Looking at purchasing a new vehicle and just wanted some thoughts from the more experienced inspectors. It really just comes down to two factors: 1. A full size truck that can accommodate ‘bringing the big ladders’ or 2. a more fuel efficient vehicle (small suv) that would be easier on the pocket book. My heart says full size GMC, but my head tells me fiscal responsibility! I see quite a few smaller SUV’s on the road in the industry…thoughts???
I have and use both. Full size quad cab pick-up with full ladder rack, and a midsize SUV with roof rack. Both are fully lettered and Logo’ed. Each have their place in my business. Both have v8 engines. One is AWD the other 4x4. Both have awesome sound systems. Both will get me through damned near anything I put it to. Old gravel farm roads in Minnesota winters are hell. Only had one incident in 10 years. Choose your vehicle wisely. DO NOT go cheap to save a couple of bucks. You will regret it!
Lot of inspectors in our area drive things like Kia Seouls, Chevy HHr’s, Chrysler PT Cruisers, Nissan Rogues, Honda CRV’s or other vehicles of that size. Economical and carry the basic tools like 17’ LG or Tele-steps, 2 radon monitors, tool bag, etc.
Don’t get so loaded down it frightens REA’s
I go loaded for bear!
If you show up to a Commercial inspection in a Kia Soul, you might as well shove that gerbil up your poop-chute! (Yea, I know it’s a hamster thing).
I have a 2015 Ford Explorer. I use Extend & Climb Ladders. Our Franchise does not allow trucks but I have had vans and I prefer the SUV. Mine is a v6 but one of the other guys has the eco 4 with turbo. He gets about 3 mpg more than I do. InterNACHI has a good program for purchase. Might be worth looking into. I leased mine and got a similar deal as we have a program with a bank through franchise. Nice thing is you can order and get the vehicle as you want it instead of a dealer order with crap you will never use.
I think like many things, it depends on your market and business.
Do you inspect in mostly rural areas, mostly urban areas or some of each?
Are there mostly 2 and 3 story homes or mostly 1 one story homes in your area?
Is your business all residential or mix of residential and commercial inspections?
Is this car 100% business or do you drop the kids at school on your way to an inspection?
There are many factors to be considered.
I bought a 2017 Subaru Forester a couple months ago.
My second Forester.
I carry an inspectoscope in a tube on the roof and a 12.5’ xtend and climb in the back.
This is their top end model and has tons of safety features which were an important consideration for me as my business miles each year are about 12k.
It will automatically brake if I’m distracted. Back up camera. Airbags galore.
And a bunch of other features.
The AWD is great in snow, much better than my old 4WD pickup.
And it’s really comfortable which I appreciate during a long day.
MPG is not great but much better than a truck.
For me it’s perfect.
Nissan NV200 with ladder rack navigation and back-up camera about 20,000 and is perfect for the city.
I have a 2005 Trailblazer, extended version. It easily holds my 22 foot folding ladder, 6 foot ladder, and all my other gear. I did remove one of the back seats to make accessing some of the stuff a little easier.
It’s starting to nickel and dime me a lot now, but when I get another, it will likely be another SUV of similar size, I’m thinking a Toyota 4 runner, or maybe even a Tahoe.
I’d like a pick up truck, but would need a topper to secure all my stuff, and the SUV is just more versatile, IMO.
I had two Chev HHR’s when I was inspecting, 2006 and 2009.
Great little vehicle, unfortunately they don’t make them any more.:neutral:
I purchased a new Colorado and i think it gives you the best of both worlds. Plenty of room and descent fuel mileage. Plus easier on the pocket book than a full size. Eats up less garage space.
Ford Transit Connect. Smallest version. Gets nearly 30 mpg. Why are you dragging around big ladders?
If you do a vehicle over 6600 lbs, take advantage of the Section 179 Tax deduction.
Chevy HHR … with back seat down. Great gas mileage 28-31 mpg
More than enought room for tool bag; 2 radon monitors; IR camera case; 17’ LG; Tele-steps; and binoculars. On residential its all we need.
We do 2-4 commercials a month (8,000sf strip center space to 85,000sf 5 story). If the LG does not hit the flat roof roof AND there is no built-in internal OR external access, we have a lift truck put us up there and just add it to fees
Full size sierra. I’ve always had trucks so it is weird to me to not have one. It sucks on fuel and is a pain to park but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Unofficial car of VT. They are everywhere. I probably need the automatic braking as i get distracted pretty easily…ha
Truck was in for service last week so I borrowed the wife’s new Chevy Traverse. AWD, 23 mpg city, and boy did those heated seats come in nice. While I am normally a full size truck person, I could happily use the Traverse on a regular basis. My 26’ LG fits inside easily with the rears seats down but that is very rarely used. The truck just doesn’t do that well with the snow / ice and an empty bed.
Does the vehicle need to be in the company name or can it be in personal name?
A nice powder blue one would go nicely with his eyes! :shock: