Any of you guys use Cube Vans?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by VAMower, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    I am considering buying a ford F-350 Cube/Box/Cutaway Van. I was wondering what you guys think about these vehicles.

    Most of my lawns are in rather dense residential areas and parking a truck and 12 foot trailer is becoming a pain in the a**. Also, a foreman is going to be taking over soon and I don't want him driving a trailer around. I figure it would be easier for him (and me when I go out) to park and drive a box cube cutaway van.

    Also, on a daily basis we take out a 48" and 36" walk behind, a 21" mower, two trimmers and a couple of blowers. Do you think this would be too much weight to carry around inside the box?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts on this issues!
  2. Rat_Power_78

    Rat_Power_78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    We have an E-350 cube van we bought new in 07. Personally I would go with a diesel. Our 07 is diesel and a HUGE improvement over the gasser we had before. If you are only running around town with it either would be fine, but as soon as you get on the hiway you really will wand the diesel. Having no trailer to deal with is a huge bonus in many ways and I wouldnt be worried about the weight you plan on carrying at all. One thing to watch for is its very common for them to get a leak where the box meets the cab. Its not a big deal if it does, just needs to be recaulked. We have trouble keeping ours clean more than anything. Our employees tend to like to just throw everything in there and it often gets to the point where you cant even walk in there to get anything. One other thing to keep in mind is the increased height versus a trailer. Its amazing how many tree branches will make friendly contact with the front corners of the box. Also, if it has a ramp make sure its wide enough for you needs. Hope this helps some.

    SNAPPER MAN LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    I would look at the Isuzu cabovers with a landscape body. They are priced comprable to a F-250 or 350 gasser. They have way better turning radius than a cube van and are more professional looking in my opinion. An Isuzu is going to be my next work truck.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I have known folks to use a van before, 3/4 tons too, regular cargo not the cube but also not luxury, put a hitch on it and it can and will tow the trailer too. It's all in the mindset, most Lco's drive pickups so one assumes that is what's needed, but is a pickup the only feasible vehicle?

    Compared side by side vans and pickups are actually the same vehicle with the exception of the body: The transmission, the engine, brakes and suspension, I believe even the dashboards are identical now the frames might be somewhat different but...

    Compare an E-250 to an F-250 for example, other than the bed vs. the box and the fact the engine on the van is half under the dash, are they really any different?

    I don't see any problems with it, the guy I knew built racks inside his van to hang up all his 2-cycle stuff.
    Kept things out of the weather one, more secured against theft two.
  5. cabotland

    cabotland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I hope you see this before you buy an Isuzu. I have used Isuzu NPR box trucks to haul a 60" Z, 2 60" WBH's and a 21" push mower along with trimmers, blowers and gas cans. With all of this and a 3 man crew aboard these things can't get out of their own way and are bordering on over loaded... at least they handled like they were. Additionally, there are only two ways to get this crew set up into the box, turn all mowers perpendicular to the centerline of the truck (after a year you will begin to punch holes in the walls of the box) or build a ramp for one of the WBH's. I have seen the ramp system done and it looks good but no matter how you strap it down that mower is going to be a projectile if there is ever a severe front or side impact or worse, a roll over... no diff than a trailer tho, I suppose.
    I have also used the medium and heavy duty Isuzu FTR as a custom dump and as a rollback to move equipment. The first complaint is the piss poor passenger door window design. This involves a large piece of glass that covers the lower half of the door to allow for a footwell window (great visibility when a cooler isn't in the way). The problem is the mirror is mounted ON the glass and the anchor bolts go THROUGH the glass and into the door. If the mirror hits a branch, sign, dumpster or anything solid the movement of the mirror will shatter this lower glass. Now the mirror won't stay where you need it and your electric window lift is open to the elements. And the police think you stole it... Add the $900.00 cost to replace (dealer price) and it really isn't fun. On top of this, the FTR is an underpowered hog with a whippy transmission, zero ground clearance and very poorly designed transmission lines that tear off of you bottom out at the cab. Bottom out at the cab? Yes, with a truck that has an empty weight distribution of something like 70% front and 30% rear it happens frequently. Remember, these are slight re designs of the GMC TopKick frames and drivelines with optional engines. Again, no power and too many other problems that can be avoided with other trucks that have better dealer networks and reputations. I speak from experience!
  6. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    I don't plan on putting that much in one of these E350's. Probably just a 48" wb and a 36" wb.

    Anyone know if its legal to bolt a seat in the box area in order to carry along another person? It seems like you can only take one passenger in these vehicles.

    Also, anyone know of a company that builds ramps for these types of trucks?

    Thanks again!
  7. cabotland

    cabotland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    As far as I know seats are not legal in the cargo area. I don't remember where I heard that or if it's true anywhere. As for the ramp system, it was a 2x4 and plywood custom job, not a packaged product...

    but for the low low price of $19.95 (every month for the rest of your life) I'll send you the "blueprints" and I'll even throw in, not one but TWO of the...
  8. Branching Out

    Branching Out LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    how much mulch can you dump in a cube van?

Share This Page