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View Full Version : Running maintenance company out of a dump


unkownfl
02-21-2012, 08:33 PM
I've been looking at setups for a few weeks lately and came to the conclusion I need a dump trailer and regular trailer unless I go with a dump truck. I've been looking over the net and have found a few dumps with 8x10 beds which I could park my mowers side by side and have 5x8 ft of storage for debris while using the mowers. I will mount under body tool boxes for equipment parts, tools, straps etc. This will give me a relative compact truck combo for mowing and be able to do other bigger jobs without using any trailers. I plan on using a f450/550 regular cab chassis with the dump box. I figure fuel will be about even since I won't have a trailer and the added dump body is about the same weight of a trailer minus the friction of the extra tandem tires on the road and increase drag of an enclosed trailer. I will save tons by not having to store two trailers and a truck. What do you guys think for a mostly mow and go operation in FL but we also do about 20% of our revenue in bigger hardscape/sod jobs. I plan on building a detachable two section ramp for the mowers and a wood drop in back for the dump box that can be moved from the 5x8 position to the full box position. I can fabricate anything I could need in house myself so if I need to adopt. The only downfall I see is having to walk up and down the ramp to grab each piece of handheld equipment. I was thinking of under mounting one edger, line trimmer, and blower. Then I would mount a rack in the back for backup equipment.

Landscape Poet
02-21-2012, 10:34 PM
I've been looking at setups for a few weeks lately and came to the conclusion I need a dump trailer and regular trailer unless I go with a dump truck. I've been looking over the net and have found a few dumps with 8x10 beds which I could park my mowers side by side and have 5x8 ft of storage for debris while using the mowers. I will mount under body tool boxes for equipment parts, tools, straps etc. This will give me a relative compact truck combo for mowing and be able to do other bigger jobs without using any trailers. I plan on using a f450/550 regular cab chassis with the dump box. I figure fuel will be about even since I won't have a trailer and the added dump body is about the same weight of a trailer minus the friction of the extra tandem tires on the road and increase drag of an enclosed trailer. I will save tons by not having to store two trailers and a truck. What do you guys think for a mostly mow and go operation in FL but we also do about 20% of our revenue in bigger hardscape/sod jobs. I plan on building a detachable two section ramp for the mowers and a wood drop in back for the dump box that can be moved from the 5x8 position to the full box position. I can fabricate anything I could need in house myself so if I need to adopt. The only downfall I see is having to walk up and down the ramp to grab each piece of handheld equipment. I was thinking of under mounting one edger, line trimmer, and blower. Then I would mount a rack in the back for backup equipment.


My issue with Dumps has always been the added weight and the fuel consumption and wear and tear that has. Sounds like you have that figured out but fuel consistently going up year after year I do not see myself going bigger and stronger but rather smaller and lighter.

jvanvliet
02-22-2012, 06:40 AM
I've been looking at setups for a few weeks lately and came to the conclusion I need a dump trailer and regular trailer unless I go with a dump truck. I've been looking over the net and have found a few dumps with 8x10 beds which I could park my mowers side by side and have 5x8 ft of storage for debris while using the mowers. I will mount under body tool boxes for equipment parts, tools, straps etc. This will give me a relative compact truck combo for mowing and be able to do other bigger jobs without using any trailers. I plan on using a f450/550 regular cab chassis with the dump box. I figure fuel will be about even since I won't have a trailer and the added dump body is about the same weight of a trailer minus the friction of the extra tandem tires on the road and increase drag of an enclosed trailer. I will save tons by not having to store two trailers and a truck. What do you guys think for a mostly mow and go operation in FL but we also do about 20% of our revenue in bigger hardscape/sod jobs. I plan on building a detachable two section ramp for the mowers and a wood drop in back for the dump box that can be moved from the 5x8 position to the full box position. I can fabricate anything I could need in house myself so if I need to adopt. The only downfall I see is having to walk up and down the ramp to grab each piece of handheld equipment. I was thinking of under mounting one edger, line trimmer, and blower. Then I would mount a rack in the back for backup equipment.

Little confusing on the space available for machines, is 5x8 enough? I see dump rigs and trailer all the time, GM makes a nice unit and Isuzu has one too.

Have a buddy that converted a box truck, the ramp is pretty steep. I'd be uncomfotable with it.

Ric
02-22-2012, 08:31 AM
.


Unknown

I have been there and done the Dump Trailer and didn't like it. A landscape Dump Truck pulling an enclosed trailer has worked 100% better than a dump trailer IMHO.



.

fl-landscapes
02-22-2012, 09:27 AM
My issue with Dumps has always been the added weight and the fuel consumption and wear and tear that has. Sounds like you have that figured out but fuel consistently going up year after year I do not see myself going bigger and stronger but rather smaller and lighter.

