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View Full Version : Who cuts with just a pick-up truck?


locallawncare.ca
01-23-2013, 06:16 PM
Just wondering how many people operate out of the back of a pick-up truck? I do, but I am a small one man operation, doing strictly small residential houses. It fits everything I need, 2 mowers, trimmer, hand held blower, backpack blower, 2 gas cans, hand tools, hedge trimmer, garbage pale, and other various implements in a small toolbox and a wooden ramp, kind in mind I have a 8ft bed.. I do own a trailer and use it for gardening jobs/mulch/soil/topdressing/stone,etc. If anyone has any pictures I would like to see your configurations, sorry I didn't take any this year. I also bought a trimmer and blower rack so next year I will have more room, hoping to get the turfmaster. Sorry to ramble, it happens.

zechstoker
01-23-2013, 06:55 PM
I operate "just out of the truck bed". Using a 2000 Ford F150 with a standard length bed. I think it's a 6 ft bed. In the back of the truck is one mower, one commercial grade wheeled trash bin, 2 backpack sprayers, 2 gas cans, one backpack blower, chemical locker, a Stihl HL100 articulating hedge trimmer, one line trimmer, mower ramp, and an assortment of rakes, shovels and other various hand tools. I'd post a picture of my setup, but I just got done unloading everything.

larryinalabama
01-23-2013, 07:02 PM
If you have small yards and dont have to hall anything off thats what Id do.

locallawncare.ca
01-23-2013, 07:28 PM
It has worked well for me personally, occasionally I would fill a couple yard waste bags or dump some stuff a a couple places that had ravines and stuff. I thought I might be the only one that doesnt haul a trailer everyday. Eventually Im sure I will but for the niche I cut, probably not. I also have a newer well organized truck, not a hill-billy rust bucket, lol.

BradLewisLawnCare
01-23-2013, 07:30 PM
I have multiple crews and will definitely have someone driving around with a pickup truck only and a push mower setup with blowers. Can knock out a $30 lawn in 20-30 minutes. That is almost $60/hr billable for very little large expense. Gotta get routes close. Some lawns take longer to get the machines running then to cut the grass ~5-10 minutes top, some areas are hard to park truck and trailer.

amosslmope
01-23-2013, 08:10 PM
When I started in this industry I started out of a 1989 Ford Ranger. Used that for 5 years until I bought my first trailer then grew into multi trucks and trailers. To me its a great way to start and keep a low overhead. If you have small yards its a great way to be more profitable.

shepoutside
01-23-2013, 08:30 PM
Hey, :canadaflag: just down the road from you. This is how we set up our truck. Great for Snow Blowers in the winter too.
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b11/shepoutside/truckrack008-1.jpg

z71tiger
01-23-2013, 08:38 PM
I work out of the back of my truck.... My Isuzu box truck..

zechstoker
01-23-2013, 08:41 PM
I work out of the back of my truck.... My Isuzu box truck..
I've been wanting to switch over to something like that, but it's currently not in the budget though. I was thinking something more along the lines of a U Haul.
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locallawncare.ca
01-23-2013, 08:46 PM
Nice setup there step outside, mines similar but with smaller mowers lol, and yeah the winter is going really slow for me, I got about 14 residentials, wish I got more, but its my first year and the last two winters have been pitiful. I also put the blowers in the truck, I got one Toro Powerclear and then an Ariens 24" 2 stage, they both fit perfectly next to each other at the rear, the ariens is turned sideways though. I only have 2wd but have about 400lbs over the axle, handled very well in the first big dumping we had, I'll post some truck and blower picks if it ever snow again, lol.

New2TheGreenIndustry
01-23-2013, 08:51 PM
Whatever works. I saw a crew pulling walkbehinds out of a van once.

newguy123
01-23-2013, 10:26 PM
Whatever works. I saw a crew pulling walkbehinds out of a van once.

That sounds like dedication to me...

pseudosun
01-23-2013, 10:29 PM
For a while, i've been using a 2000 f150 with a 36" exmark. I use wood ramps. For 5 or 6 years, i had an 86? toyota pick up with a quick36. Occasionally, i'll load a small mower, sideways behind my exmark; it's a perfect fit. I've always avoided trailers, don't know exactly why. Maybe i didn't like parking. I can pull into my garage and shut the door, and don't have to unload or lock anything. I use the same ramps for my snapper 28. Loading and unloading is pretty quick. The skinny dude i bought the exmark from said that he couldn't pull down the exmark staright from the bed, because he was scared it would roll over him. It just takes practice i guess.

