View Full Version : Van vs truck

08-06-2001, 11:44 AM

I am going to be purchasing a different vehicle to tow my equipment trailer for next season. I am considering a cargo van instead of a truck. I am thinking that I can install racks inside the van for trimmers, edgers, etc., they'll be secure, etc.

Does anyone use a van instead of a truck? How does it work for you?

Ideas, opinions, etc. will be appreciated.

mdb landscaping
08-06-2001, 12:18 PM
someone posted a pic of their cargo van on here the other day. it had a picture of a walker on the side. i use a truck, but i am starting to see a lot of cargo vans show up. they all seem to put the landscape gate on the back and put all the racks in. its a good secure way to store and haul equipment.

08-06-2001, 12:35 PM
We use a truck but i have seen some other companys using vans. You might want to look at www.superlawntruck.com and here is the thread with the pic of the van http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?threadid=18363


Vandora Lawn & Landscape
08-06-2001, 03:46 PM
I've seen many applicator companies using vans. Also they work well for hauling plants and materials that could be spoiled by too much wind or bad weather.

bubble boy
08-06-2001, 04:01 PM
we wouldn't use vans since we plow

also makes for a less than ideal personal vehicle, but i do see many companies using cubes.

08-06-2001, 07:46 PM
I have operated almost every setup. Started out working just with a p/u. Went to a 14' utility trailer. Next used a cargo van for a while and now I have a 14' Cube. By far the Cube suits me the best. You never have to hitch and unhitch. Your equipment is always secure, tax deduction is much simpler, the equipment is kept out of the weather (this is actually a real bonus), you can haul a huge amount of stuff, and you have a storage facility on wheels. I have every tool I could ever need in the truck. I'll never go back to a utility trailer.

08-06-2001, 10:16 PM
Actually, what I have been considering is a cargo van for trimmers, blowers, tools, gas cans, etc. and an open trailer for my mowers, rather than an enclosed truck / cube van.

08-06-2001, 10:22 PM
If your going to get an cargo van , why would you need a trailer then?

08-06-2001, 10:38 PM
I don't think a van would be large enough to haul equipment I have and anticipate having (52" Toro ZTR , 48" or 36" walk behind, perhaps 21" trim mower. I haven't really looked and measured yet, but I didn't think a regular 3/4 ton van would handle everything without a trailer.

08-06-2001, 11:17 PM
The van idea is a good one, but the capacity and size is too small to fit any mowers in. All your support tools and equipment would be perfect, but still have to have a trailer. I like the supertruck but haven't had time to price one yet. Anyone have guess as to the cost? Something in the 14-16' Size. Also with the cube you can drive, park, and turn around much easier than with pulling that dang tralier. Everything is out of sight, and less likely to be stolen, and out of the weather too. I do like the thought of no loading and unloading. Sounds to good to be true, but I know it does come with a price!

08-06-2001, 11:29 PM
I guess I get confused with cargo and cube vans. I would not get anything smaller than what Super Lawn Trucks offer..that is why I asked.

lawrence stone
08-06-2001, 11:41 PM
Originally posted by crazygator
The van idea is a good one, but the capacity and size is too small to fit any mowers in.

Well in a 12ft maxi van you could fit
2- 48 walkbehinds with sulkys
2- 21 walkbehinds
a small chipper
Racks for all two cycle equip, can sprayers hand tools etc.
and a handy gate van ramp inside the rear doors.

Now you need to go out and get some plywood and make a debris box 2"h4"w12-15" long on top of the van.

A nice rolling tarp and a drag sheet with a tailgate round out the debris box. Just don't drive to fast round corners if the box is full.

08-06-2001, 11:48 PM
Your right as to the Maxivan, I wasn't even thinking of that. Might be a little scary when turning with much of a load, and might be hard to tie everything down.