Smaller and lighter can actually cost you more. Making multiple dump trips cost you fuel and time, lighter vehicles don't handle hauling weight well and will break down faster. Not saying either is right or wrong just saying smaller doesn't always mean less fuel and or less cost for landscaping.

fl-landscapes
02-22-2012, 09:29 AM
.


Unknown

I have been there and done the Dump Trailer and didn't like it. A landscape Dump Truck pulling an enclosed trailer has worked 100% better than a dump trailer IMHO.



.

Around here when it's raining like crazy, I see dump trailers all the time jack knifing and stuck at the landfill. Dump trailers full are horrible in soft muddy conditions atbthe landfill reversing

unkownfl
02-22-2012, 09:48 AM
Little confusing on the space available for machines, is 5x8 enough? I see dump rigs and trailer all the time, GM makes a nice unit and Isuzu has one too.

Have a buddy that converted a box truck, the ramp is pretty steep. I'd be uncomfotable with it.

I will have to add a foot onto the bed across for a small dovetail in order to fit the walk-behind and correct the angle. I will be making a 10ft gate with lift and detachable pins to unhook the lift assist. I'm going to look at a 12ft flatbed instead and make it into a dump so I can have even more room and be able to carry more material too. I'm pretty set on going with the dump because I can advertise no matter what down the side unlike an open trailer. By the time I by a regular truck/trailer/dump trailer I would be close to 10-12k for pretty used stuff. I can by a decent flatbed for 7k another 2k in mods and save on maintenance on two trailers and storage. Gas isn't a big issue I still have my f150 for estimates and I only drive <200 miles to complete my route in a week. 25 gallons is what I figure and I'd be using a gas truck not a diesel hence the poor mileage. I could save 200-300 a month in just storage fees alone. I know as I get bigger it will be inevitable to save on shop/storage fees.

Landscape Poet
02-22-2012, 06:19 PM
Smaller and lighter can actually cost you more. Making multiple dump trips cost you fuel and time, lighter vehicles don't handle hauling weight well and will break down faster. Not saying either is right or wrong just saying smaller doesn't always mean less fuel and or less cost for landscaping.

FL,

This could be true for someone like you that is doing installs, topdressing, verticutting and of course large commercial mulch jobs...but for most of us simple lawn turds...light matters for getting the mowers from point a to point b.

unkownfl
02-22-2012, 06:36 PM
FL,

This could be true for someone like you that is doing installs, topdressing, verticutting and of course large commercial mulch jobs...but for most of us simple lawn turds...light matters for getting the mowers from point a to point b.

What kind of mileage are you getting on average with your setup?

Landscape Poet
02-22-2012, 07:08 PM
What kind of mileage are you getting on average with your setup?

Between 13 an 16 depending on factors like traffic flow and the route for the day.

Landscape Poet
02-22-2012, 07:37 PM
What kind of mileage are you getting on average with your setup? What kind of mileage are you expecting to get with your new setup? I am interested as we have two large controllable cost in our industry that effect our bottom line dramatically and that is labor and fuel, so if the potential to have more room while saving is there I am all for it.

unkownfl
02-22-2012, 08:12 PM
I assume I'll get around 8mpg. I'll save in maintenance on the trailer as mine is tandem and I go through $500 in tires every year alone on that stupid thing. Tire scrub sucks turning on the tandems. Also, I only currently get around 9-10 mpg my computer says 12.5 but it lies. 2010 f150 supercab 4.6 3 valve. I know I'm going to spend more in fuel but in my situation I've out grown one do it all trailer into needing a dump and hauling a dump behind my little f150 every day would really suck. That brings out the need for a mowing trailer and a dump trailer. I could kill both birds with a small dump truck. Also, this frees up my f150 to do estimates and I could in theory have two guys mow a few lawns and drive the other truck while I run and do a few estimates and catch up later on. Then there is the situation where to park the extra trailer so reoccurring storage fees come into play. I can fit a dump truck into my shop beside my house. I would have to leave one trailer out and this could become a loss from theft or to the eliminates.

MR-G
02-22-2012, 08:53 PM
If you are just doing basic lawn care ( mow,trim,edge,blowdown, and a little hedging) then a good solution is any full size pick up (v-6)with a ramp in place of tailgate..racks bolt to top rail of bed and we eliminate the trailer altogether....as far as hauling debris we just bag/bundle everything and leave for the customers hauler...as most are paying for it in their taxes anyway....(large amounts of debris say from a major clean up is a different story and would be hauled away by a different rig and billed according to the estimate of the job) day to day maintenance needs to be extremely efficient in order to make a good net $$.......we are running lower hp. mowers with slightly smaller decks...a 25-27hp and more is not an efficient way to do small residential accts. we can burn through 12 gallons in one day with our 52-70 inch 27-30hp mowers in a day.....and yes they cut a ton of grass every day but cost a lot to run...the accts that they do pay for them....a small residential house is not profitable enough to cover the operating cost of these mowers....our residential crews are running 17-18hp 44-48 inch decks and can run all day on 6 gallons....and cut the same amount of lawns in a day...the only way a big mower pays off is when its going non-stop 8 hrs a day.....not stop and go all day on a resi. route or when you get the 3 ft tall clean ups......btw...the trucks in this set up are avg 18-20 mpg

