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View Full Version : Big, bad and expensive tow vehicles...why?


DennisF
05-23-2005, 01:47 AM
Every new mowing season I see more LCO's tugging a trailer half full of mowing equipment with bigger and more powerful tow vehicles. Now...I've been doing this for longer than I want to admit, but for the life of me I can't figure out why anyone needs more tow vehicle than is necessary.

The LCO's that have been around for a while know what I'm talking about.

I've been driving the same truck (only for my lawn care business) for the last 27 years and it has done the job flawlessly during that time. However, I'm seeing more of these new guys towing a 12-18 foot trailer containing nothing more than basic mowing equipment with a a $40,000+ truck. Big F-350 Super Duty trucks that are intended for towing with GVW's in the 15,000 pound and above range.

Now for the record most of these guys are mowing lawns and nothing more. No landscaping or heavy hauling. Just mowing gear.

What are they thinking? Why would you spend that much money on a tow vehicle to move 3-5 thousand pounds of lawn mowing equipment. Is this an ego thing, or just poor business management skills?

The mowing equipment is not getting any heavier and the trailers are getting lighter. The prices for mowing services haven't increased and in fact have actually fallen in real dollar terms...so it can't be that they have more capital to invest.

So my question is...why spend so much money on a vehicle to support a business that requires lighter and more efficient equipment?

olderthandirt
05-23-2005, 02:16 AM
So my question is...why spend so much money on a vehicle to support a business that requires lighter and more efficient equipment?
Have you seen the choices you can pick from? If you don't wamt an SUV then you need a truck and a base truck will cost 25k since a lot of guys use there work truck as a peronal vehical to tow there boats and campers etc. you move up in size and money. Also a newer vehical needs less repairs so you don't have that cash out put to worry about. And then theres the dependability factor, at 27 yrs old your truck will be eligable for historical plates in 3 yrs. And there is no way its as dependable as a new truck, Unless you spend a lot of time and money to keep it that way.

MTR
05-23-2005, 02:19 AM
I hear you Dennis, in fact I see every single day for what you said, spanking new F 350, 4 x 4 dually or 3500 HD 4 x4, and lately Dodge 4x4 Hemi pulling 6 x 12 trailer with a 42" Z and a 36" WB with the rest of 2 cycle stuff. The best part, they lowball a lot too, I have these guys with 30-40k truck trying to undercut some of my accounts, like I charge $90 a month, they want to do it for $75 or $ 80 like that.
Well, big rig, huge gas bill, someone "has" to foot that bill, they must have to do something to compensate for operating costs. I don't get it driving that expensive truck and sit it all day out in the sun to depreciate ...
I am happy with my 94 F 150 anyway, towing my eXmark and my boat..no worry...all paid for.

Envy Lawn Service
05-23-2005, 02:20 AM
Nothing wrong with a 3/4 ton for the heavy duty parts, as well as extra pulling and stopping power.... especially if you live in an area like I do.

Nothing wrong with a good dump if you haul a lot or pull tractors, skid steers, ect.

But not for a small trailer load of mowing equipment....

And certainly not a NEW truck.
I just can't see that kind of money either.
Not for a work truck.

Lawn-Scapes
05-23-2005, 02:35 AM
So my question is...why spend so much money on a vehicle to support a business that requires lighter and more efficient equipment?

Maybe.... Because it's their choice. Maybe they have great expectations?

How do you know what they're doing 24/7?

Why ask why? Are you really that concerned? Jealous?

Who cares? :p

Itsgottobegreen
05-23-2005, 02:38 AM
My F-150 2wd is great for mowing. But my new 16 foot enclosed makes the gas gauge drop. But it pulls it just fine.

I do need a F-350 diesel to haul my 1971 bobcat m600 (grandfather gave me a new toy, but I got to fix it first) or my soon to come Kubota B2910. Its more of weight tow issue to keep DOT happy.

I love these guys with a $45,000 F-350 dually to two 2 lazers on a 18' trailer. My one buddy used a $16,000 F-150 V6 5 speed with two Lazers and a 14' trailer. Cost him a clutch so far.

Another thing is every body thinks you have to have a F-350 diesel to put a plow on a truck so you don't tear up the truck. You really end up tearing up the plow. Only a blizzard 810 really needs a F-350. The rest can get by with a F-150 or F-250. Heck a cj5 jeep with a 6.5' plow is the best plow vehicle. Its only got a 4 banger.

You really need 2 trucks. A work truck and then a personal truck. A white XL and a metallic paint lariat. So you don't trash a nice truck.

Dashunde
05-23-2005, 02:46 AM
... and lately Dodge 4x4 Hemi pulling 6 x 12 trailer with a 42" Z...

