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View Full Version : Might be time for me to buy a mini ex


Gravel Rat
03-31-2006, 04:24 AM
After looking into seeing about running a tandem axle dump hauling gravel and penciling out the figures it will probably loose more money.

I'am thinking of running a F-550 4x4 truck as my dump and possibly adding a mini excavator to my services. The machine won't be brandnew by any means it would definatly be a fixer upper or a machine with higher hours.

I think there will be more money made with a excavator than running a tandem axle dump.

I want a machine that I would beable to carry on the deck of the truck I don't want to mess with trailers. I'am not sure it would be a good idea to carry a 9000lb mini on the back of a F-550. I really don't want to mess with trailers they are a pain in the butt especially around here you have to drive almost a 1/2 a mile to find a place to turn around.

I have to find a truck first thou have to decide between a F-450 or F-550 the truck won't be brandnew something in up to 2002 with 7.3 PSD and 5 or 6spd.

Do you guys think its a worth while go at running a mini excavator with a 2 ton truck ?

What I would mostly do would be clean up brush and remove junk from people yards to start with.

thepawnshop
03-31-2006, 07:52 AM
9,000lb Mini??!?!?!? Every time you have given suggestions for mini's, you have ALWAYS said to not get one less than 10,000lb! Come on, GR! Don't go telling us you are going to get a machine SMALLER than what you recommend! Just bustin your chops, man! Go for it...I love my mini!

turfquip
03-31-2006, 08:44 AM
I'd say find a class 6 and put a Swaploader SL-185 on it with a 16 foot bed.

That should give you a pretty good set up. As to whether you will be able to make a go at it, I doubt anyone here could answer that better than you.

Based on past postings, your area is unique in its topography and hardiness of it's people...

Would some just throw their trash and brush over the side of a mountain and be done with it before paying someone?

qps
03-31-2006, 09:20 AM
After looking into seeing about running a tandem axle dump hauling gravel and penciling out the figures it will probably loose more money.

I'am thinking of running a F-550 4x4 truck as my dump and possibly adding a mini excavator to my services. The machine won't be brandnew by any means it would definatly be a fixer upper or a machine with higher hours.

I think there will be more money made with a excavator than running a tandem axle dump.

I want a machine that I would beable to carry on the deck of the truck I don't want to mess with trailers. I'am not sure it would be a good idea to carry a 9000lb mini on the back of a F-550. I really don't want to mess with trailers they are a pain in the butt especially around here you have to drive almost a 1/2 a mile to find a place to turn around.

I have to find a truck first thou have to decide between a F-450 or F-550 the truck won't be brandnew something in up to 2002 with 7.3 PSD and 5 or 6spd.

Do you guys think its a worth while go at running a mini excavator with a 2 ton truck ?

What I would mostly do would be clean up brush and remove junk from people yards to start with.


What:hammerhead: ...I thought everybody own a mini in your neck of the woods....

thepawnshop
03-31-2006, 09:34 AM
Yeah, GR...I think you are in for some ribbing....

janb
03-31-2006, 01:33 PM
lots of ribbing indeed !!! :laugh:

I'd be looking at a 'utility grade' IH truck w/466 or smaller frieghtliner with your recommendation of a 'roll-off'. It is not fun loading equip at truck bed height in our rainy climate, and if you wait for a clear day, you might be waiting 6 months!

As I see the economy pricing of used IH school buses... and long frames for skid accessories... (could live in it too, save rent:rolleyes: ) too bad they are auto's and only single axle. I miss the med duty trucks of the earlier years that were twin screws, but lower and lighter

Gravel Rat
03-31-2006, 02:46 PM
Its just a idea I'am thinking about I'am waiting to see what the work situation brings.

A tandem axle dump is still in the back of my mind I know I can prolly make it work. I have people say you can make money then I got people saying you can't make money. I can do 80% of the repairs on the truck so that will save me a ton right there most other guys have to hire outside help.

I know alot of building contractors etc who would prolly call me to deliver them sand and gravel to jobsites. The excavation contractors don't have time to take one of their trucks to do deliveries. A contractor that just runs a backhoe service has a heck of a time finding a truck to haul him material so I know he would hire me.

