Do any of you run a lawn care business just out of a pick up truck?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by keeman, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. keeman

    keeman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    I started this year and only had 8 weekly customers, I ran my business strictly out of the back of my truck(although legally before you ask) using ramps to load my Gravely 21" mower. I am looking to grow this up coming season to hopefully at least 20-25 customers. Right now I am planning on using only my 21"(no large lawns right now) And find a trailer may be a waste of money for me. I have different lawn care guys telling me a trailer makes you look a lot more professional and will get me more customers. To me it is the quality of work you do and not what you use to do it, all of my customers this year loved my work and have already committed to next season and have been giving me good word of mouth. I guess my question to you all is: DO I need a trailer just to look more professional and get more customers?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 37,805

    I guess I'm in the same boat. I worked out of my trucks for the past two seasons. I've done more landscape work than grass cutting and I only have about 7 accounts. I also work a full time job and go to school full time.

    Anyway, I bought a trailer in August because I have enough work next year to justify a Z. Having a trailer is so nice, even though I can't fill it with mowers yet. I've helped people out hauling stuff, I've been able to haul boulders for a landscape job without beating my truck up, etc. Now that I have a trailer, I couldn't imagine not having one.

    But to answer your question, I think a nice trailer does give you a better image. Which may or may not be "right," but that's how most people think. But there is a point where homeowners don't notice "how nice of a trailer." If they see one company in a clean truck in their neighborhood every week, they won't have any idea if that company is just a two man operation or a giant company with multiple crews.

    In short, I think it's possible to run a company without a trailer, but a trailer has many more uses than hauling lawn equipment.
     
  3. Kennedy Landscaping

    Kennedy Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,599

    I used to do it that way. But I love having a trailer. So many more options are opened up when you do it that way.
     
  4. anders.ogren

    anders.ogren LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Ill sell or trade my 4' by 6' trailer to upgrade to a 5 by 8 if anyones interested
     
  5. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    I have a 6x12 enclosed trailer and a 5x10 open I have been trying to get away without them. This is my second week operating without using the trailers. I use my F-150 with ramps and load my wright 36 stander in the bed. I have trimmer racks mounted on the passenger side of the bed, and I ordered a blower rack; however, its not in yet. I love it so far. Its so easy to park and my mileage is closer to 17-18 vs 9-10. Also it saves me time, and gas from having to pick it up and drop it off. Its so worth it not having to hook and unhook every thing every day because I can't keep it at home its at my parents. This way everything is just loaded in my bed and I can park it in the garage. I actually sold my bigger 48 z400 toro and my 36 hydro w/b to buy the stander and have some extra cash. I know I could easily service 40-50 accounts solo by my self in 4 days with this setup. I plan on having a rack to go into my hitch to ride the mower onto that way I will have the whole bed free, or put the same rack on the back of a van.
     
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    You do not need a trailer to look more professional. While projecting a good image is important, it does not come from having a trailer. There are many companies who strictly use pickup trucks and no trailers, and they are doing very well. Having a trailer really depends on what equipment you will be using. If you are using a ztr and wb, a trailer will be needed, but if you are just using a 21" wb, there is no need for a trailer. It is true that it allows you to take on more jobs, but if all your doing or planning on doing is mowing, then you should be all set will just your truck. Don't let people tell you that you need a trailer to be professional, because you don't. Just keep your equipment/truck looking nice and do good work, and you will project the professional image you want.
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    I would agree, that to answer the question, having a trailer will not make you look more professional in and of itself.

    However, trying to load and unload say a 48" mower from the back of a pickup what with a couple of
    wooden boards being used as ramps, that could make you look rather UN professional, I think.
    But it's really more than that because I could care less what you look like, you're out there working and
    it really doesn't matter but my whole thing is you have to consider your own safety at some point,
    also all of the implications...
    Like, just how much trouble are you willing to put yourself through in order to escape having to buy yourself a trailer?

    So my advice is, before you go expanding too much further, at least in terms of equipment,
    start considering what I just said, not saying you have to buy a trailer per se...
    Like if you don't plan on having bigger than a 21" mower, you probably hardly need a trailer.
    And some guys use these dovetail beds (but they're rather expensive, like very).

    A decent 6x12 landscaping trailer new run you about $1,500-$2,000 or so,
    it's really not a bad investment to consider some time down the road.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  8. turf and snow

    turf and snow LawnSite Member
    Posts: 79

    I run a trailer 1 day a week and out of my pickup 3 days a week. Parking without trailer is so much easier and I can fit everything I need in the truck.
     
  9. joel29m

    joel29m LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 647

    my opinion, get a trailer if you have a nice truck and dont wanna tear it up. at first, i was putting things in the back of my nissan titan but my neighbor gave me a 6.5 by 12 trailer and it was a relief with all that picking up and down off the bed, plus i bought a 91 gmc single cab pickup to pull the trailer for the fact the titan was supposed to be my project truck and hopping in and out with sweaty clothes and grass everywhere didnt help either. gas will be a difference, but that trailer will pay off in the long run. and it is nice to have two trucks, i still use the titan when i want to drive it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  10. keeman

    keeman LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    Unknown, I love your setup, I may consider doing something like that also. Mowerbrad I agree completely with you about the quality of work being more important than the equipment you are using, that is kin of why I asked. Thanks to all of your replies, I definitely appreciate the advice and ideas
     

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