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Trying to justify buying a flatbed dump... HELP!

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by andersman02, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    So I am graduating this year with a degree in horticulture- landscape design and am looking into equipment to get. Seems to be that one of the most helpful things people have used is a flatbed dump (something like a c60). Before you jump my bones about getting equipment right away please read on.....

    A little background...

    My father has been in the lawncare game for sometime now. His business has been family owned since 1978, originally starting as just mowing, then pesticide/herbicide applications and mowing to straight applications. I am follow in his footsteps sort to speak and 3 summers ago decided to get a mow crew going for the company. My father was reluctant at first but I eventually go him to cave. First spring we bought 2 gravely walk behinds, 48 and 52, trailer, weed whips, blower and a brand new f350 (not my idea, came back home one weekend and he had it sitting in the driveway). The first year everything but the truck was paid off, 2nd year truck was paid off, all from the mowing/cleanup revenue. He also started plowing again with his new truck

    Fast forward to now, I am graduating from college and am going to start really hitting the landscaping industry hard, trying to get enough business so next year I can higher 2 guys to run the mow crew.

    My question is..... the trucks we have now are that f350 and my f150 available for landscaping. I visited my friend in green bay last summer for a week and worked for his families landscaping business (Greenleaf Landscaping) and got to see how a REAL landscape company works (design and build).They 3 flatbed trucks (simular to c60s) used daily. Back to my original point, Ive done landscape jobs in the past with our 2 trucks and find it moderately unefficient (not being able to haul all the plants and mulch, soil, ect) in one trip. Ive been looking into equipment to get this first year and feel a used flatbed dump, bobcat and misc equipment (bed trencher, desodder ect) on the top of my list.

    I cannot justify spending 25k on a bobcat just yet even though wed be able to use it around the shop and for snow removal, and the other equip. is easy to rent. Now im looking closely at a 2 ton flatbed dump to get to increase efficiency and amount we can carry to the sight.

    How do you guys feel about this? Btw looking around im thinking about spending around 5k on one, many on craigslist and ebay around this price(used and older obviously).

    Btw our business is pretty large, over 2k account on applications alone with over 1mil revenue per year so there is some cash to get started...

    btw 2- I have bidded, managed and overseen installations already
  2. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,021

    Ford f 450 dump with landscape body.
    You gonna love the smell of diesel
  3. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,689

    I think your price range is going to be near impossible but I am totally for flat bed dumps. I like the reading beds you can pic the sides that fit your needs in our case they are 14 inch high contractor sides with pockets to extend them if needed. But you could just as easily have put on 3-5 foot tall sides. We have settled on the ram 4500s and just ordered our second one a few days ago. But the outfitting of the bed and all the things that go with it alone is 8300. So on a 5k budget your talking a really old truck.
  4. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    Yes most likely older, for instance there is a 1972 C60 dump for sale on craigslist near me, no rustwith 89k miles for $4995
  5. Kelly's Landscaping

    Kelly's Landscaping LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,689

    Old boss had a 1976 c30 we affectionately called the ghetto gremlin. Never had any engine problems with her other then the 2 fires the last one on a highway and she now is just a shell. But everything else on that age seems to go I do miss the 7/16 wrench welded on the door as a window roll up.
  6. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    ok just to justify my take on the "old truck" situation

    a friend of mine heard i was looking into this and told me about their 1973 C60 they had been thinking about gettin rid of.

    60k miles, 350 v8 recently put in (within 5 years ago), zero rust, flatbed 14' dump with removable wood sides. btw it is 20k gvw

    Knowing him and his family i know they kept the thing is great condition, servicing it often. they were thinking $2800 as they dont need it anymore.

    I have heard about going deisel but we were also looking to use this for snow removal and heard deisel may not be the best thing for winter months
  7. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 446

    Sounds like a good deal. For landscaping you will use it every day.
  8. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    Is this another thread or did a lot of this one get deleted? I thought there was a lot of discussion on here saying it is hard to get a good truck at that price?
  9. andersman02

    andersman02 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    i actually posted this in the landscape forums also, not sure if that allowed:confused:
  10. Gmgbo

    Gmgbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    I would stay will a smaller truck like a 550, Customers wont like a c60 parked on their lawn. I wish I never bought my skid, I borrow a kubota 520, you can drive it on turf without damaging the lawn. IMO

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