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View Full Version : Pros/cons of Isuzu lawn truck or similar


McFarland_Lawn_Care
07-10-2011, 05:57 PM
Okay, so I have enough work that I need a second crew - now comes the questions. I have been looking at the Isuzu cab-over trucks with the 14ft beds and considering that instead of another pickup and trailer. Now some advantages would be easier for the driver to maneuver in tough locations, maybe a TAD better mpg depending on diesel or gas. I live in the north so a con would be that I would have to let it sit all winter - couldn't put a plow on it or anything to make money when the snow flies. I am also unsure weather to go with an enclosed or open body. I would like to hear from some of you guys who have owned one and have either loved it or decided to go back to a trailer and why? Thanks so much - no one has these trucks around here so it really would be breaking new ground. I appreciate you opinions!

Jason

4 seasons lawn&land
07-10-2011, 10:16 PM
The Mitsu FG's are 4x4 and great plow trucks. But with a 14 foot body would be tough plowing, length wise

JB1
07-10-2011, 10:23 PM
bought a truck with a landscape bed in 2000, my only regrets is that I never bought one sooner.

knox gsl
07-10-2011, 10:40 PM
For me they suck on the highway and ride horrible. They also let you get rid of the trailer and are great in tight areas. I would look at getting one with a removable ramp and the option of a dump bed. This will allow you to run it late winter delivering mulch before you start mowing and then you could put a leaf box on it in the fall. That should only let it sit for maybe 3 months.

knox gsl
07-10-2011, 10:41 PM
Your in Maine so it may sit longer. You could use it to haul a loader onto a site to push and pile snow.

johnsonslawnmanagement
07-10-2011, 10:59 PM
Pros:
-great fuel fuel economy
-maneuverable in tight spots
-versatile for different jobs
-great tire wear
-long lived
Cons:
-slow, "won't win and races" as they say

-really no other cons as of my experience
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DEPENDABLE LANDSCAPING
07-10-2011, 11:54 PM
We have a 2 wheel drive mitsu with a 12 ft grain dump. 9 foot fisher plow with a state road contract. 2 ton ballast and it doesn't even slip a tire. Awsome turning and hides a load no problem. The only problem is that it will eat tires off of trailers if your not careful with the turning radius. We will definitely stick with the cabovers no doubt! Good luck.
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TimNNJ
07-11-2011, 08:09 AM
This is my first year with one..I have a 15' isuzu for my mowing crew...it's great on fuel, everything is covered, and is great in tight areas...and you have all that free ad space...

dbear
07-11-2011, 11:03 AM
We have a 2 wheel drive mitsu with a 12 ft grain dump. 9 foot fisher plow with a state road contract. 2 ton ballast and it doesn't even slip a tire. Awsome turning and hides a load no problem. The only problem is that it will eat tires off of trailers if your not careful with the turning radius. We will definitely stick with the cabovers no doubt! Good luck.
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As I haven't seen any OEM mount for any COE other than the Mitsu FG, did you have somebody modify a plow mount or do it yourself? How extensive/expensive was it? I've been thinking about a UD 2600 or 3300 (FG's too small for what I want), but would like that "winter use" option.

KrayzKajun
07-11-2011, 11:55 AM
I've actually been looking at goin this route. I think they are great even for a solo operation
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BJWLAWNCARE
07-11-2011, 08:54 PM
are u looking new or used? I think I will eventually go the same route. I like a stake body myself. I have one with painted plywood tap coned to the stakes. I like being able to load/unload from either side/rear or stake spot. It dumps too which helps out a lot.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
07-11-2011, 10:54 PM
Thanks so much for the insight, everyone. That really helps, I guess I will look for one soon - got to be diesel. I'll keep you all posted on what I find and how it works out - I really like the space it would provide inside as well as ad space on the side. Might even go to a state auction and see if I can find one for a decent price.

