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what new equipment to buy? advice?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by buckwheat_la, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    So i was asked to quote a bunch of work out for next season. Seems we came highly recommended, which is always good to hear. So we would be looking at 5 schools (not very large, but all located in small townships around the city about 10-20min drive), the school district shop and office, which is about 3 acres. Then we are also looking at a strip mall, a superstore parking lot 7-8acres. now this would about double our commercial contracts from last year and we had a pretty easy time doing our commercial stuff with a skidsteer and loader, with our second skidsteer being called into use on heavy snowfalls. so the question is, assuming we get all this extra work, would we be better off buying a new to me loader/tractor and one truck plow, 2 skidsteers and one truck plow, or putting 3-4 new blades (thinking v-blades) on my numerous trucks.

    for starters i think having at least one plow on a truck well be good for the out of town places, so i am at least buying one v-blade. Here is how i am looking at the rest, the loader/large tractor would probably be the best for large commercial jobs, it is the best equiped for the wear and tear of these jobs. the skidsteers are good, and we can get a lot more work out of them in the summer, however for the loading and unloading, they may not be the most efficient. Going with 4 new blades, gives me a lot of coverage, and they would be going on some decent trucks, however during the summer those blades are going to be useless for me. So what are everyones recommendations? Does anyone have any other suggestions then the ones i have listed?
  2. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,192

    I love skids a 2 speed large frame machine is very versatile, especially if you can use them in the summer. I can load/chain down my skid in under 5 minutes if i bust my A$$ so Unless they are small lots it does not bother me at all. A lot of guys here (including you) have more experience in snow removal than me but that is my opinion.
  3. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    i have given that option much thought, the biggest thing against that option is that around here two speed machines don't come along very often, so i am either travelling out east to find the machines or buying single speed machines. I agree on the fact that it isn't a huge deal to load the machine, but also keep in mind i well have to buy trailers for these extra machines too, so the skid steers may be the most expensive option.
  4. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    Get the work and then worry about the equipment. JMO
  5. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    What he said times 2.
  6. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    ok, maybe i wasn't clear on it, so i apologize, the school stuff is mine if i want it. They approached me because the other company that was doing it was doing a horrible job (and he is a arrogant ***** to boot) and i am the only other company around willing to go out of the city. To be honest i don't really like leaving the city, but the Scotia contracts we took last year require us to do the small town scotias too (we also got this work from this other company) . The school board has already told me that i well likely be the only ones bidding on them. So they are a sure thing in my mind. Now the strip mall approached this last winter and asked me to take it over, then told me that they had decided to stick with their current contractor for this winter because it would cost them too much to get out of the contract, but that i should contact them over the summer to work out taking over their snow removal. The Superstore is a different story, as some of you know last year i quoted it too, and lost it to the same bad contractor that had done it the previous year, Well the manager is very angry with this contractor after this year and really wants him gone. We are doing all the sweeping again this year, and all the exterior summer maintenance, so i don't see why we wouldnt have a great shot at this contract. the reason i want to get some suggestions on the equipement is to see what others would do, i also need a plan if i get these jobs so i am not scrambling for equipment in the fall. also as these contracts come in (assuming they do) i can shop around for the equipment and know where the deals may be on stuff if i need it.
  7. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    on a side note JD DAVE it may be time for me to become a SIMA member
  8. elite1msmith

    elite1msmith 2000 Club Member
    from chicago
    Messages: 2,762

    i would aggree, it would suck bad to spend big bucks then dont land the accounts

    Dave- after trying out those rear plows that you have, do you think you are going to outfit a few more rigs with them?
  9. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    Gesh, theoretically guys, i am not looking to go out and drop $50 000+ on equipment right now, i am just figuring things out for if/when i get these contracts. Besides i think it is important to know what your equipment cost well be or estimated to be for you to quote out jobs (especially the out of town work)
  10. JD Dave

    JD Dave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,194

    I really only have 1 pickup that I plow with and the other one is more of a fuel and service truck so I won't put a plow on it. I thought the Eblings on a pickup would be a joke but I honestly couldn't imagine plowing without one now, totally impressed. The tractor ones worked good also but were in the process of beefing up the cylinders to make them more durable.

    Buck I've been told I've had jobs for years and they don't usually come through. Untill I see it in writing I don't really worry about it. I can see your trying to figure out costs for bidding so I would say buy blades for the trucks you already own and then go from there. Good Luck

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,556

    Get the work first. Hell offer a discount to sign now, cause you can take advantage of buying cheaper equipment in the off season.

    I too have been told before that I have something and then come that time I only have "the opportunity to bid on it"

    There tends to also be alot of this talk at the end of the season because alot of guys that may have lost their shirt that currently hold the contract have said "im not in it next year" in hopes to try and raise the price ect, so the customer is looking for other options just incase.

    With schools they all have to be open at the same time. So you would need more pc's of equipment over having 1 larger pc of equipment.

    I would consider an ebling rear blade on a few trucks. I wouldnt spend the money replacing current front blades that you already have and own.
  12. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    I would star by shopping at the money store!, a couple of protechs on the front of a couple of decent size(60-90hp) tractors would work well, and the tractors would be multi-purpose, and less expensive than loaders. pickups supporting the pushers will be easier on the bigger lots, and the tractors will do the wet snow with less wear and tear.
  13. Brad3403

    Brad3403 Senior Member
    from Alberta
    Messages: 392

    Are you talking about agriculture tractors? If so, what specifically would you recommend? What size Protech's as well?
  14. leolkfrm

    leolkfrm PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,980

    yes on the tractors (4 wheel drive), size will depend on the size of the jobs, for both the tractors and protechs. a smaller one for manuvering(80-120hp) and larger for the open areas(120+). make sure as part of the contract they provide a plug to plug in the block heater!
    redman has pics on the site of their internation and airport truck, they work awesome for the open areas