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What to do? run two v boxes, or one dump truck for sanding???

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by GSS LLC, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    my dillema. i have too many properties to sand with just one load on my v box. I could purchase a second v box and set it up on another truck. even then, i may have to refill once. and that means a 12 mile each way drive to where my shop is from the properties. Or, i could buy a dump truck.

    77 ford with detroit diesel 5 speed with a 2 speed rear end single axe dump truck. has a pto driven 6 yard sander in the back

    cons of 2 v boxes i can think of...
    i have to trust someone to drive in slick dangerous conditions with a loaded sander in one of my trucks.
    i would either leave the sander on the truck creating a risk for hitting objects while plowing, or load/unload everytime i have to sand.
    i have to pay an employee hourly to go sand.

    cons of dump truck
    more expensive upfront cost by about 4 thousand.
    maintenance expenses
    cdl required

    any other cons and pros im missing? what are your thoughts?
  2. bighornjd

    bighornjd Senior Member
    Messages: 249

    If the dump truck breaks down, you are SOL. ( not unlikly with the age of what you have in mind). If you have two v boxes and one breaks, you have a backup.

    I'd look into the cost of insurance and tags on that dump first. Might make your mind up real quick.
  3. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    What about a 1 ton dump with tailgate replacement or undertailgate spreader?

    How much $ are you willing to spend?....the 2 options you give seem drastically different in cost?
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2012
  4. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    What is your current fleet and how is it equipped? Sounds like you already have the second truck.
    I think anyone would love a dedicated spreader truck. Especially on the freeze/thaw follow up sandings. One trip, all lots are done. If you have one vbox in a pickup already, that's your backup.
    I would expect a 77 Detroit with a 5x2 and PTO spreader to be a very simple, reliable setup. As long as it's sound, I think the chances of it leaving you completely stranded are low
  5. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    I agree with 2cor. I have a v box for backup. And the truck is simple and should be reliable if only used for sanding.
  6. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    Running 2 spreaders puts you in 2 places at once...getting accounts serviced faster.
    By adding another truck, you will need another employee, right? Or is the truck you've been driving, now going to sit? (assuming you are going to drive this new addition to the fleet)

    Just trying to see the justification of a cdl size truck with what little I know about your situation.....because I've tossed the idea around myself. I spread a decent amount of material around on a typical salt run, and feel that I'm better off running 2 smaller trucks than 1 large truck.....but what works for me, may not for you.
  7. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    I decided to go with a dump truck. For one, the liability of an employee driving a loaded sander on icy roads is a huge risk. I would park my plow truck and drive the sander truck. My plow truck is the current sander truck. I can service all my accounts timely with one truck. Having only one truck/ sander to keep running, and only one vehicle out on slick roads I think will be easier.
  8. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Lets face it, as the business owner, no one cares about your equipment as much as you, or plows as fast, or is going to be more dependable. One lapse in judgment, my second sander and truck end up on its roof in the ditch, my profit is shot to hell. Easier to just have to worry about yourself.
  9. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    You didnt really answer my questions.......but from what your saying, your going to go out and plow in your current plow/sander truck, then drive 12miles back, load up your "other" salt/sander rig, then go spread? Is this right?
  10. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    Yes. Do you drive around plowing with your sander loaded? That is crazy. Either way, I would stop plowing, drive 12 miles back. No way I'm plowing with tons of salt in my sander. Too hard on tranny and brakes.
  11. Jim74

    Jim74 Member
    Messages: 50

    I dont know the property sizes but any way to keep a pile of sand in any of the lots with a skidsteer, reduces the need to go back to the shop and possibly gives you the reason to need a skidsteer.
  12. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    At times I'll do some plowing with a load, but not regularly.....and I've been called worse.

    Either way, with what info you've provided....your idea seems inefficient, and it sounds like your main focus should be on getting some better employees. Operating/driving a salt truck is a cake walk compared to operating a plow truck. JMO. Good luck.
  13. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    maybe me shorthanding everything on my phone is leading you astray.