JimsLocalLawn
01-24-2013, 12:06 AM
I started with a $600 walk behind in the back of a 25 year old truck. I spent $100 at the lumber store and fabricated a bed inside my pickup bed out of wood, places for the walk behind to sit without tying it down, all handhelds had a slot that they sat in safe and secure, and ramps that were places into a rack, EXTREMELY efficient, competition used to sit across the street and laugh while I was mowing. Point is I was making money and they were wasting time.

Business is OVERHEAD - SALES = PROFIT

Lower your overhead, increase your sales, then look who's laughing

skorum03
01-24-2013, 12:26 AM
I started out with this when I was 17... i'm only 20 now. i've advanced slowly from there.

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pseudosun
01-24-2013, 07:27 AM
Like the truck, really. It's amazing how people can see a truck like and think the driver is some kind of bum. If they only knew the truth:) The other day, i was in parked in my driveway doing my yard, and some guy asked me about raking (i had no interest in that). I told him that i wasn't the yardman and that i own the house. There was a long silence, and the poor guy looked confused:)

Eric's Lawnservice
01-24-2013, 09:25 AM
I operate out of a 04 f150 w/extended cab. I use a trailer to haul my 52" when needed which is only about 10-15% of the time. In my truck I haul a 48" w/b and a 21" s/p. Along with all of my hand held tools. Its packed in but still have room to work around everything that is in there. I was robbed a couple years ago, and have since built a steel utility cover with swing up doors on the side. Now everything is safe and sound 24-7. I can't post pics from my phone, I will post some asap.
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locallawncare.ca
01-24-2013, 10:13 AM
Is that garbage or grass in those bags? My beginnings werent that humble, I have a newer truck but the concept is the same, Eric's Lawnservice I would like to see that contraption you speak of, is there any headroom in there? Good idea though, I have to unload after everyday but not a big deal. I do alot of other gardening/pruning type jobs so my equipment can vary greatly from day to day, but a few days a week were strictly cutting. Also people talk about low overhead, but I'm amazed at how much I spent on stuff this first year, and I didnt even have any really big ticket items, just lots of miscellanious stuff, but man it adds up.

skorum03
01-24-2013, 10:46 AM
Is that garbage or grass in those bags? My beginnings werent that humble, I have a newer truck but the concept is the same, Eric's Lawnservice I would like to see that contraption you speak of, is there any headroom in there? Good idea though, I have to unload after everyday but not a big deal. I do alot of other gardening/pruning type jobs so my equipment can vary greatly from day to day, but a few days a week were strictly cutting. Also people talk about low overhead, but I'm amazed at how much I spent on stuff this first year, and I didnt even have any really big ticket items, just lots of miscellanious stuff, but man it adds up.


Those are just bags of leaves. And a box that a trimmer came in that I bought while the job was in progress cause my other one broke that day, so in a way it does look like garbage kinda haha. But no, its all I had to work with at the time. I'll post some pictures of where I've advanced to after I get going this spring and maybe get a couple pieces of new equipment.


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locallawncare.ca
01-24-2013, 10:55 AM
Can't wait to see, I'll post some too, but my season wont start for a couple months up here in Canada.

skorum03
01-24-2013, 10:57 AM
Can't wait to see, I'll post some too, but my season wont start for a couple months up here in Canada.


Same here in Minnesota. How far north of the border are you? I live in Fort Frances, Ontario playing junior hockey after high school for a bit and was looking for a landscaping job while I was up there haha

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locallawncare.ca
01-24-2013, 11:04 AM
Im east of Toronto, if that helps, a few hour drive from the border at Niagra falls.

skorum03
01-24-2013, 11:11 AM
Oh i gotcha, Yeah I never was over that way while I was up there. I don't think we ever went any farther east than Thunder Bay

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Eric's Lawnservice
01-24-2013, 12:15 PM
Not too much headroom at all. Here are a few pic's. I have added a few pieces since these were taken.

locallawncare.ca
01-24-2013, 12:17 PM
Sorry I dont see the pics.

