We said goodbye to my Ford Transit Connect van that I have had for the last seven years. We traded it in for the new Citan as they gave us a very good deal on the trade in. The trade in price was £1250 which for this van with 130,000 miles on the clock to me was, yes really too good. The van has been pretty sound for the last few months; the last big problem we had with it was when the chasis needed welding and we weren’t sure whether it was going to be able to done and it had to be done to get it through its MOT. So if it hadn’t been done we would have scrapped it straight away. Luckily it was a straight forward job that Robins and Day Peugeot in Bristol sorted out for us. So the van was top of my list to go as I wasn’t sure how long we could keep it roadworthy ourselves without big expensive bill or scrapping it. If you read through my blog you will realise that we had some major problems with the two Ford Transit Connects we once had, with my first one’s head gasket going and having to be replaced, luckily under warranty, at 60K and then that one’s engine going completely at 117K at the same time that the turbo and then the engine went on the second one. We had to make a decision and scrapped the older one and replaced the engine on the newer one. So even though it had 130,000 on the clock it had done only 70K on the new engine. We stripped out the oven cleaning dip tank, the partition, the water tank and hosed and cleaned the interior, and this reminded me that we actually paid someone back in 2005 to fit it out at a cost of £2500 for the fit and another £1500 for the dip tank, so in total £4,000 to turn the then new van into a working oven cleaning company van. Now for our new vans the fit including the tank is £3K and it is like chalk and cheese, our new fit and tank are a lot different from that old van fit. We have a completely lined back ‘wet area’ that is sealed, that is the joins on the plastic are welded which makes the back look very clean and smart, and the dip tank is now insulated so it means that it doesn’t need charging up so much each day. And for this cost I put in internal lights and get everything professionally wired. So that price for the van fit back in 2006 then was a bit excessive, but I think I paid it as I needed to get the van on the road ASAP as I had a new employee on board who was driving my first van and I need a new van for me as soon as possible, so it was the time when we went from one to two vans and I needed to get a van on the road fast.
Also last week we had to get our old Citroen Berlingo MOTed and it failed on lots of things will a bill to repair and get it through the MOT of £1000, and on top of this would have been the cost of the service and the MOT which added another £250 on to the bill. I had the van again since 2006 and I had originally ran it as a lawn care van, when we ventured out into the world of lawn care (it didn’t last that long – I’ll do a post about the comparisons of the two business concepts). As this was going to be the second van I was going to trade in we have decided to get what we can from the Mercedes-Benz dealer for trade in as it stands. They had already offered me £700 on trade in, and again for a van that has done around about 140,000 miles that wasn’t a bad price for us, so we will see what the new figure is. In the last six months we had fixed the gearbox linkage and a clutch problem so problems seemed to be becoming more regular with it. I have already ordered our second Citan, but as it is a factory fit , so we can get the tailgate on it, we may have to wait a few more weeks before it gets on the road. But we can cope, as the van I was using as a ‘franchise’ demonstrator van, the Peugeot Partner, is now on the road and is being driven by one of our guys who has reported to me that the tank makes a huge difference in the time he now has to heat up each day – its an hour a day heat up time and it stays hot all day, meaning now additional heating up for the day. And my own working van – the Daihatsu Extol – is now out being driven by one of the guys.
So once the trade in price is confirmed on the Berlingo we will be stripping that van out this week too. We are looking at getting both of the Daihatsu Extols replaced this year too as they are both getting to the end of their life. We are faced with a bill to replace the exhaust on one of them of £1500 which is more that the van is worth (trade in offered against the Citan was £350) but I may be able to get one from a scrap yard or exhaust manufacturer cheaper than this. But we have the same problem with the other van (I broke the exhaust flange when I reversed into a low wall) and parts for these Japanese vans can be difficult to get hold of.
I am also getting the older oven cleaning dip tanks which I am taking out of these vans, upgraded with the insulation and other bits to bring them up to the spec of our new tanks.
So our current van line up is:
62 Plate Mercedes-Benz Citan – OvenGleamers Demonstrator.
12 Plate Peugeot Partner – OvenGleamers branded van
56 Plate Daihatsu Extol – OvenGleam van
06 Plate Daihatus Extol – OvenGleam van
10 Plate Citroen Berlingo – OvenGleam van.
With the old Citroen Berlingo just about to be off on trade in.
New Mercedes-Benz Citan van due in the next few weeks.