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Compact wheel loaders or go big

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by landscaper1, Dec 22, 2009.

  1. landscaper1

    landscaper1 Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 4

    I'm looking to expand into larger commercial lots, but not sure to go with either 2 or 3 compact wheel loaders with 12 or 14 foot pushers or go with 1 large loader w/ 16' pusher and a bobcat w/ 8' pusher. Most of the lots were looking to bid are the size of a lowes/Target etc. Also the lots are all in one complex.

    Any thoughts would help.
  2. snowman4

    snowman4 Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    Removal? How many dump trucks? etc
  3. landscaper1

    landscaper1 Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 4

    All snow to stay on property. Loaders would just be for pushing and stacking.

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    in my opinion 2 pcs of equipment is always better then 1.
    you then have a backup if something breaks.
    however then you also have to man each one which adds expense.
  5. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    first thoughts, with the compact wheel loaders, you are looking 8-10ft pushes IMO, the large loader, is going to be a 12ft-16ft pusher, the bobcat 8ft. so with the small loaders, are you looking to transport them, or drive them from site to site, i well assume the large loader you are going to drive site to site, and the skidsteer, you well transport. so how far away are these sites?, also the skidsteer is definetly a more universal piece of equipment, so do you have work for it in the summer? all of these are points that well help you determine what better suits your needs, personally, we use a couple skidsteers, and a 1 1/4yard loader (case 910) and so far i enjoy the way this set up works.
  6. Superior L & L

    Superior L & L PlowSite Veteran
    from MI
    Messages: 3,041

    I think its too late in the year to be making these decisions :dizzy::dizzy:
  7. landscaper1

    landscaper1 Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 4

    This isn't for this year superior L & L. This is for future growth. You have a nice set up there. What size equipment are you running and what size pushers?
  8. born2farm

    born2farm 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,310

    If you can get the work I would go with two small/mid size wheel loaders. Of course you are going to have more money in doing it this way with extra labor fuel etc. but in the long run as you expand I would say that two pieces of equipment would be better then one big one. A little one could be used on a smaller lot as well if needed.
  9. mc1

    mc1 Senior Member
    Messages: 171

    iwould go with the small loader set up a buddy of mine ran one last year with a 12 foot daniels folding plow it was sweet the machine was i think a volvo hydrostat that could be controled from the stick the only issue was he used it on lots all over the place and the thing was a snail but if all lots are close i would go this route
  10. Grisi24

    Grisi24 Senior Member
    Messages: 166

    We do a lowe's with a 24ft trifolding pusher and sometimes it is too big! When it is empty it is quick and easy. We always have a pickup doing cut-in and clean-up work. I would rather say if you can help it use two loaders if you can afford it or can justify it. Back up is key to anything this big!

    Two 12ft or 14ft can probably do a quicker job but it isn't economically feasible
  11. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    grab the big loaders. put it this way. the small loaders are nice for normal and lights plows but only the larger loaders are going to keep uup during a storm. i like the compact loader but only as a compliment to a larger loader, i would never see a small loader as the main source, specially on bigger lots like you are referring to above.
  12. landscaper1

    landscaper1 Junior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the info redman6565. How large of a loader are tou thinking for these size lots? I was looking at a Komatsu wa120 as well as having a JCB 409b for the smaller pushes and lots.
  13. redman6565

    redman6565 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,411

    personally i always felt that you had to have at least a 1.75-2 yrd loader as the min for an "anchor" machine on a larger lot. that is pretty much the size loader you'll need to push a 16' pusher...of course that's jus tmy opinion
  14. terraventure

    terraventure Member
    Messages: 52

    The guy I sub contract for had a super walmart two years ago which we used a 16ft pusher and a 10 ft pusher. There was also a skid steer with a 8f tpusher. It was different each storm depending on if we used the 16ft or not. Alot of the time we just maintianed the lot during th storm with the 10ft a cople trucks with 9ft straight blades and the skid. It is a pain in the ass using the 16ft during the day because all of the idiots that decide to go shopping when it is snowwing two inches per hour. The 16ft makes quick work of the lot when all the morons are not pulling in front of or behind the loader all tihe time. I wouldn't go with a anything bigger than a 10ft on a compact loader. During light snow you could use a large pusher but during heavy snow the large pusher would overwhelm the small loader especially if there are any incline on the lot.
  15. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member
    from s/w co
    Messages: 641

    Unfortunately, only experience will help you determine which method will be most productive and thus more cost effective. Advice is good, but none of us can see the potential sights you are looking to plow. As a general rule, the biggest cost you have will be labor. You will pay about the same for an operator in a 30,000# loader as you will in a 10,000# loader. With big equipment you will get better economies of scale. In other words you will move more material for less money. The caveat to this is that you must have the right conditions. Small equipment is around for good reason. If you are plowing small cut up lots, or if you are on big lots with lots of cars than the useful production of the larger machine is reduced. As I'm sure that you have gathered, there is no blanket answer. If you have seen anyone plowing these types of lots before, you may have noticed that the contractor has a combination of units (ie. trucks; skids; loaders; ATVs; blowers) that he/she uses based on conditions. Other factors contribute to the conditions as well. Do you have more than one qualified operator? One good operator on a big enough machine will easily out perform a couple of mediocre ones on smaller ones. Back up is another point made in favor of using (2) compact loaders. I think that the point was that if one breaks than you will still have the other to keep working. This is true but having (2) machines in use, especially if you have lesser skilled operators. Furthermore, I'm sure that you will (or do) realize that planning for under utilization (having more machines & operators than you actually need) is not very cost effective and thus makes your pricing less competitive. I'm sure that you will also try to get as much work as you can accomplish (whether you have one machine or two) so you won't really have a spare unit. If one breaks you still won't make your deadlines.
    As I've already said, there is no perfect answer. I would recommend that you take what has been suggested and see how it fits in your particular situation. Use common sense and trial and error. Try to see if you can learn on a smaller scale. This way you can be wrong without going broke.