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Wheel Loaders

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by Kunker, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    I've been doing a lot of reading on here, and actually started working on the sidewalk crew for a local guy this year to learn about the biz. I've done a lot of looking at trucks and plows, throwing numbers around, and planning for the future. From what I've seen for local pricing, a couple of year old truck will run $15-20K for a nice 3/4-1 ton. New plow installed by a creditable dealer, throw on another $8K.

    On a lark, I checked out an equipment trader mag, and there were some older wheel loaders from $8K (yeah, I know) to decent looking newer ones at $30K. Admittedly, I know next to nothing about this type of equipment, so I'm sure I'm missing something, mainly the reason why these prices aren't as good as they seem to a newb. Now, why don't more new folks look at wheel loaders to start out? Gives you the ability to do larger lots, keeps its value over time better, flexibility in that you can move/stack snow a lot easier, and still has decent road speed depending on the tightness of your route.

    I know that most folks will have little use for the machine in the off season, maintenance will be more expensive, and you still need to throw a pusher box on there, but why isn't this a more popular option?
  2. fireboy6413

    fireboy6413 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    Why would you need a loader, you say you just started doing walks, have you ever even plowed before
  3. vamootsman

    vamootsman Senior Member
    Messages: 316

    Maybe he's looking to the future, you know, the one that you want to crush for him! I've looked into the same options. Just because he hasn't spent as much time behind the wheel doesn't me he isn't observant. Why don't you anser the question or give some guidance. Jeeesh!
  4. lawnkale

    lawnkale Senior Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 151

    i agree he is just looking for advice. If your only task is to plow snow a loader would be great. I run 244j and 344j and they are very versitale I can out plow any truck and can do tight areas and medium size lots also.
  5. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    and what are you going to do with that loader during the summer, or when a hydraulic pump or hydrosatic transmission goes (this is a 8k+ fix) keep in mind a regular maintenance service on a loader is going to run hundreds of dollars, this big equipment comes with big costs, also big liabilities, you are driving a piece of equipment that can run over vehicles, and destroy curbs, etc.
  6. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    To answer some question, no, I've never plowed before, that's why I'm starting at the bottom. Trying to learn the business from the bottom up rather than sink a bunch of money into something that I either don't like, or don't know how to do properly.

    Thanks for the reply, I see you run this type of equipment so I certainly value your opinion. For me, I have a full time job, so any truck/plow combo would be sitting all summer as well. The maintenance costs on a diesel pickup are hundreds of dollars too, and when you are only doing snow, how much maintenance would there be? I know the repair costs would be higher, but would that not be offset by a much higher resale value than a similarly aged truck?

    As said, I'm just asking the question as to why more folks aren't looking at things this way, and if there is something big I'm missing.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2009
  7. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    It all depends on the type of work you are after. Assuming you are after industrial/commercial type properties you may want to consider the following....

    By purchasing a pickup, you will be able to get around quicker, and with the installation of a slide in, be able to salt your sites too. I would recommend a 550 size truck, that way you could install a larger plow and larger salter, if your focus is going to be commercial/industrial.

    Most people don't buy a loader to begin with as it isn't quite as versatile as say a pickup truck/plow and salter combo, plus they have a vehicle they can drive in the off season if they have to, or use it to pull a trailer or whatever.

    A loader will make lighter work of heavier accumulations, and is a little slower to road to the next site, and you'll still need salting capabilities anyways. You can always rent a loader and operator for pushbacks or removals if required in the meantime. If your biz progesses to the point you could justify a loader, then make the purchase.

    If you plan on being a broker- a loader will get you more $$$, and expose you to multiple income streams (removal/pushbacks/plowing) throughout the winter, where a plow truck will limit you.

    I think you will have to invest more than just a loader and pusher if you plan to get your own sites to be marketable, a truck and salter should do you just fine.

    Now if you manage to pickup a solid multi year contract that is too big for pickup, and can use a second piece of equipment, then go for the loader and pickup/plow/salter combo. This way the loader can stay on the one account, and do the occaisional roading and the plow can focus on smaller lots and salting. Hope this helps. :drinkup:
  8. Kunker

    Kunker Member
    Messages: 96

    Thanks for filling in the details I missed. I knew there had to be a reason this wasn't a more talked about option. Thanks again! :drinkup: