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hauling equipment in pick-up vs trailer

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by eupher, Nov 8, 2006.

  1. eupher

    eupher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I'm planning to start a lawn service this spring part time by myself (have a "full time" job that leaves me with lots of free time). I have a backpack blower, trimmer, edger, and will soon purchase a commercial 36" w/b. I've measured, and the equipment will easily fit in the back of my pick-up (nissan titan) but I'm struggling to find a ramp system that seems like it would work well. The tailgate is only rated at 250 lbs I think... so I'm looking for a replacement tailgate/ramp combo, or a hitch mounted ramp system. I'd like it to be easy and fast, of course. :)

    Is that the wrong approach? I am trying to avoid the hassle of pulling a trailer around in crowded neighborhoods. Most of the homes in my area are 1/4 acre. Should I just get a trailer or is there a system for loading in a pick-up that people are happy with?

  2. MudslinginFX4

    MudslinginFX4 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,170

    mowing is a pita.. you don't want to get into it!
  3. Guthrie&Co

    Guthrie&Co LawnSite Senior Member
    from nc
    Messages: 784

    That is how i started and loading in the back of the truck didnt last long. only about 2 months. after that i bought a 14ft trailer. much better set up!
  4. grassmanak

    grassmanak LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 792

    i use the back of my truck quite a bit, its nice for those neighborhoods where you cant fit a trailer in places. The problem is that it sucks loading and unloading a big mower.
  5. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    As long as you replace the tailgate with a full width ramp system, you will be fine. The full width ramp is the key. No worry of the ramps (or you) slipping. Big improvement over the portable ramps.

    Try www.ramps-ramps-ramps.com and then look for "pickup truck".

    Another place to look is www.rampsplus.com Look for "redi-ramp".

    Once you get your ramp system, look for a decent rack system to hold some of your other things.
  6. eupher

    eupher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for the info. Has anyone out there had any experience with one of these tailgate/ramp systems on a nissan titan? My concern is that the ramp will rest somewhat on the bumper when it is lowered and possibly bend the the bumper. 7 feet seems pretty short for a ramp considering the height and angle of the back of the truck... the truck is actually slanted down towards the front so the back end is higher than the front.

    Thanks again,
  7. rfed32

    rfed32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Hatboro
    Messages: 680

    i ran out of an 88 f250 for a couple mos. with 8ft ramps and it was lifted also wasnt to bad...i like the back of the truck better then trailer....u dont have to worry about other drivers as much..but i would make a set of 8fters out of 2x10 and call it a day
  8. charmill26

    charmill26 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 369

    cheaper and easier to maneuver in neighborhoods but you also want to remember you have to unload it everyday and if you have to bag clippings or leaves you wont have anywhere to put them.
  9. davidcalhoun

    davidcalhoun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,045

    A 85" long ramp is fine for walkbehind mowers. You just tilt it up some (force a wheelee) as you crest the transition.

    If you were riding a small ZTR mower up the ramp, I might be concered about the deck clearing the transition.

    The weight capacity of the redi-ramp is 1800 LBS. 2 X 10s can't handle that.

    Have you ever tried to run a mower up a set of wet, grass covered 2 X10s? Either they slip or you do. This is why people get tired or hurt and abandon the pickup truck bed route.

    Do you currently park your truck in the garage? What is your overhead door height? If you have door clearance, why not just leave your mower on the truck and secure it in the garage.
  10. eupher

    eupher LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I hadn't considered the transition... my original (and remaining) concern is that an 84" ramp will bottom out on the bumper of the truck and damage the bumper.

    I do not currently park the truck in the garage... the garage door is too low, especially with the mid-rise cap I have on the truck. I was hoping to be able to leave the cap on the truck since we use it to take our dogs places. The clearance at the back of the bed with the cap on is over 41" high, so I was thinking a quick 36 would fit in with the cap on. Then I could either lock the tailgate and cap and leave the equipment in the truck out front, or back up to the garage and offload into the garage. Of course, this all depends on finding a functional tailgate ramp that is the same height as the original tailgate so it won't interfere with the cap.

    It's starting to look like I'll just have to use a trailer. Aside from the added expense I would just have to worry about how hard it is to drive around with it. With a cap on the truck it might be a little hard to see backing up.

    I almost wish I could find some puny used delivery truck with a built-in ramp in the back...

    Thanks again,

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