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View Full Version : Anyone running an s-10 (or similar) with small trailer?


merrimacmill
02-27-2008, 01:48 AM
We've been looking into getting into the lawn care/grounds maintenance industry as an extension of our property management company. We have a good amount of equipment already to do our own lawns, but since we will be doing this commercially, we are looking at getting bobcat walk behind and a small enclosed trailer. I would like to get a small enclosed trailer that can be towed behind our little s-10 runner truck. For starters I plan on having a one man crew and seeing where that brings us. So I was looking at a 5x8 haulmark V nose enclosed trailer to start off with. I think that this would be a good start since we'd only be carrying one 48" walk behind, a 22" walk behind, a few trimmers and hand tools. Instead of putting a newer employee in our new gmc 3500 everyday, I'd much rather have them use the s-10. Not to mention fuel costs.

So basically my question, what do you think for a trailer? 5x8? It is a 4 cylinder, reg cab, and has a tow hitch already installed from the previous owner. Is this a plausible idea, or just foolish?

I do already have a 14 foot dual axle landscape trailer for our tractor, but its WAY too much for the s10 and I need it to be enclosed.

nosparkplugs
02-27-2008, 02:29 AM
You should always try to purchase a truck you can "grow" into. I think your making a mistake with anything less than a 1/2 ton.

Raven386
02-27-2008, 02:31 AM
I believe he already owns the s-10. id be more concerned about the trailer. maybe look into getting a 6x12. but then you can haul it with your s-10 so your really kind of stuck there. if all you will ever run is a 48 and a 21 youd be fine with the 5x8 but if you plan on expanded at all you would have to purchase a new trailer.

merrimacmill
02-27-2008, 02:32 AM
We do already own the s-10. We also own a 2006 gmc 3500 duramax. I just don't see where the 3500 would be required for day to day mowing with a couple mowers. I did come across a lightly used 6X10 enclosed with ramp door, and side entrance door for $2300 I believe. Do you guys think an s-10 could handle a 6X10? I've never towed with it, we just use it to run to the store, post office, just errand stuff..

Raven386
02-27-2008, 02:36 AM
it would only be necessary if you had gotten a bigger trailer. but if your only going to be using a 48 the 5x8 trailer would be fine for you. unless you wanted to expand and get a bigger mower or 2 mowers. then a new trailer would be necessary and then you would need to be hauling it with the 3500.

ATL Lawn
02-27-2008, 03:31 AM
i would do a 5x8 or 5x10 OPEN trailer, but i dont know about running that enclosed everyday on an S10, unless its a 6cyl

ATL Lawn
02-27-2008, 03:34 AM
i run a s-10 crew only, but we only use two 21" mowers, for yards under 2000sf around intown city.

Valk
02-27-2008, 04:20 AM
Check that hitch...you'll want at least a class III.

An enclosed trailer and that 4 cyl truck will likely not work well at hwy speeds...

YardBoss Lawncare
02-27-2008, 04:56 AM
Ever considered something like this? You could probably get one of these for less than the enclosed and your new employee wouldnt be pulling a trailer around.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=211016&page=2

shepoutside
02-27-2008, 07:21 AM
Ever considered something like this? You could probably get one of these for less than the enclosed and your new employee wouldnt be pulling a trailer around.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=211016&page=2


This is a great ideal, which I have now done. The beds cost around 1500 bucks. Mine are on 4 cyl rangers.

YardBoss Lawncare
02-27-2008, 07:24 AM
Any idea what a bed like that would cost for a 1 ton dually long bed?

LindblomRJ
02-27-2008, 07:26 AM
Ever considered something like this? You could probably get one of these for less than the enclosed and your new employee wouldnt be pulling a trailer around.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=211016&page=2

I like some of those setups. If I were to use a Ranger, S10, Frontier, Tacoma I would give a bed like that a lot of thought.

YardBoss Lawncare
02-27-2008, 07:29 AM
Yeah, I really regret buying the red landscape trailer you see in my picture. If I had it to do over I would've bought a long bed one ton and then put a landscape bed on it. Did away with the whole trailer thing.

