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Need a bigger machine, but first I need to get a tow rig. Help please

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by jsw development, Jan 13, 2020.

  1. jsw development

    jsw development Active Member

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    This last year was one of our best years ever. There were a few things holding us back. I realized we took too long to load trucks, and we have the work to keep another machine busy. But getting the size excavator I want means purchasing a truck and trailer to haul it with.

    we currently have a large frame CTL and a a 3.5t excavator. I’d like to purchase an 8 ton excavator for some drainage projects, loading trucks, and doing some ROW clearing with a rotating shear.

    my thoughts were to buy a single axle medium duty (possibly a box truck or flatbed, and turning it into a single axle haul truck when we need to move the 8 ton..

    I’ve been looking at f650s and international 4700 s since these can be found for pretty good prices around here.
    The hope is, if the 8 ton ex makes us some good profit, I can then add a 12 ton machine with a mulcher. Would a single axle truck be ok to haul the 20k excavator at first and then a 26k excavator later?
     
  2. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    Single axel truck is pushing legal with a 16000 lbs machine by the time you put a bed on it especially if you carry an attachment your gross vehicle weight is 33000 lbs truck will weigh around 12 at least if not 14 empty full of fuel

    Around here we call that set up a carrier lots of guys use them for backhoes the major draw back is versatility they dont really have any and they run out of room

    If you set a twin screw up you could go to 46000 lbs legal but to haul a 12 ton machine you will have hell not being over weight on the front end with out making that truck bed close to 18 feet then it's a pain to get around

    I might suggest looking at truck and trailer set up it's easier to set up for multiple machines and doesnt box you in for growth

    If your really tight on budget you could get a 20 ton tag and your medium duty box truck and do ok.

    I have learned that with transports in the long run it doesn't cost a lot more to set up bigger than your current needs and be prepared to grow than to get what you need now and have to upgrade again in a year or 2

    By the if the 8 ton machine was going to live on said truck every day it's a little bit different to set up specific for that machine then to just have 1 truck to move everything
     
  3. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    Much depends on where your at your State's DOT rules. I agree with AzIron that going bigger ends up being cheaper in the long run. Those single axle trucks are easy to overload, hard to resell, and have little capacity for hauling material. Either go with a dedicated transport truck and trailer (hard to justify if your just getting going) or go with a dump truck and tag trailer. I have a tandem Mack with a drop axle and a triple axle Trail King trailer that I use to move my 160 sized excavator. The down side sometimes is your dump truck is tied up being a dump truck and is hard to break it free to move the excavator around. When that happens I just hire out the mob of the excavator.

    One observation I would make is that the jump in capacity from a 8-9 ton excavator to a 12 ton machine is not that great. Physically a 12 ton machine can actually have a nearly identical footprint. The point being if you want to eventually end of with a 12 ton machine, you might be money ahead to skip the 8 ton altogether, pricing isn't much different either. Go big enough with truck and trailer and that is very duable right out of the gate. You know your situation, just throwing that out there.
     
    RangerJake72, Merlejoe22 and Tags like this.
  4. jsw development

    jsw development Active Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.
    I've been in business for 11 years. Always been hesitant about getting machinery that was too big to sell work for in our market. I've started realizing that I should have grown in size a long time ago.
    For the past year I was sure that I would purchase a 5 ton machine, but after thinking about what we really need I think that would just be postponing the inevitable.
    The jump in truck and trailer makes this step a hard (financial) pill to swallow. It's also intimidating to search for a truck because I really have no experience in that realm.
    The tandem dump is probably is smart decision, because I could use it in our operation. They are extremely pricey where we operate though.
    The tb180fr looks like a dream for what we need it for, which is drainage and and clearing less than 8 acres.
     
  5. Old Doug

    Old Doug Senior Member

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    I am not in the same line of work but i do know trucks and dirt. I am about to slow down some but i realy missed the boat years ago by not getting some bigger stuff. When times were good i made good money with my smaller stuff and realy didnt think about getting bigger when the money was comeing in fast but when times were slow if i had bigger stuff i could have done the small lower money jobs faster and less stress i think i would have been better off. I hope this makes scents. I cant stress this enough if your not a mechanic before you buy something pay one to look stuff over.
     
