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rookie03
06-21-2004, 06:17 PM
Would most of you that run a lawn care business Full Time get a separate vehicle for business use only? I know that so far working in the lawn care business my truck interior has been taking a beating. Also, the exterior has seen a few scratches and accidental dings. Just wondering if most of you guys working full time have a vehicle just for business?

Next Question: Do you buy new or used? I'm thinking used is more likely to experience down time if problems arise from the truck. Also, a new truck would last practically forever (15 years at least on diesel engine). What do you think would be the best bet? New? Used?

Thanks!

Geoffrey
06-21-2004, 07:36 PM
Rookie03,
If you don't mind, I'd also like to ask the professionals on this site what make, model, and size truck do most of you guys own or recommend.

Geoff

tiedeman
06-21-2004, 07:41 PM
I recommend fairly new trucks. Most of the time less hassle with maintenance compared to the older trucks

Kelly's Landscaping
06-21-2004, 07:54 PM
I bought used but kept the age of them no older then 5 years when I bought them. I left my ex-boss 2 years ago and one of the main reasons was I was sick of driving out of code unsafe pieces of crap that break down several times a month. Were talking wheels falling off and one year I donít think I had working head lights nor trailer lights at any point in the cutting season at all. Since Iv been on my own Iv not had a single down day from trucks.

As for personal vs. business I honestly don't see that line any more to me its one in the same so Iv no plans of a purely personal vehicle for many years to come. I drove a trans am for about 11 years so I think I got that sports car bug out of my system. Only toy I think about now is a ways off but I do want to get me a H1 hummer.

txlawnking
06-21-2004, 08:39 PM
When I've got the biz to support it a NPR box van is real high on my list of want's..

specialtylc
06-21-2004, 09:38 PM
New is nice if you can afford it. We bought a new 2002 Isuzu NPR HD diesel crew cab and had a custom dump bed made for our mowing truck. Also have a 1996 F250 diesel 4x4, and a 1976 K20 4x4.

RedWingsDet
06-21-2004, 09:38 PM
bigger truck means better, but sometimes less MPG? im looking at a 86 ford 4x4 2k, 88 ford 350 4x4 with a plow 3500, and a 91 silverado with a 460 engine 4x4 with 3" lift for 3500.... im not sure what i should get... or if i should just put that 3500 into a down payment on a new truck and have 450 a month payments on a sierra 3500

Rather Be Fishing
06-21-2004, 09:41 PM
I used to own hotrods, always had to have a beater.

I used to own big 4x4's, always had to have a beater.

I use my truck for both personal use and work, definitely need to have a beater.

(Of course now that I'm older my "beater" is a luxery car and it doesn't reek of grass or old bait...:D )

EastProLawn
06-21-2004, 09:49 PM
I keep the business truck for business and I have a personal truck that I use as a back-up to for my lawn business.

Right now I use a 1995 Ford F-150 4x4 with a loadhandler.
Good reliable truck for a decent price. $5000 w/ 85k miles.

Branching Out
06-21-2004, 10:07 PM
Rookie03,

What are you using now? If what you have will do for now, I'd recommend waiting till winter deals come around in the off season. I also recommend if you are going to go for something go for a dual or multi purpose vehicle. Something clean for estimates and customer relations as well as durable and capable of being a good work truck. So for now, keep what you have and put the money towards newer and bigger. Sometimes, a new F-450 diesel or Chevy 4500 diesel can be cheaper then a 3500 gas with all the bells and whistles like power windows and cumfy seating. Simple law of supply and demand....

What do you want to do?.....Reinvest in your company on a work truck and maybe buy something a little more personal later when you've established a little cushion in the bank.....or, ride in stye now....

Branching out.....
on my own.............

RedWingsDet
06-21-2004, 10:08 PM
i found a 97ford 250 with a plow with 77 some k miles for 5500$... is that a good price?

EastProLawn
06-21-2004, 10:17 PM
Originally posted by PremierLandscaping
i found a 97ford 250 with a plow with 77 some k miles for 5500$... is that a good price? That is a very good price indeed.

pjslawncare/landscap
06-21-2004, 10:25 PM
As I grow my business, Ive always bought used, however Ive always been a very capable mechanic and keep them in top shape. I have 3 trucks & use them 99% for business. I bought a new mini van for my wife & that is our personal use vehicle. I undestand that a new lease for a work vehicle can yeild well on the ol taxes. Mite talk to your tax preparer for best advise there.

Albemarle Lawn
06-21-2004, 10:32 PM
4 years ago I bought a Mitsubishi-Fuso landscaper truck.

Last week just got a Chevy 5500 crew cab

Today, put the first scratch in it (ouch).

KB

cantoo
06-21-2004, 11:13 PM
Part time,
We have a 1991 16' chev cube van. 90 Ford f250 dump box, 93 Chev 1 ton dump box. 94 Chev mini van and a 84 Honda 750 Magna bike for running errands. All but the mini van were bought at auction sales and were good deals. We have enough trucks that breakdowns aren't a concern and if needed we can always pick one up because there are auction sales every week. Use it until the old ne gets fixed then resell it.

rookie03
06-22-2004, 09:33 AM
Thanks for all the post!!!!

Right now I have a 2001 1500 pickup 2WD. I'm going to sell it and get something else. I would like to build the business now and get a nice personal vehicle later down the road, but my main concern is that I'm trying to do what's smart right now. I'm wanting an Isuzu NPR bad right now, but I really don't have all the business I need for it just yet. Next year I'll be expanding and covering a lot more area, so hopefully that will bring in more business. I'll probably buy used (NPR) for now and see how it holds up. I can't stand the idea of roughing up a new $45000 pickup. Thanks again for all the ideas!