My Big Ol' Quad Cab 4x4 HEMI came before my mower/trailer/lco. Bought new in 04.
I'd maybe argue that several of us have had our trucks longer than our current crop of equipment.

I have a friend out in Kansas City that is an lco... he has a Quad Cab 3500 Dually with the Cummins 5.9. To watch him pull his lawn trailer around with it you would think the same about him - over kill.
If you saw him pulling his 30+' gooseneck with one enormous competition mud run truck AND an almost as big 900HP buggy you would think very differently about his vehicle choice.

My point is that its foolish to think that these large trucks are ONLY used for lco work.

And another thought...
I'd bet almost anything that the 5.9 Cummins in that 3500 burns a helluva lot less fuel than any reasonably powerful 83 Chevy.
I've personally seen it do 23mpg pulling the goose with the buggy on. (6-Speed)

Todd's lawncare
05-23-2005, 02:54 AM
Maybe.... Because it's their choice. Maybe they have great expectations?

How do you know what they're doing 24/7?

Why ask why? Are you really that concerned? Jealous?

Who cares? :p
Couldn't say it any better !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

Envy Lawn Service
05-23-2005, 03:27 AM
Well, I figured this would go about as well as hitting a hornet's nest with a ball bat.
But oh well...

I still think DennisF was trying to make a good point though. I say to each his own. But I gotta laugh at the guy towing a belt drive Toro 44" with a 3/4 ton truck. His truck costs more than he clears a year no doubt.... I also gotta laugh at the yuppie who has the big truck that has never hauled or towed anything....

Likewise, I sure some guy sees me on his way to the post office to mail his truck payment and laughs his azz off because my trailer and cargo is worth more than the tow vehicle.

But I think this takes us back to the point DennisF was trying to make. My truck looks acceptable and does it's job without costing me $40K for something uneeded. The truck gets you from point A to point B.... It don't earn you squat! So why carry the extra overhead?

ajmctree
05-23-2005, 03:43 AM
I know for myself i would want no other vehicle than a big truck except maybe a 67 to 69 camaro to drive around in . There is nothing you cant do with it and with the cost of fuel the diesel is also attractive .I use my 2005 f-350 cc dually diesel for our buisness .we have a 16 ft 16000lb hydraulic lift trailer that we use daily and i go shopping and take the kids to school and sports in it .
For the amount of driving we do and the amount of large wild animals around my neck of the woods it also provides a large safty net in that not so rare instance that some hits one of these animals.
Case in point, this is the may long weekend and some one in one of those small neons hit a very large moose just outside of town .Well that car had its roof crushed in and we pulled the doors and cut the rest of the roof off to get these people out . With the truck it would of just really banged up the front end.
But as in everything in life you have your own reasons for doing what you do .

FredMaxwell
05-23-2005, 03:43 AM
It use to be a tax break for anything over 6000GVW but I thought they wrote that out of the tax codes/laws

I aint sure, though.

ajmctree
05-23-2005, 03:45 AM
Its also a hell of a right off while i enjoy it

captken
05-23-2005, 05:23 AM
I want to buy a 99' 350 from my uncle. It is a 4-door xlt super duty flatbed drw with the 7.3 liter turbocharged/inter-cooled diesel. It has 98k miles and is white in color.
I have a F-150 with a 351 3.8 liter V-8. Towing, it gets 8-10 mpg. Highway without the trailer, about 12mpg. It is paid for.
A customer of mine has a F-350 that he uses towing a 20,000 lb. enclosed trailer with living quarters and workshop, carrying his race boat around the country reports that he gets 10 mpg. Highway, average. Without the trailer, 16mpg.

I could load 2 pallets of sod on the flatbed and another 2 pallets of sod on the trailer and this truck will not break a sweat and get better mileage to boot.

My F-150 is a good truck, don't get me wrong. I just feel that at this point in time, I need to upgrade to a more efficient heavier duty truck.

I demoed a 2005 Ford 4 door F-150 this week [I rented one when mine went to the shop to have the transmission rebuilt and yes, I towed my trailer loaded with all my equipment with that Enterprise rental] and it didn't seem like it had the power that the current truck has. I was glad to get it back.

I can buy the truck from my Uncle at a savings, and will probably do so...So you all can might consider me frivolous if you happen to see me in a F 350 flatbed towing my landscape trailer loaded with my equipment.

The current issue of Turf Magizine has the headline "Image is Everything" how do your customers see you?
I hope they see me in that F-350.

HOMER
05-23-2005, 07:07 AM
I just like to hear the turbo spool up in my 3/4 ton Dodge with the silencer ring removed and the K&N filter!!!

I like knowing that if I need to pull something or somebody I can do it.
I've liked the tax relief it has given me for the past 3 years (lease) and now that I did the buy out........the tax relief I'm hoping to get this year!

