Acceptible Estimating Vehicle

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Gr8WhiteNorth, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    I once had an RV salesperson tell me that my Durango SUV can pull a 5th wheel. The WOMAN was very persistent on it too. In her world, you could install a hitch on the roof (and reinforce it) of a Prius. However, you'll probably get worse mileage and that's not taking it on the highway hauling a few tons.

    6L/100km is worst case winter driving conditions. Most folks that I know who own one get in the 4.5 to 5L/100km range. Mind you, they drive it frugal.

    My 5.9L V8 dodge eats more than 21L/100km. I get 23.4L/100km, roughly 10mpg, towing 2.5 tons or roughly it's own weight in 100% city driving.
  2. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    Your numbers are really close to my estimate of fuel savings. A nice used prius costs 12-15k + $2k to wrap... so it would pay for itself in less than 2 years. I think it would be more comfortable and easier to drive than a fullsize truck.

    I just find myself picking up a few extra plants every once in a while that I might have forgot to add to a delivery. And it is really nice having a stocked irrigation truck, when checking on an install crew or service crew. Plus, I tend to move equipment around once or twice a month...

    What is that new F150 with the turbo V6 motor getting? The perfect answer is really a toyota tacoma style truck with a diesel motor.
  3. One of the spray companies I network with uses a Prius as an estimate/personal vehicle. Smart move IMO. I'd be laughing all the way to the bank since I'm getting all that great gas mileage. If I didn't have my truck for work use, I would own a Prius in a heartbeat.
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  4. Nj shade

    Nj shade LawnSite Senior Member
    from Nj
    Messages: 288

    I use my personal car a Prius as often as possible for estimates and any other driving that I don't need a truck for. Have never had a customer say something about it, weather it be positive or negative. 99.9% of potential customers dont care what I drive to their home or office for an estimate, and the .1% who does care I don't want to deal with their BS bc they have PIA written all over them. All potential customers care about is price epically in this economy.
  5. MarksTLC

    MarksTLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    I've used my truck, if I'm out and about and it just makes sense to stop now instead of come back. Primarily, I use a Ford Focus svt, I bought it used several years ago. The gas over diesel savings was significant enough to pay for itself in less than 3 years.

    And it's fun to drive..Thumbs Up
  6. alexschultz1

    alexschultz1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,588

    2000 dodge intrepid with 185000 miles that I snagged for $500 white, no dents, runs ok, paid for itself in 2 months and looks good with my magnets on it. If you ask me it's not about what you drive but how you treat your clients.
  7. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    Well I bought a Prius, but I couldn't make it work after a month. I really like the Prius, I would average between 43-45mpg driving hand calculated. And that was just normal driving... 83mph down the highway etc. The gas mileage is great in these things. It was also nice to be able to whip around and has less driver fatigue than driving a larger pick-up. I checked on 35 properties one day and it did not wear me out like it would in a 2500 truck.

    BUT not having the capability of hauling but a 2-3 plants around started to drive me crazy. And I just hate to destroy the interior of a car with mud etc. So I bought a slightly used 2010 tacoma reg cab. Supposed to get 22mpg on this thing... I have not hand calculated it yet since it is getting wrapped at the moment. But I think the Tacoma will make me much happier, and be happy medium between drivability, capability, and gas mileage.
  8. S-205

    S-205 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 1,401

    My Toyota Tacoma TRD is a 3.4L V6. It has an intake and exhaust which gives it a little fuel economy. It is roughly $90 to fill it up at $1.30/L (where our gas is now) With that I get around 350 miles (my truck is from the states) on a good day to a tank. Which is 560 km. It is awful with any kind of weight in it, or with a trailer. But its better than my 5.7 2500.

    As mentioned previously, I think something along the lines of a Toyota Hilux (must be imported) would be an excellent idea. They get about 35mpg with the 3L diesel motor, due to my understanding. They can be quad, single or extended cab. When you import them they all have around 100k km's on them, nearly all of them are in mint shape.

    Say what you want about imported vehicles, but these Hilux's are nearly indestructable. They will far outlast any domestic diesel, or gas truck. Mini or full size. They require the same maintenance, but you can beat the crap out of them. They're around 10-15k and this is for a mid to late 90's truck. That is the bad part...

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