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Disadvantages of a box truck?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Outdoors_Unlimited, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    and your reason for this would be........

    pulling a trailer is NOT rocket science. you don't need special training or a special license either. i never pulled a trailer in my life until i started my lawn business. and i never had anyone teach me anything or any practice.

    when i started my business i just went out bought a truck and and trailer and drove it home and started working the next day.

    don't get me wrong i'm not trying to pass off pulling a trailer as a casual thing. you need to be more alert and drive more defensively than you do just driving a vehicle everyday but like i said it's not rocket science. i think it took me a whole 2 days if that to get use to stopping, turning and backing up.
  2. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    Higher initial cost
    Poor visability to rear
    Manuverability vs truck/trailer?
    Width on narrow streets?
    Height clearance?
    Lack of flexibility vs truck with a bed.
    Can't use it for personal use.
    Can't garage it unless you have a very tall one.
    Resale market not as liquid perhaps as for pickups and trailers.
    May not be able to park it in residentially zoned areas.
    Security issues if you're buying it thinking your gear will be safe inside it.
  3. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    Maybe you need some perspective on this. I ran a company where employees drove heavy open custom trailers using flatbed duallys and HD vans as tow vehicles. Accidents happened a couple times a year at least, including some that could have been fatal except for pure luck. Sometimes it was just backing into something, other times taking out a post cutting a corner, or just rear ending a car in traffic. Trailers just do not stop like vehicles with the cargo area built-in.

    And these were mostly highly motivated older college students who had none of the drug, attitude, or intelligence problems you might find with lawncare workers. Employees are not owners. They are not going to always be as careful, as focused, or safety conscious as you'd like.

    So if someone has employees I can see the rationale in going a route to avoid trailers. Then again, large trucks are no picnic either. But trailering definitely is worth some special training time. There have been some ugly accidents with trailers over the years.
  4. Outdoors_Unlimited

    Outdoors_Unlimited LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 449

    Bruno, I'm looking at used ones. They seem to be cheaper than pickups, and the trailer is built in saving the cost of an enclosed.

    I can't park my trailer at home, so that's no different.

    I'm not trying to be rude, just breaking down what would actually be a disadvantage. Only one bothering me is the ability to haul clippings.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  5. PLS-Tx

    PLS-Tx LawnSite Silver Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 2,385

    Do you have employees? My guess would be no.

    I''m not saying it cant' be done but I am saying that I don't want to do it. I also realize that driving a box truck is not like driving a 1/2 ton but I do think the risk would be less than them pulling a trailer.
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    We just had a very, very nasty accident here. I'm going to start a new thread on trailer safety in a few minutes.
  7. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    all those senarios could happen with the owner of the business pulling the truck/trailer as well. and all those senario's could happen with a box truck as well.

    i really don't think you need any training to pull a trailer. i'm not the brightest apple in the bunch and i figured it out. i barely made it out of highschool.

    no i don't have employees but if or when i do they will be driving trucks pulling trailers for sure. hell i might even have my first employee do the driving in my truck and trailer while i sit as a passenger and return phone calls. and that truck is my personal truck as well.

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Yardguy, you have a very different business mentality than the rest of us. I think everyone understands what I mean when I say that.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    A cube van has a much smaller parking footprint in length then a pick-up towing a trailer. The only restriction I have is height should a customer have trees next to their driveway or street with low hanging branches. But- I can pull into a lot of short driveways a truck and trailer couldn't.

    My cube van is strictly a work vehicle, I have a separate car for personal use. Two vehicles- one driver so insurance is low, only about a 1/3 more then just my car on the policy.

    As far as any jobs that would require me to haul away debris I schedule them before or after any mowing or leaf mulching jobs. Never in between. For example last week I had job to raise the crown on a very tall and huge pine tree by 15' next to a house. It had branches up to 20 feet long starting at ground level. The only equipment I put in the van were a chain saw, pole saw, wood saw horse, wheelbarrow, pruning shears, handheld blower and a push-mower with bag for debris pick-up. No need to load up anything unnecessary such as a rider, trimmers, backpack blowers ect, they can stay in the garage at home. I cut down the branches, dragged them near the curb, cut them in 5' lengths, loaded the cut up branches in the van, went back with the push-mower w/bag to collect the debris, put that in one bag, put the mower and the rest of my stuff on the end and went home for lunch. Unloaded my equipment and the branches for cutting up smaller later, (I'll use them for my fireplace when seasoned) loaded up my mowers etc and did 2 leaf mulching jobs that afternoon and called it a day.

    Another advange to having a cube van over a truck towing a open trailer is I have NEVER been pulled over by a cop, but I've seen plenty of open trailers pulled over in my travels. The reason is a cop can't see inside a van, but can easily see any violations with a open trailer such as being overloaded or equipment improperly secured.

    I have nothing against using trailers enclosed or open, I just prefer using a cube van.
  10. sdk1959

    sdk1959 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 909

    So if the TRUCK you use to PULL your trailer breaks down and is in the shop for a week how is that any different?????:dizzy:

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