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paponte
10-03-2006, 09:46 PM
Wow, been talking to alot of hardscape guys around here and they're all saying the same thing. Seems like the bottom just dropped out. Got a couple of "one dayers", but seems no one is spending anymore for the season. How's everyone else doing? :confused:

ACutAbovesiny
10-03-2006, 09:57 PM
Just finished up a small planting job...new beds, multiple teirs, and rocks. Nuthing else lined up though.

GreenMonster
10-03-2006, 10:21 PM
Not a lot of new calls anymore, but it's kinda expected at this point. We're about booked for the year, so we can't really take any new biz until next year anyways.

mbella
10-03-2006, 10:26 PM
Not a lot of new calls anymore, but it's kinda expected at this point. We're about booked for the year, so we can't really take any new biz until next year anyways.

Ditto on the "can't really take any new biz until next year" part. However, I expected more calls than we are currently receiving. I feel lucky that I booked out early because there isn't jack coming in right now.

paponte
10-04-2006, 06:22 AM
Not a lot of new calls anymore, but it's kinda expected at this point.

Yeah I hear that. I can honestly say this is the slowest October I can ever remember. Normally we are busy through November, no problem. Even if people aren't booking for now, I still keep busy and am normally doing estimates for the spring. Just seems it dried up alot earlier this year.

Ah, I guess all we can do is thank God we were busy for the rest of the season. I will most likely be throwing my hardscape guys on the cleanup crew this season. Gotta keep everyone working till December. :)

Green-Pro
10-04-2006, 07:09 AM
Busy enough to finish the season out. Have started scheduling for next season also.

YardPro
10-04-2006, 07:58 AM
work is still rolling in here. but this is normally the time of year when it slows...

mrusk
10-04-2006, 07:21 PM
I'm booked for the rest of the year. But its just me and 1 helper. I am in the homestreak on a big job, then i have 2 smalll 175sq ft walkways (with alot of detailed cuts and curves) then a big 3-4 week paver/bluestone job to finsh up my year right around thanksgiving.

I haven't advertisied since june, so the phone has been pretty dead. I like it that way, i actually get work done since i am not running around on estimates all day.


Matt

landscapingpoolguy
10-05-2006, 08:09 PM
My phone rings constantly...... Booked through winter but I squeeze in jobs when and where I can. Local advertising and word of mouth have me swamped.

tthomass
10-05-2006, 08:38 PM
In the summer when everyone else was slow I was busy, now its busy season and things slowed up..........I went from a 2 day to a 2 week backlog over the weekend and now am pushing 3 weeks...........comes and goes.

Luckily I've got a solid 1-2weeks of tree removal (clearing a field) in January. Currently working on selling a terrace job with what I would guess 300' of masonry walls to do in Nov/Dec

Drafto
10-05-2006, 08:57 PM
I haven't advertised since March. I run one crew which I am on, booked solid all season. I have lost a few bids down the stretch here that would have put me up until the end of the season I have enough small stuff to keep going. It only takes one call to push you up until the end so we will see.

What I have seen this year is a lot of promise for next year, current customers are already talking about the spring so it is looking good for now..........knock on wood.

Biggest problem right now is I am iching it get a dump truck but I am afraid I would be cutting my face off heading into the winter.

Dan

mrusk
10-05-2006, 09:18 PM
I have stayed 6 weeks out all year long. I swear if it wasn't for the rain i would of been at 3 weeks out all season!!!

I'm just happy i have enough work for me and my helper. last year i'd do a walkway and have nothing for a week or two.

BTW i haven't advertised since June. I spent 4th of july through labor at one job which kind of killed my whole summer.

Drafto- What size dump are you looking at?

Matt

mbella
10-05-2006, 09:22 PM
I haven't advertised since March. I run one crew which I am on, booked solid all season. I have lost a few bids down the stretch here that would have put me up until the end of the season I have enough small stuff to keep going. It only takes one call to push you up until the end so we will see.

What I have seen this year is a lot of promise for next year, current customers are already talking about the spring so it is looking good for now..........knock on wood.

Biggest problem right now is I am iching it get a dump truck but I am afraid I would be cutting my face off heading into the winter.

Dan

Wait until you know for sure what your tax liability, if any, will be for this year. In December, if you need the write off, buy one. If not, don't.

Drafto
10-05-2006, 09:27 PM
Drafto- What size dump are you looking at?

Matt[/QUOTE]

If the price is right any size. I am really weighing my options to make the best decision. I love ETWMans (Jarod's) FL-70 set up, and after doing some research for $28,000 I could have a set-up like his minus a few bodies I don't need yet. I have been looking at some 350's 450's but they are in the same price range as getting the Fl-70 set-up. If I could get a nice f-4 or 550 for the right price I would go for it. Dump pricing is a funny thing, I mean I have seen some 1995-1997 F-350 and Dodge 3500's (all Diesels of course) going for $15-$19,000????

