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little truck vs big truck

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by climber338, Jan 25, 2010.

  1. climber338

    climber338 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    IMO there is no reason to have a huge dump truck if your just doing lawn care. Im in school at the moment and was just looking at what im going to offer for services when i get out. Im not going hauling anything but mulch and i can load my trailer up before truck even feels it. I have a ford ranger now and a 4x12 trailer. I can mow, do light tree care, mulch beds exc and i dont have any trouble with it at all. I see these new guys go out with there new f550 crew cab dump trucks and laugh because when im getting 20 mpg they are getting 5 plus they have a $60000 truck to pay off and mine was $6000. I know that in order to do hardscaping you will need something bigger but im talking about your property management guy who does not have more than 2000 pounds worth of equipment on the truck. How many of you guys are running around with 1/4 and 1/2 ton trucks and how are you making out?
  2. Lazer Cut

    Lazer Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 906

    I have a 1/2 ton and it does great. My trailer can hold just as much as a dump truck in the terms of mulch and topsoil. A dump truck though helps guys who pull a skid steer and hauling 6 yards of topsoil... but you're talking 2000 pounds of equipment that's what a trailer and two walk behinds? I tow around 3k lbs... guys that have the 3/4 or 1 ton might tow 3 ztrs and a 20ft enclosed trailer... after a while that'll really wear on a 1/2 ton because of the weight. Even if your 150 has the same engine as your 250 the two fifty is beefed up suspension...breaks...towing capabilities etc.

    Just my thought
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,631

    I have a 3/4 with a dump insert and plow. It holds 3 yds of mulch. So it does not carry as much mulch as a dually 1 ton, but not bad either. I think it is very cost effective when compared to a 3500. But I do very little landscape construction.

    If we didn't plow or mulch, I'd use a 1/2 ton or smaller for mowing.
  4. DKJLawnCare

    DKJLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 139

    i run a Honda Ridgeline right now pulling a 6x12. I am going to hopefully get an F-150 or F-250 this spring or the spring of 2011. My ridgline will effectively pull that trailer with 2,500 lbs of equipment. It is rated to pull 5,000 lbs. A lot of people give it a hard time, but it has pulled a MT-55 on a double axle 16 ft' trailer. With no probs. It pulled my boat no prob.
  5. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    you will out grow that quickly.
  6. RLLServicesCT

    RLLServicesCT LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 225

    Well you have to remember that people are all different, some arrogant, some economical, some resourceful, and some stupid, but all tools have their place. A larger f550 would be ideal for a route with many accounts within a few mile radius, also delivering topsoil and mulch. You have to see what these guys are using their equipment for and if they are bagging all their accounts.....thats a lot of grass. Plus, thats a tax write off owning that $60,000 truck and with the amount of volume they should be pushing out of that vehicle coupled with their work ethic, they might deserve it. Then again some guys are just plain arrogant....
  7. Grass Shark

    Grass Shark LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 7
    Messages: 660

    In this economy if it is not killing it, keep using it. You will outgrow it rather quickly but if you do not have the heavy work right now you don't need a heavy truck right now. Almost any job you get that has materials to heavy for your truck, you can have them deliver. At the same time I would not add much more to your trailer and buy a bigger truck before you step up in trailer.......IMO
  8. Baywatch

    Baywatch LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    The price difference between a 3/4 ton and a one ton is minimal as well as a drw compared to a srw. I ended up buying a Dodge 3500 last year for this reason. I looked at 3/4's but they were the same price as the bigger truck. I am happy with the truck and I can depreciate 25,000 on my taxes for this year so that is a perk as well.

    I operated with a 4x4 chevy blazer for several years and did just fine and the cost of operating was about a third of a big diesel truck. As you grow you will need something bigger, but if you are getting by I would keep using what you have for now. I drove that blazer till it had 292k miles and last I heard it was still running strong.

    Things to think about with a bigger truck:

    oil change diesel $79 Oil Change gas $19.99

    Fuel filter $79 $14.99

    Tires $220 per $100 per

    Fuel is .30 more per gallon for diesel

    You get my drift, cost of ownership is a lot more on preventative/upkeep maintenance alone.
  9. jeffslawnservice

    jeffslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 830

    I currently do alot of landscape maintenance: Mowing mulch hedge trimming, leaves, and a few other things. I also do some small landscape installations. (No hardscaping) So there is no real need for me to have a huge truck. I currently have a F-150 cost me $3000 to buy and its already paid for it self. My next truck will probably be a 250/2500 due to I have been over loading my truck with leaves and mulch and also pulling a trailer with the bed already filled with material. But for now it works for me and there is no need for a bigger truck. I guess it really just depends on exactly what your doing. Iy you are pulling a 20' trailer you don't want a Ranger or 150/1500. But if you are only using a 21'' push mower, a 36'' WB, and are pulling it on a 5x8 trailer you can get away with it using a Ranger and you really don't need anything bigger.
  10. OrangeToys

    OrangeToys LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW MO
    Messages: 1,034

    I would also like to add to all this infomations that just about any V6 motor is going to be able to pull a mowing trailer (i had a 4.3L 2wd s-10 pulling a 16ft trailer w/ 2 scag ZTR). The only real reason I went on ahead and looked for the bigger truck was because I needed to STOP SAFELY:weightlifter: what I was pulling.

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