff if you keep on top of your inventory.

  2. #12
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    Apr 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by peter d View Post
    I have an E250 and when I was doing my own work, the best thing I ever did was to empty it out and keep it as light as possible. There's no reason to have a van full of stuff if you keep on top of your inventory.


    The guy I referred to earlier that I used to work with had just tons of extra little knick-knacks, inventory, and tools that added up to a ton of waste. Two sticks of Unistrut, 20-plus pounds. Spare battery for a generator, 20-plus pounds. Any conduit over 3/4 in, even subsections of 4 inch sleeve something, 50 plus pounds. Junk crap like blown HPS ballasts, bulbs, used Breakers, another 50 lb. 5 gallon oil drum for doing generator change outs, over half full, 25 more pounds.

    Tool wise, he had, last time I saw him, got a hydraulic Punch-Out kit, could do up to 4 in knockouts. 45 lb, and he still had the original manual set on the truck, another 5 to 10 lb. Instead of having like an 80 piece socket set in a nice plastic box, he had a ton of sockets in the bottom of a metal tool box, that weighed more than a bag of Quikrete... Add another 90 lbs there.

    I occasionally have pop 200 lb without a tool pouch or materials, however I think I would rather have a ladder collapse under me then have to Lug around those big orange suckers all day. The Werner blue ladders are good for 250 lb and way substantially less than the ones rated for 300 or 375. He once carried around a portable generator for a week and a half when a hurricane was supposed to hit... Not for any specific customer or job... Add about 250 lbs there. All manner of tools for digging, post hole making, trenching, Etc, add another hundred pounds there.

    My point is if you do not watch the ounces, the pounds will add up tremendously.

    My first work truck was a K 1500 extended cab with a camper shell. I built two wooden shelves across the wheel wells, and kept all of my materials and heavy duty plastic boxes. The truck was organized to the point I could send a green helper out there and tell him exactly where something was, and if it wasn't in that spot, it's because I did not have it. Sure there are some things I had to carry that many electricians would not, like six hundred foot of extension cord for running the drills roughing in commercial jobs, about 10 nail biter drill bits, because breaking one of those or dulling it out mid job will require you to pull off and go buy another one. I had one good corded drill, two good cordless drills, Sawzall and a few other power tools.

    Getting back to the topic on hand, selection of your vehicle may depend largely on how well you can organize it. I bet a good many of us could fit in most of the essential items needed in a Ford Focus with a ladder rack. A 10-in-1, a voltmeter, a pair of dikes, and a pair of wire strippers can get an awful lot of work done.

    I don't like carrying around even an extra pound in my tool pouch, and no truck likes having to carry around the extra weight. It will not complain like I do, however it will cost you more in gas and maintenance than if it was lightly loaded.

    I love my tools and like being prepared as much as the next guy, however I admire efficiency of action over carrying around a rolling garage. If I am doing work that I know will require some different tools, pull them out of the garage and put them on the truck while drinking your morning coffee and going over your game plan for the day in your head.

    Or just imagine having to use a six and a half foot bed in the extended cab of a K 1500 to do all your work... I did that for 4 years, the only thing I would have done differently with get a pull out slide for the bed so all my materials come to me rather than me crawl inside.

    Last thought... If you cannot tell a completely green helper exactly where something is on the truck, it is not organized. If you don't know if you have something on the truck, it is unorganized. And if you have to spend more than about 10 seconds looking for something, it is definitely unorganized. I would rather work out of a Ford Focus with a ladder rack that was perfectly done then another standard electrical van that is a giant rolling cluster... truck.
    I am not alone in this, I am noticing many electrical companies around here with minivans or even compact cars to do service work, estimates, and other things that do not require an entire rolling warehouse of electrical parts and tools.

    Even if you go with the Ram 1500, you may find a gently used one only a few years old where the original owner has already eaten a lot of the depreciation on it. you can spend the money you save on that on another vehicle for service work, save the money for breakdowns, go to Jamaica for 2 weeks, whatever floats your boat. I can't give a thumbs up or down on that particular van, I will say that it is better than a sprinter, which seems to me worse than a boat as far as expenses go.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
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    581
    Quote Originally Posted by JFletcher View Post


    The guy I referred to earlier that I used to work with had just tons of extra little knick-knacks, inventory, and tools that added up to a ton of waste. Two sticks of Unistrut, 20-plus pounds. Spare battery for a generator, 20-plus pounds. Any conduit over 3/4 in, even subsections of 4 inch sleeve something, 50 plus pounds. Junk crap like blown HPS ballasts, bulbs, used Breakers, another 50 lb. 5 gallon oil drum for doing generator change outs, over half full, 25 more pounds.

