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View Full Version : Need Advice- How big of a truck do I need?


nautica1580
03-31-2008, 10:02 PM
I got in the lawn business almost a year ago and have only about 20 accounts, just enough to keep me busy part time. I have a 5x10 enclosed trailor with a custom tool box mounted on the trailor. I have a big 60" z-turn mower with all the normal yardman equipment. I have been using a 2005 f-150 to pull it but can no longer afford to keep it because of payment and fuel. How big of a truck do I need to pull this trailor? Would a 1999 Ranger with a 4cylender work? Cant afford much more than 2k for a work truck. Found a good deal on one and was wondering if anyone had experience with these towing that size trailor. Please any and all suggestions/advice are very much appreciated.
Tim

Indy Kyle
03-31-2008, 10:06 PM
Looks to me like your S.O.L.

kleankutslawn
03-31-2008, 10:06 PM
ranger in not a good idea.my.2

kleankutslawn
03-31-2008, 10:07 PM
Looks to me like your S.O.L.

i agree......

cgaengineer
03-31-2008, 10:18 PM
You need to figure out why you cannot pay for the truck...if you have 20 accounts what is the problem?

lawnwizards
03-31-2008, 10:42 PM
I got in the lawn business almost a year ago and have only about 20 accounts, just enough to keep me busy part time. I have a 5x10 enclosed trailor with a custom tool box mounted on the trailor. I have a big 60" z-turn mower with all the normal yardman equipment. I have been using a 2005 f-150 to pull it but can no longer afford to keep it because of payment and fuel. How big of a truck do I need to pull this trailor? Would a 1999 Ranger with a 4cylender work? Cant afford much more than 2k for a work truck. Found a good deal on one and was wondering if anyone had experience with these towing that size trailor. Please any and all suggestions/advice are very much appreciated.
Tim

i used a 95 ford ranger 4 cylinder for the first 4 years of my business. still have the original clutch. if you take care of your truck then you can do it. dont listen to anyone who says it cant' be done. make sure you take it easy on starts and try not to park on large hills. i think you will do fine with that 2k truck. goodluck.

cgaengineer
03-31-2008, 11:08 PM
I use a V6 Toyota but I hardly think it get much better gas mileage then a V8...I bet it is less actually.

MowHouston
03-31-2008, 11:31 PM
I've seen a few guys around town towing stuff with a ranger or those small toyota trucks.

Granted, you're gonna tear the sucker up if you dont baby it, especially a $2000 vehicle.

I had a 1994 Ford Ranger last year with 250,000 miles on it and was able to cram a 32" Lesco, my 21" and the rest of my equipment (very tight fit) but as a 4banger it was very groggy and you need to be carefuly when braking. I'm almost willing to bet you're gonna be over max GVWR or close to it.

Do it if you must, but use your money to upgrade to a bigger truck soon.

jdmcat
03-31-2008, 11:52 PM
for $500 you could easily get a late '70s to early '80s full size pickup that would work just fine. Mileage wouldn't be any better but you wouldn't have a truck payment either.

capetan
03-31-2008, 11:55 PM
a smaller under powered truck is a bad idea

stevenf
04-01-2008, 12:20 AM
How in the world do you fit a 60" mower on a 60" wide trailer?????

On a side note, I saw a 4cyl, late 80's model Mazda truck the other day that was pullin a 6x12 trailer with a dixie chopper ztr and a scag wb and still managed to keep up with traffic. The reason I remembered the details is because I thought it was freaking amazing!

cgaengineer
04-01-2008, 11:00 AM
How in the world do you fit a 60" mower on a 60" wide trailer?????

I was wondering the same thing???

bln
04-01-2008, 11:04 AM
when my 3/4 ton V10 ram was in service for a week i use my 6 cylinder dakota to pull 2 60" riders and a 48" wb.
:cool2:

sky_lawncare
04-01-2008, 11:18 AM
Maybe look for an older Chevy S-10 or Sonoma, a lot of em have the 4.3L v6 to provide a little pulling power, but for less than 2 grand you're probably stuck with an old ugly truck, F150 or something like that.

lawnpro724
04-01-2008, 02:58 PM
for a good all around truck your going to need at least a 3/4 ton if you doing more than just mowing.

SILVERSTREAK INC
04-01-2008, 06:59 PM
like they said im a ford guy but if you find an s-10 with a 4.3l youll be fine, they have the same auto trans (most 700r4) as the 1500s and actually my 2500 light duty 1990 chevy has the same trans and transfer case as the s-10.......

nautica1580
04-01-2008, 07:19 PM
Thanks for all the responses, the reason I cant afford to keep the truck is its costing me 500 a month in payments, 100 each week in gas and 100 for insurance. You dont have to be a math major to figure 1000 a month in vechile expenses is to much. I was in real estate and making good money so it wasnt a big deal a year ago, now I'm trying just to survive. As far as the mower, it has less than a half inch on each side, I have to back in into the trailer and it BARELY FITS

nautica1580
04-01-2008, 07:21 PM
I found a 1996 Dodge Dakota with a V6 with 150k miles on it but it good shape today. Can probably get for 2000, sounds like this will be a better option at this point versus the ranger.

SILVERSTREAK INC
04-01-2008, 08:24 PM
gotcha, some of those trannys are iffy, but check under the hood and there will be a sticker, make sure it has the 46re transmission, some dakotas have the 5.2 (318) and the heavier duty 46re trans

others have the 42rh and the 3.9l and id be weary about having even a small enclosed trailer behind it most the time...

good luck

HOOLIE
04-01-2008, 09:25 PM
I think you're looking at this situation the wrong way....consider if you can pick up JUST 3 more accounts at say $35 a cut, that'll be another $400+ a month in revenue. So now would you say you could afford your F-150?

gandk06
04-01-2008, 09:50 PM
I think you're looking at this situation the wrong way....consider if you can pick up JUST 3 more accounts at say $35 a cut, that'll be another $400+ a month in revenue. So now would you say you could afford your F-150?

