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Dominic Bailey

Advice on Small Business Machinery

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Hi All,

 

I own and manage a small Arb Approved contracting business. The company like many have been very busy, and the scope for commercial contracts is growing. Currently around 70% residential, however, I’m now quoting for council contracts, woodland works and Ash Die Back. In order to be competitive I now need to invest in further kit. I’ve been considering tractor with winch and potential tipping trailer, Mewp, and a telehandler for shifting timber and Woodchip. I understand all these machines have specific uses and are very different but I need to start somewhere. Advice is welcome, thanks.

 

cheers,

 

Dom  

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If most of your work is relatively local then get a decent tractor and forwarding trailer - you’ll be amazed how it changes the way you approach jobs!

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Telehandler with log grab, def. K

Edited by Khriss
( not that I'm tryin to spend yr money 😉)

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Thanks Khriss. The gripe I have with telehandlers apposed to tractors is there versatility. Great for shifting big lumps of timber and chip, but a tractor can do those things to a degree. Obviously not as well, but I could put a front loader on a tractor and tow substantial weights on the back. 
what’s the reasons you’d choose the telehandler over a tractor? I’d love both 😂 just don’t have the funds.  

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Tractor with loader & crane trailer moves logs & chip 2.6t digger with rotator grab speeds job up no end👍👍

also have a 1.2t with a rotator grab on for garden's & tight areas

invest in machine not men😁😁

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Edited by Johny Walker
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Nice!! What’s the tractor? Been working with a valtra recently which looks mega. I should imagine anything between 100-150hp should be sufficient? What did the trailer hiab set up cost? 

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5 minutes ago, Dominic Bailey said:

Nice!! What’s the tractor? Been working with a valtra recently which looks mega. I should imagine anything between 100-150hp should be sufficient? What did the trailer hiab set up cost? 

It's a case mxu 

125,had a valmet before it got written off 

Will need to work it's cost out as it was more than I wanted to pay but it's worth every penny told the wife it was £6k🤣🤣🤣

Edited by Johny Walker
  • Haha 3

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you need to evaluate what machine will suit sites you are going to work on, if large sites then big tractor if small blocks for woodland than small kit works well, also how far travel involved easy to put digger or small loader on trailer and move it about. 

A piece of machinery is no good with out a good driver.

 

 

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Tractor with loader yes, forks and a decent sized bucket, that rules your tele handler out of the plan, then if your going to site and taking tractor/trailer and tele handler, you need 2 drivers when just one is needed if you have loader on the tractor, 3 point linkage crane and a decent tipping trailer, you can move timber and chip then but you cant move chip with a forwarding trailer, 2.8 tonne digger is a big time saver and only needs one man, a digger will move brash/log all day at a decent pace as apposed to manual handling it, one digger, one man and 3 gallon of diesel will do the work of 3-4 men hence only one wage to pay, personally i would not have a rotating log grab on a digger as they basically onlt have one use and there is pipes to rip off as well, i find the fixed grab much more useful as you can move log, move brash, push brash in to windrows in woodlands and if you make a mess you can rake brash up with it and if the ground gets ripped up you can rage it leval again and leave the site quit tidy with out sweating your nuts off,

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54 minutes ago, Khriss said:

Telehandler with log grab, def. K

As simple as that.... 🙄

 

To the OP, whilst telehandlers are good at being telehandlers they are to a certain extent a one trick pony. The merlo I have in my yard is invaluable, however its no good for driving an hour to winch a tree over, or for going to site to pick up lengths of processor size timber or for the multitude of tasks a tractor with roofmount or trailer mounted crane is far better suited. I ran my buisness for 12-13 years before I bought a telehandler yet I've been running tractors with cranes for the last 8 years and can say that they have brought far more change to my business than the multitude of diggers, skid steers, loaders and unimogs  I've also ran in that time

Im now looking to buy my 5th tractor and crane combo. you don't need to spend 100k straight off the bat when an older 8 series valmet with crane can be picked up in the 20-30k range

good luck

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