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Isuzu trucks?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by mikeklein, Mar 8, 2003.

  1. mikeklein

    mikeklein LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I picked up a truck trader mag today,since I am looking to ditch my 97 mazda compact truck for something a bit more useful.I have been looking for a 3/4 ton 4x4 diesel pickup.needless to say,They are very expensive,around $32k around here.Anyway I saw a bunch of those Isuzu NPR cabovers for sale.One I am interested in is a 2000 with 60K,diesel,steel flatbed,not sure of exact wheelbase,but looks big enough to suit me.These trucks seem perfect,low MPG,tight turning,only negative is they cannot tow much of anything,but you can put about 7000lb on the bed.they are asking $19,500. My only concern is that whatever I buy,it will also be my daily driver.I wouldnt have a problem with this,since my lawn company logo would be out in the public quite a bit,But I dont know if these trucks are designed for both work and daily errands?Any comments would be helpful.
  2. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    I have a 1999 Isuzu NPR HD Mike. I absolutely love it. It has plenty of power to tow a trailer, and the bigger brakes to do it with too. Some things you need to know about these trucks would include: 1998, and older diesel/automatic-tranny equipped models have 135 hp, and the 1999, or newer models have 175 hp. I'd recommend going with a '99, or newer automatic model, because the same truck with a standard transmission has 142 hp.
    My truck climbs hills effortlessly, and when I drove it 600 miles, from Memphis, to Columbus, OH a month ago. I was routinely cruising at 75 mph.
    If you go with the NPR HD, like mine, you'll have bigger brakes than a normal NPR, and a 14,500 lb gross vehicle weight. If for some reason, you want to handle more weight than that, you could move up to an NQR. The have GVW's in the 17,000 lb range.
    One of the many things I love about this truck is the fact that it's so easy to drive. Keeping this in mind, I still wouldn't want to use it as a grocery getter, or for running errands. It's just too big. My truck has a 16 ft box on the back, but even with a landscape bed, I think it would be too big to comfortable handle for those duties. Where would you park?
    When it comes to lawncare uses. I'll never go back to a pickup, and trailer again for mowing (although they do have their place for landscaping). I love having my shop on wheels. Also, at the end of the day, I don't have to unload a thing. The truck also acts as a rolling billboard.
    If you have any more questions Mike, let me know buddy.

  3. BRIMOW525

    BRIMOW525 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    I too have been toying with the idea of an Isuzu cab over. They are big enough to haul just about anything I want but small enough to be VERY manuevrable. I have an 83 GMC C3500 that I love and it runs like a top but it is also one of my plow trucks and I'm a little leary about plowing with an Isuzu. The Isuzu would replace my GMC. I would definetly want automatic and a regular 10' dump so I could haul the mowers with it too. Thats good info to know vic about the hp. 99 and up for more ponies huh?
  4. grassdaddy

    grassdaddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    At one time our company had 10 or so repo'd cabover Izuzu wreckers.I noticed several (4 or 5)had shot trannys.All were newer models but had been treated rough.
  5. LP

    LP LawnSite Member
    Messages: 97

    We use the cab-overs with landscaping lawn maint. riggs and would not have it any other way,better productivity and much easier and faster than hauling a trailer around town and yes we pull right up to taco bell and park in a regular parking spot and dont have to worry about not being able to see the equipt!
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    It's hard to believe, but the 133" wheelbase models (14 foot box)have a tighter turning radius than a Ford Mustang. These trucks are definitely very manuverable.
    Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that, Isuzu changed the type of automatic transmission they put in these trucks, when they increased the hp from 135, to 175 in '99. They were having problems with premature tranny failure with the older trannies. The older trannies would often let go at approx 120,000 miles. Not all the time, but all too often. After '99, they changed to Aison trannies. They are much more durable. Hey Grassdaddy, what do you think? Would you ever go back to a truck, and trailer again? :)

  7. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    I have a couple questions. Victor I see you have a box bed rather than the traditional sloping rear. I have never cared for those due to wasted space. My question is do you use a pull out ramps to get your equipment down or do you have a big gate that lowers down.
    I would be very intersted in a power (full width) gate/ramp).
    Are they available? Web site?

    The other question is one of price. I will be looking to trade in my Ram 1500 this fall or early next Spring and wonder what paymnets would be for one of these? I am figuring in the 400-500 p/month range. Is this realistic?

    My thought later on would be to tow a dump trailer and put a Compact Loader or Skid Steer in the back for other than mowing duties.

  8. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    Before I bought my truck. I did extensive research on the ramp systems available for these trucks. I found out that there are 3 options.
    Option #1 is to purchase a hydraulic ramp system like the "Super Lawn Trucks" come with. When I priced one of these, the salesman told me that I'd be looking at $7500. Since I definitely didn't want to spend that kind of money. I started looking into more affordable, but still viable options.
    Option #2 was to buy a manual ramp system. The only company that I found that made a manual ramp system for a non-beaver tail box truck was Handy Ramp. When I called the number on Handy Ramp's website, the salesman told me that I'd be looking at spending approximately $2900 to get the ramp system to my door. When I heard this price, I started to contemplate building my own ramp system, since I'm really good with a MIG welder, and consequently fabricating things. Something told me to keep looking around, in hopes of finding a better price. Well...I finally found a place that would sell a brand new Handy Ramp to me for $2650 to my door. I sent them a check, right away, when I found that price. I figure that it will be well worth the money to buy it, compared to the trouble of trying to engineer something myself. The Handy Ramp has nice features built in like torsion springs that help you fold them up against the back of your truck. That way you're not lifting all of their weight.
    Option #3 would have been to make my own ramp system, but because of the aforementioned reasons, I decided against it.
    I even found out that Handy Ramp has a patent on their ramp system.
    If you, or anyone else is interested in buying one of their ramps. Let me know, and I'll email you the number of the place that I bought them from, for the lower price.
    From what I've seen you post on here, you're a true class act Gary. If I can help in any other way, let me know buddy. :)

  9. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    From what I've seen, you can lease these trucks for around $400, but I'd recommend doing what I did. I bought a '99. You can get these for around $15,000 if you look around. The diesel engines will still run when the truck is crumbling around it. You can get an easy 350,000 out of them, if you keep up with your maintenance.

  10. pottstim

    pottstim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 501

    I really like these Isuzu NPR's myself. The company i work for (printing company) might be looking to trade our chevy G-30 box trucks in the next year or two. It's been a good truck, but is getting a little age on it, plus it gets horrible gas mileage (8.5-9.0 mpg). I was wondering what kind of mileage these NPR diesel trucks get. Also, what would one of these trucks sticker for new with just the cab and chassis? I dropped by a dealer in knoxville to look at the NPR's on a sunday and they were closed. Unfortunately, the trucks had no window stickers on them for me to see any prices. Did you guys know that you can get an NPR with a GM 350 gasser and 4L80-E automatic?

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