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Last Post 03/28/2014 4:33 AM by  AcceleratedAdjuster
In 2012
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ChuckDeaton
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Posts:1110


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09/10/2012 2:32 PM
A consideration, when buying a used vehicle, is the total number of that vehicle were sold. I am finding out the hard way. My 18 year old Chevrolet diesel constituted 1% of the vehicles Chevrolet sold in 1964, now when I need a part it has to come from the dealer and be shipped in.

Jud is correct about Consumer Reports.
"Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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earthwindnfire
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12/04/2012 8:15 PM
If you pull a 5th wheel or a bumper pull trailer to your assignment, a 3/4 ton deisel is heaven. I pull out to the storms from Oregon and vacation on the way home when the claims are finished. If your work product is good they'll keep you around long enough on an assignment to pay off a used rig in no time. I update every other year or so and hand the used rigs off to one of the kids.
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pondman
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Posts:90


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01/04/2013 11:57 AM
You are investing in "your" company. Probably being a start up company as most of us all remember, start with what you feel comfortable and then upgrade after some deployments. I have seen pictures of many quite unusual set-ups. Just remember this is your buisness, be smart with the money.

" A VW Bug with pillow, 28 ft. ladder, 2 bungy cords will not suffice" - signed Human Resources Director
Give them what they want, when they want it, and how they want it !
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Tim Wieneke
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01/20/2013 12:02 PM

I'm in the midst of buying a vehicle right now and having done claims in a full size car, a compact car, a full size pickup and a mid-size SUV I have to say the best overall performer was the midsize SUV. In my case it was the Ford Escape as of the last time I checked.  They have a 4 cylinder 4WD that gets 28-30 mpg which are rather sexy figures.  I'm going to a dealer next week to check one out, used of course.  This business beats up vehicles and I don't feel like paying for depreciation. One thing I do now though is when I go check out a car I take my laptop with me and see if I can work on it in the front seat.

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Tim Wieneke
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01/20/2013 2:58 PM
Btw, I did have one adjuster suggest something rather brilliant to me. He said if you get a truck, buy a white one and get one of those detachable yellow flashing lights that you can put on the roof when you park it. Don't even have to turn it on, just have it on there. One like this: http://www.amazon.com/Wolo-Hawkeye-...hing+light

He used to do this while installing security systems. His theory was that if you're in a CAT and have to park your vehicle in an area that may get you ticketed, this generally gives the impression that you're supposed to be there and gets police to leave you alone. It's only 50 bucks and worth a shot.  Caveat:  I have no idea if there's a legal issue with this.


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Leland
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02/03/2013 3:37 PM
$1450 bought on the street in Philadelphia. 1994 Plymough Voyager with about 110,000 miles. Note ladder rack for 20' ladder. Sold to the junk man in Brooklyn for $375. Cost of ownership for 2 months: $1075.00., or about $18.00 per day. I was disappointed I had to sell it so cheap, in hindsight I should have bought a much nicer mini-van for about $3000, and sold it for a much smaller discount, dropping my cost to maybe $200.00 or even a small profit. I was concerned about investing $3000 so I went with a cheaper vehicle. I would have been better off to spend a little more and lose a lot less, but I didn't expect the transmission would fail. Then again, that could happen with any used vehicle.  But even with that result it worked OK for me financially. Since I came from the West Coast it didn't pay to drive, especially when considering gas + food + lodging + lost work time. I think mini vans with roof top luggage racks are fantastic for adjusters. They are cheap, often in great condition, great for storage, seat several people if needed, easier to carry a ladder than a pick up truck, more secure storage than a pick up. In a pinch you could sleep in it. I would recommend getting a prettier newer one then I did, though. But it worked OK for me to get one this old, and I think this is a great option for adjusters (especially new adjusters) who would like to have some money left over after all their expenses. As any old biker will tell you, "Chrome don't get you home..."
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Leland
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Posts:741


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02/12/2013 3:57 PM
This, in my opinion, is a great adjuster vehicle. One flaw is this one has the spoiler over the back window that most don't. Maybe this is the "sport" model? One of these bad boys will set you back about $3000.00. I drove one for Katrina and it was great. And the ladder rack is stronger than it looks, plenty good for a lightweight 20' ladder.
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mxr618
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01/23/2014 8:41 PM
I thought I'd revisit this thread with an update.

I did $68,000 miles last year with an '08 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. I'm mostly a daily claims guy. I realized in autumn that I didn't need a V6 at 17MPG to carry ladders around but didn't have the time to switch vehicles until December.

I bought a '10 Volkswagen turbodiesel wagon that gets around 36 mpg on the highway with a 17' Little Giant and a 28' extension ladder on the roof rack. The rear holds my climbing equipment, Red Wings (for fire claims) and all my associated gear with no problem....without folding the seat down. If I know I won't need the extension ladder I can ditch it and put the Little Giant inside and remove the Thule roof rack for better MPG.

I've had it in Chicago with no problem (they don't plow the side streets), the sticks of IL and MO, and everywhere in between with no hassle.

The car itself was $17k with 70,000 miles on it. At the moment my calculations say I'm saving over $300 per month in fuel costs or five tanks of gas that would have gone into the Dakota. For those of you keeping score at home, that's real money.

Highway range is about 6.5 hours to 7 hours if I baby it. They raised the speed limits in IL to 70mph but it doesn't have a noticeable effect on MPG.

I'm happy so far. No complaints and it has a very cool stereo and seat warmers. It may be too early to tell but at the moment I'd recommend it to anybody who does serious miles.

