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Back up truck

Discussion in 'Business Fundamentals' started by EPS, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. EPS

    EPS Member
    Messages: 66

    How many of you have a back up truck? And for those who dont, like I, what do you do if your plow or truck breaks down?
  2. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    We have our 85 Chev thats now a only a backup truck.
    and out salt truck a 94 Chev can have the blade put on it if the need was to come about.

    Biggest problem with backup trucks is they don't get ran enough brakes rust up etc. But knock wood our 85 has never not started.
  3. Stud Bro

    Stud Bro Senior Member
    Messages: 144

    my company runs 3 trucks and we have one new personal truck that has a plow mount on it if we need we also have 2 back up plows. If your not looking to invest in a back up truck line up some subs help them out in there time of need and they will help you out in yours. This would also be a great time to have a good relation ship with your plow dealer my dealer is also a mechanic and if need be i take my truck or plow to him and he lets me use his truck or plow.
  4. CrownLawn

    CrownLawn Junior Member
    Messages: 10

    We currently have three trucks on the road at one time. However if one breaks down 2 of the trucks can get the job done with longer hours. This is temporary only. I also partner up with another plower in my area and if either one of us needs a hand we help each other out. This works well if someone get sick or needs a break.
  5. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    it would be nice if someone around here would help another but we are the largest in town with half dozen trucks and skidsteer's and a toolcat and several tractors so we realy don't have a backup truck if one breaks catostrophicly we add hours to the other rigs
  6. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    I have two backup trucks. One is for helping out when I get behind (assuming I can find good help) and the other is in case of mechanical failure. They're rarely needed but it's comforting to know they're there.
  7. GL&M

    GL&M Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 223

    I use my 1 ton dump as a back up. I try to use it a few times during the winter to keep it loose. Sitting all winter will kill a truck it its not used.
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 28,362

    I went out and found a '99 Dodge 2500 this fall to use as a backup to my (2) 2006 Dodge 2500's. I was able to get all the work done previously, but it was about 24-30 hours worth of work for myself to complete, with help from my dad 6-8 hours, so I added the truck, if for no other reason that if one of mine went down, I'd never get the jobs done.
  9. Banksy

    Banksy PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,113

    If you have two trucks, you should maybe alternate storms or something. Don't let it just sit and rot. Maybe the back up or beater truck should be used more than the primary, nicer truck. Then you can say that your back up is nicer than the primary one.xysport
  10. Snowshow

    Snowshow Member
    Messages: 43

    We keep spare trucks around but they only keep costing money becasuse they generally don't run but a couple of times a season. We sell them or they keep costing us large amount of money to get that back up truck running each year. This might be a little off topic but here it goes. One thing that we have also done over the years is build a very solid sub-contractor base. Generally we keep 7-10% of our business with sub contractors. People think that that I am crazy but if we grow say 25% each year and have to go and purchase two or three trucks to handle the increase in volume, then our profit margin is not as high and it might take a year or two to see a profit from that equipment purchase. If we increase/decrease the amounts of sub contractors to go with the "flow of business" we don't have to purchase a large amount of new equipment or (if we loose a large account) we don't have unwanted equipment lying around. By using the subs we are allowed to grow the customer base each year and also keeping tax write offs at their maximum. It's has worked very good to our favor and I have built a lot of good relationships with local owner/operators. They are very loyal and I am very thankful for the work that they do to help our company.

    If you can build a relationship with one or more owner/operators in your area, they can be a great tax write off, make some money on them, and grow the following year with the purchase of new equipment. Hopefully then your new customers will be back next year and then you have something solid to work on and more working capitol to purchase more equipment. (Then grow again:salute:)

    My other two cents is that make sure that you are up front with your subs. Be honest with them. I run them every night at least for three hours. If your only going to run them in an emergency then tell them. Communication is key to your success with subs. If they feel that they are getting ripped off, then don't expect them to do the right job for you. Business is business but if everything is up front and there are no questions, then all should be well and the subs will come back year after year building a solid base to make your business go forward.

    I am not the expert but this has worked for me for the past ten years and we have grown to be a very successful business in our town. I know event the largest snow shows in our area utilize subs. Good luck.

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2007
  11. NJ Plowman

    NJ Plowman Senior Member
    Messages: 794

    We have two back up trucks. They have plows and salters and are loaded with everything and ready to go at all times. A driver simply brings in the broke truck and hops in a back up truck to finish the route.
  12. ponyboy

    ponyboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,104

    we have a back up but thats a good point sub out more work i'm stupid and just buy more trucks bought two more this year and one last year next year i will try subs i think
  13. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,202

    I have a back-up truck but no mount for the plow on it at the moment. Hopefully this will change for next season. At the moment, Im doing mostly driveways so itsa not a mandatory thing.