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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 heard that you need a big truck so you can drive fast... I don't drive fast, so that doesn't bother me.

    As for stopping, in 3 years I've had my fair share of idiots pull out in front of me. This truck stops my ZTR and Walkbehind with various hand-helds on a dime... no pun intended.

    :weightlifter:
     
  2. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    Personally, I like the extra safety margain with a set of trailer brakes. I've done it without brakes, I don't care to make it a habit.
     
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    If he was putting that kind of money into it every year, then yes, that would be expensive. But what he did was a 100,000 mile freshen up. That work won't have to be done again for another 100,000 miles if the truck lasts that long.
     
  4. minilawn

    minilawn LawnSite Member
    from CO
    Posts: 65

    Exactly, I think all vehicles require maintenance at their half-life.

    I also want to stress the fact that this was preventative, keep it on the up and up, over prepared maintenance :dancing:

    Thats how I do things:drinkup:
     
  5. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    The key here is THAT work. But since those are not the only aging parts on the vehicle, it's silly to think that will be the end of major repairs. A bad water pump that warps heads when it overheats, a loss of compression on the motor, suspension problems, a rear end diff failing, even the gears in that manual stripping out will all be eventualities.

    Even if you keep front end costs lower by doing the labor yourself, you still have to account for the true costs. Unless your time is worth nothing. A day working on the vehicle is a production day lost.

    That's the measure.

    and yes, most are using trucks that are complete and total overkill for the job and are being inefficient in the other direction, but you can be equally so (inefficient) by making choices going in the opposite direction.

    When I would see jacked up, fully loaded trucks being used for lawn crews, I'd make it a point to follow them to their next job and leave my card. I know automatically higher cost clowns when I see them and that's like a flashing light with circus music playing.. :)
     
  6. Blade Runners

    Blade Runners LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,021

    Something else to keep in mind when you run no trailer brakes is the trailer jack-knifing when you hit the brakes hard and the truck and trailer getting out of alignment.

    I was at Ft. Bragg when 3 soldiers were killed for this very reason. The truck slammed on the brakes skidded a little, got out of alignment and the trailer swung around next to the truck and turned it over in a ditch. Someone had forgotten to hook up the trailer brake air lines.

    Just because you have a truck with brakes good enough to stop it and the trailer doesn't necessarily make it safe.
     
  7. minilawn

    minilawn LawnSite Member
    from CO
    Posts: 65

    That's a good point. I'll look into adding trailer brakes. Thanks
     
  8. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,570

    Brakes are an easy add on. You can get a bolt on kit. If the axle has the flange to bolt on it includes brakes and hub with brake drum. Finish it off by pulling a wire to each side. Go with a 6 or 7 pin plug and a brake controller in the cab.
     
  9. minilawn

    minilawn LawnSite Member
    from CO
    Posts: 65

    Those brake kits are pretty neat, just need to figure out which setup is best for mine.

    Now I'm thinking more about that Exmark Commercial 30
    :waving:
     
  10. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I don't mean to step on your toes but is it still easy if the axle doesn't have the brake flange? Or if the truck is not prewired for trailer brakes? What happens then? About how much would all of this cost if it's not brake ready and you have to pay someone to do this work? :confused: You know, if I had to buy a new axle and all and then pay someone to install the axle, brakes, 7 pin plug, wiring and brake controller?
     

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