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Exmoor Beast
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The inevitable is happening and I can't keep using the 110 or Disco to deliver cakes anymore :(

So early in the new year we are on a mission to get a big van. We are looking at LWB high top type things. One of our regular suppliers uses an Iveco LWB thing that looks ideal and they certainly recommend it.

Does anyone know of a good source of information to read up and make a decision?

I would prefer to buy British if poss'

We are looking at new or up to 2 years old ish.

Will :)

For those who insist on LR content:

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The inevitable is happening and I can't keep using the 110 or Disco to deliver cakes anymore :(

So early in the new year we are on a mission to get a big van. We are looking at LWB high top type things. One of our regular suppliers uses an Iveco LWB thing that looks ideal and they certainly recommend it.

Does anyone know of a good source of information to read up and make a decision?

I would prefer to buy British if poss'

We are looking at new or up to 2 years old ish.

Will :)

For those who insist on LR content:

image007.jpg

My dad's firm uses the VW LT 35's LWB High tops

they do 35-40mpg and well over 100mph

he also used them for towing a 2t box trailer again very good

He used to do over 90k per yr and his last one was 270k with no trouble

Iveco's are thirsty but strong more of a builders truck meaning they cant carry as much but can take all the abuse the builders give them.

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I've recently got an Iveco 35S12 MWB H2 (medium roof). Not used it a lot yet so can't really comment on much except it is nice to drive, comfortable, much quieter on the motorway than a 110, better turning circle too. I went for it as it has a higher towing capacity than any other 3.5T panel van and has plenty of internal space, although not as much as the LWB version, that's massive especially the H3 (high roof). Mine is the 2.3 116bph/200lbft engine and it seems spritely enough although I've not driven it with much weight yet and i expect fully loaded or towing (as I intend to do) it may be a bit sluggish and the 166bhp/280lbft 3.0 would be better.

I would look at Iveco, Sprinter, LT, Renault master, in fact most things other than Transits, Ford still have sorted out their rust problems and the FWD ones have gearbox/clutch problems.

I'm not sure what Jules means by...

Iveco's are thirsty but strong more of a builders truck meaning they cant carry as much but can take all the abuse the builders give them.

They go all the way up to 6.5T (65C17) and the LWH H3 is one of if not the largest panel van you can buy.

http://www.whatvan.co.uk may be of some use/interest.

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Will

In my last job I travelled the country every week. We had a Merc Sprinter. The big 1 with the hi top roof. Never had a problem with it and could carry a sh*t load of stuff in the back. Nice to drive would reach the speed limit with no problem and exceed it very easily.

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What do you mean Fords are still rusty? I have had a Transit for 3 years and no rust at all, and all vans now have dual mass flywheels... and i'm sure they are all likely to fail at some point in there life...The fact that there are probably twice as many Transits on the road, someone must think they are good enough... I have no problems with my van, It's done 67000 miles and still on original flywheel. No rust. Drives great. TDCi engine. Cheap to repair. :blink:

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Experience says buy a Mercedes. I have done 100s of 1000s of miles in them and had one breakdown - when the alternator expired. Some of the Renault/Vauxhall vans are British but (Sorry Mo) they are carp quality. I would trust VW too. I know of a new Transit that is rusting already... but all vans have such a relativly short life that they tend not to get rust-proofed very well.

Why a high roof? Less stable, more susecptable to high winds, will not go through height barriers, use more fuel. How high can you stack cakes before you reach the weight limit? Not 7 feet! Get a low roof - LWB perhaps if you cannot stack goods high without damaging them.

Chris

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The new transits are ok, although the engines are bit more delicate than older ones. Timing belt breakage means busted rockers and bent rods, but not engine termination. As always - transits suffer from body corrosion - each new model seems to have rust problems, but in a different place. I've also had to replace broken front springs on transits, and I understand this is quite common. Front wheel bearings too - they are a right b........d to do as well, and £60 each, plus about 3-hours to replace.

Les. :)

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As Les said Transit font wheel-bearings are a right PITFA to do, but the transit in general will take a fair bit of abuse before they give trouble - The RAC transits are so overloaded that most have the rear leafs bent inverted :o

Lots of my mates work in HGV/Agricultural Garages and as such deal with a fair few vans - one mate services a fleet of around 30 transit sized flatbeds - They are all in agreement that Merc go wrong the least and are the easiest to work on and get parts for, they mostly like LDV (british too) but they tend to be a bit slow and have to be driven hard - redline in every gear when loaded. All they all hate Iveco vans - apparently they are poorly designed, a pain to work on, and the quality of individual components is poor - this seems to be at odds to what others are saying though

The above is second-hand info from sources i would trust, i do not claim the knowledge myself, except for the transit stuff from working in a ford dealer and using them daily at work

Lewis :)

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Mercs have gone down hill in the last three years or so but older than that are superb

Ford Transits - don't get the new version, they simply don't take abuse. We have two 06 models at work, both tippers and they are far less reliable than the 270K miler/P reg that I drive when not out in the MAN. The traction control is fun though.

Nissan do good panel vans - quick and frugal

Tony has a damn good point, lease/hire. Renault were doing some amazing deals last year as were Ford. Reliability isn't an issue as you get fast replacement. Ford do overnight servicing on Lease/Hire.

I don't like Iveco's, expensive parts and they break when you use them hard. However I am in a minority. My mate Dave has just come back from Mongolia in his Iveco 2.8! It has TC and a winch but is only 2 wheel drive. Nothing broke at all in 18 months travelling.

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In a previous life worked in the truck and van industry so have come into contact with most things, good and bad.

LDV. Avoid. Thousand year old technology (lots of Land Rover bits!!), crude, slow, unreliable. Worth nowt!

