Opinions on box trucks

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by rubiconlawn, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. rubiconlawn

    rubiconlawn LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 21

    I am getting ready to come out of a lease on my Jeep, and since it is not a practical work vehicle I was planning on getting a used truck. Now it is crossing my mind to get a used 14'-16' box truck, and put a hyd ramp on it. I am going to be spending somewhere in the $12k neighborhood on a truck so I was hoping for some opinions/experiences with box trucks to run a LC out of. Pros/Cons? I really like the idea of having my equipment locked up and stored when I get home and the big rolling billboard advertisement I would have. I am just concerned it might be a PITA day in and day out, heat-wise and needing to go to the back, up the ramp, and in the box every time I needed a trimmer, blower, trash-bag, etc. Nuff said.

    Thoughts please

    Thanks,
    Rubicon
     
  2. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    I saw a local LCO's lift-gate truck today. It looked like a former furniture truck painted in their colors. I think one might be great. I've also seen a box truck, multi-stop, bread truck, whatever you call it, with a sloped ramp w/ ramp gate welded to the back an it looked pretty cool too. I have no info on how one would work out though. Easier parking on little properties but would the climbing be a problem?
     
  3. wooley99

    wooley99 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

  4. rubiconlawn

    rubiconlawn LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 21

    Thanks for the input wooley, I wonder about the heat though.

    Anybody else got any thoughts?

    Thanks,
    Rubicon
     
  5. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 991

    Heat wouldn't be any worse than any other enclosed trailer. They use roof vents to let the hot air rise.
     
  6. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403

    If you do get a box truck,I'm guessing with a van front end,make sure it doesn't have wheel wells or fuel fillup hose inside the box,will limit your load.We use two 14 foot box trucks,blowers and trimmers on side walls along with shovels and rakes. A shelf across the front holds tool box,air tank and various other supplies.We load various ways and get a 52" rider,two 52" w/b's and a 21" in there.Have air vent in the front of the box. Have a 60"wide ramp on one and two single ramps on the other truck,similar to a pick up and slide them into the frame for storage.
    Being a pita,pull your mower in,turn and grab your trimmer,put trimmer back and grab blower all at shoulder height...not a bad set up.Been using box trucks since '90.
     
  7. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 788

    There are several guys on here that run box trucks and I don't think any of them will have anything negative to say about them- except maybe the gas mileage. I got my NPR back in November and I have loved it ever since. I have a dovetail and ramp on the back of mone and it works great. Never had any of the mowers bottom out or drag while loading or unloading. The only downside to the dovetail is that is does create a little more tail swing but it's just something you have to learn- kinda like backing a trailer or taking corners wide. Once you get used to it- it's not a problem at all. There are other ramps available but I like mine. I thought that it might be a pain having to go up and down the ramp to get equipment but it's really not. The box is not that hot on the inside, either.The door stays open all day and the vents keep the air moving very well. It's nice to be able to get out of the sun for a minute or two during the day and drink some nice cool H2O. Here is a link for some pics of my truck.

    http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=169422
     
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,142

    I looked at them a couple years back....just to much cost...don't know where you get $12K unless it is used. Hard to haul mulch, dirt, limbs well just about everything you generally need in mowing busiess. And those ramps take up just too much room unfolding out...cant' use them in citiy. Closed van gives you the advertisement aspect and lockup and you can drive you truck around for non business stuff....we see very few in our area.
     
  9. Steppenwolf

    Steppenwolf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 403

    Ed, you are right,if you plan on hauling mulch etc. can be frustrating,but very good for hauling flowers etc. out of the wind. We haul our mulch in a flatbed with sides so it is not really an issue for us,the box trucks are almost dedicated to mowing. A box truck at 14 feet with a ten foot ramp,a pickup with a 20 foot trailer......all things considered..about the same amout of headaches:)
    Todd, nice set up. Once you've had a box truck you won't go back. I get about 8 mpg with my '88 GMC,it is old, paid for, but starts and runs every day.SLT is a sponser on here,go to their web site,they have some very nice ideas but you can build your own.
     
  10. rubiconlawn

    rubiconlawn LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 21

    yep, gonna have to be used at $12k. Thanks for the comments, sounds like those that run them really like them. I'm leaning that way, but it is going to be a little while yet before the lease is up so I will be looking close for a GREAT deal.

    Any more thoughts? You guys are a treasure!!

    Thanks, Rubicon

    I'm gonna miss my jeep......:confused:
     

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