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Ultimate shop if you were going to build one...

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by J&L, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. J&L

    J&L Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 79

    As with most buildings and companies, we have come to out grow our shop that we built 12 years ago and are about to jump into the design phase of building a new one. My question for all of you is if you were to build a new facility/shop/garage/etc what would you want to include in it, be it equipment, building features, special tools, etc. The main functions for the shop would be snow removal equipment storage, auto/truck repair, lawn care/landscaping, welding/fabrication,

    Some of the items at the top of my list are:
    more floor drains! (longer runs and a lot more of them)
    taller/wider OH doors
    (1)-4 post lift for larger trucks/equipment (20-30k lb. cap.)
    (1)-2 post lift (10k lb)
    In-floor heat--geothermal
    Separate wash bay (divided block wall) w/ car wash wand
    Air compressor in a separate utility room for the noise
    ventilated weld/fab designated area
    obviously a nice little office area
    These are just a few off the top of my head....

    What else would you guys add if the cost of it was negligible? There is definitely a budget involved, don't get me wrong, I just don't want to limit certain ideas based on the potentially absurd costs that may be associated with it...
  2. brianbrich1

    brianbrich1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,077

    For me the lift in a bay , seperated and independently heated wash bay would be a must.

    SNOMACHINE Senior Member
    Messages: 163

    Well we have all that you listed above minus the 2 post lift. I dont think the 2 post lifts are very safe. Our wash bay doesn't have block wall but walls are lined with ribbed metal siding! Air compressor room is 12 X 12 which also houses filters, all fluids, parts inventory, bolt bins, grease, all stocked by local dealers. I don't have to worry if I don't have the main things in stock at all times. We have an overhead gantry crane in one whole bay with 2.5 ton all electric travel hoist. Our 4 post drive on lift is a rotary 30,000# with 2 rolling 15,000# jacks. The bay that has the gantry system also has a 30' x 4' pit that is used for overflow when the lift is tied up. Our floor heat is operated by a triangle tube instant boiler system 98% efficient off natural gas. I have a office above the compressor room. All air lines, torch lines, welding plug cord, electric cords, grease lines, engine oil lines, and water hose are all on retractable reels. Best thing I ever did! We buy oil and grease bulk.

    Make sure you have plenty of good steel workbench area! We build our own and we hare a total of 58' of workbench with electric & air plugs every 8' on the front of the bench so you don't have to reach over the bench to plug things in!

    SNOWLORD Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 610

    18-20ft sidewalls, wide and tall doors, overhead gantry crane if not in the budget at least a jib crane, separate wash bay, well ventilated welding area, several feet of steel benches around the perimeter with droors underneath them, lots of 220 and 110 plugs all the way around, about twice as many lights as you think you need, plumbed air all around, an iron worker in the welding area, heated floors, a large heavy steel table with at least a half inch top with a good large wilton vice on one or two of the corners. And alot of retractable reels for cord hoses and such.
  5. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    There's a budget...and you have Geo-thermal listed? I would drop that for a top shelf outside wood furnace...unless local code forbids it.

    Other than that, I'd want a corner with a couch, table and kitchenette. A place for lunch, coffeee, and beer.

    IPLOWSNO PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,619

    Yup a man cave office in the loft,

    Infloor heat fed by a outdoor wood boiler,

    Hot water in washbay
  7. alldayrj

    alldayrj PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,097

    Make it a drive through so you can pull through with a trailer on
  8. 2_Djinn

    2_Djinn Senior Member
    Messages: 157

    This was my first thought after reading the title of this thread!
  9. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    fork lift? plow storage racks/loft?
  10. J&L

    J&L Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 79

    This may change the in-floor heating responses, but we are looking at a heated portion of around 12,000 sq ft. The initial cost of geothermal will obviously be high, but they pay for themselves in what, 10-15 years, maybe 20 on the high end. If you can trench in your own loop, then you can really see the cost savings. I guess I just don't want to deal with the maintenance that comes with wood or corn furnaces and I really do not want to heat that size of an area with natural gas radiant heat or things along that line. We bought into the corn furnace phase about 7-8 years ago when corn was less than $3/ bushel, put great heat to about 4000sq ft pretty inexpensively for a few years...not really a feasible option when it's as high as it is today...and I really don't see it going down anytime soon.

    Loft idea for storage is also a good idea we are wanting to put in. We are looking at probably 18' ceilings and placing a mezzanine type level in one corner of the building for parts and inventory having about 6-7' of clearance, enough to get decent shelving, lighting, and head room up there.

