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View Full Version : mowing from a mini van


tennesseelawnguy
03-27-2008, 07:56 PM
This is a first for me so I just had to share it. We pull into a subdivision and there's a new guy mowing. I'm looking around trying to figure out where his truck is at and all i see is a minivan.We go on in and mow our accounts and when we come back out the guy has loaded his riding mower into the back of the mini van. It looked pretty cramped in there so i'm not really sure where he put the trimmer. anyway I thought that was kinda funny. If that's my biggest competition here i guess I'll be ok. Just curious if anyone else has seen something that different?

hockeypro1411
03-27-2008, 08:21 PM
just tryin to git-r-done

Mimowerman
03-27-2008, 08:30 PM
ya well i guess everyone starts somewhere... I was out of the back of a mini van ... but I was ten at the time.... now I have a 250 and a 8x20 enclosed trailer:drinkup:

bluediamond
03-27-2008, 08:39 PM
We call them "Vanscapers"

lawns Etc
03-27-2008, 09:09 PM
They are making more profit than we are thats the shame of it

smcunningham
03-27-2008, 09:18 PM
I,ve seen it once or twice in my area

pinto n mwr
03-27-2008, 09:21 PM
hey, look at my name!

KrayzKajun
03-27-2008, 09:23 PM
We call them "Vanscapers"

LOL!!!!:clapping:

corey4671
03-27-2008, 09:26 PM
what part of TN you in? That sounds like something the hicks around here would do!

Howard Roark
03-27-2008, 09:30 PM
Maybe he's on to something. I wouldn't underestimate anyone, particularly because of the type of vehicle they drive.

Think outside the box, not from ego.

delphied
03-27-2008, 09:34 PM
I use an Astro to pull my trailer. I dont need a 250 or a 2500 or a 747. Just an Astro.

CFB
03-27-2008, 09:38 PM
I use a Dodge Caravan with 170K miles to pull my trailer. A $25,000 gas guzzling truck is something I can live without.

TomberLawn
03-27-2008, 10:05 PM
I saw a guy today pulling about a 4x6 trailer behind a Toyota minivan. He was on some old tractor style mower. He's probably making decent money, though. I'm sure that van gets better mileage than a 4x4 3/4 ton truck. I would have gotten a commercial walk behind, though, instead of a tractor style mower.

I've often thought about using a Sprinter or other cargo van. It would be about like a real "Vanscaper" by Supreme or SuperLawnTrucks, but probably a lot cheaper to buy and operate. The only problem I see is that you'd need some sort of ventilation or barrier between the cab and cargo area to keep gas fumes from knocking out the driver.

Howard Roark
03-27-2008, 10:34 PM
I saw a guy today pulling about a 4x6 trailer behind a Toyota minivan. He was on some old tractor style mower. He's probably making decent money, though. I'm sure that van gets better mileage than a 4x4 3/4 ton truck. I would have gotten a commercial walk behind, though, instead of a tractor style mower.

I've often thought about using a Sprinter or other cargo van. It would be about like a real "Vanscaper" by Supreme or SuperLawnTrucks, but probably a lot cheaper to buy and operate. The only problem I see is that you'd need some sort of ventilation or barrier between the cab and cargo area to keep gas fumes from knocking out the driver.

I looked into Sprinters as well (briefly) with some kind of pull out ramp and such.
As cool as a setup that would be, I just don't think the cost would be worth it, until there are a bunch of used cheap Sprinters on the market.

SchultzLawnCare
03-27-2008, 11:21 PM
Must be in minnesota? lol

farmboy1285
03-27-2008, 11:56 PM
Ive thought about using an old used uhaul truck but a trailer just seems like a much better idea:cool2:

mjlcare
03-28-2008, 12:01 AM
try pulling a 6X14 trailer with anything less than a half ton pick up and tell me that you can get it done with a mini van. the average good business cant

CFB
03-28-2008, 12:13 AM
try pulling a 6X14 trailer with anything less than a half ton pick up and tell me that you can get it done with a mini van. the average good business cant

Of course. However the 8 Cyl on the truck is not needed and I would agrue that til the end. It is time for 4 cyl deisels in this country.

But for my pt biz, a minivan pulls my 6X10 with two WB's just fine. I wasn't saying trucks aren't needed for most in the biz, just that for a small guy with a low overhead business plan, an expensive truck is not a worthwhile expense.

tacoma200
03-28-2008, 12:44 AM
This is a first for me so I just had to share it. We pull into a subdivision and there's a new guy mowing. I'm looking around trying to figure out where his truck is at and all i see is a minivan.We go on in and mow our accounts and when we come back out the guy has loaded his riding mower into the back of the mini van. It looked pretty cramped in there so i'm not really sure where he put the trimmer. anyway I thought that was kinda funny. If that's my biggest competition here i guess I'll be ok. Just curious if anyone else has seen something that different?

In Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia any thing is possible. Just saw a new LCO with two Murry's on back today. But then again I remember someone posting of two guys using a push mower to trim bushes (each holding two wheels).

jsf343
03-28-2008, 12:47 AM
I saw an old beat up Winnebago pulling a trailer with them really dinky wheels last year, it was a site to behold. I think the dude was living in there too.

big acres
03-28-2008, 01:47 AM
I saw a guy today pulling about a 4x6 trailer behind a Toyota minivan. He was on some old tractor style mower. He's probably making decent money, though. I'm sure that van gets better mileage than a 4x4 3/4 ton truck. I would have gotten a commercial walk behind, though, instead of a tractor style mower.

I've often thought about using a Sprinter or other cargo van. It would be about like a real "Vanscaper" by Supreme or SuperLawnTrucks, but probably a lot cheaper to buy and operate. The only problem I see is that you'd need some sort of ventilation or barrier between the cab and cargo area to keep gas fumes from knocking out the driver.

The bigger problem is how you operate when your "van" is down due to accident or major repair. I've never understood the thinking behind fancy box truck set-ups either. At least with a trailer you can easily rent something to pull it in an emergency.

bglawncommand
03-28-2008, 02:32 AM
I recently saw an article (or maybe it was on LS?? ) about a company that just has ford rangers and 21s. Seemed to make a lot of sense for the lawns he was targeting. There are a few different ways to skin a cat, I suppose. I really like the idea of setting up the trucks with ramps on the beds for hauling zero turns also. The breakdown issue is a good point, but there are always trucks AND trailers that can be rented if needs be.

SoloSulkySurfer
03-28-2008, 02:53 AM
But for my pt biz, a minivan pulls my 6X10 with two WB's just fine. I wasn't saying trucks aren't needed for most in the biz, just that for a small guy with a low overhead business plan, an expensive truck is not a worthwhile expense.

I run pretty high quality equipment, service some high end accounts, pay taxes, and have insurance, yet I still pull my trailer with an 1988 jeep cherokee. I cant justify buying a truck either. What profit can it make me that my old jeep cant. Not to mention that money to buy a truck (6-10k for a decent used) could be reinvested in better places in my business.

delphied
03-28-2008, 09:20 AM
try pulling a 6X14 trailer with anything less than a half ton pick up and tell me that you can get it done with a mini van. the average good business cant

Guess Im lucky I only pull an 8x12 with my Astro. The trailer with mowers weighs about 2900. The Ski Nautique I pull weighs 3300 on the trailer. Astros are made to tow heavier loads. Would it work better with a pickup body on the frame instead of van? Im thinking my next vehicle may be a full size cargo van since Astros arent made anymore. Its kinda sad to find out I dont have a good business without a pick up. Oh well.

bglawncommand
03-28-2008, 03:16 PM
I don't see why a cargo van wouldn't work just fine. I've always kindof been a closet geek for the whole idea of using vans. Everything stays dry anyway!

larryinalabama
03-28-2008, 03:23 PM
I ran my route of 65 houses with a 1500l 1990 chev van for 4 years and it worked out great. Lock the van down when you go into the back yard and NO THEFT

Lawnut101
03-28-2008, 04:10 PM
I was a "vanscaper" a few years ago. Then my parents decided they didn't want me to use their van and bought me a truck as an early graduation present. Since then I sold that truck and bought a bigger one for plowing for about $2k more. I'm glad my parents support me. Otherwise I'd still be like that. It's a lot handier to have a truck. Trust me! lol

jbannick18
03-28-2008, 04:26 PM
def not good on the transmission. I've seen people working out of civics....

Johnson LCO
03-28-2008, 06:12 PM
I always though it would be cool to work out of an extended e350 ro something similar. Once I saw the NPRs with an enclosed body, I knew that would be my next truck. A similar idea to vans, they are enclosed and seem to waste nothing. They have a short wheelbase and handle well. If this year goes well I will definitely buy one.

LwnMnWoody
03-28-2008, 08:41 PM
I started my business out of the back of a VW Jetta with an old used Honda commercial 21" mower. From humble beginnings I have made a pretty good living. Thanks to God..:angel:

larryinalabama
03-28-2008, 09:15 PM
def not good on the transmission. I've seen people working out of civics....

I remember back in my old days earily 90's I used to see a feller with a honda civic towing a trailer, He showed up on that street every week around the same time I did ,saw him the whole 4 years I ran my route till I moved to the South. Never met the feller, and I never left a flyer on his customers house, and as far as I know he never left a flyer on my customers houses. Nearist I could tell he had 2 houses and I had 3 on that street.

larryinalabama
03-28-2008, 09:26 PM
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