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  #1011  
Old 08-11-2014, 04:26 PM
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RLS24 RLS24 is offline
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Originally Posted by PLLandscape View Post
Machines make everything better, everything. But they are expensive. I'm using a mini ex to rip out a landscape this week. After it I'm sure I'll never want to hand dig out anything. I've used a dingo multiple times. One job I was able to move 7 yards of topsoil in less than an hour. Heck a big enough skid steer could do that in minutes. Like you said, you need to work to justify it. But if you had one would you start to look for or take on jobs you might walk or never think of.

I mean a lot guys drop $20-30K on a pickup truck but say a $15k used skid steer is too expensive or even an $8k used dingo is too much. To me that's a mixed up priority. The equipment does the work and most pickup trucks are probably "useless" for true landscaping (non mowing) work. I love my truck but it is completely pointless for the work I want to do. I truly need a larger dump (550 or larger) and equipment for the work I would like to get more of. I almost had my pickup sold and wanted to pick up this used cheap 550 that was in good shape. I was planning on then buying some sort of earth moving equipment. The dealer backed out on the purchase of my truck though.

Don't get my wrong the truck is an important piece of the puzzle but if you're taking payments on a new(er) truck and complain that equipment is too expensive time to reassess.

The right truck comes along again and I'm still in the business I'll sell the personal truck.

Just my thoughts
I totally agree. My truck in particular is completely useless. I'm not ruling out the purchase of a skid steer or a Dingo, however there are other things that I feel that need to be included in the price that should go with it: F450 or F550 dump and an equipment trailer. Yes I could tow the skid steer in the dump trailer with my truck, but I think the only way the skid steer makes jobs efficient and profitable is tow the skid on a trailer with a dump truck and then tow the dump trailer with my truck to jobs. One dumping apparatus goes to the job full of material, one goes empty and they leave the opposite or both full of ripout.

There are other pieces to the business puzzle that are also taking financial priority for me. I need an enclosed trailer to keep all of the landscape equipment in BAD. It is a rolling toolbox that if sized and set up correctly, can be dropped at the job site and has everything we will need. I can't tell you how many times a truck leaves for materials or to go dump and while its gone "hey wheres the (insert name of tool here)? Oh its in the truck that just left" or "oh we didn't know we would need that so its at home" So thats a pretty big priority for me on that end of things right now. If I do stay in this business, a Dingo will certainly come with time and I think that would be more productive for us than a full size skid because we work in a lot of tight spaces and smaller yards.

As with everything though, I can sit here all day and speculate what would work and what wouldn't and then I could get a string of jobs that comes along that leads me down a different path. I know its important to plan but sometimes when you don't have HUGE amounts of working capital its hard to make some of these bigger purchases and then have it sitting there on down time in between uses. If I bought a skid steer and only used it a couple days a week then it probably wouldnt be making any money on the investment so it wouldnt be worth it. And at this point in where I'm at, I'm not even close to having the kind of work that I could even justify using such a machine 2-3 days a week.
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  #1012  
Old 08-11-2014, 07:48 PM
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McG_Landscaping McG_Landscaping is online now
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Looking good! what rims are on the dump trailer? I like those
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  #1013  
Old 08-12-2014, 10:06 AM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is offline
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Originally Posted by RLS24 View Post
I totally agree. My truck in particular is completely useless.

And at this point in where I'm at, I'm not even close to having the kind of work that I could even justify using such a machine 2-3 days a week.
This is my point though and I'm not directing it at you. I'm just as guilty. We say that we cannot "justify" having a certain piece of equipment because it won't be working everyday but we can justify a really nice pickup truck that will likely have zero impact on productivity.

Instead of spending $26k on a truck I could've found a $15k truck and an $11k used Dingo. I still would have a decent truck but now I have a piece of equipment that improves my efficiency. And if I was going to spend that amount anyways then what would it matter if that piece of equipment sat at times?

