Equipment purchases

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by osc, Apr 4, 2000.

  1. osc

    osc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 502

    My main biz is turf maintenance, but after putting an ad the yellow pages that included landscape installation, my phone is ringing. We have done a few jobs and people seem to be happy with our work. I got a very basic program to design lanscapes and when people see the pictures, they just open their wallets. <br>I really need a used dump truck and a skid steer with attatchments. This time of year is not great for spending money. I do not finance and this has proven to be very good.<br>I guess what I need is a little more confidence to spring 20 grand on this equipment. How did you guys do it and how has it paid off for you.<br>Bear in mind, sometimes you have to act ignorant to pick another's brain. Thanks.
  2. kermit

    kermit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Rent the skid steer with an option to apply the payments to the down payment if you decide to keep it. I don't use a skid steer enough to own one so I just rent it on the jobs which require it. No worries and I can write off the cost per job so job costing is easy. If you use one much it is cheaper to own but I find many guys are equipment junkies. The machine sits in the yard costing them money rather than making money. Make really sure you need a skid steer not just want one.
  3. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 547

    Can anyone tell me if Bobcat attachments will fit on a New Holland machine?
  4. steven Bousquet

    steven Bousquet LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    our bobcats take all the newholland tools
  5. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    A lot of thought required here.<p>If you are just starting out on the construction end, I would wait at least a year. Its a pain in the ass the rent, but it's a good oppurtunity to see exactly what you need. <p>By renting, you keep yourself away from having all those costly bills if it isn't used. Machines are big investments. <p>The maintenance alone can be a burden too. Think about simple things like flats, tires are expensive. Then think about major repairs, they can add up quick.<p>Also, think about transporting. Do you have the right type of trailer and truck?<p>Also, if you rent, you can try out all the diff't types of machines available. If you buy a skidsteer, you may find out a tractor would of been a better idea. Its hard to determine in the beginning. Rent diff't machines and attachments, then decide what is best for you.<p>Just a few quick comments.<p>steveair<br>
  6. EarthWorks

    EarthWorks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    You can usually hire a dump truck at a fair price. I use a lot of topsoil, etc but I still can't justify a dump truck. The skid steer for me is a different story. On jobs that you may not absolutely need a bobcat they can still help you get the job done faster which means more $.
  7. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Equipment will make you money, if you had to push a 21&quot; mower around all day would that make you money or does your 48&quot; mower makeyou more? same for installation it will all so give you added benefit of havingit for jobs that come up out of the blue. I guess what i'm trying to say is the work for it will almost find you. <p>----------<br>paul<br>
  8. SLSNursery

    SLSNursery LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    I agree with Paul, especially the way work has been lately, it would be hard to argue against a dump truck skidsteer combo. However, I'm not sure that 20k is a realistic amount to spend on a reliable truck, trailer, skidsteer, and attachments. Also, do you already have a shop where you can store these items, or will they be behind your garage? This step may create overhead issues that you have not yet considered. That, combined with the general unreliable status of used equipment might make a sensible venture hurt you in the long run. Unless equipment is new/used (like off of a dependable rental fleet, or a reliable source), it has probably been used, abused, painted and sold to you. I would consider buying a new dump truck - I like rack body dumps - which can be used for many things. Therefore, there are few downsides to ownership. Pick up a good used 6 ton trailer - these are usually available, for a fair price if in good shape. The trailer also can be used for more than just landscape jobs if necessary. Then, rent a skidsteer with the option to buy (as mentioned previously). You can put equity into a good machine with the option to back out at no additional cost. It will force you, for about 6 months (this is what I did) to figure out what the machine really costs (we paid 1200 per month), then you won't need an additional down payment. Then, when your financing payment drops down to a few hundred per month, you will have some practice at the amount of work necessary to make a 1200 dollar payment as during the rental period. Again, as Paul said, the work will find you, and making a few hundred a month with a good skidsteer will be a piece of cake. Next, don't jump into any attachments right away. Used attachments are available, and can be found - Rigid items like forks and buckets are straightforward, they are either beat, or not. We buy these outright. Other items, such as a Harley Rake, we rented on and off for a season, then purchased the same one we had rented all year, the next winter, for a fair price. We knew the history of the item, and entered an educated purchase of an item we were familiar with. For other attachments, wait until you rent them enough to need them, then purchase. You may not like to finance, I have some friends like this, but consider the options - write off interest, have newer, reliable equipment, force yourself to budget, and more. My friend who doesn't like to finance is always fixing his so called 'deals'. He does own a lot of stuff, but it doesn't all get used all the time. If it did (like my stuff - which, when not being used or serviced by us, is usually rented out) it would break down. I hired one of his trucks yesterday, that he rebuilt, and it broke down on my job, while my newer equipment worked around it. Sure he fixed it, like you will if you buy a 20k combo, but I was earning while he was spending. Sorry to drag on, but its snowing here in New Haven, so there is no need to go to the shop today! I hope this helps. My friend from the story is the one who convinced me to get a skid steer. He likes to work on stuff, so I don't criticize him, I respect his approach. It just wouldn't work for me, maybe it would work for you. As he told me, I don't know what I would do without a skidsteer. I can almost guarantee you will say the same thing within a year of ownership. Good Luck, and Carpe Diem.<p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply -<br>Ivy League Landscaping -
  9. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I agree with SLS - <p>If you don't mind fixing and are a good mechanic, buy used. I hate fixing and know enough about engines/hydraulics to be dangerous. I buy (usually) all new. A couple yrs ago I bought a new Chev 3500 HD w/ dump body (GVW 16,000), used 10,000 lb trailer and a new Gehl 6635 sxt (with Harley rake, forks and bucket). Total bill was around $55K. But worth every penny. Have had no breakdowns since I bought them. For what we did, though, it made perfect sense. We use the truck and skid loader every day - you might not. Follow SLS/Paul's advice.

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