LindblomRJ
02-27-2008, 07:33 AM
Yeah, I really regret buying the red landscape trailer you see in my picture. If I had it to do over I would've bought a long bed one ton and then put a landscape bed on it. Did away with the whole trailer thing.

I don't mind pulling a trailer. But I like the idea of not having to mess with a trailer. Pull up to a residental ago build to it. If you are in a cul-de-sac you don't have to jockey trailer and its whole nine years, just the pickup.

YardBoss Lawncare
02-27-2008, 07:42 AM
It's not the pulling aspect of it that would make me go to a landscape bed on a truck. I grew up in a farm town and have been pulling trailers since I was 14 or 15 working during the summer for the farmers. What I like about the landscape bed idea is like you said, no hooking on and unhooking, etc... A guy could keep it loaded all the time and just park it in the garage or a storage facility at the end of the day. Not to mention the ability to get into tight places and what not.

buttaluv
02-27-2008, 11:30 AM
oh yeah, I'm a solo guy, so that set up would be awesome, I don't mow great big stuff, so I don't need my lazer very often.

pj550v12
02-27-2008, 11:35 AM
I ran an s-10 and 5x8 for a few years, although I had the v-6. I eventually outgrew it, but for the time I had it I never minded. It was nice driving a smaller set-up

MarcSmith
02-27-2008, 11:45 AM
I started my LS ix out of 87 s-10 long bed with the 2.8 v6 auto. it would comfortably tow a 5x8 open with a 36" wb and other requisite tools. But I would not use it on long highway stretches, and I did tow a loaded 14' enclosed just to move it when the ford torched....not something I would recommend...if you have a high route density you might be able to get buy with a small enclosed....but its really putting a strain on the small truck... I doubt you'd get much over 10-12 MPG with the small truck...

merrimacmill
02-27-2008, 11:46 AM
That looks like a great idea. Are these guys building them, or buying them from someone? I have the ability to build one, I would rather not take the time though and perfer to buy one. The only problem I can see though is my plan was to put any clippings in the bed in a tarp and pull out the tarp at the end of the day, so where would I put the clippings in this situation? What are the guys with this landscape bed doing?

Valk
02-27-2008, 12:52 PM
WOW, those mods are cool! :cool2:

$1500 for a well made landscape bed ain't too bad...is that the installed price?

For a 4cyl truck:

*How much rear suspension modifications are suggested/necessary?


FWIW, I have an '00 Frontier 2.4 4cyl with 85k miles...

paradise32258
02-27-2008, 06:14 PM
THOSE BEDS ARE PIMP... anyone in florida making them?

corey4671
02-27-2008, 06:26 PM
no way I'd pull any kind of an enclosed trailer with an S10. It's just too much weight. NOt to mention you have that little 2.2 4 banger under the hood. You will be very disappointed in the performance. Would you mow an acre yard with a 21" walkbehind? Neither would I. Why? Becasue it is not the right tool to do the job efficiently. Same thing. That little truck is not made to pull much of a load. I know. I own a long bed S10 with the 4.3 V6. It's great for picking up a few bags of mulch, seed or fertilize here and there and runnig to the dealer to pick up some parts. BUt for an everyday truck doing what you intend to do, no way. I could see MAYBE pulling a light duty 5x8 OPEN trailer, but not an enclosed. I hauled my 36" WB home in that S10 and I was really regretting it by the time I got home with it becasue it was just too much weight in the back and made the truck seem very squirrelly on the highway. JUst my .02

shepoutside
02-27-2008, 07:29 PM
Here is the link to a place that makes them,http://www.ingramtruckbody.com/html/lawn_care_bodies_2.html
and It was 1500 installed, for a ranger/s-10. I'm up in Canada, so I made my own, based on Lawn Jockeys pic's. I've added air bags, and extra leaf spring, as I haul a W/B too.

Here is a kewl pic, but not mine

shepoutside
02-27-2008, 07:33 PM
Blower side :)

tcalb2
02-27-2008, 07:41 PM
I've personally ran a 6x12 with a 4cyl tacoma. I've had a 36 belt lesco, 21 inch mower along with blowers and trimmers on it and it towed it pretty well. I've also towed a 300 gal hydro seeder on this trailer with this truck and it was def a work out for it. I have a
5x8 enclosed I use as well and the truck tows that really well. I would consider the 6x10 but just watch the weight as you add things to the trailer. Be careful with adding too much tongue weight. I can def tell when my trailers were loaded right and when they had alittle too much tongue weight. Good luck

paradise32258
02-27-2008, 07:50 PM
do you know who made the one in that pic on the dodge it looks really good? is that a 1500 dodge?

