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Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by TPendagast, May 3, 2014.

  1. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,561

    I have too many vehicles.

    I keep falling into the trap of buying 1 ton trucks to 'get away' with work bigger trucks should be doing, instead of simply having materials/equipment delivered.

    I think it's a control issue.

    Over the years (and many years ago) I learned that 1 ton pick ups just don't pay off, and neither does truck plowing.

    No matter how much I look at the numbers, and realize it's not good. I STILL do it!

    for the technical style installs I do, I can simply have machinery delivered and materials.
    This means I really DON'T need the bigger pick ups.
    Maintenance, Irrigation, Consulting, Design and Site Management can all be done with a half ton.
    I used to drive around doing lawn work and training crews with my jeep wrangler (nothing beats pulling a mow trailer with an open air vehicle)
    But to be honest with you, I just haven't done this since 2010.

    I'm really considering getting rid of my one tons and my jeep (ARGH!) and getting a nice used Chevy Avalanche, with a nice sunroof it's the ultimate combo of both vehicles.
    The tonneau cover and roof rack and side boxes serve all my needs perfectly (the combo of business and personal)
    Ive really grown to like that era of chevy's and the 5.3 engine, even tho Im a ford man.

    Problem's with this concept:

    CONTROL!!!
    I'm simultaneously a versatility meister and a minimalist. These two personality traits are clashing like a bi polar episode.

    Mileage/Wear and Tear:
    I would literally put 35-40,000 miles a year on this vehicle If I down sized and had one vehicle that I did everything with: Summer work, winter work, personal travel, snow machining, off roading, camping. Etc.

    Lack of back ups:
    If this rig went down or needed major service, I'd have to borrow a crew rig, or my wires rig.

    LAck of serious snow plow.
    It's a half ton. there are some plows I could put on it, But I have become accustomed to 9 foot plus plows… but I KNOW I should have plows on trucks… but what if I need it in a pinch! ARGH!! control!!!
    Seriously there is no need for the truck plow, I can run loaders, or heavy trucks, or skid steers so much as taking two steps to get into one.
    But there is something about running around anywhere I want to go, with a plow right there on my rig, Im having a hard time letting go of….


    Opinions.
    What should I do?

    What I know I should do, and my anxiety issues are clashing.
     
  2. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    For me nothing beats a 3/4 ton truck for work and personal. You more than enough truck for most situations and just enough in others. You can still have your material delivered. Do you currently have more than one vehical? I think your asking for trouble to ask an avalanche to be your one and only vehical.
     
  3. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,849

    Yea half way down is the way to go imo too. 3/4 ton Diesel 4x4.
     
  4. JCLawn and more

    JCLawn and more LawnSite Fanatic
    from MI
    Posts: 5,206

    To me you are yelling dodge 1500 eco diesel. 30-35 mpg on the freeway, 10,000 lbs towing, 8 speed tranny, and just as much power as my 1 ton.
     
  5. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 16,437

    Id keep one 3500 or 4500 and keep the jeep.

    Personally Id rather be over equipped.
     
  6. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    Ive got the 3/4 ton and the 1 1/2 ton. I used to use the 3/4 ton with a dump insert for hauling mulch, but after buying the 1 1/2 ton, I would NEVER want to give it up. I would not go to a 1/2 ton for anything that would carry much of anything, including trailers. (caveat......unless you have extra springs in the back so you don't get the sag in the back)
     
  7. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 23

    they used to make a 2500 Avalanche however they are not very heavy duty
     
  8. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 768

    I sometimes work for a lawn service that has an Avalanche, but I've never seen them pulling a trailer with it. I think it's partly personal use and for estimates. I know they like the Avalanche, cause they've had it several years. They used to have a Honda truck (forgot what that's called), but they got rid of that one.
     
  9. guybrushthreepwood

    guybrushthreepwood LawnSite Member
    from WA
    Posts: 28

    That would be the Honda Ridgeline. The ugliest truck on the road IMHO.
     
  10. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,561


    I said, I have several vehicles.

    in 2002 I/we learned and decided plowing with 1 tons and lighter was a mistake, we switched to GMC 4500s and Mitsubishi's and skid steers. The resulting difference was amazing.

    But since selling the business in 2005, I have done a lot more consulting, mobile irrigation/water management (ranging over large areas) and site management (sub contract design/install) for special projects.
    What that means is essentially short term management for other companies, I manage/consult for them and fill gaps for large projects that they might not have knowledge or skill in for a special project, and probably won't need to have afterward either. Example would be a job that requires knowledge in Two-wire irrigation (some companies don't even know how to bid it) or E-T systems. Another company might not have the skill or knowledge necessary to build retaining walls, or what I've done a lot of is consulting on building sports fields as part of a larger contract/project.
    Companies know all about dirt work, until it comes to the specifics of a base ball diamond, or Drainage/construction elements of a Golf Green/Tee.
    So I sub contract in as a a subject management expert/Management Team Lead.
    Some projects are shorter, Some have lasted 6-18 months.

    Likewise in maintenance, I will contract in to expand, grow, create systems, train my replacement, phase out.
    I do that a lot (recently) with chemical divisions and Snow operations, mostly developing systems any new hire can follow ,specifically targeting companies that have high turn over rates, so they have something new hires can just put on like a set of clothes rather than bring in their own fashion sense and have a constantly changing element to the operations.

    So technically, my business is 30% water management/consulting/design. 50% sub contracting, and 20% Solo Maintenance (although by LS standards can't qualify as solo, wife runs office and calls, kids flag irrigation and run gopher for me, and soon they'll be running mowers)

    So I don't personally maintain big fleets of trucks anymore.
    A few plow rigs, The Jeep, A tundra (you'd be surprised how much they TOW!) and an Old Mitsubishi.

    Kinda thinking of getting rid of the plow rigs in favor of the Machines (which I mostly use anyway…) and Simply having:
    Avalanche, Tundra, Mitsubishi (12000 GVW) and that's it. (running machines for snow)
     

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