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will a 1/2 ton be sufficient (for plowing and OTHER THINGS)?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by MikeRi24, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    I posted this on LawnSite as well, but figured posting it here would braoden the responses and opinions, so sorry if you are reading this a second time....

    I'm going to buy a truck...I have, however, come to the conclusion that for the money I am able/willing to spend, a 1/2 ton is going to be my best value, meaning I could get an older 3/4 ton with a lot of miles on it for the same price as a couple year old 1/2 ton with very few miles. I found a wonderful 2006 Chevy 1/2 ton that looks like just what I need, has low miles, and most importantly, the dealer is going to give me a great deal on my trade and the price on the truck is right.

    I am, however, worried that the 1/2 ton isnt going to be enough for what I need, or I am going to be pushing it as far as the limits of it goes. I am going to be towing my 6x10 trailer with my mowers (see list in my sig below), prob have the bed filled with grass at the same time, and on landscaping jobs prob have the bed at least half full of mulch and prob towing the trailer with some tools in it. I am also going to be plowing with it in the winter.

    All that said, I would highly consider putting airbags in the back to help with the load, and level the front out by either using airbags, timbrens, cranking the torsion bars, or a combination of all 3. Is doing this going to actually help, or just visually mask the problem (if it even will be a problem)? I have had several chevy trucks when I was younger and I worked as a tech at a Chevy dealer for a while, so I know these trucks are built good and it will last me mechanically, but I am just worried I am going to be putting too much on it and "overloading it" at times.

    Thanks for your help guys....oh and I will be getting rid of my Jeep, which can't tow anything no can I put anything in the back of it so it's pretty much useless as a landscape vehicle to me....I sure will miss the little thing plowing though!

    FLASHMAN Member
    Messages: 78

    In my opinion, the most important thing to remember is your GVW. Regardless of how many suspension upgrades you add, your LEGAL gross vehicle weight will still be the same.

    Personally, to do all that you intend to do, especially the part about towing a landscape trailer around with a bed full of mulch, I'd be looking at a 3/4 ton at minimum. Since you're considering a 1/2 ton, you obviously don't need a diesel, so that will increase your chances of getting a deal GREATLY...

    Will a 1500 be capable of doing what you're asking it to do by doing certian upgrades? Probably, but god forbid you ever get in an accident while loaded above your GVW. Try telling your insurance company, "but I have Timbrens"... go with a 3/4 ton, JMHO...

    MAR4CARS Senior Member
    Messages: 246

    You can do as many suspension upgrades as you want but the frame and brakes will not be able to handle weight beyond what they are designed for.
  4. rawdog

    rawdog Senior Member
    from Cape MA
    Messages: 124

    I have regularly(not so much anymore) towed a JD 240 skid steer with 1 or 2 attachments(loading it creatively) on an about 12" trailer with a 02 sierra 1500. Havnt had any problems. The amount of grass and mulch you can fit in a bed really isnt that heavy.
  5. Kollerman

    Kollerman Senior Member
    Messages: 113


    I have a 2000 GMC ext cab shortbox 1/2 ton and I tow around a 6x10 trailer all summer long for my lawn cutting service as well. On a regular occurance, I have the entire bed filled to the top with my grass clippings and I have never had a problem. The grass really isn't that much weight. Now if you are talking about mulch, that is a different story. Like the guys said above, I would worry more about being over your GVWR. With all the suspension upgrades, your truck might be able to handle a lot of weight, but it doesn't mean you are not taking a risk each time you haul something heavy.

    I would definitely try and find a 3/4 ton just to be safe.
  6. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    So, as long as I don't exceed the max GVW, I will be ok? When I say having the bed loaded up with mulch and then towing the trailer, I'm only talking about having a few things in the trailer, like a wheelbarrow and some hand tools...might be able to fit in the truck bed actually. I would only be loading mulch in the bed for small jobs, any bigger jobs I would have it delivered (like I did this past year). But, good information to know, I will have to look into what the GVW of the truck is and figure from there.
  7. rawdog

    rawdog Senior Member
    from Cape MA
    Messages: 124

    for what ur looking to do you're fine.... off topic...didnt you just get the snowdogg set up for the wrangler? Why are you jumping ship?
  8. TurbDies2500

    TurbDies2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 188

    I would go for the 3/4 ton also. The landscaping company that I work for has several 3/4 ton chevy's and one 1/2 which is always having problems. Not to mention trying to pull the landscaping trailer with the two bobcat mowers on it is hell.
  9. MikeRi24

