Dan's Simple Sprinter Carpenter's Van Setup
|USED FOR||General Contracting|
|MODEL||2010 Mercedes Benz Sprinter|
|BODY||Full-Size Cargo Van|
|VEHICLE'S FUEL MILEAGE||18.5 mpg|
Dan's Mercedes 2010 Sprinter is used for his general contracting business in La Harpe, IL. The setup of the van layout is primarily for carpentry and leaves plenty of room for material hauling.
What's the Mercedes Sprinter Like?
Dan likes his van, but he points out that Mercedes Sprinters are expensive to maintain. His quoted price for an oil change at the dealer is $400-500 every 10,000 miles! He can DIY the oil change for about $100.
He has the 2010 3.0 diesel engine and he says he gets a consistent 18.5 MPG. He notes that the warranty on the diesel emissions parts lasts for the first 100,000 miles, but after that, you're on your own.
If you have a problem after that 100k mark, you'll either be paying very high prices for repairs at the dealer, or doing repairs yourself to keep costs down.
Large Cargo Area
The rear of the Sprinter has a very large cargo area. Dan keeps a planer and two multi-purpose ladders at the rear, but these can be moved quickly to make more space.
Dan has no drawers, shelves, or anything else (besides the planer) at the rear passenger side of the van, which creates a lot of available space. Even when you have a lot of tools, having your work van be smaller or more sparse is beneficial:
- You have space to work in your van.
- You have lots of extra hauling space. Typical Sprinter or Ford Transit van builds have two sides of storage with about 40" width of clear cargo area. Eliminating one side leaves even more space.
- You can leave tools at your home or shop if you're in a high-theft area.
- You might not really need that many tools and space. Here's the Ford Transit Connect of a homebuilder and another Ford Transit Connect of a full service HVAC tech.
The van has X-Track mounted both horizontally and vertically in the van for strapping larger tools down.
It's just like E-Track, except E-Track accessories can be mounted vertically or horizontally due to its cross-shaped holes. You could use it to make shelves that change height or to position tie-downs for equipment you want to secure against the wall at just the right height.
Dan uses X-Track to secure things to his wall and floor. There are lots of accessories available for X and E-Track, but at this point they aren't used very much in trades vans and trailers. Here is a residential HVAC business owner that uses it in his trailer and a carpenter that uses it in his tool trailer.
Simple Drawers and Organizers
The front driver side of the van has a large plywood drawer and organizer unit. The drawers are Ron Paulk-style and hold hand tools. The shelves are tilted back and sized for Milwaukee Packout and Festool Systainer organizers that hold hardware.
Quick Power Tool Storage
If you don't want to build tool cubbies or extra storage for your power tools, Dan has a quick trick:
He uses rafter hooks to hang his tools. He pops a hole in the top of a shelf, put a tool on a hook, and puts the hook in the hole.
Simple, quick, individual tool storage.
If you're still trying to figure out where to put things in your van, this is also a simple way to find an efficient layout that works for you.
Dan's Mercedes van is a well-used part of his business. We like his focus on keeping it simple and the use of X-Track to give him extra storage options.