Transits. Later type have problems. Lots of them. Oddly enough they still sell lots, but its the later models repeated failing that has convinced people to try other brands.

Merc sprinter/VW. Pretty bulletproof. Mate just got rid of his after 9-years. Used as compamy van and his own personal transport (classy guy!) half million miles. No bother.

Iveco. Solid mechanicals, but like anything with an Iveco badge, everything else will fall to bits around your ears. Typical three year old interior will creak and rattle and expect half the trim to be missing, broken or falling off.

Renault used to be POS, but have got better. Interestingly mate with Sprinter just bought a new Renault because Merc couldn't come close to the deal he got on a brand new Renault.

Agree with others on leasing. Obviously depends on how much use and how hard you're going to work it, but worth doing the sums. Local ex BT, Post Office fleet van specialist to me reckons the used van trade is being killed because it makes far more financial sense for Joe Bloggs the plumber (or specialist cake maker!) to buy/lease a brand new van with 3-yr warranty than have the headache and bills of running an ex fleet van.

Kev

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I think I'd go along with Kevs synopsis, sums them up quite well IMHO.

While I'm happy with my Iveco (except for a rattle inside the drivers door) I can see that the trim isn't of a high quality, cheap plastic dash etc. But as mine has only 43k on the clock it hasn't had much use/abuse and will be getting an easy life with me so it should last fine. But after 3-5years as a builders van it may not stand up as well as other makes.

I would have looked much closer at Sprinter/LT or Renault Master if they had higher towing capacities. Although the Mercs do seem to fetch a premium on the 2nd hand market.

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we have a couple of LWB high top VW transporters and i couldn't be more impressed. they aren't a lot smaller than the LTs but are SO much easier to drive.

Both of them have had at least 75,000 miles on them in the last 18months and they get driven HARD. both have a 2.5tdi with a six speed box and will top out at over 120mph and happily cruise near the ton. We quite often end up travelling around the north devon coast between Minehead and Braunton and these things can be chucked around like rally cars- they aren't a lot slower across country than a normal car! The only thing we have had to spend apart from normal servicing is for 2 sets of tyres for the front- apart from that the vehicles have worked faultlessly! Last time i checked the vans are averageing 44mpg on the normal daily drive which is bloody goood i reckon. My vans were originally 134bhp jobbies but we have chipped them up to 180bhp which is nice- didn't affect economy either!

The ONLY thing i don't like about them is that they are front wheel drive- i have towed a rangie (a rather old white diesel one, but in good condition :D) on a trailer behind one, and it towed brilliantly apart from when pulling out of an uphill junction in the wet- grip was less than forthcoming.

brilliant vans otherwise especially for off motor way work- will also take a HUGE amount of stuff in the rear and a fair old weight too.

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At work, our fleet is mostly Merc Sprinters and Renault Masters. We give them a massive hammering and the Mercs take just about everything we throw at them. The Renaults aren't as nice to drive anmd ride is not as good. The newer Sprinters fly but the ride isn't quite as comfortable.

We have a handlful of X-reg LTs and they are awful.

Cheers

Blippie

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I have had several vans with BT now, relevant to you are:

Transit old-style (R-reg), last of the good ones we had - no turbo but RWD and PAS and lasted well, don't think it ever got more than a quick wash in it's life. BT are tight so it was the small engine but it would hold 90 reasonably well, if a tad noisy.

Transit (new style), absolute cr**. FWD sucks. It spent about 6 months in the workshop in it's first year, this was a common average across everyone else who got one at the same time for a mixture of safety recalls and stupid failures. Had it 5 years and it was going rusty (inside too!) when it went. Aparrently the proper RWD big-engined ones are better to drive but Ford have ruined a legendary vehicle by bringing in the accountants. Would top 90 downhill with a following wind but immediately lose it again as the road levelled out, which is frustrating and makes you look a complete t**t when you are halfway through overtaking someone and end up going backwards :angry: Also gets through front tyres because you have to get it on boost & dump the clutch to pull out with any sort of speed. Oh and somehow I managed to snap the gearbox subframe mounting off by accelerating hard :blink:

Latest one is '06 Vauxhall Vivaro (read Renault / Nissan they are all made on the same line) - Horrible in every way. FWD, under-powered, cramped, uncomfortable, outside it looks a tad smaller than a proper transit-sized van but inside it seems to have less room than a range rover! Also it's irritatingly just too short for most long things to go in <_< It too does the "100 downhill / 65 uphill" thing which stops being funny very quickly when you're trying to make progress :angry: Some of them also use about a litre of oil every 300m for the first 5k of their lives, Vauxhall's official line is "Yeah, they do that mate" :huh:

Sorry these are all negative reviews, but the day BT buy us a decent bit of kit is the day Satan goes to work on ice-skates :rolleyes:

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Oh! great!!! i've just bought a new Iveco c/cab 35c14 with 136bhp, it's turning up around the 3rd/4th Jan.

After looking around for the last 8 week's at what to buy and what i needed (i've got 2 other vans/trucks) it's used mainly for work but must be able to tow the trayback around the country :D In my game i'm in need of both type's of vehicle so went for the Iveco, the main reason was that i got over £12k of the list price :o and it was in stock.

So now that's the deal done i'll keep you informed on how it last's. :(

My old transit Y reg lwb sht 90ps has 125k on the clock has work well only required one g/box plus flywheel, back axle, both front wheel bearrings, great to drive but sh$t if your a passenger :o:lol:

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VW transporter- pulls like a train and bloody fast even with a car on the back will top a ton. Dont know much about reliability but nice to be in and really does fly, i want one of their engines for my 90!

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ooo yeah the VW engines are a work of art and i really fancy putting one in a landy- or how about putting two in one, for the front and one for the rear now that would be cool- 400bhp and 750lb/ft. As quick and powerful as you could possibly want!

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