SNIPS' readers show off their service trucks.

Donald Lang of D.J. Wagner Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. in Westville, N.J., says the company’s Ford F-350 pickup runs “like a bear” and looks good. The company’s 24-foot Izuzu box truck is kindly called “The Beast.”
Many people are passionate about their vehicles, but contractors really love their trucks.

That was evident from the responses we received to the call in SNIPS' May and July issues for readers to send in pictures and stories about their service vehicles. Those who wrote in were certainly excited about their vehicles.

Donald Lang of D.J. Wagner Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. in Westville, N.J., sent in several truck pictures, each of which had a story. Lang says the company's 24-foot Isuzu box truck with a rear hydraulic-lift gate is affectionately called "The Beast."

"Our employees couldn't be happier for the back strain she saves them, not to mention the big loads she is able to handle," he says. Lang also included a picture of the company's pickup, a 2003 Ford F-350. It sports a ladder rack custom-made by employee Mark Edwards. It's Wagner's "go-anywhere-and-look-good-getting-there" vehicle, Lang says. He adds that Wagner workers "love them equally."

Just as proud is Michael A. Weber, president of Thomas & Galbraith Heating and Cooling Inc. in Cincinnati. He wrote to tell me that his company's Web site, www.MasterWorkService.com, features a rotating image of a company service van.

Scott Nelson, owner of duct-cleaning company Air Doctors, says his companies’ trucks are among the cleanest around Allenhurst, N.J.

Tidy places

Judging from the images that came in, it seems many contractors keep their trucks amazingly clean and well organized, at least before pictures are taken.

Scott Nelson, president of Oceanside Service Inc., a residential and light-commercial HVAC contractor in Allenhurst, N.J., says his company's trucks are "the neatest and cleanest around - or at least I am told this by many people." Nelson started Oceanside 15 years ago with just one pickup truck. Today, he also operates Air Doctors Inc., a 10-year-old duct cleaning and indoor air quality firm.

The trucks used by Mike’s Refrigeration Service Plus in Bogota, N.J., have glow-in-the-dark lettering.

Advertising on the road

It also appears many readers use their trucks as traveling billboards - a good idea, since advertising is often expensive, but also essential in a highly competitive industry. That was the idea behind the glow-in-the-dark lettering on the trucks of Bogota, N.J.-based Mike's Refrigeration Service Plus. According to owner Miguel Barreto, the standout trucks work very well as advertising devices. "Many people call our truck a ‘billboard' truck," he says.

Augusta, Ga., contractor Busby’s Inc.’s red trucks feature the company’s mascot, a bee named Buzz.

Team mascot

Another company that uses its vehicles in a distinctive matter is Busby's Inc., an Augusta, Ga., residential HVAC contractor. The 49-year-old company's ruby-red service trucks feature its mascot, a cartoon bee named Buzz. Owner Rick Busby says the trucks promote the company well and save a lot of time.

Fully stocked

Boasting that his company's new truck is "the most comprehensively stocked vehicle in our area" was Robert Hutchison of Accu-Temp Heating and Air Conditioning Inc. in Howell, Mich. Hutchison says the truck is the same type used by United Parcel Service workers and "88,000 UPS drivers can't be wrong." He says he also likes it because the aluminum truck won't rust and the truck's layout makes grabbing combustion blowers, box filters and other parts easy.