Hooniverse Weekend Edition – A Sprinter with a Flatbed

I am just getting back to posting the Weekend Edition after returning from the NTEA Work Truck Show, when this shows up in our in-box. Our very own Tanshanomi suggested that we feature it since he really liked it, and truth be told, I do as well. There are very few of these Sprinter Cab & Chassis models imported, and most of them have a box body attached to them. Blake even ran a posting about Flatbeds, so let’s explore this Dodge Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with a Flatbed.

This particular Sprinter was the one with the 5 Cylinder 2.7L Turbo Diesel with a Mercedes 5-speed Automatic, and with proper maintenance is virtually bulletproof. According to the listing:

One owner lease return from Texas, no accidents, 12×7 foot aluminum bed, low miles (87,978), 22 miles per gallon, 2 near new front tires, Graphite Gray exterior.

This truck is an 11,000# GVW Truck, and the Aluminum Bed weighs practically nothing, and if I’m correctly remember, this will haul close to 3 Tons of cargo. The asking price for this machine is $19,980, which I think is a bit rich (especially since it needs 4 rear tires), but what do you think? See the dealer listing here.

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  1. scoutdude Avatar

    Definitely a rare beast. Needing new tires (and brakes) is the norm for the Sprinter. I'm not sure how or why but they can shred as set of tires in 15K or less.

    1. 7shades Avatar

      I own a Vito 115cdi (essentially a smaller sprinter, with the same driveline) and yes, they have an issue with tyres and brakes which I have FINALLY managed to negate after 70k (kilometres) of tweaking.
      The tyre wear issue stems from a lack of negative camber. I installed eccentric bushes on the lower control arms and I'm now running about 1.2deg of negative, with the castor and steering adjusted to compensate. It took a few attempts to get the settings right, at first it was quite unstable at freeway speed or under heavy braking, but now it drives as-per-factory with normal tyre wear.
      As for the brakes, the Benz OEM rotors and pads are very soft. Apparently European drivers prefer a very hard and direct pedal feel, though this does come at the expense of longevity.
      I replaced mine @ 10k with DBA (Australian made) rotors and bendix pads and have only changed pads once in the 60k since. Rotors are still perfect.

  2. PrawoJazdy Avatar

    As much as I applaud the advancement of the work van and especially this here flatbed van (Flan? Vlatbed?) there is nothing like driving a good GMC Savana or Ford Econoline rape mobile. I think having to fight the steering while barreling down the highway at 80 MPH is part and parcel of the van driving experience.

    1. Maymar Avatar

      80? You're a braver man than I, I back off a little over 65 (although having my employer's logo plastered all over the van helps).

      1. PrawoJazdy Avatar

        They do get hairy around 60 don't they? I work for a dealer and they insist we have our plate frame on our cars, so that keeps the demo speed down. I'm always afraid some nice old lady is going to call me in for doing 71.

        1. Maymar Avatar

          Heh, I work for a school board – I figure any mistakes are amplified by the "he could have killed my kids!" factor, even if I'm only on the highway at 5:30 in the morning.

          1. Van Sarockin Avatar
            Van Sarockin

            Weenies. I saw 95 in my FC Econoline once. 65 was a decent cruising speed. And with newer Econos, I've done hundreds of miles at a clip with an average of 80. In the rain. Really, not so many issues. And they handle better when loaded.

  3. 7shades Avatar

    As an Australian, I whole heartedly endorse this vehicle.
    Down 'ere, if it's a work vehicle, it has a trayback, a manual gearbox, and a diesel engine. If it doesn't, its a poser ute.
    There are very few exceptions to this rule, and any appeals for an exemption on behalf or the owner of aforementioned poser ute must be heard by a committee of his peers, whereapon the poser is given the opportunity to present his case, and the evidence is deliberated at length.
    These hearings can be exhausting… They can often take a whole weekend and several dozen beers. Each.

    1. Lotte Avatar

      How about a Ford Falcon, trayback, manual, and the turbo six? Money aside, I think that would be the bee's knees.
      Of course, it also depends on the owner, too. I'm readying my marmite-on-toast bribe already 🙂

  4. boxdin Avatar

    Agree w Falcon comment, but hey these Sprinters are cool.

  5. boxdin Avatar

    But whats w the Ford hubcaps on the rear

  6. boxdin Avatar

    These actually come to US as cab & chassis. Many go to RVs, lots to work situations too. Beds are added by local vendors, in this case; General Truck Body in Houston.

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