GravelyGuy
02-27-2008, 11:04 PM
I know a 6 cyl. S10 will tow small trailer fine, don't know about the 4. I overloaded my S10 all last summer and it did very well.

YardBoss Lawncare
02-27-2008, 11:33 PM
Accu Cut is the lawnsite member who owns that white Dodge with the landscape bed. Do a search on that name and send him a PM. He could probably tell you.

bruno_rs
02-28-2008, 12:08 AM
i agree with ldh and shepsoutside, that bed is the way to go!!!... especially if you're gonna have a "crew"... no need to worry about their ability, or lack thereof, to (safely) handle a trailer. moreover, no need to worry about tearing up a vehicle which was never really meant to tow. can the s10 handle a trailer?... yes, a small one, but why jeopardise your equipment and/or the safety of your employees and/or those around them when something like this is available. best of all, this little set up can get in and out of ANYWHERE, effortlessly!!! my .02... even if the bed cost more than the trailer, i'd RUN to the bed. in todays market, it's all about running as small as you can and this will be an investment you'll never regret... just my opinion. IT'S NOT ABOUT HOW MUCH YOU MAKE, IT'S ABOUT WHAT YOU KEEP!!! good luck and be well.

merrimacmill
02-28-2008, 01:01 AM
This has been a real good thread. I'm really leaning more towards the bed now. You guys are right, I don't know my employees ability to tow. I won't be there with them 80% of the time besides once and awhile to make sure everything getting done right and with quality.

I contacted a company that makes these things via e-mail to get some more info and prices. If its to expensive for what it is, I definatlly have the ability and equipment to make one.

Do you guys think that the s-10 would handle a 48 inch walk behind and a few trimmers and odds and ends? I would imagine I would have to add timbrens, or helper springs or something...

shepoutside
02-28-2008, 07:14 AM
Sure. Here is a s-10 decked out

bruno_rs
02-28-2008, 10:01 AM
this, in my opinion is where the industry is headed. i have removed the bed of my 84 chevy CUCV (military issue 1 1/4 ton diesel pickup) and replaced it with a 9 ft. flatbed. by doing so i can load 2 ztrs (48" and 52" side by side), 2 backback blowers, 3 stick trimmers/edgers, 2 21" mowers and below/behind wheels are 2 large tool boxes for fuel cans and parts/tools/supplies... pretty much everything i loaded onto my 12ft trailer. moreover, by using a flatbed i can change up usages easier and in minutes as apposed to hours... dump insert, air flow bed sander, stakes, etc... makes the truck much more versitile! furthermore, i can get in AND out of any driveway safely. i love this set up and now only use my trailers when i absolutely have to... fall clean-ups, construction projects, etc. sorry, don't have any pics right now, i did this at the end of last season and now it's too cold... getting to hate the cold. if the thread is still active, i'll post some when spring is here. i thought i had such an original idea, until i saw my idea on the back of other guys pickups and mini's. good luck to all of you. have a good one.

buttaluv
02-28-2008, 10:21 AM
Bruna...lets see them pictures....sounds good

bruno_rs
02-28-2008, 10:58 AM
Bruna...lets see them pictures....sounds good

buttaluv, my equipment's stored for the winter. when the weather permits and i'm ready to dust everything off, i'll post some pics. have a good one.

french's lawn care
02-28-2008, 11:02 AM
when i started out i bought a 4x6 build it yourself trailer in a box from central tractor for $200 made some ramps for it and that is what i put my ariens 1640 ztr on and just put the push mower and weed trimmer in the bed of the truck i liked that because all the weight was on the trailer which was built for it and the s10 box was free for whatever else i needed then when i got bigger i bought a new trailer and now have two rigs for if i get behind . hope this helps