  6. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    The 180 is a nice excavator. I run the 153 size and really like that side to side boom of those machines. Non DPF trucks can be hard to find now, but you can also find a tractor that meets the specs you want and build a dump truck out of it. I think a lot of the trucks running around here, never started out life as a dump truck. Maybe that would be a cheaper way to go.
     
    dirthog likes this.
  7. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    1121171207.jpg this is one of my primary rigs the 25 to lowboy is perfect on the single axel that rig weighs 30 even empty so that gives you 35000 lbs of machine to haul I think I paid 15 grand for the truck I can find the trailers for around 20 grand

    2106.jpeg this is a friend of mine he is an owner operator he is barely 45000lbs full of fuel with that setup with a complete set of buckets a hammer and compaction wheel it's a great setup for an owner operator but it lacks versatility in a big way something to be aware of is overall height and its top heavy it think the hoe cab is 13 foot loaded up

    2208.jpeg
    This is another owner operator he only Carrie's 2 extra buckets he said he weighs 29000 being a cab over helps a little plus that's a short truck another out fit I know of runs simalar set up with a t400 kenworth got a ticket just with a backhoe loaded he got 2 overweight tickets one for being 35000lbs
    The other was the front axel supposedly had 15000lbs on it when they weighed him he didn't have any extra buckets and had a cabed backhoe on at the time

    Carriers are not really much cheaper cause they are very hard to find used and most used ones are used up so it still cost 15 grand to build and mount a bed if you hire it done
     
  8. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    20191213_174417.jpg

    I just put this one together that's a 25 year old truck with an 06 traileze it legally will double haul 2 backhoes witch is why I set it up trucks a little to long but it works but I have less than 70 grand in that set up and its solid I will get quite a few years out of it and its capable of moving 20 ton machines

    Point being you just need to decide how you want invest your money that pays you back the most not necessarily the fastest
     
  9. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    I like that black trailer. Very nice.
     
  10. colson04

    colson04 Senior Member

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    Nice looking rigs you have there @AzIron
     
  11. jsw development

    jsw development Active Member

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    Aziron, those are some very nice rigs! Thanks for sharing.
    That single axle truck setup is very cool. The machine you have on it is huge compared to what I imagined.
     
  12. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    Thanks

    That excavator on my single axel is only a 313 I think they are 28000 lbs you could get into a 316 with that rig and be right at legal but you couldn't buy that truck and trailer off me it's a good set up I can get into a lot of places with it most cant but even that dove tail and w900 I can get in some tight places but it took a while to learn to drive it that trucks about 2 to 3 feet to long to be real handy but it works just fine.

    I try to think of what I will need in 5 years when I buy trucks and trailers it will shock you how much support equipment will hinder or excel growth cause of the options it places at you finger tips you would not believe how much more work I have been doing because I bought that dove tail that trailer will pay for itself In a year or 2 just because it saves me trips but if i factor in our production increase since we have that trailer i think it will pay for itself in 8 or 9 months that trailer has allowed me to add another operator without buying any more iron.
     
  13. NepeanGC

    NepeanGC Active Member

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    Love that single axle setup - what length is that trailer?
     
  14. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    38 feet 25 ton
     
  15. petepilot

    petepilot Senior Member

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    Kudos az.you Don't try to move heavy iron with toys
     
    AzIron likes this.
  16. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    I'll stick my finger in the fan! 17000 listed machine, 30k trailer w elec/hyd disc brakes, F550 14k rear axle. I would say I'd love to have a cute little 6 wheel low pro Freightliner or the long sexy Kenny. But once I ditch the goose, its a nice 12' flatbed dump with either 18 or 48 inch sides.

    I haul my own junk for my own stuff but I'll be getting a class A cdl with this truck it seems, wondering if I can take a class B air brake truck by afterwards to get an airbrake restriction removed. I already have to do all the log paperwork as its gots DOT numbers mandated last year.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. AzIron

    AzIron Senior Member

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    I wound not mind having your 550 fast and how do you like the electric hydralic brakes I hear good things but never pulled one

    Thanks pete it's taken me a couple a years to get there it helps being second generation dad had the 25 ton and the w900 when I went back to work for him and we picked the international up pretty cheap and I got a little 12 ton lowboy to pull on it fast forward 3 years and we have grown the business enough to get the trail eze I am just trying to support an excavating company


    Sorry to the op for the hijack
     
  18. fast_st

    fast_st Senior Member

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    So the electric/hydraulic takes a little getting used to and getting your brake controller set right. Now there is a fraction of a second of lag, but after that fraction, the braking is strong and repeatable. Electric drums work okay cold and new, but when hot or well used, they taper off pretty fast. Annual maintenance is about the same here, rip the wheels off, two small bolts the pull the caliper off, inspect the pads, brush off any caked on dirt, lube the slides and toss it back together, maybe 5 mins a wheel. Every other year I'll upend a quart bottle of brake fluid atop the pump, set the controller to boost 2 which starts light braking as soon as the brakes are hit let the pump run and open each bleeder to pump out 8 ounces of brake fluid, again five minutes total. Overall a couple hours and a steak sub and you're done for the year. I also keep a couple wheel seals and caliper rebuild kits handy, both very easy jobs, if the caliper sticks, the piston boots turn to dust, pop the pistons, put in new boots and carry onwards.

    The F550 is a good puller, six speed auto (stock programming), VGT turbo in tow haul does a half decent engine brake, maybe 3/8 decent compared to a giant ISX cummins.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020 at 12:45 PM