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A versatile vehicle for sign company

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Post Fri May 18, 2018 2:33 pm

A versatile vehicle for sign company

Hi guys,

I'm going to need to upgrade vehicles soon, but I need to put some thought into how it can be versatile.

At the moment I need to use it for both private and work use i.e, cart the family around at the weekend. However I would prefer not to be stuck for space if I need to carry some 8 x 4 sheets or lengths etc ( I don't plan to cart the family around whilst carrying 8 x 4 sheets mind you ;) ). As we all know in the industry, you can be carrying something small to big in the space of days

A transit or similar seems to be best for space, but not a versatile for my other needs
I was thinking a jeep would be good as they generally have a crew cab for passengers. I could possibly put a decent roof rack on top for carrying over size stuff? The downside is how un-economical they are, and the storage space isn't as much as a van.

I'v also been thinking about a large estate car? I have an estate at the moment and they are handy, probably won't get the 8x4 in but, but once the seats go down you can fit in 8ft lengths.

I'm torn a bit with this, I'v worked for sign companies before that all had vans and were great for putting anything in, but this time around i need to think how it can work a bit more for me!

would love to hear your thoughts!
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Post Fri May 18, 2018 7:29 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Take a look at the new Peugeot Traveller, Long version - Loads of room, fantastic styling, drives soooo well and LOADS cheaper than VW's :lol:
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Post Fri May 18, 2018 7:39 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

for same reasons just got lwb traffic crew cab well pleased with it
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Post Fri May 18, 2018 7:41 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

I saw these roof boxes the other day and thought they’d be ideal for a start out sign maker, they’re designed to take an 8ft x 4ft sheet.
https://www.roofarack.co.uk
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Post Sat May 19, 2018 5:27 am

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Van with removal rear seats. We had a pair of seat put in the rear, they slot in a track on the floor with a twist action hand knob. Takes 1 minute to remove them. If they need to be perminate go for a longer van or have the seats spaced so the 8x4 sheets slide between the seats.

I'd split my money up between a car and a van, just buy 2 cheaper vehicles
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Post Sat May 19, 2018 6:22 am

A versatile vehicle for sign company

I hate driving vans so I tend to hire them as and when I need it. My work is mainly vehicle graphics so I can get away with it, I’m starting to do larger items now so I may eventually buy a van but in reality how much can you fit in a vivaro/custom standard wheel base? When purchasing one is it not just better to go for something huge
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Post Sat May 19, 2018 11:34 am

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

My LWB vivaro (Black with blacked rear windows and side window on door) has removable rear seats and no bulkhead, suited me for many years as a dual purpose vehicle, kids have flown the next now so don't need the extra seats, recently sold them but they still came in handy from time to time.

I also have a second floor, this primarily covers the area that the seats didn't occupy, plenty of room for tools underneath, when the seats are out I could fill in that slot too... any signs go on top, I also have a removable dog cage for the shop dog (Great Dane!) and half the floor can hinge the other way so as to put the motorbike in when required!
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Post Sun May 20, 2018 9:45 am

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

I have a VW Transporter Kombi - 3 quick release rear seats, plenty of room and reliable. More expensive than the usual suspects (Ford,Peugeot etc) but you get what you pay for, plus the resale value is greatly increased
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vw-van.png
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Post Sun May 20, 2018 10:05 am

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

I just sold my Caddy and picked up a Jeep Renegade yesterday for the same reasons. Starting the wrap on it today. Doing less and less installations so I think this will be just the ticket. Has a really wide boot space and the rear seats go completely flat.
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Post Mon May 21, 2018 3:27 am

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

i manage with an estate car and a large trailor. Can handle everything a van can without constantly driving a works vehicle.
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13221020_10208869994400641_4323434663823140536_n.jpg
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Post Mon May 21, 2018 4:32 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Brilliant suggestions here guys, thanks a million.

The quick release seats are great idea, didn't know they existed. I also like the 8x4 roofbox for a smaller vehicle.

Food for thought, thanks again!
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Post Mon May 21, 2018 6:25 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Something to consider...

I used to run around with various estate cars and people carriers (a necessity being a single parent!) in my first 5yrs, often turning up at jobs loaded to the gunnels, roofrack straining under ladders, trestles, tray signs etc.. I just felt it didn't look overly professional and clearly some of my customers thought to too.

