Truck List

I've tried to compile lists with you guys before. It never seems to work. So here we go again. Just add to the list and keep it going. When we're done (if we ever get done), you'll have a fairly reliable list to use as a stock list for your truck. Yeah..I know. I have one of these laying around somewhere. Lost it. No big deal to start again from scratch. Add to this list if you can.
Truck List:
Toilets: 6 Fluidmaster Kits 6 Water Closet Supply Tubes 12 Angle Stops/Sweat 6 Angle Stops, threaded 6 Wax Seals 12 packs toilet bolts 6 packs tank/bowl bolts 2 universal tank/bowl seals 2 universal fill tubes 12 flappers
Lavatories/Sink: 1 Rebuild Kit (esp. Delta parts kit) 20 Supply Tubes 20 Trap/Tubular Assemblies 2 end-outlet wastes 2 center-outlet wastes 2 long extender tubes 2 Fernco trap adapters 2 sprayer kits (ks) thread type 2 sprayer kits (ks) quick connect type
Outside: 4 Hose Bibbs 6 Vacuum Breakers for Hose Bibb
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straight stops and escutcheons

You need the American standard kind and the other kind.

P traps take up a lot of truck room. 10 is plenty.

2 double end tailpieces

???
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This is the update list. Keep adding stuff guys...
Before you attempt to repair anything, do good by your customer and let them know if it is
cheaper for them to replace rather than repair. You can spend several hours jacking with a
toilet. In the end, you repaired it....put it back together...tested it...found another
problem...over and over. Use your brain. If you can't fix it in less than 30-minutes, it's
probably going to be cheaper for the customer and easier for you to replace the damn thing.
Kitchen sinks that are beaten up underneath...don't spend an hour trying to install clips. A
BRAND NEW economy 2-bowl ss sink only costs $30. So your choice is A: caulk that jacked
up sink down to the counter and be done with it. B: Fight with your customers jacked-up
kitchen sink for an hour trying to make something work that is not going to work. C: Pick up a
new sink, slap it in and be done with it. This is the merry-go-round you can scratch your head
about on every job you visit. Please - DON'T BE STOOPID. If you're working inside the
house, about 85-90% of your jobs will justify (rip and replace).
LOOK FOR PROBLEMS: One of your biggest expenses is travelling from one job to the
next. Again, DON'T BE STOOPID. While you're at the job, do your customer the courtesy
inspecting their plumbing at every fixture. Point out problems. They'll probably have you fix
them. You make more money and save some drive time. Tell your guys in the field that you'll
PAY THEM 25% NET on up-sales and it's not a bother. At 25% NET, it's worth their time to
inspect the house. Give your customer a written record of problems you found. NEVER give
them anything in writing telling them that anything looked like it was working well. Otherwise,
they'll call YOU complaining that your plumber told them everything was fine...and NOW,
there is a problem and the customer wants an explanation.
DO NOT EVER warrant drain cleaning work. Once it is clean, your job is done. If they have a
low spot under slab, they are going to have repeat problems (not your fault). I had one
customer who would cook spaghetti and dump it into her kitchen sink. About every other
week, there was a call to come clear that kitchen sink. First, we made the mistake of doing
warranty work on drain cleaning (the good ol' days). Second, we made the mistake of doing
warrenty work on drain cleaning. Third, we made the miserably stoopid mistake of warranting
our drain cleaning work. DO NOT EVER warrant your drain cleaning work. You have no
control of what these people are going to dump down that drain after you leave.
Truck List:
Toilets: 6 Fluidmaster Kits 6 Water Closet Supply Tubes 12 Angle Stops/Sweat 6 Angle Stops, threaded 6 straight stops 12 escutcheon plates 6 Wax Seals 12 packs toilet bolts 6 packs tank/bowl bolts 2 universal tank/bowl seals     You need the American standard kind and the other kind. 2 universal fill tubes 12 flappers
Lavatories/Sinks: 1 Rebuild Kit (esp. Delta parts kit) 20 Supply Tubes 10 Trap/Tubular Assemblies 6 Tailpiece assemblies 2 end-outlet wastes 2 center-outlet wastes 2 long extender tubes 2 double end tailpieces 2 Fernco trap adapters 2 sprayer kits (ks) thread type 2 sprayer kits (ks) quick connect type 6 Basket Strainers (ks)