There isn't enough work for a medium duty 5 ton dump you charge the truck out at 69 dollars per hour you can hire a tandem for 79 dollars per hour and it carrys double the material.

janb
03-31-2006, 04:10 PM
"" tandem axle dump is still in the back of my mind I know I can prolly make it work. I have people say you can make money then I got people saying you can't make money. I can do 80% of the repairs on the truck so that will save me a ton right there most other guys have to hire outside help. ""

I'm diligently on the hunt for a tandem 'roll-back' / swaploader w/airlift. There is a really great setup, nearby (cab forward, heavy front axle and tires + 2 boxes +24' flabed with ramps and removable sides, and 'D'rings for lashing down backhoe and skid) but it's been setting 10 yrs!! I'm afraid of Hyd problems (degraded seals) could be had for less than $5k, but then time.... + DOT....

they would not like to do gravel all the time, but... you could haul lots of stuff a dump doesn't work too good for (plus dumps are VERY expensive to insure)

Gravel Rat
03-31-2006, 04:20 PM
Yes I'am thinking about a rolloff truck too but they are tough to find. I would go with a conventional rail truck. The contractor I worked for has a rolloff truck which is used for a dump truck plus hauling bins.

Rolloff bins are not used much around here as debris has to be separated when hauled to the landfill. Its good for brush but in the winter time brush is stacked up and burned in big piles its the cheapest option of getting rid of it.

A lowside dump box and a flatdeck would work good for my uses and maybe 1 40 yard bin.

ksss
03-31-2006, 05:30 PM
I think I am qualified to say that there is very little money in trucking. at least in most markets. Yours may be different. You can gross money but it is hard to net much. Trucks are a necessary evil. I know no one who has made a living doing notjhing but driving a dump truck. Not to say they are not out there.

On the mini: Again for MOST markets running a mini without some support equipment is not going to be all that profitable. Bobcat markets it as a system and it is. If your buying a mini ex you need a skid steer or tracked machine to compliment it. As much as you don't like it a backhoe is one of the few stand alone pieces of equipment that you can make a living with. Get a BH with a tandem axle truck and you can excavate and or truck.

These are my observations, your mileage may vary.

Gravel Rat
03-31-2006, 08:42 PM
There isn't much work for a skid steer there is some work for a rubber tired backhoe but you need quite a few years experience to make a rubber tired hoe work to its maximum capacity.

The one guy I plan on to haul for if I get a tandem has been running rubber tired hoe for well over 20 years experience he is the best you can get. He pretty much has the area sewn up for backhoe work. The other excavation contractors have backhoes but they rarely get used they have them for loading trucks or moving and spreading material.

The ground is a little too steep and rough for a skid steer to work on to get material around a house its chucked with a excavator. So you dump the load of the material close to the house as possible with the truck and use the excavator with the clean up bucket to carry the material.

Most places you have to move the material a couple times before you get it to where you want it. Yes you lose some material but its the only way to move the material unless you want to use 5 gallon buckets :eek:

I wouldn't be planning on making my whole living with the truck its to suppliment my other jobs. I know of other guys in the next communities down the coast are busy as can be they are independant trucks.

Dump trucks are paid by the hour so if we are sitting we get paid by the hour. The hourly rate is 79-80.00 dollars.

To make a local delivery from the bigger pit would be a 2 hour round trip 160.00 dollars so if your hauling to a site that requires 4 loads of material it would be roughly 640 dollars in trucking. Its a easy haul no stop and go traffic to deal with drive to the pit get loaded leave head back to the site. Sometimes you have to wait to get loaded because its a busy gravel pit but your getting paid for waiting.

The local pit is even easier to deal with its pretty much a hour round trip to most sites but they don't have the specialized stuff like C33 septic sand but have everything else. If I was going to make a single delivery of road base from the local pit would be a flat rate of 120 dollars.

What is mostly wanted by local residents is topsoil and mulch they usually want 12 yards if they are redoing a lawn 24 yards. The other materials people are after is crusher dust for driveways or navvy jack for mixing concrete.

