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View Full Version : Using a van instead of a 1/4 ton truck?


GTC187
10-18-2009, 06:05 PM
Do you think I could put my two 21"s in a cargo van like a chevy express and build trimmer racks to go on the sides of the walls or should I just throw all my stuff in the back of a 1/4 truck like a ranger?

Mowerboy04
10-18-2009, 06:15 PM
yes it could work, but what about hauling leafs and other materials? and as your business grows will the van grow with you.

CkLandscapingOrlando
10-18-2009, 06:20 PM
Vans work well. I used one for a good while. You can take ply wood and cut noches out for your 2 cycles and screw them into the wall supports in the van. You can also line the walls with sprinkler parts or what ever by adding bins. Leaf and limb removal will be a bear with out a trailer though

GTC187
10-18-2009, 06:32 PM
I dont really intend to to any cleanups, just mow and blow accts.

Lawn Enforcer
10-18-2009, 09:32 PM
I could definitely imagine using a van for lawn care- such as this "gem" I found on craigslist
http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/cto/1388263049.html
Cheap, V8 (no lack of power), large inside storage space (make some racks for everything on the walls) side and rear access, fully enclosed and secure, no hassle with trailers (but you could pull a descent size trailer with this van) and a rolling billboard to advertise. Doing small res. lawns with this set-up would seem pretty good. And if you don't do large clean-ups, it's no big deal. You could always pull a trailer for clean-ups. TruGreen used to aerate lawns by me, and they hauled 2 Ryan aerators with a 1500 Chevy van. Make a list of things you need for your business, and see if the pro's of the van outweigh the con's. Good luck!

sdk1959
10-18-2009, 10:25 PM
Four big pluses not mentioned yet when using a van are:

1 Your equipment is more secure from theft because it's not out in the open.

2 When it rains your equipment is protected, no rush to cover or unload your equipment into the shed or garage when you get home.

3 Your much less likely to be stopped for inspection with a van than towing a trailer.

4 Since your not towing a trailer you can pull into short driveways or park in smaller parking spots.:)

Exact Rototilling
10-28-2009, 10:43 PM
Just a tad small for lawncare :laugh: but I still like them. http://www.fordvehicles.com/transitconnect/

In dash PC :rolleyes:

MnGreen
10-29-2009, 01:10 AM
Do you think I could put my two 21"s in a cargo van like a chevy express and build trimmer racks to go on the sides of the walls or should I just throw all my stuff in the back of a 1/4 truck like a ranger?



I use a Chevy Astro (cargo) for that exact application

Marine
10-29-2009, 01:26 AM
I currently run a van and it works well but the downside is grass clippings if you have an unusual day "yes they happen" and you are mowing your first account and the neighbor up the street asks you to cut there place and trim the hedges you agree on a good price "good price money in your pocket" ah but you have mowers in van gas cans and trimmers and rakes where do you put haul off. I got hit one after the other a couple occasions and had bags of haul off for a passenger and arm rest. The upside I got a smoking deal on a enclosed trailer by watching craigslist took 6 months but i got it.

GTC187
10-29-2009, 08:58 AM
Sounds Good.

ox6603
10-30-2009, 07:18 AM
I'm running a GMC Savana 3500 van right now. Its not my permenant solution, but it works nicely. I'm not sure about all states but here in PA registration and insurance is cheaper than a truck. I was looking for a truck because I do have a trailer, but this thing came along way cheaper than any comparable truck would have been. For now the biggest mower I have is my Q36 Dually, which fits in the back with room to spare, I also carry a push mower, trimmer, and bp blower.
Posted via Mobile Device

Pro-Scapes
10-30-2009, 09:22 AM
One of the dangers not touched on is.

If you are in a wreck or even if you just happened to have a small leak the van will quickly fill with fuel vapors. Especially on a hot day when left during a lunch break or something. I am currently looking for a 1 ton van but will keep the equipment in the trailer. Vans are nice to carry a pile of parts like irri and lighting supplies as well as keep alot of things secure.

XLS
11-02-2009, 12:00 AM
MnGreen can you post more pics of your setup loaded please?

MnGreen
11-04-2009, 09:56 PM
MnGreen can you post more pics of your setup loaded please?

Sent you a PM

360ci
11-07-2009, 10:11 PM
Four big pluses not mentioned yet when using a van are:

1 Your equipment is more secure from theft because it's not out in the open.

2 When it rains your equipment is protected, no rush to cover or unload your equipment into the shed or garage when you get home.

3 Your much less likely to be stopped for inspection with a van than towing a trailer.

4 Since your not towing a trailer you can pull into short driveways or park in smaller parking spots.:)

I concur. Vans are a big plus, especially to keep theft low. My old trailer had 2' high sides, and everything was chained down and locked tight so people could try to steal it, but they'd have to be able to lift my 1200lb mower off the ground. Medco keys and high security measures were also used and I've never had any problems, or even tampering from what I could tell.

The only con with a van, is SMELL. I have some residential lots and lately my brother has been getting more involved, but he doesn't always keep his eyes on the grass. He loaded up the mower into my E-250 cargo 4.6L 2V V8 (gets 12.2L/100km straight highway too when loaded! Note - no trailer), and I just opened the door to get in after taking a phone call outside, and MAN, wouldn't you know it, he ran one of the mower wheels over some fresh, well, you get the idea. Driving with the windows down in the rain can be rather pleasant!

