Smaller Trucks?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by John Rayl, Feb 20, 2001.

  1. John Rayl

    John Rayl LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Can anyone tell me if I can get a 48" Turf Tracer into the back of a Chevy S-10, Ford Ranger, or a Dodge Dakota? I need to get a truck, and I'd like to get a smaller one if the mower would fit without a lot of hassle. I'm just starting out, so I'll be working solo for a while. Any info would be appriciated!
     
  2. GREG R

    GREG R LawnSite Member
    Posts: 105

    I believe the wheel wells in a those trucks are smaller than
    48" (I think they are slightly larger than 36")
    Go for a full size than later on you can pull a trailer
    with it. Won't be a big differance in cost either.
     
  3. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    I believe Greg R is right about the wheel wells, and another thing to think about,I worked for a company about 8 years ago and they had the dodge dakotas with the 3.8 V-6,these trucks sucked gas worse than my full size gmc 4 by 4 that I have now,although they would pull pretty good because of the lower gear ratio.
     
  4. motor86

    motor86 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 21

    I am using my Toyota this year for mowing. You can get a 48" in the back, just back it in. The wheels on a walk behind should go between the wheelwells and the deck will fit behind. You will like the smaller trucks. Mine gets 20+ mpg. Great for me.
     
  5. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 611

    I started with a Toyota first with the box and then a flatbed. I was a one man operation. When I went to two mowers I could easily pull them on my 12ft trailer using the Toyota 4x4. The bed was then converted to hold trimmers, hand tools and clippings. Then I went to big trucks ehic are great for big trailers and riders. I am now in the process of rebuilding a Toyota similiar to what I had to use on small jobs. Can't go wrong with a small truck if you are a small operation. Even towing I could still get 15mpg. Good Luck!
     
  6. GREG R

    GREG R LawnSite Member
    Posts: 105

    Don't get me wrong small trucks are great for the
    right situation. I started out with a gmc S-15 4x4
    ext cab. bought it used. put my push mowers in the
    back. Put a plow on it for the winter.
    Still have it, its paid for itself time and time again.
    Pulled the stock bed off of it and stuck a steel
    flat bed on it, a couple of yrs ago. but
    after nine yrs in the biz, We use full size trucks
    and 12-16ft trailer.(and no longer have the push mowers)
     
  7. mowerman90

    mowerman90 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,491

    No, your 48" anything won't fit. Take some advice from someone who's been there, DON't get a small pickup for anything. Get yourself a full size and don't make the same mistake I did. I was pulling my 12ft trailer with my 98 Chev S-10 and decided that I needed a bigger engine so I got a 2000 Ford Ranger with the V6 and automatic. Ya, it pulls better, but I'm lucky to get 10 mpg. My buddy has a GMC full size with a small V8 automatic and gets 16 mpg pulling his 14ft trailer. Go figure. Get the big one!!!
     
  8. Mowman

    Mowman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 553

    I OWN A 1998 S-10 AND USE IT FOR MY BUSINESS. I STARTED OUT WITH JUST A 21" TORO PRO-LINE. NOW I'M PULLING A 5X10 TRAILER WITH A WALKER ZTR AND ALL THE OTHER MISC. STUFF. TOTAL WEIGHT IS APPROX. 1800#. IT HAS THE VORTEC 2.2 W/5 SPEED AND GETS ME 22-25 MPG PULLING MY EQUIPMENT. SO THE ANSWER TO YOUR QUESTION YES YOU CAN START YOUR SERVICE WITH A SMALL TRUCK. MY ONLY REGRET IS NOT GETTING A 4X4 AND THE 4.3 SIX W/ AUTO. THAT WILL BE MY NEXT TRUCK SO I CAN ADD A PLOW FOR AN ADD ON SERVICE.
    GOOD LUCK,
    Mowman
     
  9. TJLC

    TJLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,308

    Excellent advise given here. I use an s-10 to pull my 12 ft. trailer with two w/b's and a tool box. It has a 2.8v6 and you can tell you are pulling it! My next truck will no doubt be a full size with an engine to match. Live and learn I guess. I bought this before I found lawnsite. Now I know better.
     
  10. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 611

    I am not throwing out insults here. I love the big trucks to. I have found that mileage depends on driving style. My crews will burn gas or diesel no matter what. I can conserve it. They also go through brakes even with trailer brakes. A small truck can pull a 10-12ft trailer no problem. I have pulled my 16ft with my brother's 67 Mustang on it with my old Toyota 4x4 4cyl. No problem. Of course you feel the weight but is still pulls and get good mileage. (we drove over 400 miles)
    My advice would be to look at where your business is. Are u alone, or one helper? What can you afford? Don't break the bank on a big truck if it is not affordable or too much for your route. If you are starting out go with what you can. Move up to a trailer or bigger truck as you go. You can always sell the smaller one or keep it as a spare or run a second crew or a driveway, shovel truck in the winter. The possibilities are endless. Don't be swayed by the horsepower fever that is on this board.
     

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