Express Blower Truck

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Groundcover Solutions, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    I am looking at purchasing a Express Blower truck (EB-30). I am looking for some advice. To my knowledge there is no one using one of these trucks in my area. There are quite a few medium to large landscaping companies that i feel i could target.
    First off i would like to take a look at my market and see if it can support the purchase of this unit. I am not too sure about how to do this. I am thinking of making up a some sort of survey or something and sending it out to a few of the landscaping companies to see there interest. Also i am going to need to secure some financing for the unit due to the fact it costs over $200,000. I would just like some input from other landscaping companies that have used this type of service and companies that offer this service. Also if there are other applications that this unit can be used for. any help on this would be great thanks.
     
  2. bam

    bam LawnSite Senior Member
    from .
    Posts: 261

    if you plan on financing a 200, 000 unit you better have a good business plan and do alot of research. i see youre 19 and I'm not to sure if you know of the time and effort it takes to operate one of these machines. the unit is probably best known for mulching operations, however you can also apply pre emergents in the mulch, topsoil (topdressing) applying seed in that, or even stone. having spread mulch and soil with the eb unit I can tell you that with a good quality mulch you can blow a good amount of mulch in a day. With dry soil, your rate decreases by about 2/3 and if you have junk mulch or poor, wet soil, its easier to do it by hand. The operation is usually seasonal, in the spring everyone will need you, but in August not alot of work. again in sept. you can pick up topdressing jobs. and then you need to factor preventative maintenance and downtime when something breaks. in the few years we had the machines, we've gone thru several sets of hoses, have had eb reps out to make repairs and have sent mechanics to learn the ins and outs of the unit. if you do more than mulching, or get into stone apps, the maint. will increase and your augers will wear alot quicker.

    and while the company may claim its a one man operation thats far from the truth. usually a driver/operator, and even a second operator work best, with times using a man to follow up and clean the mess that the machine makes. they do clog from time to time, and to free the hose you can't get all the mulch to blow neat into a bed. shifts may also help and having a mechanic on call and one to do preventative maint. on the off hours.

    also i dont know what you consider a medium to large landscape company, but at least for larger ones, I would think they have a thought out plan to mulch...They either do it by hand, have their own Express blower or Finns.
     
  3. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    Thanks for all of your advice it is very helpful information. I do not plan on buying the unit for another year or so. I will not be financing the entire 200,000. I I know that there is risk involved that is why i plan on doing allot of research. Did you research before buying your unit and if so what did you do. thank you again for your help and any more information would be great. I know this entire thing to every one sounds pretty absurd seeing as to that i am only 19. yes i am young yes i do not have a ton of experience, but i am willing to learn and i feel that in my area that this could be an extremely profitable business to add on to the the small landscaping business that we have now. So any more advice on how to better look at my market and get some hard facts to show to my investors and the bank would be highly appreciated. The more that I am prepared the better and it is better to find out sooner that this will not be profitable then later.
     
  4. BRL

    BRL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,211

    Do a search here, as there have been a few good threads about this already that would surely help you . Good luck.
     
  5. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,134

    where i am at many guys have finns and they will blow mulch for $40 a yard seems hardly worth the expense to own one. see what u can get a yard might be better to put that money in the bank. good luck
     
  6. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    Yes it dose seem that you would not be making much when you look at it in single yards. But most jobs that we would take on would be quite large. Most small jobs can be done by hand. Yes we would do small jobs now and then but i would think that with the speed you can do a large amount of jobs. I feel it all depends on the market and that is what i am trying to find out. I just need help in how to research my market to find out the need.
     
  7. DUSTYCEDAR

    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Posts: 5,134

    do u have a space to store and load bulk mulch if so how much will it cost per yard to buy. i use three different mulches takes up alot of space plus a loader that will reach over the side of the truck to load. those are big trucks do u have a cdl. can u get enough work done in the short mulch season to make it worth wile.
     
  8. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    I have a place to store both the truck and the mulch. I am in the process of getting my CDL (Was getting it for another reason already). As to the last question that is what i am trying to research. I need to find the need for a service like this in my market. I think there is but i am not sure how to go about finding out what the need is, that is what i need the help with. Thank you for your suggestions and comments keep them coming this is all good stuff.
     
  9. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    Ok i am doing some # crunching and i know all market areas are different, but if someone with one of these units could tell me there average yards per day. I am also figuring 20 weeks out of a year that the unit would be used is this high or low. Also it is looking that I would have to make around $70,000 per year to pay for the truck and an employee, do you think that this is feasibl. My market area is highly populated with medium to high wealth homes and business. I feel that it is possible to make this much. I am working on a letter to send to a few local landscaping companies to try and figure out my market a little bit more. Any more help from you guys would be great i can not thank you enough for all of your help.
     
  10. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    the mulch co near me started with one truck and now have about 5 of them I charge 65-70 per yard to install mulch i buy it in bags for about 28 per yd these guys blow it in for 29 dollars per yard i have had them do a couple of jobs so far and i made the same money making a phone call and letting them do the work
     

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