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  • Vehicle you drive....

    How much do you think a customer pays attention to what you drive? I have been really starting to second guess my vehicle. I do own a 98 Dodge Ram Van 2500, its white, clean for the most part, and no decals. I just dont want to deal with the DOT mess of having a company name on the van. But, this isnt the vehicle in question, but some days I drive my pickup. Its a 2000 Dodge Ram 2500 QC Short Box. Nothing to shocking, right? Well, its not stock, at all. Its got a snowplow bracket on the front that looks like a wicked brushgaurd, its lifted 4.5", has 35" tires, Straight Piped 6cyl Cummins with dual 5" turn out stacks in the bed.

    Now, I have mixed feelings on the truck, I built it this way myself, and really like it. Its me, not over the top abnoxious as in slapped with every JC whitney accessory known to man, but with enough edge to make it different. I ususally dont drive it that often, as 4 bucks a gallon for Diesel is crazy, and the Van hauls tools much better. But I do like to drive it, as it does have 408HP and 932FT Pounds of Torque at the push of a button that is, well, a blast to drive. Definately puts the Van to shame in this category.

    But, lately, I have maybe grown up a little since hitting the big 30 in Dec, that I am wondering what customers think when I pull into thier driveway. I do get the thumbs up quite often, and some customers like it. Most just dont say anything. Some say they heard me 10 blocks away. (I literally have been told that my truck has been heard ~5 miles away... )

    So, I have been thinking about dropping the truck back down to maybe a 3" (cant go to small, as some of the suspension modifications are just to extreme to go back to full stock) and getting rid of the stacks. Trust me, if I could afford it, I would buy a new truck, leave it stock, and just keep the beast as a play toy, and not drive it for work anymore, but that is just not going to fly finacially with the wife or me for that matter. I cant load palets of tile in the van without hand loading it, due to the racking in there, so that is what I use it for the most. Get the materials there with the truck, and then drive the van the rest of the time.

    Anyway, maybe a silly question that I already know the answer too, but do customers really make thier decision on who they are going to hire to work on thier house by the vehicle they drive?

    Here is the vehicle in question...



    It has a stock bumper on it now, as the one in the picture I donated to a friends truck rebuild. It has a grille gaurd type plow mount on it now though.

  • #2
    Re: Vehicle you drive....

    A LOT OF YOUR FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE PERCEPTION. IF YOU DRIVE A VEHICLE WHICH GIVES THE APPEARANCE OF A YOUNG KID WHO IS CAREFREE IT IS LIKELY NOT TO IMPRESS SOME AS MUCH AS A "MEANT FOR WORK" WORK TRUCK. I GUESS IT REALLY DEPENDS ON WHO YOU ARE TRYING TO IMPRESS. MY EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN THOSE WHO CAN AFFORD TO SPEND THE BIG BUCKS ARE THOSE CUSTOMERS WHO ARE LESS IMPRESSED WITH TOYS.

    MARK

    Sorry about the all caps. I am working on a matrix which requires all caps and I didn't notice it until I was done.
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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    • #3
      Re: Vehicle you drive....

      As a home owner/customer, I can't imagine why your vehicle should matter. Certainly the truck looks fine and not obtrusive in my mind and what the heck, maybe you won't like my van. (Have you ever failed to quote a job because you figured the guy's vehicle was just too old or junky and maybe he won't pay you?)

      However, I might be a bit concerned it I could hear you coming down the boulevard from a block or two away. The concern would be about the noise and whether my neighbors are going to be disturbed everytime you came to the house for the project.

      Other than that, I wouldn't be bothered. Of course if some contractor showed up driving a new BMW or Mercedes, I think I'd get a couple of other quotes before I committed

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: Vehicle you drive....

        Here's my truck


        Load er' down verge!

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        • #5
          Re: Vehicle you drive....

          As a consumer, I could care less about what kind of vehicle you drive. Your customer and word of mouth references on the other hand would weigh in much higher on the importance scale.
          Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

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          • #6
            Re: Vehicle you drive....