I bought an older (1986) Dodge 250 with a 318---4spd. I was hoping it would pull the trailer (18' with 2-3 mowers). As long as you were on flat ground it would hold it's own.......the slightest grade and you were backing up traffic :help: . I finally sold it as it was NOT going to do the job. I guess once you do diesel you never wanna go back, at least not for me.

Now..........if I decide to start pulling my 10' trailer with just one mower.........I will be looking for a lesser truck with a lot lesser payment or no payment. Matter of fact I'll probably kick myself for selling the 86. This might be a need I have in the near future cause Daddy has caught the Harley bug and Daddy is gonna get him that Harley come hell or high water payup :cry: :waving:

I guess image is everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

surfisher211
05-23-2005, 07:24 AM
i pull everything with my good ol 1987 gmc 2500 truck is great, easy to fix and no payments on it lol. :blob3:

nocutting
05-23-2005, 07:42 AM
Hi, in my area most LCO's have 2-trucks,[ 1-for work, 1- for play]Dsl, cab overs w/dumps, uniformed employees, ect., ect.,, but when you see that spanking new rig on the road, it usally not a Full Time Guy?......Its a "Scrub",lol,lol,lol........this is the fireman / policeman on disability, or "Mommmy & Daddy's pride & joy" whos never had a full time job in his life?.....or the recently married guy that was always a "Drug Dealer" & his new in-laws wanna start "Jonny" off rite [ as hes now married to there only daughter?].........personally I think its "Funny", but thats me.......dont give it another thought! :)

surfisher211
05-23-2005, 07:53 AM
Its a "Scrub",lol,lol,lol........this is the fireman / policeman

are u saying firemen and police men are scrubs ? i am a firefighter and i will tell u that i am far from a scrub!

nocutting
05-23-2005, 08:06 AM
Regarding my last post.......of course not every fireman / policeman, drug dealer or married guy is a "scrub".....[ now doesnt this post seem alittle rediculous?]......but some of us are surely full timers[ have insurance, pay taxs, the whole 9-yrds], take educational courses, attend all sorts of training in the extended fields- arborculture,/ horticulture, hardscapeing, ect.......without takeing insult [ personally], this is just something that you notice when you're at the nursery, no -one seems to know the plant names, price codes, planting conditions, [ and they have a customer -in-tow]....its kind of comical / ironic to say the least............Try to have a "Great Day".....and make some cash? :) .

Tvov
05-23-2005, 08:18 AM
Another thing to remember about new trucks: Many times the dealers will give a "great deal" on a new truck if you move up one or two models. I know many guys who went to get an F-250 and ended up with an F-350 for the same price. As some have said here, a lot of the trucks are actually pulling heavier loads "off the clock" on weekends (boats, toys, etc).

Then again, I know a few young guys who work for local contractors and bought personal trucks that are actually heavier duty than their company trucks. To each their own.

Cigarcop
05-23-2005, 08:19 AM
Hey NOCUTTING,

I would have to say I take offense to your statement also, I retired from the police department on a disability after 15 years with two torn rotator cuffs, that came from fighting with the good citizens, executing search warrants and everything else that came from the great dump I worked in. Certainly not the way I thought my career would end but it did. I have worked hard to build a good business that I enjoy.
I also drive a new Ford F250SD that has commercial insurance, I have business insurance and pay taxes, far, far from a scrub. I take pride in my appearance and the work I, and my workers do.

Cigarcop
05-23-2005, 08:25 AM
Nocutting,

I agree lets go make some cash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

anothertractor
05-23-2005, 09:46 AM
Well, just speaking for myself here but I have a 2003 3500 Dodge quad cab 4x4 with high output diesel and 6 speed manual transmission. I got the 4 door so I can haul my family, the deisel becuse it gets good mileage and can pull several of my antique tractors to the pulls at once. I have a 4wd drive because I need it sometimes. It made more sence to me to buy one vehicle to do all that, than to buy a half ton truck to pull my mowers that gets poor mileage and cannot tow my tractors, a heavy truck to haul tractors, and a car to haul the family. Not to mention that I would have to pay insurance on all of these. I spent 33K on this one new vehicle that should last a long time. At least I hope so.

surfisher211
05-23-2005, 10:45 AM
commercial insurance, I have business insurance and pay taxes, far, far from a scrub. I take pride in my appearance and the work I, and my workers do.


same here!

brucec32
05-23-2005, 01:00 PM
I see this quite a bit, too. $40,000 HD pickups used to haul a trailer with a walkbehind or two on it. I'm sure some guys want the ability to haul heavy stuff when needed, but people often underestimate what the smaller and lighter pickups can do safely when the trailer is equipped with brakes also.

In between the initial cost, insurance, and fuel of these big rigs, many people who rarely use the heavy hauling capabilities would probably be better off renting a flatbed from Home Depot if they need to bring some heavy stuff to a jobsite.

