What vehicle would you recomend?

Getting ready to buy a vehicle for my new business start-up.

If you had it to do over, what would you use for your first vehicle?

I was thinking of getting an extended cab S-10 or Ranger and putting ladder racks on it. 2 reasons.

#1. With ladder racks it should still sit low enough to fit in a garage. I am thinking that most of the neighborhoods in Jacksonville, Fl where I will end up renting a house, will not allow me to park a commercial vehicle in the driveway. I don’t think a full size cargo van with racks will fit in a standard height garage.?

#2. Fuel economy.

The only draw back that I can think of would be no secure or covered area for equipment and such.

Any suggestions for me based on your personal experiences? I would like to be in the $7 to $8K range but would consider spending more if it was necessary for some reason or another. Also I plan to use a vehicle wrap to help give me a professional image.

I’d recommend a 4 cylinder Toyota Tacoma to anyone in our business. Great fuel economy, sits low to the ground and when taken care of properly you can easily put over 200,000 miles on it. Also, you can get a cap for the back for a decent price. Only drawback is the price, you may have to hunt around for one thats not too expensive. Great trucks tho.

Route work I would recommend a small pickup. For residential work, my preference is the Chevy Astro or the GMC Safari. 4.3 Liter V6. Decent on gas and very dependable. I have 4 of them. 3 have over 250,000 on them and run as good as the day I bought them. You wont be disappointed.


Thanks Alex. What do you guys use for your pressure washing equipment? Do you have a special vehicle, tow a trailer, or put it in the back of the P.U.?

It’s just that I am not sure how soon I will get into it but I am almost positive that I will be pressure washing at some point. Does that change your opinion or would you still go with the Tacoma?

Thanks Steve. Do you use ladder racks on your Astro? I was also considering an Astro van, but I am not sure if it will fit in a standard garage with ladder racks on top of it.

It has been suggested that I use stack ladders, in which case the Astro would work just fine I think.

Mr. Pitbull,
We have 10 Tacomas, 2 of which are used for pressure washing. They are the same as the rest of the trucks, 2 wheel drive 4 cylinder. We don’t have any trailers. The machines we use are 3700psi. We do mostly cleaning of vinyl siding and decks. Some concrete, so we do not necessitate a fancy hot water machine or holding tank. The Tacoma works great for us. The storefront guys have single cab, the residential guys have extended cab and the salesmen has the nicest, newest cleanest truck. (single cab)

And Alex gets the M5…

whats an M5?


:o oh… BMW M5. Sure I’ll take one.

The “Official” estimate mobile:D of course you must be equipped with the “dopest” shades as well for the drive!

My 200.00 Versace’s would do nicely;)

Damn, Craig your fly.

Toyota tacomas are the best! I have one, it is not a 4 cylinder, but the V6 model. It get okay MPG but i just had a 4 cylinder for a rental while mine was in the shop for oil change and the MPG was great. I like tacomas except for the stupid ladder rack which cost around $650.00. because of the special fiberglass truck bed.

Good room, comfortable, reliable, plenty of power!

We have F250’s they don’t do very well on gas, but boy can they push snow.

Get out of town Bill… I’ve been in your truck, its like mine. Step on gas… Watch fuel vanish. :eek:

This is basically what I plan to do as far as pressure washing is concerned. Would you mind posting your exact set-up and approximate cost? Much appreciated.

Looks like I must begin a search for Tacomas.

Come on Alex 14.5 mpg (on a good with a tale wind) is awesome

Thats great compared to my 11.1 mpg Hemi

My first window wagon was a Jeep Cherokee. It leaked oil, had a hole in the exhaust, and was just over all… rowdy and mean. I loved that truck. I worked out of that and an old Ford Aerostar Mini Van. The van was much more vehicle than I needed.

Today I have a Ford Ranger Ext Cab XLT. I love it. It is service industry white with magnetics for signage. I looked at the ratings and noticed that all the big name auto parts stores used them for fleet vehicles. So does the local Cable TV provider. Lots of these big companies have people to research what is the most cost effective and least maintenance vehicle to use. If they are using them, I can’t go wrong.

I love those Toyota Trucks though. They are super dependable and beat the Ranger in style, hands down. Finding one at the right price is the problemo there. Heck… just finding one for that matter. People that own them know what a sweet deal they have and usually don’t let go of them. Around here anyway.

As far as locking my gear. I have a tool box with a padlock. Also have another padlock keyed the same as the one for the tool box. It goes to a cable that wraps around my ladders and helps keep people honest. You cannot go wrong with a Ranger.

As far as the power washing thing goes. I would master one craft before adding another. By the time you have become a window cleaning guru. You will have made enough money to buy or lease a different vehicle capable of handling over sized equipment.

A wise man once told me, “You have to crawl before you can walk.”

Let us know how it works out for ya.

[COLOR=#888888]Craig Aldrich
Sparkle Window Cleaning
Canyon Lake,Ca.

Craig’s set up… pretty sweet!