When I got my van with the additional seats and signed it up, it was infinitely more professional, immediately got more attention and more work as a result.

Now my needs have changed again and while I will probably semi-retire the now 14yr old / 200k+ vivaro, she still looks goodfor her age and will be kept for the occasional job that really does still require a van but, mostly these days it's a deliberately rare occurence that I do facia signs, I find them less profitable than vehicles and infinitely more of a pain in the 4rse, I do a fair amount of specialist countryside signage - not much money in it but it opens doors to my other interests!, but this can involve running off road on dirt tracks and through woodland etc, so when I renew I'll be looking at a Landrover Discovery 4 Commercial, a seat conversion still offers a surprisingly large flat storage area, though nothing like the 8x4 (+) that my vivaro would do, a decent roof rack will take ladders or large signs if required. It also means that for the first time in many a year, I won't be restricted to using a van when the wife has the R/rover, and I can turn up to meetings / site visits in something infinitely more modern and comfortable to drive!

I'm a firm believer that the image of your business is probably the single most important factor when someone walks through your door or sees your presence, I can't tell you how many positive comments I get on my van and my new, far more professional looking office / workshop. So many of my regulars have commented on it and, I am getting a far better return rate on those "maybe" customers who leave and you don't expect to see again, several have said that while I was more expensive, I had the more professional looking set-up!
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Post Mon May 21, 2018 6:46 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Hugh Potter wrote:Something to consider...

I used to run around with various estate cars and people carriers (a necessity being a single parent!) in my first 5yrs, often turning up at jobs loaded to the gunnels, roofrack straining under ladders, trestles, tray signs etc.. I just felt it didn't look overly professional and clearly some of my customers thought to too.

When I got my van with the additional seats and signed it up, it was infinitely more professional, immediately got more attention and more work as a result.

Now my needs have changed again and while I will probably semi-retire the now 14yr old / 200k+ vivaro, she still looks goodfor her age and will be kept for the occasional job that really does still require a van but, mostly these days it's a deliberately rare occurence that I do facia signs, I find them less profitable than vehicles and infinitely more of a pain in the 4rse, I do a fair amount of specialist countryside signage - not much money in it but it opens doors to my other interests!, but this can involve running off road on dirt tracks and through woodland etc, so when I renew I'll be looking at a Landrover Discovery 4 Commercial, a seat conversion still offers a surprisingly large flat storage area, though nothing like the 8x4 (+) that my vivaro would do, a decent roof rack will take ladders or large signs if required. It also means that for the first time in many a year, I won't be restricted to using a van when the wife has the R/rover, and I can turn up to meetings / site visits in something infinitely more modern and comfortable to drive!

I'm a firm believer that the image of your business is probably the single most important factor when someone walks through your door or sees your presence, I can't tell you how many positive comments I get on my van and my new, far more professional looking office / workshop. So many of my regulars have commented on it and, I am getting a far better return rate on those "maybe" customers who leave and you don't expect to see again, several have said that while I was more expensive, I had the more professional looking set-up!


Agree completely Hugh, back in the day I ran a Passat estate, then a long wheelbase Frontera (yes, I’m afraid it was me) to double as a car & a van, not great at either to be honest. A van with quick release seats by far my favorite, I very rarely drive the car now.
I get called a badge slave for having a T5 but after 120000 miles, never missed a beat.
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Post Tue May 22, 2018 8:39 am

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Wot Hugh said :thumbsup:

If you need a dog, buy a dog, don't buy a cat and try to change it into a dog.
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Post Tue May 22, 2018 11:33 am

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Kevin Mahoney wrote:
Hugh Potter wrote:Something to consider...

I used to run around with various estate cars and people carriers (a necessity being a single parent!) in my first 5yrs, often turning up at jobs loaded to the gunnels, roofrack straining under ladders, trestles, tray signs etc.. I just felt it didn't look overly professional and clearly some of my customers thought to too.

When I got my van with the additional seats and signed it up, it was infinitely more professional, immediately got more attention and more work as a result.