Funny side note: the dealer was excited to tell me about the two year / 24,000 mile warranty that came with it. He deflated a little when told him that warranty would get me to the end of May.
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hailking
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01/27/2014 8:17 PM

I also bought a 2011 Jetta Sportwagan TDI (diesel)....17ft little giant fits easily inside and the 26ft fits on the rack.  36-42mpg average.  I sometimes miss the minivan space, but I like going 500+ miles between fill ups. 

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Leland
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
Posts:741


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02/19/2014 1:28 AM
This is an interesting historical side note, what the claims director might have driven in 1967. A Chrysler Imperial with a factory "Mobile Director" package, including a folding desk and a swivel passenger seat so the secretary can take dictation

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141193409951
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AcceleratedAdjuster
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Posts:165


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02/19/2014 7:33 AM
Posted By Leland on 02/19/2014 1:28 AM
This is an interesting historical side note, what the claims director might have driven in 1967. A Chrysler Imperial with a factory "Mobile Director" package, including a folding desk and a swivel passenger seat so the secretary can take dictation

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141193409951


I immediately thought "I must have it" and then realized that not only do I not get out in the field nearly as much as I used to, but that my gasoline sucking Ram has a better ladder rack and a desk that (if I bring anyone along) can be used to take notes or type up claims on the go. Most of the times that we have tried the "work while driving" thing, the person trying to work ends up carsick.

On a side note, anyone who is responding to a catastrophe event during the initial flurry should have a high clearance vehicle and ladders that will allow them to access 2 story roofs. Many, many times, I have driven over 18" tree limbs, through several feet of water, mud, swamp grass and a host of other interesting things. Upon arrival, I discover that the eaves of the risk are 20'+ high. A nice shiny new Jetta and a mini giant simply will not do that. A $1500 minivan and a 24' ladder might, since one is typically not too worried about beating a temporary vehicle to death (though if it is "hard" debris, you would probably rip the oil pan out from under yourself). For those taking a week or more to respond, I guess that a vehicle with good fuel economy might be a decent way to go, but your productivity will be greatly hindered by your inability to get to the tougher places.

One also has to keep appearances in mind. IA's are often the only humans representing the insurance carrier that the insureds have ever seen (a lot of them don't even physically meet their agents). If you show up in a beater with ladders half hazardly strapped on with bungee cords, you do not look professional. You don't have to have a full sized truck with a crew cab, toolbox, ladder rack, assorted ladder sizes, etc (though I and the majority of the "professional" adjusters that I know have most of these.. professional meaning that we do this for a living all year round and do not end up slinging shingles or flipping burgers when cat season ends), but you do need to appear to be adequately equipped, professional and competent. If you ask two contractors to come and bid on a project in your home, while appearances do not always reflect quality work product, if one showed up in a beater with a ladder strapped on with electrical wire or bungee cords and the other shows up in a well kept work truck with a professional appearance, if you had little information beyond appearance (and many insureds do not), you can guess who you would select to do the job. It would probably be the one that looked like they do what they do professionally. That said, one can still look professional in car with a mini giant.. staffers manage to do so all the time, but they do not/can not access high or steep roofs. 

 

That said, if you do not need a ladder for the inspection, drive whatever you want. 

www.acceleratedadjusting.com www.acceleratedadjustingisrael.com
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epkirkman
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03/25/2014 1:19 AM
I just joined the forums today. I have to say, I spent the entire day reading most of the post from the last few years. Perfect advice...and I noticed you did not get one response.

Perfect post.
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Jud G.
Advanced Member
Advanced Member
Posts:509


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03/27/2014 2:11 PM

If you get to be a head honcho like Accelerated Adjuster, you can always pony up for a Tesla Model S. The ultimate devlopment in electric cars (no gas at all) with a 300 mile range. Recharges take about an hour.

Granted, with a base tag of $60,000 you might give most customers the wrong idea. Some carriers prohibit adjusters from having luxury cars. Some carriers who service higher earning clientele provide luxury autos for adjusters' company cars; this gives their customers the idea that the adjuster is not going to count the beans when it comes time to evaluating their loss.

I'm willing to bet that once Elon Musk's (TSLA CEO) R&D expenditures pay off with consistent sales of his game changing automobiles, Tesla will begin manufacturing autos that are affordable for us middle class folks.  My bet is that this will happen in about three years.

In reference to earlier posts about Consumer Reports (CR), CR lavishes nothing but praise for this brand.

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AcceleratedAdjuster
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Posts:165


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03/28/2014 4:33 AM
Posted By Jud G. on 03/27/2014 2:11 PM

If you get to be a head honcho like Accelerated Adjuster, you can always pony up for a Tesla Model S. The ultimate devlopment in electric cars (no gas at all) with a 300 mile range. Recharges take about an hour.

Granted, with a base tag of $60,000 you might give most customers the wrong idea. Some carriers prohibit adjusters from having luxury cars. Some carriers who service higher earning clientele provide luxury autos for adjusters' company cars; this gives their customers the idea that the adjuster is not going to count the beans when it comes time to evaluating their loss.

I'm willing to bet that once Elon Musk's (TSLA CEO) R&D expenditures pay off with consistent sales of his game changing automobiles, Tesla will begin manufacturing autos that are affordable for us middle class folks.  My bet is that this will happen in about three years.

In reference to earlier posts about Consumer Reports (CR), CR lavishes nothing but praise for this brand.


Funny guy. Not enough range and no ladder rack available :)

www.acceleratedadjusting.com www.acceleratedadjustingisrael.com
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