American Nurseryman Magazine - Horticulture Magazine and Horticulture Books - Today's Trucks - September, 2012 - FEATURES

American Nurseryman Magazine - Horticulture Magazine and Horticulture Books - September, 2012

FEATURES

Today's Trucks

These vehicles pack a punch-and provide landscaping crews with the durability and towing power needed to haul heavy equipment to the jobsite.
By Jason Bramwell

Trucks are a staple of the green industry. But with a variety of truck manufacturers and models from which to choose, finding a new truck for your landscaping business could be a daunting task.

"Landscaping business owners should buy a truck that they can always count on to get their crews to the next job," says Brian Tabel, retail marketing manager, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America.

The following five trucks, listed in alphabetical order by manufacturer, can provide landscapers with the horsepower, torque and towing capacity needed to haul lawnmowers and other equipment and tools to jobs - big or small.

By visiting the manufacturers' websites or contacting local dealers, one can obtain additional specifications not included in this article.


Photo courtesy of Chevrolet

Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

With its 13,000-pound towing capability, the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD is a truck landscaping businesses can rely on to effectively tow heavy pieces of equipment to and from jobsites, says Tom Wilkinson, Chevrolet trucks communication manager.

"It's a great all-around work truck, yet pretty efficient to operate - either around town or on the open road," he says. "There is almost nothing a landscaper could throw at this truck that it couldn't handle."

The Silverado 2500HD, which comes in 10 models, features

the powertrain combination of a 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 engine and an Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission. The Duramax engine cranks out 397 horsepower and 765 pounds-feet of torque.

The Allison 1000 features driver shift control with tap-up/tap-down shifting and an elevated idle mode cab warm-up feature. Also, the tow/haul mode reduces shift cycling for better control and improved cooling when towing or hauling heavy loads.

Wilkinson recommends landscaping businesses consider the following two features:

  • General Motors-exclusive automatic locking rear differential, available on two- and four-wheel-drive models, that efficiently transfers power to the wheel and provides the most traction on loose gravel or slippery road surfaces; and
  • Z71 off-road package, which includes the locking differential, 46-millimeter shocks and 18-inch all-terrain tires.
  • Other notable features include:
  • Exhaust brake system, which slows the truck on downhill grades without actuating the brakes
  • 36-gallon fuel tank and engine efficiency, which enable up to 680 miles between fill-ups
  • Four-wheel disc brakes with Hydroboost
  • Five-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty

For more information, visit www.chevrolet.com.


Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

Ford F-Series Super Duty XLT SuperCab

Landscape business owners seeking a comfortable yet "tough" truck for their crews can turn to the Ford F-Series Super Duty XLT SuperCab, says Mike Levine, truck communications manager, Ford Motor Co.

"The 2013 Super Duty XLT SuperCab 4x4 single rear wheel provides plenty of room to accommodate up to six people," he says. "The 6.2-liter V-8 gasoline engine is rated at 385 horsepower and 405 pounds-feet of torque. It can tow up to 12,500 pounds conventionally or up to 14,000 pounds with a fifth-wheel or gooseneck trailer - plenty of capability to pull landscaping equipment without the added expense of a diesel engine."

Levine says the F-Series Super Duty can be ordered with an optional factory fifth-wheel prep kit that makes installing a fifth-wheel or gooseneck hitch a snap. Drilling is not required.

"Ford also offers a segment-exclusive integrated tailgate step, which greatly eases getting in and out of the cargo box to load or retrieve tools," he adds.

Other notable features include:

  • 6R140 heavy-duty TorqShift six-speed automatic transmission
  • PowerScope (power folding and power telescoping) trailer tow mirrors
  • 40/20/40 split front seat with lockable under-seat storage in the center section
  • Solid front axle and manual locking hubs for excellent articulation and reliability
  • Dual-stage airbags with side air curtains
  • Integrated Trailer Brake Controller, which synchronizes vehicle and trailer brakes, even with the heaviest loads
  • AdvanceTrac with Roll Stability Control, which features roll-rate sensing and stability enhancement capabilities that assist drivers in maintaining vehicle control during extreme steering maneuvers

For more information, visit www.ford.com.


Photo courtesy of General Motors Corp.

GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab 4WD Long Box

The 2013 GMC Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab 4WD Long Box is the most durable and powerful Sierra ever built - and a perfect truck for landscaping businesses, says GMC communications manager Joe LaMuraglia.

"Its combination of towing (13,000 pounds) and payload (2,552 pounds) will meet the needs of the most serious landscaping business owner," he says. "In addition, the optional snow plow prep package can be repurposed for snow removal in the winter months to maximize ROI."

