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Handyman Truck Ideas?

I need a truck for my new handyman business. Right now I'm driving a Ford Taurus, so that's not really going to work.

I'm thinking about getting rid of the Taurus and getting a pickup. I want something that I can fill up with garbage or mulch or whatever. A utility body would be nice, but I can't see myself using that as my daily driver. Maybe I will get an extended cab so I can keep tools safe inside? I'd like a ladder rack too - but nothing too dorky.

I found this thing called a "Loadhandler" that makes it real easy to dump stuff out of a pickup by just turning a crank. That looks like a really good idea for me if it works.

Maybe I could wire in a big power inverter so I could just plug power tools right into the truck without a separate generator. I don't know if that would work, but it would sure be handy.

If I'm going to buy something special, I want to do it right. I'm thinking maybe a used F-150. What do you think? How can I maximize utility in a truck that I'm not embarrassed to pick up my girlfriend in?


  • edited January 2011
    My first thought is if your going to hook up an inverter is that you should think about a diesel as they are better suited for long idle period.
  • edited January 2011
    A diesel would have other advantages as well. Much of the rental equipment on the market such as small excavators, small front end loaders, etc, use diesel engines. At some point as your business grows you may want to add a fuel tank in the bed to refuel those rentals, and running both the truck and the rentals off of the same fuel is more convenient.

    Any truck used in a handyman business will probably be hauling sheetrock, lumber, tools, power equipment, joint compound, concrete mix, etc. etc. on a fairly routine basis. It'll probably be towing concrete mixers, trailers, etc. as well. It'll get beat up no matter what you buy. And, of course, you'll want a good professional sign on the doors. Your girlfriend may have to adapt.
  • edited January 2011
    Extended cab would be good. I would go for a middle to lower trim line since rubber mats with carpet remnant scraps are easier to keep clean than the higher carpet trim lines (like Ford XLT). Consider getting a topper with ladder rack w/ access on the sides rather than just the rear, receiver hitch for trailers. All of these are easy to add on later. Aluminum topper if you will need to remove it with any frequency. You can get a 6x10 trailer or so to haul larger items easily later if needed.
  • edited January 2011
    A power inverter won't provide enough current to operate power equipment. Lights, yes. Drills and saws no.
  • edited January 2011
    Interesting thought. Finding a used diesel would probably be a lot tougher, though. I'll take it under advisement.
  • edited January 2011
    I'm just a handyman. Mabye I'll mix up one bag of concrete in a bucket to install a mailbox. It may be a while before I'm using excavators on a regular basis. If anything, regular gas would be way more useful for chain saws and demolition saws and blowers.

    The sign on the door. Yeah. No way around that, huh? She'll just have to adapt.
  • edited January 2011
    Excellent suggestions. I'm googling it now. There are all kinds of different toppers you can stick on there!
  • edited January 2011
    Ive seen power inverters to 10,000 watts
  • edited January 2011
    You have an unworkable parameter in your list (at least in my opinion). You need to seperate the "I use this truck for my dating lifestyle' and the "I want want a truck that makes (and does not take) me money". OK with that being said I would not think about dumping the seperate generator for even a second. For one you don't want your truck down due to issues with the inverter,stay seperate and even plan on getting a backup generator.

    Make a plan and list features that are most helpful in helping your business, only.
  • edited January 2011
    I would still recommend a separate generator. All of the tradesmen I know who need generators get a small portable. The truck may not be able to get in to where you need your power, but the separate generator could. I think a 3.5KW to 5. KW runs under $500.
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