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Author Topic: New Log Truck, Business Plan  (Read 21801 times)

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Offline luke

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New Log Truck, Business Plan
« on: February 18, 2004, 06:52:49 PM »
I live in an area where there is a lot of sawmills and logging, just wondering if there is any money in trucking logs to sawmills, I looked at a new western star tri-axle log truck at a timber show, it had the prentice loader on it and I am guessing at a price of $150,000.00, new price.  

Has anyone ever made a business plan for a log truck business?  I'm guessing that a over the road tractor like a kenworth T-200 would be more reasonable for a business plan, because I'm guessing that there is more "freight" that needs to be hauled, than logs.

Luke
Checking into grade sawing, building a dry kiln and moulding machines.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2004, 08:01:26 AM »
You should get into contact with mills and large wood producers in your area to determine if the local market is strong enough for you to run a logging truck business. Locally there are a number of truckers that haul wood for mills and for private producers. They set there rates based on distance and mill units such as per ton, cord or per thousand board feet. Check to see if there is a truckers or loggers association in your area. They may collectively set the rates for trucking factoring in their costs.

Penn Motor Trucking Assoc
http://www.pmta.org

Pennsylvania Forestry Association
Patrick Sherren
RR 1, Box 39AA
Warriors Mark, PA 16877
814-632-5406

America's Independent Truckers Assoc Inc
http://www.aitaonline.com
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline luke

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2004, 10:45:26 AM »

Yes, that would be considered market research.  But you still need to convince the banker, venture capitalist, the people with the money, that your logging truck business plan is a very profitable business.  My guess is, call western star/freightliner and talk to a career specialist who sells trucks to owner operators, and see how many log trucks the company has been selling lately, I'm sure that would give me some insight, on the "probability" of a log truck business succeeding, by studying the laws of supply and demand.

www.westernstartrucks.com/

Luke
Checking into grade sawing, building a dry kiln and moulding machines.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2004, 11:44:16 AM »
Your going to get more information from those associations than from any truck dealer. Unless the truck dealer is a member of such an association. Otherwise he may know that a truck was bought for logging, but he doesn't neccessarily know the chances of a company surviving that business. The trucker may decide to start hauling cars because the demand for trucking wood is cyclic with the seasons, let alone market conditions. Sales of trucks doesn't ensure your creditors that your going to be profitable. If no one will hire you, it doesn't matter if you have a truck or not. :)
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Jeff

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2004, 12:08:20 PM »
We have several companies in our area that do just that. Haul forest products. They dont log themselves but haul other companies wood. I dont have much to add other then guys around here do it and make money. We have our own trucks and still hire wood hauled at times.
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Offline ADfields

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2004, 12:35:27 PM »
First you need to find the market and what a realistic income from that market could be.   You need it on paper that such & such milling/logging company has intent to use you for X amount of work per year so you can take it to the bank with you.   If you don't have a track record in the business it is "VERY" hard to get a bank to back you, near impossible!

As to buying a truck understand that I have been there and know very well what I'm talking about hear!   The price of the truck is chump change in the price of running a trucking business!   Insurance, fuel, tiers, oil changes, brake jobs, fines for no wiper fluid in the jug etc. and all the fees will eat you up big time.   Trucking is not an easy business to learn, it is one of the most complex businesses to run in the US that you could find.   You will need a ICC motor carrier license unless you are only moving your own farm goods.   You will likely need a state motor carrier license as well.   You will need a IFTA fuel/mileage tax account.   You need to know how to use a log book the right way and keep files of them for the fed's to see when you get audited down the road and a thousand other things that I don't want to put hear.   If you don't know all this stuff my best advice would be to get a job working for someone that will teach you and spend 2 years or more in learning it before you place your name to a truck loan! :P

As SwampDonkey tried to point out.  The truck dealer wants to sell you a truck, they don't give a rip if you go bankrupt with it or not so long as they get a sale!

Good luck to you.  I am always glad to tell what I know, just ask. ;)
Andy

Offline rebocardo

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2004, 02:07:52 PM »
Buy a good USED double framed truck from someone such as Ryder with maybe 250-300k on it and have it converted to a log truck. Your total layout will be much lower, plus, you may be able to get a year's warranty.

It is a lot easier to earn 35,000 then 150,000. Let someone else that is well established pay for the depreciation.

One thing to consider with any truck, if you are not driving, you are not making money, and you make the most money when you drive over 100k miles a year.

Think big, start small.


Offline luke

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2004, 08:02:44 PM »
I would have to agree that you need to do some market research before you write a business plan.  And if  you can write a convincing business plan some investor will  give you the money!  My guess is there's not much money in hauling logs because I have never seen a new log truck on the roads in my neighborhood, and if you have to depend on the sawmills to pay your bills, you better think seriously about another business!

