A Minimalist's HVAC Install and Service Van

"I take more of a minimalistic approach."

RIG DETAILS

USED FOR HVAC
TYPICAL JOBS service, installation, residential and light commercial
MODEL 2018 Ford Transit 250
BODY Full-Size Cargo Van, Mid Roof
DRIVETRAIN V6
VEHICLE'S FUEL MILEAGE 16 mpg

ORGANIZATION

Floor storage
Ceiling storage
Roof storage
Interior lights
Wired electric
Modular/Adjustable
Stand inside?

See more

Tips

Show up with booties. more »
Don't carry too much inventory. more »
Use collapsible garden hoses to save space. more »
Give a loaner heater to customers. more »
Insulate the ceiling to keep out heat. more »
Use one collapsible ladder. more »
Wrap foam pipe insulation around copper coils. more »

ABOUT THE ORGANIZER

NTexas HVAC

Fort Worth, TX USA


This van is used for residential and light commercial HVAC installations and service in the Fort Worth, TX area.

The van looks sparse compared to many other HVAC van setups. Says the owner:

When I talk to guys at the various outlets and shops, you know, we have a different approaches to what our vans are like.

Some of them take a very comprehensive and over-the-top, if you will, approach to inventory, and tools and I take more of more of a minimalistic approach.

He's okay with different strokes for different folks, and this works for them in Fort Worth, a dense urban/suburban area.

When I talk to guys at the various outlets and shops, you know, we have a different approaches to what our vans are like.
Some of them take a very comprehensive and over-the-top, if you will, approach to inventory, and tools and I take more of more of a minimalistic approach.

Fits It All for Installs

This van was specifically set up to be capable of doing installs, as well as service. To have the space for large equipment, they measured the boxed sized of equipment and chose shelves and organizers to fit around those dimensions.

They can slide any size condenser or furnace they want in through the side cargo door and they still have the back cargo area available.

On occasion, they've hauled 2 full systems at a time, including a furnace/air handler, condenser, and evap coil.

One Ladder

There is only one ladder on the truck, a Werner collapsible unit that expands into a 7' step ladder or unfolds into a 17' extension ladder. It fits neatly behind the bulkhead and takes up very little space.

A ladder on a roof rack is often slower and more difficult to get - it's high and has awkward tie-downs. Since this ladder is inside, grabbing the ladder is simple and painless.

The only downside is the weight:

This Werner MT-17 weighs 33 lbs.

A 6' fiberglass stepladder is about 22 lbs and an aluminum one is about 15 lbs.

A Minimalist's HVAC Install and Service Van
A Minimalist's HVAC Install and Service Van Image from NTexas HVAC

The Better Torch

He prefers the Victor oxy-acetylene torch kit for one reason: the handle on the carrying case. It's solid and makes for good day-to-day carrying.

As he points out, you're going to lose your shiny, new tanks at the gas house, and he doesn't care too much about the gauges.

Minimal Kits

There are very small organizers with copper fittings, electrical parts, and iron fittings mounted next to the side cargo door.

There is an installation bag, a heater bag, and a small tackle box dedicated to plumbing.

The shelves have a surprisingly minimal amount of inventory, especially compared to some other Texas HVAC van setups.

A small shop vac head that snaps on to a 5 gallon bucket sits on the shelf. It can work with the bucket that holds the collapsible hose, which saves a lot of space.

Even on the most disorganized shelf, it's pretty easy to see what tools are there.

Keep the Noise Down

HVAC and plumbing trucks have tons of metal parts and usually metal shelves, so the rattle is real!

This truck has thin rubber matting on shelves to reduce sound. Foam pipe insulation is wrapped around a roll of copper tubing to keep it from banging against the end of the shelves.

He says:

You don't think it's much, but when they start squeaking all day long and you're riding in this thing, you'll change your mind real quick.