1 Entire Kitchen Sink with valve included     I pick them up at the salvage yard for $10 each (valve included). Find one with a
Delta Valve. Don't waste your time fighting with an old cast iron sink. Yank it and plop this
back into it's place. ONLY for rental property customers. Don't carry this old used sink up to
your customer's million-dollar home. Basically, don't be a moron.
2 Lavatory Faucets (complete) 2 Kitchen Faucets w/sprayer (complete) 1 Badger 5 Garbage Disposal
Outside: 4 Hose Bibbs 6 Vacuum Breakers for Hose Bibb
Water Heater: 6 thermocouplers 6 heating elements 4 thermostats 2 T&P Valves 1 Thermal Expansion Tank 1 50-Gallon Electric Water Heater 1 50-Gallon Gas Water Heater
Tub/Shower: 3 Diverter Spouts (tub) 3 Shower Heads
Copper: 50    Tees (both 3/4 & 1/2) 50    Ells (both 3/4 & 1/2) 50    Couplings (both 3/4 & 1/2) 12    Copper/Pex Adapters (both 3/4 & 1/2) 20'    Copper Pipe (both 3/4 & 1/2)
Pex: 50    Tees (both 3/4 & 1/2) 50    Ells (both 3/4 & 1/2) 50    Couplings (both 3/4 & 1/2) 12    Qwest/Pex Adapters (both 3/4 & 1/2) 20'    Pex Pipe (both 3/4 & 1/2) 100    Crimp Rings (both 3/4 & 1/2)
2    Tubes    White Caulk (water soluable) 2    Tubes    White Silicone 2    Tubes    Clear Silicone 1    Roll    Duct Tape (pref. black) 1    Roll    100' metal pipe strap 12    Rolls    Teflon Tape 2    Bottles    Pipe Dope 2    Bottles    Flux 2    Rolls    Solder 1    Roll    Sanding Cloth 2    Bottles    Glug or Thrift drain cleaner
2    3" Brass Cleanout Caps 1    4" Brass Cleanout Cap 2    3" PVC Cleanout Caps 1    4" PVC Cleanout Cap
36'    R6.5 Pipe Insulation (for both 3/4 and 1/2)
18    Compression Couplings (for both 3/4 and 1/2)     In the winter months, use compression couplings to quickly fix leaks. Winter     freeze-ups are a race. The more customers you rescue, the more money you     make!
Misc. 100    plastic ferrules (3/8) 100    brass ferrules (3/8) 20    extra compression nuts for stop valves 6    3/8 x 3/8 compression coupling 6    1/4" sweat coupling 1    short roll (about 30 feet) of 3/8" tubing (both copper and poly) 20'    Dishwasher hose 3    Dishwasher tailpiece adapters 1    Box, hose clamps 3    Bags (sink clips for kitchen sink)
Tools: 2    1½" Pump ball (for testing) 2    2" Pump ball (for testing) 2    3" Pump ball (for testing) 2    4" Pump ball (for testing) 1    Bicycle Pump (for pump ball) 1    Pressure Gauge with hose threads (to test house pressure at hose bibb)
1    3/4 Pex Crimper 1    1/2 Pex Crimper 1    Pipe Cutter for plastic pipe (not the ratcheting type from Home Depot) 1    Pipe Cutter (micro) 1    Pipe Cutter (small) 1    Pipe Cutter (medium) 1    Pipe Cutter (large)
1    Reciprocating Saw     (lots of blades for both metal and wood) 1    Grinder 1    Large Hole Hawg Drill     (lots of bits for different holes) 1    Portable Drill (Dewalt rechargeable)     (lots of bits for diffent cuts, etc) 1    Volt meter (get a good one like Fluke) 1    Digital Manometer (if you work on water heaters) 1    Hammer 1    6-Way screwdriver 1    LONG screwdriver (esp. for tank bolts) 1    Small Size channel locks 1    Medium Size channel locks 1    Large Size channel locks 1    Small Size Pipe Wrench 1    Medium Size Pipe Wrench 1    Large Size Pipe Wrench 1    Extra Large Pipe Wrench if you work on larger pipes 1    Chain cutter (for cast iron) 1    Chop saw with cast-iron blade 1    Pipe Threader (manual)     (3/4 and 1/2 bits minimum)     Note: if you work on larger pipes, you'll need a power threader 1    Bottle    thread cutting oil 1    Set    Phillips screwdrivers (misc. sizes) 1    Set    Flat screwdrivers (misc. sizes) 1    Set    Metric & Standard Allen Wrenches 2    Drop Cords (100-feet) 1    Drop Cord (12-feet) 1    6' Fiberglass Ladder 1    Small "stinger" shop vac 12    Shop Towels (you'll use these more than anything on your truck) 1    Box of surgical booties so you don't track mud 1    Pair safety glasses (don't buy goggles, they steam up) 1    Safety harness (if you do commercial work) 1    Electric Cable Hoist (110-volt) to hoist water heaters into attic area 1    Closet Auger 1    Strap wrench (not the rubber-strap type)
This is NOT a complete list. The above items will reduce your trips to the supply house if you
keep these items stocked on your truck.
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You are wayyyyy heavy on a lot of items.