EA Quinn
07-12-2011, 04:28 PM
Here is a picture of our Isuzu. We put a 20' bed on it so in the fall we can carry the big blowers, as well as two riders with vac systems. We really like this truck a lot. The only two things I don't like about it is that I would get an enclosed one next time instead so we don't have to unload each night, and secondly it really can't be used in the winter. If we got an enclosed one, I could put a sidewalk crew in it. We recently took delievery of a crew cab isuzu and that has truly worked out perfectly! This is currently being used by a planting crew. Come winter time, we will put the quad and plow in it, as well as outfit it with snowblowers/shovelers and the dreaded ice melt.
http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=107531&d=1209478681

KrayzKajun
07-12-2011, 06:33 PM
Tht isuzu is badass
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cpllawncare
07-12-2011, 08:12 PM
This is my first year with one..I have a 15' isuzu for my mowing crew...it's great on fuel, everything is covered, and is great in tight areas...and you have all that free ad space...

I really like that, I'm looking into either an enclosed trailer or one like this one, I like to keep my equip out of the weather and don't wan't to have to load and unload everyday. this seems ideal. What does one cost if you don't mind me asking?

McFarland_Lawn_Care
07-12-2011, 08:28 PM
EA Quinn - I LOVE your trucks - I am am up in the air about which body to put on it....I like some things about each of those styles but I can't justify 2 yet...haha. Thanks so much for sharing and for the pictures - you have my dream setup. The good think about enclosed is that I could stock Fertilizer in there as well and not worry about it getting wet, etc....Can't wait to find one! I'm assuming at least the quad is 4x4 if you are plowing with it? or do you just add LOTS of weight?

Fordsuvparts
07-12-2011, 08:45 PM
Pros:
-great fuel fuel economy
-maneuverable in tight spots
-versatile for different jobs
-great tire wear
-long lived
Cons:
-slow, "won't win and races" as they say

-really no other cons as of my experience
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I 100% agree, our most useful truck in the fleet, we use ours for sidewalk crews in the winter and to resupply our salter spreaders, it is so easy because they both sit up high, just pull close to the other truck and toss the bags. Ours has a 12' Dump it has a 2' wide job tool box in front of the bed.
I think ours runs fine and will turn on a dime, good traction and easy to maintain. Meyers make a plow mount for many of the cab overs trucks.

EA Quinn
07-13-2011, 07:06 AM
Not to throw another twist in, but I did fail to mention we converted the isuzu flatbed so it has fold down sides. Althought a mowing crew uses this truck each day, if we get a job where we need to move a lot of trees, this is the truck to do it! Its nice having the sides be able to fold down. In the fall we use this truck to run snow pushers and pallets of ice melt around to stock all of our accounts. I forgot to mention this added bonus of having the flatbed style vs. enclosed.

KrayzKajun
07-13-2011, 11:16 AM
going look at a isuzu today w/ a 14' box on it. its a diesel and has a new tranny

KrayzKajun
07-14-2011, 10:21 PM
here is a pic of the NPR i found forsale at a buddies used car lot!
http://i27.photobucket.com/albums/c164/KrayzKajun/DSCN2030.jpg

McFarland_Lawn_Care
07-16-2011, 08:54 AM
did you buy it, Krazy? and did you get a deal? =D

KrayzKajun
07-16-2011, 10:40 AM
did you buy it, Krazy? and did you get a deal? =D

in a debate right now of buying the isuzu or a 99 reg cab f350 w/ flat bed

McFarland_Lawn_Care
07-16-2011, 02:49 PM
go with the isuzu...is the Ford diesel? if not, it's no comparison...lol

AI Inc
07-17-2011, 07:49 AM
con.
If a dumb bimbo talking on the phone crosses the center line and hits you head on , you will get effed up.
I know this one firsthand.

KrayzKajun
07-17-2011, 08:25 AM
con.
If a dumb bimbo talking on the phone crosses the center line and hits you head on , you will get effed up.
I know this one firsthand.

Wow. Never thought about the safety due to u sitting ontop the engine
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AI Inc
07-17-2011, 08:31 AM
Wow. Never thought about the safety due to u sitting ontop the engine
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Didnt have a seatbelt on, got thrown into the passenger side , her car came right thru the drivers seat. Left foot never made it out of the way in time.

