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truck suggestions

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by eyes&earsopen, Sep 25, 2005.

  1. eyes&earsopen

    eyes&earsopen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Hey guys I was just looking for suggestions on a truck. Right now I only have a Ferris 36" w/b, but I plan to grow. When shopping for a trailer I came across such a good deal on a 16' trailer that I felt it was in my best interest to skip anything smaller. Plus, I paid for it in cash. Only thing is I haven't bought a truck of my own yet. For the majority of the season I've been using my work-out partner's truck (chevy 1500 '87), my father in-law's, and some co-workers' of mine (a gmc 1500 '02 Z-71 & '99 gmc 2500). Right now I'm two payments away from being finished with my w/b, and I'm just wondering about what route to go in terms of a truck for next year. My co-worker's 2500 has 84k miles on it and I might be able to buy it for $10,600, but I don't know what to do. I do plan on getting a larger w/b within 1-2 yrs but that's down the road. I also want to do light hauling. I've read the threads on new vs. used, but what about size of truck. I also understand whatever I finance is less money out my pocket for the month, but I need a truck. I'm not trying to pull anything with my '00 Civic (I participated in the poll!). Also with the right interest rate I'm not that sensitive to financing, but I just want some feedback so I can weigh my options. I'm looking to buy around late Feb., early March.

    JKOOPERS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,259

    dont make the mistake i made get a 3/4 ton at least. i have had alot of repairs done on 1/2 ton gmc sierra . 1/2 tons are not made for towing everyday. although i have been pulling a trailer with mine for 5 1/2 years , right after i bought . its a 2000 with 123,000 miles on it now . only 8 when i bought it .
  3. eyes&earsopen

    eyes&earsopen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    I know my buddy is using a Chevy 1500 4x4 and he has complained about wearing out brakes quickly. He's had it two years and he feels he is ready for a second brake job already. Is there a significant difference in mpg between the different sizes? I thought the 2500 was brutal on fuel, but I don't exactly have a tight route developed just yet.
  4. LawnBrother

    LawnBrother LawnSite Senior Member
    from SW Ohio
    Posts: 867

    I would recommend a 3/4 ton truck (250/2500) if you expect to tow/haul anything on a regular basis, and 4x4 if you are going to plow etc.(it's good to have a 4x4 anyway!). Pay cash for a good used one and get a diesel if you can afford one. I have been happy with my Dodge Ram 250, but I won't get into the Chevy vs. Ford vs. Dodge thing. It just boils down to personal preference (personally I would prefer to stay away from any GM product! :rolleyes: ) Whatever you buy it should go without saying to have your mechanic check it out and run a carfax on it. Good luck!
  5. supercuts lawn maint

    supercuts lawn maint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    I went to my local dodge dealer late nov 2004. i picked up a brand new dodge 1500 slt quad cab. the 2005 were already on the lot and they needed the extra room on the lot so they were letting the 2004 go very cheap, (at dealer cost) plus dodge rebates. at the end of the night the final cost was $22,500. i put $3,000 down so im only fianancing $19,500 a key factor was that i never budge from $350 to $360 a month payments. dodge just change the head lamps on the 2006 so the 2005 will be flying of the dealer dirt cheap. im looking to trade mines in for the 3500 dually in late nov early dec.
  6. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    If your going to do any type of plowing then yes!, a 3/4 would be better. But Ive had my F150 for 3 years now and its still going strong. Whatever you get just dont beat on it. Nice slow steady starts and stuff like that. PM (preventative maintence) is a huge part of having minimal break downs. I flush the tranny and change the filter every year, fuel filter every year, and oil changes and grease every 2500-3500 miles. My F150 pushes snow just as well as any 3/4 or 1 ton.
  7. A Finer Cut

    A Finer Cut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 16

    I picked up my 1997 F250 for just under $12,000. It is standard cab and 4x4. I know that you spend a lot of time in the truck but I would try to adhere to the function over form method of deciding. Power everything, upgraded seats, etc. are just a waste of money for a work truck. And as you said, you have another vehicle so it really wont even matter on your time off.
    (I had my Ranger in for repairs and had to take a date out in my work truck....haha, never again. even if it had all of the bells and fancy whistles it would still stink of blood, sweat and tears)
    My truck is a decomissioned govt. fleet vehicle. I know it was well maintained. Just a thought
  8. eyes&earsopen

    eyes&earsopen LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    Thanks for the suggestions/info fellas. I've got a few different options but it's not an easy decision. I don't really want monthly payments, but I spent most my savings paying cash for all of my other equipment. I don't, and won't by Feb. or Mar., have enough money to pay cash for a decent used truck. I kind of feel like at some point I'm going to have to finance something! At any rate though before I buy I'm going to keep my head in a Tradin' Post just in case something good comes up. Unfortunately when I bought my car I had no idea that I would one day go into business for myself, and furthermore after using all of my buddies' vehicles I can't see why I would ever buy another car.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    A LOT of it really is how you drive... I didn't believe it at first but having always drove a car I didn't realize how MUCH like a real TRUCK these things are. I wore out my brakes and tires FAST the first couple years and was getting 5-8, then later 8-10 mpg... Once I learned how to drive properly (slow starts, slow down WAAAY early and coast to a stop whenever possible, drive it like it's a train) and started taking it easy, my fuel mileage is 14mpg on a carbureted 318 D-250, brakepads now last me an easy 50,000 miles and 100,000 should be no problem (I hardly EVER step on the brakes until I'm down to 25mph or below) and it can take 2-3 MILES before I get up to speed, too.
    It's all in how you drive'm.

    Someone once told me, if you can drive a vehicle using ONLY the throttle to control your speed the entire time you're driving, then you know how to drive. 20 years later, I understand what the guy meant.
  10. laborador

    laborador LawnSite Member
    Posts: 148

    What cyl and liter engine do you have in your f150 and what mileage have you been getting. Thanks

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