    Tool wise, he had, last time I saw him, got a hydraulic Punch-Out kit, could do up to 4 in knockouts. 45 lb, and he still had the original manual set on the truck, another 5 to 10 lb. Instead of having like an 80 piece socket set in a nice plastic box, he had a ton of sockets in the bottom of a metal tool box, that weighed more than a bag of Quikrete... Add another 90 lbs there.



    I occasionally have pop 200 lb without a tool pouch or materials, however I think I would rather have a ladder collapse under me then have to Lug around those big orange suckers all day. The Werner blue ladders are good for 250 lb and way substantially less than the ones rated for 300 or 375. He once carried around a portable generator for a week and a half when a hurricane was supposed to hit... Not for any specific customer or job... Add about 250 lbs there. All manner of tools for digging, post hole making, trenching, Etc, add another hundred pounds there.

    My point is if you do not watch the ounces, the pounds will add up tremendously.

    My first work truck was a K 1500 extended cab with a camper shell. I built two wooden shelves across the wheel wells, and kept all of my materials and heavy duty plastic boxes. The truck was organized to the point I could send a green helper out there and tell him exactly where something was, and if it wasn't in that spot, it's because I did not have it. Sure there are some things I had to carry that many electricians would not, like six hundred foot of extension cord for running the drills roughing in commercial jobs, about 10 nail biter drill bits, because breaking one of those or dulling it out mid job will require you to pull off and go buy another one. I had one good corded drill, two good cordless drills, Sawzall and a few other power tools.

    Getting back to the topic on hand, selection of your vehicle may depend largely on how well you can organize it. I bet a good many of us could fit in most of the essential items needed in a Ford Focus with a ladder rack. A 10-in-1, a voltmeter, a pair of dikes, and a pair of wire strippers can get an awful lot of work done.

    I don't like carrying around even an extra pound in my tool pouch, and no truck likes having to carry around the extra weight. It will not complain like I do, however it will cost you more in gas and maintenance than if it was lightly loaded.

    I love my tools and like being prepared as much as the next guy, however I admire efficiency of action over carrying around a rolling garage. If I am doing work that I know will require some different tools, pull them out of the garage and put them on the truck while drinking your morning coffee and going over your game plan for the day in your head.

    Or just imagine having to use a six and a half foot bed in the extended cab of a K 1500 to do all your work... I did that for 4 years, the only thing I would have done differently with get a pull out slide for the bed so all my materials come to me rather than me crawl inside.

    Last thought... If you cannot tell a completely green helper exactly where something is on the truck, it is not organized. If you don't know if you have something on the truck, it is unorganized. And if you have to spend more than about 10 seconds looking for something, it is definitely unorganized. I would rather work out of a Ford Focus with a ladder rack that was perfectly done then another standard electrical van that is a giant rolling cluster... truck.
    I am not alone in this, I am noticing many electrical companies around here with minivans or even compact cars to do service work, estimates, and other things that do not require an entire rolling warehouse of electrical parts and tools.

    Even if you go with the Ram 1500, you may find a gently used one only a few years old where the original owner has already eaten a lot of the depreciation on it. you can spend the money you save on that on another vehicle for service work, save the money for breakdowns, go to Jamaica for 2 weeks, whatever floats your boat. I can't give a thumbs up or down on that particular van, I will say that it is better than a sprinter, which seems to me worse than a boat as far as expenses go.
    Yes i had a sprinter. One of the worse purchases ive ever made

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New England
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    13,403
    Quote Originally Posted by JFletcher View Post


    The guy I referred to earlier that I used to work with had just tons of extra little knick-knacks, inventory, and tools that added up to a ton of waste. Two sticks of Unistrut, 20-plus pounds. Spare battery for a generator, 20-plus pounds. Any conduit over 3/4 in, even subsections of 4 inch sleeve something, 50 plus pounds. Junk crap like blown HPS ballasts, bulbs, used Breakers, another 50 lb. 5 gallon oil drum for doing generator change outs, over half full, 25 more pounds. .....
    To add to your excellent post, I have noticed that there is a direct correlation between messy and overstocked trucks and the inability to plan your work and manage material for those jobs. Just a hunch here, but that guy you just mentioned who had a rolling junkyard probably exhibited this characteristic.

