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How to know when to get rid of equipment?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by JimMarshall, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    Hey all, when/how do you decide to get rid of equipment that you aren't using anymore?

    A number of years ago we got contracted to do snow removal by our local school district. Bought a GMC Canyon with a 6' Western Suburbanite plow and a tailgate spreader to use for the sidewalks. We did the work for them for several years, then a number of new school board members thought it was ridiculous and they could do it so much cheaper in house (I disagree, but you know what they say about customers being wrong) - since then, they have taken it out of house again, and went with low bid, which we were not.

    Since we lost the contract, I don't really use that truck, or the spreader and plow. I mean, I find things to do with it - in the winter one of my shoveling crews runs around with it, in the summer we use it for jobs that don't involve hauling anything other than hand equipment, but if I replaced it with a full size truck it would be much more functional.

    Only problem is, the company that does the work now is just so shockingly bad at it, and I'm worried that right after I get rid of it, the school district will hire us back.

    So, how do you decide when to get rid of stuff you're not really using anymore?

    D DRUMS LLC Junior Member
    Messages: 25

    I have found over the years that there will always be another truck.An old timer told me once don't fall in love with it. If you can sell it for what its worth than do it. You can hunt for another truck if they call you back. Thats what makes it fun.
  3. tjmahl

    tjmahl Member
    Messages: 35

    Mate hold on to until next season if that contract doesn't then get rid of it
  4. BUFF

    BUFF PlowSite Fanatic
    from FR NoCo
    Messages: 9,092

    In your situation I'd hang on the Canyon if its paid for and reliable. It sounds like it still has a purpose though not what it was originally intended for. It may not be a work horse but it'd be good for doing clean ups and some "spot" spreading if needed.

    I have a hard time getting rid of things but when I do it's because I'm "upgrading" or there's the tell tell signs of reliability issues down the road.
  5. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    The Canyon isn't 10 years old yet, it has never had a note on it, and it's long since paid for itself. We are having some 4wd issues but nothing enough for me to call it unreliable or a money pit.
  6. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    I'd consider keeping it then until you find out the situation for next winter.

    If you think it's going to have something happen that will greatly reduce it's value (ex:rust showing through the body vs just visible underneath) then I'd get rid of it as soon as possible so in 8 months or a year you don't loose a good chunk of money on it because you held onto it to long and now it looks like it's in 10x worse shape then a year ago even though it only has 3k more miles on it.
  7. ponyboy

    ponyboy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,104

    By me school have to take cheapest bid
    Sell it and move on
    If you get your price and get the schools back get another small truck then
  8. Freshwater

    Freshwater PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,207

    Jim, I'd keep it. It's still a net positive. Wasn't the cost of a new one 26k or 36k? You can have made a ramp that replaces the tailgate or a custom flatbed and haul a z spray or equivalent. Then you'd have a super productive sidewalk rig. Out of all the walks you still have that truck won't fit on any of them? Getting the schools back would be a bonus.
  9. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    I agree a lot with what Ponyboy said. If it is the schools policy to chase low bid, and you know you're not going to be that, then why hang on to a piece of equipment that cost you money you could invest in something else that will better serve your company? You have to pay registration and insurance on that truck right? Do you own a skid? You could do the same sidewalks with a skid that you do with the p/u, without paying registration or the liability insurance on it that you do the truck. Obviously, you would still insure it against theft or damage, but it could do a whole lot more as well. And if the school ever came to its senses, and hired you back, you could utilize the skid for the walks there. JMO
  10. jonniesmooth

    jonniesmooth Senior Member
    Messages: 296

    I agree

    I miss not having a mid size truck in the fleet. I put 2 15 gal, spot sprayers in for the summer and use to spray weeds. In the winter use it to haul a snowblower when needed and with your blade, it's a perfect touch up rig.
  11. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 Senior Member
    Messages: 499

    keep it, we also have a canyon with a plow it gets used on sidewalks and running around odd jobs in the summer. We may put airbags or some sort of suspension upgrade on it to make it haul a little more. Having a mid size truck that anyone can jump in and plow or borrow or even put some crew in it to go to jobs with tools is a very useful thing.
  12. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    I don't anticipate anything decreasing the value of the truck between now and fall. Probably would make sense to keep it at least till then. I'm getting enough use out of it to at least justify the insurance premium, and I'll get more out of the plow and spreader leading into winter.

    They have to take the lowest bid from a qualified contractor. The way they've been servicing the schools, it wouldn't surprise me if the school rejected a bid from them next go round.

    I do own a couple of skids already.... And I'm not incredibly certain what I would get in place of the truck. That's my other conundrum, I'm not sure if the Canyon was the best tool for the job, but it was before my opinion mattered.

    Freshwater, not sure why your quote didn't show up, I have a few other sidewalks it could be used on, but several of them have told me they would prefer a truck not be on the walks, and many not sure it's enough to justify keeping the truck.
  13. Buswell Forest

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

    Do you have any debt? If you do, sell it and pay down the debt. Just an opinion.
  14. Freshwater

    Freshwater PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,207

    I understand customers not wanting a truck on walks, but... That small truck and small plow are lighter and more forgiving than your full size skids. That's a situation where your customers need to trust you.

    30k+ to replace truck with plow, I just can't make the math tell me to sell. Even if you don't use it full time, with odds and ends things, and cost savings over a full size truck in certain areas, it's still a usefull and profitable tool.
  15. derekslawncare

    derekslawncare PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,003

    Before I traded from my F250 to my F550, I had 3 accounts that I used the truck to do the walk. Obviously, the 550 won't fit, so that isn't an option anymore. I wouldn't let the customer dictate how I service the account, you are the professional. Do they tell the cardiologist how to preform their open heart surgery? LOL
  16. JimMarshall

    JimMarshall Senior Member
    from NW PA
    Messages: 786

    I get what you're saying, but I also want to respect my customers wishes. As long as I'm making the money I need to make, I'll melt the snow off their walks with propane heaters if that's what they request.
  17. Freshwater

    Freshwater PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,207

    Well said. I agree 100%.