• The Transit averages around 21 MPG (city/highway) loaded and keeps my gear dry in Tennessee's abrupt summer downpours. The payload capacity is 1,500 pounds inside and 150 pounds on the roof. I installed the rack; it cost about $350.

    Credit: Aaron Telian

    The Transit averages around 21 MPG (city/highway) loaded and keeps my gear dry in Tennessee's abrupt summer downpours. The payload capacity is 1,500 pounds inside and 150 pounds on the roof. I installed the rack; it cost about $350.

Try to be modular. Milk crates slide in next to each other nicely. Festool Systainers stack. Having some dimensional standards for your storage makes it more space-efficient and also more adaptive. You can't be a one-stop construction shop in a Transit. Everything needs to earn its place. Every month or two, I find an opportunity to completely unload my van, assess what I'm using and not using, and reorganize. The demands of the job are always changing so it's worth spending the time to keep your setup in top form and get rid of dead weight.

Try to be modular. Milk crates slide in next to each other nicely. Festool Systainers stack. Having some dimensional standards for your storage makes it more space-efficient and also more adaptive. You can't be a one-stop construction shop in a Transit. Everything needs to earn its place. Every month or two, I find an opportunity to completely unload my van, assess what I'm using and not using, and reorganize. The demands of the job are always changing so it's worth spending the time to keep your setup in top form and get rid of dead weight.

Credit: Aaron Telian

We've heard some of the good, but what about the limitations to this sort of setup? While I've successfully carried sheets of plywood or long bundles of trim on the roof rack, you're not going to be hauling a lot of material, and you're certainly not going to be towing. With its 2L 4-cylinder engine the Transit is doing well to get itself down the road. The interior is Spartan, and the handling and ride are not what you’d call plush. There is a fair amount of road noise in the cab, and it tends to vibrate annoyingly at stop lights. If you get one of these vehicles you’ll need to steer clear of drive-throughs and parking garages. Trust me on this one.

We've heard some of the good, but what about the limitations to this sort of setup? While I've successfully carried sheets of plywood or long bundles of trim on the roof rack, you're not going to be hauling a lot of material, and you're certainly not going to be towing. With its 2L 4-cylinder engine the Transit is doing well to get itself down the road. The interior is Spartan, and the handling and ride are not what you’d call plush. There is a fair amount of road noise in the cab, and it tends to vibrate annoyingly at stop lights. If you get one of these vehicles you’ll need to steer clear of drive-throughs and parking garages. Trust me on this one.

Credit: Aaron Telian

The bottom line: The Transit is not going to win any pull-offs or beauty contests, but it's an extremely practical vehicle for construction professionals in the lighter trades. Many service companies are starting to use them, and I expect we will see similar models from other manufacturers hit the market in the next couple of years.

The bottom line: The Transit is not going to win any pull-offs or beauty contests, but it's an extremely practical vehicle for construction professionals in the lighter trades. Many service companies are starting to use them, and I expect we will see similar models from other manufacturers hit the market in the next couple of years.

Credit: Aaron Telian