Thinking about Equipment..

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by C Cutters, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. C Cutters

    C Cutters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Just looking for some good advice on this one guys.
    This is my third year in the business, first year actually taking it seriously. (Did it in high school and freshman year of college, now it's time to take it seriously.) So...I currently have 11 accounts, obviously hoping to get many more, and plan on continuing to advertise throughout the year. My equipment is as follows:

    - 52" Exmark WB TurfTracer (older model)
    - 21" WB Toro
    - Echo Commercial Trimmer & Blower
    - 2002 Mits. Montero Limited (my regular use car)

    I would love more than anything else to be able to buy a truck. I was looking at perhaps a 1994-1997 Dodge Ram 1500, something under $4,000. I know this is a broad question and lacks many details, but should I seriously consider buying a truck? This would be solely for business use, nothing else. I am currently not liscensed (I know, I know), but will hopefully incorporate as an LLC soon. (Would not make ANY purchases like this without everything being legit).
    Now, of course doing this will cause my expenses to jump after Gen. Liability Ins., truck financing, truck insurance, and taxes, but when does it become financially OK to make a purchase like this, or is it OK right from the start? Thanks all
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah but you really want a 250/2500, the 150/1500's tranny won't hold up to hauling long term and you'll be pulling a trailer full time... Compromise performance and you compromise your working options. Dodge is a fine truck, but when it comes to used, take what you can find, be it Ford or Chevy, all 3 are gtg if they're in working order.

    I always start saving my money and start looking, it takes me on average, anywhere from 6-12 months all the way to 2 years before I find the kind I'm looking for... I found my '95 D-2500 for $2,500 but after I did a LOT of work to it, it came closer to $4,000, still a fair deal (Blue book is 4-6). And it's a nice truck, fully loaded, more something perhaps for later down the road, in your case, unless your wallet is loaded...

    I think you're ok on equipment, as far as the truck, I compromised luxury, for the first 5 years I had bare basic 3/4 tonners with only the working essential functions (wipers, flashers, headlights, horn and heat = not even a radio), a few gauges and I mean bare basics... Sounds rough but my 1986 D-250 I paid $1,400 for and it lasted 4 years (50k miles or so I got out of it).

    But you need cash and better look long and hard, or you either pay too much or get a POS.
  3. C Cutters

    C Cutters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Thanks for the advice man... The 2500's are looking about $4,000 or so for a 95....price scares me some...just want to be very careful as this would be far and away the largest purchse I've ever made...
    I do mostly all lawn mowing, hauling my equipment listed....I should still go with the 2500? Just didn't know if you were factoring in more weight than I might be hauling
  4. C Cutters

    C Cutters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    any more thoughts?....I'm secretly hoping that you all tell me it's a good idea...
  5. C Cutters

    C Cutters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    To the top
  6. Vikings

    Vikings LawnSite Bronze Member
    from canada
    Messages: 1,657

    About topsite mentioning a trailer and a 3/4 ton truck to haul it..

    I'm sort of in the same position, I have two trucks (92 chev sierra + 96 ford ranger with 6 cyl. 4x4) I don't have a trailer and if I bought one my parking would turn into a nightmare, I simply don't have the room. I would have to park on the street or something anyway... I'm buying a 36" toro because my thinking is I wont need a trailer, I could just ramp it up into the back of the truck. You can do that right?

    If I had to have a trailer I would get a 48" toro but a trailer would complicate things for me, I have a very small lot and three vehicles. btw, I would pull a trailer with my 1500 chev and my Ford ranger... a 5x10 trailer anyway.
  7. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,209

    C Cutters...if you are serious about growing a real business, then go for the truck. When I was starting out, I was borrowing my brothers Mazda pick-up to do my landscaping work. One of my uncles, who was in the business back in the 70's and 80's, advised me to go for a small, one ton dump truck. It really seemed like overkill, as I had only 12 accounts at the time. But I went for it, I found an '86 GMC 3500 with a 10' dump body for $5K. Looking back, it was a great move, I ran that truck for four years. My business quickly grew into it, and I was very happy I didn't go for a pick-up, shoveling leaves and grass out of a pick-up is a downer. Good luck.
  8. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,814

    to the best of my knowledge, the same tranny mated to the 318 in a half ton, is the same as the tranny to a 318 in a 3/4 ton. for put the 4.9L in the f350 for a long time, you think it was a different tranny??

    at this point, buy a truck! with out one you may look unprofessional showing up with your mitsu montero. if you can only afford a toyota, at least its a truck(reliable one) especially if your using it as a daily driver over some distance. full size is much better in my oppinion.

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