PDA

View Full Version : Solo's and smaller guys, your vehicle???


Ex-golf guy
11-12-2009, 02:37 PM
How many of you use your primary fert & squirt vehicle as your daily driver as well? I've been starting to search for a truck to get rolling with next season, and man are the 3/4 ton's expensive... $10-15 thousand gets you a F250, F350, or Chevy 2500HD that's usually 00-02, with sometimes 150,000 miles. I also need an extended or crew cab, as I have 2 little ones in car/booster seats.

I've just recently considered going the van route... a beefed up cargo van of similar age to the trucks goes for close to half the $$ of the truck. I would then have to have another vehicle for personal use, but that could be a cheap car.

Things are going to be tight for the first year or two, I can't afford to go out and drop $20-30k+ on a newer truck until the revenue is there to support it. Just looking for opinions and experience.

teejet
11-12-2009, 05:21 PM
I've got a 3\4 ton van that I use. The tank (220 gallon leg tank) is mounted perfectly centered behind the seats. Hose faces out the side doors of course, and still plenty of room in the back for a spreader, fert, and handcans. I never use a spreader,so I utilize the back for hauling stuff when doing landscape mainteince or plant materials. My sprayer cost 3 times the amount of the van. It has worked out very well for me for my first year. I have only been bothered by odors when I spilled liquid fert down the side of the tank when filling,smelled like a litter box for a week. I hope to replace the van in a few years and get an extended 1 ton, van.

Ric
11-12-2009, 06:09 PM
Ex-golf guy

Why not a used Enclosed Trailer in the 12 Ft single axle size?? You really don't need a drop gate unless you are using a ride on spreader, which you might not be ready for at this time. The trailer can be a rolling Shop and chemical storage on wheels. You keep the weather out and materials in away from thief. As a bonus you have a Big Bill board to advertise on.

Hanau
11-12-2009, 07:06 PM
man are the 3/4 ton's expensive... $10-15 thousand gets you a F250, F350, or Chevy 2500HD that's usually 00-02, with sometimes 150,000 miles.

Buy an older truck. I just picked up a 1990 F-250 4x4 Lariat for a grand. Dropped it off at a reputable shop and had the engine in-frame overhauled, clutch, transmission, t-case, both axles, brakes on all 4 corners, master cylinder, power windows, and some minor fix it type stuff done for $3,400.

For $4,400 I've got a truck that will last another 20 years and 200,000 miles with proper maintenance. Mechanically it's a brand new truck.

Spent an afternoon and $40 on supplies to wash and wax it. She shines up nice.

Next I'll spend $400 on some chrome steel wheels and $300 on Treadwrights and have good rubber all the way around.

In the spring I'll drop another $150 and replace the windshield.

Key is to find a truck with a good body. Body work is expensive.

Hanau
11-12-2009, 07:35 PM
Just thought I'd come back and explain the difference between an in-frame and out-of-frame overhaul. It was new to me and might be new to you.

On the F-250 the 460V8 was good internally, it just needed a refreshing. So instead of pulling the engine out of the truck and sending it to a machine shop they rebuilt it while it was mounted in the truck. Basically stripped it to a bare block, pressure washed it, and put it back together. New bearings, gaskets, piston rings, seals, and oil pump.

An out-of-frame is used when the engine is shot. The engine is pulled out of the truck and sent to a machine shop. Typically the engine needs oversized bearings or the cylinders need to be bored out.

The advantage of an in-frame is that you save the machine shop costs. So if the engine is worn, but not shot, you can save a few hundred having it in-frame overhauled.

Personally I kind of like the older style trucks. My favorite is my 82 F-150. It's a great truck. Someday soon I'll have the body and interior done on it. I'd also like to put a 5 speed behind the 351W and have an overdrive gear. No more screaming along at 65mph.

Shopping for old trucks is fun too. The best value right now is the 89 to 91 Ford trucks. They are possibly the ugliest pick up trucks Ford ever made, so the prices are low. However they have overdrive manual transmissions, fuel injected engines, and are built very heavy. Strong axles, good brakes.

The 92 to 96 Fords are essentially the same truck under the surface. However these are some of the best looking and most popular trucks ever made. So prices are higher.

Chevy/GM the current popular truck to have is the 88 to 98. Premium trim levels and Z71 trucks command premium prices. The base model trucks are more reasonable. 2 wheel drive pricing (except for regular cab, short bed models) are in line with Fords of the same year. Perhaps slightly lower for a nicer truck.