Or he could pick up three more jobs at say $35 a cut and have $400 a month more in his pocket IF he didn't have a truck payment. These guys that just pull a small trailer with these $30,000+ trucks kill me. If you really like cutting grass just to make your car payment, more power to you. But if you really don't need the bigger (or just more expensive) truck then why have it.

That is just my take on it but everyone love to have a nice car/truck and I understand that.

HOOLIE
04-01-2008, 10:00 PM
Or he could pick up three more jobs at say $35 a cut and have $400 a month more in his pocket IF he didn't have a truck payment. These guys that just pull a small trailer with these $30,000+ trucks kill me. If you really like cutting grass just to make your car payment, more power to you. But if you really don't need the bigger (or just more expensive) truck then why have it.

That is just my take on it but everyone love to have a nice car/truck and I understand that.

True but going to a 4-cyl is not the way. He could pick up and older full size truck for the same 2 grand and be able to pull his trailer at least.

Pulling that trailer with a 4-cyl truck, the gas mileage isn't going to be all that great.

Self_Paid1
04-01-2008, 10:37 PM
I got a 89 Chevy 2500 with a fresh Motor in it with a 90 warranty for 3,200 Good Body and a Rebuilt Trans.

nautica1580
04-01-2008, 11:37 PM
Thats my plan to save money, not continually spend. I dont want a brand new truck for a work truck. I was in real estate and I NEEDED it then, now that things are different, I dont need that big/nice of a truck for my lawn business. I am going to have a truck paid for and save the 500 a month payment, and with the proceeds of the sale of my truck get a decent car to have for my other job, the truck I'm looking to purchase would strictly be a work truck. The Dakota I'm looking at has very good service records, but original tranny and original motor- 150k miles is alot. I guess worse case I'll have to put a new tranny in down the road, I'm anaylzing things now and seeing where I stand. I'm trying to be wise with my spending, especially with the economy the way it is now. I understand everyone has there own opinion on this, but I have been leary of the 4cy idea, thats why I wanted to gather as much info as possible. I feel more comfortable with a 6cy. towing my trailer. Thanks Alot fellas,God Bless.

gandk06
04-02-2008, 08:40 AM
True but going to a 4-cyl is not the way. He could pick up and older full size truck for the same 2 grand and be able to pull his trailer at least.

Pulling that trailer with a 4-cyl truck, the gas mileage isn't going to be all that great.

I would agree about the 4-cyl. The gas milege on a 6 is not even that great. I have a 6 in my dakota and i only get about 15.5mpg. Gas may cost me the same as running a bigger truck but I don't have payment to go with it.

KGR landscapeing
04-02-2008, 08:53 AM
when you buy used you just get somebody eles junk. JMO and a 4 bangger is just gonna drink that gas pulling anything. Let me put it this way i had to rangers but i wouldnt of draggd my 6x12 with it. just wouldnt be cost effective

mikeylikesit5805
04-07-2008, 07:23 PM
i use a 96 s-10, it i pull a 6x12 open trailer with a 36 bunton and the other usually stuff and it works just fine. its got the 4.3 vortec

mngrassguy
04-08-2008, 07:06 AM
I pulled a 6x12 trailer and 2 -36" toro w/b's with my '98 ranger 6cyl for about 3 years from brand new. As soon as the warranty ran out I blew out a spark plug. The engine went shortly after.

After that it just became a money pit. Down time sucks. I learned my lesson, always have a back up when you run older vehicles

If you can afford the down time, great. I can't

hackitdown
04-08-2008, 08:18 AM
I think you're looking at this situation the wrong way....consider if you can pick up JUST 3 more accounts at say $35 a cut, that'll be another $400+ a month in revenue. So now would you say you could afford your F-150?


I totally agree. The problem to solve is on the revenue side. If I were you, I would do whatever it takes to earn enough to keep the newer truck. A beater 6 cyl truck won't save much on gas. You will also have repairs to factor in. You will save nearly nothing on payment and insurance since you then want to go out and buy another car for your other job. WTF?

If it were me, considering that it is April (!!!), I would spend my time and a few hundred dollars on advertising and sales. As stated above, 3 new accounts is break even, 10 new accounts and you keep your truck, and have 7 more accounts' worth of revenue. Perhaps a little profit.

Maybe part time with 20 accounts is your goal. If that is your long term plan, buy your beater. If you plan to grow, then do what it takes to grow.

atv220chris
04-08-2008, 09:04 AM
i use a sonoma wiht a 4.3 and it pulls fine i also have an older F150 but i only use that when i pull my trailer full of mulch or rock

Kennedy Landscaping
04-08-2008, 11:25 AM
I use a 1994 F-150 that I got for $2,000, I also pull a 5*10 with it and it works just fine for me.

bruno_rs
04-08-2008, 03:39 PM
with the equipment you list... a 4 banger would be LESS fuel efficient than a SMALL eight (350ci or less), the braking scary/dangerous and no power whatsoever!!! if you have 20 accounts AND you're part time, i (also) don't understand your dilemma? if you (really) need to be rid of a truck payment, buy a decent used one... outright. there is no reason you couldn't find a decent older gentlemens' daily driver (or spare) for less than $2000. an older 1/2 ton will last years, thus giving you the option to save for a nice new truck and/or pick up another decent used truck to work with and/or beat on. just my .02... good luck. have a good one.