Originally Posted by Cat 320D LRR
thanks for your knowledge. I was thinking of a wheeled machine next winter for snow plowing but i have one i can use next summer for the guy i plow for this winter. Do you only really do hardscaping. I was planning on getting some erosion work like restoring creek banks and other stuff that i feel like it would be beneficial to have one full time. I like the compact tractor idea Do you just load the pavers into the bucket and drive them to where ur putting in the patio. I was looking at kubota tractors around that size but i would like it have a cab for snow plowing Any other equipment truck trailer or business advice you can give me i will take thanks
We plow with wheeled skid steers with old meyers plows fabricated to mount to the skid steers.
At one time hardscaping accounted for over 80% of my revenue. Now it's at 30%, sometimes things do change for the better.
With the tractor, it's usually used for small jobs, as in jobs like small walkways, patios behind townhouses, stuff like that. The loader can lift about 1000#. So yes, we must hand load the bucket with the pavers right off the back of the truck. The idea is to come in and do as little damage as possible. Like with a patio behind a townhome we can drive back and forth all over the common area all day long and not make any ruts and not rip up any turf. I had a townhome patio I priced a few months ago - long access from the paved parking area to the back. A skidsteer would have made an incredible mess, and it would have been too far to wheel burrow or use a walk behind skid steer. Because of our tractor's efficiency for this scenerio I was able to provide the best price. No turf restoration to account for and no additional time for smaller machines or doing it all by hand.
Last year we had a small retaining wall to replace. The job was too small to justify carting an 8,000# skid steer there. The tractor was perfect. Made for quick unloading of the new material and quick loading of the old. This would not be possible with a walk behind unit, they cant reach over the sides of a dump truck like ours. The tractor is also used around my property, such as splitting firewood. The tractor doesnt go out much, it's 5 years old and only has 250 hrs on it. But it's great when we need it, it's a tool that I keep in my bag of tricks for landing work at a low price and still make a profit. But like I said - this is something you only buy after you're established. Like - for more of a tax write off.
You're mentioning Kubota and mentioning buying new. My tractor is a New Holland. It was thousands of dollars less than Kubota, and even has some specs that out-do Kubota. The difference between John Deere and New Holland in this size tractor were day and night, New Holland walks all over JD's specs, bigger clutch, higher hydro flow, more HP, etc. It kills me when people buy Kubota and Deere because I know they're only buying the names, they're not looking at the specs and comparing.
You also mentioned buying new. It's easier to unload a used machine that you dont have much money in then it is to unload a new machine that is worth less than you owe. I plan to buy a 3500HD one ton truck with a utility body at auction next month. around 125k miles, on a routine maintenance schedule (owned by a large national utility co), I'll get this truck for less than $3000 including auction fees. I'll probably get 3 years of production out of it. No payments. Very little risk. Buy smart. Sell smart.
Business ideas, plans, and journeys change. When you're venturing into new waters it's best to do it for a while and make sure everything goes well. Also, in spring the phone will ring off the hook. This is when new contractors go out and buy buy buy, they think they're ontop of the world. Reality is - the phone calls will soon stop. But the monthly payments won't