    Im never going to plow with a loaded sander, too hard on equipment. If i ran two v boxes on two different trucks, the trucks would still have to stop plowing, go load up, and then go sand. AND THEN, STILL WOULD HAVE TO COME BACK AND LOAD ONE UP A SECOND TIME.

    Plus, thats a second vehicle driving around in slick/icy conditions. because on apartments, theres very little pretreating, its all spread after you finish plowing. or going out after an ice storm. either way, you have 2 vehicles out driving around instead of one. also, i have to pay an employee to drive the other truck, profit isnt as much once you start paying an employee.

    My employees are good, one has been in the game for 12+ years, one drives a semi off highway during the not snowing months, and plows in the winter, he knows how to drive. the others are all dependable and trustworthy, and fully capable of operating a sanding rig. BUT, WHY TAKE THE CHANCE IF YOU DONT HAVE TO??? you know where im coming from? if i dont have to put liability in someone elses hands, i wont.

    I can service all the accounts quickly enough with a dumptruck. i dont need to run 2 trucks to keep up.

    also, 2 v boxes is 2 separate pieces of equipment to keep running and functioning. and two trucks that must be dedicated to sanding when needed. where a dump truck leaves both trucks open to plow, and onty one truck and sander to keep running.

    what logical reasons do you have that a dump truck is the bad idea here? im willing to listen to all reasons.
  14. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    i already have a skid steer. lots dont have room to keep a sand pile. they barely have room to put snow. lol
  15. Mick76

    Mick76 2000 Club Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,157

    I think you've made the wrong decision.... ALWAYS have a back up when your sander truck WILL go down.... its the nature of the beast with employees but you cant grow without them......you need to find some good ones and treat them well....good luck
  16. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    From the info given, you are only putting a maximum of 6yds down on an event. I just dont see that being justification for purchasing/licensing/insuring/maintaining a cdl truck. Buying a 2nd vbox, and putting it in a truck you already own, would be much more profitable.

  17. leigh

    leigh 2000 Club Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,342

    Just out of curiosity, how much salt do you use per event? I fit 6 tons in my truck and still have to reload throughout storms. And i guess I'm crazy plowing with full load!But I don't overload my truck and I start spitting it out on the first job.I have one salt truck now and it makes me nervous about a breakdown.Plus I have to plow and sand the jobs I'm handling and jump around and salt the jobs the other trucks are plowing.Lost my right hand man(2 yd v box) for the up-coming season so I have to have to setup another salt truck.It's no problem if the storm ends early but it's hard to be everwhere at once.If Iwas running smaller trucks I woul put a sander on them all.
  18. got-h2o

    got-h2o 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,440

    Whaaaaat? Always always always. Seems like a HUGE waste of time having to go back to load when I'm already there. Especially in a pinch with a late snow or something. Imagine finishing up, people pulling in a lot at the same time, and you have to leave. That wouldn't fly. Unless you have dedicated salt trucks, then I suppose I could see not plowing with salt onboard. Not to mention a load is great for traction. The ability to plow in 2wd saves a lot of wear. Not to mention, my trucks are made to work, and they do exactly that. Time is money.
  19. GSS LLC

    GSS LLC Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    More power to ya, that's a lot of weight to haul around going back and forth with. I do have a backup, my truck mounted v box. I don't like plowing with it in my truck, and having a dump to eliminate the need of loading and unloading makes it a good decision for me.
    This is just turning into an argument. Maybe because I'm not working to sit down and spell out every aspects of my business,and coming across wrong. Accusing me about my employees capability and trust, of which you know nothing about, and I'm not explaining every detail of my business, I mostly just asked to see peoples opinions, I already had my mind made up unless something came up to change it. Your way works for you, that's fine. I feel this way will work best for me. Good luck to everyone this year.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2012
  20. snocrete

    snocrete Banned
    Messages: 2,862

    And thats what you got!

    Whats really strange is that you trust your employees to drive a truck around in horrible conditions with a plow hanging off the front...but cant trust them to drive a salt truck around after snow clearing has began, or even possibly done.

    You still didnt answer some of my questions, but it dosent matter at this point because you already made your mind up....and I have good idea of what the answers are anyway.

    You asked for opinions/help...you got it...not our problem its not what you want to hear.