Need Some Advice on an Truck purchase


LawnSite Bronze Member
Charlotte, NC
Ok Guys,
So here is my issue. I have outgrown my 1/2 ton chevy this year as I have gotten into more landscaping/hardscaping plus more general Maintenance. I am currently solo for the most part with one part time employee earning around a 5 grand a season. In the next couple of years, I want to make the transition from working in my company to working on my business, but for now, its all me for the most part.

My considerations on a truck are either getting a Chevy 2500 around 2005 or newer, or a 3500 with a dump bed for materials, leaves, and then tree/shrub trimmings. I currently have a 12' trailer with 4' sides that I will fill with debris, but it is only a single axle so there is only so much material it can carry.

If I get a 3/4 ton, I will have to get a dump trailer to carry with me as well, but I cant load it with my equipment and materials at the same time.

If I get a one ton, with a dump, the problem from above is eliminated, but then I am looking at higher operating costs, as well as higher initial costs.

Whatever I get, it will need to have less than 100k miles on it. So here are the pros and cons of each:

3/4 Ton: Pros
Better fuel economy, smaller and easier to get around (maybe), more cost efficient off the bat, cheaper operation

Have to purchase a dump trailer, have to make second trips to go get leaves and debris after I do the work with my equipment, Limited on amount of material I can pick up at one time, cant pull quite as much

1 Ton: Pros
Can carry more material, Can put leaf box on dump and pick up materials, debris, trimmings, all at once. Ability to diversify my services with having dump bed

Cost of ownership, Driveability, initial costs, Buying used means chances of thing already being worn out, namely the dump pump, extra fees associated with one ton

I know this is a long post, but any input would be greatly appreciated.

Alpha Property

LawnSite Senior Member
I love my 3/4 ton with a truck craft aluminum dump box, For a mowing crew or just solo small stuff, this is the way to go. Your truck still looks like a truck, and you can have your dump and still pull a trailer


LawnSite Member
Go with the 3500 and you will not regret it. Your better off biting the bullet in the beginning and pay a little extra. It will pay itself off for.


LawnSite Senior Member
s.e. pa.
Go with the 1 ton with a dump bed. It seems like you are concerned with the size of it, after you drive it a day or two that will go away. As for hauling materials, it is so much easier on a stake body than on a trailer, one reason no trailer is needed. Say you have a job and you need materials and alot of equipment, in one trip you have it all with a stake truck and your trailer for the equipment. As for you wear on a dump pump, between me and my friends in the buisness, I have never seen one go bad. Also used stake body trucks are not that expensive to buy and maintain.


LawnSite Gold Member
Long Island, NY
Don't confuse want and need.

I would love to have a 8' bed pu with a truck craft insert with optional leaf box.

Thing is how tight is money?

Seems very tight so if you feel the engine is good, tires, etc, I would get a used trans if you can do the swap yourself.

If not then go for a rebuild.

You made it through last season and can most likely continue for next season until you can afford to upgrade.

Remember up grading to a bigger open trailer would allow you to carry more with less money then buying a truck. Be creative and you will find a way.