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Might be time for me to buy a mini ex

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Gravel Rat, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    After looking into seeing about running a tandem axle dump hauling gravel and penciling out the figures it will probably loose more money.

    I'am thinking of running a F-550 4x4 truck as my dump and possibly adding a mini excavator to my services. The machine won't be brandnew by any means it would definatly be a fixer upper or a machine with higher hours.

    I think there will be more money made with a excavator than running a tandem axle dump.

    I want a machine that I would beable to carry on the deck of the truck I don't want to mess with trailers. I'am not sure it would be a good idea to carry a 9000lb mini on the back of a F-550. I really don't want to mess with trailers they are a pain in the butt especially around here you have to drive almost a 1/2 a mile to find a place to turn around.

    I have to find a truck first thou have to decide between a F-450 or F-550 the truck won't be brandnew something in up to 2002 with 7.3 PSD and 5 or 6spd.

    Do you guys think its a worth while go at running a mini excavator with a 2 ton truck ?

    What I would mostly do would be clean up brush and remove junk from people yards to start with.
  2. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    9,000lb Mini??!?!?!? Every time you have given suggestions for mini's, you have ALWAYS said to not get one less than 10,000lb! Come on, GR! Don't go telling us you are going to get a machine SMALLER than what you recommend! Just bustin your chops, man! Go for it...I love my mini!
  3. turfquip

    turfquip LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 860

    I'd say find a class 6 and put a Swaploader SL-185 on it with a 16 foot bed.

    That should give you a pretty good set up. As to whether you will be able to make a go at it, I doubt anyone here could answer that better than you.

    Based on past postings, your area is unique in its topography and hardiness of it's people...

    Would some just throw their trash and brush over the side of a mountain and be done with it before paying someone?
  4. qps

    qps LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indy
    Posts: 1,484

    What:hammerhead: ...I thought everybody own a mini in your neck of the woods....
  5. thepawnshop

    thepawnshop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 387

    Yeah, GR...I think you are in for some ribbing....
  6. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    lots of ribbing indeed !!! :laugh:

    I'd be looking at a 'utility grade' IH truck w/466 or smaller frieghtliner with your recommendation of a 'roll-off'. It is not fun loading equip at truck bed height in our rainy climate, and if you wait for a clear day, you might be waiting 6 months!

    As I see the economy pricing of used IH school buses... and long frames for skid accessories... (could live in it too, save rent:rolleyes: ) too bad they are auto's and only single axle. I miss the med duty trucks of the earlier years that were twin screws, but lower and lighter
  7. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Its just a idea I'am thinking about I'am waiting to see what the work situation brings.

    A tandem axle dump is still in the back of my mind I know I can prolly make it work. I have people say you can make money then I got people saying you can't make money. I can do 80% of the repairs on the truck so that will save me a ton right there most other guys have to hire outside help.

    I know alot of building contractors etc who would prolly call me to deliver them sand and gravel to jobsites. The excavation contractors don't have time to take one of their trucks to do deliveries. A contractor that just runs a backhoe service has a heck of a time finding a truck to haul him material so I know he would hire me.

    There isn't enough work for a medium duty 5 ton dump you charge the truck out at 69 dollars per hour you can hire a tandem for 79 dollars per hour and it carrys double the material.
  8. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 254

    I'm diligently on the hunt for a tandem 'roll-back' / swaploader w/airlift. There is a really great setup, nearby (cab forward, heavy front axle and tires + 2 boxes +24' flabed with ramps and removable sides, and 'D'rings for lashing down backhoe and skid) but it's been setting 10 yrs!! I'm afraid of Hyd problems (degraded seals) could be had for less than $5k, but then time.... + DOT....

    they would not like to do gravel all the time, but... you could haul lots of stuff a dump doesn't work too good for (plus dumps are VERY expensive to insure)
  9. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Yes I'am thinking about a rolloff truck too but they are tough to find. I would go with a conventional rail truck. The contractor I worked for has a rolloff truck which is used for a dump truck plus hauling bins.

    Rolloff bins are not used much around here as debris has to be separated when hauled to the landfill. Its good for brush but in the winter time brush is stacked up and burned in big piles its the cheapest option of getting rid of it.

    A lowside dump box and a flatdeck would work good for my uses and maybe 1 40 yard bin.
  10. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I think I am qualified to say that there is very little money in trucking. at least in most markets. Yours may be different. You can gross money but it is hard to net much. Trucks are a necessary evil. I know no one who has made a living doing notjhing but driving a dump truck. Not to say they are not out there.

    On the mini: Again for MOST markets running a mini without some support equipment is not going to be all that profitable. Bobcat markets it as a system and it is. If your buying a mini ex you need a skid steer or tracked machine to compliment it. As much as you don't like it a backhoe is one of the few stand alone pieces of equipment that you can make a living with. Get a BH with a tandem axle truck and you can excavate and or truck.

    These are my observations, your mileage may vary.

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