Appropriate and cost-effective trucks are critical equipment in any landscaping business. Competition is fierce and profit margins can be razor thin, especially in an economy still recovering. Any slight edge that gives you an advantage over your competitors can make the difference between failing during the winter slump and surviving to see another spring. Long gone are the days when you could pick any old truck on the lot and make it work for your business. Today’s economy requires strategy and careful consideration of how many and what kinds of new or used landscaping trucks should be combined to form a successful fleet.
Varieties of Landscaping Trucks and Their Utilities
Any reader involved in the landscaping business will appreciate the critical need for effective and highly useful landscape trucks. These specialized trucks are constructed by a number of different manufacturers, including GMC or Chevy, Ford, Dodge, Isuzu, UD, Fuso, and Hino. They come in a wide variety of bodies, among which are dump trucks, flat bed body styles, stake bodies, and service bodies. Expense can range from low for smaller used landscaping trucks to larger custom landscaping trucks. Landscape trucks are often diesel trucks because of the toughness and reliability of modern diesel engines.
Dump trucks are perhaps the most commonly imagined type of landscaping trucks to the majority of American consumers. These multi-use landscaping trucks are useful for a wide variety of tasks. Not only are they helpful for hauling soils, sands, rocks, and fill which may all be required to create effective landscaping, but they find use in the construction industry as well.
Another variety of commonly seen landscaping trucks are the flat bed body styles. These are often used for carrying trees or heavier plants. Landscape service body trucks find application in landscaping services support tasks, such as for electrical and plumbing work. Landscape stake body trucks are utilized for a wide variety of different applications, such as for delivering stones, top soil, landscaping materials, or mulch. Ambitious landscaping design projects often require multiple types of these landscaping trucks. As you research different utility trucks online to integrate into your inventory, keep in mind the cost of parts and maintenance. Flatbeds for trucks are often a good idea for re-purposing older, smaller pickup trucks.
While box trucks are a common commercial truck, they aren’t directly associated with landscaping designs. However, you will often find a box truck playing a significant role for landscaping services employing large and diverse truck fleets and taking on large-scale landscaping projects. Try not to be too brand loyal, either. Even a dyed-in-the-wool Ford man might better grow his business if he gave reputable Isuzu trucks a chance.
With Landscaping Trucks, Size Matters
The size of your trucks is crucial to a successful business. While a uniform fleet of huge flatbed trucks parked in your lot will make you feel like a king in the industry, having more big gas-guzzling vehicles than you absolutely need could put you in the fast lane towards bankruptcy. If you generally only run two heavy material deliveries to a site at a time, you only need two large dump trucks in your fleet. Sell the excess and invest the money toward smaller, less expensive and more fuel-efficient vehicles that can be economically deployed in a wider range of tasks. Many landscaping services are employing a versatile cutaway van instead of relaying solely on trucks for every job.
True, you might lose a job once in a great while because you do not have a third truck on hand for a short-notice job, but this is not the right economy to invest large sums of money in the hopes of future growth. You may want to consider landscape truck rental instead. By renting a landscaping truck for a specific large job you may be able to do the job without the expense of adding another truck to your fleet. Concentrate on running a lean operation and only add a new landscaping vehicle if there is a continued need for it.
Of course, it is equally important not to overcompensate in the opposite direction. Light-duty small pickups are great vehicles to have in your fleet. They are relatively inexpensive to buy, especially if you go with used landscaping trucks, and cheap to operate compared to the heavier commercial vehicles, but there are many jobs for which small pickup trucks are simply not appropriate. Especially when hauling stone and gravel, it is easy to overload a pickup truck far beyond its rated capacity without realizing it. Extra strain on the suspension, brakes, and drive train will quickly lead to repair bills far in excess of the money you will save with a small pickup. A well-balanced mix of light, medium, and heavy-duty trucks is essential to long-term profitability.
With Your Landscaping Business, Looks Matter Too
While the quality of your work and professionalism of your staff will create repeat customers, the appearance of your fleet and of each landscape truck is of primary importance in getting those customers in the first place. If your trucks are relatively new, clean, and brightly painted, people are far more likely to develop a positive first impression of your company. Never forget that your trucks are your best advertising device and will convey a sense of your competency and professionalism to the outside world. Neighbors will notice a clean, attractive vehicle parked next door while your workers cut the grass and will be much more likely to call you for their own landscaping work than they would be from any Yellow Pages advertisement.
Finally, do not be afraid to be creative. While professional-looking vehicles are an important factor in maintaining your company’s image, there is something to be said for a quirky, creative approach, especially if you are just starting out and money is tight. If you plan to focus exclusively on lawn care for example, you might consider forgoing a small fleet of large landscape trucks and, instead, purchase a larger fleet of small Ford pickups, or even cars with light landscaping trailers to move your equipment.
Something like buying a couple of used mini-vans and painting them like ambulances with a name like “Lawn Medics” could create some real buzz in the community as your fleet drives through town. If the idea sounds silly to you, remember how Best Buy created a powerful brand name for themselves with nothing more than a small fleet of “Geek Squad” Volkswagen Beetles.
So before you evaluate different landscaping trucks for sale, be sure to consider everything from the volatility of your bottom line to the identity of your company as you market it. Thank you for reading; I hope my website helps you.