Before I sign my name on any truck loan, I truely must have my or (our) business plan wrote up, with truth wrote on it, and a very good judgement investor to give me the money for what ever my business plan calls for!  If he believes that my business plan is true, and I or (we) believe it's true, it must be truth. ;)

If a investor wouldn't invest his money into my or (our) idea I sure wouldn't want to spend my own!  For a trucking business to be so complex there sure are a lot of lower educated people doing it.  As a matter of fact the town I grew up in a guy that couldn't even read or write started up a trash trucking business and is a multi-millionaire now, so much for the complexity!

Also the truck dealer doesn't care if you make a million dollars with the new truck either!  A log truck is different than a tractor, it is more less a straight truck with a log bed and prentice loader on it.  

I believe that my or (our) business plan will be something besides a log truck business. :)

Luke


Checking into grade sawing, building a dry kiln and moulding machines.

Offline ADfields

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2004, 01:44:25 AM »
<<I would have to agree that you need to do some market research before you write a business plan.>>
Not just some but tons and tons of it and investors will want letters of intent or they will not consider it.  Then know that about 1/4 or more of it wont ever come true in the real world and you must add in for all the unknown expenses you will have.

<<For a trucking business to be so complex there sure are a lot of lower educated people doing it.>>
Not for very long today unless they are driving a company truck and DanG good chicken haulers to boot!!!

<<As a matter of fact the town I grew up in a guy that couldn't even read or write started up a trash trucking business and is a multi-millionaire now, so much for the complexity! >>
If you say so it must be but that was then and this is now! ;)

I myself sold my part of my heavy towing business in 2000 for over 3 mil but after all our business bills were paid the wife and I walked with around 100K, that paid off the cars and credit cards etc. so we were around even. ;)   We ran 12 towtrucks and some dirt trucks and some over the road Landol's.  I worked my butt off in trucking for way over 20 years to come out even but when I went in I had around 30K so truly I netted a 30K loss for all that work.   Now what would I have if I put that 30K in a bank savings account 20 years back and kept my driving job?   Every one would tell me how I had it made and was rolling in the money, made the big bucks just before they stuck out the hand for there cut. ::)   We were paying all the drivers more every month than we could take home ourselves (even the new hires) from around 96 on, thats 2 people working for less then I could have gotten by myself working "for" someone.   Ya, I know it looks so easy from the outside looking in but it's so picked on an industry today that I meant it when I told you "good luck" in the other post. :P   Talk to some investment brokers around you and ask them how many investors they have lined up to invest in trucking.   My brother went back in a year ago and had a very hard time getting 4 old wreckers floated with 50% down, 790 credit all made with trucks and stacks and stacks of paper to prove it all!   You have outfits out there like Swift, Knight, CR England, Snider that will pull 80K of haz-mat coast to coast for $.85 a mile and not even charge for extra drops. >:(   Them outfits even put C/F out of business you know, it's a DanG hard way to make a buck today! ;) ;)   I cant stress enough that you need to get a job and learn on someones money other than yours till you know enough to get started!   I am thinking you are a smart yong man and as such there are other ways to get a far better return on your labors then trucks, even as much as I love them. :P
Andy

Offline Norm

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2004, 04:10:19 AM »
Might be a good idea to take Andy's advice, he knows what he's talking about. We had a long haul semi for a couple of years. I have never seen so much paper work and regulation in any business. After a couple of years my son and I decided enough and sold the truck.

You any relation to Rod or Shawn?

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2004, 04:48:21 AM »
I have to add that in 1999 there was a report published that indicated that there was a 50,000 shortfall of available truckers to hire. This report indicated that this shortfall was due to current fuel costs, highway legislation, low pay, high cost of equipment and so on. Sounds just like farming to me. Beleive me I know about farming, my father farmed for over 45 years and retired. He sold the farm and a large chunk was paid to bills, but he also salted down alot of money over those years which allowed him to retire. Most farmers around here are lucky if they net $25,000 and handle about $500,000 of money each year. Some farmers even end up borrowing money to pay taxes.

Sound familiar ADfields? ;)
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Ron Wenrich

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2004, 07:38:38 AM »
The truckers we have hauling logs in our area use semi with a log trailer.  There is very low demand for a tri-axle with a log loader.  

Most loggers have gone, or will be going to automated bucking systems.  This means they can load trailers without the need of a self-contained rig.  On the other end, most mills have means to unload log trailers.  I think you'll be getting into a diminishing market with very little flexibility.

As for depending on sawmill pay, I do that every week and have never been stiffed.  You have to work for reputable people.

So far, you've talked scragg saw, swing saw, and log hauling.  Its soon time to sit down and do a business plan.  You'll never be 100% positive on any plan.
Never under estimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2004, 07:56:36 AM »
Most tri-axle trucks here with loaders are used on woodlots with small yards and/or  trucking stovewood for local markets. Also farmers use them for hauling their own wood because they can take off the potato van and put a log body on them. We always did that on our farm. Truckers in the business of hauling pulp and logs to mills over 50 miles away will use semi's. Only those truckers that also run a forest operation have self loaders. All mills here have means to unload your wood, they ask you to have 3 inch risers on your load. Some folks here are going the mechanized route, but they find they need a large volume of wood. So they are normally contracted by mills for this volume. So most private producers are still using conventional harvesting with skidders or horses.
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline Swede

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #13 on: February 20, 2004, 12:13:04 PM »
Ive been told that someone here in Sweden and even  in Finland they have BIG tractors going 50 km/h and BIG wagons after them. Less taxes, less investment and diffrent wagons for diffrent requirements.
For short transportations they can compete with the trucks and can be used where a truck cant drive along.

