View Full Version : using a van for apps.

03-25-2004, 12:56 PM
I would like to hear from any one that uses a van to do their applications. Do you have any pros or cons regarding a van over a pick up truck and trailer? What do you do about the odor coming into the front? Do you use a ramp to get your spreader out?:)

03-25-2004, 01:50 PM
the exposure to the chemicals will kill you.

James Cormier
03-25-2004, 01:58 PM
Ive use every form of truck for fert & squirt....flat bed,van,cube van, bread truck style,pick up, trailer,cab over with box, and also used my motorcycle to run estimates :)

The worst for me was the regular van, to cramped, didnt like the chemicals right behind me. Even those van walls that go behind the driver was no enough to keep smells out.

Right now I use truck & trailer, works good, this season I will switch to cabover with vanscaper box (sweet) i will post pic when i get her.

Pilgrims' Pride
03-25-2004, 02:22 PM
Been there. Drove that.
I agree with James.
The van while it may look good is not the way to go.
I worked for a Lawn Doctor franchise some years back .
Back when dursban was still the weapon of choice.
The smell of urea and chemical on a hot humid day could be unbearable!
I use a 14 foot flatbed now with 3 sprayers. 1 for lawns, 1 for trees and shrubs and 1 for specialty sprays.
Then I've got a large box for granular products mounted behind those.
It does the trick but I'm also considering a change in the near future.
I'm considering a cab over & box.
James why did you get away from those?


James Cormier
03-25-2004, 02:49 PM
I went with the setup below for several reasons.

I hurt my back in 99, so I bought the perma green so I wouldnt have to pull that damm hose, and push that friggin spreader anymore.

The trailer just made sense to carry that machine, it drives right in the side doors with small ramps that I got, it unloads very easy cause its on the lawn side and its pretty low to the ground.

The other thing that was killing my back was loading and unloading bags of fert, because the trailer has swing out doors in back, I just have a pallet loaded with a fork truck, it slides right over the wheels. I fill my P-G right there in the trailer, or pull up behind the trailer to fill it. NO more carrying bags. When lime time comes I put a pallet in the truck and one in the trailer ( I go to a big lawn first to get rid of some weight )

At the end of the day I disconect at the office, lock up the trailer and drive the truck home, I never carry chemicals in the truck

Now this year I able to add a truck just for apps, so thats why I am going with the cab over with a vanscraper box. Have you seen one? If not scroll down to my post called perfect fert truck. So that truck will be left at the office and my pick up will just be my ride into work ( only until the bike comes out )

Next season I plan to add on 2 techs, so the trailer will be used for one and not sure yet which way for the other guy.

03-25-2004, 02:52 PM
nice setup. very nice

James Cormier
03-25-2004, 02:53 PM
just had my door done at the office, what do you all think? No Grubs allowed

James Cormier
03-25-2004, 02:55 PM
opps you can see my fat winter gut in the window....sorry

03-25-2004, 08:40 PM

Where is that picture at? I could not find it.



03-25-2004, 10:02 PM
Very nice setup James!

I currently use a van for apps. I REALLY like having everything out of the weather AND the compactness of the van over a truck AND trailer, but a large amount of my accounts would be more difficult to service having a trailer also.

(What smell are you talking about??? :eek: :D )

James, What size is your enclosed trailer? and Do you find it large enough for what your using it for?

LOVE the "NO GRUB" window!!!

The Lawn Crew
03-26-2004, 02:53 AM
For lawn care aplications a van is fine. Granted, a Chevy or GMC (1997-present) have plenty of cab room and are not cramped like a Ford. Also, the rear doors open wider, so it's easier to load and unload a spreader.

Fumes can be a problem. Check out a Scott's LawnService van. They have the partition separating the cab from the back of the van. In addition, plexiglass covers the parts of the partition thet have mesh". Furthermore they have a `10" piece of flexible vinyl which is riveted to the van and partition and goes along the entire perimeter of the partition. No fumes. van's have a/c to keep you cool and you're good for the day.

Van's are much more maneuverable than any truck or trailer.

If you use a permagreen, you may want to have it mounted on a carrier on the FRONT of the van , so that you can have east access to your spreader without unloading the permagreen during stops for which it is not needed.

With a 5 gallon bucket and a plastic bag you also have an emergency backup for when nature calls. Don't forget the Charmin!

03-26-2004, 08:26 AM
we're using box trucks now, but did use a van for a few seasons. we installed a roof vent, nothinf fancy, just one of those crank open things aprox 12"x12". then we installed a small fan on that vent. wired it so that it sucked air out of the van and up the vent. wired it to the inside dome light. so whenever a door was open or whenever we manually turned on the dome light the van would go on. oders were not a problem.

as pilgrim mentioned, we were using dursban back then, so in the morning we would open the door, let the van run a minute or so, and climb in with no oder. we also made a partition using plywood and plexiglass.

James Cormier
03-26-2004, 11:05 AM
The Trailer is a 7x14, It holds everything I need, I can get the p-g in the side door, and a walk behind aerator or slice seeder, The back door holds the pallets as well as the push spreader,handcan and blower.

I ve been driving trailers for so long it dosnet bother me too much, I have many 1/2 mile long driveways I back down or some deadend streets I need to back down. But because Ive been doing trailers for so long I good at it.

I have hired people that couldnt drive a trailer at all and that will be a concern as I expand. Thats why I looking into the vanscraper body.

I dont know about the up front p-g rack that someone posted before, I not too sure that would pass DOT regs here in MA. Plus it blocks your headlights which I know is ilegal.

If you drop the spray tank in a van set up you can drive the p-g into the side doors, then load your fert in the back doors. This is a good set up.

Ah the smell of dursban in the morning......nothing says lawn care like that old smell....or yellow pants, that can stand on there own at the end of the day spraying. I loved those days

03-26-2004, 03:49 PM
James, you made me laugh.........I go collecting my money on my CBR 600 F4i................its coming out soon..................nice set up btw............and interesting info.

Tommy :cool:

03-26-2004, 10:56 PM

If you use a permagreen, you may want to have it mounted on a carrier on the FRONT of the van , so that you can have east access to your spreader without unloading the permagreen during stops for which it is not needed.

You have got to be kidding, I would love to see a pic of a PG on the front of a truck or van. If accessing a spreader were the concern, why not put it on the front?

07-29-2005, 05:57 AM
anymore pros and con's

07-29-2005, 09:12 AM
A few more cons to using a van..... If you plan to put a 200gal. + tank inside, if the fumes don't get you, filling will. It is a royal pain to crawl in there with about 18" of headroom and add 50 lb. bags of urea. It is easier to trip up and spill beakers full of pre-em and three way as well. Pulling and backing a large trailer are easier in a standard truck as well. The only pro's are not having to unload dry product every day in case of rain and also having a larger area to put your sign, logo, or company info. can be a plus. Other than that - stick to a 3/4 ton pickup . Good luck.