International Terrastar

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by SDLandscapes VT, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. xclusive

    xclusive LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,052

    I was looking at a F550 Supercab/Chassis and MSRP was $51,600
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    In all seriousness, those looking at the 450 and 550 style class trucks, the best move would be Isuzu, Hino, or Mitsubishi. You get more TRUCK and they go FOREVER.

    Anyone ever hear of Bass Custom Landscapes in GA? If not, Google the name. Tony Bass has over 60 Isuzu trucks. At a seminar someone asked him "how often do you trade your trucks in?". Tony responded with "we don't, those Isuzus go forever".

    We have a mulch and top soil supplier in the area. Good size, million dollar operation that started as 2 brothers delivering mulch with their 3/4 ton pick up, and the one brother's tandem axle dump truck. Over the years they had F350, F450 and F550. Multiples of them. Then they bought an Isuzu. I asked the owner this past spring "how's that Isuzu working out for you?" He replied "we love it, it's the best truck we ever had".

    I have an old buddy in Ohio (and Aaron know who I'm talking about) who swear by Mitsubushi trucks.

    One of these days when I buy another work truck, it will be either an Isuzu, Mits, or Hino.

    Those little Isuzu trucks have the same payload as our F-650. Keep an open mind and do some research on them.

  3. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,829

    The Isuzu are very nice little trucks. I have 8 of them and they have been great. We stopped buying Chevy 3500's and 2500's for the maintenance division and switched everything out the the Isuzu cab overs and it has been the best thing that we have ever done. We no longer have all of the issues with stupid things breaking on trucks. We're not eating up brakes at the same insane rate as before and I haven't had any transmission issues either. I will add though that we do have a GMC C4500 with a 14' dump bed on it and it has been a solid vehicle as well. No major issues in the 8 years that we have owned it. My only regret with that truck was that I didn't pop for the additional $5K and get the Duramax in it. For what we do with it though the 8.1L gas / Allison trans combo is just fine.

    I've read plenty of articles and had plenty of discussions on other boards about trucks and I firmly believe that for what most of us are doing we need to be using medium duty trucks. The 3/4 and 1 Ton trucks are fine for certian applications but for day in and day out hauling and working a medium duty truck is the best way to go. The additional cost of the vehicle will far out weigh the costs of having to repeatedly repair a vehicle that is being pushed beyond it's limits.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    The 1 and the 1 1/2 ton truck is nothing more than a pickup up truck with a bog box on the back. So I agree, the industry really should use heavier trucks.

    We have a Ford F-650. About a month ago or so someone on here commented "The F-650 doesn't have much more payload than a 550". And that's 110% correct. But the benefit is that the frame, the brakes, and the drivetrain is suited for heavier use. At 10 years old this summer the truck just got it's first replacement of brake pads. A smaller truck (550, 450) would have had 3 sets of pads and 1 clutch replacement by now.

    With the Isuzu's (and other trucks like them), you get all that. Higher payload. Stronger frame. Bigger brakes. Stronger transmisson. And the ones I looked at all had payloads of about 10,000#. Our 650 will be long in its grave and parted out and sold for scrap before any of the foreign trucks are even 1/2 way there.

  5. SDLandscapes VT

    SDLandscapes VT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 582


    Great post--when I went to test drive the Terrastar I originally was at the dealer test driving a Mitsubishi. Of the two, I preferred the mits--however the payload and towing just isnt there. I will definitely be replacing my 3500HD chevy with an FG 4 x 4 mits when the time comes, but for landscaping and hauling trailers, machinery, and material I feel that the terrastar would be a better match--I should also add that we are looking into a switch and go body setup and no matter how we sliced it with the weights we were looking at the Terrastar seemed to be a better fit. I m not sold on the terrastar, but the pricing they gave me was very convincing--I just want to know if someone has some real world data on the recurring costs.
  6. srl28

    srl28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,176

    What sort of pricing have you come up with on the terrastar? We have a Freightliner fl-50, same size as the terrastar that has been in the shop maybe twice since we bought it used 5 years ago with 110k on it. Great little powerhouse of a truck. Not a ton of capacity but hauls it like a raped ape. Looking into mits and isuzu as well for a maintenance truck and saw the terrastar at a trade show not long ago. Feels like sitting in a newer f350 or 3500 pickup
  7. crazymike

    crazymike LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 454

    I have been seriously considering these. Especially a cab over.

    Yes they look funny; but they are easy to maneuver, every bit of length is utilized, fuel efficient.

    I love the idea of plowing and being able to look down over your plow.
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    The Isuzu's only come in 2wd, but I have seen a number of contractors 'round here plow with them.

    Also, the U.S. military has alot of cabovers, i'm guessing they're around 32,000 gvw, maybe even more. I'm not for certain but I think they're Mits?

  9. crazymike

    crazymike LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 454

    When I got started in this business my 550 was 4wd, but the hubs were broken and you couldn't lock the front. I also couldn't afford new tires, I pretty much had school bus steering tires all the way around. Rarely did I miss the 4wd, never did I need it while plowing. (I did get stuck on flat ground on some ice in my back field one day, but was more tires than 4wd)

    I think everyone gets 4wd on their dumps because they see everyone else has it. When in reality, it's rarely needed. Nice to have when your stuck, but easily avoidable for commercial plowing. Put a yard of salt in the back and you're good to go.
  10. crazymike

    crazymike LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 454

    Also, some cab overs now come in 4wd. But it's not as common.

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