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Adding Roll off service to my busines

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by straightexhaust, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. straightexhaust

    straightexhaust Active Member

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    I have a small excavation, grading, demolition business and have been saving up money to invest in a roll off truck and some containers. Instead of hiring out the cans when I do jobs I can use my own and also sell my services to other contractors. Anyone here in this business? What truck/lift style and equipment do you run? I want capacity for 30yrd cans maybe even 40's

    Thanks
     
  2. clintm

    clintm Senior Member

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    cable lifts are the most popular so you can find used cans but sometimes it's cheaper to buy new ones
     
  3. straightexhaust

    straightexhaust Active Member

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    To my understanding hook style lift mechanisms are used on cans 20yrds and under right?
     
  4. Wolf

    Wolf Senior Member

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    How much are you going to charge for 30s and 40s?
     
  5. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    I was partners in a roll off business and we had all hooks. A single axle and two tandems. We had cans from 10 CY to 40 CY and a few packers.

    Personally I like the hooks over cable hoists especially if you are going to use them in your excavation and demo business. The hook dump angle and no tail like a roll-off make dumping easier and if you want the truck to pull a trailer its much easier for that as well. A hook will be more like a regular dump truck in that respect.

    A hook can push a container into a space or a loading dock where a cable can't. Of course you can push a can with a hoist on the ground but it's not the same. You can grab a container off center and pull it also.

    The downside to hooks is most of the larger roll-off outfits run hoists, something to think about if you build the business up and you want to sell it. When we sold our business, the hooks didn't hurt us as they were after the whole package which included self contained packers and front load routes.

    I've got more info but gotta run, dinner plans.:D
     
  6. Mike L

    Mike L Senior Member

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    A while back my dad was telling me about a guy with a small exc business. He had a roll off truck and would put his skid steer and mini exc in a can, pull it on truck and head to the jobsite. Sounded pretty clever to me.
     
  7. FSERVICE

    FSERVICE Senior Member

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    till the DOT catches them & fines them for a unsecured load!!! or its involved in a accident & they want to know where the skidsteer came from!!!
     
  8. Dwan Hall

    Dwan Hall Senior Member

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    I have tie downs inside my cans. use them for moving small equipment all the time. Small business with 2, 3, 4 yd. cans. Flatbeds, Sanders, and a hydro seeder. up to 6000 lb. First hooklift was in 1992 and it is still working fine. Building a hooklift trailer next.
     
  9. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    I would stay away from 40's unless it's for a specific customer who has it on a yearly contract and only loads light materials. It's real easy, no it's extremely easy to overload a 40 with demo or construction debris.

    30's will be your most popular for regular C&D customers. You'll need a few 20's for heavy stuff - concrete and asphalt and the occasional customer who doesn't need the larger volume. Our 10's and 15's were only popular with the homeowner business and small remodeling contractors. The money is in the 30's, as far as roll-offs go.

    We had a CDU (container delivery unit) bed for our single axle hook that could deliver front load cans. In the garbage business the good money is in the commercial front loads and the real money is in residential routes. Roll-offs fall behind these two in profitability. The front loads and residential routes come with a yearly contract and a steady income stream which makes it much easier to project your business plan.

    Just my $.02 on the garbage industry. Now a landfill is a different league and a different story. If I ever win the lottery, I'm buying a landfill.;)
     
  10. straightexhaust

    straightexhaust Active Member

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    A few guys around here do that as well. I plan on doing that with my business instead of pulling the trailer all the time when I do demo. Just gotta weld some D rings in there to some structure and itll be fine.


    Thanks for all of your input. May I ask why you got out of the business? How many guys did you dedicate to it? Did you rely on your contracts or could you have made it with just call ups? Thanks
     
  11. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    It started over drinking a few beers at the beach with a friend of mine. He was talking about buying a few dump trailers and renting them out - having a 3/4 or 1 ton deliver them, customer fills them up then haul. I told him if he was serious look at a single axle hook lift and cans. No individual tags, tires, etc. Well that conversation led to us having a single axle, 2 tandems and a front load truck. We had around 70 roll off boxes, a handful of stationary packers and commercial front loads.