    I completely agree with you about ladders. There is absolutely no reason to use those IA rated ladders unless you're some big sweat hog and need them. But for most of us, it's just dead weight.

    I worked for a company who used all box trucks and Sprinters. Some of the guys managed to completely trash a box truck and make it unusable since they were incapable of organizing it. So it's not the truck but the person using the truck that makes the difference.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,249
    I worked out of a s10 blazer! for 3 years. I have , service change container,rough in container, trim container, breakers in a small container,wire container Romex, thhn, 3 drills in bags, xcords in a box, on the roof pipetube , ladder.
    Few service calls mostly remodels, most all work I had to go see to bid so noted what would be needed. Unloaded and reloaded containers each night when I got home for the next days work. Tried to make schedule so I get at least a full 1/2 day; any down time was for, inspections, supply run, look at a job, bidding. My biggest thing was I made myself do any part of the job that I could with what was on the truck before leaving the site. I also realized I was getting slower as I got older and really looked at how much could I actually get done.
    I've worked out of vans, pickups, one guy had a short school bus (that was pretty good to work out of).
    Most important TP in a coffee can!

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Remotely running business in Bay Area, CA from Medford, OR
    Posts
    1,059
    I bought a Ram Promaster 1500 High Top about 2 years ago. It’s been a great truck, not a single breakdown. WE learned our lesson, as the previous truck was a 16’ Isuzu Box Truck

    Don’t waste your money on the 2500. The difference in payload is @ 370 lbs. I couldn’t find any other difference at all between the 1500 and 2500, just the cost.
    ABC

    "Eschew Obfuscation!"

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    NE Nebraska
    Posts
    37,968
    Quote Originally Posted by electricguy61 View Post
    I bought a Ram Promaster 1500 High Top about 2 years ago. It’s been a great truck, not a single breakdown. WE learned our lesson, as the previous truck was a 16’ Isuzu Box Truck

    Don’t waste your money on the 2500. The difference in payload is @ 370 lbs. I couldn’t find any other difference at all between the 1500 and 2500, just the cost.
    Towing ratings, maybe? If that matters to you?
    I live for today, I'm just a day behind.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Tampa, FL, USA
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    1,710
    I'm about 600 lbs over the max weight allowed right now on my F150 with service topper. I could really use that 370 lbs.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    142
    Quote Originally Posted by kwired View Post
    Towing ratings, maybe? If that matters to you?
    I think they all tow the same, your just paying for payload.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Williamsburg, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coppersmith View Post
    I'm about 600 lbs over the max weight allowed right now on my F150 with service topper. I could really use that 370 lbs.
    Get you a bathroom scale and start weighing tools on your truck. That giant Roto Hammer that makes pound and ground rod so easy probably weighs 30 lbs or more, probably 60 by the time you include the case and a few bits. A Bosch bulldog with an SDS to SDS Max adapter on it and a ground rod driver bit is much easier to use on top of a ladder and weighs a good 20 pounds less. I'll accept the 15 extra seconds it might take over a giant Roto Hammer as infrequently as I drive ground rods. Any times there's no temporary power, I will take a 16 oz framing hammer and a scrap of wood to beat the ground rod in... Soil isn't too tough here


    And ditch those 300 pound rated ladders... I swear I hated those things more than any other single thing on the work truck... Trying to wrestle a 10-foot plus one of these off the top of a van without a ladder assist is not only a waste of time, half the time it's dangerous standing on top of another ladder to get it off by yourself. Go to Lowe's, get an 8-foot blue frame Werner ladder, move that around all day versus one of those orange ones... You'll be surprised how much extra time it really takes moving around a heavy ladder all day... Or how much less wore out you are. Not saying you will be able to pair down 600 pounds, however I would be reasonably willing to bet you could easily remove 200 lb without noticing those tools or materials are even off the truck.

    By the way, I really like your idea and use of wire basket shelves... Not only are they lightweight and strong, they are open and more easily rearranged to sizes you need then steel shelving units.
    Electricians do it until it Hertz!

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