Convience factor of owning a tandem?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by mrusk, Jul 20, 2008.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I always here people talk about how owning a tandem itself does not make you money, its the convenience factor of it. What does that mean? What is the convenience factor? Can someone explain.

    The guy I bought the 150 from has given me a month to decide if I want to buy his 84' autocar tandem with 425k miles and a 20ton trailer for $20k. He is giving me a package deal price because I bought his excavator. In september he needs to renew registration and insurance on it, so if I do not buy it soon, he can not give me the 'package price".

    I figure with some one driving the truck, factoring insurance, reg, and fuel I would need to run 550 loads to break even. This is not including any repairs.

    550 loads is about 2 years of deliveries. Its not including haul outs or equipment moves that will cost me $300 a shot.

    Right now I have no proablem getting whatever material I need in or out. But guys are telling me when things are booming it could take a day or more to get a truck in. Right now I get loads from the quarry on a hour notice.

    I just do not know if I want to be bothered by owning a truck.
  2. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    That is a good price.
    The trailer is worth a bunch if it is in good shape.
    With the size of your jobs I personally think it would be a good investment and if I found a deal like that here I would buy it.
    Of course it depends on the condition of the truck and trailer but that is cheap irregardless.

    With that excavator and a Tandem it would be nice being able too move dirt out of your way and also move the dirt around the jobs.
    Also if you have a lot too store the dirt you now have a way too move it from jobsite too jobsite.
    They pay when it is leaving and the next guy pays when it gets brought in.
  3. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    The truck/trailer are mechanically sound, they really just need some cosmetic work. They both need to be painted. The guy has owned both for around 4 years and sunk some money into the truck. Hes just getting out of the business. The guy lives down the road from me, so if I need repair work done on it, he'll do it resonably. I was not looking to buy a tandem right now, but I would not buy a truck this old that I did not know the history of. Basically if this guy was not offering me this deal on the truck, and I was looking elsewhere, I'd be looking at trucks around 50k and they would take forever to break even on.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    When I was talking about an excavator not being a stand alone piece of equipment, a dump truck is one of those augmenting pieces that need to be in place. If you are going to continue to grow and expand at some point you will need your own truck, but that may not be now.

    The convience factor is big for me. Being able to haul in or out on my time schedule. Also when a job hits a hiccup, and you have hired trucks that are now sitting on site that gets expensive. Sending them home delays the project and keeping them on means they are costing money without moving. If your current projects require a lot of truck interaction that would up the consideration of buying, if they don't and your not going to seek any outside work for your 150 you most likely can continue to do as you have done. One last thing I would mention for such a low price it might pay just to buy it, pay it off and have it for when you need it. It is not hard to make 20K pay off.
  5. PSDF350

    PSDF350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    Means just what you said convenient. It's the convenience of moving that excavtor when you want. It's the convenience of moving dirt when you want. It's the convenience of picking up materials when you want. honesly I don't know why anyone would have an x without a dump.

    What motor does the autocar have? What kind of 20 ton trailer is it. What size dump bed? What are the specs ie; rears fronts what the axle ratio? I like the autocars, there built tough. If there in decent shape buy them. Those autocars last forever.
  6. PSDF350

    PSDF350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I'll get some pics of it and the specs of it. It looks ruff, but the guy said he put some money into fixing it up and it has been proablem free for the last 4 years. The #s work out great owning it if it does not break down. One 5k repair bill really changes the #s.

    The guy used to have a 95 mack and he says this autocar is a much better truck.
  8. PSDF350

    PSDF350 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    Without a doubt. But if properly maintained they really do last. I think/like that autocars are better than mack. Not that macks are bad. I just think that the autocars are by far the toughest truck built.
  9. J. Peterson Grading

    J. Peterson Grading LawnSite Senior Member
    from IA
    Messages: 989

    You won't regret owning one. I got my first one 3 years ago. Since then I have expanded to owning 3 and looking for a fourth. Its just nice not having to work around the other trucking contractors schedules or paying thier always climbing hourly rates.

    I might pay a bit for mine to operate, but its no-where close to what the others are getting. Plus my trucks run for me and me only.

    its just a nice convience, Like owning your 150.

  10. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    The 150 is a great convience. Some might say its to big, but it works for my jobs. Some times we might just use it for 1 hour a day for back filling. But that back fill work could not be done by my skid and it would be kind of hard to get a sub to come out for a hour.

    I rented before. It sucked to have to pay for a 160 hours of rental a month when you only used 40 hours. But that rental saved you 120 hours!

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