weeze
01-24-2013, 12:17 PM
if you cut small yards and use 21" pushmowers or walkbehinds then using just a truck would be the best way to go. it will save you alot of gas money year to year not hauling a trailer around. it's also easier to find places to park and such. there's times all i use is my truck like when doing a mulch job or doing a small lot that's kindof out of the way of my normal route. i just go home unhook the trailer and then put the 21" mower in the back and go. i also do estimates without my trailer hooked up and various tasks like that. i carry my stuff like this pic. i have and edger in there now too. if i put my 21" mower in there i just move the trimmer and edger a lil bit and put the mower right in the middle sortof at an angle so it doesn't move around.

http://i42.tinypic.com/107ujih.jpg

Valk
01-24-2013, 12:27 PM
EVERY day = NO loading/unloading equip needed.
Not much difference in fuel mileage especially on the hwy.
Just back her in the garage every PM...and she's ready to go the next AM.
Easy to park/maneuver at jobsites or making stops during the day.
Self-contained simplicity.

Yeah, there's cons, but as a solo that doesn't bag or haul...I'm gtg. :drinkup:

Grzube
01-24-2013, 12:28 PM
I have a question for you guys who operate from only a pick-up. If you were to hook up a small enclosed trailer, 6x12 single axle, the first thing would be is to cover the trailer with logo's (free advertising), then all equipment stays dry and safe from being stolen, and looks proffesional. Now for the extra cost-Trailer-$2500, logo's-$350, insurance-$300, extra gas-$ depends on distance, say 20% more.I personally think it would be better to operate like this, just the advertising and proffesional look will pay off in a season or two.Just my opinion, and saying it from experience!

locallawncare.ca
01-24-2013, 12:36 PM
You make a valid point, but I have a small suburban driveway, plus an open trailer already, so there would be no room for me personally, then I would have off-site storage, which is ok but I couldnt sleep at night knowing there could be theives having a picinic in it, lol. The company I worked for before did it that way and yeah its great, but to each his own.

Grzube
01-24-2013, 12:40 PM
If you work solo and out of your house and park in your driveway, then it would make sense, I hear ya!

Eric's Lawnservice
01-24-2013, 12:41 PM
Here are the pictures.

pseudosun
01-24-2013, 12:50 PM
Are the photos here hosted somewhere else, and then copied to lawnsite? I'm no wiz about how that works. When i hit "insert image", i get a box asking for a url. Is there a different way to upload pics?

jones68
01-24-2013, 12:52 PM
I started out with a chevy impalla towing a 4x6 trailer

locallawncare.ca
01-24-2013, 12:56 PM
Damn, you got every sqaure inch used there, good for you, I dont have a cap one mine, but I tend not to work about theft where I'm from, but it could happen. For the image question, you click on the paperclip and then upload from your computer.

weeze
01-24-2013, 01:01 PM
Are the photos here hosted somewhere else, and then copied to lawnsite? I'm no wiz about how that works. When i hit "insert image", i get a box asking for a url. Is there a different way to upload pics?

when you make a message click on the manage attachments box when you scroll down a bit or you can click the paperclip. then you can hit the browse boxes and upload a pic from your computer. you will need to resize the pics on your computer first most times since they will be too big. there are free downloads on the internet to do that with. i use PIXresizer.

i dont' do it that way though. i use www.tinypic.com and upload my pics there and then copy and paste the url here in my posts. you can also use photobucket or similar sites.

Eric's Lawnservice
01-24-2013, 01:09 PM
Damn, you got every sqaure inch used there, good for you, I dont have a cap one mine, but I tend not to work about theft where I'm from, but it could happen. For the image question, you click on the paperclip and then upload from your computer.
Thanks! I also carry a grass catcher for my 48" for leaves etc. I'm adding a ladder rack to the top for this season. I wanted a cover to keep out the rain as well as thieves. Especially after getting caught in a few pop up summer thunderstorms.
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newguy123
01-24-2013, 01:50 PM
I have a question for you guys who operate from only a pick-up. If you were to hook up a small enclosed trailer, 6x12 single axle, the first thing would be is to cover the trailer with logo's (free advertising), then all equipment stays dry and safe from being stolen, and looks proffesional. Now for the extra cost-Trailer-$2500, logo's-$350, insurance-$300, extra gas-$ depends on distance, say 20% more.I personally think it would be better to operate like this, just the advertising and proffesional look will pay off in a season or two.Just my opinion, and saying it from experience!

