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Lawn Enforcer
03-01-2008, 03:55 PM
Hello everyone-
Next year I will need to start looking for a new mowing set-up. There is a dealer about 50 miles from my house that sells medium duty trucks. They always have nice trucks at sweet prices. Right now they have a 1998 International T444E LoPro diesel with an Allison auto. I don't know the exact mileage, but it is around 100k. They want $16,950 for one. I would put a 12 foot landscape bed on it for my daily mowing route. I would also still have my truck and trailer in case of breakdowns. Would this be an efficient and economical rig? I LOVE the idea of the landscape bed on a truck. It would probably be carrying the trimmers, blowers, etc. plus a 52" Everride Scorpion, a 34" Everride Scorpion FX, and then a push mower. I have heard nothing but great things about the 444E.
Thanks in advance for all you help!

vadeere
03-01-2008, 05:52 PM
Bed? Its overpriced without a bed, with a dump bed its border line. BTW 444E is the engine, not the truck. Its the same thing as the 7.3 l powerstroke in the older fords. Generally well respected engine, I have driven a couple, not many as I am not a Ford guy. Good engine good torque. Whats the gvw, and gearing? Will it require a CDL with a trailer? Look at truckpaper.com for a comparison. For reference there is a 2002 IH 4300 dump w/ 45000 miles, dt466 engine (better in many peoples opinion for $24k. Theres lots of guys here that know these trucks well so I am sure someone will have something to add.

Lawn Enforcer
03-01-2008, 06:12 PM
It doesn't require a CDL.Thanks for the reply, keep 'em coming!

TandM
03-01-2008, 06:19 PM
why do need a truck this big why are you changing from a truck and trailer? I would just find a used isuzu with a landscape body they should be around 15 large for 100k miles and a landscape body.

Lawnworks
03-01-2008, 06:27 PM
I would prefer an Isuzu for mowing lawns. The IH look kind of bulky for a lawn route... if you were hauling a skid steer the IH might be more practical.

Lawn Enforcer
03-01-2008, 06:30 PM
Well, the thing is I want to be able to pull a dump trailer/skid steer with it too. I looked at the truck last night, and it really didn't look too big. I want to be able to use my 1500 for spraying lawns and the IH for mowing. Plenty of power, no suspension mods needed.

Lawnworks
03-01-2008, 06:37 PM
I saw a landscape body for $1200 on craiglist... I think it was in FL though.

vadeere
03-01-2008, 06:39 PM
What I meant by the cdl comment was depending on the gvw of the truck it may limit what you can pull and still be under 26,000 lb gross combined.

Lawnworks
03-01-2008, 06:39 PM
You know the perfect set-up for you would be a cabover or IH w/ a stake dump bed and removeable dovetail. Somebody makes those out there on the net.

Lawn Enforcer
03-01-2008, 06:48 PM
That's what I mean. I can find a landscape body pretty easily, and those trucks are readily available at this place. I also think I would drive a mini skid steer up on the bed too. Does anybody have any idea of what kind of mileage that I would get with that set-up I had in my first post?

slowleak1
03-01-2008, 06:54 PM
so that would most likely be a f-550? the 444 series were a 7.3 litre international motor. same as the 7.3 motor found in all ford diesel pickups. awesome motor, and in my 250, it is very economical.

MikeKle
03-01-2008, 06:56 PM
I thought about going this route a few months ago, I was looking at a International 4700 Lo-Pro w/dt466 that used to have a wrecker body on it that would hold a 10-12ft. flat bed w/ dovetail. MPG was the reason I decided against it and am going with a small wheelbase cabover type truck,preferrably a Mitsubishi Fuso because it has 4WD. Those International trucks only get arouund 7-8 MPG!!!! I too thought since you would only be hauling a couple walkbehinds, the MPG would be great,but thats not the case.However the internationals will usually see around 300K before any major repairs are needed.They are nice trucks though.International needs to make a truck for our industry maybe utilizing a 6 cyl. diesel.Good Luck.

Lawn Enforcer
03-01-2008, 07:42 PM
Well, fuel won't be a major issue. I have a small town that I mow in, and I plan to expand to 3 other towns, 7 miles away from my town. That is the only highway driving that I would do with it.

LindblomRJ
03-03-2008, 01:16 AM
I doubt it will be as efficient and economical as you think it will. The 7.3 Diesel is a great engine. But people who buy medium duty trucks fuel economy is generally a secondary decision.

A medium duty cabover like a Fuso might be a better option.

The next question to ask is what all equipment do you plan to use on your route? What is the weight of the equipment. What will be the image projected with a bigger truck for two or three walkbehind mowers... Or a 21" and larger WB and a ZTR. Any combination of your choice?

Also how many miles will the route be?
How many miles a year are you planning to put on your truck in a year?
What will insurance cost?
What will fuel and maintenance run?
My old work truck was a 91 Ford with an 11 foot flatbed dump on it... Something to use for comparison.