They also apparently don't value a quieter, smoother ride and more nimble handling, as well as ease of parking, etc.

I knew a guy who bought a huge HD diesel Ford and 90% of the miles on it were commuting long distance to his regular job. The rest for hauling a light midsize wb and some other light stuff a couple days a week. He may have hauled landscape materials on it 3-4 times a year. But even then it was nothing a light duty fullsize pickup couldn't have handled.

I'm sure there's some sort of strange ego element to buying these big trucks. With fuel costs rising you may see more midsize pickups used, though the diesel lovers will want them for the fuel economy.

Itsgottobegreen
05-23-2005, 01:27 PM
this is the fireman / policeman on disability, :)
You just went way over the line there pal. About 1/3 of the guys on lawnsite are cops or firefighters. Just remember who protects you when you sleep. Neither job pays enought to support a family. I fight fires for free.

Mower For Less
05-23-2005, 01:38 PM
I've been driving the same truck (only for my lawn care business) for the last 27 years and it has done the job flawlessly during that time.


I just want to know how you have been driving an 83 Chevy for 27 years??? Even an early model year is only 22-23 years by my count. :rolleyes:

Kevin

gator-town
05-23-2005, 02:01 PM
It use to be a tax break for anything over 6000GVW but I thought they wrote that out of the tax codes/laws

I aint sure, though.


http://www.selfemployedweb.com/suv-tax-deduction-6.htm

... try this for additional information ... you only need to use it for 50% of your business related travel .

chefdrp
05-23-2005, 02:27 PM
I pull my mowers and stuff with my 2 wheel drive F-150 but also have a 2500 HD for winter and to plow with. I have used the 2500 to pull the trailer and mowers. I tried to use the 150 when i had to load the bed up with grass. The back sunk down so far the trailer was dragging. Had to call and have the 2500 save me. so yes maybe it has its place. LOL

freddyc
05-23-2005, 02:54 PM
For the record, I have a 6 x 10 trailer and I pull it with a 4 cylinder Toyota 4x4. The trailer is 3000 gvw and is plenty for my needs. :)

ztoro
05-23-2005, 03:37 PM
The only reason for this topic would be jealousy... Who really cares what other LCO's are driving....

I drive a deisel F250 because I want to... If I wanted to drive a little crap box I would do that as well....

I work a pretty high class area.... No one wants a sanford & Son truck parked in front of there million plus homes....

I do a lot of plowing, hauling, and towing with my rig and anything less wouldnt stand the abuse........ and assuming an lco's new hd trucks only purpose is for pulling one WB is pretty dumb..... you have no idea why they bought it....

CutNLawns
05-23-2005, 04:01 PM
What people choose to spend their $$$ is really no concern to others. I have a 2500HD crew and have never towed a thing with it. Not even a receiver in the hitch BUT after owning a ext cab before I do know that the crew is much easier to get the kids in/out, plenty of room for my hunting gear and all the other things I use it for. Being able to tow heavy equipment is just a bonus I may or may not use. Didn't buy a truck either for the cushy ride. Bought it for function and looks and the main reason is because I wanted it.

A $1500 mobile home will keep you warm and dry so why do people spend $$$ on a bigger, fancy home? Just because a truck can tow 20K lbs doesn't mean that is the only reason to buy it. Using some of the analogy in this thread then if i got a Corvette i would have to drive it 200mph everywhere because that is what it is built for i guess.

greenwithenvylandscape
05-23-2005, 04:57 PM
What people choose to spend their $$$ is really no concern to others. I have a 2500HD crew and have never towed a thing with it. Not even a receiver in the hitch BUT after owning a ext cab before I do know that the crew is much easier to get the kids in/out, plenty of room for my hunting gear and all the other things I use it for. Being able to tow heavy equipment is just a bonus I may or may not use. Didn't buy a truck either for the cushy ride. Bought it for function and looks and the main reason is because I wanted it.

A $1500 mobile home will keep you warm and dry so why do people spend $$$ on a bigger, fancy home? Just because a truck can tow 20K lbs doesn't mean that is the only reason to buy it. Using some of the analogy in this thread then if i got a Corvette i would have to drive it 200mph everywhere because that is what it is built for i guess.
Great post!! :blob3:

DennisF
05-23-2005, 05:11 PM
I just want to know how you have been driving an 83 Chevy for 27 years??? Even an early model year is only 22-23 years by my count. :rolleyes:

Kevin

Typo...sorry.

jbell113
05-23-2005, 05:28 PM
I used to haul my rig around with a 4 banger jeep wrangler. I just bought an 88 f 150 2wd for $2700. I would love to have a nice huge dodge quad cab but atleast the f 150 truck is paid for and its really all I need.

