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18 years old, driveways and landscape, need a truck

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by shovelmonkey, Jun 25, 2015.

  1. shovelmonkey

    shovelmonkey Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    Hello all. My father has a landscape business, and plows in the winter time. we're in southern mass. I recently graduated high school and as a graduation gift, my parents are going to get me a vehicle for 8 grand or less.

    The problem is, I'm stumped on what I should be looking for, for what I'm going to be doing

    1.plowing driveways in the winter
    about 10-12 driveways per storm (could possibly help my dad on parking lots, he runs a duramax silverado)
    2.pulling a landscape trailer with 2 lawnmowers (stander and seater)
    this will be once in a while, a few times a month probably
    3.recreational stuff like going to the gym in the city a few times a week, going longer distances, like hour long highway drives to go see a show or something, visit my cousin out of state, go camping etc

    I want to get a real truck, a 250 or something, but what I'm scared of is the fuel consumption. That's going to be a lot of money

    I was thinking about a v6 Toyota Tacoma but I'm still largely unsure.

    Any opinions would be appreciated
  2. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    Nothing wrong with starting off with a smaller truck, just understand they can't do larger Work necessarily as their big brothers do.

    I would advise you to check with manufacturers to make sure they still have some available for whatever truck you do decide purchase. You would be surprised how many mounts/wiring gets discontinued for smaller trucks especially older ones.
  3. jonny72888

    jonny72888 Member
    Messages: 68

    what about a half ton truck? you could do eveyrthing you want. Sure a 3/4 or 1 ton would do more but do you really need it at this point? your 18 you have some time. If they are going to give you a 8k limit I would look for a 1/2 ton work truck. see if you can get something for 6k and then use the 2k for a plow. Its your first truck so I wouldnt worry about pretty. Use this as a learning experience. You will find things you like and dont like that way when you get another truck you will have a better idea.
  4. jonny72888

    jonny72888 Member
    Messages: 68

    I personally look for a silverado with the 5.3 You could get like a 03-06 style in that price range.
    get the manual 4x4 its cheaper and less to break. see if you can find one with the g80 locker with a 4.10 That will be great for plowing and the trailer. I had that in my first truck.
  5. Grantski

    Grantski Member
    from 06475
    Messages: 31

    Man im 37 and if I could go back to 18 one thing I would do is NOT buy used vehicles !!! $8000 is a great graduation gift...and you can get a GREAT used CAR for that price. but unfortunately unless you get lucky...$8000 for a plow truck you're probably buying someone else's headache. better set another $1000-$2000 to the side for repairs on a truck for that price. I dumped SO MUCH money into cars going the $4000-$8000 range I couldve bought new witht all the wasted money. I just recently ATE IT on a $8000 plow truck. please take my advice....My best advice is ask them to put $2000 down on a nearly new truck - and put the other $6000 aside into an account specifically for the monthly payments. Thatd cover alost 2 years of payments on a SOLID truck. You can go out and make $$$ while you learn and not have to worry about your truck messing up.
  6. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    The last thing an 18 year old kid needs is a car payment. I had one at 19 and what a mistake that was. You can get a nice problem free truck for $8k. I'd look for a low mileage work truck package.
  7. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,192

    Depends on the 18yo.. I had a loan on a new f350 at 18, never made one late payment. Having to send ford motor credit 672.80 every month helped keep me from going out partying lol
  8. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,700

    Great to see a kid looking for advice and wanting to work! Kudos to you kid.

    If the parents have allotted 8 grand total, here's my advice. Get a used Tahoe for 3-4 grand with the expectation of putting $500-1,000 into it to set it up right for the season. Pick up a used 7.5' plow for $1,000-$1,500. Put $500 in the bank for unexpected repairs. Take the balance and pay as much of your insurance up front! Here's the breakdown using all high end estimated prices:

    Tahoe - 4,000
    Set up - 1,000
    Plow - 1,500
    Bank - 500
    Insurance - 1,000

    That's 8 grand used very effectively.

    Why a Tahoe? CHEAP to buy used, and to maintain and repair. Plus, you're 18, gonna date, have friends etc, and a Tahoe seats four and let's you still have a social life. Also, Tahoes and Jeeps are driveway kings.

    Hope that helps, and good luck.

    PS: Any money saved on any of these expenses, split 50/50 to the bank, and pre paying the insurance!
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2015
  9. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    not sure how old your dads truck is but why couldn't you take over his truck and he gets a new business truck . He could probably write off the new one at the end of the year you get the truck that will do everything and you need won't have to worry about buying a lemon or an undersized truck and with the duramax fuel consumption would be good . unless he already has a new one then this Scenario probably would not work. would you be working in the business later on ? insurance would be cheaper for you if he kept it in the business and listed you as a driver for the co.
  10. Grantski

    Grantski Member
    from 06475
    Messages: 31

    A used plow truck in that price range is a gamble...if u go that route be prepared to spend $$$ on repairs. But hey maybe you'll get lucky....I've gotten alot of lemons so I have trust issues w used vehicles lol. It just sucks after u add up what u spend on repairing an older used vehicle & realize u shoulda woulda coulda.. had a new one.
  11. Dogplow Dodge

    Dogplow Dodge PlowSite Veteran
    from NJ
    Messages: 3,699

    Ha.... ha... ha...


