Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Landscapers Choose 1/2 Ton Pickups with Open or Enclosed Trailers

By Steve Taylor

In my quest to better understand the truck market, I focused on Landscapers this week. I found a variety of ½ ton pickups and landscaper trailers right in my neighborhood in Tampa, FL. I was curious about the choice of trucks and trailers for the landscapers, so I asked questions and got a variety of answers. I have shared a few of the pictures here and will share what I learned.


Ford F150 Extended Cab Pulling an Enclosed Tandem Landscape Trailer


Ready to load the Tractors


Chev Silverado pulling a 
Single Axle Open Landscape Trailer - Citrus Park Lawn Care


Ford F150 Tandem Landscape Trailer - Westchase Lawn Care


2 Open Tandem Landscape Trailers - US Lawns

When it comes to trailers, it seems that the landscapers have a preference for either an open or an enclosed trailer to carry their equipment. The reasons vary, some prefer the enclosed trailers to keep their equipment out of the weather, and others prefer the open trailers to save fuel and easy access to their equipment.

The preference for the use of trailers for landscaping appears to me to be regional in the US. In the Northeast US, one does not find the heavy use of landscaper trailers that one finds in the Southeast states. The use of medium duty trucks with mounted landscaper body is more prevalent in the Northeast US.

The purchase of a pickup and trailer would likely be substantially less than buying a medium duty truck with a more expensive landscaper body. So the initial investment would likely be less, but there are several other considerations.  The operating expense would be greater for a medium duty truck and for those that will operate their business out of their homes, the use of a pickup may allow them to park it at in their garage or driveway.

That's my limited, local survey of landscapers, I'm always interested in hearing from others with experience in the industry.

Guest Post by Steve Taylor: Steve specializes in lean six sigma process improvement. He focuses on consulting with landscape / snow removal contractors, fleets, distributors and manufacturers in the work truck industry. He may be contacted at steve@truckarchitect.com and his website is http://www.upstreamsource.com/


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