How much truck do I need?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by, Sep 5, 2011.

  1. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Well I'm looking to get a truck this spring to use for personal use and to haul our equipment around but being new to the whole truck/towing thing, I'm not sure how much truck I need to haul everything around with out tearing it up to bad.

    Trailer #1 : We have a 6' by 14' trailer and we load it with a 61" Scag Turf Tiger, a Cub Cadet 46" or old JD 38",(we're hoping to get a new mower to replace these this season) a 21" pushy, edgers etc., gas cans.

    trailer #2 : "big red" is probably a 6' by 20' or so. Double axle... same load as the first. (would probably be hauling two ZTRs)

    We currently use an old Ford explorer to haul trailer #1 and we havn't tried to haul #2 yet as currently if we pick up the back end of the wheel riders and turn in we can squeeze in! I am hopping to get a 96 toyota tacoma 2wd but I'm not sure if it would be able to pull our loads... the reason I like the toyota is its fuel efficient, reliable, and won't break the bank (we're only a part time company!) but if it can't pull than I'll get something else. There's a couple of old gas guzzlers sitting for sale for pretty cheap around town that I might be able to get with the tacoma but I'm afraid those would be full of problems.
    If the you think the Toyota won't due what would you recommend? (used around -6,000)
    Thanks for the help in advance!
    - BBC
  2. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 753

    Your 20 foot trailer with 2 zero turns and trimmers, and gear will weigh 8,000-9,000 lbs. You cannot possibly pull that much weight safely with a Toyota Tacoma.

    And pulling that much weight, the Tacoma will definitely not last long.

    Look for an old state surplus Ford f-250 with a gas motor, you should be able to find an '05 for $9k.

    You have to match the truck's capabilities to the trailer. Otherwise, you're in for a dangerous situation.
  3. pressley10r

    pressley10r LawnSite Member
    from NC
    Messages: 101

    You need at least a 3/4 ton diesel if you plan to stay in business long. Both for longevity and the simple fact that if you pull up to a potential customers house with a small pickup loaded down looking like a half-sunken bass boat they will not take you seriously.
  4. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    Diesel is not necessary, I don't know why you would need one for what you are towing? A V8 gas engine would tow everything fine and be much cheaper to maintain and purchase. If you were towing skid steers often or large gooseneck trailers, then a diesel would be a better choice, but for just towing lawn mowers, a gas engine will be plenty.

    Judging by what you have, I'd find a decent 3/4 ton truck. You could probably get by with a 1/2 ton truck, but it would probably stress the truck a little more, increasing the wear and frequency of replacing parts. That toyota tacoma will not pull your equipment safely.
  5. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    Okay, thanks for the help guys!

    I talked to the guy I own the business with and we're going to try to find a 90's 3/4 ton or 1 ton... we're not sure which brand yet but will figure that out.
  6. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    3/4 ton for sure. Dont bother with diesel...
  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,060

    Get some money together and buy something newer then that. Down time adds up fast.
  8. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    To say diesel is "far superior" to gas is quite a bold statement. Just because a diesel is best for YOU, doesn't mean that it is best for everyone. If you are just towing around town, you won't see the benefits of a diesel that you would if you were driving/towing mostly highway. While over the entire life of the truck, it MAY be cheaper to run a diesel, it takes quite a while to see the benefits if you don't drive much (you may not see the benefits if you drive only 10k miles a year and replace vehicles every 7-10 years).

    Someone who is only driving 12k a year and needs to tow 6000lbs would not benefit from a diesel, the gas truck would be the best choice. But the person who drives 22k a year and needs to tow 13000lbs would benefit from a diesel.

    While gas engines don't have the towing capacity of a diesel, they are much cheaper to fix. When a diesel breaks down, it typically costs much more to repair than a comparable fix on a gas engine.

    The definition of "superior" is all relative to your personal needs.
  9. FoghornLeghorn

    FoghornLeghorn LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 753

    20 foot trailer-3500lbs
    2 zero turns-3000 lbs
    trimmers/blowers/edgers-300 lbs
    gas, oil, hand shears, shovels, rakes-200lbs
    total of 7,000 lbs.
  10. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    I know this guy! I have too many of them around town. He has smoke stacks on his 500 hp cummins with an 8 inch lift and highway terrain tires because he got sick of replacing the monster truck tires.

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