            Thanks guys... most of you echo my thoughts, but of course, some dont see it that way. My brother commented that last year, any job that I drove the truck too to do a quote, we didnt get.

            On the noise factor, I am torn, it really isnt that loud I dont think, no louder than a Semi or Dump truck. Heck, kids come running to the corner in the mornings when I drive through a neighborhood cuz they think its the school bus... Its pretty funny to see.

            I think the exhaust is going back under the truck this summer, as much as I love the stacks, I think its time to retire them. Maybe its me, but turning thirty has me looking at things differently... kinda sucks...

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            • #7
              Re: Vehicle you drive....

              I agree with Mark. My 1st van was a used 89 Ford Van. I hated driving that thing, but i needed to get started somewhere. It had old markings of an electric company on it.

              I was actually embarrassed pulling up to customers houses with it. I used it for about a month till i was able to get enough to put down on a 07 Chevy Express. I actually had a customer turn me away when pulled up to their house cause of the van.
              The History of Sanitary Sewers Good site on the history of sanitary sewers and cleaners

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              • #8
                Re: Vehicle you drive....

                Originally posted by Drain Medic View Post
                I agree with Mark. My 1st van was a used 89 Ford Van. I hated driving that thing, but i needed to get started somewhere. It had old markings of an electric company on it.

                I was actually embarrassed pulling up to customers houses with it. I used it for about a month till i was able to get enough to put down on a 07 Chevy Express. I actually had a customer turn me away when pulled up to their house cause of the van.
                Drain Medic, That can cut both ways. When we were getting wedding photographers, I was more impressed with the one with a modest office and sedan rather than the one where we pull up to their house and there are 3 range rovers in the driveway. You know who is paying for them.

                The only thing that I would think would turn people off about Alpha's truck is the stacks if they are very loud.

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                • #9
                  Re: Vehicle you drive....

                  Originally posted by cpw View Post
                  Drain Medic, That can cut both ways. When we were getting wedding photographers, I was more impressed with the one with a modest office and sedan rather than the one where we pull up to their house and there are 3 range rovers in the driveway. You know who is paying for them.

                  The only thing that I would think would turn people off about Alpha's truck is the stacks if they are very loud.
                  I saw a general contractor with an H1 hummer as his work truck. I wouldn't hire the guy based on that fact alone.
                  Buy cheap, buy twice.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Vehicle you drive....

                    i drove the same truck from the start to the end for 12 years, after awhile it became my sigature..... oldslowchevy
                    9/11/01, never forget.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Vehicle you drive....

                      We are not talking about fancy cars at home or a big house. There is nothing wrong with Alphacowboy's truck but it is not a work truck.

                      If I had two contractors show up to my house with identical credentials, identical pricing and all things being equal I will pick the guy with the nice utility truck with lumber rack before the guy with the play truck. One truck says I'm committed for the long run and the other says at least I will have a nice truck if this business doesn't work out.

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                      • #12
                        Re: Vehicle you drive....

                        Originally posted by ToUtahNow View Post
                        We are not talking about fancy cars at home or a big house. There is nothing wrong with Alphacowboy's truck but it is not a work truck.

                        If I had two contractors show up to my house with identical credentials, identical pricing and all things being equal I will pick the guy with the nice utility truck with lumber rack before the guy with the play truck. One truck says I'm committed for the long run and the other says at least I will have a nice truck if this business doesn't work out.

                        Mark
                        AMEN!!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Vehicle you drive....

                          I like your truck AlphaCowboy especially the bumper, but I don't think it would be my choice for doing estimates as a owner. It does look like a truck I would see a helper driving on a new construction site.

                          I wouldn't worry about a new truck/van. Your due for a mini van since your 30.
                          Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Vehicle you drive....

                            I guess all that matters is what you leave behind....quality work, or an oil spot on the driveway?

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                            • #15
                              Re: Vehicle you drive....

                              I really want to get one of those Dodge Sprinter's for doing plumbing service calls. It looks really sharp, has a huge walk-in back and is easy to maneuver.
                              The downside is they cost big $$$. I hope to get one in a couple of years when the business has grown.
                              Water Heater Reviews & Water Heater Information

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