unkownfl
02-22-2012, 08:57 PM
If you are just doing basic lawn care ( mow,trim,edge,blowdown, and a little hedging) then a good solution is any full size pick up (v-6)with a ramp in place of tailgate..racks bolt to top rail of bed and we eliminate the trailer altogether....as far as hauling debris we just bag/bundle everything and leave for the customers hauler...as most are paying for it in their taxes anyway....(large amounts of debris say from a major clean up is a different story and would be hauled away by a different rig and billed according to the estimate of the job) day to day maintenance needs to be extremely efficient in order to make a good net $$.......we are running lower hp. mowers with slightly smaller decks...a 25-27hp and more is not an efficient way to do small residential accts. we can burn through 12 gallons in one day with our 52-70 inch 27-30hp mowers in a day.....and yes they cut a ton of grass every day but cost a lot to run...the accts that they do pay for them....a small residential house is not profitable enough to cover the operating cost of these mowers....our residential crews are running 17-18hp 44-48 inch decks and can run all day on 6 gallons....and cut the same amount of lawns in a day...the only way a big mower pays off is when its going non-stop 8 hrs a day.....not stop and go all day on a resi. route or when you get the 3 ft tall clean ups......


Sorry I just don't see how anyone leaves debris at the curb at a customers house. First off, its against almost all the city codes here in CFL. Secondly, it looks like crap; nice lawn and hedges with 4 bags of trash on the curb.

MR-G
02-22-2012, 09:14 PM
Sorry I just don't see how anyone leaves debris at the curb at a customers house. First off, its against almost all the city codes here in CFL. Secondly, it looks like crap; nice lawn and hedges with 4 bags of trash on the curb. It just depends on what type of service they have chosen ..if they are a lower end budget type acct they get the debris...if they are a more full service client then they will get our full service crew and they have a dump....we have different crews for our different levels of service....

Florida Gardener
02-22-2012, 09:16 PM
Sorry I just don't see how anyone leaves debris at the curb at a customers house. First off, its against almost all the city codes here in CFL. Secondly, it looks like crap; nice lawn and hedges with 4 bags of trash on the curb.
Bc we can here. The customer is already paying taxes for it why would they want to pay me again for the same thing? Plus I don't have to make trips to the dump or fill my truck up with debris.
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unkownfl
02-22-2012, 09:17 PM
I guess but I would have different business names all together if I were to do that. I looked into mowing foreclosures and setup a DBA for that just so I didn't get customers confused on hack work vs quality work.

MR-G
02-22-2012, 09:34 PM
I guess but I would have different business names all together if I were to do that. I looked into mowing foreclosures and setup a DBA for that just so I didn't get customers confused on hack work vs quality work. I agree...and we do just that....our clients are very well aware that we have 3 levels of service....but its is all the same co. name and hasnt been a problem for us...as far as forclosures go, we wont touch them....too much red tape and crap taking pictures, waiting to get paid, ect..but i do know guys that seem to do ok with them....

Florida Gardener
02-22-2012, 09:35 PM
I guess but I would have different business names all together if I were to do that. I looked into mowing foreclosures and setup a DBA for that just so I didn't get customers confused on hack work vs quality work.

One of the wealthiest areas here allows contractors to leave vegetation on the street and I will tell you there is nothing wrong with the quality. These are super high end homes.
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unkownfl
02-22-2012, 09:41 PM
One of the wealthiest areas here allows contractors to leave vegetation on the street and I will tell you there is nothing wrong with the quality. These are super high end homes.
Posted via Mobile Device

West Palm Beach
Yard Waste: Public Utilities , Sanitation Department (822-2075) collects yard waste once per week, on a regularly scheduled basis. The following is our standard schedule for pick-up:

Monday: Zone # 1 24 th St. North to City line.
Tuesday: Zone # 2 Okeechobee Blvd. South to Southern Blvd. West of Olive Ave.
Wednesday Zone # 3 East of Olive Ave from Barcelona South to City line.
Thursday Zone # 4 Okeechobee Blvd. North thru 23 rd St .
Friday Zone # 5 Southern Blvd. to City line West of Olive Ave.

Residue should be stacked neatly at the curb. The following limitations apply: Tree trunks may not exceed 12 inches in diameter and 3 Ft. in length, tree branches should be no more than 4 to 6 feet in length, grass and weeds must be bagged. There is a ten-yard limit (4 feet high by 4 feet wide - 17 feet long) limit on yard waste piles and there may be no more than one pile per home per week. Note : The City does not collect yard waste left by landscape and lawn service companies. Service companies are responsible for the removal of all debris and trimmings from the property.
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BTW I looked up three other citys on the south east coast all say the same thing.

MR-G
02-22-2012, 09:42 PM
One of the wealthiest areas here allows contractors to leave vegetation on the street and I will tell you there is nothing wrong with the quality. These are super high end homes.
Posted via Mobile DeviceSame here in our area..the days of hauling away for peanuts are over....even in the higher end communities....they would rather have a more affordable rate.

Florida Gardener
02-22-2012, 09:43 PM
Sorry you have the wrong area-look up palm beach island
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Florida Gardener
02-22-2012, 09:45 PM
Same here in our area..the days of hauling away for peanuts are over....even in the higher end communities....they would rather have a more affordable rate.

There are areas here in which you must take vegetation with you and the amount of landscaping at these homes will fill up a dump very quick. Sorry, but if your not charging for that there is a problem. Not you, just in general. You have to factor in time to the dump, time at the dump, fuel, etc. My high end customers have no problem with me leaving vegetation.
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unkownfl
02-22-2012, 09:59 PM
I'm lucky I have a burn pit and I also have a very good connection with a nursery that takes my debris for like 30 bucks I can bring a whole dump truck load of crap dirt etc as long as there isn't any non vegetation in it. Nursery is 1/4 mile from my house.

MR-G
02-22-2012, 10:12 PM
I'm lucky I have a burn pit and I also have a very good connection with a nursery that takes my debris for like 30 bucks I can bring a whole dump truck load of crap dirt etc as long as there isn't any non vegetation in it. Nursery is 1/4 mile from my house. its still 30.00 plus travel time for driver, fuel, mileage, ect.....its costing you more than you think.....we only haul away if the customer opts to have that as part of their service....and it costs them more...they either want or not...

unkownfl
02-22-2012, 10:18 PM
its still 30.00 plus travel time for driver, fuel, mileage, ect.....its costing you more than you think.....we only haul away if the customer opts to have that as part of their service....and it costs them more...they either want or not...

Not really costing me anything I haven't accounted for. I know about how much trimmings I'm going to have to take. I wait until my trailer is ready to go and make a full dump. It's a 1/4 mile from the house and takes 30 minutes max to start the truck to turn the truck off back at the house. I give myself 10 bucks in labor. I usually only have to go when I do Sod jobs or cutouts for beds or hardscapes. I can just throw the hedge clippings or palm clippings in with those loads. Essentially I double dip most of the time. The hardwood I keep for the fire pit when we have family and friends get together at the house around the pool etc.... Sometimes I'll fire the smoker up and burn some hard wood in it then I'll throw some in the fire pit.

fl-landscapes
02-23-2012, 08:11 AM
FL,

This could be true for someone like you that is doing installs, topdressing, verticutting and of course large commercial mulch jobs...but for most of us simple lawn turds...light matters for getting the mowers from point a to point b.

Absolutely true, one size doesn't fit all, you need what works for your situation. I just wanted to point out a few things to think about.

bwhuntr40
03-04-2012, 09:57 PM
I bought an F450 dump last year with an 8' x 12' bed. It works great pulling a trailer with my 48" Turf Tracer and 60" lazer with more than enough room in the bed of the truck for debris for spring and fall cleanups. I built underbody toolboxes to hold blowers, gas cans, tools, etc. and mounted my trimmer racks on the wooden stake sides that I built. This way, during the spring and summer, I can run my regular maintenance routes with just the truck and the removable dovetail and ramp that I built to load my mowers directly onto my truck. Works great and very versatile.

unkownfl
03-05-2012, 08:40 AM
I bought an F450 dump last year with an 8' x 12' bed. It works great pulling a trailer with my 48" Turf Tracer and 60" lazer with more than enough room in the bed of the truck for debris for spring and fall cleanups. I built underbody toolboxes to hold blowers, gas cans, tools, etc. and mounted my trimmer racks on the wooden stake sides that I built. This way, during the spring and summer, I can run my regular maintenance routes with just the truck and the removable dovetail and ramp that I built to load my mowers directly onto my truck. Works great and very versatile.

That's good to hear. I'm still looking for a decent gas dump. I bet that dove is heavy to remove.

bwhuntr40
03-06-2012, 10:11 PM
It isn't that hard to remove. I can do it by myself. It removes in two pieces, first the ramp then the dovetail. I'm actually planning to fashion some sort of "legs" on it so that I can remove/install it in one piece by just backing up to it and installing a few hitch pins. Good luck with the search!