XLS
07-17-2011, 02:45 PM
from my experiance this is what i would add not only does it save trailer pulling but anyone can drive them if they can drive a truck (wife drives one everyday but can not pull a trailer at all).
Brakes are much better then a regular truck,trailer hands down
the boxes make good storage and advertisments but make it hell trying to walk around the equipment all day so anything under 8' wide forget it unless you haul 54'' and smaller mowers .

landscape bodys are 200 degrees cooler durring the day reguardless if the box is open or not and they feel larger becasue you can hang you shoulder past the 8' width stepping over mower decks . you lose storage and advertisment space. but you gain 2-4 MPG becasue the box is gone as well . reguardless of your choice you fuel will be below 18mpg so its not any better then a regular pickup haulling a regular mowing crew,it is when these trucks are fully loaded they make you money ours gets 15 mpg loaded or enpty with a 14 foot box and with 3 mowers and 3 crew it make money as a 2 man 1 mower rig it would cost more then the pickup

agent walker
07-23-2011, 11:43 PM
They are great for turning around in tight places. I would go with enclosed box because you can store everything inside and out of the weather. Plus, if thieves can't see it, they won't steal it. go with the diesel.

agent walker
07-23-2011, 11:48 PM
Build a ramp like this one http://lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=354969&highlight=isuzu+npr

cgaengineer
07-24-2011, 11:25 AM
My partner and I run a 14' box Isuzu 5.2 diesel turbo with a dovetail...works great.

Cons: pulling out into traffic...better make sure you have plenty of time...you wont win any 1-60mph races in this baby.

A bit cramped inside at times with a 60" Kubota diesel and a 40" WB

no radio in ours

Depending on how the grade is where you park the gate is steep and the mowers have to be driven up ramp at angle

Pros: Secure and out of weather

Fuel efficient

AC...that's self explanatory

Power windows

cab room is plentiful

everything hangs on walls inside

turns on a dime...a really tight turning radius

XLS
07-24-2011, 02:00 PM
anybox truck cab over or not does the same things. a van cube type box truck isas good as the isuzu units as long as you go 14 foot or less theydo not turn any better the the other it simply places you to the front so you see the curb better before you hit it.....our cab overs have no less metal in front of a pick up just has you out there on it
the bestramp for a box is a full gate NO dovetail..the full size split 8 foot gate .will never cause a steep angle when loading up.


all it will take is on mower flipping over on youwhile loading and you will understand why dove tails are dangerous....and it willal depend on where you have to park it

i have seen the tail edge be 6"to 18" off the ground
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cgaengineer
07-24-2011, 08:50 PM
Our dovetail is long enough that I could park a 48" wb on it.

Turning radius on the Isuzu I'd tighter than and pickup truck I have ever drove.
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cgaengineer
07-25-2011, 08:10 AM
Here is our Isuzu:

cgaengineer
07-25-2011, 08:14 AM
NPR Turning radius 45.3 ft.

F250 Turning radius 57.12

KrayzKajun
07-25-2011, 08:58 AM
Here is our Isuzu:

I like that.
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XLS
07-25-2011, 09:07 AM
now add the extra length of a box and dove is the same. we have van cubes and NPR the radious may be slightly different but they require the same amount of space on the yard to swing their lengths ......the front wheels have the same amount of turned angle so the length makes up your differance.....i was not talking about spec numbers . you guys never hit a mailbox turning off into a drive way........truck made it fine but the tail hung it..........that damn extra 10 foot they left out of turn radius specs
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cgaengineer
07-25-2011, 09:16 AM
I like that.
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Thank you! I'll get a shot inside when the light illuminates it.
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SLC & IS
08-12-2011, 06:39 AM
Can you post a picture of your setup of the inside of the truck. Would like to see for reference,thinking of going the lawn truck route. Thanks

PlantscapeSolutions
08-13-2011, 02:09 AM
I'm in Texas but I'm from Augusta just down the road from you. I would want a Diesel 4x4 that can be used to plow and make money in the winter. Plus I'm sure you collect a butt load of leaves in the fall. When you lose that long bed truck you lose space for a lot of bags.

A 2500 Diesel pickup can haul an open or enclosed trailer and not be just a one trick pony. My 06' Ram 2500 pulls a 16' enclosed Pace that my guys love. I also pull my 16' landscape trailer for mulching jobs or smaller landscape jobs.

I think the cab overs are better for down south where dedicated crews may mow 40 hours a week and never touch a bag of mulch or any planting material.

KrayzKajun
08-13-2011, 08:13 AM
I'm in Texas but I'm from Augusta just down the road from you. I would want a Diesel 4x4 that can be used to plow and make money in the winter. Plus I'm sure you collect a butt load of leaves in the fall. When you lose that long bed truck you lose space for a lot of bags.

