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View Full Version : Whos knows about trucking


Jpocket
05-21-2006, 03:19 PM
Thinking of buying a triaxle, to haul with/for a friend of mine. I've been around trucks and equipment all my life but never owned one. Can someone share some of the in and outs of it with me?

ksss
05-21-2006, 04:30 PM
I'll tell you what I have learned. We run a tandem dump truck and a side dump tractor trailer. We have run with the large heavy construction guys with the side dump. The weekly checks are large and misleading. Overhead in running for the construction trucking industry is large. Fuel use is higher than over the road trucks. Upkeep is higher. After it all sorts out the profit margins are very narrow. Replace a tranny or add an over haul into the mix and your truckin for free for a long time. I have quite trucking for anyone but me. I have learned that trucks are a necessary evil but certainly are not a big money maker. Your mileage may be different.

2004F550
05-21-2006, 04:34 PM
^^^ What he said...we have 5 triaxles, some S/A's and some tractor/ lowbeds and thats all they are...neccessary evil. We don't truck for anyone because their is always someone that will do it cheaper...we have trucks purely for ourselves because we need to deliver material and move equipment....between rebuilds and tire, fuel and bad drivers trucking in this area anyway really sucks

AintNoFun
05-21-2006, 05:01 PM
my cousin has about 20 tri axles. he hates them and complains about them daily. he says there is no money in trucking and within the next few years he'll be selling them all. everyone i talk to is in the same boat and hates trucks. one of my customers has one of the biggest asphalt companies in nj, im talking huge and they only own about 10 tri axles because its to much of a loser for them...

jazak
05-21-2006, 05:11 PM
my cousin has about 20 tri axles. he hates them and complains about them daily. he says there is no money in trucking and within the next few years he'll be selling them all. everyone i talk to is in the same boat and hates trucks. one of my customers has one of the biggest asphalt companies in nj, im talking huge and they only own about 10 tri axles because its to much of a loser for them...


What is the name of the company.

Gravel Rat
05-21-2006, 07:58 PM
When I crunched the numbers for a tandem axle dump its a borderline profit not even worth it. If your in the excavation bus you need a dump but to be a independant truck and thats all you do it will drain your wallet faster than a money hungry women.

I'am sticking with a small truck (F-450) and do the landscaping work I make more money cutting bush and cleaning up yards than I would hauling with a tandem axle dump.

You think of it this way its almost 4000 dollars a year for tires :dizzy:

You blow a transmission there goes another 5000 dollars you need to replace the clutch another 2000. Push the engine too hard needs a inframe there goes another 10,000 dollars.

When I did my number crunching one blown drive tire takes a good chunk out of the days profit.

Jpocket
05-21-2006, 08:17 PM
As ou guys can see im looking for a way out of the lawns/landscape biz...can't take it anymore. trucking doesn't look real promising either. But then again what is nowadays? Im not about to go get a job somewhere and become an "average Joe".

Gravel Rat
05-21-2006, 08:37 PM
Move to the Pacific Northwest and join Scag and his Dad you can learn the excavation business.

ksss
05-21-2006, 09:22 PM
I certainly wouldn't go into trucking. If you specialize with like a rock slinger truck or batch mix concrete truck or something niche like, maybe that would be profitable. Just running a triax, will just keep you broke. IMHO

Jpocket
05-21-2006, 09:26 PM
I certainly wouldn't go into trucking. If you specialize with like a rock slinger truck or batch mix concrete truck or something niche like, maybe that would be profitable. Just running a triax, will just keep you broke. IMHO


Yea that what they tell me. My friend also does builders supply hauling: sand, brick, stone, etc. I guess thats what keeps them from going broke.

DJ Contracting
05-21-2006, 10:48 PM
Been Trucking for 10 years now and sold all my trucks last year. I ended up buying a tandem for my digging portion of my business and sub it out hauling asphalt three or four days a week you can bet that you'll put 2/3 of all gross income back into the trucking.

murray83
05-22-2006, 10:41 AM
trucking?;) quickly run away from that idea.

the rates around here are single axle $40/45 an hour and a tandem gets about $50 if he's lucky...as gravel rat said wanna blow a tire on our rates :(

if i ran my own excavating firm i'd sub out my trucking work let others take the loss i couldn't afford to run any dump honestly but if i had to with a dump it would be the single axle. i'd even hire others to float my excavator from job to job.it was drilled into my head as a kid..there is no money in trucking...its just the cost of doing buisness.

Scag48
05-22-2006, 01:22 PM
Jump into excavation, that's what we did. Sounds like in 2 years we will be completely phased out of landscaping entirely. Tired of low margins, griping and cheap customers, the competition isn't bad, but dealing with some customers is more than we can bear. We have to buy a triaxle next year, not really looking forward to it, but being in the excavation business we need one to support the business. We won't be trucking for anyone but ourselves, very little money can be made trucking for others. A bunch of guys around here have told me never to haul for hire and it's true, there's just too many guys out there with dumps willing to run for less.

mrusk
05-23-2006, 08:38 PM
Scag- Are you guys making more excavating than landscaping?? And when are you going to break away from dad??!

