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Modular Body Truck for Max. Productivity?????

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by ChicagoSnow, Dec 19, 2002.

  1. ChicagoSnow

    ChicagoSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 231

    We are always looking for a better way.............

    What do you think, about lets say a 4x4 cab chassis(you pick the make and GVW) with a Stellar Hooklift (www.hooklift.com) as an example, and lets build this truck with central hyraulics to power the snow equipment to be installed. Lets go with a under tail gate salt unit to be installed on 1 of the bodies(stainless steel?) or do we go with a less expensive platform body with a stainless steel "V" box with removable lower chute to create a fail safe system that can be lowered off the sliding chasis without chance of damage.

    Need to haul snow off site? Why not have at least 2 large capacity roll off boxes(chasis-weight bearing) for a cycle of pick up/drop off (off site) snow removal.

    Need salt or a skid steer at a job site? Why not have yet another roll off box (with a weather tight roof?) to be filled with salt or a tractor and dropped at strategic sites within ones route.

    I dont know, but the more I research the options available, the more attractive the investment becomes. Not to mention the available "real estate" for company name placement on each of these attachments!

    Think about it, 1 insurance payment, limited cab/chassis up keep (Diesel power train of course), keep a "hard to come by" licensed driver that much more efficient, able to create new profit centers with simply new/different bodies with appropriate equipment attached............the list can go on and on.

    What do you think?

  2. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    I came across the same type of system, but with a trailer. I had not thought about going as far with it as you, but I am still researching the trailer idea. The trailer would work better for myself, due to the fact I don't need another truck. I'm gonna have to re-think a couple of things due to your post.

    Thank you,
  3. BRL

    BRL PlowSite.com - Veteran
    Messages: 1,277

    When I saw an ad for that set up in one of the trade mags I had the exact same thoughts!! Go for it!!
  4. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    I had considered that route myself, but the weight sacrifice for the hoist assembly was too much for my operations. I was looking at a class 5 or 6 truck. When you get up to class 8 trucks, the weight penalty is not as significant.
  5. a palustris

    a palustris Member
    Messages: 74

    I saw a mid 80's Mack 10 wheeler with modular bodies. The company that owned the truck had 3 bodies for it. 1 prentice loader body, and 2 dump bodies. The guy who is CEO of the company said that in hindsight it was not a good investment for as much as they use it. ($8 - $9 million a year company)
  6. Snoworks

    Snoworks Senior Member
    Messages: 466

    Never even seen such a setup. The quick change system would definately come in handy.

    How do you purchase this type of equipment?
    Do you buy the truck, and then have the manufacture retrofit it?
    Is this type of system compatable with other manufactures body mounts?
    Lets say you have the truck already, how much would it cost to get set up right? By right, I mean; a dump bed, at least 2 roll offs, and the lift system itself.

  7. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 2,154

    It sounds like a great idea,the only problem I can see is that when you loose that one truck due to an accident,mechanical breakdown,or maintenance,you loose your whole operation and are basically shut down until you get another truck or yours gets repaired.If you had 2 trucks then you'd have a backup,but small operations wouldnt be able to do this profiatbly.
  8. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    We build our trucks in a similar fashion,trying to get as much use out of a single vehicle,but John hit the nail on the head,downtime.If that truck breaks,your whole operation is down.I do like the rolloff idea,as you can use it to haul,transport,tow and dump,and switching boxes\bodies is a breeze.

    I have found it is cheaper to run two,older trucks,with separate equipment to do the job.Is also nice,if you get behind,you now have two trucks.

    We try to build all of our equipment in a modular fashion,ie:same plow mounts,salter mounts,wiring plugs,etc,etc.That way if we lose a truck in the middle of the night,it gets parked,and the plow,salter etc,can be swapped to a spare truck in a few minutes.

    We don't plate our spare trucks,as they usually just sit,but when needed we just slap on a set of plates and go.Around here this is legal for up to six days,as long as the truck passes DOT,and the plates you put on are valid.Our insurance co also binds coverage for 15 days as well.
  9. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I am actucally thinking of doing the same thing on a 4500/5500 chassis next year. The hook lift does add 10-13000.00 to the package, and bodies cost from there. However, there are several companies around here that have hook lift bodies, mostly 10-15 yd dumpsters, and when they get behind, or have breakdowns, they are more than willing to accept help. One guy is a good friend of mine, and I would be happy to either rent him a truck, or do some hauling for him. I also may get a few of my own cans to supplement.
    At connex in Febuary I will get more info.
  10. ChicagoSnow

    ChicagoSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 231

    Thanks for the insight fellow plowmen!

    I'm still researching a 4x4 cab chasis(Ford, GM, International) that can handle between 20,000 and 26,000 lbs. and have a "decent" turning radius? I know Mitsubishi is a alternative, but I'm uncertain with regard to the vehicle frame to withstand the rigors of plowing?

