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View Full Version : Convience factor of owning a tandem?


mrusk
07-20-2008, 01:00 PM
I always here people talk about how owning a tandem itself does not make you money, its the convenience factor of it. What does that mean? What is the convenience factor? Can someone explain.

The guy I bought the 150 from has given me a month to decide if I want to buy his 84' autocar tandem with 425k miles and a 20ton trailer for $20k. He is giving me a package deal price because I bought his excavator. In september he needs to renew registration and insurance on it, so if I do not buy it soon, he can not give me the 'package price".


I figure with some one driving the truck, factoring insurance, reg, and fuel I would need to run 550 loads to break even. This is not including any repairs.

550 loads is about 2 years of deliveries. Its not including haul outs or equipment moves that will cost me $300 a shot.


Right now I have no proablem getting whatever material I need in or out. But guys are telling me when things are booming it could take a day or more to get a truck in. Right now I get loads from the quarry on a hour notice.

I just do not know if I want to be bothered by owning a truck.

AWJ Services
07-20-2008, 01:07 PM
That is a good price.
The trailer is worth a bunch if it is in good shape.
With the size of your jobs I personally think it would be a good investment and if I found a deal like that here I would buy it.
Of course it depends on the condition of the truck and trailer but that is cheap irregardless.

With that excavator and a Tandem it would be nice being able too move dirt out of your way and also move the dirt around the jobs.
Also if you have a lot too store the dirt you now have a way too move it from jobsite too jobsite.
They pay when it is leaving and the next guy pays when it gets brought in.

mrusk
07-20-2008, 01:12 PM
That is a good price.
The trailer is worth a bunch if it is in good shape.
With the size of your jobs I personally think it would be a good investment and if I found a deal like that here I would buy it.
Of course it depends on the condition of the truck and trailer but that is cheap irregardless.

With that excavator and a Tandem it would be nice being able too move dirt out of your way and also move the dirt around the jobs.
Also if you have a lot too store the dirt you now have a way too move it from jobsite too jobsite.
They pay when it is leaving and the next guy pays when it gets brought in.

The truck/trailer are mechanically sound, they really just need some cosmetic work. They both need to be painted. The guy has owned both for around 4 years and sunk some money into the truck. Hes just getting out of the business. The guy lives down the road from me, so if I need repair work done on it, he'll do it resonably. I was not looking to buy a tandem right now, but I would not buy a truck this old that I did not know the history of. Basically if this guy was not offering me this deal on the truck, and I was looking elsewhere, I'd be looking at trucks around 50k and they would take forever to break even on.

ksss
07-20-2008, 01:39 PM
When I was talking about an excavator not being a stand alone piece of equipment, a dump truck is one of those augmenting pieces that need to be in place. If you are going to continue to grow and expand at some point you will need your own truck, but that may not be now.

The convience factor is big for me. Being able to haul in or out on my time schedule. Also when a job hits a hiccup, and you have hired trucks that are now sitting on site that gets expensive. Sending them home delays the project and keeping them on means they are costing money without moving. If your current projects require a lot of truck interaction that would up the consideration of buying, if they don't and your not going to seek any outside work for your 150 you most likely can continue to do as you have done. One last thing I would mention for such a low price it might pay just to buy it, pay it off and have it for when you need it. It is not hard to make 20K pay off.

PSDF350
07-20-2008, 03:40 PM
Means just what you said convenient. It's the convenience of moving that excavtor when you want. It's the convenience of moving dirt when you want. It's the convenience of picking up materials when you want. honesly I don't know why anyone would have an x without a dump.

What motor does the autocar have? What kind of 20 ton trailer is it. What size dump bed? What are the specs ie; rears fronts what the axle ratio? I like the autocars, there built tough. If there in decent shape buy them. Those autocars last forever.

PSDF350
07-20-2008, 03:47 PM
Just to give you an idea of your deal. Here are the ones for sale in my area. NJ only had one for sale. http://www.truckpaper.com/listings/forsale/list.asp?pc=&lat=&lng=&opc=&scf=off&hdnSCFMode=&scfChangeStatus=false&guid=9A381A1BFC764A8D902FF2E3B6F36CF0&bcatid=27&etid=1&ParentCategoryID=207&CatID=217&man=AUTOCAR&mantxt=&mdltxt=&MdlX=Contains&PF=&PT=&YF=&YT=&MileFrom=&MileTo=&Feet=&Inches=&LiftGate=All&EventBD=&EventED=&VIN=&CabType=&Cond=Both&Engine=&HorsePowerMin=&HorsePowerMax=&FrontAxleLbs=&FrontAxleLbsOther=&RearAxleLbs=&RearAxleLbsOther=&Transmission=&SleeperSize=&MaxSleeperSize=&SleeperType=&Suspension=&keywords=&Name=&Cty=&st=Connecticut&st=Maine&st=Massachusetts&st=New+Hampshire&st=Rhode+Island&st=Vermont&LS=&SO=2&GroupSort=&beginsearch=Search

mrusk
07-20-2008, 03:47 PM
Means just what you said convenient. It's the convenience of moving that excavtor when you want. It's the convenience of moving dirt when you want. It's the convenience of picking up materials when you want. honesly I don't know why anyone would have an x without a dump.