MarcSmith
02-28-2008, 12:47 PM
I agree the whole "grass Body" concept is a great. but I more often than not, also did some light pruning, trash pickup, ect, as part of my contractual obligations, and to have to bag everything up and move equipment around with out ripping up the garbage bags fuls of stuff would have been counter productive and a pita. Having a pickup truck bed to toss garbage into is such a nice aspect of having a trailer. Plus. if I need to drop off the guys on a site, i could drop the trailer with equipment a fuel, and run down to the Nursery, or HD, or run out for lunch, Run out do a bid. and not have to unload the entire truck. Just unhook and go. What if you truck break down? then you have no wayt o haul you equipment unless you keep a trailer. which means keeping it taged, inspected, insured....if you are going to do all that, might as well use it...

If you are a mow-only operation, a grass body is ideal....

merrimacmill
02-28-2008, 04:04 PM
We plan on doing lawn care, shrub pruning, spring/fall clean-ups, mulching, and maybe some light landscape like creating planting beds, spreading gravel for a driveway...

But I imagine that if it called for it, we could just use the 3500 and my 14 foot landscape trailer. I bought that one to haul the compact tractor. We're also looking at getting a 3500 dump before next winter sometime. But neither of these seem economical for day to day mowing with one guy, one mower, and a few trimmers and things.

tcalb2
02-28-2008, 07:41 PM
I agree with Marcsmith. I guess it depends on the market your in and the types of services your clients want. where I'm you almost always bag and take with you when you leave. So this step up isn't very practical. I run a 1 ton dump and a 6x12 trailer now and I can't see doing it any other way. I guess Merrimacmill your not too far from me in Rhode Island. But I just don't see a use to for something like that with the clients I service or even any companies around here unless you have a guy in a pickup follow and collect all the debris. I've thought about this setup, because it would be great on gas and manuverability but I just haven't found a niche for it here. I think its def a great idea thought.

MarcSmith
02-29-2008, 08:23 AM
I've tried "detail Only" Crews or setting up "detail only" days. but then you end up driving to the property more than once so it adds drive time and not to mention fuel costs since you still end up having to pull the trailer with fuel, ladders, pruners, gas shears, ect.. And its not that we are talking about a lot of trash...A bag here and bag there....but by the end of the day....you have 10 bags of garbage to work around, trip over...

bruno_rs
02-29-2008, 11:41 AM
We plan on doing lawn care, shrub pruning, spring/fall clean-ups, mulching, and maybe some light landscape like creating planting beds, spreading gravel for a driveway...

But I imagine that if it called for it, we could just use the 3500 and my 14 foot landscape trailer. I bought that one to haul the compact tractor. We're also looking at getting a 3500 dump before next winter sometime. But neither of these seem economical for day to day mowing with one guy, one mower, and a few trimmers and things.

all the additional services you are thinking about seem to center around a medium duty truck and trailer set up. however, i still think it would be advantageous and financially rewarding to use a "mini" w/grass bed on it... strictly for lawns and run-a-bouts. it's not like you're limited to owning one truck. we all have different size mowers and/or equipment for different applications... right? does it make sense to have a 60" ztr in the inner cities where a 21" would be much easier to maneuver and cheaper to operate? i understand some of the comments and individual needs for "collecting" however it depends on YOUR business and what YOU need to do to get the job done AND turn a nice PROFIT while doing so. it's not about how much you have but what can be done with what you got! less can be more...think about it. have a good one.

YardBoss Lawncare
02-29-2008, 01:11 PM
all the additional services you are thinking about seem to center around a medium duty truck and trailer set up. however, i still think it would be advantageous and financially rewarding to use a "mini" w/grass bed on it... strictly for lawns and run-a-bouts. it's not like you're limited to owning one truck. we all have different size mowers and/or equipment for different applications... right? does it make sense to have a 60" ztr in the inner cities where a 21" would be much easier to maneuver and cheaper to operate? i understand some of the comments and individual needs for "collecting" however it depends on YOUR business and what YOU need to do to get the job done AND turn a nice PROFIT while doing so. it's not about how much you have but what can be done with what you got! less can be more...think about it. have a good one.


