Vans with filthy roofs

Discussion in 'Car and Van Talk' started by vrDrew63, May 20, 2022.

  1. vrDrew63

    vrDrew63 Active Member

    I live in a three-storey townhouse. From the upper windows I have a very clear view of the street outside my house, and I'm often struck at the frankly shocking state of the roofs of many of the vans used by tradespeople.

    I understand that a van is a working vehicle. It's there to do a job. To haul tools, supplies, and a technician to and from a jobsite. It's not there to look pretty. And I know a tradesperson's time is money.

    I know its hard to keep vehicles clean. The climate doesn't often cooperate. Many of our roads are covered with mud and fall-out.

    But I'd counter by saying that a van is a rolling business card. An advertisement for the business and the skill of the tradesman who drives it. And a van also often represents a considerable financial investment on the part of its owner and driver.

    All that filth is hastening the deterioration of the paint work. Accelerating rust. And who knows, probably worsening fuel economy into the bargain.

    Please, working pros who own and drive vans: Every few months, take a stepladder and a pressure washer, and maybe some snow foam and an agitator brush, and clean off the top of your van.

    I think you'll be glad you did.
  2. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    I have to assume that this was written tongue in cheek ... either that or you really need to get a life.

    If the state of a tradesperson's van is important enough to you to warrant writing about it heaven help those who commit real attrocities. :eek:
    Hell68, WeCanDoIt, CGN and 2 others like this.
  3. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    "An advertisement for the business and the skill of the tradesman who drives it".

    I'd agree that a shiny new van does portray an image of credibility, but it can also act as a good cover for the rogue, chancer or conman.
    It's easy to lease or hp a new van, anyone can do it, no specific skills involved whatsoever.
    Hell68, rogerk101, WeCanDoIt and 3 others like this.
  4. Wayners

    Wayners Screwfix Select

    Just write clean me and draw a you know what on the next dirty van you see. Seems to be a popular past time.

    Where are the mods tonight? Gee.
    I'm off..
    rogerk101, WeCanDoIt and CGN like this.
  5. AnotherTopJob

    AnotherTopJob Screwfix Select

    I'd be more worried about a dashboard covered with a year's worth of receipts, Sun newspapers and McDonald's wrappers!
    Sean4prawn, Hell68, rogerk101 and 3 others like this.
  6. vrDrew63

    vrDrew63 Active Member

    No. Completely serious.

    Personally I believe that, whatever one's trade or craft, maintaining your tools is a cornerstone of excellence. In my wood shop I'll regularly take the time to burnish the tablesaw top with steel wool and seal it with beeswax. Sharpen the blades. As a result, the tools work better. They last longer. If I decide to sell one, I'll get a better price for it. And, in the rare instances when a customer comes into my workshop, then I have to believe that the appearance gives them added confidence in the quality and attention to detail that I'll expend on their project.

    For many tradespeople their van IS a vital tool. Most electricians and plumbers will probably, over the course of a career, spend more on vans than they will on any trade-specific tools.

    When I engage tradespeople its because I want a long-term fix. I want to have confidence that they've thought about all the things that could deteriorate or go wrong, not just next week, but a year or five years from now.

    A van with years worth of moss and filth on its roof doesn't do that for me.
  7. Jord86

    Jord86 Screwfix Select

  8. longboat

    longboat Screwfix Select

    "A van with years worth of moss and filth on its roof doesn't do that for me"

    I know what you mean, the plasterer I'd been using for nigh on 15 years primarily because he turned up when he said he would, did a fantastic job, was a pleasure to work with, got on great with the clients, tidied all his mess up, charged a reasonable rate and always kept his van in a clean condition.
    Last year I had him come in to plaster a kitchen which was on the third (top) floor in some apartments, he let me down really bad.
    I couldn't believe I'd had the wool pulled over my eyes for so long, to use the word devastating is understating my sense of grief.
    I sacked him on the spot.
  9. stevie22

    stevie22 Screwfix Select

    Many years ago in industry we bought a big transit van for the site. Had it painted company green: looked great. Following week I'm up in head office at the same time the foreman has come up to collect some gear. Looking down from the boss's office I see a great white blob on the roof: they hadn't sprayed it all!! Fortunately the boss dpesn't see this little ricket 'else I suspect he would have given me earache for a long time.
    WeCanDoIt likes this.
  10. Sparkielev

    Sparkielev Screwfix Select

    Do you check the van roof before you employ a tradesman?
  11. CGN

    CGN Screwfix Select

    Never judge a book by its cover.
    rogerk101 and Astramax like this.
  12. MRY

    MRY Screwfix Select

    "Who's got a dirty van then"

    (with apologies)
  13. Astramax

    Astramax Super Member

    I have believed for many years that the police checked under cars with mirrors to look for bombs not moss. :eek:
    Sparkielev and rogerk101 like this.
  14. chesterw

    chesterw Well-Known Member

    When did you last clean the roof?
    Robot Enthusiast and rogerk101 like this.
  15. vrDrew63

    vrDrew63 Active Member

    I cleaned the gutters and soffits in early April. Because the gutters collect leaves and debris. And the soffits build up spider webs and other mysterious filth. The actual roof tiles themselves? A visual inspection showed that they were in pretty good shape. But if I did start seeing moss, or broken tiles, etc. - then it would be addressed.

    I don't wash my building every week, or every month, or even every year. But it does need to be cleaned sometime. For me, the cleaning process is an opportunity to get up close and see what's going on. I'd far rather deal with broken or deteriorated building fabric before it causes a leak or damage that will be far more costly and disruptive if left unattended.

    A van that has green moss growing on its roof is a van that is NEVER properly washed. And never is, IMHO, not a good sign.
    Last edited: May 21, 2022
  16. rogerk101

    rogerk101 Screwfix Select

    Frankly I'd be far more impressed by a tradesperson if I knew they were spending their non-revenue-earning time doing something worthwhile ... with their family if they have one, or with their mates, or even alone doing something creative. Far better for their health (both physical and mental) than the mindless and unnecessary task of cleaning.
    I'm all in favour of cleaning if it improves performance or longevity, but not if it's just for show. I have a Y reg Toyota Yaris as my runaround car. It has NEVER been washed, and is still absolutely fine. However, I do an excellent job of maintaining its mechanical stuff such that it sails through the MOT every year.
    Hell68 and stevie22 like this.
  17. Hell68

    Hell68 Active Member

    Have you ever tried climbing up and balancing on a step ladder and pressure washing the roof of your van - which incidentally could be 2.5 to 3 metres high!
    One which no one can see and as such wont affect or reflect on a person's business!

    Maybe you should offer your services? :D
    rogerk101 likes this.
  18. Timbo66

    Timbo66 Active Member

    You can come and wash the roofs of my vans if you like. Just so your sensitive nature won't be offended if you should happen to be looking down your nose at it.
    Quite frankly, I don't give a cr@p.
    rogerk101, chesterw and spannerw like this.
  19. candoabitofmoststuff

    candoabitofmoststuff Screwfix Select

    As a potential customer...
    The basic premise of the original post i agree with, i.e. the general tidyness/cleanliness and demeanor of a tradesman might have an influence on whether or not I employ them...

    But a dirty van roof! I can't see that influencing me at all!

    rogerk101 likes this.
  20. Robot Enthusiast

    Robot Enthusiast Active Member

    Have you ever seen the roof of a double decker bus? Very visible if you live on the 2nd or 3rd floor. Terrible advert for TFL.

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice