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Redoing Ramp Bed Truck Bodies

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  • Redoing Ramp Bed Truck Bodies

    We have made the transition from trailers to ramp beds. The Wilro's that we initially bought had the weed eater and stick edger mounted across the beds, and provided for gas and blower storage in a box that ordinairily had you standing on the forward mower to get them outof the box ( I am over 6 foot and it was difficult for me to get them out). Our guys would ocassionally kill a stck edger shaft by running a mower into it when backing a mower up.

    During the summer of '02, a thief was hitting lawn care companies hard. They never caught him but he scored equipment from every lawn and landscape company in town. We were hit for 5 brand new Stihl BR420 backpack blowers in 2 weeks time.
    They would catch our trucks on large properties or sites where the truck was hard to see and pick the blowers right off the deck.

    We started asking why the blowers were not being looked away in the boxes, and were told by several about getting feet tangled in mower deckstripping or mildly straining ankles. They had been sitting them on the deck and moving them too the ground when they dropped the gates.

    We made a deal with the guys, to have them lock them in the cab of the trucks, when not in use and we would find an easy too use way to secure everything over the winter.

    Three of us brainstormed a couple of times, I chased down every truck in this town with a ramp bed, talked to the users and Described them in as much detail as I could to the owner and my boss. I also looked at the offerings from every manufacturer of these bodies I could find.

    Finally Dave Staley our landscape vice president took my insistance that I should not have to climb a ramp to get, or put back any piece of equipment but a mower. We stayed for a while one night with a tape measure, and 6 trucks. We measured, discussed, cussed, drew, and discarded idea after idea. A hanging box wont work, you can't check the fuel level, while waiting for your partner to finish blowing off and heading for the next property. Plus that kind of pressure against a door someone forgot to latch would lead to a destroyed weed eater. It also denies access to the rest of the space.

    We wanted to stay within the same area, protect 2 backpacks, 2 weed eaters, 1 stick edger, 2 five gallon gas cans, 1 two and a half gallon mix can, an air bomb (air tank) and heavy duty trash bags.

    What Dave finally did was set these boxes up behind 2 doors. The right side door hides 2 blowers facing across the truck, on the bottom, the next shelf is a box that allows 2 Shindawa weed eaters to sit side by side across the truck. The top shelf allows us to slide a Stihl Stick edger in by itself. This is capped off withe the original wire mesh boxes, at the same height they were at.
    We store the air bombs, rolls of contractors grade trash bags, and any reuseable bags in there.

    The water cooler rack was moved to left side we moved , and below it is a door, that allows gas cans to be slid in side by side. this compromise was neccessitated to coincide with our goal of not climbing the ramp. After all if God had intended for us to be 5 foot in the air, we would have been born in elevator shoes. In all seriousness is there anyone reading this that hasn't slipped on rain slick wire mesh. Part of the goal was to make it safer and easier to secure the equipment.

    The back wall was a solid sheet of steel, tack welded to the bed, then to the steel cage protecting the units from the ravages of runaway lawn mowers. The back wall being solid was an issue for about 2 days. One of the crew foreman, was seriously mad over being unable to see out the back window through the cage anymore, and was pretty nasty about expressing his opinion.
    That lasted till the afternoon of the second day he used it. He came in raving about it to the others, who proceeded to give us grief about their truck needing to be next. An added benifit, we have always to no avail insisted that the helper be out of the truck watching for problems with the crew leader backing the truck in. In the past the crew leaders would let them out at the gate on the way in, not anymore. They now bring them around and stop and wait for them to get out and walk back. This is the second month of them on the road, and the only accident was one who dropped his helper off at the gate. After his description about the chewing out he got, got around, none of the other will try it.

    Ramp # 8 was being built at the time the second one was being redone, so pictures got sent to WillRo Body company. Working from Davids pictures and drawings, it arrived from them built right the first time. I gotta admit their paint job is better, but ours is heavier gauge metal.

    If you guys have ever wanted to get rid of trailers, their are some good reasons to do so. It takes less time to teach the operators how to handle it. it has 2 - 4 fewer tires on it to pick up screws, nails, and to replace. No discovering the hard way at 45 miles an hour what people mean by the term "sway".

    If any of you are interested, I have some pictures I would post.
    That is if I can figure out how to post them (You may not post attachments) or you can Email me @ and I'll Email them.

    I learned a long time ago that most of the folks making equipment for us in the green industry, have never used a walkbehind to cut a lawn. Right through to Bobcat's skidsteers, they are making equipment for excavator's not lawn and landscape guys. Yet the sales rep's are all to happy to convince us that we can't live without it.

    Anyone else got creative equipment, or storage solutions?

    Tis easier to take someone with a good personality and teach them the skills they need, than it will be to take a skilled person and change their personality

  • #2
    Not seeing out the back window would piss me off to. Youd have to think of something else for my truck.
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    • #3
      Our cabover mowing trucks have the box up front running the full width of the bed of course. It opens on the sides, and on the top. It has 1 shelf running all the way across the box directly in the middle. This allows for us to put either 4 back pacs in, and still have room in between. Or (what we actually do) put a back pack blower on the lower shelf on each side, then our chain saw goes in the middle of them. On the top shelf we 'could' put our trimmers, but instead put our hedge trimmers and other small stuff. Works great.

      As mentioned, it opens on the top and has a place to lay 4 trimmers. I don't use it because I hate having trimmers roll on their side while in a cradle. So even when I put them on my trimmer racks, I make sure the guys use bungee cords to strap them and keep them perfectly level. Maybe I'm nuts!
      a.k.a.---> Erich

      Build a man a fire, he'll be warm for a day.
      Set a man on fire, he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


      • #4
        Ramp bed truck bodies are redoing here that is making the transitions from the trailers to the ramp beds. This is a weed eater that is stuck along with the other kind of different PowerPoint homework help for providing the better storage capacity in this term.