I changed my mind about trucks....

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mrusk, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I am sure most of you know i am big on deliveries. One of the main reason i am big on getting things delivered is becuase i just have a 3/4 ton trucks. I used to think it made great sense to just have the supply yard or quarry drop everything off.

    Then i got a job 50 miles from home. This is a absolute nightmare! I find the local landscape supply yard on the net. With all the rain lately i didn't want to order ahead of time since i had no idea when i would start the job. So i go in yesterday and order 500 sq ft pavers, 2 pallets of block, some caps, some bullnose and pay for it. Then they ask when i would want it dropped off. I say ASAP they say 'Hows wednesday sound?" I am like WTF wed is 4 days away!!! Now i need to make 4 trips with my trailer to get my materials on time.

    Then it takes me 3 calls to get someone to deliver the base material. When i found someone who could drop it off the next day it took 15 minutes on the phone to place the order! And it ran me alot of $. But i didn't want to order to much and have to put it in the back of my truck. long story short i am three yards short!

    Then i got dirt i have to haul off the site. Since i can't loose it anywhere on this 60x120 lot.

    Ahhhhh i need a truck!
  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Is it OK, if I laugh at you?? :D

    Have you looked at a dump trailer or two? $6-8k for a good one vs. $40k (or more, depending on what you get) for a decent heavy duty dump truck (F450-550).

    We are completing our first hardscape of the year right now, and every ounce of gravel and sand on the job was hauled by us. There simply was not room to get a bigger (triaxle) dump in and drop a load for us...
  3. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    We end up doing most of our bulk hauling in our f-350's one v-10 (awesome) and one diesel. I have a 250 for me personally but I neve haul bulk in it only pallets.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    This is where adequate planning falls into play.

    if you know you have a job sold - then you give the suppliers at least a week to get the order and delivery plans.

    We have a F-650, bought it new in 2001. It is way more truck than we need. Waste of fuel and other operating expenses. I'm thinking about selling it and gettin a 1 ton and getting a 14,000 GVW dump trailer.

    If we need a bigger truck - I'll pay a contract hauler.
  5. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    We run 2 F550's one crew cab and one regular. We have one larger truck 26k GVW that is a hoolift, and 2 pickups. Once everything is onsite we simply use the pickups to go back and forth to the job unless we are hauling.
    We will drop a container onsite for ripouts and leave it there for cuts and debris from the job and just pick up when were done. Same with a tool container. You have to at least own one dump if your gonna be doing hardscapes IMO. :)
  6. McKeeLand

    McKeeLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 681

    i personally feel that 450/550 or similar trucks are to light duty for hardscaping if they are your only dump. i have had two 450's over the past ten years and we always had drive-train problems. the trucks have plenty of power and that's the problem, they are so easy to over load and not even know it. if you used them at the gvw they are rated for they would do fine. but on a 450 the 3tons feel like your not even hauling anything. we always hauled 5-6tons which overloads the truck. i am currently looking into bigger trucks. probable a fl70 or similar.
  7. GroundScapesIncorporated

    GroundScapesIncorporated LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Messages: 386

    Our only Dump is 04 3500 Chevy, We constantly haul 5 tons (overloaded)
    I think a 6500 with a 10' or 12' contractor dump with fold down sides would be alot more profitable for us. I really like our 3500 for getting in small areas and spots that other dumps just cant get.

    The biggest area I see needing a larger truck is hauling off what you dig out.
  8. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Yea i am leaning towards getting a 33gvw truck. I am just trying to pencil out if I can get the truck to acctually pay for itself. Seems like it can with me getting containers dropped at 350 a shot. I guess the main difference with a larger truck is that it can pay for itself where a pickup truck really just gets you to the job

    I want to go hook lift, but i do not know if the extra cost will increase my profit.
  9. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    haha.. a F-350.. thats a little toy.

    F550 Diesel Baby! I can haul 12,000 lbs and pull my loader too. Best thing I ever had.
  10. etwman

    etwman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    Sell the F-350's, F-450's and get into 26k - 33k GVW trucks. Yes, putting one together right will cost you around $50k, and that's with a used cab/chassis, two bodies, etc. but its worth every dime. Walter and Todd would agree 100%. I'm sure because they followed behind us on this and I don't think they ever looked back.

    Landscaper and hardscapers that are very serious about the industry as a whole are using bigger trucks. If you don't believe me look around. Why? It's not because they cost any less for sure, it's because they make sense, are safer, and are less to maintain. Add to that you can move payloads alot easier. If I had to do it all over again from the start I would have gone to a bank day one and signed a note to put together a 26k 0r 33k GVW truck. All the jerking around I have done to fix smaller trucks, transmissions, maintenance bills, and re-running because I can't get supplies there in one load makes me sick to think about it. If guys want to go down the road that "you need a four wheel drive" than have ONE, but you really don't need four wheel drive on these bigger trucks. I've never had one stuck, you just use a little common sense.

    This will save you alot of time and aggrivation.

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