So here is my feeling I either spend 25 grand on a tandem dump truck or 30 grand on a F-550. There is always work for a tandem the F-550 would be just a work truck it would probably never pay for itself.

murray83
03-31-2006, 09:04 PM
with all the construction due to the winter olympics and road work i say get the tandem dude it'll pay for itself in the long run when it drys up,sell it.your mechanically inclined and you have the ideas you'll be fine.

BC is booming as with alberta you should easily get $75-$80/hr as an owner operator here its like 50'ish an hour if yer lucky.

i'm in yer position i'm sick of being screwed around by others and want my own gig i just need to win the lotto lol.

tnmtn
03-31-2006, 09:45 PM
GR,
are you saying it is too steep for a skid steer but a rubber tired backhoe can work there. i may have the picture wrong but it sounds like a track loader would be excellant for the work your talking about. the problem must be the load height. i understand the idea of how your getting the product around the house but i would have thought a track loader would be more stable than a mini ex to get there in the first place. i have a backhoe and on the steep jobs i rent a track loader for the day. good luck with whatever you choose.
metin

Gravel Rat
03-31-2006, 11:33 PM
Where backhoes are working are doing the jobs too big for a skid steer to do economically. Backhoes are usually doing driveways spreading materials etc they won't go anywhere its steep either.

I have seen the guy I meantioned in the earlier posts take his Case backhoe into places that amazed me. Thats where the experience comes into play when you have 20 years plus on nothing but backhoes you get good at it. He can walk his machine with the front bucket outriggers and rear bucket to get into a spot. That takes some know how I don't have that I have only ran a rubber tired backhoe for a year.

The one project I worked on where they had a company doing the underground utilities had a operator with many years running a Case 4x4 backhoe did some frigging amazing things with it. I tried to-do the same with the JCB I had on the site no way I could do what he could.

I would imagine a new track type skid would work good as it will crawl over places where a rubber tired skid steer won't go. I don't want to shell out the $$$$ for one.

It would be a good business if I could deliver the 12 yards or more topsoil and move it around for the customer. A landscaper friend of mine does alot of lawn installs and its all done by hand his crews best friend is a shovel and wheelbarrow. I have watched them move 48 yards of topsoil by wheelbarrows and shovels :dizzy:

You need a good stable machine that will crawl over rocks and down steep slopes. Its why a mini excavator goes everywhere there is no limits to where you can go. No one in the area has a tracked skid steer I'am not sure how good they are.

If they work good for moving material around it maybe something I might want to look into. Most the larger landscapers in the next community have conventional wheeled skids but they are so busy in their area they don't come around here.

As for the construction end of things yes its busy a friend of the familly is working on building a 200 acre subdivision I know I can get into there hauling material. Thats just one of them the same person has another 60 acre subdivision. Then there are more subdivisions going in so there will be alot of landscaping work it may not happen all at once but it will happen.

But I'am wondering about a tracked skid steer and if they are any good it might be something to add to the list of toys.

It would be nice to be self-employed again :canadaflag:

thepawnshop
04-01-2006, 12:03 AM
It would be nice to be self-employed again :canadaflag:

Nothing like self employment...wondering if you are going to get enough work to make all those equipment payments when you suddenly realize you forgot the insurance premiums were due and the house payment just came due and you are sick but you can't afford health insurance so you don't go to the doctor...it's great.

Or you ahve three houses on the market you have built but haven't sold and you don't have enough money to keep building until something sells so all of your subs who are counting on you for work so they can feed their families have no work, no money and are trying to borrow from you just to get by.

Just kidding...but being self employed IS NOT always green pastures...sometimes you get the cow pie!

Gravel Rat
04-01-2006, 12:39 AM
I have a easy rent payment no worries there. The health insurance is through the gov't no worries there. The insurance on the truck will be the most expensive part. The truck payments would probably about 600 or so a month. If I bought a tracked skid steer that maybe a little pricey.

