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The Box Truck is no more

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The Box Truck is no more

Post by milspec6 on Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:57 pm

As of today, the box truck with TNT is now in the hands of a good cleaner in the Southern States. Let the competition beware, there is a man looking to make a big splash with that set-up. I loaded him up with about 200 feet of hose, my Bentely wand, an old stair tool, some chems, and he even purchased my rx-20 so he is ready to work. I even forced him to attend my 90 minute crash course on TM operation and proper cleaning techniques and tricks for commercial carpets.

It was sad to see it go after all I went through to build it, but winter will be here again soon enough and it just wasn't working out for the weather in this region. Had I been busier this season like expected, I would not have let it go until at least the fall (if at all), but we all know how things have gone thus far in 2018. The new owner is going to wrap it in vinyl and expand his flooring business to include commercial carpets which he should do very well with in his area.

If things work out this year yet, I might look to build something else that fits the harsh winters around here. Until then, I will be working out of my Butler rig with the new drive trane and suspension. I have over 13,000 hours on that machine now and 3 van engines, but it still pulls harder than any machine I have ever used. If it was an extended van, it would be almost perfect for 90% of what I clean.

I am now a much leaner company than I was the past 3 years when I tried to expand. Over-all, that is probably a good thing. I have a steady paycheck again and cheap medical / dental ($100 per month) so I am already way ahead on bills not having to pay $1400 in medical premiums.

Life of a cleaner moving forward by rolling things back.
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by Freemind1 on Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:36 pm

Glad things are turning around for you, even if it's not the way you would like.

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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by milspec6 on Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:47 pm

Life rarely goes according to plans. Being a bit OCD, that can be very frustrating at times, but as it has been said before "There are only 2 days where you can't do anything...yesterday and tomorrow". I am just puting things together one day at a time for awhile to see where it takes me.
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:13 pm

That's good news. A relief and some $ in your pocket.

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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by dp1 on Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:02 pm

Hopefully you make some profits considering how much time and effort you put into building that thing, but we all know that the market for TM is what buyer is willing to buy, that’s why it took me close to 1 year to sell each of my van cause I’m not willing to entertain low ballers.
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by milspec6 on Tue Jun 19, 2018 8:48 pm

As is often the case, I lost money, but not much. I still got close to $20k for it which is about $4k less than I had invested in building it, but it also made me me $8k in very limited usage, so I guess I did okay. Around here, a decent cargo van with 120k miles and a TM with 2500 hours would cost you that much, so the buyer got a great rig in my opinion.

Selling it helped him to expand his business into a the market of commercial carpet cleaning and it also helped me in stabilizing the bleeding financially right now. In that respect, we both came away pretty happy.
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by Mo on Wed Jun 20, 2018 6:19 am

The buyer is one lucky guy
That set up was clean and well maintained. I knew it wouldn't take.long to sell..the TNT name and reputation is well known on the southern states.
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by milspec6 on Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:18 pm

He would agree with you Mo....like talking to a kid on Christmas Eve. I hope he makes a fortune with it.
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by Johnny Bravo on Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:35 pm

Can I ask you what make, model and year your van is with the Butler in it? I have 2006 Chevy with a Hydromaster CDS. I'm trying tif figure out what it cost for a new motor. Can you give me a clue?

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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by milspec6 on Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:55 pm

@Johnny Bravo wrote:Can I ask you what make, model and year your van is with the Butler in it?  I have 2006 Chevy with a Hydromaster CDS.   I'm trying tif figure out what it cost for a new motor.  Can you give me a clue?  

I insited on staying with the last of the 5.7L motors for inexpensive parts, so yours will be higher to some degree.  The actual cost of the motors are pretty cheap, even for the 5.3L, but it is the labor cost that kills you on a van.  In most cases, they book out at 15 - 18 hours to do the replacement.  Factor in all the updated accessory items like the water pump, pulleys, belts, hoses, motor mounts, etc. and you end up with a pretty large bill.  In your case probably around $6500 - $7000.

Having said that, think this through a little bit and you will find that it is probably worth it to you.  You are likely earning $150 for every hour that your CDS is running right?  Well then, your motor will be paid off after just 43 hours of work and with the 7 year / 100k mile warranty you should be good to go for probably another 7 years at least.  Considering that a new CDS van probably runs you about $60k or more, a motor replacement can save you a lot of money.  As long as the CDS is in good shape and the rest of the van is sound, an engine replacement is a great idea!

There are just 2 concerns that you need to consider if you go that route.  One, the motor and engine wear together so a new motor if pushed can trigger an early demise to the transmission.  In the old days, you always did them at the same time, but transmissions are a lot better these days so it might not be a major issue.  I would still have the transmission checked out by a good shop to make certain it is in good shape.  The second concern is that a motor replacement is a complex process and there are always some bugs that need to be worked out after-wards.  Not usually major things, just some tweaking here and there and maybe a sensor or two so don't expect it to be like a new vehicle right away.

All the concerns aside, I am now on my 3rd motor and have no regrets over those choices.  It sitll works great and continues to make money without a huge investment of buying a new van set-up.  

This should give you an idea....one of my favorite suppliers of reman engines:

http://www.hiperformer.com/gmc-parts.html
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by Johnny Bravo on Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:37 am

milspec6,  Thanks for the info.  When my motor goes I plan on replacing it too.  St the present time it only has 95,000 miles on it and 2,100 hours on the CDS.  Hopefully it'll be a few more years before I need to.

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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by milspec6 on Sun Jun 24, 2018 6:58 am

That puts you at about 168,500 mileage...roughly. Every hour of operation is equal to about 35 miles of driving. I seem to get about 200k calculation between motors, but yours should last a bit longer with the newer design....probably closer to 250k. I have over 13,000 hours on my Butler now.
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by Johnny Bravo on Sun Jun 24, 2018 7:35 am

Thanks for the info. How many transmissions have you gone through?

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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by milspec6 on Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:18 pm

Surprisingly, just one. You do go through a few fuel pumps though as it is working hard all the time, so never let your fuel tank get below a 1/4 since it is the fuel that keeps them from over-heating.
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Re: The Box Truck is no more

Post by Johnny Bravo on Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:09 pm

@milspec6 wrote:Surprisingly, just one.  You do go through a few fuel pumps though as it is working hard all the time, so never let your fuel tank get below a 1/4 since it is the fuel that keeps them from over-heating.


OK thanks. I'lll remember to keep my tank full.

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