box truck for treatments?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by grassguy_, Jul 24, 2004.

  1. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 633

    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.
     
  2. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,372

    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
     
  3. grassguy_

    grassguy_ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 633

    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 .
     
  4. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 711

    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.
     
  5. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    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?
     
  6. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 711

    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.
     
  7. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    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.
     
  8. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 711

    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
     
  9. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,137

    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
     
  10. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 711

    our trucks are 9' 6" clearance
     

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