    You and my wife have the same name !!!!!


    I'd go with 3/4 ton or larger, but that's me. It's a work truck, and there's a price to pay for owning a work truck, and fuel economy is usually one of them.

    My 3/4 ton dodge gets
    18 - 19 mpg during the summer (summer tires)
    15 mpg during the winter (winter tires)
    10-12 mpg while plowing (who cares ? I'm making money)

    Best bet is to find a used, clean NON plow truck, and upfit it with a used plow.

    Me ?

    I run a western Unimount, as they're cheap to purchase, easy to fix, and maintenance is non existent other than greasing them, and changing the oil once a season (although I do it twice)...

    I'm with the others and say "Kudos to you", for being young and determined to do this job.

    BTW.... Make sure you get your insurance docs in line, as your parents can be held personally and financially responsible for your actions until you move out on your own (depending on which state you live in)..
  12. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,440

    Not sure on what you mean by you spent a lot of $$ on repairs(i.e did you pay someone to fix) but this is how I learned to fix all my stuff and would have it no other way by purchasing used stuff, I still buy used stuff to this day. It has given me great skills later on in life where I can actually make money by utilizing my skills. I am not just talking about swapping out parts I am talking about making things I could not afford, and using good ol craftsmanship my Father instilled in me. Many younger kids these days are not mechanical at all. They are good with their thumbs on these devices though. So getting a teenager a new car is just enabling them to continue what they are doing with their heads down burried in their electronic devices. I am sure the OP has some skills in repair because of his Father is involved with this industry and if you can't fix your own stuff you will go broke quick.
  13. 1olddogtwo

    1olddogtwo PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 12,174

    I have to agree on point....to be 18 again
  14. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,440

    I am not picking on you here but again your advice is just another enabler in our society where a lot of young people can't fix anything now a days. My first plow truck was an old 79 blazer. I cobbled together an old 8 foot diamond plow I got from a dealership that they were junking with a diesel blazer attached to it. I sold the diesel blazer(got it running by the way), got the plow on my 79 blazer and cobbled a pump bracket up and plowed with that thing for 8 years. I even have the same diamond plow to this day on my F250 Superduty. My next truck was a half ton 85 chevy. I got it real cheap. The frame was cracked in half both sides at the horns. Fixed that and plowed for 10 years with that truck. Again, I still have that Diamond plow to this day and now adapted it to a Fisher Minute Mount. This promotes a sense of responsiblity, finance and pride.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2015
  15. shovelmonkey

    shovelmonkey Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    i made a decision and im going to look for an f250

    i have seen a few that looked good for 6-8k, 95-120k miles

    but i am screwed if it breaks, i don't know the first thing about an engine

    this is why ive decided im not even going to put a plow on it right away, for the first few years i'm just going to run a snowblower out of the bed, and i'll have a truck that i can put a plow on when im ready to, when i have some money around. i am well aware of the problems that come with plowing, my dad spent 5k in repairs from one season on his duramax chevy (its an 03 with like 125k on it, the guy who asked)

    but i think that would be good, take one guy with a shovel, blower and a ramp in the bed. just driveways
  16. red07gsxr

    red07gsxr Senior Member
    from meriden
    Messages: 256

    There shouldn't be a difference of putting a plow on or not, if the truck breaks you are still screwed, how do you plan on getting to driveway to driveway.
  17. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    The truck in my avatar pic was my first truck. 1986 F250 XL, 351, C6, 8' Fisher, 43,000 original miles bought in 1996. $3500. I wish I had it back.
  18. shovelmonkey

    shovelmonkey Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    well here's an update

    i ended up deciding on a 2003 f250 super duty xlt with 5.4l gas motor. 85k miles, gonna be paying 7 grand
  19. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,581

    Good trucks, I have three around same years. Give the brake lines a real good look, the one from the front to rear seems to fail the most. Look for a good used western plow, there out there. Learn to do light repaired on your own, it will save you money.
  20. shovelmonkey

    shovelmonkey Junior Member
    Messages: 5

    today my dad's mechanic looked it over, everything seems to be in order. it just needs a special nut or a bolt or something to connect the 4wd which costs like 10 bucks, the seller had someone in the garage hold it, he put it into 4wd, and it worked. just needs that connecting piece. the seller had showed me this previously, but i wanted just have everything looked at by our guy. everything seems to check out

    i've been told i should buy an 8 or 8'6" plow, soon, because they're cheaper this time of year but i dont really want to plow just yet