    At the height of the business we had 4 employees not including us. 3 full and 1 part time. Yearly contracts for the front load containers and roll off packers. The roll off packers were the type at Lowes and other large stores. Of course the roll-off box business comes and goes. It has it seasons where the monthly serviced stuff is constant. We had a few stationary open top roll offs that had yearly contracts but not many - these were at light manufacturing facilities that generated bulk waste.

    This is a service business with the emphasis on service. Getting started I would concentrate on the commercial GC's and home builders in your area. Be competitive on price but give them excellent service and keep your billing current and concise. The billing part sounds easy but it can be a headache when you are pricing by the haul with a tonnage cap and the box is over tonnage by a couple of tons. The extra tonnage on the landfill bill has to be added to the haul bill. When you are running a bunch of boxes it's very easy for this to get screwed up.

    What else would you like to know?
     
  12. straightexhaust

    straightexhaust Active Member

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    Thanks again for all the info. Right now I am going back and forth on lift styles and truck brands. What make and model where you trucks and brand of the hoists? Also what kind of dump fees where you guys seeing for your 30's. What about your cost to the customer for a 30, I assume you limited to around 3 tons then had around an $80 overage per ton charge. Guys around here are around $50 delivery and $450-600 for a 30 yard. Im trying to come up with a price point for all my cans to see what I can earn after my overhead.

    Also how did you calculate overhead costs on your trucks (maintenance,fuel,wear,replacement)?

    I want to get started in the business to have capacity for 30's and under. Not sure if Ill get into front loaders or not though, Ill have to see how things go. hat kind of intial startup did you have as far as number of cans

    Thanks for all the help
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  13. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    A Hino 268A 26K single axle with a swap loader, I think it was the 18K lb model. Both tandems were Macks an '06 and '07. The '06 had a dual lift system and the '07 had an ampliroll 60K hook.

    The dual lift was a combo cable hoist and hook lift. It worked like any "combo" not real good at either. I wouldn't suggest one.
    http://www.heil.com/products/roll-hoists/dualift

    All 3 trucks ran Allison auto's, something I would suggest.

    Calculating operating costs is tough due to the nature of the business. It's hard to calculate fuel, tires and maintenance in the beginning as you won't know how many miles your trucks are going to run until you get several months for a baseline. The nature of the roll-off business is you will be everywhere across your service area.

    For starters draw a service area on a map with zones. Decide the maximum distance you are willing to service and then have 1-2 zones within that max service area and price them accordingly. Closest zone is the cheapest and charge more as the zones progress.

    You'll know your base truck cost to finance, insurance and tags as that doesn't change. Fuel and tires will depend on how much they roll.

    Our pricing depended on many factors. The area described above but also landfill we would be going to and the gate rate they charge. The gate rates we paid were from $18 to $26 a ton. The private C&D landfills will negotiate on the gate rate depending on how much tonnage you can bring them. The more tonnage the cheaper price. The county landfills are a set rate and rarely negotiate.

    For the over tonnage (above the 6 ton cap) we would add $2-5 a ton to the gate rate.

    Most of the 30's we sent out had a flat rate with a 6 ton cap. $350 to 450 was the going rate depending on the many factors. However, we wouldn't truck a can across town to go to a cheaper landfill if there was a more expensive one closer. $5-6 a ton difference on a 6 ton load didn't justify 30 or more minutes of drive time. The rule of thumb was to go to the closest landfill because you can dump and return that box and be off to grab another one. The small difference in disposal costs were less than the revenue generated by keeping the truck rolling to the next can. This also plays back to service and cycle times.

    We would always try and get a $50 delivery charge but you don't want to charge a GC who has several boxes that turn on a regular basis a $50 fee for every can. Also we never charged a daily can rental.

    For startup capital we had around $50K cash, financed the rest through local banks and Mack financial.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  14. straightexhaust

    straightexhaust Active Member

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    I watched the videos on the dual lift system. The versatility seems nice but just from the looks of it, it appears like you said that it doesnt do the best at either.

    Do you prefer the Allison autos just for the simple fact of being able to hire a wider range of drivers, or are you looking at it from a maintenance standpoint?

    I like your plan for the service area, charging different prices for different areas. What is the farthest distance you would run from your office or laydown area?