Dan

GreenMonster
10-05-2006, 10:12 PM
If the price is right any size. I am really weighing my options to make the best decision. I love ETWMans (Jarod's) FL-70 set up, and after doing some research for $28,000 I could have a set-up like his minus a few bodies I don't need yet. I have been looking at some 350's 450's but they are in the same price range as getting the Fl-70 set-up. If I could get a nice f-4 or 550 for the right price I would go for it. Dump pricing is a funny thing, I mean I have seen some 1995-1997 F-350 and Dodge 3500's (all Diesels of course) going for $15-$19,000????

Dan

Dan, don't waste your money on an F-350. Legally, you can't put enough gravel in it to fix a pothole. Unless it's one of several trucks in your fleet for mulch or plant material, the one ton dump just isn't big enough for hardscaping.

mbella
10-05-2006, 10:23 PM
Dan, don't waste your money on an F-350. Legally, you can't put enough gravel in it to fix a pothole. Unless it's one of several trucks in your fleet for mulch or plant material, the one ton dump just isn't big enough for hardscaping.

I agree.

I have most materials delivered, but just in case, I have a 550 dedicated to hardscaping. In my opinion, a truck in that class is ideal.

GreenMonster
10-05-2006, 10:26 PM
I agree.

I have most materials delivered, but just in case, I have a 550 dedicated to hardscaping. In my opinion, a truck in that class is ideal.

Mike, I'm thinking of trading my 350 for a 550 -- like you said, once I determine my tax burden.

What's the GVW?

mbella
10-05-2006, 10:33 PM
Mike, I'm thinking of trading my 350 for a 550 -- like you said, once I determine my tax burden.

What's the GVW?

My 550 is a 2005 and has a GVW of 19,000. It has the GVW upgrade.

DVS Hardscaper
10-06-2006, 08:52 AM
A 19,000 GVW aint squat in terms of full fledged hardscapin.That equals zero payload. And payload is very important.

Either go 26000 GVW or a 1 ton pick up with a 6 ton dump trailer.

Truthfully? An Isuzu or a Mits cabover offers higher payload than Ford or GM. Want a good work truck? Get a Mits.




gettin Back on topic:

I'm hearing that the NY area has been hit the hardest with a slow down in work.

On the otherhand, I know guys in CA that are bursting at the seems with high dollar ($250K) jobs.

We were swamped this spring and I was inflating the costs and still selling left and right.

Then all of a sudden in late July / August work bottomed out. It took me about 10-14 days to realize what was going on. A friend of mine is building a home so I talked him into letting us do the excavating work to carry us over. Then I remembered someone else told me last Oct that they wanted us to do some site work at their place, so I called him and got the ball rolling.

Which in the interium, and with some assistance of a supplier, I have been able to sell a good bit of hardscape work, which with our sold jobs that we havent started yet and a few still pending I think we'll be set to finish the year, and possibly book up a few weeks for next year.

Sometimes these things happen.

Patios are luxuries (sp) just as boat and motocycle sales. When the average consumers money gets tight - we're ALWAYS the 1st to feel it. This is when offering maintenance services is an invaluable benefit.

mrusk
10-06-2006, 07:29 PM
On the subjects of trucks: I think most companys that know there bottom line have most materials deliveryed, unless they are so big and have dedicated drivers.


So a hardscape truck is basically needed to bring the men, tools, and equipment to the job. Then pickup an extra yard or two or stone or sand and maybe some extra pavers. And to haul off the extra material/spoils at the end of the job.

I think a 550 size truck fits the bill perfect. The only think is they are 45k new and i can buy a sweet international for alittle more.

I think this post is just me thinking out loud. I proably made no sense.

Matt

GreenMonster
10-06-2006, 08:32 PM
Actually Matt, I think you hit the nail on the head.
Like you said, most jobs require a tri-axle for agg deliveries, but it is handy to have a 17k-19K GVWR for a little stone, gravel, sand or spoils to handle on your own.


On the subjects of trucks: I think most companys that know there bottom line have most materials deliveryed, unless they are so big and have dedicated drivers.


So a hardscape truck is basically needed to bring the men, tools, and equipment to the job. Then pickup an extra yard or two or stone or sand and maybe some extra pavers. And to haul off the extra material/spoils at the end of the job.

I think a 550 size truck fits the bill perfect. The only think is they are 45k new and i can buy a sweet international for alittle more.

I think this post is just me thinking out loud. I proably made no sense.

Matt

mbella
10-06-2006, 08:41 PM
A 19,000 GVW aint squat in terms of full fledged hardscapin.That equals zero payload. And payload is very important.

Either go 26000 GVW or a 1 ton pick up with a 6 ton dump trailer.

Truthfully? An Isuzu or a Mits cabover offers higher payload than Ford or GM. Want a good work truck? Get a Mits.




gettin Back on topic:

I'm hearing that the NY area has been hit the hardest with a slow down in work.

On the otherhand, I know guys in CA that are bursting at the seems with high dollar ($250K) jobs.

We were swamped this spring and I was inflating the costs and still selling left and right.

