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Andrew7dg
01-25-2011, 07:11 PM
I have been doing Landscape Maintenance for some time but I am purchasing a Lesco walk behind this summer and a smaller trailer to go with it.

I am selling my econo car and would like to trade it with something I can use to pull the mower around with and other trailers when I expand later. I also want something nice to take to clients house. The econo car really wasn't the car for that.

Currently
I have a 4x4 1998 F-150 Truck 8 ft box extended Cab 5.4L 10/15mpg. Thats what I use for client runs right now.

For bigger landscape installs I also have a 86 F-350 2wd dually truck but I usually don't drive it around very much 7/10 mpg

So what should I replace the econo car? I was thinking of a S series truck or a ranger.

The other car that I have been really toying around with is a Jeep Wrangler. Only problem it wouldn't have a box on the back like the truck. I would think that it would hold up better then the S series and the Ranger. Plus I kind of like the image of a jeep.

My thoughts was that I would get a 4x4 for the winter so I could put a plow on the front of it. With the residential clients with small driveways I thought the smaller plow would work really well.

What are your thoughts and opinions?

bruces
01-25-2011, 10:42 PM
an S truck would handle the work load reasonably well,but the cv joint front end becomes a weak link when the plowing gets heavy .They also dont get much better fuel mileage than a full size truck .I have owned a few of them,and always end up getting rid of them quickly because owning a half size truck irritates the hell out of me when it costs virtually the same to run a full size one .[I am 6'5" 240 lbs. so squeezing in one isnt easy for me either ]
I have also owned a pile of jeeps,mainly yj's,but cj's and tj's as well .They are adequate for driveway plowing ,can be used for parking lots,and are built tougher with a solid axle front end .Tire choice for plowing is real important as they are light and tend to float in the snow instead of grabbing traction .I have stuffed two comercial toro recyclers in the back along with a trimmer and a can of gas [topless of course] but there isnt enough room for your lunchpail .The jeep with no roof really gets people looking so a sign on it will probably bring in some interest in your business .The new jk jeep has some front end issues ,I wouldnt plow with one stock .
If it was up to me,the jeep would be my choice of the two,but a half ton truck would be better .

Steve
01-26-2011, 03:09 AM
Andrew,

If you have two trucks now, why spend the money on a third? Is there a way you can consolidate your vehicles down to 1 or 2?

The more vehicles you have, the more expenses you are going to have.

picframer
01-26-2011, 05:45 AM
We have two Ford Rangers which have the towing package, I can pull our 17D excavator on a 16 foot trailer no problem, fuel milage is around 17 pulling on the highway, four wheel drive is critical as they are useless in snow, not really made for plowing snow. We tow up to 6,000 pounds with this set up.

One Dodge 1500 Ram with a hemi, excellent truck and can pull up to the D35 excavator which is around 10,000 pounds, good on fuel, around 20 pulling and others use these for plowing, we use the tractors.

One Dodge D2500 RAM with a Hemi, should have gone diesel for fuel milage, get around 15 pulling our biggest excavator, around 14,000, would be excallent for plowing.

Andrew7dg
01-26-2011, 07:47 AM
Andrew,

If you have two trucks now, why spend the money on a third? Is there a way you can consolidate your vehicles down to 1 or 2?

The more vehicles you have, the more expenses you are going to have.

I was thinking of this quite a bit, My goal is to get it down to two work vehicles. I would have one smaller for every day gardening/mowing rounds and hopefully that would double over for plowing the small driveways. I would also have the bigger truck when I have to haul lots of dirt/block/stone.

I guess I am fine with just using the F150 for Daily gardening/lawn mowing work but I don't feel comfortable putting a plow on it. It is a LONG truck (extended cab with 8' box) The frame and suspension on those things are so fragile. Plus it is a gas pig. I just see fuel prices rising as time goes on

I am thinking after I get this next 'small light duty' truck/jeep in selling the F150. it has over 200,000mi. That would keep me back at two trucks. The 86 is so cheap to insure and I don't drive it around that much. it has only 100,000 for an 86. Maybe later I will sell this one and buy something heavier with 4wd for plowing.

One Dodge 1500 Ram with a hemi, excellent truck and can pull up to the D35 excavator which is around 10,000 pounds, good on fuel, around 20 pulling and others use these for plowing, we use the tractors.

One Dodge D2500 RAM with a Hemi, should have gone diesel for fuel milage, get around 15 pulling our biggest excavator, around 14,000, would be excallent for plowing.

I am impressed with that. I know someone who owns a 2008 cummins and I am really impressed. I will have to check Dodge out a little more. I am mostly a ford guy but the F150 sucks the fuel...

They also dont get much better fuel mileage than a full size truck .I have owned a few of them,and always end up getting rid of them quickly because owning a half size truck irritates the hell out of me when it costs virtually the same to run a full size one

I was wondering about that on the cost difference between the two when it came down to number crunching. Jeeps aren't really known for gas milage and from what I have heard that the I4 motors are just as bad as the I6 motors for fuel.

Should I trade in the F150 for another half ton for plowing?

bruces
01-26-2011, 11:02 AM
the jeep 4 cylinder is an awesome in town engine,useless on a highway ,and the fuel mileage isnt worth the lack of pulling power .Probably 1 or 2 mpg difference between the two .
I would get a standard cab half ton unless you really need the seats then it would be extended cab short box ,but if you dont need the seats,buy the bigger box so you have room for your tools and supplies .I am not a ford guy,but for a truck to be comercially run I beleive they are about the best you can get at this time .The Dodge cummins is a great truck ,but the very heavy cummins has caused the Dodge parts of the truck to fail prematurely .My friend has a small horse farm,has a '09 dodge diesel ,about
40,000 miles ,and dodge has completely rebuilt his front end twice .As soon as he has to pay for the front end himself,he will be trading the truck in .I should note he is a profesional transport driver ,and is almost 60 years old ,never in a hurry,and maintains the heck out of all his equipment .His last truck had 300,000 miles on it,and we only did 2 complete front ends on it .

Steve
01-27-2011, 01:30 AM
I was thinking of this quite a bit, My goal is to get it down to two work vehicles. I would have one smaller for every day gardening/mowing rounds and hopefully that would double over for plowing the small driveways. I would also have the bigger truck when I have to haul lots of dirt/block/stone.

Could you even go with one truck and maybe a dump trailer? Could that cut down on your expenses and keep your business running lean and mean?

Ultimately what is your thoughts on how many trucks you should have based on the number of crews you are running?

picframer
01-27-2011, 04:55 AM
I am impressed with that. I know someone who owns a 2008 cummins and I am really impressed. I will have to check Dodge out a little more. I am mostly a ford guy but the F150 sucks the fuel...





I am fortunate in that Deere has Ford, Dodge, Chev & Toyota for company tow vehicles, I tried them all and based my purchase on their service experience and my trying them out, I wish I would have bought diesel however I would have had to wait as the dealers here didn't have any in stock.

Your F150 should plow snow no problem.

MountainViewGreenskeeper
01-27-2011, 11:27 PM
The Dodge cummins is a great truck ,but the very heavy cummins has caused the Dodge parts of the truck to fail prematurely .My friend has a small horse farm,has a '09 dodge diesel ,about
40,000 miles ,and dodge has completely rebuilt his front end twice .As soon as he has to pay for the front end himself,he will be trading the truck in .I should note he is a profesional transport driver ,and is almost 60 years old ,never in a hurry,and maintains the heck out of all his equipment .His last truck had 300,000 miles on it,and we only did 2 complete front ends on it .
I still have to question his driving habits or the truck not the dodge name. My dad has an '07.5 with the 6.7. First truck to have that motor and has had no problem with more milage then you stated put on it. Sounds like a dumper like you said when he starts having to pay for it.

bruces
01-28-2011, 12:14 AM
he pulls a horse trailer with it,two horses plus trailer not sure how heavy that would be , as for his driving,look at how well his Ford did doing the exact same job .

MountainViewGreenskeeper
01-28-2011, 04:56 PM
he pulls a horse trailer with it,two horses plus trailer not sure how heavy that would be , as for his driving,look at how well his Ford did doing the exact same job .

My dad uses his to scrap metal so unless a 2 horses and a mid size horse trail(or even large) add up to 25,000 30,000 lbs+(just the trailer). Also with as long as the cummins has been in the dodge I'm sure when the put it in that they new how heavy it was. I would think they would have made the needed re-enforcements to the front end both when the 5.9 and the 6.7 where introduced. But then again they knew about the dash cracking issue and never fixed that, lol.

Also my dads buddy that he scraps with, who beats his truck to hell, has almost 100k miles and only one front end rebuild but that was due to hitting a elk.

It may not be his driving but the specific truck. Something may not be alligned right or just not fabed right. It just makes me laugh a little when ppl blame the auto makers name for a specific issue that doesnt hold true across the board.

To be honest I dont know why he still owns it if he is having such problems.

bruces
01-29-2011, 10:50 AM
It certainly makes no sense for him to take the hit and get rid of the truck at this point ,as he is still being looked after by the warranty .Since he has owned the truck,it has worn through two sets of expensive tires,and has been to more dealership alignment and specialty alignment shops than he can remember .The alignment still doesnt account for the 9 replaced ball joints ,and the two complete sets of steering linkage the truck has already received .

Andrew7dg
01-29-2011, 12:45 PM
Getting back on topic,

I have switch views on small trucks like the S-10, Ranger, and Dakota. The reason I was going to get one was for Fuel saving. The cost of fuel is going to go up this summer (back up to $4.00, my belief)

However looking at the MPG of these small trucks vs 1/2 tons with v6 or v8, the mpgs are the same. As I was informed by someone else on another forums, the 1/2 tons gas milage really doesn't go down that much when pulling something light like a lawn mower trailer where as the smaller trucks it will worsen.

SO in conclusion I am going to be looking at some 1/2 tons now

MountainViewGreenskeeper
01-29-2011, 02:09 PM
Getting back on topic

Ya sorry about that.

Thats good news though that you found the info you were looking for. MPG shouldnt change much unless weight like you said or drag is increased.