Mark McC
05-23-2005, 05:49 PM
The only reason I would have a 3/4 ton truck for my operation is to haul mulch. The delivery fees add up if you do a lot of that kind of work and frankly, some suppliers are not all that dependable for delivery. Also, if a municipality bans dropping mulch on the street, you have a big reason to want a bigger truck. My F-150 simply isn't going to haul much more than two yards unless I want to lose tread to the wheel well.

Also don't forget about the accelerated depreciation schedule. If you can get your hands on a $40,000 truck and write the whole enchilada off the first year...well, you get the picture.

nobagger
05-23-2005, 06:41 PM
I hear you Dennis, in fact I see every single day for what you said, spanking new F 350, 4 x 4 dually or 3500 HD 4 x4, and lately Dodge 4x4 Hemi pulling 6 x 12 trailer with a 42" Z and a 36" WB with the rest of 2 cycle stuff. The best part, they lowball a lot too, I have these guys with 30-40k truck trying to undercut some of my accounts, like I charge $90 a month, they want to do it for $75 or $ 80 like that.
Well, big rig, huge gas bill, someone "has" to foot that bill, they must have to do something to compensate for operating costs. I don't get it driving that expensive truck and sit it all day out in the sun to depreciate ...
I am happy with my 94 F 150 anyway, towing my eXmark and my boat..no worry...all paid for.
MTR, dido! There are a lot of new loc's in my area and over half have a 2yr old or newer F-350's, 1 ton Dodges etc. I love my 94 F150 but I will be in the market for a F250 this fall only because I do a lot of commercial plowing and salting in the winter. But it won't be a new one (unless its too good to pass up). I cram on my 7x12 trailer, a 48"w/b a 36"w/b a Little Wonder HPV, 2 21" push mowers and an edger and some more little things and it tows it fine.

DennisF
05-23-2005, 06:49 PM
A $1500 mobile home will keep you warm and dry so why do people spend $$$ on a bigger, fancy home? Just because a truck can tow 20K lbs doesn't mean that is the only reason to buy it. Using some of the analogy in this thread then if i got a Corvette i would have to drive it 200mph everywhere because that is what it is built for i guess.

Mobile homes and pick-up trucks decrease in value. Real estate increases in value. People that buy mobile homes do so because that's all they can afford.

BTW. I own a Corvette (or I should say my wife does) and it won't go 200 mph nor did I by it for that reason.

N.H.BOY
05-23-2005, 07:00 PM
Well what about that guy on here with his mini-van?? He is making out ok. with his van and new trailer. Looks kinda funny, but he gets paid.

Jpocket
05-23-2005, 09:34 PM
Have you seen the choices you can pick from? If you don't wamt an SUV then you need a truck and a base truck will cost 25k since a lot of guys use there work truck as a peronal vehical to tow there boats and campers etc. you move up in size and money. Also a newer vehical needs less repairs so you don't have that cash out put to worry about. And then theres the dependability factor, at 27 yrs old your truck will be eligable for historical plates in 3 yrs. And there is no way its as dependable as a new truck, Unless you spend a lot of time and money to keep it that way.

The average Joe can't mantain an older truck, but if your a mechanic, and know about the older trucks they are just as goo as new. my main trucks are a 76' and 86' c-30 Chevys, they have never ever left us anywhere..........BUT you do have to work on them occasionally

DennisF
05-23-2005, 09:57 PM
The only reason for this topic would be jealousy... Who really cares what other LCO's are driving....

I drive a deisel F250 because I want to... If I wanted to drive a little crap box I would do that as well....

I work a pretty high class area.... No one wants a sanford & Son truck parked in front of there million plus homes....

I do a lot of plowing, hauling, and towing with my rig and anything less wouldnt stand the abuse........ and assuming an lco's new hd trucks only purpose is for pulling one WB is pretty dumb..... you have no idea why they bought it....


Jealousy has nothing to do with the issue. It's nothing more than a question regarding the business sense of buying and operating a tow vehicle designed to haul far more weight than what they are being used for. The big trucks that I see on a regular basis are small lawn care operators, usually solo, towing a minimum of equipment. I see these guys everyday, all day long.

They must be cutting grass so they can make the truck payment.

I also own a 2005 Silverado Z71 that is my personal truck. I consider it a "back-up" tow vehicle for the 83 Chevy. I have no desire to use it on a daily basis for the business. It cost far to much to use as a service vehicle.

grassmanvt
05-23-2005, 10:25 PM
Jealousy has nothing to do with the issue. It's nothing more than a question regarding the business sense of buying and operating a tow vehicle designed to haul far more weight than what they are being used for. The big trucks that I see on a regular basis are small lawn care operators, usually solo, towing a minimum of equipment. I see these guys everyday, all day long.