How fast may your tractors drive?

Swede.
Had a mobile band sawmill, All hydraulics  for logs 30\"x19, remote control. (sold it 2009-04-13)
Monkey Blades.Sold them too)
Jonsered 535/15\". Just cut firewood now.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2004, 12:35:40 PM »
Swede:

Here in Canada and the US we have long haul distances making a tractor impractical for most operations. A semi can make 4 trips a day to the mill with 14 cord loaded heavy per trip. 50 km/hr is about as fast as any tractor will go, but with a loaded trailor I wouldn't recommend full throttle or you'll make a few unexpected deliveries on the way. Might even jerk the ball off the hitch with a quick snap going over pot-holes and heaved culverts on our back roads!  :)

Hold 'er over from the bogen Willy boy!!  :)  :D ;D :D :)
No amount of belief makes something a fact. James Randi

Offline ADfields

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2004, 02:22:16 PM »
Swede, over here we call the front part of a semi truck a "tractor" or semi tractor or road tractor.   It pulls a trailer or two with the load on it, it's the power unit.   Not a farm type tractor I think you have in mind.
Andy
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Offline Swede

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #16 on: February 21, 2004, 12:59:39 AM »
ADfields; You do? ::)

A tractor here is 2- or 4-WD, speed 35-50 km/h but some new 80 km/h. EU allows 40km/h with full load but some new can have a total weight at 30-35 tons and run in 70. ???  I just saw it on an Norwegian site, they dont like it.

A vehicle as on Your photos we call "Trailerdragare" Trailer puller, And may be driven in 80 km/h with trailer.
Most of our trucks have a bed or other with a load length of  ~7,5 meters. Some of them can change  for fifferent transportations, timber, pallets, continers, disc for trailer............ and may run in 90. With a trailer (mostly load length ~13 meters) they may be driven in 80 km/h.
Sweden has an exemption (because of wood transportations) for tot. vehicle length of 25 meters. In other EU-countrys just 18 meters is allowed.

So IF the norwegian site is telling the truth  :-/ I think well see a lot of big "tractors" on our roads.

Swede.
Had a mobile band sawmill, All hydraulics  for logs 30\"x19, remote control. (sold it 2009-04-13)
Monkey Blades.Sold them too)
Jonsered 535/15\". Just cut firewood now.

Offline luke

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #17 on: February 22, 2004, 05:13:57 PM »
Adfields,

yes I would have to agree with you and some of the others to a certain degree.  Yes I agree, it is a good idea to get some experience or knowledge of the business before you invested your lifetime of efforts into it.  I believe that most of you have not gave careful consideration to my idea of a business plan , which I would think that most Banking Institutions, lenders, investors etc. would need before they lend you some money not unless you have a lot of capital to begin with.  :) I know that even "franchises" require you to have a business plan.  And  I think, if you check the small business statistics you will see that franchises have the highest success rate.

I believe that I will stick to college education, I know that if I finish my B.S. in Business Administration I will have the oppurtunity to go to graduate school or probably be able to get a better job with a 4 year degree.  I know that my time and efforts spent towards a 4 year degree in business, is definitely well worth the efforts.  Most definitely not a waste of my time or anyone else's. ;)

Thank's for the advice everyone, I agree with some of it.

Norm. F, yes I'm Shawn.  Do I know you?  

Luke

www.sba.gov/starting/businessplan.html
Checking into grade sawing, building a dry kiln and moulding machines.

Offline ADfields

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #18 on: February 22, 2004, 06:06:28 PM »
You wont get a dime from any lender but a loan shark with out a business plan, letters of intent that support your plan, profit and loss sheet, last 2 years tax returns, complete list of your assets and liabilities and lots of other stuff.   You talk like we don't understand what a business plan is, like it's some Aladdin's lamp that you rub it the right way and a business lone pops out of it.   It's standard business and no more mystical to someone that has ever been in business then a wrench is to a mechanic. :P   I have given careful consideration to your idea of a business plan and know it's needed for any business 100% of the time or it will never work out.

I'm glad you are in school and plan to stay!!! 8) 8)   The single dumbest thing I ever did was get out of school and get a job. :P   Stay there, learn all you can and get a good job after a degree so you learn the real world as well, you will go far like that!!! ;)   I know it sucks at times but stick with it, it will pay off later in your life. ;)
Andy

Offline Ron Scott

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Re: New Log Truck, Business Plan
« Reply #19 on: February 25, 2004, 08:49:46 AM »
Some of the successful log & pulpwood truckers here  "broker" the wood. They get the mill contracts and then buy the wood products on the landings from the producers to fill their product contracts with the mills.

See the Timber Harvesting & Equipment Thread here for some "wood haulers".
~Ron


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