If you're looking at Dodge, good luck. The first generation Cummins trucks (89 to 93) in excellent condition command the highest prices of that year truck on the used market. They are very highly sought after.

If you're looking for something unique that will make your company stand out I'd suggest the 1969 to 1976 Ford F-250 4x4. Commonly called the Highboy. They're not cheap, but you get a lot of truck and it's a real attention grabber. Clean trucks go for $10K. However you can find a fixer that needs some attention for half that and get a good truck.

Pick up trucks are a kind of hobby of mine. Any questions feel free to ask.

Laner
11-12-2009, 10:12 PM
I'm with Ric.....get a trailer. Then the truck is more useable since the skid won't be in there ALL summer. I have taken the skid in/out of the truck several times in a year, but that gets to be a pain, so I use a small trailer often times to do things that I could have jsut used the truck (w/o the skid). I am getting a trailer for apps next year.

indyturf
11-12-2009, 11:20 PM
I have purchased brand new $35,000 trucks to work out of and $1500 used pick-ups with 150k miles. Used is the way to go! I just recently found a used box truck for $2500 and I love working out of it!! I also have a 95 chevy 2500 for sale $2000! runs and looks great for a work tuck.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
11-13-2009, 01:43 AM
Good thread - food for thought on buying PU's.
I used my Ford Escape for two seasons now w/ trailer but its time to step up, for next season....

Hanau
11-13-2009, 01:51 AM
The main advantage to newer trucks is... cupholders. That's the thing I notice most when I drive my 82. No damn cupholders!

That and the seats. Men must have been tougher in 1982. Worst seats ever. When I get the interior redone I'm putting in 92 to 96 bucket seats with a console. And cupholders.

Then it will be perfect.

Hanau
11-13-2009, 02:03 AM
I've attached the cover of the latest LMC Truck catalog.

That truck is somewhere around 1982.

Personally I don't see a problem with meeting clients in a truck like that. Especially if it's nicely lettered and sporting DOT #'s. In my mind that is a perfectly acceptable vehicle. It's clean, obviously well cared for, and in good shape.

That truck is my inspiration for what I want my 82 to look like. Clean, tight, and well cared for. Right now my truck is a rust bucket. Doesn't make a great first impression. Even though I love driving it, I usually leave it at home.

Can anybody offer a well reasoned argument against my point of view?

Josh.S
11-13-2009, 02:41 AM
It just turned out that my personal truck is my estimate/fert truck. I have a tank truck, but now with the zspray I would rather just drive my personal. Also I have another truck but it is always hooked to the mowing trailer and used by the mowing guys.

My fert/estimate/personal truck is a White 2006 F250 diesel. It is Extended/Longbed. Also an XLT with the nicer rims and power options.

I don't have anything against older trucks but I just love my newer one. It has tinted windows so I can use my laptop well. It has a split bench seat where the middle folds down and makes an awesome armrest/laptop platform. It is also extended cab so I put all my flags/bags/measuring wheel/ect in the back.

I get a lot of compliments on it from customers. I don't have anything against older trucks but I hate working on stuff, and normally they seem to require more wrenching.

Just do whatever fits your budget though. The truck only gets you to the job-site, it doesn't make you money unless you plow.

Ric
11-13-2009, 10:44 AM
I'm with Ric.....get a trailer. Then the truck is more useable since the skid won't be in there ALL summer. I have taken the skid in/out of the truck several times in a year, but that gets to be a pain, so I use a small trailer often times to do things that I could have jsut used the truck (w/o the skid). I am getting a trailer for apps next year.

Laner

I am trying to read the WHOLE question and answer it the best I can. The man has a family and has to start some where. Trailer have advantages and disadvantages. But with a need for a single vehicle that does double duty as family transportation, a trailer's advantage out weight the disadvantage.

As his route increases and he moves up to a second vehicle that is a work truck, the trailer can move with him as a part time tool. I have always kept older equipment when moving to new. I keep it in running order because you never know when that sweet job comes along that you must special tank for. Trailer are cheap to keep and can make you money. I have more than one with sprayers on them.

Ex-golf guy
11-13-2009, 11:46 AM
I know I could find this somewhere, just asking if anybody has it at the top of their head... what size/weight truck/trailer combo puts you on the DOT hit list? Does it vary from state to state?

