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Advice on dump trailer or 1-ton dump truck

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Alta Lawn Care, Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Alta Lawn Care

    Alta Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    I want to grow my business and need some advice on my next moves. I have an open landscaping trailer that I shoveled mulch in and out of last spring. (It was slow and a lot of work) I'm wondering if my next purchase should be a dump trailer or a 1-ton pick up with a dump body.

    I like the truck idea because it will be a backup for me come plowing next year. I'll also be able to take on bigger plowing/salting jobs. I'm concerned that shoveling into it will wreak havoc on my shoulders, though. (It's significantly higher.)

    I'm a one-man show but plan on lining up enough business to hire on one person to work with me if that helps.

    I'd appreciate any advice.


    ED'S LAWNCARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Last spring I purchased a new 6x12 dump trailer. I would love to get a dump truck but I could not justify the total price of owning one. The trailer cost 5k and I made that back last year.

    I guess it's all about how much you are willing to lay out and how much it will make for you.

    As far as loading mine came with 2 ramps that I roll a wheelbarrow up.

    Good luck
  3. Dstosh

    Dstosh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 716

    I am in the same boat. I dont know what to get. A truck you have to get insurance on and such. There is also a lot of maintenance costs. But on the other hand you have an extra truck which is never a bad thing. I do like dump trailers but you have to have a decent truck to pull them. The Ideal situation would be both, but we all know how that works out. I think you should see what you can get Insurance wise and then go from there. Keep an eye out for deals and maybe that will help you make your mind up. I would take either depending on the deal I could find.
  4. LemkeLawns

    LemkeLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 81

  5. Rickco

    Rickco LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    A few years ago I was in this situation,I went with a dump trailer. It was great to have,much better than shoveling on and off. It was very hard to get into some places. 2 years ago I sold it and bought a dump truck (1 ton) and I am sorry that I didn't do that in the first place,but money wasn't there.
    If you can afford a dumptruck I say go that route. Good luck with your choice.
  6. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    The dump trailer will be a lot cheaper, for sure. A friend of mine just bought one this spring, he loads it up with shingles from tear-offs.

    But, they can get pretty heavy when loaded up. Do you have something to pull(and more importantly, stop) it with?

    A truck with a dump bed would be more versatile, but at a much higher cost.
  7. Alta Lawn Care

    Alta Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    Thanks for the feedback. I wonder if my Dodge 1500 would be up for the weight of a dump trailer. . . I've had three yards of wet compost in my 16' trailer and that truck felt it!

    I'll have to re-check the specs on the truck (I think it's rated for 6,000 lbs) to see if a dump trailer is viable. I'll also look around for used 1-tons--I see them occassionally.

    Thanks for the advice!

  8. 02powerstroke

    02powerstroke LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    It depends on the size trailer you want and what your puting in it. I would move to the dump truck because you need a heavyer tow vehical anyway But then you have to rember maintance costs and registation can be much more expensive for a truck than a trailer. I have a F-250 diesel with upgraded springs and air bags in the rear and I have had a 6x10 dump trailer with T-base and it and the trailer can get really heavy very quickly. It dident look full and it scaled in with 8,000 pounds of just T base. Just my two cents
  9. scottish lscape1

    scottish lscape1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 65

    Go with the dump trailer. Reason: Price, Insurance, Fuel, Maintenance. You'll know when your ready for another truck. And if you get more plowing accounts. Sub Them out! 10-20% return with no labor or maintenance.
    My 2 Cents.
  10. Idealtim

    Idealtim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 939

    I don't know about your area, but I see used mid 80's f-350's and 3500's going for 4-5k and sometimes with a good ol' fisher on the front all the time. Go on ebay to see what i mean. If I was you, I would hunt down the cleanest one and go for it. A truck is a lot better for you IMO, and the few thousand dollars extra are justifiable for all the more uses a truck has.

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