View Full Version : $ on Truck for start-up

10-17-2003, 09:14 PM
Given the pros & cons of New vs Used, how much should a 1-2 man new operation spend on a truck?

The truck will be my only transportation. (for personal & business; I will sell my '93 mid-size 4dr sedan)

I want a 2-3yr old crew cab HD Diesel. Crew cab for future growth & diesel for fuel performance/low maintenance.

I know this choice will be best in the long run but, will this be too much financial load in the beginning.

I do not feel leasing is a good option in this business. (high miles and wear&tear)

Any advise?

PS. just a minor thing- should the slogan be ......lawn stand out

among the rest. or ....lawn stand out from the rest.


10-18-2003, 08:21 PM
I just bought an 03 in Jan. for right at $20K. 2003 Chevy 2500HD ext cab w/auto, ac, 4x2, it even has FM!

Buying a 2 or 3 year old truck for $25K+ to me seems kinda silly. Just my opinion.

10-21-2003, 10:38 PM

Did I misstate that I was paying 25K for a 2-3yr old truck?

I am just trying to get an idea of how much truck I should think of buying.

It seems trucks are way overpriced. At least around here.

10-22-2003, 02:58 PM
If you know what you are looking for, then you can get away pretty cheap. JimLewis has started a thread about how he does his trucks...definately worth your time to search for it.

Do you really NEED a crew cab and deisel??? I will argue till im blue in the face that it is all overkill. If you go that route, you are wasting your profit. Some LCO owners let their testosterone get in the way of realizing that what they WANT and what they NEED are almost worlds apart.

10-22-2003, 06:38 PM
I have been looking at crew cab diesels for a few months all im seeing at 25k have between 60-80k miles on them saw an 02xl for 25k with only 20000 miles im debating on that or 34000 for a lariat with 1700 miles im replacing my 95 f150 very soon its on its last leg

10-23-2003, 09:08 PM
In Florida trucks seem to be way inflated. Went to Texas and bought a 94 GMC 6.5 diesel with 75000 on it for 4500 dollars. If you could find that truck here it would of been in the 8000 dollar range. Tell the truth kinda miss my Nissan 4 cly that my daughter is driving back and forth to school. Less insurance and a whole bunch easier to get into the tight subdivisions. How much truck do you really need?

Randy Scott
10-23-2003, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by MacLawnCo
Do you really NEED a crew cab and diesel??? I will argue till im blue in the face that it is all overkill. If you go that route, you are wasting your profit. Some LCO owners let their testosterone get in the way of realizing that what they WANT and what they NEED are almost worlds apart.

You want to argue with me, or should I stick four employees in a standard cab and struggle pulling our skid-steer up hill on the freeway at 75 MPH?

I'm certainly not wasting my profit, in fact I'm increasing it by having all employees to the job site with one vehicle. And getting them there without some turd of a gas motor getting 4 miles to the gallon AND lacking power.

I agree that a person needs to factor in THEIR particular needs. If you see, or plan growth in the near future, make a purchase once, not twice, as in outgrowing your truck in a short amount of time. Get what you need the first time.

10-23-2003, 10:04 PM
See your point Randy, but as stated alot of us seem to get caught up in the Tim Allen state of mind. If you ae just getting going with a crew of one or two unless you are doing installs or hauling large loads what would you need such a truck?

10-24-2003, 12:04 AM

in your application, i agree with your choice. But, for what the question was orriginally asked, you do not need any of that. I suggested already the thread JimLewis started about his redone trucks...imo, that is ideal for lawn maintenance. I believe he had $3500 total in a CLEAN, reliable late model pickup.

10-24-2003, 12:17 AM
here is what i was refering to:


10-26-2003, 12:45 AM
I can think of more reasons to buy new than use. warrenty, warrenty, warrenty, and a good piece of mind.
I think buying used is a gamble, Weather you buy it off a dealer or private sale it will always be in the back of your mind did I get a good deal. If you do buy used do yourself a favor get a carfax history on the vehicle you will be buying. It doesn't cost very much and it could save you from making a big mistake.
Well good luck seaching for your truck it sounds like you have a good idea in what you want in your truck.
Sometimes it's better to have it and not need it, and to need it and not have it.

10-26-2003, 01:57 AM
Don't buy a diesel thinking you will pay for it with fuel savings unless you plan on keeping it for 150k miles or more average towing 75% time 10,000# 9mpg, empty 11-13, 02 powerstroke

10-28-2003, 11:45 AM
I have read the Jim Lewis thread and I must say I am impressed!

Thank You MacLawnCo.

First, I wanted a crew cab looking ahead at hopeful business growth. (buy once for all you will need in the future) Add the fact that this truck will be my only transportation, both personal and business and I have three “child-seat” age girls. So,.. I hope you can understand why I was thinking, “need space”.

Second, I was looking at diesel ‘cause I thought they were the best for overall fuel performance/towing/low maintenance. I still believe this but the initial cost for these advantages are more than a low capitol start-up like me can handle.

I liked what one member, Alan, wrote:
“I've heard it said that "Customers like seeing new trucks on their jobs" All I can say to that is BS!, the average customer sees shiny paint and has no clue as to the age of the vehicle. The ones who do realize the age of the rig are, most likely, vehicle enthusiasts who are apt to be more impressed with an older, restored rig than a new one.”

I am not sure if I can duplicate the same level of restoration at the same low cost here in Jax,FL (everything seems way overpriced here) but it is worth a try. I will be looking for a vehicle built when they made solid reliable trucks with simple mechanicals.

I do believe you can completely restore an older truck into a professional business vehicle for a lot less than the cost of a new truck. (just think of what all you can do with $30+K) I will have to “buy twice” but only when my business can support but more importantly “SURVIVE” the purchase. I will keep you posted on how things turn out.

I guess my wife’s mini van will have to be the sole kiddie-mobile for a while…….

I thank you all for your advice. Especially the developers of this web site!