The Sierra 2500HD Crew Cab 4WD Long Box, which can comfortably seat up to six people, comes equipped with a 6.6-liter Duramax turbo-diesel V-8 engine that delivers 397 horsepower and 765 pounds-feet of torque.

The Allison 1000 six-speed automatic transmission can handle the higher torque capability of the Duramax engine. "This is a proven powertrain combo, with more than 1.2 million sold since 2000," LaMuraglia says.

He adds that the Allison 1000 helps to improve fuel economy and assist the exhaust brake system, which provides greater control on grades and reduces brake pad wear.

"Landscapers are small-business owners, and they need a powerful, capable truck that will perform 24/7/365," LaMuraglia says.

Other notable features include:

  • Fully-boxed, high-strength steel frames
  • 36-gallon fuel tank and engine efficiency, which enable up to 680 miles between fill-ups
  • Front gross axle weight rating of up to 5,600 pounds, which enables a snow plow to be used with the snow plow prep package
  • Four-wheel disc brakes with Hydroboost
  • Heated outside mirrors
  • EZ-Lift locking tailgate

For more information, visit www.gmc.com.


Photo courtesy of Isuzu Commercial Truck of America

Isuzu Gas N-Series LCF

Isuzu offers the only gasoline-powered low-cab-forward (LCF) trucks in America, and its N-Series LCF trucks are well suited for landscaping operations, says Brian Tabel, retail marketing manager, Isuzu Commercial Truck of America.

"The biggest advantage of our N-Series LCF trucks is their maneuverability," he says. "Maneuverability is key for getting the truck in tight parking lots. It also provides landscaping crews the safety needed to drive through busy or crowded neighborhoods."

2012 N-Series trucks, which include the NPR and NPR-HD models, are powered by a Vortec 6.0-liter V-8 engine that produces 297 horsepower and 372 pounds-feet of torque.

"You have all the benefits of having the LCF design, but you also get the lower maintenance cost of a gas engine," Tabel says.

The power plant comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with double overdrive and lock-up torque converter for enhanced fuel economy and performance. The NPR has a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 12,000 pounds, while the NPR-HD has a 14,500-pound GVWR.

Other notable features include:

  • Standard cab (seating for three people) or crew cab (seating for seven people) configurations
  • Wheelbases that range from 109 to 176 inches, which can accommodate bodies of up to 20 feet in length
  • Payload capacities of 6,997 pounds for the NPR standard cab, 6,244 pounds for the NPR crew cab, 9,441 pounds for the NPR-HD standard cab and 8,685 pounds for the NPR-HD crew cab
  • Same frames, axles and brakes as diesel models
  • Easy-to-reach controls, convenient storage areas and access to fluid checks

For more information, visit .


Photo courtesy of Ram Truck.

Ram 1500 Tradesman

With a 4.7-liter HEMI V-8 gasoline engine, six-speed automatic transmission and cargo management system, the Ram 1500 Tradesman is designed to meet the needs of landscaping businesses, says Nick Cappa, Ram Truck media relations spokesperson.

"The Ram 1500 Tradesman was built with capability and durability in mind for the business owner who relies on their truck every day to make a living," he says.

The 2012 Ram 1500 Tradesman, which can fit six people, includes the following features:

  • 4.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine that delivers 310 horsepower, 330 pounds-feet of torque and 20 miles per gallon
  • RamBox lockable cargo management system
  • Standard Class IV trailer hitch with 4- or 7-pin trailer connectors
  • Link-coil rear suspension for best-in-class ride and handling
  • Heavy-duty cooling for long life and reliability
  • Spray-in bedliner
  • 17-inch steel-style painted wheels
  • Five-year, 100,000-mile powertrain warranty on the engine, transmission and axles

"Most landscapers are towing equipment or supplies. The RamBox storage system allows landscapers to lock up tools in a waterproof location without damaging the interior of the truck," Cappa says. "The bedliner gives added protection to the bed."

Ram Tradesman models available include a regular cab short bed (6 feet 4 inches), regular cab long bed (8 feet), quad cab (6-foot-4 inch bed) and crew cab (5-foot-7-inch bed). The following are maximum towing and payload capacities for each model, according to Ram Truck:

  • Regular cab short bed: 7,700-pound maximum towing, 1,385-pound maximum payload
  • Regular cab long bed: 7,700-pound maximum towing, 1,773-pound maximum payload
  • Quad cab: 7,300-pound maximum towing, 1,674-pound maximum payload
  • Crew cab: 7,250-pound maximum towing, 1,717-pound maximum payload

For more information, visit www.ramtrucks.com.