Anyone us a regular van for mowing?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by VAMower, May 7, 2011.

  1. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    I need to get a second vehicle for my business. I was thinking about getting a regular van. Something like a E-250 or Express 2500.

    We mow residential lots none larger than 1/2 an acre. I need a second vehicle that I can use to transport a 36" walkbehind and a 21" mower. Occasionally I will use it to transport wheel barrows for mulch installs, leaf blowers in the fall for leaf clean up's and bags of mulch for small clean up jobs.

    A lot of the properties we mow are very small, 1/8 of an acre, so a truck and trailer is out of the question because you can't park it in the neighborhoods, no room.

    I was thinking of mounting a ramp in the back to drive the 36 up and down and then putting a 21 near the side door.

    Only downside I can think of is having to install a sealed wall between the cargo area and the front seats so the gas fumes can't get through.

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance
  2. doyles

    doyles LawnSite Member
    Messages: 133

    i was thinking the same thing for my residential but the height of the rear doors on the van might be a tight fit with the handle on the mower so i also was thinking about a small cube van like the ones u-haul rents plus the nice thing with a cube van is the room for advertising
  3. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,253

    Look at a sprinter or a 10' box truck.
  4. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    I've looked at the 10' box truck however there aren't many in my area, most are used Uhauls. Also, they are harder to park in my area. My county is very restrictive on what you can park on a public street.
  5. poncho62

    poncho62 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    Cant see the handle of the walk behind being higher than 48"....Thats what my Elonoline door height is.
  6. VAMower

    VAMower LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 78

    Im pretty sure it will fit, I'm going to do some measurements beforehand.

    If anyone uses a regular van for mowing I would appreciate your feedback.
  7. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    I see several E series with lanscape trailers. Most use the vans merely as lockable storage for tools, not necessarily equipment. Some guys do 'handyman' jobs as one of which I know is a licensed plumber, so one business generally sells the other and this way he can tow his trailer and have his tools on hand. Personally, it's a lot of weight just to carry around but if you plan to use a van without a trailer I'd definitely look into a pre 2007 Sprinter. The 2.7L I5 is underpowered for highway use but it holds it's own otherwise and can tow 5K.

    I have a 3500 cube van (reefer box) for a bakery and it averages 13-15L/100km versus my old gas cube van that was lucky to get under 28L/100km! Sprinters are fairly low maintenance if you keep up with everything so in the end you'll save a few thousand a year with the fuel savings even taking into account tire wear to oil changes
  8. Chop Stuff Up

    Chop Stuff Up LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    I haven't used one for mowing but I knew a guy who ran an Econoline. He had a closed divider and vents added to the back. Some sort of side vents that were round and about 3" as well as a roof vent. I forget what the mower setup was though. I know he also had a trailer he would use for larger accounts. I run Econolines on a regular basis for deliveries and have found them to be pretty darn reliable, I've had 5 of them now run over 200k miles, the last one that I let go ran to 298. The mpg's are nothing to brag about though.
  9. Greg78

    Greg78 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,010

    Ran one for a couple of months. Only good thing was how compact it was. I had no place for debris. The fumes were not an issue as I had built a wall to block off the cargo area.

    I was going to add a ramp to the back if I liked it however I didn't care for it.

    Here are some pictures and more information in this thread

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