What do you think of these two trucks?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by mcwlandscaping, Aug 19, 2006.

  1. qualitylawnmanagement

    qualitylawnmanagement LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,000

    Get at least a 3/4 ton truck if you plan to do plowing and hauling heavy loads. Also if you were smart get a dump trailer, load the trailer up with mulch or stone and drop it off at the job site with a couple of guys. This way you aren't tying up a truck. You can drop them off and you can do other misc jobs or doing you lawn maintenance and then when they are done have them call you and pick them up. This is what I plan to do next season.
  2. mcwlandscaping

    mcwlandscaping LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,163

    yup, dump insert for now so i can also tow an equipment trailer too. But once i start hiring more guys, and adding another truck, a dump trailer will follow soon after
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Dude I really hate to tell you but you're really in for a big hurt. Sorry man, you're 16 and you have more of an attitude than I had. I'm just trying to offer you some advice but you'll learn it the hard way.

    Here's some simple numbers for you to crunch. Lawn maintenance pays around $60 an hour out here for a reliable, well established company. I was making $60 an hour with about $7K worth of brand new equipment, I bought nothing used. I spent more on a truck, all together I had about $18K riding around mowing lawns. Now a truck can be had for about $5K easily, I just spent a little more because my work truck was my personal truck and I wanted something fairly nice. Now, not counting the truck, $7K worth of equipment produced $60 an hour. When we got into landscaping, and we have it good for skid steer hourly rates out here, you gotta drop $20K for a new skid steer to get to about $75 an hour. You could buy used, but we're comparing new lawn equipment to new landscaping equipment. Then you have to buy a decent sized truck and a big trailer to haul it around, I won't even get into those numbers, that's just part of the biz, but actual billable hours the mowing route made me more money for less investment. Now let's see what makes more steady income for less investment. Do the math. Mowing isn't a glamor job, nobody ever said it was, but if you manage it right there's potential for big money.

    I'm just having a really hard time believing that anyone is going to put big money on a kid doing landscape/hardscape jobs who isn't insured, licensed, or bonded. I can speak from experience on this one, I'VE BEEN THERE. There's so much more to the business than you can even comprehend, especially when you think you need 120 lawns to make any money. I know guys that had 60-80 lawn accounts grossing $120K a year, pretty good money for cutting grass. And getting materials delivered? Not a big deal. If you're really in the landscaping business, no fooling around BS with $3K jobs, would you rather be wasting your time driving to and from the jobsite hauling 3 yards of material at a time for $40 an hour to cover your hauling costs or staying on site with your crew billing $70 an hour for your time? You just don't have it figured out yet, management is absolutely key in this business, forget the equipment because ANYBODY can go buy the equipment. It takes someone smarter to buy the equipment and put it to use effectively, all you want to do is buy the toys and pretend you're a big shot. Efficiency and logistical decisions are what make you or break you. You bid a job and miscalculate the quantity of material. Who pays for it? Not the customer, it comes out of your net profit for the job. Do that enough and you've just worked for free. Lawn maintenance that doesn't happen, there's NEVER a negative day in the lawn business unless you toast a mower or something disasterous.

    Do as you please, far be it for me to stop you. But when it's all said and done you'll be out of high school wondering why you're still in this game when you could be at college. You have a lot to learn and by god it'll teach you. I can give you credit for jumping into this stuff, I did, but you will pay a price at some point, make no mistake about that.
  4. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 865

    MCW, if landscaping is what you enjoy doing, then do it. Really, the only equipment you need is a shovel, a rake, and a wheelbarrow. That is much less of an investment than is required for maintenance. If you need a skid steer, rent one,,,need a mortar mixer rent one, etc. As far as the truck is concerned, the gold one seems like a good deal, I would recommend a 3/4 ton any day. The repairs are a bit more expensive, but you are better off with a 3/4 ton than you are overloading a 1/2 ton and wearing it out quicker.
    Now for the dump insert, (I will play devil's advocate here) What are you really planning on using it for? Mulch? Why do you need an insert for mulch? I think that an insert could come in handy, but you really don't need one. I never had one when I worked alone. Can't you use the bed of your truck in combo with the trailer you use for your maint. equipment to haul trash etc. Also, I would not recommend a dump trailer,,,in a way that is an ignorant statement because I have never owned one of those either. I just dont think they are worth the money. If you actually need a dump trailer, then get a dump truck, that way you can pull a trailer with it to haul your skid steer, chipper, trees or whatever.
  5. stuffdeer

    stuffdeer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,617

    Really...If all your doing it Getting mulch in your Dump, Why not just use the truck as Tony Clifton Said.

    I mean, Sure, you can load pavers and such into your truck, but you still have to unload them manually, and in a case like this, A dump wouldn't matter, as you can't dump pavers out the back of your truck.
  6. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    You can make ALOT of money cutting grass!!! You do not need 120 lawns to make a killing.

    MCW we are trying to help you out, since we have been there before. When i was 17 i decided to start mowing lawns. Dad rushed out and bought me a exmark 60in lazer liquid cooled (which i paided him the 9k back). When i turned i formed a legal business bought a 32k 3/4 ton and a 18 ft enclosed trailer. Now i was 18 years old going down the road with almost 50k worth of equipment cutting grass. I could of made alot more money if i had 1/3 of the overhead.

    Getting deliveries is not a PITA. Even though i am only 20 all my supplier know i am the real deal. I just make a call and my supplies are there when i want them, even if i am not on the job site. The point i am trying to make is i do BIG projects and it does not make financial sense to pickup materials. I can't understand how you can think the 2600 dollor dump insert will make you money.

    To many people let their egos run their business. Wait till you guys see how i am going to run my company as i grow. I am forgetting the way other hardsape design/build companies do things (equipment, trucks, labor, managment) and coming up with my own more efficent, cost effective system.

  7. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    JMHO, dump inserts are pretty useless. Pay $2,500 so you can dump 2-3 yards of mulch. Such a little amount of material you would have to make 7 trips to do a 20 yard mulch job (typical job). At the expensive of gas, maintenance and time = useless. Last time I checked, it cost $15 to get it delivered here depending on how close they are to you. Pay them by credit card, you don't have to be there. Show up on the jobsite with your workers and get working right away. Brainless to me, but its your decision.
  8. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    With a dump insert in a 3/4 ton can you even haul a yard of top soil or stone LEGALLY?
  9. craftsmanlover

    craftsmanlover LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    why get a truck when u could use a bike with a small trailer one it saves gas. two u get exercise instead of driving a truck and getting fat. three u can take the trailer off and have fun.
  10. FearThisDeere

    FearThisDeere LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,154

    Don't get the diesel. I drove by that place and popped in to see what they had. That truck is junk. There are many reasons why it is priced the way it is. Go for the tan one. That looks like a good truck.

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