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  • CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

    Sadly the realisation has come that a little black two door car is not completely practical for moving large amounts of beans around.


    So, I’m in the market for a van.
    8-)

    I started looking at the typical little panel van, Holden Combo, Citroen Berlingo, VW Caddy etc and while their 700kg odd weight capacity sounded good for moving brown beans around a bigger van that could take a pallet of green beans would be far more useful to both CS-Green and CS-Brown.

    I then started looking at second hand bigger vans but some of these have seen a world of abuse and the prices are not that far from new anyway.  By the time you factor factory warranty and 100,000km of wear n tear then a new van might be the best option although a good secondhand one would be closer to my budget.

    So my prerequisite features at the moment are:
    • Carrying capacity circa 1500kg
    • Bigger than 1200mm between the wheel arches.
    • At least 1200mm height at the back doors.
    • Barn doors on the back that open 180+ degrees (not a lift-up tailgate)
    • Cruise control (no +3km/h speeding fines on highway mileage)
    • Aircon (no sweaty beans or driver)
    • Minimal glass in the back (keep the sun off the important cargo)
    • Seats - one or more.
    • ABS would be nice (3000kg needs a lot or room to stop).
    • Drivers airbag (if the ABS wasnt enough help to stop 3000kg)
    • AM radio (6 stacker doof doof is not high on the list)


    I don’t mind if its manual/auto/petrol/diesel/front wheel drive/rear wheel drive but would probably lean towards a diesel manual to help the planet but price is always a factor.

    Looked at a Renault Trafic while passing a car yard yesterday and first impression was "boy that’s ugly", second impression was "its not so bad" and apart from having a 1200kg payload (that I could live with) it might be ok.
    http://www.redbookasiapacific.com/au/vehicle/photos.php?id=95181

    The Ford Transit SWB low roof could be worth a look but Ford locally won’t have any more till February.
    http://www.redbookasiapacific.com/au/vehicle/photos.php?id=58401

    The VW Transporter, Merc Vito and Merc Sprinters are quite expensive (eg: the later is the same price I paid for a house in 1995)

    Online I spotted a couple of run-out early 2007 model Fiat Ducato’s too.  Fiat updated the Ducato in Feb this year (the new one is sooooo fugly) and the older shape ones are at about 20% less than the current model.  Might be the best value.
    http://www.redbookasiapacific.com/au/vehicle/photos.php?id=56339

    Next weekend I’m going to have a look at a few options around Melbourne

    So I thought I would think out loud and draw on the wealth of knowledge in CS land to see if anyone can offer-up any first hand experience with this league of transport?
    (or maybe just bail-up your local courier to see what they like/dislike about their van)




  • #2
    Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

    Andy
    I dont know what they are like now, I did some work for a joinery co that had two VW Transporters, whilst easy to drive and comfyish they had a lot of mechanical probs with them,
    didnt help that most the guys driving them were muppets, but wait n see what others think.
    Hiaces and econovans have always been on my a list, hiace are pretty reliable, years ago I took a couple(on diff occassions) all over NSW doing PC upgrades as a techie for a bank so it was full of equipment and cargo that had to be bump protected if you get my drift, hiace won hands down. And pretty comfy easy to drive too.
    Hope that helps

    Sullos

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.


      Thanks Sullo.

      The VW transporter seemed like a whole wad of extra cash for nothing much more so I had advoided them. I had previously heard the Vito has a similar run of "mechanical bad luck".

      The Hiaces and Econovans I had not really looked at their load capacity is just over a tonne and they nearly all have a lift-up rear door which stops fork-lift loading.

      Still, one of those might be a fall-back.

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      • #4
        Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

        Pretty sure the hiace sbv has barn doors from memory, I think its shorter then the normal hiace and also has capacity of a fold down seat in the rear too, although I could be wrong.
        And yep hear dinteresitng things about the Vitos too, forgot about that when I read the thread earlier.

