Picking up materials? I just don't understand.

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by mrusk, Apr 23, 2006.

  1. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    I have all my agerate and block/pavers delivered to my job site. It seems like most of my competitors pick up the material. Sometimes making several trips with there 550s to get what they need, and making several trips with there trailers to get the block/pavers. Some companies even have tandem and triaxles trucks to pick up material.

    The more i think about it, unless your running several crews and have a dedicated truck driver, i don't think it pencils out to do your own deliveries.

    When i need agergate, i call the local quarry and have a tandem or a triaxle with my material, within an hour. It cost me 60-70 for delivery. I don't think that could be beat. Even if you have a 26kgvw dump truck, you would still have to make 3 trips to get as much material as a loaded tri axle. By the time you add in the truck overhead, lost production time by employee, and fuel, are you saving any money?

    Do you guys pick up or have your materials delivered?

    As i plan future purchuses for my company, i am really wondering if buying a single axle dump truck is the best way to spend my money.
  2. Pavers Plus

    Pavers Plus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    I always tell contractors they should have the bulk of there material delivered by others because it saves so much time and money in more ways than one.... If your guys are not on the job, you are losing money. If they are driving for 20 minutes to the supplier then 20 minutes at the yard, then 20 minutes back, you just lost 1 man hour. Also, assume that your foreman is getting the materials leaving the laborers. I assume once the foreman leaves, efficiency of your crew drops by over half. Now, figure 3-4 trips in your truck for materials........that's most of the day with little efficiency.

    Keep your guys on the jobsite and have everything delivered if possible. sometimes it is necessary to leave the jobsite to get the materials to finish... I do have a couple companies that purchase from me that would rather spend $100 delivery on 1/2 pallet of material then to have their guys leave the jobsite...

    As far as the big trucks......you need lots of crews. The trends are for larger companies with more than 5 crews to use Multi-platforms trucks like Switch-n-Go or Stellar so that you can dedicate one truck to all your crews deliveries. YOu can have customized crew boxes dropped on site instead of trailers containing all your tools. You can deliver your machinery and move machinery with your one driver. You can pickup all materials need, both bulk or palletized with dump bodies or flatbed bodies that switch. When there is no need to run the truck, the driver can be trained to fill in certain tasks on crews or staging materials for your next jobs so that all material is on site when the crew begins the job.

    a 26K GVW truck would be sufficent for most companies, though some are expanding into much larger trucks. Just remember what your CDL laws are in your state. In Maryland, you need a CDL with anything over 26K.

    As far as trucks go, I'd skip the Ford F-450/F-550's. DOT is getting more strict with weights of these trucks and what is being carried/and towed. Go for the F-650 if you want a Ford. Or go for a Frieghtliner, Hino, International, Mitsubishi Fuso rated at 26K. I personally prefer the Cab over trucks because of maneuverablilty and fuel economy. I'd prefer not to have my crew driving in a 400HP truck speeding down the road overloaded. I'd rather they figure out that if they overload the truck, they will go much slower. If they load properly, the trucks perform properly.....

    Just my 2 cents.....

    By the way, one of my friends works for a company in California with about 100 crews and they run mostly F-150s for the crews with a few F-250/350's. They get everything delivered
  3. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    We backload our concrete sand to the job because the first thing we are normally doing is hauling out crap...it suits us because we can get 9 tonnes for $30.00 on our Mitsy whereas a 6 wheeler costs us $190 for 13 tonnes. Even then we still sometimes order a 6 wheeler if we are busy. We don't let any of our labourer's drive our truck because its just pivotal to our business.

    We have all our blocks delivered....job we start shortly has 250 tonnes of blocks....lot of trips in single axle:dizzy:

    Its not worth me or my partner being away from the job, get it delivered unless its a small job and it suits.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Its my opinion that many scapers lack in sound business logistics mentality.

    It seems many of these cowboys are on power trips and too consumed with trying to do it all, rather than sit back and do the math.

    If its a small quanity and the stop is along the way of where we're workin, we'll pick it up, and I plan for that when costing out the job.

    Anything else is delivered. If we just need one tree - in most cases - it's delivered...
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623


    you wrote

    "As i plan future purchuses for my company, i am really wondering if buying a single axle dump truck is the best way to spend my money."

    We have a 26k gvw truck. And really the only point where we use it to its full potential is when we're finished a job. And by that I mean - when a job is done we have all the tools and machines to haul away. the skiddy bopper, left over hardscape materials, left over soil, etc. With all this loaded on truck and trailer, the combo unit is possibly weighing a GVW of 36,000#.

    Now, we do work intelligently and try to haul items off the property as the work progresses and as we no longer need it on that job at hand. But there are times where it does not always work out that way.

    So, in all reality - we do not need our medium duty truck, with good organization we could operate fine and dandy without it.
  6. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    I have a International 4700 w/ a 14' dump body. I usually have things delivered except mulch, stone, topsoil, sand, RCA etc. ANy pavers or block, I just have it delivered. It is too much of a waste of time to wait and drive between the supplier and jobsite. I build the dlivery cost into estimate and I charge $150 per day for my truck and gas on any job we do.
  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    DVS- After my first job i learned to haul out debris and tools during the job. That first job i did, i ended up having junk piled 7 feet up in my pickup bed!

    For example- on a paver job once the base is done-all screeding tools (aluminum screeds and pipes) go right back to the shop. I think with a little planning, you could end up bring home almost nothing on the last day of the job.

    On another note- Since i am selling my lawn accounts i am really considering selling my enclosed trailer. I was going to set it up for a hardscape trailer, but with alittle planning and a knack job box i might be able to do without a big hardscape trailer. Hell, i work solo right now so i am not bring many tools out with me to being with. The money from selling my lawn accounts, lazer z, and enclosed trailer, could give me a real nice down payment on a mini x, which would do more for me than having a enclosed trailer!

  8. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    a dump truck is a waste of money,there is no advantage to have one.

    after your insurance,DOT inspections and keeping any repairs up to date,tires,fuel,daily maintainence its just a pain in your butt.

    you can't make money off trucking and to landscapers buying anything larger than a 1 ton or say a 450 is a waste of your cash.
  9. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    I am on a job now where I am using Hanover pavers. I can pick the material up for 1.50 a sqaure , or I can pay up to 2.50 just for the material then a surcharge for delivery. You decide. I pick up what I can . I have a 14000 gvw and it only set me back 5500.00 and it was worth every penny.
  10. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    I do a combination of both. If I have a large re-sod/grade job that I estimate I will need 10+ yards of material, I will schedule a deivery of maybe 90% of estimated material. I will then use my one ton dump to run the little we need for finishing.

    Around here, they say "yeah we will be there between 7:00 and 8:00. well at 10:00 your crew is still standing there picking thier noses.

    Block is an exact calculation and easy to schedule a delivery a day before you need it.

    I agree 100% that the transport is not making you any money when using your own truck (unless you buy quarry direct) and that I let someone else move most material.

    But there is something to be said for having four yards of top soil where you want it and when.

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