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Does anyone else use a small truck for route work?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by minilawn, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. minilawn

    minilawn LawnSite Member
    from CO
    Posts: 65

    I've been reading bigger is better, always talking about "growing" into your business. Does anyone else like the idea of keeping money in their pockets and growing the business?

    I've been using this rig for 3 years 40k miles in that time. 19mpg towing. It's a 4cyl 5spd work model 2001 s10. Maintenance has been regular, amsoil once a year, fuel filters etc.
    :weightlifter:

    <a href="http://s1320.photobucket.com/user/lukeypanman/media/IMG_0004_zps88d1da4c.jpg.html" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/u538/lukeypanman/IMG_0004_zps88d1da4c.jpg" border="0" alt=" photo IMG_0004_zps88d1da4c.jpg"/></a>
     
  2. minilawn

    minilawn LawnSite Member
    from CO
    Posts: 65

  3. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    my first truck was a mini toyota, pulled a tandem (with it's own brakes..lol) even pallets of sod when I first started. But that was in a very flat area. Those with hills won't appreciate being pushed by their trailers into intersections, etc. Small trucks are great for irrigation, gardening, small area mowing (with mowers in the truck) like urban downtown things where parking is a great big issue. Even pest control with small sprayers.

    For trailer work, like what you're doing here, the low cost entry point may end up with higher costs in brakes, accelerated wear of the engine and transmission (particularly) and perhaps even fuel economy suffering by needing to pull at a higher rpm than say a full sized, 2wd small block v-8 (my personal lawn truck preference) would get doing the same routes. Most will find that the small truck won't be that much lower priced than a standard 1/2 ton 2wd work truck, even without fleet pricing, and the larger truck will likely last far longer, giving you a lower cost to own for this situation.
     
  4. Isenberg Lawn Care

    Isenberg Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 61

    That's how I first started, a 99 Chevy s10 4 banger 5 speed. I'm thinking about buying it back from my buddy, great for this biz for small and medium jobs.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,095

    Nice set up...Yes I've done that in the past. Ford Ranger, 4cylinder, about 14mpg in town. That's more than double the mpg with my Ram.

    If you can put more money into your pocket I'd say stay with your set up, I'm sure you're thinking this regardless what anyone else says and I'd agree with you.
     
  6. Jaybrown

    Jaybrown LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,160

    I use a cargo van. It's awesome
     
  7. minilawn

    minilawn LawnSite Member
    from CO
    Posts: 65

    Thanks for the replies. I just wanted to see if the tone has changed with some folks.

    Here's to anyone thinking about going with the smaller set-up:

    $3500 purchase price w 63k miles.

    This is getting 19mpg with the trailer every week. High twenties empty on highway. Great for running errands.

    Wearing out really fast??

    Brake pads were replaced as soon as I bought, new shocks, new alternator, fuel filter, clutch, and timing chain. In the last 40k miles. At 100k I did the timing chain ($75) and throwout bearing (decided to just to the whole clutch kit while I was in there) What I found when I took the old clutch off was about 50%. It was wearing normally for a 12 year old, 100k mile vehicle. Timing chain was purely preventative maintenance, I just know that's a weak point on this engine, (2.2 vortech).

    So in 3 years, and 40k miles.
    Shocks - $90
    Rotors & Pads - $150
    Alternator - $120
    Clutch kit - $500
    Fuel Filter - $50
    Timing Chain -$75

    Total $985

    And it runs like new!

    I would love to see and hear more about your guy's rigs that work for your business and why!
     
  8. Chris_NC06

    Chris_NC06 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Sanford, NC
    Posts: 6,569

    I consider a 1/2 ton a "small truck". :laugh:
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  9. mclawns365

    mclawns365 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    I kind of split the difference. I have a colorado with the 5cyl. and 4x4. Cheapest crew cab I could find (babies) and it still gets 19 to 20 pulling my dual axle mowing rig. At the same time it tows the 12 foot dump trailer fully loaded. doesnt sink and the drag isnt terrible. The S-10 zr2 or zr5s would do about the same I imagine (with a little suspention bolstering). Point is, Unless I go way above where my work is now I dont have to consider anything bigger for several more years.
     
  10. Nate'sLawnCare

    Nate'sLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,001

    I use a Tacoma, because that's what I had when I decided to start this. I bought a trailer that I could pull with it and equipment that fit the trailer. At some point, I'll upgrade, but this one works in our relatively flat area. The funny thing is when I unhook the trailer and drive the truck by itself, it feels like a hot rod :laugh:

    [​IMG]
     

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