I know contractors with payments in the 10 grand and more a month range.

ksss
04-01-2006, 03:41 PM
I make nearly the same rates here with a tractor trailer. I know very well how the mechanics of it works. I also know that it takes a large percentage of your gross to keep trucks on the road especially vocational trucks. The fuel prices have really been an issue. I would surely get a tandem over an F550 as you said you will never pay for the 550. As long as you know your market what do you have to lose, if you buy the truck right you shouldn't get hurt with it if it doesn't work out.

Gravel Rat
04-01-2006, 04:08 PM
When I started looking at decent low kilometerage F-550 4x4s the prices of them are frigging expensive. A new cab and chassis is 45-46,000 dollars a little too pricey for something that will probably be worn out by the time its paid for.

It is a good size jump going from a F-450 to a tandem but I have worked in the excavation business so I know what I'am getting into.

thepawnshop
04-03-2006, 09:34 PM
So Gr...what have you decided on the mini? Are you still heading in that direction or have you decided on the tandem instead?

Gravel Rat
04-03-2006, 09:52 PM
Still trying which is a wiser choice which will I loose my shirt on a F-550 or tandem. A tandem is easier to get rid of if need be it doesn't depreciate as much more of a market for a tandem. A F-550 is a limited market usually landscapers don't want to spend that much on a truck.

A tracked skid steer would be a good addition to my services you deliver the topsoil and are able to move it around a persons yard. I looked at the prices of a used tracked skid they are a little pricey.

So the other option is a rubber tired skid with a set of McLaren tracks on it I'am not sure how well they work on rough ground. I would need a skid steer that would go over some lumpy rocky ground where the machine won't get high centered. Good stability would be very important nobodys yard is flat so I will encounter off camber and steep grades. Grades where you walk down you shoes would slip.

janb
04-04-2006, 01:51 AM
Still trying which is a wiser choice which will I loose my shirt on a F-550 or tandem. ...

A tracked skid steer would be a good addition ...the prices of a used tracked skid they are a little pricey.

So the other option is a rubber tired skid with a set of McLaren tracks on it I'am not sure how well they work on rough ground. ...Grades where you walk down you shoes would slip.

I am careful where I stick capital that depreciates (usual stick to profit generating machinery) Once you have enough business to support payments, THEN you can buy a truck, otherwise I buy used, and pay a little extra for Maint, and choose to rent when I need something bigger / newer.

probably more depreciation on the 550, and tougher to sell and tougher to buy as a bargain (seems trucking is pretty lucrative in the GWN) :canadaflag: bout 40% of our WA I-5 truck traffic is coming or going your way. and of course cruising the 1 in BC is pretty 'trucky'


There seem to be a lot of used tracked stuff coming up, (~$20k) I would be cautious to stay low on hrs, and not buy a rental unit. With warrantee and low interest financing, tough to beat new. (~$40k) you should have the difference paid off in a couple busy months (when you can't afford to be broken down,,,)

I don't think a conventional skid is worth the 'danger' in your terrain. The tracked ones are SO much stabler on inclines (center of G + track length + width of stance) can't get that in a conventional skid w/ tracks.

There may be other options, depending in your market needs. Maybe a small CTL would be good, and fill a knitch, and you could tow with your current rig (but beware, as they are getting easier to rent, and most people will fall for that at least once) :hammerhead:

Gravel Rat
04-04-2006, 08:24 PM
I never used a regular skid with tracks but the problem with a regular rubber tired skid steer is you running over a rough slope and say on one side the front wheel runs over a decent size rock that is in the ground. The rear tire won't follow over it your stuck.

A machine with tracks will pretty much crawl over the humps and bumps and through the holes.

No one really has a tracked skid yet the one rental shop in the next community has a rental Bobcat CTL forget the size. The local rental shop only has a regular skid steer its not rented as much as it doesn't work good over rougher ground.

I was looking at the Takeuchi website their CTLs look pretty good but the closest dealer for them is in the next Province way too far away. There is Bobcat dealers close but from the reviews here the Bobcat CTLs are junk.

Caterpillar dealer doesn't really deal with small machines you probably can get one through them but they don't stock small equipment. The Cat dealers market is mining.