    MikeRi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 563

    well, I was kind of in a bind for plowing and needed something to try and keep my few year-round customers, and I had the Jeep and it worked. Now, I'm looking towards spring and I really need a truck for my landscaping business. I have grown a lot in terms of equipment and hope to grow even more with new customers and theres no way the Jeep is gonna be able to do what I need a vehicle to do for me. I'm thinking I can put the SnowDogg on the truck, even though the blade is gonna be pretty short, it will get me through the rest of the winter and then I can just upgrade the blade next fall. The MD series plows will also go on a 1/2 ton from what I am told with the right mount.
  10. sabres07

    sabres07 Senior Member
    from buffalo
    Messages: 110

    If you are doing that much upgrading year to year, just go with the 3/4 ton truck....there will come a time when you will be glad you got a bigger truck.
  11. bersh

    bersh Senior Member
    Messages: 169

    Considering this is a business expense, and how you plan on using it, you should just go with a 3/4 ton and be done with it. Sure, the 1/2 ton might get by, but it will never do the job a 3/4 ton will do, nor will it do it as well, and you'll always be pushing it to the limit.
  12. kmclawn

    kmclawn Junior Member
    Messages: 26

    I have a 1992 1/2 ton GMC truck and it is a let down compared to a older 1/2 ton pickups. It works great for my mowing business but but why would GMC put a car transmission in a pick-up? I have replaced the tranny once in 6 years and will need it again this spring. BOSS plows doesn't even recommend putting a plow on this truck. I would buy the 3/4 ton especially if you are going to put a plow on it.
  13. russ130

    russ130 Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    I used to be the same way buying 1/2 tons cause they were cheaper. But they didn't last so I'd buy another one and then another. Then I came across a 3/4 ton cheap cause the guy was in jail and wanted out so he offered it to me for what it cost him to get out of jail. I still have that truck 13 years later and it runs like a bear still. So you know my answer here but as they say 'the proof is in the pudding'. I would never even think of a 1/2 ton anymore and neither should you if you are going to be using it commercially. 1/2 tons are great for wheelin' or riding around with your girlfriend but for work you gotta go 3/4 or better.
  14. BigLou80

    BigLou80 Senior Member
    Messages: 558

    I agree with what all the others have said. Its not a good deal if you buying something that is not going to work for you. There will be to much temptation to over load and over work it. Mulch delivery is all good untill you don't want to wait and say " its only one load one time" a few dozen times

    Half ton trucks are just to light duty for what you or any other commercial user will do with them. My father tried to talk me in to getting a 1/2 ton instead of the 2500hd ton for my construction business becuase it was cheaper blah blah. After towing a 10,000lbs skid steer and moving a few pallets of shingles to avoid waiting and paying for delivery he admitted that maybe the HD was a better choice
  15. aeronutt

    aeronutt Senior Member
    Messages: 262

    I think others have already beaten this to death, but I'll chime in to say I've owned and worked both. When I had a 1/2 ton, I often wished it was a 3/4. While I drive my 3/4, I've never wished it was a 1/2 ton. You only care how much it costs once. You care if it's the right tool for the job every time you use it.
  16. sabres07

    sabres07 Senior Member
    from buffalo
    Messages: 110

    This about sums up how most of us feel about this topic.wesport
  17. Buckeye Chuck

    Buckeye Chuck Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    My half ton 4x4 plows great. I have several driveways I do and a church lot once in awhile. I'm glad I didn't get a 3/4. Hauling wise, it's a half ton, don't over load it.
  18. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    You should be able to score a major deal on a 3/4 ton right now. Dealers can't sell anything, and most people view 3/4 tons as "gas guzzlers". Be patient. Make an offer, and be prepared to walk away. Took me 6 weeks to buy my 97. It was exactly what I wanted, and I love it. I just had to have a little faith in God to pull it together. It wasn't even a buyers market at the time, either. I would strongly encourage you to go 3/4. You might have to go back a year, and maybe 10k more miles, but it will be totally worth it. A lot of old guys bought 3/4 tons, and never hauled more than a sheet of plywood. Look around, they're out there.
  19. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,780

    It sounds to me like you will be ok with the 1/2 ton. If the plow that was on the Wrangler is going on the 1/2 ton, no problem there. A couple mowers on a 6x10 trailer is what 4,000 lbs tops? No problem there. A bed full of mulch is what, a couple yards, and is no big deal and neither is a bed full of grass. If you want the half ton, go ahead and get it. Based on what you say you need it for it sounds like you will be fine. That said, man I love my 3/4 ton diesel. Remember, 1/2 ton these days is way more than a 1/2 ton capacity.
  20. Lencodude

    Lencodude Senior Member
    Messages: 128

    It all depends how you are going use your truck and what you are going to carry and pull. If you stay in the limits of a 1/2 and the engine you select can determine the difference if it can handle your needs or not for pulling a trailer and weight. If you are going to pull heavy equipement all the time (skid steer or backhoe) and put alot of weight in the truck box, then go for a 3/4 or 1 ton. you will have to determine your gvwr that suits your needs.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009