IE
2 Fluidmaster Kits 4 Water Closet Supply Tubes 2 Angle Stops/Sweat 2 Angle Stops, threaded 2 straight stops 1 or 2 escutcheon plates 3 Wax Seals 2 packs toilet bolts 2 packs tank/bowl bolts 2 universal tank/bowl seals You need the American standard kind and the other kind. 2 universal fill tubes 4 flappers

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I think you're a little on the light side. Maybe we can agree on somewhere in the middle.
I like to keep my truck decently stocked because those supply house runs (avg. 1-1/2 hours for drive time, wait on inept counter help, drive back). But like you suggest, it doesn't make much sense to over-do anything.
I think we forgot wire nuts in the earlier list.
Doesn't look like we're getting much feedback. So this might pretty much be THE LIST.
Yawn....very difficult to get plumbers to work together on things. In my area, that's a big reason why we have pricing all over the damn map and we have contractors screwing one plumber and bouncing over to the next victim. Nobody communicates to one another.

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"Blackbeard"
Well, in my truck I used to carry: Fishing pole & tackle Tennis racket Table Tennis paddle Bowling ball
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How often do you go the supply house to stock up? It seems that once a week to replenish stock items is about right but with what you have for stock I can't see using even half in a week.
BTW, I don't do service but am going to start up a service truck this coming year and that stock list can come in handy.
What area of the country do you guys live in?
dave
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Well that's one of the ideas regarding this list. To jointly compile a "needs" list regarding tools/materials/etc.
There are other items that nobody has mentioned. Some items pertaining more to commercial plumbing have been excluded (like those expensive waste kits for commercial restaurant equipment; misc. fittings for gas piping and other testing kits, etc.)
You can't carry everything on your truck. In fact, I've found you can save a bundle of money by running small truck for your small repair jobs. Doesn't make sense to send a huge F350 (at 8-miles per gallon) over to job with a clogged toilet. A minivan works better than a truck for small repair jobs. Plenty of room to store your materials. Lots of windows to SEE instead of crunching down inside a box van trying to get your materials together. And gas mileage on a minivan is better than 20-mpg. That MPG thing makes a difference when you're running all over town.
Let's all try to keep adding to this list. It will prove a valuable little list to keep on hand. And don't forget the tools portion of the list. A good handfull of other tools I did not mention. I also didn't mention that a grinder costs about $40-bucks and will cut cast iron just fine. And a grinder will give you a cleaner cut. And a grinder will allow you to work in a tighter spot. I rarely carry my snap cutter anymore. It's bulky and, in my opinion, obsolete for most of the work I do. Even on my all-cast iron jobs, I use a chop saw with cast iron blade. It cuts MUCH faster and MUCH more accurately. So you can save yourself the $400 price by buying a good 4-1/2" grinder instead of snap cutters.
Where am I located..? I'm in North Carolina. People are guarded about being too open with sharing information. Personally, I think the more honest we are with one another, the better off we are. ALL of us. In my area, plumbers are charging between $60/hour - $200/hour. There are some non-licensed guys who are charging less than $60/houor. I use a split-rate. I charge homeowners $127.50/hour. I charge my property managers $87.50/hour.
If you charge split rates, be sure the show your $127.50 charge and give them their lower rate shown as a discount. You are allowed to write-off DISCOUNTS to expense. In fact, ANY discount you ever offer below your normal rates should be shown as a DISCOUNT for tax purposes.
In addition to the rates shown above, we use a flat-rate system where our hourly rate is calculated on fixed time.
One thing many customers don't seem to understand...handyman "unlicensed" plumbers work slower than the licensed guys. Not because they're super speedy. But because experience gives a licensed man a decided advantage. So that unlicensed guy charging $50/hour might actually cost MORE than paying a licensed plumber the full rate they ask. Do the math yourself.
2 hours (unlicensed) x $50/hour = $100 1 hour (licensed plumber) x 127.50 = $127.50 (plus the job work is covered by our insurance and the entire job is guaranteed). So if the potential flood...and the ensuing damage that follows isn't worth the extra $27.50, go ahead and hire the unlicensed guy.
Yes, this is very simplified math. But I think you get my gist. huh.
Blackbeard
On 19 Dec 2004 00:02:29 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Guitarzoid) wrote:

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I work in the Denver area and am not afraid to give details about my business. I like your candor. The going rate here is from 80/hour to 120/hour. Some flat rater companies get around 3 to 4 hundred dollars an hour. They use an estimating guide called "PSI" or some such thing. They will cut in a 4" ABS or PVC cleanout in a waste stack in an open basement for 980.00. I think that's robbery but people pay it.
The rates here are all over the board. I Still charge on the low end of 80/hour and 20 percent mark up on fixtures.
Dave
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(Guitarzoid) wrote:

good idea.
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$980.00 seems a fair price to me.

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metioned are water heater extras. Earthquake straps. I still run into w/h without straps even though it's been code here for years. Flex connectors leak also and I carry a couple of them also. Thermocouplings. I hate driving to get a pidly $4 part. But some of these things may be regional also.
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