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Pickup truck for main lawn care vehicle?

Hi all,

I am considering getting a double cab pickup (Ranger or Navarra) with a hard top cover for a lawn care business startup (one man operation). I would be grateful for anyone using a similar vehicle for lawn care if you can advise pro's cons from your experience?

The double cab pickup is a vehicle that would meet dual family/business needs, hence why I am not immediately going for a panel van, like a Transporter or Transit Custom (still a consideration but does not have enough seats!).

My business would mostly be providing the typical regular fertiliser/weedkiller spraying to domestic customers so I am sure the pickup would have enough space for the knapsack sprayers, chemicals, water, blower, few tools, spade/rake etc. I won't be taking away any waste. My current dilemma is when I need to add in a scarifier and areator for the few times a year, I may be challenged on space! I would rather not have a trailer too (yes I am high maintenance!). The high top hard covers would be ok on height but they can't add width or length!

Any constructive advice, especially if you are running a lawn care operation, would be great. Many thanks in advance.

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Replies

  • PRO

    Good choice. I love my doublecab Ranger but the gardening guys always take the LDV dropside. Favourite one to drive is the Corsa van, but you can't even get a strimmer in with the bulkhead in it!

    One consideration for others reading this is that you can easily extend the capacity of a doublecab by leaving the tailgate down. If I could only have the doublecab pickup I'd build some custom 'sides' for this to retain mowers etc.

    With decent seat covers on the back you can also put things like hedgecutters and fuel in there to save space.

  • You can get three lengths of Vito to suite. The seats in the rear come in two specs, std and comfort. The comfort fold and roll forward to give another 18" or so of load length when required.
    I'm keeping my eye out for one for spring time.
    They are still classed as commercials even though you have 5or6 seats so very tax efficient :)
  • We have a number of vans plus I have an Isuzu dmax double cab which I use for both work and pleasure. It's great as gives us another option to do a days feeding and weeding when all vans busy. Had it now for 18 months and very pleased.
  • I had a single cab Toyota Hilux with a canopy on the back. Fantastic vehicle but sold it as it was too high to safely load and unload mowers etc. Better off with a double cab van in my opinion or just lease a van direct for business use only. I got a '66 plate new model Citroen Dispatch for £153 a month. Happy with it but not the same as my old trusty Hilux! Essentially mind over heart in this case.
  • PRO

    Hi Russell,

    I run a 2009 Nissan Navara Aventura. I do general garden maintenance but that includes lawns, hedging etc. This year the main mower is a Lawnflite roller model with a plastic deck to keep the weight down for loading (39Kg). I use a pair of loading ramps for that one. The mower goes up backwards with the handles removed and the ramps fold in half and go either side of the mower. I find I can keep all my standard kit on, plus the mower. The Navara has an alloy Mountain Top flat deck fitted (extra), so everything is safe & secure when working (and emptied at night). They all come with a sturdy roof rack as standard, which is great for my tripod ali. hedging ladder.

    The downside is unscrewing the mower handles when loading (I looked at loads of other models first) but the upside is that I don't have a large van parked on my shared driveway.

  • PRO
    I've used double cab pickups for years on general gardening. Yes they can ba a pain and overall not that much room, but if you are organised and strong enough to pick mowers up they are great. No temptation to leave stuff on overnight as you might get with a van (at least I think I would!)<br />
    That said I'm going to buy a Nissan nt400(? The flatbed like a transit or Iveco!) for next season to carry the big ride on so I can ditch the trailer.
  • Pickups are cool and everyone would like to have one, but they're not the best choice for running a maintenance business, and picking up mowers 20x a day is not something I'd subject my back to regardless of how strong the arms may be. 

    The overall best choice is probably either a dedicated swb/mwb panel van and a small family car, or a larger lwb panel van with crew seats and side windows. 

  • I have always had a family car and a van for work so much better than trying to use something for both. In the early days before i even had staff i had a car, little combo van and a tipper
  • PRO

    Sorry for my delay getting back on this. Thank you all for your excellent advice here. I am going for a LWB panel van and will keep a separate family car. Keeps things simple! Thanks once again. 

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