What motor does the autocar have? What kind of 20 ton trailer is it. What size dump bed? What are the specs ie; rears fronts what the axle ratio? I like the autocars, there built tough. If there in decent shape buy them. Those autocars last forever.

I'll get some pics of it and the specs of it. It looks ruff, but the guy said he put some money into fixing it up and it has been proablem free for the last 4 years. The #s work out great owning it if it does not break down. One 5k repair bill really changes the #s.

The guy used to have a 95 mack and he says this autocar is a much better truck.

PSDF350
07-20-2008, 03:52 PM
I'll get some pics of it and the specs of it. It looks ruff, but the guy said he put some money into fixing it up and it has been proablem free for the last 4 years. The #s work out great owning it if it does not break down. One 5k repair bill really changes the #s.

The guy used to have a 95 mack and he says this autocar is a much better truck.

Without a doubt. But if properly maintained they really do last. I think/like that autocars are better than mack. Not that macks are bad. I just think that the autocars are by far the toughest truck built.

J. Peterson Grading
07-20-2008, 05:04 PM
You won't regret owning one. I got my first one 3 years ago. Since then I have expanded to owning 3 and looking for a fourth. Its just nice not having to work around the other trucking contractors schedules or paying thier always climbing hourly rates.

I might pay a bit for mine to operate, but its no-where close to what the others are getting. Plus my trucks run for me and me only.

its just a nice convience, Like owning your 150.

J.

mrusk
07-20-2008, 05:17 PM
The 150 is a great convience. Some might say its to big, but it works for my jobs. Some times we might just use it for 1 hour a day for back filling. But that back fill work could not be done by my skid and it would be kind of hard to get a sub to come out for a hour.

I rented before. It sucked to have to pay for a 160 hours of rental a month when you only used 40 hours. But that rental saved you 120 hours!

RockSet N' Grade
07-20-2008, 06:22 PM
I consider trucks a necessary evil, but would prefer not to own if I could get around it. If the times were cookin', owning a truck would be a necessity...yet, as you said you are getting your materials/service within a reasonable time period. I do not know what your business plan is or work load or finances/tax situation but I would prefer to wait on the purchase of a rig, build up cash reserves and give it some time - I am convinced there will be more killer deals on the horizon. Equipment is easy to get in to yet can be very hard to get out of at a reasonable price. Experience some growing pains and wait until you absolutely have to before forging ahead on that front.....

Gravel Rat
07-20-2008, 06:50 PM
I will try it again anyhow one of the local contractors who is a very small operation spent 220,000 last year on trucking. He contracts out all his trucking because he didn't want to buy a tandem. He operates a 19,000lb excavator and does mainly hardscaping and landclearing. He only has one employee that runs a CTL for him.

I was surprised what he paid in trucking when he told me. He said he could have bought a tandem then he said he would have the headache of having another employee.

If you have a machine bigger than what a P/U truck can handle its time to get a tandem. The contractor I meantioned has a single axle and all it does is move the excavator.

A truck needs to have decent power to pull a tag with the machine on it. A truck with 300hp will be sucking wind. Something like a L-10 powered dump its going to struggle with a 160 on a tandem tag. If you have a tridem tag with a 200 sized machine forget it you need minimum 425 hp.

If your in the excavation biz you need a tandem dump no buts about it. If you don't have one you need a really good owner operator that will work with you as a number 1 truck. It is the equipment moves where the truck pays for itself. If you had to contract out a lowbed to come and move you its a easy 500 dollars. A 160 sized machine is so easy to move on a tag you can jump from job to job anytime of the day.

Take for instance you have two jobs going one job has extra fill for the other job your working on so load up the machine take it to the other site haul the material to the other site.

Another situation your working on a job and its running behind and your working sunday afternoon and the machine needs to be on the other job monday morning you have the truck to move it.

A dump truck is a necessary evil and it also helps to have a good driver on it because a bad driver can make a dump truck very expensive.

Example one of the contractors bought himself a truck put a driver on it he drove trucks in a city never offroad. Gets the dump truck offroad he doesn't know how to operate it without tearing up the truck. Long story short the driver did thousands of dollars worth of damage. He broke stuff that I never seen anybody else break before. Lack of experience operating a dump truck you can blow rear ends etc in a blink of a eye.

A driver that isn't watching when going into sites tire damage is a big ching ching. A rock stuffed through the sidewall of a drive tire or a rock between the duals and takes out one or two tires that is a 500-1000 dollar bill or it is here with tires now a 500 each.

If your working in a city enviroment tire damage isn't a big concern especially if its your own site and you keep the access road free of sharp rocks etc.

stuvecorp
07-20-2008, 07:12 PM
I consider trucks a necessary evil, but would prefer not to own if I could get around it.

