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Inspectormobile


Jim Baird
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Tried calling Click and Clack, phone was busy, so thought I'd ask you guys.

Home inspector needs ride. Old pickup I drive just not professional enough in looks.

After several years' lean times, am building a solid rep for quality work. Now it's time for a quality ride.

I need comments/suggestions on good vehicle to look for.

Thanks.

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This is my inspector mobile

It's a 2005 Scion xB a Toyota spin off company.

It was 15K +++ total 17 +/- It gets great gas milage and it catches your eye.

Note assitant inspector in the last picture lower right.

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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Scion left side.jpg

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Download Attachment: icon_photo.gif Scion rear.jpg

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My current urban assault vehicle is the Nissan Xterra. It's great for jumping curbs & parking barriers.

Lousy mileage (15-16 combined City & highway). Great roof racks for ladders. W/the rear seats folded down, plenty of room for tools. 4WD for the snowy weather (and jumping parking barriers).

Smooth ride for an SUV.

The car that really gets me hot is the one that I don't owe any money on. Personally, my windsurfing equipment & bicycles get more attention than my vehicle.

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Trying to find the 'best' inspection vehicle is like asking 10 people what the best rifle is. It's the one that fits you and that you shoot the best.

You need extra room for tool bags and goodies plus room for your ladders. Depending upon your tool choice, that can be anything from a compact to a van. I think Mike or Kurt's choice would be great if you're comfortable driving the smaller vehicles. I know a lot of inspectors who drive mini vans for the room and gas mileage.

I think you also have to look at your inspection area. I bet trying to get around in Kurts environment in a 4 door Extra Cab F-250 would be a pain in the arse. However it might just be the ticket if you do a lot of inspections in smaller communities and rural areas. If you get a lot of winter weather you might also consider adding a 4x4 to the options.

Pick what you like to drive and one that has plenty of room for the toys. I currently have a 2000 Silverado extended cab. I hope it has one more year in it (147,000 miles on it currently) and then I'll be looking at buying Suburban or Tahoe....um...well...I'll probably take over my wife's Tahoe and buy her another one or a Suburban...that's what I meant to say. (I can never tell when she might read my post)

I always thought a Hummer would be the perfect inspectormobile, but I can hear my Clients now..."No damn wonder he's higher than everyone else...look at what he drives".

It sounds like you've worked hard. Buy something nice and reward yourself.

Donald

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Can't argue with Donald. Who wouldn't love a Hummer?

I drive a '97 Ford Ranger with an extended cab and well worn ladder rack. I only wish I had got it with 4WD. It's got about 130K miles on now, and I figure she has another year or two in her. It has given me next to no trouble (still the original clutch!), so I can't complain.

Anyway, the mileage is about 20 on the highway, it's easy to park in the city, which is important to me.

My next vehicle will likely be along the lines of a Toyota 4 banger (not because I'm budget-minded, but because I'm a cheap bastard). That was what my last vehicle was and it ran forever.

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Easy Mike!! Things change. I'm sure if you'll take a ride down to the local dealer and take a test drive you'll see the civy version doesn't have much in common with their military conterparts any more.

Besides, Jimmy may have been talking about a 'different version' of the Hummer when he said "Who wouldn't love a Hummer.

Donald

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I drive a 2001 crew cab F150, but I have given serious thought of changing to one of the following;

1. Honda Element $18,000 to 24,000 -- Don't really care for the side door configuration

2. Honda CRV $18,000 to 26,000 -- Can't find much wrong with this one

3. KIA Sorento(sp) $17,000 to $21,000 -- Can't find much wrong with this one either and has a great warranty.

I do want all wheel drive on whatever I get.

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The civilian Hummers are fat, expensive Suburbans as far removed from their military heritage as a dachsund is from a wolf. The only two things a Hummer does well is turn women's heads and use gas. I'm married and poor so they aren't that appealing to me.

