Hatchback as an Inspection Vehicle

Has anyone tried ripping the seats out of a small hatchback and using it as an inspection vehicle? The Spark is small but I can get one brand new for about $13k. Certainly more palatable than spending over twice that much for a minivan or similar.

I live in a very rural area and the nearest dealer with a Spark is about four hours away. I just wanted other’s opinions before making the trip to check one out.

Never heard of it. Who makes it?

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I once had a 2012 Ford Focus hatchback 5 speed standard, for running around doing inspections. However, I had to use my truck, when I needed my 32’ extension ladder! :smile:

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Chevrolet…

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Heck, my refrigerator has more space…

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Compact! :smile:

I’ve used an AWD Honda crosstour, I didn’t rip the seat out because they folded down and I could fit everything in there including a 16’ extension ladder. But it wouldn’t fit a bigger extension ladder. But I’d rather have a truck.

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I used a Chev HHR Had enough room by folding the rear seat down. Used a Little giant ladder and a 6 ft step ladder lots of room.
Cheers

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I use a Chevy Sonic unless I need my tall ladder, I also use a drone so I rarely use my tall ladder anymore.

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Guess ya’ll don’t have any inclinations of playing with the big boys in Commercial and Industrial, etc…?!?

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JJ, I have a truck, so no worries

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What do you drive, Mr. Jonas? :slight_smile:

3 vehicles to suit different needs…

  1. Chevy Equinox AWD
  2. Jeep Grand Cherokee AWD
  3. Dodge Quad-cab 4x4 with custom ladder rack

I am covered for all types of inspections I perform.
For everything else, I hire experts as necessary.

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Right on. Dodge Ram Crewcab and Dodge Grand Caravan Stow n Go. Thinking about adding a Dodge Challenger to the list this year. :smile:

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Personally, Commercial and Industrial it doesn’t interest me one bit.

It’s about as appealing as becoming an accountant or learning how to play golf. Somethings are just better left to people who want to do that.

As for cars, I know plenty of inspectors who drive a Toyota Prius or similar.

It also depends on what your local market is like.

A vast majority of homes in my area are one story.

In some cities, the vast majority of homes are 3 stories.

What works in one city or town may not work at all in another.

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Thanks for all the advise guys. I’m going to pass on the spark and just buy a small enclosed trailer for now. I’m dipping my toe into inspection so I wanted to avoid shelling out big bucks for a van.

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I use a Subaru Crosstrek 2020. Ladder in the back with the seats folded down no problem. If I need an extension ladder I throw it on the top rack. I do quite a few rural inspections and have had no troubles getting unstuck with the AWD and even while towing. Most I know get by with a similar setup.

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I uses a Honda Fit. works for me. However, I will admit a pick truck may make a better impression. An agent once asked, “how come you are driving than little car, when all the other inspectors have pickup trucks and SUV’s?”

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I use a Ram 1500. Have a ladder rack for long extension ladders and a bed full of tools for my side jobs.

In my experience customers seem to feel a little more comfortable if you show up in what they would deem a “work truck”. I shadowed way back when with a guy that drove a Camry hybrid to his inspections. Very economical, but you can’t carry any decent ladders on it, and as a result he only inspected roofs from the ground.

With roofs being such an expensive worry for homeowners I always try to walk the roof, and I like having the proper ladder for whatever situation I run into.

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I broke down this year and went from a truck to a Ford Transit Connect and could not be happier with the end result and convenience.
1 - Things are secure and I am not worried about my sewer camera being heisted as easily
2 - No windows in the back
3 - I put in a ranger branded partition that is composite and the noise was cut down to just pretty much a passenger car, plus heating and cooling is isolated to the front seats only and not the whole van. It was pricey, but worth the $900 or so paid.
3 - It is an nice white canvas that if done right, has generated about 20 inspections from people that have either called me on the road or say they have seen me driving around.
4 - I think personally, it just looks a bit more professional to show up in a vehicle dedicated to work and it is just part of the overall branding of what I do.
5 - I have everything built in for access and it is really nice knowing that no matter what I come across for a job, I can literally just roll out and drive and know that I have 100% of my gear in the van.
6 - The back charger is powerful enough to push an inverter to charge any batteries I have for the sewer scope, drone, drills or whatever, so it charges when on the road to the next job.
7 - It averages about 29 MPG overall, and is a tax write off as it is in the business name (talk with your tax homie on this!)
8 - Parking in tight city spaces in Seattle is super easy
9 - I did this knowing it would be for the long haul, and I pretty much have the mindset with this job…If I am going to do it…do it with the most functional thing I can wrap my head around.
Consider it before buying. I can upload a picture or 2 from the interior tomorrow if you want. For me - perfection for my needs and worth the extra money. Still have the Tundra, but keep that for skiing and the dirt bike!

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