CapitalLawnGroup
11-08-2009, 11:35 AM
well I've never seen a van like the one pictured up there, but I would never use a van over a truck. Gas fumes, trash cans full of whatever... yea no van for me.

MnGreen
11-08-2009, 12:00 PM
well I've never seen a van like the one pictured up there, but I would never use a van over a truck. Gas fumes, trash cans full of whatever... yea no van for me.

For my application it works excellent. Small properties in & out pusher route as was the original poster's inquiry.
Don't have any "fume" issues, I only carry 5 gal secured, Venting is not rocket science either.
Plenty of "vent" applications out there for cargo areas if you cant figure something out.
The "trash" thing with cans of trash ? I service lawns, I'm not the garbage guy.

"things are only as dangerous or lazy as you make them"

lawncuttinfoo
11-08-2009, 12:23 PM
I service lawns, I'm not the garbage guy.


Oh you must be new. :laugh:

unkownfl
11-09-2009, 05:11 PM
Oh you must be new. :laugh:

lol I know what you mean.
What size mowers and how are you loading unloading equipment with vans. I have a idea of how to section off the cargo area from the driving area but still looking into loading and unloading ways. The hitch mounted attachment for the van looks good but doesn't really keep the mower from being tampered with or stolen. How does climbing in and out to get the hand held equipment work I think it would be a pia climbing in and out with only 4ft of clearance.

360ci
11-09-2009, 06:29 PM
lol I know what you mean.
What size mowers and how are you loading unloading equipment with vans. I have a idea of how to section off the cargo area from the driving area but still looking into loading and unloading ways. The hitch mounted attachment for the van looks good but doesn't really keep the mower from being tampered with or stolen. How does climbing in and out to get the hand held equipment work I think it would be a pia climbing in and out with only 4ft of clearance.

I looked into getting custom fabricated ramps installed in the back of my E250. In the off season I could remove them at the hinge, but otherwise they would fold up on the inside of the rear cargo doors. The length would be just fine for my push mowers. Interior clearance is an issue for me, I can only imagine what it's like in a smaller scale Astro. At least the E250 could easily fit everything and returned a respectable 19mpg highway @ 60mph with the 4.6L V8 & 4.10 gears! Straight city driving around town with a passenger and the usual cargo I get 14mpg; still not too bad.

unkownfl
11-09-2009, 06:34 PM
I looked into getting custom fabricated ramps installed in the back of my E250. In the off season I could remove them at the hinge, but otherwise they would fold up on the inside of the rear cargo doors. The length would be just fine for my push mowers. Interior clearance is an issue for me, I can only imagine what it's like in a smaller scale Astro. At least the E250 could easily fit everything and returned a respectable 19mpg highway @ 60mph with the 4.6L V8 & 4.10 gears! Straight city driving around town with a passenger and the usual cargo I get 14mpg; still not too bad.

14 with out trailer ouch I get about 11 with a big 6x12 enclosed with 2500 cargo. Im looking into it for the parking advantage as I live in a apartment. I just need to fit my 36 wright stander and other hand held equipment.

360ci
11-09-2009, 06:43 PM
14 with out trailer ouch I get about 11 with a big 6x12 enclosed with 2500 cargo. Im looking into it for the parking advantage as I live in a apartment. I just need to fit my 36 wright stander and other hand held equipment.

Yep. 14mpg without trailer. The smaller V8 is better for lightly loaded conditions, or straight highway driving. Going up hills while keeping pace with surrounding traffic the 4.6L will easily hover close and hold, in the 2800-3000rpm range. It's only 225hp and it's getting sold soon anyway while I can still sell it for a profit (bought it at an estate auction). Thought about getting a new Dodge Ram V6 ...quad cab short bed and haul my small trailer with that (5x10). It's EPA rated at 15mpg city, still better than the V8's and I try to keep rpms low unless climbing hills. My Dodge Durango R/T gets 12mpg around town with just me in it, and up to 18mpg on the highway between 55-60mph. I was debating getting a 2500 series, but I really don't need the 5.7L V8 and extra weight, fuel consumption, maintenance, and such that comes with the package.

Ol'Dad
11-12-2009, 02:37 PM
The virtues of a van sound good but if you have engine or tranny trouble, your operation is down until the vehicle is repaired. With the trailer, if my truck goes down, I can use the wife's SUV or borrow a truck from a friend or even rent one if it came to that.

360ci
11-12-2009, 04:24 PM
The virtues of a van sound good but if you have engine or tranny trouble, your operation is down until the vehicle is repaired. With the trailer, if my truck goes down, I can use the wife's SUV or borrow a truck from a friend or even rent one if it came to that.

If someone has a van and it breaks down, he can rent another van, as you mentioned. Or, even a truck to carry everything in the back, but I think vans are lower cost to rent with the same $/km depending on the place.

NIXRAY
11-12-2009, 06:37 PM
I'd suggest a small u-haul..
10' 2003 GMC G-3500 truck
$8,495 and up

http://www.uhaul.com/trucksales/model_spec.aspx?id=TG

Jay Ray
11-13-2009, 09:16 AM
I dont really intend to to any cleanups, just mow and blow accts.

The cleanups will come all by themselves. If you got the key to the gate they want you to do everything. If they don't have a fence they probably want you to do everything.

There was a guy here probably mowed more grass than anyone on the coast and used a big van with a big tandem trailer.

You might as well be looking for a receiver hitch now.