Believe me I'm not saying to just go buy equipment "just in case" you may find work. If I'm a landscaper I bet I can find uses for landscape equipment. But if I run into someone who has a brand new Laramie Cummins Dodge 2500 (we'll keep our Fords/chevy out of it) and complains they cannot afford equipment. Please.
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  #1014  
Old 08-27-2014, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLLandscape View Post
This is my point though and I'm not directing it at you. I'm just as guilty. We say that we cannot "justify" having a certain piece of equipment because it won't be working everyday but we can justify a really nice pickup truck that will likely have zero impact on productivity.

Instead of spending $26k on a truck I could've found a $15k truck and an $11k used Dingo. I still would have a decent truck but now I have a piece of equipment that improves my efficiency. And if I was going to spend that amount anyways then what would it matter if that piece of equipment sat at times?

Believe me I'm not saying to just go buy equipment "just in case" you may find work. If I'm a landscaper I bet I can find uses for landscape equipment. But if I run into someone who has a brand new Laramie Cummins Dodge 2500 (we'll keep our Fords/chevy out of it) and complains they cannot afford equipment. Please.
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Not totally disagreeing with you here either, nor am I trying to justify the fact that I drive a diesel crew cab Lariat Ford, but I look at it form the other angle of I need a truck thats going to get me through plowing in the winter. I probably don't NEED power heated mirrors, power windows, controls for the radio and heater on the steering wheel, etc. but after having them in a truck that I spent more time in than my house last winter, I would be hard pressed to say that I would buy another without some of those things. Also, we can usually deal with a breakdown or work around having a certain piece of machinery for a job in the summer, but not having the right equipment or breakdowns is catastrophic in the winter. So if I have a choice between spending 15k on a truck and 11k on something else, and spending 26k on a nicer, newer turck thats probably in better shape and going to be more reliable than the 15k truck, then I'm gonna do it simply because we can't afford to be sidelined come winter.
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  #1015  
Old 08-27-2014, 07:44 PM
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It also depends on the type of equipment that we're talking about here. If I'm going to spend $11k on a Dingo, then I'd almost rather spend 20k on a decent used skid steer because that skid steer can go sit in a parking lot somewhere all winter and plow snow and then get carted around to move snow at other sites AND then get used throughout the summer. It's easy to go in circles about the pros and cons, but at the end of the day I feel like I would have a real hard time deciding which is going to be more beneficial in the overall picture.
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  #1016  
Old 08-27-2014, 09:00 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is offline
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True, you plow so the truck need makes more sense as that is the machine doing the work. Makes sense. I'm just not thinking about snow work as I hope that is never in my service offering. You guys love that snow.
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  #1017  
Old 08-27-2014, 09:03 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is offline
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So go buy that skidsteer to plow!
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  #1018  
Old 08-28-2014, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PLLandscape View Post
True, you plow so the truck need makes more sense as that is the machine doing the work. Makes sense. I'm just not thinking about snow work as I hope that is never in my service offering. You guys love that snow.
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"Love" would not be the word I would use hahaha trust me if I could get to the point where I didn't have to do snow and could take the winters off, I totally would but unfortunately it pays the bills in the winter months for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PLLandscape View Post
So go buy that skidsteer to plow!
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I wish it was that easy...gotta get the accounts to use it at first.
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  #1019  
Old 08-31-2014, 09:49 PM
PLLandscape PLLandscape is offline
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With 6-7 true working landscape maintenance months it's a short season for sure.

Now if I could find some places that weren't open at the crack of dawn,or weekends, that would be the plowing gig. I just can't see myself ever plowing first of all and if I had to forget residential. A few hundred bucks for unlimited plowing and being "on call" for the winter is not for me without a significantly higher price tag. As in a couple hundred bucks per month for the season Nov-Feb/March.
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  #1020  
Old 08-31-2014, 10:08 PM
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T Scapes T Scapes is offline
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nice work love your Ford i wanna get a 6.0 in green after winter for my own truck my favorite looking ford body style
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