Then all of a sudden in late July / August work bottomed out. It took me about 10-14 days to realize what was going on. A friend of mine is building a home so I talked him into letting us do the excavating work to carry us over. Then I remembered someone else told me last Oct that they wanted us to do some site work at their place, so I called him and got the ball rolling.

Which in the interium, and with some assistance of a supplier, I have been able to sell a good bit of hardscape work, which with our sold jobs that we havent started yet and a few still pending I think we'll be set to finish the year, and possibly book up a few weeks for next year.

Sometimes these things happen.

Patios are luxuries (sp) just as boat and motocycle sales. When the average consumers money gets tight - we're ALWAYS the 1st to feel it. This is when offering maintenance services is an invaluable benefit.

It's all you need if you're in the paver/block business and not in the trucking business.

mrusk
10-06-2006, 09:11 PM
I'm proably going to look for a international 4700 or a freightliner fl70 cb and chasis and put a lpack on it and a 12 ft dump bed and be done with it. 25995 gvw so anyone can drive it. Should be able to get set up with a decent truck for 25-30k. I just can't see spending 45k on a 550 that will not last as long as a international.

Hell i doubt a 4700 is physically any bigger of a truck then a f550 if the bodies or comparable size.

K think a flat bed with removeable sides or a dump body with fold down size would be ideal. You want something with sides low enough to load with a skid steer easily.

Matt

DVS Hardscaper
10-06-2006, 10:00 PM
It's all you need if you're in the paver/block business and not in the trucking business.


Not really.

You do not need much of a truck for gettin the material to the job. Thats the supplier's job.

Where a larger truck comes in handy is when you finish a job and have equipment, tools, spoils, and left over material to haul away.

Naturally one tries to remove the unnecessary tools, equipment, spoils, and materials as the work progresses. But reality is - it doesnt happen that way. If its a small job, you dont have enough days to haul things away as the work progresses. The larger payload is needed more towards the end of the project. Not really needed at the beginning.

mbella
10-06-2006, 10:26 PM
Not really.

You do not need much of a truck for gettin the material to the job. Thats the supplier's job.

Where a larger truck comes in handy is when you finish a job and have equipment, tools, spoils, and left over material to haul away.

Naturally one tries to remove the unnecessary tools, equipment, spoils, and materials as the work progresses. But reality is - it doesnt happen that way. If its a small job, you dont have enough days to haul things away as the work progresses. The larger payload is needed more towards the end of the project. Not really needed at the beginning.

I'm sure we operate differently, so here's how we typically do it: 90% of the time, I have a sub that excavates and removes spoils that need to be removed. Also, he moves my skid steers if needed.

Base aggregate, other materials are delivered. Crew shows up with 550 and enclosed trailer with all tools. Crew does the installation. If we are short one or four tons of material, crew uses 550 to go get it, or I go get 550 and run it to them. We finish job and crew leaves with extra material, spoils, etc. and hardscape trailer.

I can't imagine having so much material left over on a small job that I couldn't get it onto our truck.

Mike33
10-07-2006, 12:08 AM
I like to work until thanksgiving and this year weather permitting i will be able to do that. Im trying to keep schedule and get everyone done for season but a little bad luck with rain and my bobcat broke down until next tues. it will be tough to keep every thing in line. I have had a great year very busy with good work. Some thing to be thank ful of in todays world. Im actually looking forward to closing down for winter and doing some hunting.
Mike

mrusk
10-07-2006, 07:48 AM
mbella- You sub out all excavation? Even for a 250 sq ft walkway?

Matt

mbella
10-07-2006, 08:47 AM
mbella- You sub out all excavation? Even for a 250 sq ft walkway?

Matt

I sub out all of the excavation that I am able. Yes, even for a small job like a 250 sq. ft. walkway.

forestfireguy
10-07-2006, 03:01 PM
We are slowerr that we'd like to be now, we have work but not the juicy stuff we've been doing. Bids are going out but not being returned as fast as they had been in the last few months, soon we'll have to put work off until spring as snow money time is approaching pretty fast. We have lots of prep work to do to be ready for the white stuff, setting up onsite salt bins, going over trucks and plows and loaders and boxes and salters and mixing salt. Hate to be caught with my pants down if we gat an early snow.

paponte
10-08-2006, 09:58 PM
Hey Matt, let me know if your serious about a truck. If your in No. NJ, I have a guy right over the border in PA. I have an FL70 hooklift I just picked up from them recently. Similar truck to Jarod's, but stubbier for tight sights. I can carry 12'-14' bodies on it no problem. As far as GVW in trucks we have 19k and 26k for construction. Some jobs are too much for even the FL70, but I'm not dropping $130k+ on a tandem anytime soon we'll just hire for the day as needed. I'll have to take some pictures of the truck and post them. I must say I choose the FL over the international because of the HP, and the hooklift system that was on it. :)

mrusk
10-08-2006, 10:13 PM
paponte- PM me the info on your truck guy.

Matt