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        • #5
          Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

          Hiace SPV?
          Nicer looking than the standard Hiace for sure, looks like a Tarago boady not the normal Hiace box. I didnt know the model but Red Book is my friend

          http://www.redbookasiapacific.com/au/vehicle/photos.php?id=101316

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          • #6
            Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

            Gday Andy,

            I did a bit of similar research a while ago into suitable cab chassis, when I considered upgrading my mobile op. In the end I decided not to upgrade (budgetary reasons ), but was quite impressed with the Merc Sprinter - primarily because of chassis layout nicely handling a weight dispersal. Yeah, theyre not cheap, but hear they can take a thrashing.

            Stay clear from the Ford Transits - the ambos commissioned a fleet up here in Qld & from what Ive heard have had major probs with transmission failures.

            Have fun test-driving

            Tony

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.


              Merc Sprinter eh? Ill have another look but I think the premium is out of reach. The "silver star" sits with snob signage well though.


              Transit? Interesting. I assume that was the new model with the clutchless manual? Silly little buttons on the steering wheel to change gears might work in an F1 but not so good on a daily use comuter.

              Thanks for the tips, the more the better as you are never going to hear any gotchas from the car dealers unless I can get them to slag-off their competition.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

                Andy,

                I just threw out all my brochures on the VW Caddy. Worth checking out. They take a pallett and have the barn doors, no windows option.

                The crowd I am with have 36 on the road with 30 on back order. Getting rave reviews in terms of comfort, economy, payload. Most are the diesel option.

                In a previous life had a lot to do with various versions of the Merc and not good reports particularly with driver comfort which surprised me.


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                • #9
                  Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

                  I love kicking this stuff around with CSrs, it’s like a distributed committee that actually works!

                  36 on the road and 30 on order! Wow, do they want to garage one here?


                  The Caddy was high on my list when I was looking at the smaller vans, it has slipped down a little as the load is only 700kg odd (3/4 of a chep pallet) but I agree it seems like the leader in that small van market.

                  Driver comfort didnt really make my wish list but I guess I should keep it in mind.

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                  • #10
                    Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

                    Originally posted by Andy Freeman link=1195993710/0#8 date=1196081633
                    I love kicking this stuff around with CSrs, it’s like a distributed committee that actually works!

                    36 on the road and 30 on order! Wow, do they want to garage one here?
                    There probably is one in Geelong, keep your eyes peeled.

                    That is why I am sorry I threw the brochure out because I couldnt remember the payload. I know it will fit a pallet but couldnt remember what weight.

                    Comfort is a big issue, makes a huge difference if you are in it for any length of time.

                    That is where the Toyotas are so good, but no barn doors, etc.

                    It is all about compromise.

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                    • #11
                      Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.


                      It is all about compromise.
                      sigh... and head / pocket aches

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                      • #12
                        Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

                        Originally posted by Andy Freeman link=1195993710/0#10 date=1196143410
                        It is all about compromise.
                        sigh... and head / pocket aches
                        I thought that the collective community of edgy CSers hassling you for beans was the main source of aches for you mate! ;D

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                        • #13
                          Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

                          http://www.citroen.com.au/cms/default.asp?action=article&ID=10

                          My dad drives one of these Andy, for his spare parts when he fixes the pokies up in Qld, and he loves it. Although it is only 800kg capacity, just thought you might want to know about it as you havent mentioned it yet.

                          Ugly, but practical. ;D

                          -Linda

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                          • #14
                            Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

                            Yeah, CSrs give aches but thats a given.. these are additional, compounding ones.


                            Funny you mention the Berlingo Linda, it was where all this started. They look good on spec and are very cheap compared to the same sized vans in other flavours.

                            The more I think about it the more I think I lean towards something that will carry more beans. If it was only for CS-Brown then that sized van would be perfect.

                            If Ive bit the bullet and bought something to carry beans it might as well be something that can move large volumes of green beans too.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: CoffeeSnobs needs a van.

                              andy i have a Merc Vito diesel auto (more power) it gets 750 km to a 65 l tank runs good i love it. it like a car to drive serviceing 27000 km and its not to bad on cost. it got i think a 3 yr 200000 km warranty if you want to have a look at it i will see you sat in melb pick up

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