They must be cutting grass so they can make the truck payment.

I also own a 2005 Silverado Z71 that is my personal truck. I consider it a "back-up" tow vehicle for the 83 Chevy. I have no desire to use it on a daily basis for the business. It cost far to much to use as a service vehicle.

I hear ya as far as not wanting to trash a new vehicle by putting it out in service but, on the other hand, if I spend money on a new rig if I don't use it to work it almost wouldnt be used. I really like driving newer reliable stuff to. This is a little off topic but get this, right now I am pulling a 20'trailer w/2 Z's,walk behind, toolbox, etc, with my half ton while my new dump truck has been sitting and being used as a grocery getter. Why you ask? I say why not? I was almost considering getting an escalade as a tow/plow rig, again why? because I can. :)

TheKingNJ
05-23-2005, 10:26 PM
so am i using an needlessly overpowered truck for my needs? f250 w/450 helper springs ext cab with V10 to pull a 16 foot enclosed with 1 rider 1 w/b?

Turf Technologies
05-23-2005, 10:37 PM
I kind of wonder the same too, but as they say here on lawnsite with trailers, allways get the biggest you can afford. If they can afford it good for them. In a yr ill be debt free with no writeoffs, at that point im thinking of getting a new GMC deisel lease for the writeoff. But I wouldnt spend that kind of money if I had other things hanging over my head.

lampeslawnservice
05-23-2005, 10:53 PM
Maybe because it always leaves room to grow. I have an 04 F250 extended cab, plain jane, vinyl seats floors, crank windows (which stink) AM/FM. Brand new for $22 grand. Couldn't pass it up. Of course I do plow with it, and haul just about everything, wouldn't have changed my decision for the world. And 25 years from now I probably still will be driving it, or will be used as a second truck. Which brings me to the question, Wasn't your truck new at some point? Bet there were guys saying what's he doing hauling around mowers with that brand new truck even back then. I look at it like this if I am going to spend 10 grand on a used one, why not spend the extra 10 grand and have a seven year 70,000 mile warranty on top of it. Hope that 25 year old truck holds together for you until you retire so you don't have to make the decision to buy new or someone else's used junk.
I bought a 16' tandem axle trailer last fall, and I only have one rider. I use my 10' trailer 9 out of 10 times but I know the big one's there if I need to use it. I do know that I would not want to haul all my equipment around with my 92 Ford Ranger, which I just put a flat bed on.

CutNLawns
05-23-2005, 11:28 PM
DennisF I guess everyone back in 83 thought the same thing about you driving around in you shiney new 83 Chevy??? Just because someone has a $40k-$50K truck doesn't mean they have a huge payment. Doesn't even mean they have one! Even if they did I can't see where it is anyones business where they spend there $$$. Some people choose to drive POS vehicles but live in $500K homes, some people choose to have $100K in vehicles and live in a POS houses and some poeple choose to sit in the tavern everyday and don't have squat. That is why this is America where people have the choice to do as they please. Can't knock the fellas that choose to drive nice fancy trucks because that is where they decide to spend their $$$.

I do understand what your saying about having a 20k lbs capable truck tugging aroung 4K lb of equipment but I would bet that 99% of them are using them for other uses other than the LCO duties.

rookie03
05-24-2005, 01:03 AM
DennisF I guess everyone back in 83 thought the same thing about you driving around in you shiney new 83 Chevy??? Just because someone has a $40k-$50K truck doesn't mean they have a huge payment. Doesn't even mean they have one! Even if they did I can't see where it is anyones business where they spend there $$$. Some people choose to drive POS vehicles but live in $500K homes, some people choose to have $100K in vehicles and live in a POS houses and some poeple choose to sit in the tavern everyday and don't have squat. That is why this is America where people have the choice to do as they please. Can't knock the fellas that choose to drive nice fancy trucks because that is where they decide to spend their $$$.

I do understand what your saying about having a 20k lbs capable truck tugging aroung 4K lb of equipment but I would bet that 99% of them are using them for other uses other than the LCO duties.


I Agree!

To the original post....
And how do you know those $40,000 trucks aren't two year old $20,000 trucks? I have an '03 Quad Cab 4x4 that costs $40,000 brand new, but I sure didn't pay anything close to that. Around $25,000 used. So do I get put in the category of truck overkill? I don't think so. I think I have a nice reliable truck that I can depend on week after week and take trips. Most ppl would rather have one (1) nice truck to drive around in....rather than two average/decent trucks. Now if you've been in the business for over 15 years....I would say you have enough money built up to want a work truck and a personal truck.

Jason Rose
05-24-2005, 01:58 AM
I also gotta laugh at the yuppie who has the big truck that has never hauled or towed anything....