Now my needs have changed again and while I will probably semi-retire the now 14yr old / 200k+ vivaro, she still looks goodfor her age and will be kept for the occasional job that really does still require a van but, mostly these days it's a deliberately rare occurence that I do facia signs, I find them less profitable than vehicles and infinitely more of a pain in the 4rse, I do a fair amount of specialist countryside signage - not much money in it but it opens doors to my other interests!, but this can involve running off road on dirt tracks and through woodland etc, so when I renew I'll be looking at a Landrover Discovery 4 Commercial, a seat conversion still offers a surprisingly large flat storage area, though nothing like the 8x4 (+) that my vivaro would do, a decent roof rack will take ladders or large signs if required. It also means that for the first time in many a year, I won't be restricted to using a van when the wife has the R/rover, and I can turn up to meetings / site visits in something infinitely more modern and comfortable to drive!

I'm a firm believer that the image of your business is probably the single most important factor when someone walks through your door or sees your presence, I can't tell you how many positive comments I get on my van and my new, far more professional looking office / workshop. So many of my regulars have commented on it and, I am getting a far better return rate on those "maybe" customers who leave and you don't expect to see again, several have said that while I was more expensive, I had the more professional looking set-up!


Agree completely Hugh, back in the day I ran a Passat estate, then a long wheelbase Frontera (yes, I’m afraid it was me) to double as a car & a van, not great at either to be honest. A van with quick release seats by far my favorite, I very rarely drive the car now.
I get called a badge slave for having a T5 but after 120000 miles, never missed a beat.


Lol @ Badge Slave
Same as me Kevin, my T5 Kombi wasn’t cheap, but for the extra dollar you get what you pay for, reliability and flexibility
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Post Tue May 22, 2018 2:04 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Iain Pearson wrote:
Kevin Mahoney wrote:
Hugh Potter wrote:Something to consider...

I used to run around with various estate cars and people carriers (a necessity being a single parent!) in my first 5yrs, often turning up at jobs loaded to the gunnels, roofrack straining under ladders, trestles, tray signs etc.. I just felt it didn't look overly professional and clearly some of my customers thought to too.

When I got my van with the additional seats and signed it up, it was infinitely more professional, immediately got more attention and more work as a result.

Now my needs have changed again and while I will probably semi-retire the now 14yr old / 200k+ vivaro, she still looks goodfor her age and will be kept for the occasional job that really does still require a van but, mostly these days it's a deliberately rare occurence that I do facia signs, I find them less profitable than vehicles and infinitely more of a pain in the 4rse, I do a fair amount of specialist countryside signage - not much money in it but it opens doors to my other interests!, but this can involve running off road on dirt tracks and through woodland etc, so when I renew I'll be looking at a Landrover Discovery 4 Commercial, a seat conversion still offers a surprisingly large flat storage area, though nothing like the 8x4 (+) that my vivaro would do, a decent roof rack will take ladders or large signs if required. It also means that for the first time in many a year, I won't be restricted to using a van when the wife has the R/rover, and I can turn up to meetings / site visits in something infinitely more modern and comfortable to drive!

I'm a firm believer that the image of your business is probably the single most important factor when someone walks through your door or sees your presence, I can't tell you how many positive comments I get on my van and my new, far more professional looking office / workshop. So many of my regulars have commented on it and, I am getting a far better return rate on those "maybe" customers who leave and you don't expect to see again, several have said that while I was more expensive, I had the more professional looking set-up!


Agree completely Hugh, back in the day I ran a Passat estate, then a long wheelbase Frontera (yes, I’m afraid it was me) to double as a car & a van, not great at either to be honest. A van with quick release seats by far my favorite, I very rarely drive the car now.
I get called a badge slave for having a T5 but after 120000 miles, never missed a beat.


Lol @ Badge Slave
Same as me Kevin, my T5 Kombi wasn’t cheap, but for the extra dollar you get what you pay for, reliability and flexibility

Needs a wash but I think as a sales tool, nothing compares to a van, gets plenty of notice
Attachments
sign-here-van.jpg
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Post Tue May 22, 2018 2:10 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Very eye-catching Kevin!
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Post Tue May 22, 2018 2:13 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Not to my tastes of course, I’m far too grown up but the young uns like it
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Post Tue May 22, 2018 4:44 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

Finally got our new van Signwriten last week. Went out today to fit a few signs. Before we even had the signs out the van passers by were asking for business cards. Van is the way if you ask me
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Post Wed May 23, 2018 10:19 am

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

T5 Kombi here too with the clippy out seats.
It does two jobs well.
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Post Thu May 24, 2018 1:00 pm

Re: A versatile vehicle for sign company

more food for thought there guys, thanks for sharing your experiences...

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