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Panel van or Pick-up

I've decided to try an get some more grittiing work this coming winter to go along with a couple of small contracts i already have. So I'm thinking 4 x 4 Pick-up and snowex trailer. However I'm a little worried about whether a pick-up would be big enough to get my regular gardening tools in safely, 21" and 18" mower strimmer etc etc. Anyone already gone through this and came out with a solution. Cheers in advance guys.

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  • I'd be thinking more about security than whether you can get your tools in the back...

    • Yeah, where i'm from everything has to be nailed down. So it would have to have a box on.

  • Single cab pickup with an Ifor Williams style top would be plenty and are cheap enough second hand to test the waters.

  • I would go for a van.

    I have a pick up aswell with a back on it but it sits about afoot higher than the van and to get the mowers in you have to fold the handles on the mower.

    Mines a twin cab and my long reach hedge cutter only just fits in at an angle

  • PRO

    I've used both for lawn care including mowing and it's a no-brainer. The van is much better for normal day to day treatments & mowing, especially for access of kit and materials. However it's nicer to drive around in a pick-up, especilly if you need 4x4 capability occasionally. Bear in mind, in the UK a van with winter tyres and snow chains will be pretty much as good in the snow as a pick-up on standard all purpose tyres.

    The pick-up will drive you crazy (sorry) in normal use getting kit in an out of the back. It's high and limited load length! Perhaps would be ok with a box trailer, but then you have more access / manouvrability issues.

    I would (did myself)  take your budget, spend half on a pick-up and half on a van.

  • I have always had double cab pickups. I spend most of my life at work, so I prefer to drive around in a nice vehicle. Two winters ago I did some long distance driving for a friend of mine in three different newish vans. They were very good, particularly the Mercedes, but When I got back and climbed into the Hilux, the contrast was like night and day. The Hilux felt comfortable, smooth and so refined. The Hilux tows the mower and trailer without knowing it’s even there. I find there is enough room for all my gear [and the family when not working], but it depends on what and how much you need to carry.

    I carry a strimmer [solid shaft – doesn’t split], Efco/Honda mower, stihl HS 56 c-e,  Stihl BG86, Pro steps, Husqvarna chainsaw, Easy-lift harness, two metal tool boxes, large plastic container with oils in etc., four petrol cans, spares and various other bits and pieces.

    With a DC pickup, you don’t need a second car. The modern DC s are smart, comfortable and stylish vehicles.

  • Easy for me. I’ve had both and a van is the best hands down.

    i had to go down the pick up route as that became our family vehicle so got a nice Navara rather than a workhorse pickup. I predominantly use a 8x4 cage trailer behind it however for security and convenience the van wins hands down.

    Already looking at going back to a kombi/crew van

  • PRO

    I've recently upgraded from an astra van to long mwb hi top transit t350. I was torn between pickups andvans for a few years and love having a van now but being the t350 the back end is as high as most pickups. 

    As I look to the future and reducing my services I will however be going for a pickup in around 3 years.

  • PRO

    I currently run a DC Hilux with a high back truckman top.  The high top is essential.  I can get two mowers a strimmer, blower fuel etc in no problem, and am happy to throw a dumpy bag or two of waste in on top.  I need the towing ability to tow a zero turn and a small tractor for my bigger jobs, and we can have some proper winter weather round here so the 4wd is a real comfort.

    Lifting mowers into the back is total b*llache, and the hayter harrier stays at home now as its just a bit too heavy for me on my own.  Loading mowers when the trailer is hitched is difficult.  Strimmer and long reach only go in at an angle, and need moved to take a mower out.  Parking in town or at the super market is a disaster as the turning circle is so big. Security doesn't exist, so I empty it out if I go into town - not always convenient.  Room in the rear is poor, but bareable for short journeys, my wife refuses to drive it.

    I was thinking about changing to a van earlier this year and decided there wasn't that much in it with the price(for a van that could tow), so I would keep the towing ability of my hilux the brilliant driving position, car like comfort, and the security of pressing a button and driving out of the mud.  

    I am in a rural area and the 4x4 works best for me at the moment, if I was in a town I would change it for a van immediately.

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