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1500 enough truck?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bob_McNaughton, Jul 17, 2001.

  1. Bob_McNaughton

    Bob_McNaughton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    I'm currently debating on what truck to purchase and LC towing/ plowing issues. I can get a incredably sweet deal on a loaded 2001 Dodge 2500HD truck, at invoice with another 2k in rebates. But my wife is choking at the $500-550 a month truck payment when there will be no income coming in from the business until I start it next year. (the car we will be replacing with already costs $200.00 a month, so its a net increase of 300-350 a month)

    However, after talking with a few people, and looking around. It appears that a really nice 1998 Dodge 1500 i'm looking at will be more than enough to handle my trailer/mower towing applications. I can grab one of these for under 17k, with light payments in the area of $290.00 a month. (only 30k on the odometer and only another $100.00 a month).

    So my question is this. Is plowing worth it the added expenses of a HD truck, plow gear, accessories, salt machine and all the BS? Or would I be better sticking to mowing? Our winters have been real spotty around here for the last 20 years or so.

    I don't plan on plowing this winter, as I won't be starting my business until January for lawn cutting. My original plan was to work winters in sales, during my lawn cutting downtime. Making a solid 2-4k a month during November, December and January while I await mowing weather.

    Would a fullsize extended cab 1998 Dodge 1500 w/30k on OD be sufficient for my needs if I don't intend to plow? Will I lose cutting customers if I don't plow or do most customers handle their own driveways or deal with plow only companies?

    Any advice would be very much appreciated, i'm trying to make a truck decisions this week. Of course, I want the new one, but $550.00 a month right now is pretty crazy - especially if I don't get into plowing that much or at all.
  2. racerdave

    racerdave LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    Bob, the 1500 would be plenty for you starting out. Later as you get larger then maybe a 2500hd would be needed. But for now ,keeping your costs down is more important. Cash-flow is the blood of any business and must be maintained at a healthy level.

    My ? is. Should you buy this truck as a personal truck, our should you buy it thru your Biz.

    Maybe you should get this posted in the elements Of business forum.

    Good luck
  3. if all you are gonna do is cut lawns, then you are fine. it is when you get into moving topsoil, and stone that you go overload real fast. a 1500 can handle a yard or two of mulch no problem though. however as a rule of thumb. cutting lawns 1500 no problem, without trailer. cutting with trailer, or doing lots of side work, get at least a 2500.
  4. Bob_McNaughton

    Bob_McNaughton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    I agree on the cash flow aspects. Come this spring, i'm going to have some healthy equipment costs to adjust to when I purchase my gear.

    I'm the kinda guy that likes everything top of the line, new, and expensive. I think we all are deep down. Not very practical eh? Hehe.

    Can a 1500 handle towing without much trouble?

    Back when I did LC part time when I was 17, I pulled a tandem trailer with a scag, and tons of gear behind a 4cyl. Ford Ranger. I survived, but the engine took a nose dive at 80k after I sold it to my cousin. (I paid for the new engine for him to not shaft him)

    So it can be done, but burning up a 10k ranger is one thing, burning up a 1500 Dodge would take a big bite.

    How good do 1500's handle enclosed trailers with 2 machines in em? I can deal with the 350.00 a month payment if it will do the job. But a 550.00 a month payment on a 2500 is just a big chunk to chew on a startup.

    Thanks for the reply.
  5. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    Are these gas or diesel trucks? If you drive many miles in the truck then diesel will be the best option.
  6. if you want an enclosed trailer with 2 machines in it, go 2500 turbo diesel, or if you are already up in those numbers, go for the 3500 turbo diesel. cause an enclosed trailer gets real heavy, and will sure as heck burn up your gas tank real fast. i know one person with an enclosed trailer. its big, maybe 16 foot. his truck is a gmc 2500 with the turbo diesel and it does it. but for the weight alone, get the 3500. otherwise, go with an open trailer and the 1500.
  7. Bob_McNaughton

    Bob_McNaughton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    Ugh, so a 1500 can't handle a 14' Enclosed with a 60ztr and a 36wb on it?

    Man, i'm starting to get depressed. Hehe
  8. SodFather

    SodFather LawnSite Member
    Posts: 62

    I just bought a 2001 1500 this year with the big 5.9 in it and its a great truck for towing. Only problem with it is it can NOT handle a big 8ft plow. The dealer has an option for a plowing upgrade which beafs up the front springs, but it is not for the 1500. If you can find a used 2500 you would be better off if you do alot of plowing.
  9. Bob_McNaughton

    Bob_McNaughton LawnSite Member
    Posts: 94

    What do you tow behind it Sod? I'm not so much worried about plowing now, as I am whether the 1500 will not do a 14' enclosed with a rider and a wb.
  10. get the 2500 with the cummins, you wont regret it, and this is coming from a ford man. lol. its just that a 1500, will drop real fast when you load that kind of weight on there, and then goin up the hills you will hate the truck, and yourself for not goin diesel.

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