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Goodero
03-06-2009, 04:09 PM
I'm starting a residential lawn service. Will focus on weekly mowing/clean up but will also do Spring & Fall cleanups.

What truck should I buy? I was told to get a cab-forward dump truck for clippings, etc. Especially since I'm in the NE and there are tons of leaves.

Suggestions/Thoughts

lawnboy2068
03-06-2009, 06:38 PM
Buy a good used truck. There will be plenty of repo's and trade in's available to choose from. Never buy a new one unless you are going to be in the business for a long time and you can depreciate it over that long period of time. Trucks will loose there value pretty quick.
I will never buy a new one again. All of our trucks are trade in quality within a few years of being new and we keep them untill they outlive their usefullness.
James

lawnboy2068
03-06-2009, 06:44 PM
One more thing. Cab-overs like the Izuzu are great due to their tight turning radius but that's it. They are the same frame as a 450 or 550 series depending on what model you purchase. The same body can be put on a conventional truck just as well.

Also think about the fuel. With diesel likely to rise again, a gas truck might be the way to go. We just picked up a GMC 16' box with a fold down gate that is gas and it gets better milage than our diesel's and it is a lot peppier.

Put it this way, if you are going to be hauling heavy equipment or heavy loads than diesel is the way to go. If you are going to be dealing with light loads, grass, leaves and lawn equipment, then I would go with a gas set up.

James

David Haggerty
03-06-2009, 06:48 PM
If I were starting from scratch, I'd get an Isuzu NPR with a landscaper bed with a hoist under it. I think I remember one bed manufacturer that made a dovetail bed that had clearance so it could raise up.

But most of us are like what lawnboy2068 describes. We run whatever we can find cheap.

turf&snow98
03-06-2009, 06:50 PM
I am a fan of a good 3/4 ton truck with a stakebody dump. Medium duty / Heavy duty trucks are to expensive to maintain.

ZTR_Diesel
03-06-2009, 08:19 PM
Not quite sure what services you'll be offering, and therefore what size, wieght & type of truck you'll likely need. Go ahead a give a few more details - one sentance is hard to make a call off of.

For me, starting small & inexpensive is my general rule, then as business & requirements increase, re-consider your needs. Remember that sone folks have a hard time seperating what they want vs. what they need. it's also good to check out dealers and which ones in your area have a more reputable service departments, etc. this is really true with equipment in general. Good used (mid '90's) Chevy truck with a 350 are hard to beat in terms of cost of ownership and avalibity of parts. Heaver trucks use heavier parts and the expense goes up signifigantly. My 1996 Ram 2500 with a Cummins is quite the expensive truck to maintain, yet will achieve 23 mpg. just keep in mind that you'll get what you pay for in a truck, and service history is worth it's weight in gold.

mowerbrad
03-06-2009, 09:52 PM
If I were you I would find a good 1-Ton truck with dump body. If you start getting into the larger trucks (ie, 450's, 550's, etc.) the problems with them are only more expensive to fix compared to the same problem on a smaller truck. I would suggest you go with a diesel engine in a truck this big, personally I think it is pointless to put a gas engine in anything bigger than a 3/4 ton. With a diesel your fuel economy won't suffer nearly as much under a load as a gas engine would. What ever you buy, make sure to buy used as to avoid the major depreciation of new trucks, I would suggest no newer than 2 years old.