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Oasis360
08-16-2010, 03:35 AM
I am a lawn and garden maintenance outfit looking to upgrade to my first truck from the van I started out with. I do not own a trailer, nor do I want one right away. I have the idea to place plyboard sheets 4 feet tall above the top of bed on the truck, and use the space created for yard debris and equipment separated by tarping divider. My question is this- should I go compact or full sized diesel? I would be hauling 1 21inch walk behind, line trimmer, backpack blower, hedge trimmers, hand tools, and yard debris only. I want fuel efficiancy and heard diesels matched that of a compact truck. I will be buying used from auction, probably wanting a ranger or toyota pickup from early 90s or 6.9 ford diesel / 12valve 5.9 dodge diesel... Like I said Im just starting out, one man opp, mainly lawn and garden maintenance with no trailer - and I need fuel efficiency and reliability. Thanks for input
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MarcSmith
08-16-2010, 07:34 AM
before you start "mickey mousing" with the plywood, I would do a digital image of what 4' above the bed really looks like...I don' think you'll be happy.. Sanford and Son comes to mind

I know money is tight. but I would look into some sort of of expanded metal sides that would extend only as high as the cab...or some sort of ladder rack framework so you could do similar to what you need.

Keep in mind with your debris being "co-mingled" with your equipment I would expect a fair amount of dirt and debris in your fuel and air cleaners. for this reason alone I'd also want some sort of rack system to hold the hand tools out side of the bed.

since you are small operation why not a full size truck with a long bed with a smaller gas V8 or large V6. you won't be hauling as much stuff so you don' need the capacity yet. key word is YET plus gassers are cheaper to work on...

I don' think you'd be happy with a small struck although I did start out with an 87 s10 long bed and I could haul around my 36" WB with no problems...

SchnabelLawnCare
08-17-2010, 09:09 PM
I love my chevy s10. 1998 was a good year for them. Regret not getting a v6 though...
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Oasis360
08-18-2010, 12:00 PM
I can see now that plyboard walls 4 feet above bed sides would be very counter productive in my operation. A standard truck bed just isnt setup to be modified into a dump box, especially on a compact truck like I want. I still havent purchased yet, I did manage to make it to an auto auction yesterday where I seen a 78 ford dually with a 9 cu yard load box (no hydro dumper) sell for 400 dollars. I think it had a 302 or 368 in it, which is 10 miles a gallon empty or full... I almost bought it but I wouldnt be able to handle the storage of something that big or the fuel cost. I have my eye on compact 4 cyl diesel trucks, like isuzu pup chevy LUV or Nissan 720. They all average around 30-32 MPG. Only downside I can see is 1500 payload and 2000 towing... But for starting out with no trailer I think it would be ideal. Im open to all input. THANKS
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knox gsl
08-18-2010, 12:37 PM
A late 90's chevy half ton with long bed, they are cheap and plentyful. You can d alot of work out of one and booste capacity with a helper spring on the rear axle. These trucks also came with stake pockets in the bed so you could add 2 foot framing around the bed to haul mulch or lawn waste. I have also seen some guys around my area using these with an expanded steel fold up ramp and 36" walkbehinds so no trailer would be needed. I would stay away from ply-wood just not good buiness image. Go with the metal sides with signs printed on it.

MarcSmith
08-18-2010, 12:46 PM
Yand booste capacity with a helper spring on the rear axle. NO NO NO...you cannot boost capacity by adding springs, air bags, or any such device. Helper springs and airbags only help maintain the ride/level the truck IE keeping it from sagging/swaying. You cannot legally ever exceed the hauling/towing capacity of your truck no matter what you install. Overload springs help keep the vehicle level when loaded or overloaded, but they do not strengthen the axle, wheel bearings, tires or frame.

hosejockey2002
08-20-2010, 01:48 AM
I have my eye on compact 4 cyl diesel trucks, like isuzu pup chevy LUV or Nissan 720. They all average around 30-32 MPG. Only downside I can see is 1500 payload and 2000 towing... But for starting out with no trailer I think it would be ideal. Im open to all input. THANKS

Those little diesel pickups have NO power at all. Hauling 1500 pounds or towing 2000 would be pretty optimistic. I would go for the full size truck, it will give you room to grow. I started with just a pickup with no trailer. Now I have a 6x12 enclosed, and the efficiency of using a trailer paid for itself very quickly.

Oasis360
08-20-2010, 11:50 PM
Well I found a great deal on an 84 Ford Ranger Long Bed w/ 2.8 liter V6 --- $700. Its got a 5 speed and a new clutch, as well as many other newer parts. I figure that it will hold 1500 in the bed and be able to tow around 3500 no problem, and I will be adding a low-end torquer cam, 4 barrel intake manifold, holley 390cfm double pumper, MSD full ignition, and headers / exhaust.

Lawn Man Dave
08-21-2010, 01:19 PM
Well I found a great deal on an 84 Ford Ranger Long Bed w/ 2.8 liter V6 --- $700. Its got a 5 speed and a new clutch, as well as many other newer parts. I figure that it will hold 1500 in the bed and be able to tow around 3500 no problem, and I will be adding a low-end torquer cam, 4 barrel intake manifold, holley 390cfm double pumper, MSD full ignition, and headers / exhaust.



I had an 86 Camaro with a fuel injected 2.8 and 3.42 gears........ that truck will hate you and you will hate it... Then engine new does not have much power and that old it has even less and the fuel injected ones did better then the carb ones.