Well This is exactly what i see here daily. More and more "men" that have nothing more to haul than a couple kids and a wife are buying these 3/4 ton heavy duty trucks. Generally around here they are Chevy Dura Max Diesels. They run out and put 18 or 20 inch extra wide rims on them and then drive around town in them. Granted, with the money to burn there is usually a toy or two that needs pulled. Boat, camper, 28' cargo trailer loaded with quads... Generally not your everyday handy man or landscaper. Usually Dr. or spouse of a Dr.

I rarely see much overkill here in the trucks guys drive for their work in the lawn industry. seems more often than not I see too small of a vehicle pulling trailers rather than too large. (i.e. the guy in town that has a 16 foot car hauler he uses for a tree business he pulls behind a small old mini-van) scary...

Eddie B
05-24-2005, 02:03 AM
They buy larger trucks for the snow plowing. Bigger is better.

Tharrell
05-24-2005, 06:47 AM
I've noticed a lot of 250-350's and a lot of duallys running around the last couple of years. My hunch is, most are not used for heavy hauling. If fuel prices had stayed high, we would've seen a lot of them for sale I'm sure. Heck, I was talking to a guy who cuts part time and he was going into a tirade about what he "heard" we're supposed to make an hour. He started with "I show up with a $40,000 truck..." I interrupted him to say, "It is YOUR choice to show up in a $40,000 truck". He was even talking about buying a Ford Ranger to drive daily when fuel was up around $2.20. My costs do not include a $40,000 truck so it's not factored in my bids. Does that make me a lowballer? hahaha
With all of that said, I would like a 250 xl 4x4. That's a reasonable vehicle, capable of hauling and not $40,000+, used is even better.

Scag52inch
05-24-2005, 08:56 AM
Big Big BBBBig trucks!!!! This is my first year working for myself. My work truck has been a 1991 f-150. Truck has a million miles. I also have a ford focus from when I used to commute to work. My insurance on both these vehicles was $270!!! and car payment was $235. Well yesterday I decided to upgrade!!!! Went to dealership bought a F-350 Diesel!!! Brand spanking new and I love it! My insurance went down $90. Yes my payment went up but Im also saving $ on fuel. (the f-150 got about 9-10 mpg) diesel should get about 18! I only used premium in the f-150 so the cost of the diesel should be about same. Dont have to worry about crap going wrong. Truck should last at least ten years easy. Plus this should help me win some of the customers I scared off when they saw me in the sanford and son truck..lol

ztoro
05-24-2005, 09:14 AM
Jealousy has nothing to do with the issue. It's nothing more than a question regarding the business sense of buying and operating a tow vehicle designed to haul far more weight than what they are being used for. The big trucks that I see on a regular basis are small lawn care operators, usually solo, towing a minimum of equipment. I see these guys everyday, all day long.

They must be cutting grass so they can make the truck payment.

I also own a 2005 Silverado Z71 that is my personal truck. I consider it a "back-up" tow vehicle for the 83 Chevy. I have no desire to use it on a daily basis for the business. It cost far to much to use as a service vehicle.

Could they possibly be using it for personal reasons? could they possibly need it to pull some heavy rental equipment.... to many possibilities to think about and I really dont worry about what other LCo's are driving....

Lighter duty trucks may be able to handle certain loads. but a heavy duty truck it going to last a lot longer plus give you the capabilities to haul heavier loads... YOu need to assume that business will grow and that you will need to increase the size of your trailer and amount of equipment. Its easier and cheaper to upgrade the trailer and equipment every few years than it is to upgrade the truck....

lawn perfection
05-25-2005, 11:23 AM
I have two f/250's a gas burner and a diesel. (the gas burner is my old work truck and the diesel is my personal driver,but will use either to work out of) It was my choice to have these. You made a good point in your question. It would not make good business sense to be full time LCO and have a 45,000 truck and 15 to 20 accounts and pull around a walkbhind mower, but to each his own. I always say Live and Learn. I'm a part time solo and keep my equipment and trucks in tip top shape and my customers like when my rig is parked in front of there house it shows I take pride in my equipment and the work I do.

BCSteel
05-25-2005, 12:03 PM
Its like people who clammor for more torque and higher hp in small to mid-size w/b mowers. Is it over kill? Mostly, but your sure glad you have it when you need it.

Pro-Scapes
05-25-2005, 01:02 PM
I use a dakota v6 to pull my 6x12 for regular jobs (15 mpg towing) but also have a f350 flat bed powerstroke for the tractor and gooseneck trailer. Both have their places and duties. I love both of them. Every once in awhile I catch myself scheming a way to build a retractable loading ramp so I can just load the bed of the f350 with my ztr and put some racks on it. Would be pretty easy to manuver on busy streets.