A 2500 Diesel pickup can haul an open or enclosed trailer and not be just a one trick pony. My 06' Ram 2500 pulls a 16' enclosed Pace that my guys love. I also pull my 16' landscape trailer for mulching jobs or smaller landscape jobs.

I think the cab overs are better for down south where dedicated crews may mow 40 hours a week and never touch a bag of mulch or any planting material.

You make a good point.
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BCR840
08-15-2011, 09:59 AM
I was curious about the maintenance, DOT regulations, Driver's needing certifications. I have seen a lot of guys around here moving from these to the truck/trailer combo, to bypass the DOT regs. Whats the deal with all that?

cgaengineer
08-15-2011, 10:40 AM
We have DOT numbers on our Isuzu.
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dbear
08-15-2011, 10:56 AM
I was curious about the maintenance, DOT regulations, Driver's needing certifications. I have seen a lot of guys around here moving from these to the truck/trailer combo, to bypass the DOT regs. Whats the deal with all that?

Then they're pretty much breaking the law. If you are using your truck for business, and especially if towing a trailer (somewhere I remember reading that the trailer gvw only has to exceed like 1500# but I can't find that now) for said business, then you are required to have USDOT numbers in all of the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration-licensing/registration-usdot.htm
www.nd.gov/ndhp/sites/nd.gov.ndhp/files/docs/permits/dot.pdf
http://www.motorists.org/other/dot-numbering

KrayzKajun
08-15-2011, 11:09 AM
Glad Louisiana DOT has better things to do
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dbear
08-15-2011, 11:29 AM
Glad Louisiana DOT has better things to do
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Yeah, I keep saying I gotta move...:laugh:

XLS
08-15-2011, 10:52 PM
dot numbers are only needed here if you also cross state lines....then youalso hjave to get a fire extinguisher and first aid kit too. just went through this2 months back with hwy patrol of nashville
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nightshutter
08-17-2011, 01:55 AM
Here is our Isuzu:

You wouldn't happen to have a few pics of the dove tail, would you?

cgaengineer
08-17-2011, 04:09 PM
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e223/cgaengineer/IMG-20110725-00068.jpg

BCR840
08-18-2011, 11:18 PM
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e223/cgaengineer/IMG-20110725-00068.jpg

What does insurance run on these ( estimate). Maintenance? Chris , do you like this better than truck and trailer?
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cgaengineer
08-19-2011, 07:28 AM
I'll check on the insurance...I don't recall the cost. Maintenance is almost non existant...the truck only has 85,000 on it. As far as this truck vs trailer...this beats a trailer hands down.
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4 seasons lawn&land
08-19-2011, 06:01 PM
I want to can the trailer for that set up so bad but I cant think of much else I would do with a truck like that besides mow. And to have another truck insurance and maint just for mowing is stoping me.

JPsDuramax
08-19-2011, 08:04 PM
In GA, DOT numbers are required for any truck or combination of truck and trailer with a gvwr over 10,000lbs whether it crosses state lines or not. This means a 1500 with a tandem axel trailer would require the numbers and have to meet all requirements. This would include a fire extinguisher, triangles, annual vehicle inspection, etc. You must also enter all weigh stations. I went through one last week and had the officer do a full inspection. Thankfully I had my log book up to date. And I drive a 2500HD with a tandem open trailer.

The rules suck but with everyone running out of money, the locals and state will be inforcing them even more heavily. Just make sure you know you area.

As far as the box trucks, I like the idea. I just can't justify adding one right now. Maybe if things pick up again next year. It would make my life much easier for some properties, plus it would protect equipment from random thunderstorms.
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nightshutter
08-19-2011, 10:07 PM
http://i40.photobucket.com/albums/e223/cgaengineer/IMG-20110725-00068.jpg

I should have been more specific. Close ups? Did you buy the dove tail or did you have it custom made? I like that one compared to others ive seen. Looking to adding a box truck next spring

4 seasons lawn&land
08-20-2011, 02:02 PM
that truck would have a heck of a tail swing and questionable ground clearance though.

cgaengineer
08-20-2011, 02:37 PM
that truck would have a heck of a tail swing and questionable ground clearance though.

Does fine...do have to watch when backing up, ground clearence is not a problem...I've only had it scrape once.
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