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Thinking of buying a single axle dump as the first piece of my new business....

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Stroker, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. Stroker

    Stroker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Well Ive been on this great site for a couple of months now trying to learn and absorb information. If you want to know the full background on my story, check this thread and this thread..

    I worked as an equipment operator for several years and am thinking about going into business for myself. Ive been thinking of buying a single axle dump, compact track loader and perhaps a mini excavator. Then going after clearing, debris removal, excavating type work...

    I got to thinking how I can start out with baby steps to get my business going. I thought to myself, here I am a start up business, does it really make sense to go out and buy a 50k compact track loader or a mini excavator before I even have my first job lined up? Especialy since so many places around here rent equipment.

    Just out of curiosity this morning I got to talking to my banker. I asked about perhaps getting another auto loan and was approved on the spot. Now it may not make much sense to buy a 25k-30k single axle dump truck either. But with the option to finance for 72 months making the payments less than $500 a month, I can definitly afford to take the risk especialy since the income from my current job will be there until I have enough business to do this full time.
    I already have a 16,000# Superior deck over trailer and an F-350 as a daily driver. So basicly all Im missing is equipment, which can be rented as its needed until I feel the business will be there to justify making more purchases.....

    Does this sound like a good approach to the start of my new business?
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I think your first order of business would be to get the work lined up first. If you can line all the work up you can rent the equipment for weeks/months on end and save on the rental fees. Seems as if your 350 and trailer can handle what you will be renting.

    I would ask yourself this about the single axle dump...is it going to make you money or is the piece of equipment going to make you money? I believe the equipment would. Don't forget, you could always rent the dump or hook up with a hauling company and subcontract out the 'hauling' aspect.

    Just my two cents thrown into the pot.
  3. Stroker

    Stroker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Thanks for the reply LB1234. I guess one other point I should have touched on is the fact Im not real crazy about turning my F-350 into a full time work truck... I know, I know, its just a truck. But this truck is one of my babies and my daily driver. Black, crew cab, PSD, Lariot, 4x4, leather, and an adjustable chip strong enough to blacken any intersection.. :cool:

    Now Im sure I will use it for work on occasion. But as far as having the vehicle thats gonna get the brunt of the work, Id rather have something else. So for me it was either buy a dump truck, or another F-350. I would have probably spent about the same amount on either one. I figure the dump truck would be of more use.....
  4. Jerry and Sons

    Jerry and Sons LawnSite Member
    from Pa
    Messages: 249

    Things that I would consider. Is there enough clearing type work in my area to justify the purchase of the dump and excavator? If you are looking to get into the biz you might want to get a customer base that includes some steady weekly income (Lawn Main.) IMO it is hard to base your budget and equipment needs without a steady flow of income to base your equip. needs. For me I took a leap of faith by getting into the buz, but I started out small and purchased equipment on an as needed basis. My two cents is to save the money that you would use on the dump, buy an insert dump body for your 350 and use themonrest of the money for equipment and ADVERTISING.
  5. greywynd

    greywynd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Well, I kind of like your idea, do some research before jumping into it though. Maybe there's someone in your area that can supply you with some work doing deliveries, for example. A landscape box so that you can deliver pallets of material might be an idea too, instead of just a regular dump box. Sometimes even the construction companies will sub out small deliveries, if their trucks are all busy on large stuff.

    You've also said that you run different kinds of equipment, a truck this size will allow you to rent what you need for a job, whether it be a backhoe, dozer, or excavator, until you find your particular markets. A drawback though is the fact that smaller jobs will be higher priced, because you have to add in the rental costs. If you can find some work for the truck couple days a week or so though that's constant, and you can add your own in the balance of the time, I'd think about it.
  6. Stroker

    Stroker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Thanks for the replys. I have an update to my situation. A guy I have gotten to know pretty well is a project manager for a decent sized construction company in our area. He said if I want it, I can get some of their construction debris removal work and some rough grade jobs. So I am definatly in the market for a single axle dump now, 14-16ft bed. Will probably rent a skid steer/compact track loader until work is steady enough to justify purchasing one. But knowing what I am willing to spend on a truck and what my payments will be, Im willing to take the risk...
  7. n2h20

    n2h20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 503

    id buy a truck and rent the eguipment, my question why a single axle and not a full then wheeler? small truck means more trips to the dump less time digging or clearing. Also with a 10 wheeler you may be able to sub it out as a dumper for bigger companies moving alot of dirt.

    good luck.,
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Perhaps look into a dump TRAILER? We have one. Bri-mar, dual axle, 14' bed length, 6T GVWR (~4T capacity). I believe that is more than some of the single axle dumps (masons). PM for additional info or perform a search I've written about it a bunch of times.

    Seems like it might work for you. Can haul a skid steer (we haul a Kubota L35 or whatever the model # that replaced it was...can't remember), dumps the 4T of material, maintenance/registration/insurance/etc. is cheaper than a dump truck. I mean, yes, there are some setbacks and downsides but perhaps with money being tight it would be a good fit.?.?.?

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