On the Toyota note: I owned an auto parts store for some twenty years and auto parts get delivered to the shops. I used Toyota's both personally and for my business. Two of them went over 500,000 miles with NO interior engine work. Three needed just timing chains and guides in the same range.

The Toyota 22r motor and subsequent variations on that theme, may be the single best piece of engineering ever installed in a passenger vehicle.

For pure utility, a two wheel drive 4 cylinder Toyota pick up can't be beat. Car buying sn't about utility though, it's emotional and personal.

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Scott,

My mother/father in-laws have had two KIA's. They bought them because of the warranty and have needed several times on both vehicles (turn lights have fallen out of both vehicles going down the road just to name one). They get crappy service no matter which dealership they go to and it's always a hassle getting warranty work done. FYI

Donald

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Chad,

Scion just came to the states in April. I got it because it was cheep, it holds all of my stuff and it's comfortable enough. You either like the body style or you don't but you have to admit it's eye catching. I've had a ton of people walk up to me and ask me about it. In this business some times it's nice to be noticed.

Bruce

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I bought a new Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab HEMI 4x4. It weighs over 6000lbs and you can deduct the cost of the vehicle on your taxes. I must be used for at least 50% of your business and have a gross weight of 6000lbs or more. My pickup gets used 95% of the time for business. Therefore, I get to deduct 95% of the cost on my taxes this year. You can also deduct maintenance, gas and insurance. The rams in my area are selling for about 8100 to 9000 below the MSRP. It is a gas hog, but the tax incentive takes care of that. Also has a 7/70 warranty. I have used the 4x4 mechanism 4 times this year after getting stuck in the mud on framing inspections with long mud/dirt driveways.

Dave Voight

Honest Home Inspections

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I drive a 2004 Ford Explorer XLT. It works for me as both an Architect and Home Inspector. Traded in my 1998 Explorer for this one. I am disappointed that the mileage on the new one is about 4 MPG less than the old one. It does ride much nicer than the old one.

I think the image for me driving a vehicle from an American Company is important because I deal with a lot of union tradesmen in the field.

I keep the folding ladders and tools concealed under the cover in the back.

Most importantly, the trucks have been dependable for me and the nearby dealer gives me a free loaner vehicle when the truck is in for routine maintenance.

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My ride is a '97 Ford Ranger with a rack to carry my 24' extension ladder. I guess I'm lucky in my area because it has only 85,000 miles on it. I'm going to nurse it another 2 years then retire. My Ranger is a 4 banger, but if I had it to do over I'd buy a 6.

Another inspector I know has the Honda Element. It looks great and he says he loves it.

Hummer...bummer!

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I have a 95 Nissan King Cab truck with a 3-door camper shell and removeable luggage bars. Very, very practical for the po HI. If you don't know, po is when you can't afford the last 2 letters (poor). I paid a whopping 3 grand with my old Mitsubishi truck traded in (255,000 miles).

If you GAVE me a Hummer (the vehicle) I'd sell it.

Brian G.

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  • 2 months later...

I drive the Xterra too. Previously had Pathfinder but the pathfinder went all luxury on me. So I went with the Xterra this time around and like it as much as I did the Pathfinder. I think I will always use an SUV for inspecting. I like everything being inside and lokced up out of the weather. I did look at the Honda CRV and I like it alot but I paid about the same for the Xterra and it has V6 over the Honda 4. And it seems to be a little roomier.

Shop around and see what fits you.

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Friends,

I appreciate all the responses. Very informative. As usual, in my case, practicality won out.

I decided that SUV was preferred body style, ladder rack a must, less than V-8 imperative. All research showed prices of everything way too high.

Phone call to car salesmen I have known and dealt with yielded one nugget. Low miles plus low price equals deal, nevermind colors etc.

Bought a '99 Chevy Blazer, cheapest thing on the local Honda lot, but it carried their little sticker and their standard lot warranty. They have fixed two problems already with still a week to go on the 30-day. It gets just under 20 MPG and seems to be an OK ride.

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