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Time for a lift or not??

Discussion in 'Commercial Tree Care and Climbing' started by Tyler Lamb, Jan 14, 2020.

  1. Tyler Lamb

    Tyler Lamb ArboristSite Lurker

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    Good evening. I need some insight on if purchasing an aerial lift has been a good purchase for you guys. Was it worth it? Is it used often? Does it give you a competitive advantage? I’ve been in business about nine years. We have a solid equipment fleet for our size. Bobcat 770 and Vermeer TCX 100, new bandit 18” chipper, fairly new bandit stumper grinder, chip trucks, 2 logs trucks and grapple truck. I feel like the lift is the next logical step, I’m just afraid for $100k investment, it may not be used enough. I’ve got financing lined up, and I’m close to pulling the trigger. I would really to hear some feedback from ya’ll. Thanks advance!!
    -Tyler
     
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  2. motorhead99999

    motorhead99999 Jeepin tree man

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    100k ? Are you buying a brand new one? We bought a genie boom lift with 50’ of stick for 18 thousand the other day. It’s a 2010 and everything works perfect. I don’t think I’d ever buy a new one because they get beat from stuff falling on them and what not. That and it’s easier to justify even 30 k sitting there unused instead of 100k
     
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  3. capetrees

    capetrees Tree Freak

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    index-pointing-up.png I don't have a lift but what he said makes perfect sense. I don't own one because I have no use for it but if I did, I wouldn't go new, not at first anyway.

    Maybe try one of these

    https://www.niftylift.com/usa/products/track-drive/td42t

    Buddy has one and loves it. Gets anywhere with minimal impact.
     
  4. Tyler Lamb

    Tyler Lamb ArboristSite Lurker

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    I rented 50 footers and they just seem to be in the way. They lack the lateral reach. IMHO. The sad-64 from nifty work well. I just want something more compact. I’ve been looking at the CMC 74 .
     
  5. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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  6. Tyler Lamb

    Tyler Lamb ArboristSite Lurker

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  7. DSW

    DSW Addicted to ArboristSite

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    What do you do now, climb? You have quite a bit of equipment, especially material movers, could you minimize something to gain the lift?

    Seems like a big jump from nothing aeriel to 100k lift. Maybe I missed a piece.
     
  8. Tyler Lamb

    Tyler Lamb ArboristSite Lurker

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    Good point. It is definitely jumping into the deep end. I’m just a little paranoid with used lifts concerning electrical and computer problems. Figured the newer models would be better sorted out.
     
  9. sb47

    sb47 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    It's the old saying , it takes money to make money.
    Example: When I was driving a tree spade, my boss (the owner) was always trying to save money by buying recapped tires for all his Mack trucks. We spent a lot of time and money getting flats fixed or replaced from the tread coming off. We were always wasting time waiting on a tire man ether at the shop or sitting on the side of the road for them to come fix or replace a tire with yet another recap tire.
    I finally talked him into spending the extra money and buying brand new tires for my truck. I stopped having flats and blowouts and wasting time waiting on a tire man. When a truck is not rolling, it's not making money so in the long run, we saved a lot more money running new tires then we did by trying to save money by buying cheaper retreads. In fact I could run a set of tires out without having a single flat or blowout. The other trucks were still running retreads and still wasting time and money waiting on a tire man and sitting on the side of the road. It didn't take him long to realize that I was making more money by staying rolling while the other trucks were not. After that he started buying brand new tires for all the trucks and we almost never had anymore flats or blowouts. Big truck tires are not cheap but it was costing way more money in down time and repair bills and getting behind schedule because of all the down time.
    It only took one time on one truck for him to realize he was actually saving money by buying new tires then he was saving in buying cheap recaps. We never ran recaps ever again and we made way more money staying on schedule. In fact the only time we ever needed a tire man again was when the tries wore out and it was time to put NEW tires on again. Sometime trying to go cheap ends up costing more in the long run.

    The same thing was happening with the old used Macks he was buying. He thought a used truck would be cheaper but they would break down and spend days in the shop getting repaired and the down time and cost of the repairs was costing him money and customers. He bought me a brand new Mack and it never broke down while the other trucks were still spending time and money staying broke down and in the shop.
    Within a few years we all had new trucks and ran all new tires and we never had anymore of all the down time and he made 10 times the money by staying on schedule and soon we were taking customers away from our competition. So much so he added 3 new trucks to the fleet and instead of being one of the smallest company's we were the largest. Sadly he died some 10 years later.