I use a full size truck and trailer...with that said I think a small pickup outfit can still look just as professional. Look at justmowing.com (he doesn't have pics) he uses primarily Ranger style pickups and runs them out of a modified bed. His business is huge! In 2005 he had over 2K customers over a million in sales. He built that in 7 years. I'm betting he's more than triple that now.

pseudosun
01-24-2013, 02:20 PM
I use a green bbq pit cover for debris. There's a bunch of pine cones in it now. That's a 2000 exmark that i'm very pleased with; no clutch. I paid 800 three years ago, and only changed muffler, belts, and carb. I could tell it wasn't kept up, but it runs like a top. Quick36 was my first commercial mower, but this mower is way better for me. I've been rear ended 3X!, and my truck is lower on the left side. This has been my set up for the last 3 years. Just pulled in the garage and shut the door; EZ.

Eric's Lawnservice
01-24-2013, 02:49 PM
I have looked at adding an enclosed trailer to my rig and just hauling it around. But some yards I have are in the culdesac and others are in neighborhoods with less than 1/8 ac. lots. A trailer would block a driveway or I would have to park offsite. I'm planning on purchasing a cab over style box truck with a dovetail next season 2014. I think a professional appearance is important and enclosed trailers have alot of advertising space. However if you can't get the rig to the lawn the homeowner may think you rode your mower to the job. Don't get me wrong im not bashing anyone who uses enclosed trailers. From my Limited experience,and for my market a pick-up or a box truck would be better than an enclosed trailer.
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zechstoker
01-24-2013, 06:45 PM
Home from work now, and got pictures taken. This style setup has always worked well for us. What you don't see in the pictures is the backpack sprayers. One sits between the chemical locker and the cab of the truck, and the other sits in a bay directly to the right of the one behind the locker. Gas cans also go down in that bay with the sprayer.

zechstoker
01-24-2013, 06:48 PM
Apparently one of my pictures failed to upload. Let's try that again...

Greyst1
01-24-2013, 09:21 PM
Lots of creativity here and i like that. I started off this way, not bad at all. I will say its definitely only temporary but we all gotta start somewhere.

skorum03
01-24-2013, 09:23 PM
Lots of creativity here and i like that. I started off this way, not bad at all. I will say its definitely only temporary but we all gotta start somewhere.

You're right. No one needs loans coming out there ears right away, or every if done correctly. Besides, I've already got that from college haha

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944own
01-25-2013, 12:51 AM
I went to a isuzu with the landscape bed. Last year was my first full year with the landscape truck. I will never go back to pulling a trailer. I think anyone that tried the landscape truck would ditch the trailer.

zechstoker
01-25-2013, 01:18 AM
I went to a isuzu with the landscape bed. Last year was my first full year with the landscape truck. I will never go back to pulling a trailer. I think anyone that tried the landscape truck would ditch the trailer.
What's the average MPG on something like that?

944own
01-25-2013, 01:20 AM
What's the average MPG on something like that?

About 10 I was getting around 12 with my f150 and a trailer. My route is pretty tight so not a real big deal.
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skorum03
01-25-2013, 01:29 AM
I don't know if I could ever switch over to using a landscape truck. I'm sure its nice and convenient in a ton of ways but, I think I just like my truck way too much, and don't mind pulling a trailer at all really. Is anyone else like that?

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944own
01-25-2013, 01:33 AM
I don't know if I could ever switch over to using a landscape truck. I'm sure its nice and convenient in a ton of ways but, I think I just like my truck way too much, and don't mind pulling a trailer at all really. Is anyone else like that?

YardBros Outdoors
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Not knocking anyone at all. Just my experience from using both. Much less hassle more compact and much easier to turn around.
Everything has pros and cons.
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Tinkerer
01-26-2013, 01:46 AM
Starting out in the early 90s I had a two door 82 Carolla and hauled a 100 pound commercial 21" Snapper in the trunk. Then in 94 I got from my moms dead uncle a Wheel Horse 252-H with a 37" deck. The deck fit between the fenderwells of a Mazda B2000 I had just bought. I bolted cedar ramps to the tailgate with hardware hinges. Then I got a Toro 117 Groundsmaster with a 44" deck. Backed in the deck fit between the sides of the bed but the tailgate had to be down. I then got longbed F150s and the Toro 117 fit in fine backwards no matter if it had a 44" or 52" deck on it. If you rent where you live there can be limitations like I have to not have a trailer.