In all honesty when I first read your scenario I thought for a mowing route the might be a tad bit overkill. If I was to invest in a truck like that I would use it as a dump. I think I would take a closer look at a 350 or 450.

Lawn Enforcer
03-03-2008, 09:18 PM
The bed would have:
trimmers, blowers, edger, etc.
(2) Everride Scorpion 52"
(1) Everride Scorpion FX 34"
(1) Push mower

The route would probably be around 75-100 miles per week.

Not a lot of miles per year.

Lawnworks
03-03-2008, 09:23 PM
Have you driven a cabover? I would drive both the IH and the cabover.

Also is the IH the low profile edition?

LindblomRJ
03-03-2008, 11:00 PM
For the amount of miles and the setup you describe I would think pretty hard about 1 ton with a gas engine. The amount of miles figures to around 5,000 a year, give or take. IMO that would kill a diesel engine.

In my area diesel is about 50 cents more a gallon than gasoline. With the mileage described I really think you would be ahead to get a gasser.

Lawn Enforcer
03-04-2008, 04:00 PM
Hey, first off, thanks everybody for all your help! This site is awesome!

The IH is a lowpro.

I am going to keep looking around and really thinking about my options.

LindblomRJ
03-04-2008, 11:05 PM
When I head to the Cities on MN7 there is a dealership that sells used trucks and cutaway vans. I am thinking its in Hector. Right at the intersection of MN4 and MN7 if I remember correctly.

J&R Landscaping
03-05-2008, 02:42 PM
I would get a truck that way as a dump truck. IMO, you are loosing some of the agility that your get from a landscape bed truck if you put it on that large of a chasis. The cab-over trucks are great because of turning radius, fuel economy and what not. Also, keep in mind that the odometers on those 4700 Internationals have been known to stop working every now and then. Just because it reads 100k and works now, it might not be accurate.

polska
03-05-2008, 02:48 PM
the low pro are horrible trucks we have 3 of them. they are loud as hell, slow andaren't that greatly at the pump. I would go for a ford, chevy, dodge,or gmc

Lawn Enforcer
03-10-2008, 10:01 PM
Thanks guys-

anybody else have an opinion on the matter?

BlackCloudDiesel
03-11-2008, 03:29 PM
Your prolly looking at around 10-12mpg with that truck, depending on the gearing. I'd sink that money into an enclosed trailer rather then a landscape truck. Besides, with diesel hitting 4.10 a gallon do you really want something like that? I've got all diesels and I'm starting to regret it at just under $6,600.00 a month in fuel. What is the GVWR of the truck? That will greatly limit your useage if you ever needed or wanted to pull a trailer with it. Anything combined weight of 25,999 and you'll need a class A CDL to pull a trailer with.

ALLoutLandscaping
03-11-2008, 07:02 PM
When I head to the Cities on MN7 there is a dealership that sells used trucks and cutaway vans. I am thinking its in Hector. Right at the intersection of MN4 and MN7 if I remember correctly.

Ha Ha they buy used ambulances and cut them apart, i know exactly where your talking about, the grandparents live out by montevideo in Milan. drive past there all the time, the stop light in the middle of know where.....

LindblomRJ
03-12-2008, 12:27 AM
Ha Ha they buy used ambulances and cut them apart, i know exactly where your talking about, the grandparents live out by montevideo in Milan. drive past there all the time, the stop light in the middle of know where.....

Is that what they do? Well money might be better spend else where.

I usually pickup MN 7 at Clara City and head on into the cities that way.

I have never figured out why they have a stop light.

Lawn Enforcer
03-22-2008, 08:11 PM
Well, I found 2 trucks that I would consider:

1997 Chevy 3500 reg cab, 5.7 V8, 4-speed auto tranny, 2wd, 75,000 miles, A/C, 11 ft flatbed w/ a 4 ft dovetail and ramp, 8 ft wide bed, average condition $7,750

1998 IHC 4700 Lo-Pro, 7.3 Diesel, Allison auto tranny, 170,000 miles, no bed on it, will accept a 11 ft or 12 ft body, average conditon
$8,750

Opinions anyone?

LindblomRJ
03-23-2008, 01:21 AM
With diesel at $4.00 a gallon and guessing mileage about the same the 1 ton. Just by specs given. Well that is it already ready to go to work.

laird006
03-23-2008, 09:41 AM
out of those two I'd get the 3500 Chevy. the 5.7 is a good motor and isn't to expensive to just replace when it gives up. Is it a regular 3500 or a 3500hd. the hds had a gross weight rating of around 15k

Lawn Enforcer
03-23-2008, 12:24 PM
out of those two I'd get the 3500 Chevy. the 5.7 is a good motor and isn't to expensive to just replace when it gives up. Is it a regular 3500 or a 3500hd. the hds had a gross weight rating of around 15k

I'm not sure if it is an HD or not, but I would probably go with the Chevy because it is ready to go.