Transit Vans Provide Plumbing Firm Functionality and Flexibility

Boston Standard Co. finds multiple benefits by shifting vehicle fleet to full-size Ford Transits

Transit Vans Provide Plumbing Firm Functionality and Flexibility

Joseph Wood, owner of Boston Standard Company

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Boston Standard Co. in Massachusetts owns several different kinds of service vehicles. But it’s slowly transitioning to full-size Ford Transits as the core workhorses for the 14-vehicle fleet, says owner Joseph Wood. The company has five Ford Transits (model years 2016 to ’18) at the present moment.

For starters, there’s the reliability factor. Wood touts the vehicles’ standard Ford 3.7-liter engine that’s designed and built in the United States, not overseas.

“There’s something to be said for that,” he says. “They’re well-engineered and simple to maintain and it’s easy to get parts. We expect them to establish a very good track record.”

Then there’s functionality, provided by features such as LED lighting in the cargo area (no need to install auxiliary lighting), enough headroom for technicians to stand upright, and a standard back-up camera for enhanced safety.

“It also offers creature comforts such as Bluetooth wireless capability, cup holders and a walk-through partition for easier access (from the cab),” Wood says. “Sometimes we’re backing into alleys and the sliding side door gets obstructed, so it’s easier for technicians to move from the driver’s seat to the rear.”

For storage, the company buys a standard Transit cargo kit from Adrian Steel, adds an HVAC package, and then up-fits it with special trays and compartments tailored to meet technicians’ needs. The storage system enhances the vehicles’ roles as warehouses on wheels. They’re capable of holding $5,000 to $10,000 worth of repair-parts inventory, according to Wood.

“That’s a big value in terms of our ability to stay on a job site and work, instead of driving around for parts — especially in Boston traffic, which can be real tough,” Wood says. “We’re a flat-rate company, so there’s a lot of incentive to stay on a job and get it done. Sometimes we’ll even use an Uber driver to get parts from a supply house.

“You can’t get to a supply house and back in less than an hour, even if it’s around the corner. Just finding a parking space when you come back to a job site (from a parts-depot run) can be a real challenge, so having well-stocked trucks is very important.”

The trucks also serve as valuable marketing tools, courtesy of vinyl wraps. They cost about $3,500 each, but it’s money well-spent, Wood says, noting that customers frequently comment about them.

“They create an image and enhance our brand,” he says. “They help create the impression that we have trucks running all over the city. People say, ‘I see your trucks everywhere.’ They even said that back when I had only one truck.

“I had full-vehicle graphics on my first truck from the day I started the business. You really can’t afford not to do it.”

Read more about Boston Standard Co. in the June 2018 issue of Plumber magazine.


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