Id never consider hauling more then a riding mower with that.... the non commercial kind.

You are also forgetting about the brakes..... you MAY be able to pull it but even with down shifting I bet you will be burning up brakes....

mnglocker
08-21-2010, 01:29 PM
Well I found a great deal on an 84 Ford Ranger Long Bed w/ 2.8 liter V6 --- $700. Its got a 5 speed and a new clutch, as well as many other newer parts. I figure that it will hold 1500 in the bed and be able to tow around 3500 no problem, and I will be adding a low-end torquer cam, 4 barrel intake manifold, holley 390cfm double pumper, MSD full ignition, and headers / exhaust.

And all that add on **** cost how much? BTW 1500lbs in the bed is optimistic... at best.

Take the money you'd spend trying to make the truck into something it's not and buy it set up correctly from the start.

DoetschOutdoor
08-21-2010, 01:34 PM
1500lbs in the bed and towing 3500 pounds around??????!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!?! Of an old azz ford ranger?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! No way man. And whats the big deal about hauling a small or big trailer around if your making money? Who in the hell wants to have "yard debris" riding around in the bed of their truck with their tools all mixed in.

mnglocker
08-21-2010, 01:42 PM
Who in the hell wants to have "yard debris" riding around in the bed of their truck with their tools all mixed in.

Their nickname rhymes with BowLaller.

Lawn Man Dave
08-21-2010, 01:43 PM
Hope the mower does not fall when you are trying to load it or un load it and hope drie leaves don't end up hitting hot engine parts...

MICHELLE'SCLEANINGSERVICE
08-21-2010, 11:14 PM
I went with a Daihatsu Delta Dual cab. 4 Ton capacity and I have towed around town 2 cubic meters of top soil with it no problems. its a 2.8L diesel and by no means a rocket but it does the job and doesn't complain. I carry all my equipment on a 6.5m trailer that is about 2t loaded.

Oasis360
08-23-2010, 01:14 AM
Great advice, I appreciate the input from everyone. Ive decided not to use the truck bed for much more than lightweight debris hauling. What would be an easy way to extend the sides of the bed up to cab-height? I was thinking using a ladder rack and welding expanded steel to it.

Lawn Man Dave
08-26-2010, 06:19 AM
Great advice, I appreciate the input from everyone. Ive decided not to use the truck bed for much more than lightweight debris hauling. What would be an easy way to extend the sides of the bed up to cab-height? I was thinking using a ladder rack and welding expanded steel to it.

Then what are you going to use to pull the mowers? A trailor???? At the very least the brakes will still hate you and you will hate them.... trailor brakes would help but then you would have to get the box and all installed on the truck...

93Chevy
08-26-2010, 08:25 AM
Great advice, I appreciate the input from everyone. Ive decided not to use the truck bed for much more than lightweight debris hauling. What would be an easy way to extend the sides of the bed up to cab-height? I was thinking using a ladder rack and welding expanded steel to it.

Wooden sides with tool holder rack along the front of the bed and tarp. I will be adding a tarp roller very soon instead of the bungie cords, but I wanted to see how it worked before I spent the money.

Oasis360
08-26-2010, 07:43 PM
I have seen a few ford rangers online with custom made flatbeds with expanded metal sides on them. I have the idea to use a lightweight metal or steel (1/16 or 1/8) on tube steel frame as the bottom, and tube steel expanded steel sides & rear gate. The weight shouldnt be too bad on my explorer 4 pack springs. I want to have an 8 foot long by 6 foot wide by 6 foot tall cage on the back for my lawn equipment and I keep my cut debris in tarps tied up so it will keep it separate from the equipment. I really dont have a place to store a trailer so truck is it.
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JNGLawncare
08-26-2010, 10:24 PM
Take care of those brakes first. I have a ranger as a backup, everytime we use it the brakes overheat and lockup.

nepatsfan
08-26-2010, 10:37 PM
Penny-wise and pound foolish comes to mind. You are so worried about fuel mileage that you pass on a $400 truck because of fuel mileage. How many trips back and forth to the dump do you have to make with a little ranger. If the ranger gets 20 miles to the gallon and the f350 gets 12 miles to the gallon but you have to make 3 trips to the dump vs. 1....which is better. I never understand people that are so wrapped up in fuel mileage. I can understand that its a factor but it is what it is. You are going to be doing work that more than likely requires a big truck to do the work. Its like going into the excavating business with an f250 and a 303 mini excavator. When you are digging a foundation which machine will use more fuel a 303 mini or a 320. Either one will do the job but you are going to take 10 times as long and not be efficient.

93Chevy
08-26-2010, 10:43 PM
Penny-wise and pound foolish comes to mind. You are so worried about fuel mileage that you pass on a $400 truck because of fuel mileage. How many trips back and forth to the dump do you have to make with a little ranger. If the ranger gets 20 miles to the gallon and the f350 gets 12 miles to the gallon but you have to make 3 trips to the dump vs. 1....which is better. I never understand people that are so wrapped up in fuel mileage. I can understand that its a factor but it is what it is. You are going to be doing work that more than likely requires a big truck to do the work. Its like going into the excavating business with an f250 and a 303 mini excavator. When you are digging a foundation which machine will use more fuel a 303 mini or a 320. Either one will do the job but you are going to take 10 times as long and not be efficient.

Thank you. Anybody in this business, or most any other business that requires the use of trucks, should have their fuel cost covered by the profit of the job.