Just got back from my NCMA level 1 training in Geneva NY and was pleasantly surprised to have Bill Gardocki of Interstate Landscaping teaching the class after having seen his business through his sons eyes on this forum. What I thought was interesting was how Bill was bringing up good owner ideas and talking about systems instead of how to build. It made me think how lately there has been a push to get contractors to think of business skill as more important than construction skill. All the articles we read lately are not how to build, but how to build the business that builds. We see countless article here by Shawn or whoever about being smart about efficiency, money, investing in people, etc. The best part of Bill's lesson today sent our little class into an uproar. He said: "The 3/4 to 1 ton dump truck is the most useless tool for a hardscaper, period." What? What did he just say? Guys were muttering under their breath! Boy did that piss off a lot of guys who have just spent 55,000 on that new pimped out truck! I loved his logic and he had to address it multiple times for guys to sink in but the best part was looking at business from an owners perspective and not a contractors perspective. His logic was as follows: 1. A new 350-450 costs 55,000 on average depending on options and can haul 1-2 pallets of wall stone legally. They are nice looking efficiency killers! 2. A used international 4700 can be rated at 25,999 and be below CDL and carry 4-5 pallets of materials and be purchased for around 35,000 dollars! 3. He further went on to explain the CDL cheater to our class: Buy a 25,999 pound GVW truck and a 9,999 GVW trailer and you will NOT need a CDL. Under current national DOT law (and remember it varies by state so check) if your truck is not over 26,001 and your trailer is below 10,000 lb you can technically get by without a CDL. I still have to look up the particulars in my state but our class was sent off on a spiraling tangent as pissed off contractors vented. I think the lesson hit me the hardest at that moment. We need to start using math,looking at laws, checking our numbers first. The importance of seeing this venture of ours as a business and not from the point of wall installer was paramount. I guess I was just making a small connection to what we see every day. Contractors buy the big shiny trucks that puff up their ego as much as deflate their wallet. Before this gets into another truck debate (Jesus DVS!), please hear what I am saying. This is not about trucks! This is about using your brain to look at laws, rules, accounting, and taking time to plan out the best investment for your business. At the end of the day it is still about does that item take money out of your pocket or put money into it. Thanks Bill for your time. A few guys in the class got "it", and that's all you can ever hope for. -Chris Comments welcome!