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I was thinking of getting a new work truck this year. The purpose of this truck will be to pull my trailer with the mowers on it and that's it. I was thinking of an F-150 with a V6 in it. My trailer is 16ft and will be holding an exmark and two walk behinds. My question is do you think this is a big enough engine or should I move up to a V8? I'm trying to cut down on some of my fuel expenses. Also a basic F-150 brand new is about $15000. Just wondering what some of you guys that have been in the biz for a few years think.
 

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I pull my 6x12 with two w/b's and a work box on front of trailer with an s-10 2.8 v6. It does ok but it does strain a little. My next truck will be a full size with a v-8. I was told that my gas consumption will probally be less with the bigger engine because it will not have to work as hard to pull the same load. I don't know, well see.
 

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If you're trying to cut fuel cost the v-6 is not the answer.Since it will be working harder than the v-8,it will be drinking fuel,and it will also have a shorter life span. been there done that!
 

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Some folks have already posted about the cab-over trucks before. If I were you I would check into a cab over Isuzu (or equivalent), with a flatbed/beavertail combo on it. Eliminate the trailer, change to a 4 cyl diesel, and accomplish most of your goals with something that will last a while and continue to save you money in the long run. You will save more than the difference in what you invest compared to an 8 cyl. pickup.

We bought one last year to use as a box truck, and more are on the way for sure.
 

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Yeah, Phil or anyone that uses, what do those Isuzus run price wise? Do you lease or buy? If you lease what are the lease specifics like, compared to a lease from GM or Ford. In the trade mags, a company advertising the beds on them gave prices in the $300-400 range, It was not clear if that was just for the bed or it included the truck. Thanks, Dan
 

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I started with a box truck. Was an IVECO with a 15 ft. box and a custom made manual fold-down gate. Worked perfectly to carry all my equipment (including a Walker and a WB along with 2 Hondas) and pleanty of spare parts, supplies, etc. Bought it new in 1990 and had about $20k in it. Mileage was around 15+ with a 4 cyl. diesel. Wish I had it back. Seems that after using it 7 years or so the county zoning dept. decided I couldn't park it behind my home.
So, now I use a 16 ft. trailer behind a Ford F250 with a diesel. At least I still get about the same mileage but had to spend $30k+ to do it and still have to unload the trailer at the end of the day for storage.
There is a company south of Atlanta that is currently customizing some of the box trucks (mostly Isuzus) with a hydraulic fold down ramp that looks great. The truck also has a lot of custom equipment inside and fuel tanks on the outside rails for equipment. I think they run in the high $30k range. I got a close look at one at my local equipment dealer and was impressed. The ramp is big. Covers the entire back. Folds down and really makes a safe walkway into the truck. I think they advertise in some of the trade magazines.
I do know this would be my next route to go.
Just my .02 worth. Cleve....
 

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That is the one. I guess I had never visited their web site. I do believe that has to be the perfect lawn care vehicle. Keep in mind that size truck can turn around almost like a car. I remember on many occasions when I could make a u-turn in the street with my Iveco. Try that while pulling a trailer. Even my F250 4X4 needs a field to turn around.
And with everything locked up inside security (and weather) is never a problem. Around here you have to be careful even while stopped at a redlight while pulling a trailer. Things can just hop off the trailer when you are not looking. I've learned to use a lock for everything between jobs. That takes extra time from work.
Cleve....

Added note: I believe I would go the lease route if I were to look at one of these. I know the one I looked at had the lease figures on the window but I don't remember the amount. Lot easier to deal with at tax time.

[Edited by Cleve on 01-08-2001 at 09:36 AM]
 

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Might think about leasing?

I have two trucks and thinking of adding another- my dad (an accountant) says I should lease- you get a new on every 4 years, and tax deductible.

Still thinking- if any one does lease vehicles, are they worth it?
 
