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Truck + sprayer productivity tips

February 12, 2021 -  By


Small commercial truck (Photo: Ram)

It’s the small stuff Truck companies are seeing landscape companies opt for smaller vehicles that don’t require a commercial driver’s license to operate. (Photo: Ram)


Going smaller

“In a world that’s become much more about mobile businesses, we’ve seen a big explosion,” says Dave Sowers, head of Ram commercial trucks. The demand is up, and Sowers reports that for the whole third quarter of 2020, Ram sales were up 38 percent from the second quarter.

He says that having trucks that are smaller, easier to drive and don’t require a special license like a CDL will always benefit the company and be more employee friendly.

“Businesses are also tending to buy a lower class of truck — they were buying class 6, but now they’re buying a class 5, and we’re offering more payload in our class 5,” he says. For 2021, Ram’s latest heavy duty, high-output 3500 diesel truck offers 37,100 pounds of towing capacity.

Safety first

Accidents from work vehicles can cost anywhere from $10,000 up to $1 million because of employee injury, vehicle damage and liability, says Sowers. Safety features like lane detection and a digital rearview camera have been musts for landscape companies.

Brian Tabel, executive director of marketing for Isuzu, agrees. Isuzu’s Mobileye lane detection device and a backup camera are popular features, as well. Tabel adds, “That additional visibility and safety of a low cab forward for the driver and everyone around the vehicle is important.”

Plan ahead to save

Matt Ikard, sales manager at Neely Coble in Nashville, Tenn., makes the majority of his sales to landscape companies. Though it’s not always possible, he says you’ll be better off if you can plan ahead. “You can make sure your dealer has the truck you want — you might not be able to get the truck you want when you want it,” he says.

He says companies can see savings on truck purchases by buying vehicles from the model year ending — about $800 to $1,500 per truck. Opting for a 6.0-liter engine rather than a 6.6-liter engine can provide savings as well.

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Abby Hart

About the Author:

Abby Hart is the former senior editor of Landscape Management. A native Clevelander, she spent 10 years in Chicago, where she was operations manager of a global hospitality consultancy. She also worked as managing editor of Illumine, a health and wellness magazine; and a marketing specialist for B2B publications. Abby has a degree in journalism from Boston University’s College of Communication.

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