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grassguy_
07-25-2004, 12:22 AM
Does anyone use a box truck for their treatment vehicles ? Have considered getting set up to use one for commercial jobs where material useage and equipment needs are usually higher. Besides that, using it for getting materials and having the truck loaded for a few days at a time would be nice.

LwnmwrMan22
07-25-2004, 11:14 AM
I've been toying around with one of those vehicles, kinda looks like a smaller UPS or FEDEX trucks, taller and skinnier than a cargo van, but not a cube van either.

Figure I can keep all my chemicals / fertilizers in there, and still be able to pull the lawn mowing trailer around.

The only problem is, there's no "firewall" between the cargo area and the passenger area, so I'm thinking I might walk around all day smelling like a fertlizer factory???

Dodge Transport Van (http://www.dodge.com/commercial/sprinter/index.html?context=built_for_you-agriculture_lawn_care&type=left)

grassguy_
07-25-2004, 11:49 AM
That's why its becoming a consideration for me as well. I've been looking at some of the Budget, Ryder type box trucks that have like a 10-12 foot box that is closed off the actual cab. It would be great to carry the other products that you could sell as added services to the customer and do the service right then. Another plus would be to not have to unload or keep reloading each day. I can't imagine the gas mileage would be much different with most of these trucks whether loaded or not, as opposed to using pick-up trucks which can vary more with the load being carried. Most of these type box trucks I've seen have the E350 or E450 engines .

TSM
07-25-2004, 03:05 PM
we're box truck guys. 15' box (i think, maybe 14') makes a nice rolling billboard. Ours are GMC's with 350 engines. We have what they call the 'cut away' wall between the cab and box (basicly its a solid wall but has a small sliding door that one could crawl thru to get to the back...or front if you ever get locked in the back somehow) the front end looks like a regular van. We did check out the cabover first but to be honest i find those things will wear you down climbing in and out all day long.

each truck has a 300gal tank...a 50 gal tank...at least one ton granular product....PG ride-on....and 2 push spreaders. A portable jon (lets face it, we all have to go at some point) We built shelving in the box to keep tip-n-pours secure. two 4 gal hand cans and two 4 gal packpaks.

its like a warehouse on wheels. I would never go back to the flat beds that we once used. When we got these trucks I was afraid they'd be to big....turns out they are perfect for us.

Definately nice to sell an additional service and have the product on hand, saving a trip back to that property.

Really nice on rainy days also. Product stays dry, we can fill a spreader in the truck(plenty of head room), nothing gets wet. And if you need to leave the truck, lets say for an extended lunch, everything is secure in the box.

We have been using these for about 3-4 seasons...only way to go.

turf hokie
07-25-2004, 03:10 PM
This is a great question. I am currently using a E250 and it is way to small. 1 spreader 1 50 gal and 20 bags and I'm full.
TSM how is your box setup as far as doors--just the rear overhead or do you have a side door for pulling hose. also how is the PG loaded....maybe pix if you have a chance?

TSM
07-25-2004, 03:18 PM
large roll up door in rear. we have a ramp that pulls out from under the bed of the box, like most rental moving trucks, the ride on rides right up it....bit of a problem if turf is wet, ride on tends to just spin its wheels so we painted the ramp with a paint-on bed liner product, works well.

we originally mounted the hose reels inside the box, but i got a pal i used to work with many moons ago, he also has a box truck and found a way to mount the reels under the box. the reels are mounted upside down under the box, this saves floor space inside.

turf hokie
07-25-2004, 03:24 PM
Sounds like the way to go. I also wanted the best of both a truck and a van but could not decide the best route. Most guys around here use flat beds or E250 vans. This definately helps the decision making process.

TSM
07-25-2004, 03:31 PM
I'll tell ya, with a good graphics/lettering on a box you will stand out.
we have parked at malls, resturants, busy intersections and have recieved nice feed back. Definately gets us noticed.

Like I said earlier...its a rolling billboard

Gas mileage sucks....somewhere around 8-9 miles per gal. Thats at this time of season when we dont ever shut off the motor, we keep the AC on at all times. A little better mileage in spring and fall when we dont use the AC and can shut down the truck at every stop.

Even with the higher cost of fuel and the poor mileage, i feel we are doing really good on the advertising end

DUSTYCEDAR
07-25-2004, 03:49 PM
streached vans work well 2 but the head room is tight and not nearley the space of a box truck but it will fit under the damm train bridges around here

TSM
07-25-2004, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by DUSTYCEDAR
streached vans work well 2 but the head room is tight and not nearley the space of a box truck but it will fit under the damm train bridges around here

our trucks are 9' 6" clearance

LwnmwrMan22
07-25-2004, 11:32 PM
Yeah, for my mowing, I run a 24' Classic enclosed trailer. I've always got people commenting, wondering how many crews I actually have, they see my truck(s) everywhere.

They don't believe me when I say if you see that truck, I'm in it. There are no crews.

I've got lettering down both sides and the back.

