First Work Truck

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Townhouse Yards, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Townhouse Yards

    Townhouse Yards LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 821

    Hi, I'm 17 years old and I am having trouble deciding on a work truck to fit my needs in 2014. I'm making this post now, because I figured in January/ February when I would be looking at trucks, most of you would be on Plowsite. The work truck will be purchased as a used truck. I do not know if a compact or half ton truck is best for me. I have a couple of problems that go along with this decision:

    I am servicing townhouses and single family home properties only. The truck will mostly be used for hauling, and eventually towing. The towing will be later on, a 5x10 utility trailer at most. The hauling will be the typical lawn care setup for me: 20’ push, handhelds, blowers, hand tools, gas cans etc. I might have a 36' wb in the spring to haul too. Additionally, I’ll be hauling mulch, topsoil (mostly bagged, occasionally bulk), and other landscaping materials. I only have 10k to spend, so is a 4 cylinder or a 6 cylinder better? I won’t be plowing or off-roading, so is 4 wheel drive necessary?

    I am 6 feet 4 inches tall, and I will continue to grow for a little while longer. I need a truck with decent room. Is anyone of my size drive a truck that they really like the interior and space they have?

    I plan on having the truck through the rest of high school and college, so I want to buy right the first time. I do not have any brand loyalty, but Chevy, Ford, and Toyota have the best dealer support around me. I know most of my problem can be solved by just going out and trying trucks. Does anyone have any advice for me before I go out and start?
     
  2. Bigred350

    Bigred350 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774

    I would for sure get a 1/2 ton. If you are gonna be hauling or towing you will be glad you have the extra room in the bed and a little more pulling power for towing. Plus being so tall you want a full size truck.
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  3. Vecchio Lawn Care

    Vecchio Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 905

    Buy a used half ton v8 with 4x4. You will have plenty of towing power and hauling will be much easier. Hauling 100 bags on a compact truck with a 4 cylinder isn't going to happen. I have a 2001 silverado 1500 with 4x4 and tow a 16' tandem axle with a 36wb and 60in ztr with ease. Find out what you want and go a step bigger because you will expand. I was in the same situation you are in. I'm 18 and just graduated high school.
     
  4. NIXRAY

    NIXRAY LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 511

    I'd go with half ton or bigger..and for a few reasons. The compact truck will be easily overloaded and you will out grow the capabilities of that truck very quick. The half to ext cab will be a better fit for your current needs and your forecasted needs a bigger weight capacity and at 10k you can a decent used and not to old ECO BOOST F150 (no I have not personally owned one). I'd also keep in mind the resale value the half ton will retain its value longer vs the compact. Really tho if I was in your place a 3/4 - 1 ton. Better to have more truck then not enough hence the reason I have a 97 F350 7.3 4 dr long bed And love it
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  5. bwelchre

    bwelchre LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Are you planning on eventually growing the business past what you stated? no plowing/no 4x4, waste of gas/ possible repair, and cost of 4x4 is at least 1k more than not. honestly everything you stated, a compact truck can handle without being abused, you can always rent and abuse a home depot truck for a specific job. I've always been in business to make money, not for haveing the biggest truck... depends what your goals are. I would definitely go with a 6 cyl though. For the hauling, mulch doesn't way anything and top soil is heavy for a 1 ton truck also, just take two trips for the few times you do top soil, i don't think its worth the extra cost of a full size. Just my opinion.
     
  6. Townhouse Yards

    Townhouse Yards LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 821

    Thank you all for all the responses. I do wish to plow in the future and I do want to grow to a full service company. I really want a good starting point truck. bwelchre, thank you for the advice. Those stated are my current needs, but I do wish to do more. I just don't have any plowing contracts right now, and I'm not sure if you have to be 18 or not to plow driveways and lots for insurance purposes.
     
  7. smitty's lawncare

    smitty's lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    I am about your size and am 20 in college, i do a little bit bigger properties than you and i got a 2005 gmc 1500, regular cab, long bed, 4x2, 5 speed, with the 4.3 v6. i pull my 6x12 trailer with ease. I haul a 36 and 52 wb, 21" as well as all the handhelds for mowing and i can haul 5 yds of mulch and as many bags as i can fit on the truck and trailer combined. from my experience, this truck works awesome for me, however, if i could go back, id have a v8 just because of more power. If i was you, getche a v8, youll be a lot happier getting something bigger, trust me.
     
  8. Chris_NC06

    Chris_NC06 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Sanford, NC
    Posts: 6,792

    For $10,000 you should be able to get a clean newer (2002-2005) 3/4 ton.
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  9. Moose's Mowing

    Moose's Mowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    I'd at least look at a 2500. price shouldn't be too out of line. In other words, you can find a decent 2500 for the same or a bit more than a 1500. Depends what your future goals are. If you have even an inkling of expanding, you'll already have a proper truck and that'll make growing that much easier. if you strictly intend to stay with a 36" wb and 21" mower, then a v6 1500 chevy work truck style would be fine as would a little dakota or something. But I think you might find you'll want to expand and will wish you had a bigger truck. If you decide to fold up shop after a year or two, a 3/4 series might be easier to resell too. post back and let us know what you decided.
     
  10. Townhouse Yards

    Townhouse Yards LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 821

    Thanks for the advice. How is the regular cab in leg and head room for you? Is it easy to get in and out of? That truck and trailer sounds like an awesome setup.
     

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