Wondering what is a better plan

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Gravel Rat, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I'am trying do decide do I want to build a rolloff system or stick with a dumping flatdeck ?

    I have to get back into doing landscaping not planting flowers or anything like that but getting back into clean up etc.

    Currently I have a brandnew hoist sitting in my basement its a telescoping hoist. The one problem it really won't work for a rolloff hoist because it doesn't have enough stroke for a set of 13' rails its good for a 11' box. So I would have to sell it buy a scissor hoist.

    The pro's about a rolloff hoist is I can have a flatdeck and a few dump boxes it also makes it easier to load with a box on the ground. I can also rent out dumpster boxes. There is only one other person in the area that provides small dumpster boxes the other companies are 40 yard bins only.

    The Cons the first one the expense of building the system and making boxes which is the scarey part its a big investment and I'am unsure how well I could do profit wise. Looked at hooklifts a person has to invest way too much money looking at 15,000-20,000 just for the hoist no boxes thats extra.

    The second con is dealing with people that load the bin wrong. You drop a bin at a construction site it ends up getting everything thrown into it. At our landfill everything has to be separated into wood,garbage,metal,drywall etc. So if I have to go to the landfill and separate everything that kind of defeats the purpose of me not handling the material myself.

    Third con would be the truck I build this on would have to be a 4x4 if I want that then I'am looking at buying a brandnew truck. A F-450 or 550 4x4 used and in good shape is hard to find. A 2wd with a rolloff hoist wouldn't have enough traction I don't think I could get out some places.

    A rolloff truck would be nice but is it really worth it ?

    I need to build a dump truck of some sort if I want to be back into landscaping and hauling material. Is there a reason why the companies that have tandem axle trucks and 40 yard bins don't have any smaller trucks ?

    The one local guy he bought a hook lift and bins back in 91 still has the same truck I don't know if its ever paid for itself. I think it cost him 50,000 dollars back in 91 to buy the truck hoist and a couple boxes. The truck doesn't make him his living he is in the residential garbage P/U with a regular garbage trucks.

    I have a 9 to 5 job now and it just isn't cutting it I need to get back being self employeed so I'am looking at different options. The bank will give me a loan now that I work for a company I can use that to buy a newer truck and get rolling again. When your self employeed the bank usually just :laugh: at you.

    I'am getting tired of the 9 to 5 robot routine the job never changes atleast when I was self employeed I can set my own hours and hopefully make more money.
  2. 2109 Stang

    2109 Stang LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I'll start with the flat bed as a cheap and quick solution , then as you go you should know if you can make that investment , it takes a lot of money and you probably need a yard big enough to store all those dumpsters which it doesn't come cheap , so there are my 2 cents.
  3. AWJ Services

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

    You can buy a Roll off trailer with 3 12 yard containers for around 15k in the states.

    All the cleanup crews here uses single axle Non CDL trucks with 20 yard dumps.

    One guy I know has 800 roll off containers .
  4. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    See I have been out of the loop for 2 years now I haven't done any real kind of landscaping jobs or rubbish removal. Last year I worked for a excavation contractor and this year back with a job for the gov't in public transportation.

    I need to help with my income the gov't job doesn't pay enough so I need something for my days off. If the work is good enough hauling and landscaping I may say see you later to the gov't job. The economy has picked up some so there is work out there. Two years ago the work was really spotty, last year was smoking busy so its why I got a job so quick with the excavtion contractor. This year its slowed down but it seems to be steady there is prospect of 100 houses or more to be built in the area. It all hinges on the interest rate and if the housing market keeps going. The housing market seems to be dragging a anchor right now its slowed down.

    I really don't want to sink myself deep into debt building a rolloff system and find out there is no demand. I do need a replacement truck my 95 is nickel and diming me now it needs a steering box :rolleyes:

    One thing I'am considering is a skid steer with a grapple on it for loading the truck. Its allot of work loading the truck by hand especially old demo debris or old duriods etc.

    The CDL thing isn't a problem for me I don't think I could make enough money with a single axle 5 ton its also not economical for me to run a single axle. I get jobs where I'am cleaning up a senior citizens basement so they may only have a P/U truck full of junk usually charge them 100 dollars plus disposal fees. Most construction sites usually call me before the debris pile gets out of hand most of the time it takes one load to remove all the debris (5 yards). A smaller truck like a 450-550 is needed to quickly get in load up and get out because construction sites always have a battle between the trades who can get closest to the house.