Trailer pic (http://server2.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=76142)

grassguy_
07-26-2004, 11:29 PM
TSM
Thanks for the info, This is basically what I have been looking at doing but I'm not sure whether to get the 10' or go up to a 14' box. What part of Mass. do you live? I'm up there at least a few times a year to see the inlaws and would love to stop by and see and chat with you some more about the pros and cons to their use. I know I hope to meet up sometime with Cormier as well, are you guys close to each other? I have a number of ideas for such a truck, and hope to get into something like this over the winter. The GMC 350 engines, does it perform well with the load your carrying? (no pun intended considering the crapper you're carrying too, lol)

ArchiesLawns
07-27-2004, 12:30 AM
TSM
Can you post a picture of your set up? I would really like to see your truck (inside & out).

Thanks in advance!

Archie

jajwrigh
07-27-2004, 02:15 AM
This is interesting because I was thinking about this the other day. I thought that a small box truck would be superior to a pickup in the long run. Ebay has decent prices on them too!

turf hokie
07-27-2004, 07:27 AM
I was on ebay last night and they had 14 foot izuzu's for about 1/2 of what ryder wants for their off lease stuff. I am definately going with the box back. TSM --pix would be huge to see just what works with your set up thanks in advance

James Cormier
07-27-2004, 06:45 PM
Ive seen tsm's trucks, nice setup he has.

Mark, Im currently shoping for a 2nd app truck right now. Ive narrowed it down to 2 types.

1. a box like tsm, but supreme ( body company ) will put a 3' side roll up door right behind the passanger door, that would be nice for the Pg's to come in and out and then the back would be a roll up for loading with fork trucks I would go with the 16' body at least. This one would be new

2 Step van ( simlar to ups ) Ive found a used one 1999 with 100k, roll up door in back and both doors up front. Im just waiting for a price from ami for that truck.

One of the last companies I worked for used Henio cabovers, those where nice trucks to work out of, the only problem is the beds are very high off the ground.

Ill try to attach some links of some trucks I think would be nice

James Cormier
07-27-2004, 07:59 PM
http://www.amileasing.com/services/truck_rental/dry_vans.html

http://www2.amileasing.com/UsedASP/TruckDetails.asp?ID=T0R3816

grassguy_
07-27-2004, 09:56 PM
Thanks James, I'm on the hunt right now just to get something lined up by year end or if I find a deal quick while rates are still loan for some loans I might buy now. I've been finding a few Isuzu deals thqt haven't seemed to bad , and from what I've heard they are real durable. I would think by having one of these box trucks you could definitely justify two-man trucks, and get alot more done. I'm going to have to meet up with you and TSM this winter and get a meeting of minds for these trucks.

MacLawnCo
07-29-2004, 10:16 PM
just remember if it seems too good a deal to be true, well it usually is. I got burned on a truck once buying used, a good deal too ;). Ive vowed to never buy used again, no exceptions. just get a new NPR, they really arnt that expensive considering the longevity they virtually gurantee.

kootoomootoo
08-01-2004, 10:04 AM
I have a 96 chevy 3500 with a 9ft box.
Buying a dump so might sell it for the right price too.

turf hokie
08-03-2004, 11:32 PM
Just picked up a 96 Mitsu FE/HD w/ engine brake. 14 ft box 169 k, new sneakers and brakes, real clean for 4k... pretty good steal I mean deal ....I think.... Gonna set it up this weekend.

James Cormier
08-11-2004, 10:36 PM
I'll throw a odd ball into this mix.

The other morning I was sitting at Double D's drinking my coffee listening to Imus, up pulls the Pepsi guy next to me, He was driving a large box truck with 4 doors on each side of the body.

Im sure most of you guys have seen these trucks.

Each section held a pallet of cases of soda. Each section had there own roll up door.

As I was watching him load his hand truck, I thought... boy that would make a cool lawn truck, put 1/2 pallets of fert in different sections, on section could hold a spray system and one could hold the PG.

Later that day I say a interstate battery truck, same set up but it was a cab over, with a smaller body, just 2 doors on each side. I think I'll do a search to find some photos of those bodies for you guys.

grassguy_
08-12-2004, 12:00 AM
James,
I know exactly what you're talking about, as you said think the doors would only hold half pallets but as for stacking height there should be plenty of room to a full pallet of material. The side doors on those pop trucks would be excellent set up too. I've ucrrently got (2) 14' box trucks I'm working at pricing out and still shopping. There is also a 2002 GMC only 500 miles on the truck with a new box @ $21,000, basically spankin new all around except that teuck sat with a business before they took it back to the dealership in trade.
Turf Hokie
That sounds like a heck of a deal! At 169K it should have plenty of life yet!

LwnmwrMan22
08-12-2004, 07:09 AM
James -

There's a couple of landscaping guys and one irrigation guy around this area that use a set-up like you're describing.

It'd be kinda neat of you could rig up a roll-up door in the back, with a ramp, or even a ramp door so a guy could drive the ride-on right up the back.

Oh, wait, you already said that. My bad. :o :o