    Then out of the blue I got a call from a guy that had bought a tree moving company from an old guy that was retiring and they wanted me to come run it for them. When I started that job, it was the same thing. All the trucks and equipment was old and worn out and they were loosing money with the very same problems that was happening with the last guy I worked for. I talked them into buying my old bosses new equipment and selling off all the crap he bought when he bought from they guy that retired. And the same thing happened, we went from loosing money to making money.


    Yes new equipment is costly, but it's dependable and the cost of down time and repairs and loosing customers to the competition because you can't be on time and getting the job done can be the difference in making or loosing money. My past experience showed them they hired the right person to run there company and they were so glad It took over and showed them what an experienced person could do for them. They were making all the same mistakes my old boss was making, till I cam along and showed then how to do it right. They promoted me and soon I ran the whole company except the office work. I ran the whole show from getting new customers, to taking jobs away from the competition. I always had multiple jobs lined out so if weather or some other issue came up that healed up starting a job, I had other jobs lined out and we never stopped rolling. I had a plan A,B,C D, always lined up. They went from making less then a million a year to 10 million a year. I went from making 50K a year to well over 300K a year. All because I took there failing company to a successful one.
     
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  10. Erwin

    Erwin ArboristSite Operative

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    It looks like that u have similar equipment setup as I do, maybe a little more. The difference is I work part time. I went through the same mental process and decided that it’s not worth it for me. This is totally depended on my continued ability to climb after I just turned 55. I don’t even use my bucket truck often at all, maybe once every other month if I have to, on a very large removal job. It’s just so much easier to climb up there and get it done than moving the lift around. The only reason I’ll buy one for over 100K is, either when I can not climb much anymore, or I have too much money and just want to have it because I can and get rid of the dumb bucket truck. I do like to have one someday just for the sake of it (I’m so attracted to it!). My 2 cents. Erwin
     
  11. BC WetCoast

    BC WetCoast Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Depends on your market and your competition. If you are losing the easy front yard jobs to competitors with buckets and only doing the tough climbs, then you need to decide if thats the market you want to be in.

    You need to analyze the market youre ina nd the one you want to be in. Make your equipment decisions based on your analysis.

    We run 3 buckets, about 40% of the jobs they are only chip trucks, but they give great flexibility to the crews. We do about $25k a week and crews may do 3 jobs a day, so flexibility is the key for us.
     
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  12. tree MDS

    tree MDS Daddy

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  13. bck

    bck ArboristSite Member

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    I’m in a similar position as you. Here are some questions and considerations:

    1. you have a lot of equipment. Can you consolidate and re-invest the money? Two log trucks and a grapple truck seems a little redundant ? Just thinking out loud
    2. Consider the tax advantage of a lift. The money you save in taxes is like paying 30% ish less for the machine.
    3. They are pretty simple machines. Easy to store. Easy to trailer. 90 feet of working height. 50 feet of side reach.
    4. You’ll probably wind up using it more and more as it opens up a broader work scope. If no one in your area has one you’ll be the guy to call
    5. You’ll get work done faster, safer and do a better job.
    6. If you need it then you need it.

    I would only buy new as well and do plenty of research. Service is critical. My impression of these machines is that they will have issues with electronics but most of the time it’s a very easy and quick fix with one phone call and some extra parts. I checked out the 89 foot arborist by Tracked Lifts and I liked the machine.
    Which ones are you looking at ?


     
  14. Erwin

    Erwin ArboristSite Operative

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    Just another thought recently going through my mind. If I were you, I’d go get a mini track crane before getting a lift. That’s to say if you still can or enjoy climbing like I do. I just couldn’t imagine a better setup than having a remote controlled 37 foot mini track crane right next to the 30” diameter, 30’ tall trunk I’m chucking down in a very tight spot! I know I can use it a lot. Erwin
     
  15. Aldegar

    Aldegar www.gigharborbigfoot.com

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    We love ours but it's not necessary and slower than climbing.
     
  16. tree MDS

    tree MDS Daddy

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    Guess it depends what kind of climbing you’re talking about. And how dead the trees are.
     
  17. bck

    bck ArboristSite Member

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    Which brand are you running ?
     

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