Vehicle Options for a Handyman Business

Nothing wastes more time than running from one side of the store to the other to buy one more item. It is much more efficient for you if you carry most of the tools you will need with you at all times. In a sense, as a handyman on the go, you’ll need to have a small traveling hardware store with you.

That means you’re going to need some storage space. Most operators get by with a truck that has a lid or topper. It does give them the storage space of an SUV, but they don’t have to change vehicles if they already have a reliable truck. Of course, if you have the budget to buy a new (or gently used) vehicle, then a few alternatives emerge. Vans are a proven vehicle for service people of all kinds. They have more space than a van with a top, allowing you to fit into your little mobile hardware store.

If you can’t afford a new (or used) top for your truck, or don’t even have a truck right now, don’t despair. If you’re just starting out, you can certainly get by with whatever space there is in the passenger and back seat. The most important thing is that everything you drive looks clean and well cared for. The good old “pride of ownership” will come in handy here. Your customers might get a little suspicious if you were driving a new top-of-the-line vehicle anyway, so make the most of the fact that a used but clean truck or car makes you appear honest.

In terms of color for your ride, white vehicles look a bit more like standard service vehicles. That doesn’t mean you should repaint whatever you’re driving now, but when it’s time to upgrade, go with white for your pro points.

Another important consideration for your vehicle is fuel efficiency. Expect to drive over 1,000 miles per month. If fuel prices go up again, even a little, that could seriously cut into your profits. Sure, you can raise your rates a bit, cut back on your service area, or start charging an “out of town” fuel fee, but all of that just masks the problem. According to the government fuel economy site, the most efficient full-size trucks are the Chevrolet Silverado 15 Hybrid with 4WD and the GMC Sierra 15 Hybrid with 2WD. For small trucks, the 2-wheel-drive Ford Ranger and 2-wheel-drive Toyota Tacoma win. For cargo vans, the 2-wheel-drive Chevrolet Express 1500 and 2-wheel-drive GMC Savanna 1500 earn top awards for fuel efficiency.

For what it’s worth, I have a Toyota Tacoma predecessor, but mine is a 4×4. It’s approaching 200,000 miles and it still runs wonderfully, even with a half ton of cinder block in the back. My first vehicle was a GMC Suburban, and while I didn’t focus too much on how well it worked and its usefulness as a work vehicle, the wise old men in country New Hampshire diners always seemed to approve, saying, “Now that it’s a vehicle.” . It’s sad to note that four-wheel drive doesn’t make for good fuel efficiency, but anyone who’s ever driven a four-wheeler knows how quickly the power from those two extra wheels drains the gas tank. That being said, depending on where you live, having a four-wheel drive vehicle can be the difference between getting to work or not getting to work.

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