    I really like the bulk material (oil, hyd fluid, atf, antifreeze, washer fluid) storage idea in stackable poly totes (100 gal/ea) with hoses and spickets all brought down to a uniform level. Saw this at a guys shop a few weeks ago and sure as heck beats handling everything in quarts and gallon jugs. I 'd love to have them on reels and pumps, but you gotta cut back some places;)
  11. BlackIrish

    BlackIrish Senior Member
    Messages: 888

    Make the dedicated wash bay function as a paint booth.
    And everything else that's already been mentioned.
  12. skimastr105

    skimastr105 Member
    Messages: 35

    We are planning to do geothermal when we build in 3-5 years. Big savings by not buying fuel. And cutting wood costs a lot of time which rules out a Woodburner. A loft for parts and bulk fluids above the office is a great idea also.
  13. Sawboy

    Sawboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,562

  14. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Excellent idea, but do you have any idea what the fire code is for paint booths?

    Better to make it a paint booth later. If you get my drift.

    Great ideas.

    I want really tall walls and about a 20' wide door.

    I would consider those infrared tube heaters to supplement the in floor heating. Melts snow and ice off trucks really fast and will dry the floor nicely as well.
  15. shovelracer

    shovelracer Senior Member
    Messages: 525

    Waste oil furnace, drive through lift bays, "clean room" for sensitive parts rebuild, fully stocked lounge.
  16. DodgeRam1985

    DodgeRam1985 Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 82

    Sounds like you have a really good path laid out so far and definitely would be an awesome shop. A cost saving tip though, we found that as opposed to putting the compressor in a completely seperate room (which does cut down on the noise considerably), we simply built a "box" around it, with a door on it. We framed the box with some scrap 2x8 stock, and then heavily insulated it. We did place a vent to the outside from the compressor box through the exterior wall in order to not cause any over heating issues or the like. We then "hard plumbed" air lines from steel pipe and just put inlets for a hose to be attached to it about every 10 feet. Thinking back on it, I wish I would have just done steel lines with reel hoses attached, but that was an over sight. Make sure you do lots of outlets, more than you would ever think you would need. I would suggest going with plug in style lights for overhead, simply because they are much more easily moved and adjusted if once you start putting your equipment in you find you have dark or poorly lit areas.

    I understand your geothermal heat, I'm personally a big fan out outdoor furnaces just because you can run your radiant floor heat and forced air for the shop from the 1 furnace. I also farm though, so corn to me is "free" (in the sense I don't have to buy it, it just comes out of my farm income). I really wish there was a furnace though that could burn corn, pellets, and wood, so that I could choose the least costly at any given point to burn. But most of them are corn/pellet or wood only (unless someone knows of some that aren't, in which case I'd like to hear about it).
  17. J&L

    J&L Member
    from Iowa
    Messages: 79

    I've been told the one we have is a "biomass" furnace and can burn corn or wood pellets. It is an A-maize-ing Heat Furnace. We never ran wood pellets through it, but others in our area have and said it worked great and it was a lot cleaner than running corn. We wanted to switch to wood once corn started to get outrageous, but all we could find was 50# bags, no bulk in our area under a 6 hour drive. We were going through about 500-550 bushel a winter when we used it, that was keeping it at 65-70F all the time, too.
  18. Jim74

    Jim74 Member
    Messages: 50

    An address the wife can't find. Definately able to drive a trailer through.
  19. scott3430

    scott3430 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Don't know if it was said yet.......A bathroom. A small kitchen, nothing fancy, microwave and fridge, sink.
  20. Buswell Forest

    Buswell Forest PlowSite.com Addict
    from NH
    Messages: 1,668

    A large outdoor furnace can take 36" logs, and they don't need to be split...if you can lift it and get it in there, it's fine..just buy a couple loads of wood (2 TT loads or 3 straight job loads) a year ahead so it's semi dry. Cut up a cord at a time as you go, not really a big time consuming thing....A cord comes quick @ 24" or more..
    If you planned it out, you could have a building with the furnace inside, and a wood storage area off to the side...say 12' away, with a good sized set of barn doors. You cut the cord or two, and haul it inside with the tractor, dump it in a pile, don't even need to stack it. A guy I know has this set up, works awesome. The snow and ice melts right off so it's dry when he uses it.

    (All one building, just to be clear..not two buildings!)