You're a wise man.:drinkup:

bruno_rs
02-29-2008, 01:32 PM
You're a wise man.:drinkup:

thanks ldh... it's always better to be called a wise man rather than a wise A$$. hope all is well, have good one.

Itzkcatz
02-29-2008, 01:56 PM
I used a 1988 s10 blazer with a 4x8 trailer when i first started, but i got a small truck about a year later now i have 2 2500 rams

merrimacmill
02-29-2008, 04:25 PM
I'm still leaning towards just putting a body on the s-10. When we bought it, we were just looking for a beat around truck that we wouldn't have to worry about like we do with the new gmc. So we only paid $2000 for it, and putting a body on that would give us the smallest investment. Especially if I built the body. I'm sure someday a larger truck and larger trailer would be more wise, but at this point in time that lawn care body does make a lot of sense.

Turf Commando
02-29-2008, 04:47 PM
You could pull a 5x10, 6x10, 6x12 I wouldn't go any larger ...

I'm running a 91 Ranger V6 2wd somewhat (sluggish transmission) and getting a 6x12 trailer, my truck can pull it.
The previous owner pulled a 19' boat have no idea, how he did it .....

bruno_rs
02-29-2008, 06:46 PM
I'm still leaning towards just putting a body on the s-10. When we bought it, we were just looking for a beat around truck that we wouldn't have to worry about like we do with the new gmc. So we only paid $2000 for it, and putting a body on that would give us the smallest investment. Especially if I built the body. I'm sure someday a larger truck and larger trailer would be more wise, but at this point in time that lawn care body does make a lot of sense.

having the other vehicles available to you, the s10 with "grasser" body, in my opinion, is a no brainer! moreover, you will never be sorry you did it. i would never go back, on a daily basis, to a truck and trailer... only do so, when absolutely necessary. with the price of fuel and the economy in the tank, this is exactly what we're all going to be seeing more of, in the not too distant future. take your time, plan it right and you'll have as much on that truck as you could have put on any trailer your s10 could (safely) tow. good luck to you. have a good one.

RGM
02-29-2008, 07:00 PM
I use my s10 sometimes on small job days or small mulch jobs used it a few times to tow a 6x12 with a walk behind and zero turn way to much for it. burnt the clutch up. I put the most heavy duty clutch I could find back in it but will only tow the zero turn or the walk behind not both. I also put heavy duty shocks with spring in the rear and a yard of mulch hardly drops the truck.

merrimacmill
02-29-2008, 07:37 PM
I just got off the phone with the local truck body company. They said that it would cost way more than $1500 which is the price most on here have been saying it will be around with paint. They contacted a custom truck body company to get a quote, but I know it will big time expensive.

So the next move for me is to go to the local welding shop and get a quote from them. If they're to expensive then I will just do it myself. I'm avoiding doing it myself, because I really don't have the time to take that on right now.

bruno_rs
03-01-2008, 03:19 PM
I just got off the phone with the local truck body company. They said that it would cost way more than $1500 which is the price most on here have been saying it will be around with paint. They contacted a custom truck body company to get a quote, but I know it will big time expensive.

So the next move for me is to go to the local welding shop and get a quote from them. If they're to expensive then I will just do it myself. I'm avoiding doing it myself, because I really don't have the time to take that on right now.

merrimacmill, i can't say with certainty what it would cost to build (from scratch) and paint... i purchased and sized down a 14 ft flatbed,to build my 9 ft setup. i paid 300 for the bed and probably put another 600 into it. i've been in a bunch of different forums, discussing the grasser bodies and the consensus is approximately 1500-1600 installed and painted. could be... here in the northeast ,where everything is so overpriced, our "primadonnas" don't want to touch anything for less than 1500. if i had more time, on my hands, i'd get into building and selling em myself. after the first few, it's pretty much repetition and all gravy!!! a buddy of mine, from the local fire company, had a brand new 9ft stakebody built, installed and painted for 1700. keep looking, someone (here on lawnsite) is bound to come up with a reputable and "reasonable" builder in your area. the more these bodies pop up, the cheaper and/or more versitile they're going to become. this IS the direction the industry is headed. bigger is not always better... sometimes it pays to be SMALL! keep on "trolling", you'll come up with something, soon. have a good one.