Shawns Lawns
05-25-2005, 08:31 PM
wanna talk about big trucks i saw one of these the other day but it wasn't an LCO driving it. http://www.navistar.com/site_layout/xtfamily/cxt.asp

ztoro
05-25-2005, 08:39 PM
wanna talk about big trucks i saw one of these the other day but it wasn't an LCO driving it. http://www.navistar.com/site_layout/xtfamily/cxt.asp


Dont need it but if I can get together 100 grand I am buying one.... :)

Envy Lawn Service
05-25-2005, 08:44 PM
wanna talk about big trucks i saw one of these the other day but it wasn't an LCO driving it. http://www.navistar.com/site_layout/xtfamily/cxt.asp

I think that trumps Crocodile Dundee's statement:
That's not a knife, this is a knife!

Hehehe....

Nope that's not a truck, this is a TRUCK!

Geeez!!! Now that's a freakin' big truck... that people will buy cause it's huge, like soccer mom's & dad's buy Hummers... pointless. Look at me, my truck is HUGE!!!

Personally I like the RXT and MXT better. But they lack the over-the-top touch of the upright SEMI pipes....

muddstopper
05-25-2005, 09:07 PM
I pull with a 3500 4x4 chevy dually pickup and I need a bigger truck!! I also have 3500 flatbed thats to small and a C65 chevy thats again to small. But I get by.. :D

Tvov
05-25-2005, 09:28 PM
wanna talk about big trucks i saw one of these the other day but it wasn't an LCO driving it. http://www.navistar.com/site_layout/xtfamily/cxt.asp

lol, those were developed because people keep wanting to haul bigger and bigger campers. A lot of campers use Volvo sleeper cab tractors to haul ridiculouly big fifth wheel campers. The Internationals were developed to compete with Volvo. Of course, someone immediately said "I need to drive that to get groceries!", so now International is promoting them for everyone.

Well, that is as good a story as any!

Todd's lawncare
05-25-2005, 09:41 PM
lol, those were developed because people keep wanting to haul bigger and bigger campers. A lot of campers use Volvo sleeper cab tractors to haul ridiculouly big fifth wheel campers. The Internationals were developed to compete with Volvo. Of course, someone immediately said "I need to drive that to get groceries!", so now International is promoting them for everyone.

Well, that is as good a story as any!
WHO CARES ???????????????/ ARE YOU OR ME PAYING FOR IT NO GET OFF THIS TOPIC ALREADY . GAS WONT BE CHEAPER IF EVERY ONE GOT A 4 BANGER THEY WOULD DRIVE MORE BECAUSE THEY GET BETTER MPG. SO GET OVER WHAT THEY HAVE AND YOU CAN'T HAVE . AND Tvov THIS IS NOT AT YOU JUST SEEMS YOUR MAD BECAUSE THEY HAVE THEM AND I THOUGHT I WOULD USE THIS POST SORRY DON'T TAKE IT TO HEART . IT'S LIKE PEOPLE THAT HAVE RACE CARS AND ARE AT THE TRACK EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT SPENDING 4.00 AGALLON FOR CAM2 SO WHAT THEY PAY FOR IT SO GET OVER IT MOVE ON . YOU DON'T HAVE TO FILL THE TANK SO DROP IT.

Fareway Lawncare
05-25-2005, 09:51 PM
You Will get More Chicks While Working w/a Big eXpensive Tow Vehicle than w/a Crummy Compact.

ztoro
05-25-2005, 09:53 PM
You Will get More Chicks While Working w/a Big eXpensive Tow Vehicle than w/a Crummy Compact.

:) ...............

Tvov
05-26-2005, 01:14 AM
WHO CARES ???????????????/ ARE YOU OR ME PAYING FOR IT NO GET OFF THIS TOPIC ALREADY . GAS WONT BE CHEAPER IF EVERY ONE GOT A 4 BANGER THEY WOULD DRIVE MORE BECAUSE THEY GET BETTER MPG. SO GET OVER WHAT THEY HAVE AND YOU CAN'T HAVE . AND Tvov THIS IS NOT AT YOU JUST SEEMS YOUR MAD BECAUSE THEY HAVE THEM AND I THOUGHT I WOULD USE THIS POST SORRY DON'T TAKE IT TO HEART . IT'S LIKE PEOPLE THAT HAVE RACE CARS AND ARE AT THE TRACK EVERY SATURDAY NIGHT SPENDING 4.00 AGALLON FOR CAM2 SO WHAT THEY PAY FOR IT SO GET OVER IT MOVE ON . YOU DON'T HAVE TO FILL THE TANK SO DROP IT.

Whoa Whoa there! Relax! I was just posting what I've heard about the new "monster" pickups. I know about the Volvos and Internationals because I've seen them at campgrounds that I've been to, towing my camper!

As I said in my previous post, most people I know with large trucks have them for a reason.