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Green Acres,
If I was you I would go with a cab over.
I just got a UD 1800 about 4 months ago and love it.
I had a Ford and can't even begin to compare the difference.
With 6 yards of soil and 12 foot enclosed behind me there wasnt even a feeling of sluggishness.For the money they want for 150 or 250 go with the cab over.Plus it looks alot more professional than the pickups.And your competition will be sweating you
 

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I picked up a 99 NQR for $34,500 taxes and fees included. I put about 4k down, and pay 675/mo. It is a diesel, with Automatic Transmission. The NQR is a heavier chassis than the NPR, and the diesel option adds some to the cost too. I don't lease, because the competitive commercial vehicle leases don't work for us, and we don't qualify as a full fledged commercial fleet yet (I guess you need 10+ same brand trucks for the Ford Fleet program). Anyway, I wouldn't want to be responsible for the trucks after we use up the lease allowance for time and mileage.

I have better luck buying them on financing. My company has enough credit to buy them without a personal guarantee, and we get an ok commercial interest rate (11% or so). I keep the depreciation per year about equal to what I pay out in principal on the loan. The interest is a 100% expense. Then at the end of the loan the truck is worth more than my book residual value. I plan to keep vehicle for at least 7 years, and find that this works ok for my business plan, because we maintain our trucks, and the repair costs between 4-7 years are not excessive.

Furthermore, we put some vehicles on light duty after 5 years, and maybe we'll keep them for 10 years for plowing, running around, etc. I think that you should consider what your long term plans are. That is, the 35k amortized over 5 years provides what you need for cash flow. The actual useful life, over maybe 7-10 years will provide you with the operating cost of the truck over its life so you can factor this into your cost of doing business. I think that from a cash flow point of view, a regular monthly payment is no big deal if things are good for your business, but ownership of the vehicle with no payments, light repairs, lower taxes, and knowledge of the complete vehicle history from the first mile is valuable too.
 

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I have a 98 F150 V-6. Pulling 16' trailer with 60ZTR and two walk behinds and all that goes with it. It's alot for my truck. I get around 8mpg. That 6 really works hard on long hills. Like you said they are cheap. I paid $13,300 for it new. In almost three years only 32,000 miles.
So I guess you need to figure out what you really need. I have been looking to replace the truck this winter, but can't see spending $15,000 for a used 3/4 ton with 70,000+ miles on it. Or 25k for a new one.
I looked into the box truck idea. Found some used for a good price, but after modifications it added up to more money.
So I am now to the point of just keeping the one I have. The best thing about it ... it's paid for.
 

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I would go with a2500hd chevy truck with a 350 motor. I have that very truck and can pull just about any trailer i need too (18 ft trailer loaded with mulch).
 

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I have an s10 with a 4.3 v6 and a 5 speed. My gas mileage sucks. I average around 9 mpg. When me helper used his 5.2 v8, he averaged 13 mpg. This winter I am building my old 81 chevy truck and am putting a 383 in it for lots of torque. I would buy a used truck with a v8 if you are going to spend 15,000.
 

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i wouldn't even consider getting a gas powered truck again.i have a 94 DODGE 2500 4x4 DIESEL CUMMINS powered,gets 17mpg loaded around town,pulling about 3 thousand lbs of trailer + equipment.and it handles excellent.DIESEL power is the only way to go!
 

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I had a F-150 6 cyl 4x4. I pull a 16ft. with a gravely 260z and 2 w/b's..The ford did o.k. but I could tell it was in a strain and the gas mileage wasn't that great...I bought a Chevy 1500 v8 4x4 last year and it does great and the gas mileage is much, much better..Just my opinion...Clean-cut
 

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We are looking into upgrading our trucks to the mitfuso so we can plow when were not hauling mowers.

They have the ability for a 10 ft. plow and sanding unit in the winter, as well several model dovetail bodies for hauling everything.

The dove tail style was quite popular in Charolette when we were there this season.

Just my .02
Kris
 
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