Running maintenance company out of a dump

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by unkownfl, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    I've been looking at setups for a few weeks lately and came to the conclusion I need a dump trailer and regular trailer unless I go with a dump truck. I've been looking over the net and have found a few dumps with 8x10 beds which I could park my mowers side by side and have 5x8 ft of storage for debris while using the mowers. I will mount under body tool boxes for equipment parts, tools, straps etc. This will give me a relative compact truck combo for mowing and be able to do other bigger jobs without using any trailers. I plan on using a f450/550 regular cab chassis with the dump box. I figure fuel will be about even since I won't have a trailer and the added dump body is about the same weight of a trailer minus the friction of the extra tandem tires on the road and increase drag of an enclosed trailer. I will save tons by not having to store two trailers and a truck. What do you guys think for a mostly mow and go operation in FL but we also do about 20% of our revenue in bigger hardscape/sod jobs. I plan on building a detachable two section ramp for the mowers and a wood drop in back for the dump box that can be moved from the 5x8 position to the full box position. I can fabricate anything I could need in house myself so if I need to adopt. The only downfall I see is having to walk up and down the ramp to grab each piece of handheld equipment. I was thinking of under mounting one edger, line trimmer, and blower. Then I would mount a rack in the back for backup equipment.
     
  2. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638


    My issue with Dumps has always been the added weight and the fuel consumption and wear and tear that has. Sounds like you have that figured out but fuel consistently going up year after year I do not see myself going bigger and stronger but rather smaller and lighter.
     
  3. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Little confusing on the space available for machines, is 5x8 enough? I see dump rigs and trailer all the time, GM makes a nice unit and Isuzu has one too.

    Have a buddy that converted a box truck, the ramp is pretty steep. I'd be uncomfotable with it.
     
  4. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,957

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    Unknown

    I have been there and done the Dump Trailer and didn't like it. A landscape Dump Truck pulling an enclosed trailer has worked 100% better than a dump trailer IMHO.



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  5. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    Smaller and lighter can actually cost you more. Making multiple dump trips cost you fuel and time, lighter vehicles don't handle hauling weight well and will break down faster. Not saying either is right or wrong just saying smaller doesn't always mean less fuel and or less cost for landscaping.
     
  6. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    Around here when it's raining like crazy, I see dump trailers all the time jack knifing and stuck at the landfill. Dump trailers full are horrible in soft muddy conditions atbthe landfill reversing
     
  7. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    I will have to add a foot onto the bed across for a small dovetail in order to fit the walk-behind and correct the angle. I will be making a 10ft gate with lift and detachable pins to unhook the lift assist. I'm going to look at a 12ft flatbed instead and make it into a dump so I can have even more room and be able to carry more material too. I'm pretty set on going with the dump because I can advertise no matter what down the side unlike an open trailer. By the time I by a regular truck/trailer/dump trailer I would be close to 10-12k for pretty used stuff. I can by a decent flatbed for 7k another 2k in mods and save on maintenance on two trailers and storage. Gas isn't a big issue I still have my f150 for estimates and I only drive <200 miles to complete my route in a week. 25 gallons is what I figure and I'd be using a gas truck not a diesel hence the poor mileage. I could save 200-300 a month in just storage fees alone. I know as I get bigger it will be inevitable to save on shop/storage fees.
     
  8. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    FL,

    This could be true for someone like you that is doing installs, topdressing, verticutting and of course large commercial mulch jobs...but for most of us simple lawn turds...light matters for getting the mowers from point a to point b.
     
  9. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,838

    What kind of mileage are you getting on average with your setup?
     
  10. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    Between 13 an 16 depending on factors like traffic flow and the route for the day.
     

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