    Im surprised you had a 6 ton cap, most around here are only 3 tons which is annoying. A higher tonnage capacity would allow me to be more competitive in my area. Probably charge a one time $50 delivery, $400 for a 30yrd and just an additional $400 for every swap with a $75 overage charge.
     
  15. lumberjack

    lumberjack Senior Member

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    Having a fixed overage cost doesn't make sense. I have seen 19 tons of tree debris in a 40 yard roll off and 23tons of c&d in a 40 yard. Granted the driver shouldn't have picked those up, but it happens. Need a contingency for overloaded cans as well.
     
  16. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Stay away from the dual lift and go either cable or hook.

    I prefer the autos for the reasons mentioned but more importantly the speed and convenience. It's just easier to maneuver a crowded street or site and pick up a box when you can push D or R while working the hoist controls. That's my personal preference.

    The service area covered about 40 miles. Of course there were exceptions where we would travel longer distances.

    6 ton cap is pretty standard in my area. You need to figure what your costs are and what kind of return you want on the truck and the cans.


    The overage rate is tailored to that particular box or customer depending on what's going in it. A 6 ton cap is a base line to determine the price of the box. 2-5 tons over that cap is the normal over tonnage for commercial and residential building wastes - of course not concrete or asphalt but normal debris such as lumber, drywall, etc. Cans on these type jobs will vary from 3-10 tons depending on the stage of construction.

    However, this business and pricing a can is never set in stone. Different customers, different sites and different materials hauled should all be priced accordingly. What I am saying is there is no rigid pricing structure that is to be held too. For your regular customers you will have a good idea what type of jobs they do and what type of debris will be loaded into the container.

    The first question asked should be where is the box going and what's going in it. You should have a decent idea of what the debris will weigh and be able to spec a container size for the customer.

    What you are describing is overloading and that has to be dealt with separately, it involves a call to the customer to unload the overloaded can before you can pick it up. You will have overloaded cans, it comes with the business.

    This is the reason why we had very few 40's and didn't like to send them out to job sites.
     
  17. straightexhaust

    straightexhaust Active Member

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    Having an auto would certainly make maneuvering easier however I dont have any experience running them in medium or heavy duty trucks, Ive always had manuals. Ive heard nothing but great things about Allison trans but I just wonder what kind of lifespan they have?

    As far as my service area I think I am going to stay in my county which is about the size of your service area and luckily I am centrally located in the county.

    Right now I am going back and forth with Mack, Peterbilt and Kenworth. I was leaning towards Mack until Ive been coming across bad talk of them after Volvo bought them out. A few local guys swear by Mack but they are running pre Volvo buyout trucks. Any comments on this?
     
  18. clintm

    clintm Senior Member

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    volvo :thumbdown:throw up they couldn't get any body to buy there VHD construction trucks so they bought mack out and are changing them to volvos and expecting people to keep buying them need to take the dog off the hood cause thats the only thing left mack all the large dump truck fleets here are going to KW because they can't keep the new Volvo/mack's out of the shop
     
  19. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    I haven't put 100's of thousands of miles on an Allison so I can't specifically comment on the longevity. However the ones that I have owned served me well with no problems.

    The Mack's I have owned have been 1 - 2006 and 2 -2007's. I am not familiar when Volvo bought Mack but those were good trucks. The only problem we had was a leaking plastic coolant reservoir on a 2007 tri-axle dump that was retrofitted under warranty to an aluminum one. Other than that they performed as well as any other truck.

    Now the 2005 International 7600 tandem I had is a different story. That truck swore me off of ever buying another International other than an older body style 4700/4900, those are good trucks. That probably had as much to do with our crappy dealer as it was a crappy truck - which is a terrible combination. It's one of those dealers that don't give a damn about you unless you are running a fleet.:cool:
     
  20. clintm

    clintm Senior Member

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    they started going volvo in 2007 some models CTP, they still had the cv series witch was the last mack's most all of the plastic tanks cracked in the bottom seam. the international dealer is not any better one of my customers just bought a new mixer truck when it got here from out of state it was throwing an engine code called the dealer they bold him to get in line behind 200 yes 200 trucks ahead of him .