08-06-2001, 11:49 PM
My cube van is 16' long, I can fit all of my support tools, 20 hp Walker/48" deck and my 54" MTD Pro Z in with no problems. If needed I have a variety of trailers I can haul with it. I also use it for spraying, pressure washing and other odd jobs. The van ramps fit into the trailers so I can load and unload without unhooking. I was going to put a side door on it this Winter so the Walker can come out without unloading the other mower. Unfortunatly the sign guy out the logo too far to the front so I might just leave it for now. My wife drives it because she does most of the work and she likes it much better than a truck and trailer to get around. You always have everything you need to do the job and the tools to repair most simple things.

08-07-2001, 03:47 PM
What do you guys with vans and cubes do with all of the debris generated byu clean-ups or weekly maintnenance, etc.

How do you transport bulk materials like soil, fertilizer, etc.?

08-07-2001, 04:17 PM
With a van you can also live in it down by the river.

08-07-2001, 05:42 PM
You guy's running cube van's what kind of fuel mileage are you getting out of them? Is it less than 10MPG or are you getting better than that? I've thought of getting one to store all my stuff in, as to get it out of the garage.
How big of one would I need to haul my Walker 54" and other misc. equipment?

lawrence stone
08-07-2001, 08:04 PM
Originally posted by Mowman
How big of one would I need to haul my Walker 54" and other misc. equipment?

You have to get a big dual wheel job lake Cantoo that has only 4-5" high of wheelwell inside the box, so yo can hump a 54" deck over the wheelwell.

The smaller cube vans are only 50" between high wheelwells.

10mpg is right for a 6 wheeler and 12mpg for a single rear wheel.

08-07-2001, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by Twotoros
With a van you can also live in it down by the river.

Like Lawrence Stone!!:D

08-08-2001, 08:06 PM
This was supposed to be funny!:(

Vibe Ray
08-09-2001, 02:56 AM
I use an extended cargo van and fit all my equipment in it including my 44" Lazer. Everyone is amazed that the Lazer fits in the van, but it does just fine. I have to hunch down a bit to clear the top, but that's not too difficult at all. In fact, I am positive you could even fit a 48" Lazer in there if you wanted too. But I'm not too sure about a 52", but it doesn't seem totally impossible.......over all, I love driving the van and using it as my work truck. I like it even better than a truck and trailer!

Island Lawn
08-09-2001, 11:44 AM
tiny-arsed mini cargo van holds my 2 cycles, tools, parts, gas, tarps and boxes for any debris, emergency urinal, other suprises.
tiny-arsed 5x10 trailer holds my 48 & 21.

My upgrade will be a full sized cargo van.
Advantages include: storage, security, and protection from the elements, Moving billboard (mine's professionally lettered), ect.

What kinda van you got Vibe Ray?
I wonder if I could shuck the trailer?

08-09-2001, 10:31 PM
Maybe you should check into an enclosed cargo trailer.

08-10-2001, 12:31 AM
I probally get around 10 with my dual wheel cubie, but that's no problem considering I have the room to have everything with me when needed. When I got my van the wheel wells were too high for my liking so I removed the rear 10' of the floor and lowered it using 2" tubing and installed a mini bevertail inside the van. Now my wells are only about 6" high, I have a pair of 2x10's in there so the deck doesn't catch when it's down low. By putting in the beaver tail my ramp is shorter and less steeper than it would have been and I welded a receiver into the bumper while I was at it. So far we have around Can$3000 invested in the van including the lettering. Of course we did all the work ourselves including the paint job.

12-18-2002, 10:53 AM
by any chance can we see the inside of your truck? looks like an awesome setup. what all do you use the sweeper for? they are not that common around here at all. does it work good? what brand mower is that that you have the sweeper attached to? any problem with gas fumes? i know that was one of the concerns in another thread.

12-18-2002, 02:00 PM
The only difficulty I see is the ramp out of a cargo van. When I say cargo van Im implying a domestic van, not a cube van like U-Haul uses.

Where does the ramp store? How do you prevent it from slipping and having a 700 pound mower falling three feet to the ground?

Vibe Ray
12-24-2002, 01:54 AM
It's very simple....I used Aluminum bleachers. Cut an angle on one end to match the angle of the ground and screw a piece of angle aluminum at the other end. Notch it to fit the bumper brackets and voila! It's very scary the first few time u do it, but rest assured it's very easy once u have practiced. They slide under the mower when it's in loaded. I can take pictures no problem if u like. This is only one of many ways, but the bleachers work out perfectly for this. So if you can get yor hands on some...go for it!

