As requested I’ve done an episode on the new Dodge Ram ProMaster City that I recently got as a work van. I started working out of this thing (and subsequently making this video) about 6 weeks ago, and have been working out of it since.
This video has some audio issues, so please try your hardest to make it through the whole thing knowing I messed up and tried to put lipstick on a pig. That being said…this new van is pretty awesome. I got it over a weekend and had Saturday and Sunday to build shelving and get it ready for work on the following Monday.
I got a bunch of 1x12’s and 1x4’s and went to town on building shelving that lined the interior sides. I needed some decent sized shelving to be able to put material bins in that I could use to separate all of my electrical materials like wirenuts, plugs, switches, connectors, couplings, screws, bolts, washers, etc. After building the two side shelves I realized it wasn’t going to be enough space. I decided to build in a 3rd shelf in the middle (towards the front of the van) that could mimic the side shelves.
Doing this, however, would mean that I would be limited on storage for tools in the front half, as well as carrying capacity inside for large boxes of materials. For the moment I’m ok with that. I’m still using this as I go and figuring out what I really need down the line. So I was a little clever with this task. I decided to utilize this “wall” that I was building as a dual-sided shelving unit. On the back side I would put more materials so I could keep the entire back of the van a “material space.” I then built more shelves on the front side of this wall that could hold saws, drills, batteries, chargers, and anything else an electrician will carry with him/her.
Once I got the levels of shelving put together how I wanted I built side cubbies and drill hangers to keep my most needed tools close to the doors. Now when I slide the side doors open I have all of my drills and batteries hanging close to the door so I can grab them without having to dig around through my tools to find them. After the sides were done I just had a large empty space in this area and that seemed like a bad idea as remaining things like tool bags and belts would inevitably get dumped in to a large pile.
So I built a separator on the floor that could keep most of my bits, blades, knockout sets, sockets, and bags of various t-handles and wrenches. This put separation between the driver’s and passenger’s side of the vehicle which gives each person a designated “zone” for their own tools. This cleaned things up nicely.
Next was putting finishing touches on the rear “materials” section of the van. I knew I had to address putting long things somewhere, so I figured out a way to mount my broom, pipe benders, and fish-sticks (fishing-rods) on the underside of the roof. I screwed some thick 1 5/8” unistrut/kindorf to the ceiling and used 1 1/r4” EMT (pipe) and strut-straps to create something to hold the shafts of these items. Once I got the benders slid in place I simply hooked some small bungie cords around the fronts of the benders, so they don’t rattle or move when I take off from a stop light.
I thought it would be a great idea to get all of my battery chargers in one area, and run a cord and a plug strip through the back of the van so I could have all of my chargers plugged in constantly. This way when I pull up to a job I don’t have to unload all of my batteries and chargers from the truck and bring them into a job-site to charge them. I can just plug the van in to a nearby outlet and all of my batteries will charge in the truck. This has worked out to be an outstanding idea, though some jobs this doesn’t work for.
The van itself came with a ladder rack which I personally am not that happy with. There’s not many options for strapping down ladders, but I’m slowly working out solutions to deal with. As for the inside (cab) of the van, I’m extremely pleased with how nice it is. This is a 2016 model so the inside is clean and well taken care of. There’s no fabric on the floor so cleaning it out is as easy as picking up the rubber mats and dumping them out. The space is very limited for cup-holders and arm-rests…and the seats don’t move back, or adjust in any way. But I can get over that because this thing has a touch-screen display with a back-up camera, bluetooth, and a USB port so my media/music needs are WELL taken care of.
Overall I am extatic to be driving this thing around. I’ve been driving around my 2006 Nissan Titan for the past 6 years and putting a lot of wear and mileage on it as a work-truck. I’m very happy to retire that beast. This van is fully enclosed so my materials and tools don’t get rained on or stolen out of the back. All in all I give this thing two-thumbs-up for any electrician to add to their fleet. Especially service electricians.