What would you do?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by grass-scapes, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    I have been looking at the cabover type trucks to add to my "fleet". Right now, I run a 96 ford f-250 turbo diesel with a Bri-Mar Dump isert. I pull a 20 ft enclosed trailer. Problem now is that I don't have much payload capacity at all. I also have a 200 gal spray tank that I put in the dump bed when its time to fert and sqirt. Last week I test drove a 2001 isuzu npr with 285000 miles and they wanted 14000 bucks for it. It did have a brand new 11 ft dump bed on it, which he will put on any similar vehicle for less than 4000 bucks. (they make them custom).
    While perusing the newspaper this weekend, I happened upon a listing for a 1991 Mitsubishi Fuso with 158000 miles on it... Diesel, intercooler,5 speed. Pretty good shape, excellent tires, etc. Anyway, it has a refrigerated box on it that works. The man who owns it is closing his garden center at the end of the year and needs to clear the lot so everything had to go. I rushed to look at this truck, drove it, and decided to buy it. Im pretty sure I didn't get ripped off since I only paid a total of $1800.00 for it. LOL. Anyway, for the what to do part......The truck is a small gvwr one. 11,600 to be exact. I'm debating whether to put a 10-12 foot dump on it with removable sides so I can slide my spray tank on it when needed and pull the trailer with it, or putting a slightly cheaper landscape body on it and not have to pull the trailer. On one hand, the equipment is in the trailer, dry and relatively secure. Takes more gas this way and not sure if the truck will do it. On the other hand, I can save gas and time by just using the truck with landscape body without the trailer. I am going to sell the dump insert for my pickup because it overloads it too often. by using a landscape bed, if I wanted to haul, I would have to buy a dump trailer. Im leaning more toward the dump option on the mitsu, but at 11600 gvwr(which is still more than my ford) Im not sure Im doing much better. See my dilema? Any thoughts, suggestions, or prior experience would be helpful.
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Putting a dump bed on the truck would be cheaper than a new dump trailer OR a landscape body. The price was right! Even if it has some problems you can afford to get them fixed... Pretty sure that most cabovers have less payload capicity than regular full sized trucks. As long as you aren't going to load it full of dirt or rock the 10 to 12' bed would be nice for hauling grass and brush.

    Since you already have a nice enclosed I would stick with that to haul equipment. Pulling a trailer isn't that much trouble, and like you said, if the equipment was on a lnadscape body then youl'd have to pull a dump trailer. Kinda a no brainer...

    However... if you DO need to haul larger loads then a dump trailer offers the higher payload capacity than even a 1 ton dually (usually) But you still need a vehicle that's strong enough to handle it.

    I'd bet you coule take the reefer box off and sell it and almost recover your cost of the truck!

    P.S. This Belongs in this forum not in commercial mowing.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    I would install one of those bed changer systems since you have no more invested in it than that.

    Get the changer, a dump bed and a landscape bed.
    Then sell the cold box.

  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,341

    My thoughts exactly!!!

    Jason, most cabovers like the npr's usually have a higher load rating than similar sized trucks. The difference in weight hauling capacity is due to the ability to place more of the load on the front axle. Different states have different laws but the weight is usually determined by how much weight is on each axle. Example. the truck is tagged at 40,000 lbs but the back axle is only rated at 20,000 lbs. With a standard flatbed truck, you might not be able to get a total weight of 40,000 lbs because the back axle would be over weight while the front axle would be under weight. With the cabover truck, more of the load could be placed closer to the front axle and that would decrease the amount of weight the back axle has to carry. Of course you would also have to have a front axle rated at 20,000 lbs as well as a back axle with the 20,000 lb rating before you could legally weigh 40,000lbs.

    I just pulled these numbers out of the air for examples and any resemblance to actual axle weight ratings was not intended.
  5. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    That was always my thought with cab-overs too, that they were heavy haulers. But I was told otherwise but a couple people. wether they knew anything about it remains to be seen... lol.

    They make a great truck, much more bed space available in the same length as a standard truck. Plus they are generally much lower to the ground so it's easier to load.
  6. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    The thing was, I couldn't see any way I was going wrong, even if I couldn't put anything more than a flatbed on it and use it for a spray rig. I only have 1800 in it now and it runs. At the very worst, I could sell it and probably make money on it. The guy needed to sell it by the end of this week. IM just worried that with an 11,600 gvwr I wouldn't be any better than my ford, which is just under 9000 gvwr.

    If things work out the way I want, I will have a 9 month ond Bri-Mar dump insert with the Cab protector for sale once I get the dump bed on the fuso (if thats the way I go)

    Keep the info coming and thanks for what I have now.
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Look at Hino if you are looking for a small cabover or even one of their new Conventional cab trucks they are nice little trucks I have seen a few of them. They make them from a 16,000lb to 33,000lb gvw.

    I would really watch the used COEs like the GMC W series etc the cabs like to rot off and the rear suspension is usually well worn because these trucks are well used.

    A wood worker that I know to talk to had a F-Superduty Ford PSD (F-450) he got tired on how piggy the truck was. Then he bought a Hino COE its about a 2 ton truck he loves the truck bought it brandnew. He says the truck gets double the mileage it packs a good load he said it was the best move he ever made.
  8. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    How much will you sell it for? If you keep it, you could just add a dovetail onto the box if it has a roll-up door. I like having dedicated lawn trucks. No trailers... no problems! What about a cheapo Ford Ranger just for spraying? The tank is too much weight?
  9. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    I looked into that...See original post. Thats why i'm debating which to do. The truck has a reefer box on it. I can't put a ramp on it. Got to lose that box. I can put a landscape bed on it and use a dump trailer (large). I already have a dump insert for my f-250, which will handle 4 or 5 yards of mulch but not much else. I want to make a leaf box if I put a dump bed on it. So far, it looks like I am leaning more toward toward the FLAT dump. I can add sides on it when I need to, keep it flat for the spray rig, and add the leaf box in the fall. Keep the pickup as a backup tow vehicle for the trailer. Question mostly now is will the fuso pull the 20 ft trailer and be able to have payload in the dump at the same time without dragging the trailer jack on the ground....LOL
  10. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    What about.... having a landscape bed that dumped? Maybe have a hinge point where the dovetail meets the flatbed... that would be great. I really don't think you will enjoy towing w/ a cabover... I know I don't!!

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