Decisions decisions decisions!

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by BSDeality, Mar 2, 2004.

  1. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    heres a quick background on my situation:
    In past years i worked off my 6x10 trailer that i was pullin with my old CJ7 (i know...). I never took things seriously enough to buy a truck for the business. However, now i want this to be a career for me. I have a 98 Monte Carlo Z34 that's worth about $7K right now. I'm enrolled in the turf program at Uconn and have one more year to go after this semester. I'm definitely buying a truck this season. the question i have is which one?

    I almost automatically assumed i want a F250 or F350 Diesel. Right now i do mostly lawncare, but i want to expand into projects like patios and large plantings. I'm wondering if a F350 is what i really need/want. They both can pull a lot of material, however a ton of material in the bed is almost nothing in the grand scheme of things.

    So the things i have "in mind" right now are: I would like to pull an enclosed 7x16-18 trailer for my daily rig. I also would like to end up with a 7x10 or 7x12 dump trailer to haul materials in for projects (down the road). The F350 will pull each of these very well.

    If i buy a 350 w/ a bed i can also use it as a personal truck as well and sell my car to use as part of the down payment. I have also been looking at the flatbed's because of the versatility they offer. a flatbed isn't much of a personal vehicle so i'd probably end up keeping my car.

    I was flipping through a truck trader magazine and spotted a 2000 F450 Diesel dually flatbed. This truck has a 12,500GVRW for $27K. I think a F450 would be a great all around work truck for anything i would be handling for the next 2-4 years.

    I guess my question is this: Does it seem illogical to buy a F450 for my mowing business? i don't see too many 450's around, 90% of the time will be spent pulling an eclosed trailer. but it also has such a large payload that i can tackle large projects that would require a skid steer or a couple yards of material

    I don't want to buy a truck and then find out down the road that its too small for what i want to do, or find out that its just too much for what i'm doing on a daily basis.

    What do you guys think i should do?
  2. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I think the 450 is a 14,500 lb gvw. It should be a brute of a truck. They are geared for grunt. I would assume it is geared 4.88 or 4.30. With a diesel, mileage won't be terrible, but less then a 1 ton with 3.73 or 4.10.

    I think it would be a great truck for lawncare, but even better for landscapeing. You can haul lots of weight safely in that beast.

    I would check with your insurance company before purchaseing, as a dump truck will likely raise your rates. You will also need to get your Dot, as it will be over the legal weight all by itself. May cost you more in taxes depending on where you live due to it's size.

    How many miles? Is it still under warranty? They are not cheap to work on, all the parts cost more because it is a diesel. I am not trying to discourage you, but let you know the facts.

    It will be one strong truck, and should last a long time if taken care of.

  3. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    I started out with a 1/2 ton and quickly outgrew it. I went to a 3/4 ton and have been very pleased. I pull an 18' flatbed and I also have a dump trailer. I occasionally pull a skidsteer and tractors too. The 350 and 450 are huge trucks. Most of the contractors in my area use 3/4 tons. They suck a lot of gas, but not as much as the bigger trucks.
  4. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    CT has a 27K pound CDL law. so i'll still be way under the limit there. I'll have to call up my insurance people and see what they've got to say about price differences.

    the truck has 35k miles. I assume its got the same 100k mile warranty as the other diesels. i do like taking care of my vehicles so thats another reason i'm lookin at diesel, since they will last a long time as well as the tremendous pulling/towing power.

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    i drove a f-450 12 ft dump everyday for 3 years it sucked as a personal vehicle but all i could afford
    i would go with a f-350 will pull alot and hall a good amount
    also can be used as a personal vehicle and ins is cheaper and u can park it anywhere u can get materials and equipment delivered if u have a big job so why waste money on a big truck u will not need all the time
    plus add up tags, ins, and the cost just to roll down the road it aint cheep
  6. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,849

    If i went with the 450 i would keep my car as my personal vehicle and just designate the truck for 100% business use (less paperwork/hassle @ tax time). the 450 flatbed has an 8' bed so its not too monsterous.

    a similar F350 is going to be slightly more expensive do to supply and demand which is when i spotted the F450.

    I really like the virsatility that a flatbed offers as well, however i think the F450 may be overkill for what i need on a daily basis.

    I think what i'm lookin for is a F350 DRW flatbed and then i'll keep my car.
  7. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,517

    I am happy for you, it should serve you very well.

    You should still look to get your Dot certification and all that is involved. There is an informative post on the site started by Jim, you should check it out.

    Take care

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