E-350 cube van

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Tadams, Mar 14, 2005.

  1. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 787

    I have run up on a really good deal for a '99 e-350 box van. I am thinking of adding a dove tail and ramp (can get it done for $1250.00) and using it for a maintenance truck. The box is 16' long and I believe 8' wide and 6'8" tall. It has got a 5.4 liter v-8 in it (I would rather have a power stroke diesel but haven't found one that I want to buy). The questions that I have are: 1. I know that alot of people use the cab-overs but does anyone on here use the Ford e-350 box van or Chevy's box van and what are the pros and cons for it versus the cab-overs. Any problems that you have had in the motor or tranny for instance. I've done a search and only found 1 post about it. 2. This goes to all the box van owners- can you put a hitch under the dove tail so you could still pull a trailer if you wanted to. I would still want to do this because it would be easier to haul large quantities of pinestraw and other stuff. I realize that you would have to unhook the trailer to lower the gate so that wouldn't be an issue. I would be carrying a 60" lazer, 48' TTHP, trim mower, and all the other stuff that you normally carry in your truck and trailer. Thanks in advance for all the help.
  2. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,544

    My biggest concern is your GVW. You should know the weight of the van, then add up additional weight from ramp/gate, easily 800-1000 lbs behind the rear axle. You will need a lot of steel under that dovetail for a trailer hitch.

    You may run out of GVW to carry very much stuff. Also, those Ford POS vans eat transmissions for breakfast.

    Our cube van is a Chevy C5500 with a 22,000 GVW and I still run out of GVW sometimes, ditto the Mitsubishi-Fuso.

    Most of the vans are only around 11,000 GVW.

    BTW...you don't ALWAYS have to unhitch to lower ramp. If you are towing a flat trailer (no sides) and use a fold-away tongue jack, you can lower the ramp onto the deck of the trailer.....its pretty neat!

  3. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    The guy is looking at a 5.4L E-350, not a PSD. With the 5.4 you shouldn't have any trouble with the transmission. Plus unless the van has really been beat on, the transmission shouldn't have any problems anyway even if it was a diesel.

    By the way the Ford vans are not POS--my great uncle used Ford Econolines from 1968 to 1998 until he got alzheimers for his plumbing business, never had any trouble with any of them. Had one Chevy van and that closed the door with him and GM for good, tons of electrical problems.

    I know of a bunch of Fords that have seen over 200,000 miles on their original transmissions.
  4. Tadams

    Tadams LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 787

    Thanks for the info. Does anyone else have anything about these or the chevy box vans? I'm getting tired of pulling a 16' trailer all over the place.
  5. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    I was also thinking about getting one last spring when I bought my truck but I needed to pickup to plow but the vans look good for keeping things secure and easy to haul around. If you dont have to bag or plow then get the van.
  6. ZaK18

    ZaK18 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 188

    I had an 1999 econoline e250 with the 5.4, Had it for 4 years with no problems. It was a great vehicle and I sold the van with 140,000 miles on the original tranny.
  7. Mowman99

    Mowman99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    I've got a 1997 E350 cube van with a 16' cab over box same as your looking at with landscape tail already on the back. I'm asking $6800.00 for it. i live about 45 min. from you. Email me @sdillard99@yahoo.com if your interested.
  8. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    That thing will send you to the poor house on fuel.. But anything is better than pulling a trailer IMHO.. If you need that much space, I'd go for it...Very manuverable, Not so much as say an Isuzu, but still a lot better than a trailer..And I wouldn't worry about the tranny, until it does roach... Then It's Bend over time... E4OD's don't rebuild too cheap :(
  9. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    The advantages of the cube are you can lock up your stuff and it's also an awesome advertising platform.
  10. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

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