    Most places I can't get a trailer into so a rolloff trailer won't work either some places I have gone the site is so crampt you have to make 100 point turns to turn around and only inches of clearance bettween the trades peoples vehicals.
  5. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    i'm similar to your situation.

    i have a part time job with the longshoreman's union,its not as many hours as i need but the pay is nice.

    i have alot of spare time,i putter around for friends who do excavation and if the union calls..i bail.

    i'd like to get an older backhoe to do my own thing same as you,to set my own hours,keep busy on my time off etc.and like you again,i don't feel like sinking much into my set up if i can avoid it.

    i have to ask you though,with it being a DOT job is it union/non union? seeing as how its public service there's a nice pension in it for you possibly if you can stick it out? run your business on the side,if the housing market cools off,your still employed and can make extra cash on time off.if you quit your job and building slows down you know what could happen.

    get your cake and eat it too,work for the government,have the business on the side and get your big fat pension check.
  6. AWJ Services

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

    The best advice I can give is purchase something that will make you money working by yourself without breaking the bank.

    An F450 with the suspension upgrade is rated too tow 24k and alot of weight in the back.
    A F550 will only get you a few hunderd extra pounds.

    F-450 dump with removable high sides.
    Skid Steer or a 4x4 tractor equiped with a Grapple and a trailer.
    A few attachments and you are there.

    Easily doable for less than 70 K US money.
    You may struggle for a few years but once the equipment is paid for working it part time while keeping your day job then things will be good.

    Screw the rolloffs considering the waste seperation issues.
  7. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    Why not get a F-450 4x4 flat bed dump with a goosneck hookup, gooseneck roll-off trailer (so you can have a dump trailer or flatbed depending on what you want for the day) and skid steer with grapple & bucket it should be less then $80K US.
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I'am not going to give up the gov't job for now even thou working with the public drives me bonkers. Yes its a union job the pension isn't that good the cost of living is so high in B.C. people that have retired can't live off the pension. Its the same with the guys that work for the highways dept they can't live off of their company pension either.

    The main reason why I want to upgrade to a 99 F-450 instead of dumping money into my current 95 F-450 is the 99s have bigger brakes. The 95 has the same 15,000lb gvw but those 16" wheels limit the size of the brakes. I can put a good load on the 95 but my butt cheeks get a little tight decending hills :laugh:

    When I found the spec's on the 99-2002 F-450 and 550 the front axle is the same the frames are the same the brakes are the same the only difference is the 550 has a 135 Dana which is a big rear end and the rear springs are heavier. With the F-450 I could add timbrens and it would probably give me the suspension help for the occasional overload.

    I do want to get my foot in the door for disposal business as this area will have alot of house construction maybe 5 years worth. Also the subdivisions that are going in have covenants stating that the owner of the property has to have the property landscaped in a certain time period. There will be some part time work there.

    I have been reading alot about hooklift trucks and how handy they are. After doing some checking around they are a pricey hoist I priced out what it would cost me to build a conventional rail hoist. Then I would have to pretty well build my own boxes as most companies only build hooklift boxes in the smaller sizes. Hook Lifts are more common for 1 tons to single axle 5 tons.

    Hooklift hoists weigh 1400lbs then add the weight of the box say another 900 to 1000lbs there is approx 2400lbs on the truck before you add payload.

    A conventional rail system like the Switch and Go weighs 800lbs at most then add a box 1000lbs.

    For me to build a 12x8x4 dumpster box would cost approx 2500 dollars each I would need altleast 2 of them.

    For me to put a truck together I'am looking at 30,000 for a decent used truck another 5000 to build a hoist another 5000 to build two roll off boxes. For that kind of money I can find a used tandem axle rolloff know where I can get one for 22,000 dollars.

    Reason why I'am asking you guys is a rolloff worth it before I go spend a bunch of money on something that isn't worth it my total investment for a truck is max 35,000 dollars. This is only going to be a sideline business if it turns out to be full time year round then I might expand. For a skid steer I don't want anything new it can be a well worn machine its not going to see alot of hours it will be used to load the truck with debris or load the truck with dirt.
  9. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    saw this tonight, (while looking for a tandem hooklift) and it might fit your interests


    2000 FORD F550, 4x4. Hooklift, steller 12,000lb lift, 9' Fisher plow, ac, exc cond. $32,900.
    CALL TOLL FREE:(877) 535-1318

    not too close...
    Gabrielli Trucks
    401 Old Gate Lane
    Milford, CT 06460

    but maybe they will work a winter special, shipping it around the Horn- When we lived on Thetis Island (west of Vanc BC Airport, off Vanc Island @ Chemanis) they moored a 'north shore' oil rig construction platform (~100m sq) across the bay from our cabin, and flew the crew from Norway, rotating help every 10 days... we would sail over and watch movies in their 'on-board theatre' !! Sunday afternoons. The winch rooms were impressive, especially the one they were rebuilding due to a 3" anchor cable busting in a gale... It kinda wiped things out,

    maybe you could get the Ford to 'hitch a ride' on a tug. or... I've had very good luck with 'U-ship.com' Probably would be $800 - $1000 USD if you find a short load (LTL) or 'hot-shot' running west. (probably cheaper than fuel...)
  10. tylermckee

    tylermckee LawnSite Member
    from wa
    Messages: 248

    I think you should get a 16 ton excavator w/ thumb

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