• PPP The Second Time Around
    The Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 passed in December contained $284 billion for the renewed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Click here to read the article.

Need some thoughts on a new set up.

cool breeze

LawnSite Senior Member
are you finding yourself better off with the fixed decks vs truck and trailers? whats the best aspect in running this way?
One of the best decisions I made; probably has saved me several thousands of dollars over the years. There are numerous advantages with this type of setup. Among them being lower insurance rates, no need to load and unload everyday thus reducing man hours and reduced threat of stolen equipment. Another advantage is you have the two sides of the truck, 200 sf or so to advertise. It is literally a rolling billboard. We also use them for hauling plants and annuals; this eliminates the chance of wind burn and expensive tarps.
If you decide to buy one just make sure you have a side door for access. This way you won’t have to unload the mowers to gas them up at the gas pumps.
 

windflower

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
wilmington nc
One of the best decisions I made; probably has saved me several thousands of dollars over the years. There are numerous advantages with this type of setup. Among them being lower insurance rates, no need to load and unload everyday thus reducing man hours and reduced threat of stolen equipment. Another advantage is you have the two sides of the truck, 200 sf or so to advertise. It is literally a rolling billboard. We also use them for hauling plants and annuals; this eliminates the chance of wind burn and expensive tarps.
If you decide to buy one just make sure you have a side door for access. This way you won’t have to unload the mowers to gas them up at the gas pumps.
Agree with everything except the insurance rates. Maybe they are different in different markets but mine tripled when I bought my box truck.
 

cool breeze

LawnSite Senior Member
Agree with everything except the insurance rates. Maybe they are different in different markets but mine tripled when I bought my box truck.
Wow that's a lot. To clarify, I meant the truck/trailer combined rates were higher than the box truck rate.
 

BrandonV

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Central NC
If you're interested in a box truck and need a bunch of mowers in there look at
This is the two piece ramp SLT makes. I have one of these and one of the single/dovetail trucks. We use this model for our construction team and the maint division has the other. If I were making lots of stops/day i'd prefer the single ramp as it is quicker. That said the double/lack of dovetail is great for carrying lots of stuff and if you're thinking 16' you won't want a dovetail as it'd probably drag.

Lots of folks on here will say these trucks are overly expensive but I do like them and they do do a great job of putting them together. I'd lean isuzu unless you have a great fuso dealer. fuso has lots it's soul since benz bought them.
 

zlandman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Ohio
Isuzu style truck is where its at IMO!
I suggest you park your equipment on the garage floor or driveway in a couple configurations and take some measurements. 2 60" ztr will fit on 14' very tight.
Remember underbody boxes are great and you can also build a rack on the front of the truck.
 

Shepherd Twin

LawnSite Member
Location
Pennsylvania
Anyone go with a used U-Haul instead of Isuzu? Also, where to get strong dovetail or ramp? I’m thinking of switching as well but I’m having trouble finding ramp options to add to a box truck.
 

BrandonV

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Central NC
Anyone go with a used U-Haul instead of Isuzu? Also, where to get strong dovetail or ramp? I’m thinking of switching as well but I’m having trouble finding ramp options to add to a box truck.

They sell manual ramps online. Or if you're wanting a ramp for uhaul you'll probably need to find a fab shop. that'll be some custom work there.
 
OP
R

rj0530

LawnSite Member
I really appreciate all the input here. Think Im going to go this route. Has anyone tried the Wil-Ro removable dovetail landscape rig? That thing with a dump bed looks like it might do several things pretty well for me.
 

Surfnturf125

LawnSite Member
Location
Sebago Lake, ME
I bought two 14+5’ beaver tail Wil-Ro bodies about 10 years ago. I added 4’ of length to them and installed them on longer wheelbase Isuzu’s so now I can fit 3 mowers on the flat part of the body no problem at all. One of the Best decisions I ever made.
 

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
Anyone go with a used U-Haul instead of Isuzu? Also, where to get strong dovetail or ramp? I’m thinking of switching as well but I’m having trouble finding ramp options to add to a box truck.
The uhaul doesn’t carry more than a driver and a helper
So if it’s a two man crew it’s fine

the cab over is better visibility maneuverability and cab space and you can find them in four door models

With 16 feet you can carry two ZTRs and a walk behind on the dovetail

BUT you can carry 5 standers

when the dovetails got popular so did the standers

I was doing this (on a four door super duty) with scag swz and velkes before it was popular

I had routes I called mini 30s
The lawns were all a minimum of 30 bucks

tight routes
One driver
Dropped off a mower with velke, weed whacker in a trimmer trap and a backpack blower with a 2 gallon mix can
They traveled by mower from lawn to lawn
Driver dropped off a mower here
Another a few blocks over
Another over there
Another Down yonder

they met in the middle at noon and transported to another neighborhood for the second half of the day, rinse and repeat

trailer carried one spare of everything
If the guys were quick enough, driver was constantly moving to next set of lawns
If they were slow cuz of rain or high growth driver could help with spare equipment.

we got an insane amount of lawns done that way and I only needed one employee with a clean dl
Plus mostly solved the “where do I park” problem
Most of the time the truck didn’t park

crew would average $80 per man hour
This was in 2002-2005

these days , with modern standers and their speed
If you could sell that kind of a route?
You could easily make something like that work even better
Especially now with things like smart phones and a good routing program like they have now?
it would be even easier
The hardest part is the sales

IMO with what you’re doing
The more machines the better
I’d look into standers for your crew size
 
Top