Matt

Scag48
05-23-2006, 09:29 PM
We're making a TON more money excavating. Dad is basically getting this business going and I'll buy it from him when I'm out of college. He's going to get out of landscaping all together in less than 2 years, he realizes the potential for big iron. The rest of the guys in town here are in their 50's in the excavation business with nobody coming up to fill their places. That's why I think I have an advantage, I started young enough, and I'm still young. I come from a generation of "techies" and I like to run the latest and greatest because I feel at the end of the day I get more work done at the same cost. Simply by running laser equipment mounted to your machines you can reduce costs and hassles of employees. It takes that kind of mentality to compete anymore and the older guys in the business just don't have that kind of vision. That's where I plan to succeed, not by lowballing or doing shoddy work, but by playing the game on a higher level of professionalism that doesn't exist in my area.

With all that said, we've "made it" in the landscaping business. We have to turn down work, we're scheduled 3-4 months out. The problem is that even though we're picking what jobs we take, none of them are high margin. Labor costs are out of control, nobody wants to work anymore. We have to pay our ground labor guys at least $8.50 an hour out here and then they still want to complain about the pay. Everyone wants something for nothing. We're to the point now we don't bid irrigation systems, we install irrigation on our full landscape jobs, but we get about 7-8 calls a week to do $2-4K irrigation jobs that eat up time and are real headaches. The real problem with irrigation is that everyone wants you to drop what you're doing and go out and start up their systems every spring, blow out the lines in the winter (which we do) and basically baby-sit their property. Our market is starting to get filled with people who "think" they are high rollers, but when the bill comes around, they b!tch and moan about it. At this point, my dad is 54, he's not really doing it for the money. We got into the landscaping business after he was unemployed for 2 years after being laid off of a 25 year sales position that was producing 6 figures. He could have retired, but he was brought up to work, not play, and I'm the same way. As it stands, the landscaping business makes money, but there's alot of hassles. My dad doesn't need the money, doesn't need to be making huge margins to keep food on the table so the only reason he's still working is to keep himself entertained and make a little coin while he's at it. But these days, the headaches and basically moronic customers are driving him nuts on the landscaping side of things. He's just wondering why he even bothers with it if there's no need to even go to work everyday. Now he's realized that with the excavation side of things, you still have customers to deal with but most are contractors who are pretty low key and have played the game themselves, not lunatics who think they own you. We have landscape customers, some we installed last year or a year before, that freak out when the temperatures start getting a little warm. They expect you to stop what you're doing, drive to their house and start up their irrigation system that's as easy as turning the control box on, but don't want to pay the $65 an hour, they want it for free. We get alot of customers that you'll place an estimate for a job, contract for the total price, and then they'll try to get us to do extra stuff on our dime. I was out on a site one day levelling a lawn for a customer and he asked if I'd move 20-30 yards of dirt outside the contract to another part of his property when I had time, as if he wanted me to do it for nothing.

I realize that was crazy long, but I hope you can understand why we're trying to get out of the landscaping deal. We just bid a large commercial landscaping job a couple days ago for $38K, the manager called us back and said "well, I need it to be somewhere around $25K" Needless to say we haven't given a response, just going to let them hang out to dry. Everyone expects something for nothing and that's why we're on our way out.

So now you know why I asked if you were going to do contract work with that new skid steer. Personally, I love going to work everyday and just getting in the machine, turning the tunes on and just go to work.

mastercraft
05-23-2006, 10:26 PM
My experience has been that I have no problem getting paid by homeowners for work that was done well. Contractors and smaller homebuilders are all looking for ways to get out of paying you, as well as trying to get you to work for free. Usually the problems start at the end of the job, and cover the final invoice-they don't need you anymore. So then it's put a lien on the house, or off to small claims court you go. A few words of advice, never work without a signed contract, take lots of pictures of every step of the job, and never do anything you don't feel comfortable with, or think is wrong-no matter what the contractor says at the time-it will cost you later! Residential excavation is pretty much all that I do, and there are always problems.

Scag48
05-23-2006, 11:06 PM
We've threatened to lien 4 properties in the last year. Collections is no fun but is still part of the business.

janb
05-24-2006, 01:49 AM
As ou guys can see im looking for a way out of the lawns/landscape biz...can't take it anymore....

whatever it is, "specialize" if it is your own business (i.e., if excavation, find a niche, my neighbor does very well 'tunneling' (full size utilities ~3-4' Dia). and specialized rock layers / asphalt / curbs do well. There are some newer methods for concrete printing and finishing that look promising.

I'd consider 'Green' building / energy efficiency (LEEDS certification)

If you have enough capital... Buying trashed 'unique' rural props, (view/commercial) and spiff to sell, seems to work best for me ($$ return / time and $$ invested)-(property only, not remodeling the home... too much time/$$ required) You definately want to buy something you can turn quickly, and have little competition. A good thing that turns fast is a trashed mobile, replace with a 'repo' modular. Or just remove and clean up and re-sell as building lot. I have also removed mobile and added a shop with apartment, (fast) so someone can come in and do their own home.

I am reducing time spent working for customers, and spending more on my own props. If you get owner financing you can get in for 20% dn. (can do that with a home equity loan) Add a clause to buy 'yourself + and/or assigns' and get permission to enter and clean as soon as you are certain deal will close, then if you are quick and well planned, you might sell your interest before closing. (no money out) Do the earnest money with a personal note.

of course with the capital gains exclusions on primary residences, ($500k tax-free every two years if married) no one really needs a job in a population growth area. Try to find something that has 'future shopping center potential'. Or you can split sites / homes off of original home site, and don't exceed $500k every 2 yrs. *works best with a residence that is turning to commercial use zoning. (look for old dairy farms on freeways:) )