    All day today, since the original post, I have been looking at my current operations with an eye on the possibility for this truck/modular body set up. It will definitely work!

    I feel the reliance on one reliable truck for all of these optional bodies is still a benefit over owning a fleet of "what if......, I don't know if this one will start........, what ever you do do not touch that switch....... type of trucks. Just my opinion.

    Which bodies would you use in your operations?

    Appreciate the insight!

  11. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I would have 10-12-15 yd roll off type containers for construction and debris refuse. They also can double as dump bodies.
    A utility body for tool storage.
    Box body for on site storage at constrcution projects.
    Flat bed body for small equipment moving.
    Spreader with a hook if feasable, if not I would mount the spreader to the flat bed........
  12. ChicagoSnow

    ChicagoSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 231

    How can a Bobcat 773 (as an example) be bound to a flat bed or even dump body QUICKLY (chains, tire pockets of some kind), so you can lower/seperate the Bobcat from your cab/chassis to readily perform snow plowing with out the body attached?

    Will the skid steer want to "roll" off the bed with the pitch of lowering a "roll off" type body?

    I know you would loose a great deal(almost all) ballast weight if the body is removed, is this still a feasible idea?

  13. TurfPlus

    TurfPlus Senior Member
    Messages: 179

    Tie the skidsteer down to the platform using chain and ratchet binders and tie it down just like you would on a trailer. Then you would off load the platform, unchain and drive the skidsteer off. Its harder with a dump because the load angle is too steep, unless you have a winch, ramps or a rollback. I have loaded skidsteers in our 4300 using ramps and raising the body. Its real hairy and pucker factor is definitely increased.

    As far as ballast, load the platform back on the truck or maybe you could keep some form of ballast on a plallet on site and load it with the skidsteer with forks?

  14. Land Design

    Land Design Member
    Messages: 31

    longO do you know the price on the trailers you posted? Say , the trailer body with a 12 yard box? I think the idea would work very well and although the whole truck would be nice i am sure the trailer is cheaper. :drinkup:

    Land Design
  15. ChicagoSnow

    ChicagoSnow Senior Member
    Messages: 231


    Good points.

    I'm still trying to cut the time it takes to fasten a skidsteer to the bed of a carrying vehicle. Of course, for safety sake, it must be done correctly! But is there a way to drive on and go?

    Also just as you said, the angle at which the platform lowers off of the vehicle is quite steep, I wonder if 2 chains with hooks can be used(or a winch) to just hold the tractor from sliding back as the body is lowered off? Yet the risk for driving around with just 2 chains on only the cab facing end of the tractor is not exactly the safest form of fastening a tractor to its carrying vehicle.

    There must be a way for a skid steer to drive in/drive off a carrying platform of some kind that can be hoisted up/down from the carrying vehicle even with the steep seperation involved?

  16. long0

    long0 Senior Member
    Messages: 247

    Land Design,
    I have tried getting ahold of the company a couple of times, but have not recieved anything back from them. If I do, I will let you know

  17. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    A roll back wrecker type system would be your fastest option for the quick load unload feature you are looking for.
    Two short sections of chain at the back of the roll off to loop or hook into the skid steer, and then a winch at the head board side of the roll back. The cable would then be attached to the skid, and the slack taken out to secure the 3 points of attachment.
    At the hook lift site, they show a full size back hoe that gets loaded and unloaded on a flat bed type roll back bed.
  18. Winterworks

    Winterworks PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 97


    "We don't plate our spare trucks,as they usually just sit,but when needed we just slap on a set of plates and go.Around here this is legal for up to six days,as long as the truck passes DOT,and the plates you put on are valid.Our insurance co also binds coverage for 15 days as well."

    Just so you know, it is only legal to do this on vehicles that you have just purchased and are not registered in your name yet. It gives the purchaser 6 days to get their new vehicle properly registered but still be able to drive it. You require the plate portion of your permit for your licence plates, the vehicle portion of the vehicle you just obtained, a safety certificate, and proof of insurance coverage. Otherwise everyone could keep one set of plates and run them on as many vehicles as they wanted. In regards to your insurance, the 15 days most likely is intended for the same purpose, to allow you to drive a vehicle you have just purchased until you can call your insurance co. I would check into this if this is your common practice, I would not wish to see you get in trouble. Good luck this season, Pat.
  19. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Pat - Nice to hear from you again.I don't do the plate swapping thing all that often.It is only for emergency use when we need a spare truck,once or twice a year.If that truck is going to stay on the road for a bit,the plates get transfered.We also have dealer plates which we can use to transport equipment to and from the sites if necceary.
  20. paul soccodato

    paul soccodato Senior Member
    Messages: 430

    there's a contractor around here who has a large 10 wheeler mack roll-off. its a really nice setup. besides being able to move around dumpsters (part of his business), he had a dump body made up for it with a cab protector and asphalt chutes. i see him all the time running around, with small excavators and bobcats loaded in the body. if i was going to buy a large truck, i would definetly look into something like that.