I do appreciate the advice and see the benefits, but I'd like to avoid a trailer for two reasons. First being that I just hate pulling trailers around, don't know why other than just feeling kinda clumsy. Second, the question alluded to it, I just don't want to give any extra reason to be pulled over for DOT inspections... Everything will be on the up and up so I'm not worried from that end, more of just the PITA factor.

As I dig further into it I start leaning much more towards a 2 vehicle system with a cargo van for work, and runner suv for home. I should be able to get 2 very functional vehicles for a combined $5-6k tops, getting more for my money (both comfort and dependability) than a single truck in that range.

I've been spoiled some and spoiled myself some with the vehicles I've been driving over the last 10 years, first driving more than I could afford, as the baby of a large extended family trying to keep up with older successful family members... then also driving very nice company trucks at times. Fortunately I've learned enough here over the years to know that I need to check the ego at the door as I start out here, and that vehicle condition/cleanliness/appearance is much more important than age. Being smart with the money is vital at any stage of business, but doubly so at the beginning... hard to start making money year 2,3,4 if you can't survive the first year.

I am really starting to like the idea of a van... keep it clean and as Ric said about the trailer, a nice billboard for advertising. Here's a couple older threads with Victor's van and Rod's truck wrapped...

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=275787
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=262700&highlight=truck+wrap&page=8

Getting started I'd rather spend the $$ on turning my vehicle into a selling tool, rather than stroking my own ego. Somewhere down the line I'll be able to buy myself a fancy new truck again... but now is not the time.

EGL&L
11-15-2009, 10:18 AM
US DOT = 10,001 + lbs truck/trailer combined and you need DOT.
1/2 ton truck with a dual axle trailer most likely puts you over.
3/4 ton truck with any trailer probably puts you over.

Ric
11-15-2009, 02:07 PM
US DOT = 10,001 + lbs truck/trailer combined and you need DOT.
1/2 ton truck with a dual axle trailer most likely puts you over.
3/4 ton truck with any trailer probably puts you over.

EGL&L

I believe you might be wrong?? It is my understanding that each Vehicle has a GVW and a Total GVW for towing. I believe that rating has more to do with Braking power. My Isuzu Cab over has a 14,500 GVW but a total towing GVW of 18,000. The GVW puts the Isuzu in the same size range as the F 450 but with much less engine power. At one time I had to have a commercial Drivers License to drive anything over 8,000 GVW. My state no longer requires that.

States may differ, But in Florida a non CDL drivers license is good up to 26,001 GVW. But each Vehicle is limited as to it's GVW rating. I see Half Ton trucks advertised as having a 5 ton or 10,000 pound towing rating.

indyturf
11-15-2009, 05:32 PM
I know in Indiana its any combination of truck and or trailer GVW that puts you over 10,000lbs puts you over the limit and you need a dot # on your truck but no CDL, I think that is over 26K? I was lucky to find a box-truck with 10,000lb gvw so I dont need to worry about it!

chevyguy$$
11-15-2009, 05:37 PM
my yard is nt level can i put leafs on the spots thats level with dirt on top of the leafs will it be fine help me guys???:hammerhead:

Grandview
11-16-2009, 07:47 AM
my yard is nt level can i put leafs on the spots thats level with dirt on top of the leafs will it be fine help me guys???:hammerhead:

Go back to English class.

chevyguy$$
11-16-2009, 11:36 AM
**** you ...:weightlifter:im nt tht dude 2 talk 2 like that

EGL&L
11-17-2009, 08:19 AM
Indyturf is correct. US DOT regulations are any combo GVW in excess of 10,000lbs requires a DOT registration, but not CDL until you reach 26,000 lbs.
If you have a vehicle with 9,000lbs GVW and a trailer with 1,200 GVW, then you're over 10,000 and need a DOT.
While some states may be different, this is the US DOT requirements, and if you travel from one state to another, you are under this regulation.
If you travel only in your home state, you may only be under your state regualtion.

Ric
11-17-2009, 11:24 AM
Indyturf is correct. US DOT regulations are any combo GVW in excess of 10,000lbs requires a DOT registration, but not CDL until you reach 26,000 lbs.
If you have a vehicle with 9,000lbs GVW and a trailer with 1,200 GVW, then you're over 10,000 and need a DOT.
While some states may be different, this is the US DOT requirements, and if you travel from one state to another, you are under this regulation.
If you travel only in your home state, you may only be under your state regualtion.