StanWilhite
01-26-2013, 01:57 AM
When I read the subject line, "who cuts with just a pickup truck", I pictured an old ford pickup with a belly mower mounted underneath it. :dizzy: :laugh:

robbiep
01-26-2013, 10:02 PM
anyone have more pictures of using just a truck to haul your gear around.
I'd like to start out with just a ford ranger and a permanant mounted ramp on the back with a walk behind etc.

locallawncare.ca
01-27-2013, 11:49 AM
A ford ranger might be a little tight, I use a full size truck 8ft bed. Its winter where I am, but will post pics as soon as I can.

shepoutside
01-27-2013, 11:01 PM
Look here for the ranger set-up http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=219128

Ranger with a beaver-tail option below

Tinkerer
01-28-2013, 01:42 AM
Look here for the ranger set-up http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=219128

Ranger with a beaver-tail option below

Who makes Beaver tail options? Where I rent I can only park one vehicle and I can't have a trailer,,,, even though the landlord has a ton of open space here.

shepoutside
01-28-2013, 09:57 PM
Who makes Beaver tail options? Where I rent I can only park one vehicle and I can't have a trailer,,,, even though the landlord has a ton of open space here.
Just find a local welder, show him the pic's, and away you go.

205mx
02-20-2013, 11:34 PM
I use a green bbq pit cover for debris. There's a bunch of pine cones in it now. That's a 2000 exmark that i'm very pleased with; no clutch. I paid 800 three years ago, and only changed muffler, belts, and carb. I could tell it wasn't kept up, but it runs like a top. Quick36 was my first commercial mower, but this mower is way better for me. I've been rear ended 3X!, and my truck is lower on the left side. This has been my set up for the last 3 years. Just pulled in the garage and shut the door; EZ.

Jesus. You need a 3/4 ton.

Vanderhoff Landscaping
02-21-2013, 12:56 AM
I have a Chevy 1500 8 ft bed. I need to get a trailer in the near future. I'm starting to outgrow it!
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205mx
02-21-2013, 01:08 AM
Ive had a trailer since day one. If you are lookin for an affordable 6x10 with a ramp I have you covered
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hjl2
02-21-2013, 09:15 PM
Hi zechstoker
Thanks for the photos. You have given me some ideas.
Cheers
hjl2

ArTurf
02-22-2013, 04:36 PM
I operate "just out of the truck bed". Using a 2000 Ford F150 with a standard length bed. I think it's a 6 ft bed. In the back of the truck is one mower, one commercial grade wheeled trash bin, 2 backpack sprayers, 2 gas cans, one backpack blower, chemical locker, a Stihl HL100 articulating hedge trimmer, one line trimmer, mower ramp, and an assortment of rakes, shovels and other various hand tools. I'd post a picture of my setup, but I just got done unloading everything.

What do you use the 2 backpack sprayers for?

westerfield
02-22-2013, 11:25 PM
What do you use the 2 backpack sprayers for?

Am thinking he might just use 1 for killing weeds in flower beds and another 1 for spraying grass.
I do that too

i started with a 97 dodge dakota v8 magnum 13 mpg highway and 10 city.
I built a stake rack if any one interested i can post pics

I now run a 90 isuzu 4 cyl turbo 14ft box truck. 17 mpg avg.

i bought the box truck for 2400 cash. it was the best deal i ever gotten
i have pics too am a noob here :cool2:

shepoutside
02-23-2013, 11:39 AM
Whatever works. I saw a crew pulling walkbehinds out of a van once.
Like this :) these were posted om here a few years ago, very kewl lil rig

skorum03
02-23-2013, 11:40 AM
Wow. Is all I have to say to that haha

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locallawncare.ca
02-23-2013, 11:56 AM
Wow is right, like a van? That just seems crazy, smells like grass, gas, and poop, lol.

PlatinumPlus
03-26-2013, 07:58 PM
I am currently a one person company that uses my F-150 truck with a single axle trailer I use a Walker mower and a John Deer push mower for the hard to reach places. It works effectively for my 20-30 yards a month that i do as of now!

newguy123
03-26-2013, 08:35 PM
I am currently a one person company that uses my F-150 truck with a single axle trailer I use a Walker mower and a John Deer push mower for the hard to reach places. It works effectively for my 20-30 yards a month that i do as of now!

Well welcome to the site buddy.