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Old 10-05-2011, 09:52 PM   #1
Logan80 OP
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Does anyone have a Cutaway van or van chassis?

Thinking about trying to buy one and turn it into a service truck. I like the shorter front end of the van, more maneuverable and better view.

Has anyone here taken a cutaway van and put a back on the cab and made a pickup truck or service truck out of one?
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:54 AM   #2
motu
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In rest of the world,this is what we do...buy one. They are all diesel too,pull any load you like.

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Old 10-06-2011, 04:26 AM   #3
Logan80 OP
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I was thinking more along the lines of this:



What you posted is great, but most of the cabover types here are pretty big, and very pricey. I want something that's very inexpensive to try to start a small side business that might just grow into a bigger business later.
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Old 10-06-2011, 05:47 AM   #4
PaddedHat
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I have spent the last 25+ years doing electrical work and new home construction out of just about every type of truck imaginable. I currently have the typical white Chevy "stalker" van, as my buddy's teen kids refer to it. It is great, in that it is literally a rolling tool box that does 90% of what I need to get done. That said, the lack of a pick-up truck for everything from cement bags to garden mulch, can be an issue. If I were to replace it tomorrow, my first choice would be a small, Japanese, diesel powered, manual trans, cab over, with an aluminum flat bed and lots of high quality aluminum job boxes mounted on top of, and under, the side rails. This set-up would have a lot of positives, pick-up bed capability, quality tool storage and good MPGs. My second choice would be a 3/4 ton Chevy van front, single rear wheel, with a tall narrow fiberglass box, and a roll up door in the rear. This would have a ton of heavy shelving down both walls of the box. I have owned a hybrid box van with lots of exterior tool bins, and have subs that use utility body pick-ups. IMHO, they suck. A pick-up sized utility body is about $9K new. They start to rust the day they leave the factory, and the fail to keep good tools dry and clean. Like everything from bike to neighborhood choices, life is nothing but a long series of compromises, the goal is try to get as close to your needs as possible and realize that there is always going to be a "shit I should of gotten that instead" moment. Simply put, unless you want a small fleet of vehicles, you never cover all the bases. Good luck
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Old 10-06-2011, 06:14 AM   #5
Logan80 OP
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Well, I work(ed) in the propane industry as a service technician. I want to start a small side business repairing/converting/hooking up gas appliances and see where it goes. I'd like the capability of installing 120gal propane tanks, so I need something with an open bed or I'd be all over a van. My old truck, from my previous employer, was a GMC 5500 4x4 with a 14ft bed and a 31ft knuckle boom. I'm taking a HUGE step down in vehicle size here, but it needs to be a daily driver also.

I lost my job due to back injury and surgery. I'll be released from L&I and given the go-ahead to return to work within about 6 weeks. I will likely end up finding another job as a tech, but ultimately want to start my own gig on the side. Something that might grow into a viable full time business in the future. I'm tired of working for somebody else...
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:03 AM   #6
PaddedHat
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I have a relative with an interesting rig that might fit your needs, given where you are heading and previous back issues. He owns a food manufacturing facility that runs a massive, oil fired oven. To keep cost down, he has become a real serious user and manufacturer of biofuels, in particular cooking diesel from used veggie oil. Since he collects large amounts of used oil in 55 gal. drums, he made a custom, pick up based, flat bed. He adapted a very small wheelchair lift to do the drum lifting. This thing is really just a mini version of a full sized gate lift found on a lot of delivery trucks. Now he just wrestles a drum on and pushes the button. It would work great for a one man show like your doing, especially when it's time to wrestle the big tanks on and off. Good luck.
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Old 10-06-2011, 10:14 AM   #7
troidus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddedHat View Post
If I were to replace it tomorrow, my first choice would be a small, Japanese, diesel powered, manual trans, cab over, with an aluminum flat bed and lots of high quality aluminum job boxes mounted on top of, and under, the side rails.
In late August I got stiffed by Budget on a reserved rental truck. Until I found an available U-Haul unit, I was seriously considering buying a used Mitsubishi or Isuzu box truck. They could be had for $4500 with fewer than 200k on the clock in the Columbus, OH area. The OP could buy one of those, sell the box, and put a flatbed on it, then modify it as you suggest.
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Old 10-06-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
Logan80 OP
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I'll likely either buy a used U-Haul box van (I've heard they have back walls on all their van-cabs), or buy a used Mitsu or whatever cabover diesel box truck. Either way the box will be sold and a service bed installed. I'd like the ability to install a crane as well, just for future use if I end up installing tanks also.

The nice thing about the service beds is that you can get high top canopies for them with back doors that enclose them and make them into a box-like cargo area. Nice for using while I'm not installing tanks, could also camp in it
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Old 10-07-2011, 10:37 AM   #9
cjbiker
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Originally Posted by geode View Post
$250 will buy you a small brand new 2000# capacity pivoting jib crane off EBay. delivered.

I mounted one in my Chevy cutaway.
Pics or it didn't happen ;)
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Old 10-07-2011, 08:21 PM   #10
dlearl476
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Commercial Truck Trader is your friend. I've been looking at Cab/Chassis, Cutaways, and box trucks for a week or so. I came close on a motorhome deal that fell through and I agreed to buy a vintage travel trailer from my brother. As I don't own a pick up, some way to haul bikes was in order. I think I've decided on a Mitsubishi or Isuzu NPR unless I can find a diesel E450 with a good 10,12, or 16' box. (ramp and trailer hitch a must, side door, loft a plus)

Anyway, in my searches I've seen boatloads of what you're looking for, hundreds, literally. Many <$10k. Check it out.
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