EGL&L

I believe you are correct about the US DOT Number and heard it some where before. But My state doesn't seem to be enforcing that Regulation or many of us have been stopped a long time ago. Next month when I renew my License plates in person I will ask about the DOT regulation.

As a Side note. Florida Driver License renewal now requires a ton of Identification documents. I believe this is for illegal workers. They have set up a website (which I don't have a link to) that lists the required documents. I know this is going to be a PITA for me. Next time they advertise the Link, I will write it down.

sprayboy
11-17-2009, 12:30 PM
A very good friend of mine is a DOT officer. I have had quite a few talks with him on this subject. Not because he stopped me but just to stay informed. Many of our field days have the State Police their for education purposes.

As others have said:

Any vehicle or combination of vehicles, used for commerce, over 10,000# GVWR requires a DOT#. Company name and DOT# must be displayed on towing vehicle, not trailer. This is considered a commercial motor vehicle.

Driver of vehicle MUST have a Medical card.

Vehicle MUST be inspected and a copy in the vehicle and a copy at the office. These forms can be found at any truck stop for a couple of bucks.

All equipment and loads must be secured with straps or chains.

Big on safety here...Breakaway device on trailer, safety chains, load securement, brakes, fire extinguisher, ect.

Seeing roadside inspections around here is pretty common, not just on 18 wheelers as they pull over all types.

CDL license comes into play if GVWR is over 26,000#.

Do not confuse this with the license plate weight rating you have on your vehicle, totally different.

These are Federal laws, whether your states enforces them is the question each person needs to find out. Probably can check with your State Police.

Our State Police has a seperate division which regulates these vehicles. The cars are different color and easy to spot. Regular road troopers do not pull commercial vehicles over for inspections only.

nti152
11-18-2009, 03:26 AM
I just glanced at your post we are selling two of our trucks

1994 GMC 2500- 160,300 miles 2wd pickup, Reg cab, 8 ft bed, white exterior, great running, looks good. This truck is used everyday. Our company is down sizing and that is why we are selling. $3400.00 obo

2006 F250 FX4 Reg. cab 8ft bed with around 66,000 miles for $17,000.00 Includes 7.6 ft Meyer snow plow
Tow package with built in brake controller

Madddog6993
11-18-2009, 09:20 PM
I would go with a Van I have an E-350 blocked of with a seat behind behind the drivers seat for the little ones. Throw a carring rack on the back and i have room for 60-70 bags of fert an no rain worries. I also added extra springs to handle the weight. Works good and it is also a rolling billboard.

naughty62
11-21-2009, 08:37 AM
What services do you offer?do you do a lot of clean up /leaf removal .mowing,aeration power raking ,hedge trimming ,light tree removal .I would consider a used 1ton with hoist . One that has around 13kto to15k gvwr Long wheel base dually (streched frame )with 10to12 ft. box .Running back and forth to manually unload landscape waste really eats up time .Storage and loading facilities .We had a couple guys shut down for operating out of garages .neighbors and competitors will drop a dime on people sooner or later.If you buy older vehicles can you work on them .my favorite picks would be be 1973-79f 250 with 460and 1987-1993c250with 350t.b.i. .

CMU07
11-24-2009, 12:32 AM
I've attached the cover of the latest LMC Truck catalog.

That truck is somewhere around 1982.

Personally I don't see a problem with meeting clients in a truck like that. Especially if it's nicely lettered and sporting DOT #'s. In my mind that is a perfectly acceptable vehicle. It's clean, obviously well cared for, and in good shape.

That truck is my inspiration for what I want my 82 to look like. Clean, tight, and well cared for. Right now my truck is a rust bucket. Doesn't make a great first impression. Even though I love driving it, I usually leave it at home.

Can anybody offer a well reasoned argument against my point of view?

If it's presentable than more power to you, my only argument would be the MPG difference.

andyslawncare
11-25-2009, 02:12 AM
I got a 2006 gmc sierra 2500 regular cab this year for $9,000. It only had $80,000 miles...You just got to spend some time shopping! It took me 3 months to find this deal. If you put a spray rig in the truck vs. van, then right off the bat potential customers can see that you spray as they look down at your sign with your name and info... and if you are towing mowers, etc... they can see that you are the one they need. It makes sense to me...