12-24-2002, 11:46 AM
Thanks for the input Ray,

I picked up a One ton Van this Fall to use for camping, and as a back up to my back-up vehicle(Three deep).

I really like the idea of losing the trailer. Even with the trailer I like the van idea, I spend alot of time looking for bushes because I drink to much soda.


No hook up time
Bathroom searches can be reduced or eliminated.
Storage is where I park the van.
Security is good, back up to fixed object or building.


Blade removal would require off loading mower where now I prop it up on trailer sides.
Space is limited.
No hauling of branches, leaves.

12-24-2002, 12:10 PM
Hmm. Using a 3/4 ton van to haul your trimmers and small stuff and then an open trailer for the big mowers? Hmmm. As long as you get a diesel engine in the van, it should be good. But I cant imagine having to hop into the van evertime I wanted to go get a trimmer or a edger or blower. Yuck.
Also, I hate vans. They look nasty. Yuck.


12-24-2002, 02:33 PM
I just sold a 1 ton box van.I was going to use it in my biz but it had the humps over the tires so i decided to sell it.I am going to find me another one though.I'm tired of pulling a stupid trailer all over the country.I have the gate sys all worked out and it want be any problem.My setup will be strong enough to haul a bobcat if need be.Then i will use the trailer just for landscaping only.

12-24-2002, 03:35 PM
There's no reason why solo ops shouldn't be working out of a van for reasons mentioned above. Security,weather issues,ease of turning around, etccc. I've been using a van for 16 years.

12-24-2002, 04:05 PM
I found this one on ebay.It is what I want exactly except maybe a chevy instead.

Blessed 1
12-25-2002, 01:16 AM
I just sold my Ranger that I was using to pull my trailer and I too am considering a cargo 1 ton van to pull my trailer with and also be able to store tools etc inside. I know that I am going to have something because I hate putting tools and hand held equip in my 2001 Expedition. Not to mention being dirty as all outdoors getting in my family transportation.

12-25-2002, 11:21 AM
With a van you could attach a Jungle Jim timmer and blower rack on the outside?

Attach it like a Bike rack on the front by the hood?

If I keep up with this I'll be riding a bicycle with a wagon behind it!

12-25-2002, 08:13 PM
Naw, if you put all your stuff on the outside, what point would there be in having a van at all? The whole point here was to get all your stuff inside out of the elements. And away from those prying fingers........

Hey by the way, Merry Christmas to all! Hope yall had a good'un!


05-31-2011, 11:27 PM
I currently use a 1983 1ton cargo van with a ladder rack for landscaping, pressurewashing, home improvements, etc. I can fit a riding mower, 2 push mowers, a weedeater, brooms, shovels, rakes, bags of grass and more inside with a 3rd person in the back. Another advantage to a cargo van is you don't have to unload when your done, you simply lock it up and leave it. I have access to both a dump trailer and utility trailer which have both worked well. I like the idea of having a truck, but I don't see any advantages. When I wake up I go out to my van and go to the job. There no loading required. If i need multch i hook up the trailer. It's much easier to do multching jobs with a dump trailer than a truck

06-01-2011, 08:55 AM
if you get a cargo van, always do a full scan around the xterior before you drive, especially if it's dirty. Because somebody could write "FREE CANDY" in the dust!

06-01-2011, 11:30 AM
Anybody realize this thread is 10 years old?

knox gsl
06-01-2011, 12:52 PM
Anybody realize this thread is 10 years old?

Yeah I noticed that.

06-01-2011, 05:18 PM
so what ...lets see some updates ,who went with cubes and vans

We actually started using cubes last year ourselves asnd its absolutely the best money we ever spent.
we haul 2 -60'' ztrs in a 14'
and in our 10' box we haul a 48'' walker and 2 push mowers
we also do all of our fert and squirt in a 10' truck
for people considering a box go as wide as you can ,there is nothing better then kissing a wall every time you step off the mowers.

lets see pics