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"Perfect" landscape truck?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by D Felix, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Ok everyone, I need some insight.

    I've worked at several places in the last 8 years, and have a good idea of what I would want in a landscape truck. However, I know I don't have all of the answers; no one individual does. So here's the question-

    Regardless of chassis type (don't care to get into Ford/Chevy/Dodge debate), what would you want your perfect landscape install truck to be outfitted with?

    In other words, dump bed (mason or stake?), lift gates, etc, etc, etc? How would you want it set up?

    The truck I want to design needs to be in the 1 1/2 ton range (i.e. Ford 450-550, Chevy 3500 HD, etc), needs to have capabilities to pull a 10k trailer, and in general make life as easy as possible for an install crew. For the most part, the truck will be used for small to medium landscape installs, taking 1-3 days to complete.

    I've got a good idea of what I want, but don't want to restrict anyone else's ideas, so I'll post my ideas later.

    How would you do it?

  2. i_plant_art

    i_plant_art LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    if i had ablank check and could go out and buy any type of truck right now for my business i think this would be it. the body is rigth for my needs and the rev-pak gives me plenty of storage for tools. just my .02

  3. iowapride

    iowapride LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 59

    I just bought a 2000 Ford 550 cab and chassis in December. It has the diesel and 4WD. I put on a knap-pak behind the cab and a 9' dump body with fold down sides. The knap-pak is perfect for tools, fuel cans, shovels, blowers, etc. It's 2 ft wide and is the width and height of the cab. The dump box can be used as a flat bed with the fold down sides. If I have a small sod job or retaining wall job it's perfect. I also have a Boss 9'2" V plow and a sander in the back. I love the set up and its versatility. I've put 1900 miles on in 1 month.
  4. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    I would go with what iowapride has. Room to store tools and also transport materials. Just might think about the 4 door if available. That truck does it all, landscape and snow removal, very versatile.
  5. Qualey

    Qualey LawnSite Member
    Messages: 144

    What Iowapride may not know is that truck is very close to being, or already, overloaded. The 550 is a great truck, but really not all that big when you look closer. Sometimes I think we've tried them all; I've had Mitsubishis, the new GM 4500s, 550s, 1 tons, etc. Its IMPOSSIBLE to get 1 truck to do everything perfectly. I think Iowapride has an awesome setup if he's careful loading and knows that the truck is working hard and will need fairly expensive maintenance on a regular basis (my countertop crews 1 tons are always in the shop). Like DFelix, I am currently shopping for a truck for our hardscape crew. I need a truck that can tow 25k, haul 3 people, store all tools in a backpack, fit a 10'dump and be strong enough to do it daily for 5 years. I currertly run 1 1993 GMC Topkick with a knuckleboom and flatbed for material hauling and towing. We plan to add another 33k GVW (or derated 33k to 26k) with app 250hp with the afprementioned body configuration. The trucks cost much less that the 550s/5500 etc and are built to work first, be comfy last. Good luck, and if anybosy has a lead on what we're looking for please let me know!!

  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    There is no perfect truck. The best setup IMO would be to have multiple landscape crews running. Send them out in f550s with 12ft enclosed trailer for all the tools, saws, compactors. You could leave the trailer out on the job if you wanted. Then have a dedicated truck driver driving a single axle dump truck delivering materials to each job site all day long. The crew would still beable to bring material out to the job in the f550, however, the larger single axle driver would eliminate some one making 3 trips with the 550 instead of 1 trip with the larger truck. Lets be honest, if your building a big wall, you can not get that much crushed stone into a f550.

    I really think having a small 12ft enclosed trailer is a good idea. You can makes shelfs and racks for all the shovels, pics, spades, gas cans and laser. Then you would still have enough room to put in a couple demo saws, wet saws, compactor, and bed edger if you wanted. When the guys got back to the shop there would be no unload time at the end of the day (and no load up time in the morning). You would never have to forget about forgetting a tool or rake, because everything would be in the trailer.

    I would proably drop the skids steers and excavtors off the day before the jobs, and pick up the day after. OR if you were big enought and ran 10 crews, you could have 1 driver just moving around equpiment all day long.

  7. iowapride

    iowapride LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 59

    I agree with Matt. I wouldn't want my 550 to be the only source of hauling material. I have two single axle dump trucks for that. Dan was talking about small to medium size landscape projects so i think it would work out good for him. If he runs across a bigger job that requires a lot of hauling, it could always be hired out.
  8. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 821

  9. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 821

  10. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 821

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