Ford F550, LCF, Dodge 5500 or Isuzu NPR?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Joe Spinelli, Nov 28, 2009.

  1. Joe Spinelli

    Joe Spinelli LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Need a little advice here... I'm looking to get back into the roll-off dumpster business in Southern California.. I spent a few years in the business on Long Island NY and now I'm looking to get back into it in California. I'm looking at new trucks, I've looked at the Ford F550s, Ford LCF's, Dodge 5500's and Isuzu NPR's. I'm scratching my head as to which one would be best for me and what I need. The truck will be set up with a 12-14 foot cable roll-off hoist, depending on the CA of the truck. I will be pulling 5,10 & 15 yard dumpsters, all with light duty stuff. No roofing, no concrete, nothing heavy. Mostly garage and attic clean out stuff.
    In NY, I ran an international 4700 s/a roll-off, the truck was great to me. Problem is most of my work was in a 20 mile radius. Here, in Ca. I figure most of my work will be within a 50 mile radius. If my profit (before gas) is going to be $150.00, I can't put $60.00 of it into the gas tank. That wont work. I'm not going to be pulling any trailers or anything, As far as payload an empty container is probably 2000lbs and maybe another 4000lbs in the container when its full. So I will be pulling 6000lbs. Speed limit here is 70 but I'm going to keep it around 55. What truck is going to get me the best mpg and treat me the best. All insight welcome, Thanks Guys.
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    For one the LCF is out they are not that good and if you are a big guy forget about getting into it. Now a F-550 ya it would work but what year are you planning on buying a 6.4 will kill you on fuel. A Dodge 5500 isn't proven truck and the 6.7 Cummins is far from being reliable.

    I went through the whole thing myself I'am in the junk removal bussiness part time I looked into building my own rolloff truck on a F-450/550 I just couldn't justify it. I have a dumping flatdeck on my F-450.

    My truck is by the hour and I have a labour rate. Truck is 60 dollars per hour and 20 per hour when I load the truck. If it takes me a hour to get to the job and a hour to the landfill it is 120 dollars in trucking usually 2 hours to load.
  3. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Messages: 1,022

    unless you will be going and downhills often i would go wth the isuzu. the only diffrence being that i would price the NRR models for the extra payload. i think it always pays to go for a bit more GVW than you think you will need. otherwise i would look at the GMC/Chevy 5500's there are great deals on them, still new. i have been nothing but impressed by mine.
    good luck,
  4. JD7210

    JD7210 LawnSite Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 23

    Go with the Dodge 5500. We currently are runniing 2 new Dodge 3500 cab chassis with the aisin automatic, and like everything about them. The 3500 is virtually the same truck as the 4500 and 5500 except more GVW and heavier front and rear axle. Try one you wont be disappointed! When they were first introduced the had a few glitches, but what doesn' the first year out.
  5. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,389

    I have done the roll off business before. If I was to do it again I would proably do LCF with a hooklift and 12 yard cans. With that setup you could carry almost 4 tons in the box and be legal. Reason I would go with the LCF is because I heard it gets 12-14mpg all the time. My f750 only got 7mpg.
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  6. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,389

    Also don't buy new because there are way to many deals out there for slightly used trucks. Check out
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Joe Spinelli

    Joe Spinelli LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Guys, Thanks for all in the input. Gravel Rat, I've thought about doing what you do, problem is there are 150,000 thousand other guys that do that. In my opinion, to survive in this economy, I need to be able to diversify myself and offer a service that no one else can. There are not to many guys with s/a roll-offs in Southern California (there are a few in the Los Angeles area) but none around where I am. If you want to rent a dumpster where I am you have 2 choices, you can rent the 3 yard front load box or a 40 yard roll-off, that's it. Nothing in between.
    In addition to MPG the other thing that is important to me is these new diesel emissions laws coming out. I'm thinking the best thing for me to do right now is to buy a used truck and have a new hoist put on it, I'd have about 3 years with that truck (before the new California laws make me take it off the road) and in that time I can determine if business is worthy of buying a new truck. If it is, then I go to the dealership and we take the hoist off the old truck and put it on the new one.
    So lets say we narrow it down to the Ford F550, Dodge 5500 and Isuzu NPR, The Ford and the Dodge are both V8's.. correct? On a good day, will I get 15mpg pulling an unloaded dumpster? (2000lbs) What about the Isuzu, most of them are only 4 cylinder turbo diesels correct? What kind of mpg will I get in that pulling the same empty dumpster? 90% of the driving will be on freeways @ 55mph. No major hills or anything.
    As far as GVW I'm going to get as close to 26,000 as possible, I know I can get 19,5 in the Ford & the Dodge, not sure about the Isuzu. Since I'm looking at used it might be more of a "what I can" find situation, not a "what I want" situation. Once again all input welcome, Thanks guys.. Joe
  8. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    f550 with 6.0 you will see sub 12mpg with a 7 speed manual
  9. willretire@40

    willretire@40 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from VA
    Messages: 1,389

    I did 10 an 20 yard cans and the 10 yard cans were requested the most. In this economy I really would just stick with the 12 yard cans. It will save you a great deal on your start up cost and they are really easy to sale to your clients. Trash business is a low profit business compared to how much you spend to get it started. Only count on getting 5 cans out a week for the first couple of months. please just remember that the economy is totally different compared to 2-3 years ago and I can't stress that enough.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

    Wow, no The cummins is a

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