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Cargo Van or Pick-up Truck ?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mikefromny, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. mikefromny

    mikefromny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    Cargo or pick up truck . Part Time 28-30 Accounts.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Truth be known, EITHER can be used thou the p-up is what most of us use, the van allows for equipment to stay out of the weather and can be locked up as well. I've never ran a van but would not hesitate if I found a decent one, know a friend ran vans for many years in the same business. Probably the only drawback is you get stupid comments from time to time, but that's because everyone has this mindset that you should be in a p'up when in the end vans are just as good.
  3. Bernhard

    Bernhard LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I know the US PU´s are different to our small trucks like VW transporter, Mercedes Sprinter or the Fiat Ducato. But I would stay with a PU, as long as I have possibility to unload my stuff everyday after work.
    Cause: With a Van You have to take a trailer with You for every little job, which can be sometimes a pain, especially here in Germany. If You have to unload grass or leafs out of a Van it´s not that easy even loading hight is a prob when You do tree work.
    I have the prob at the moment to decide what to do, my transporter needs some repair and the technical approvement, so I eventually have to look for a new, used, one. But small trucks like mine are hard to get here for cheap.
    And I need a Diesel, cause of the high fuelprices here which are around 5,50$ per gallon.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    As a tow vehicle they are fine, the down side comes if you want to haul bulk mulch or are removing shrubs from site.
    They work great as an application truck as everything is inside out of the rain.
    The open bed is the greatest loss with one , we have a P/U with a cap on it and the crew hates it. The van is about the same.
    As far as every day driving the full size van can not be beat. Tremendous room inside and great capacity. Makes a great office.
    Chevy even makes a all wheel drive one if you think you need that.
    We have 2 open P/U's 1 with a cap and 1 full size van. We use the van mostly for appl's., Irrigation repair, landscape work.
    The next one will be a Dodge Sprinter/Frieghtliner. Stand up room inside, 25 MPG, and a lot of carrying capacity. Down side is only 5000# towing but we have a tow unit that will tow 16000# so we are not too concerned.
    Another big bonus is that most think that they are not COOL and the price is not inflated to match the wants of the macho gear head. You can buy a work vehicle that does the job you need done for a lot less money

    BENTLEY'S LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    Mike, call your local public school system and ask them how they dispose of thier cargo vans. Here they do an online auction. These vans can be picked up for cheap. Check it out. If you find that you don't like a van there is always a market for a cargo van. Always!

  6. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    I like both, though the truck has an advantage when hauling mulch, as has been stated, but the van can be locked up, and you can store the trimmers, edgers blowers and all that inside it, and jsut lock it.
  7. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403

    If you are strictly doing mowing a van will work.An older style chevy van can handle two '52 wb's with a handmower plus blower,trimmer and ramps without too much hassle.We use a 3500 GMC to fert with and it has a two hundred gallon weed spray tank in it but we put it into service now and again for mowing,tight fit but a "52 in wb fits.So it can be done,we use '14 box trucks for our regular mowing crews,no trailers.
  8. mikefromny

    mikefromny LawnSite Member
    Posts: 224

    what pick up truck you recoommend you gotta rmemeber this is parttime 28 accounts this isnt no 165 account 3 man crew business you know so im not gonna need that much space/power ..what vans or pick ups you guys recommend im on the east coast so the lawns near me arent no 2043040 3543025023450 acre lands.
  9. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    I'd go with an F150, preferrably something like a 90s model, if it looks goood, and goes I'll drive it, provided it dont have a 4 cyl engine in it. I have a disliking of the 4 in a pickup. Just my opinion. I got Ford running in my veins, and would love a Ford ZTR lol. that would be pretty cool in blue with a little 2.0L I4 engine in it.
  10. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    28 accounts is nothing to sneeze at, either. You're doin' good.
    Anyway, yes, a van IS good for security if you can keep it locked up well. The main downfall that I've been told about a cube van, is that there's nowhere to put the stuff you pick up. With mowing, you are ALWAYS picking up sticks and debris, and with the van, it just doesn't work out inside when you're tripping over sticks and stuff, or have a branch with dried leaves getting against a hot motor or exhaust whaile you're driving down the road. The nice thing about a pickup and trailer, is that when you're done, you just unhook the trailer, and go dump the truck. Plus, you can go places and do stuff wiTHOUT hauling all your equipment or having to unload it to go trim some trees or shrubbery.

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