I have heard that from alot of people. If you can support an excavator then you likely can or should have a rig to move it and a way to move material but it depends how you want your business. I have never wanted to drive truck and always figured if I was to get a truck it would have to be nice to put someone in it. I also am picky about how my rigs look, want nice stuff. Good luck.

mrusk
07-20-2008, 07:21 PM
I will try it again anyhow one of the local contractors who is a very small operation spent 220,000 last year on trucking. He contracts out all his trucking because he didn't want to buy a tandem. He operates a 19,000lb excavator and does mainly hardscaping and landclearing. He only has one employee that runs a CTL for him.

I was surprised what he paid in trucking when he told me. He said he could have bought a tandem then he said he would have the headache of having another employee.

If you have a machine bigger than what a P/U truck can handle its time to get a tandem. The contractor I meantioned has a single axle and all it does is move the excavator.

A truck needs to have decent power to pull a tag with the machine on it. A truck with 300hp will be sucking wind. Something like a L-10 powered dump its going to struggle with a 160 on a tandem tag. If you have a tridem tag with a 200 sized machine forget it you need minimum 425 hp.

If your in the excavation biz you need a tandem dump no buts about it. If you don't have one you need a really good owner operator that will work with you as a number 1 truck. It is the equipment moves where the truck pays for itself. If you had to contract out a lowbed to come and move you its a easy 500 dollars. A 160 sized machine is so easy to move on a tag you can jump from job to job anytime of the day.

Take for instance you have two jobs going one job has extra fill for the other job your working on so load up the machine take it to the other site haul the material to the other site.

Another situation your working on a job and its running behind and your working sunday afternoon and the machine needs to be on the other job monday morning you have the truck to move it.

A dump truck is a necessary evil and it also helps to have a good driver on it because a bad driver can make a dump truck very expensive.

Example one of the contractors bought himself a truck put a driver on it he drove trucks in a city never offroad. Gets the dump truck offroad he doesn't know how to operate it without tearing up the truck. Long story short the driver did thousands of dollars worth of damage. He broke stuff that I never seen anybody else break before. Lack of experience operating a dump truck you can blow rear ends etc in a blink of a eye.

A driver that isn't watching when going into sites tire damage is a big ching ching. A rock stuffed through the sidewall of a drive tire or a rock between the duals and takes out one or two tires that is a 500-1000 dollar bill or it is here with tires now a 500 each.

If your working in a city enviroment tire damage isn't a big concern especially if its your own site and you keep the access road free of sharp rocks etc.


Gravel Rat,

What do you think about Autocars and older trucks in general?


I know I need a good driver. I really don't want to go and get my CDL. I currently have a ad in the paper for a operator/driver. If I find a decent person, that could effect my decision on this truck.


Basically I see the benifit of owning a truck, but at the same time I understand that I can operate fine right now without one. Its the cheap price that has me interested.

Gravel Rat
07-20-2008, 07:34 PM
Whats wrong with truck driving you can grow a nice pot belly and wear ripped sweat pants :laugh:

Like I said you need a guy experienced with dump trucks because you can have some problems.

One thing I forgot to meantion was rollovers it doesn't take much and a dump truck can be on its side.

mrusk
07-20-2008, 07:37 PM
Whats wrong with truck driving you can grow a nice pot belly and wear ripped sweat pants :laugh:

Like I said you need a guy experienced with dump trucks because you can have some problems.

One thing I forgot to meantion was rollovers it doesn't take much and a dump truck can be on its side.

I do not want to drive a truck because I am trying to do everything I can to have my jobs and crews flow without me being involved.

Gravel Rat
07-20-2008, 07:53 PM
Autocars are a tough old truck not many of them around here but they are okay. Older trucks are good if they are in good shape to start with. If your not production hauling a older truck can last you for years.

I think the big problem down the road will be the emmision laws it really hasn't started here but in places like Vancouver the smoke watch patrol is started.

The DOT is looking for trucks that smoke heavy. With a Cat powered truck how are you supposed to prevent black smoke they burn like coal. The older Cummins belch blue.

I would shy away from the 70s trucks get something in the 80s early 90s.

The Cummins 400 Big cam III is good the 3406B Cat is good the 3406C Cat is bad and the 444 Cummins isn't good. The L-10 Cummins is okay they can have head problems. The 3306 Cat is good. Any 2 stroke detroit you want to stay away from.

Macks are more common on the East Coast but trying to find a older one with enough horespower to pull a tag trailer is a problem.

Trucks that are easy to get parts for is a big plus because your always in need of a parts supply. Get those older odd ball trucks then parts availability is tough.

What ever you choose make sure it has heavy enough specs. There is lots of lightly spec'ed tandems out there that are not good.

Rear axles less than 44,000lb isn't good for a dump unless they are Mack 38s. Transmissions like 10spds not good they have too wide of steps. Depending on your area air ride trucks are not that great. The truck doesn't necessaryl need a double frame a heavy single frame or frame with inserts is fine. There are many logging trucks running 3/8s frame and no problems.

Gearing some of those old truck run gear ratios over 5 to 1 way too low for any highway speed. The older trucks sometimes run SQHD rockwells they look like a Mack toploader axle but they are not. They run a brass ring gear and prone for problems. A truck with 58,000lb rears is overkill the truck usually doesn't have enough power to even spin the wheels.

Good Luck on the search