Deciding on buying equipment?

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tom4018

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What factors does everyone use in your decision making process? Looking at buying a dump trailer for some projects. I always need some gravel here and there but i am having a hard time convincing myself it is a worthwhile purchase. Been watching for used ones but they are so close to new price. Bid on one in a auction yesterday but it went high.

I have tried to get some people to do my project but most don't want to fool with it. Moving some dirt from a pond clean out last year. I rented a dump trailer and moved 20 loads but much more to go. If i had my own i could do a little at a time instead of running hard when i have the rental.

Pretty much have talked myself out of a purchase because it wouldn't get used enough.
 

faster horses

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You would be surprised what all you would use a dump trailer for. We have LOTS of trailers because Mr. FH seems to love trailers. The one that get used the most? The dump trailer.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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I’ve always thought it would be prudent to partner with a neighbor or two and go in halves or thirds on things that are relatively high dollar but seldom used. Yes, I’m aware of the pitfalls of sharing equipment. Just a random rumination.
 

HDRider

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I was commenting to someone about spending money on equipment that sits idle so much. He said farming might not suit me.

In manufacturing utilization is a factor.
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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I’ve always thought it would be prudent to partner with a neighbor or two and go in halves or thirds on things that are relatively high dollar but seldom used. Yes, I’m aware of the pitfalls of sharing equipment. Just a random rumination.
Most around here have dump trucks. A couple of them would loan with issue if they weren't using. One with that is their equipment isn't the greatest and breaks down a lot. If it was to do it while I had it I probably could have made a big down payment on a trailer. Plus the trucks they have are too high for me to load my dirt into.

Probably not a justifiable purchase. I just get aggravated trying to get someone to do something and you can't. They are busy when ground is dry or never show up. I like being self-sufficient but can't always be.
 

SmokinM

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I got about 4 pieces of equipment that I am looking hard at either upgrading or purchasing right now, been kicking them around for 6 months. Hard to come off that dollar sometimes.

As far as a dump trailer goes they can be handy, just make sure you buy one that sits high enough that in full dump position the tail doesn’t drag. Mine did that and it made it useless. Also with things like dirt it easy to load more than they will dump then you got a mess.

I am lucky enough a neighbor has a nice single axle dump truck he runs for a reasonable rate. Can’t justify a trailer or truck of my own with that one a mile away.
 

Lucky

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I bought a 1970 model dump truck for $1,800 works perfect for the ranch. Don’t mind loaning it out either. Lol just a thought.
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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I bought a 1970 model dump truck for $1,800 works perfect for the ranch. Don’t mind loaning it out either. Lol just a thought.
Been looking. Most I have found are high or need a lot of work. Brakes and tires can get expensive on that size truck. Was thinking less upkeep on a trailer.
 

Lucky

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Been looking. Most I have found are high or need a lot of work. Brakes and tires can get expensive on that size truck. Was thinking less upkeep on a trailer.
The one I bought is a real junker. I wouldn’t drive it on the road but guy I loan it to drives on FM roads a little. It’s a Chevy C60 single axle with dump bed. I’m amazed that everything still works so good on it. It even has the original air horns. We fill it until dirt is spilling over the top and it dumps in about 10 seconds, I’ve heard dump trailers are slow. You can drive this thing anywhere too which was a plus for my project.
 

Bigfoot

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I bought an army trailer ($500). I can get 4 tons of rock on with room to spare. Doesn’t squat it at all. A little inconvenient (but so is an expensive piece of machinery that sits more than it’s used). I dump it with the front en loader. Wouldn’t work except for the height. There is no ability to spread either. Better than a shovel, and cheaper than a dump trailer.
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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I bought an army trailer ($500). I can get 4 tons of rock on with room to spare. Doesn’t squat it at all. A little inconvenient (but so is an expensive piece of machinery that sits more than it’s used). I dump it with the front en loader. Wouldn’t work except for the height. There is no ability to spread either. Better than a shovel, and cheaper than a dump trailer.
Where did you find one?
 

Robert Jubela

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What factors does everyone use in your decision making process? Looking at buying a dump trailer for some projects. I always need some gravel here and there but i am having a hard time convincing myself it is a worthwhile purchase. Been watching for used ones but they are so close to new price. Bid on one in a auction yesterday but it went high.

I have tried to get some people to do my project but most don't want to fool with it. Moving some dirt from a pond clean out last year. I rented a dump trailer and moved 20 loads but much more to go. If i had my own i could do a little at a time instead of running hard when i have the rental.

Pretty much have talked myself out of a purchase because it wouldn't get used enough.
My experience-Be sure you have a big pickup to pull it. My neighbor found that when dumping a large load it pulled the back wheels of his pickup off the ground so he had to lower the trailer to be able to dump and spread the entire load.
 

BrazosBottomHand

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Buy one short term. Buy one use it to do what prejects need done .then when projects are complete sell it.
That's what I was going to say. One thing I consider when buying a piece of equipment is that you have to fight depreciation, repairs and maintenance, interest (maybe), capital usage (and the opportunity cost of what it could be earning somewhere else), and the time of doing it yourself. Then again some things just make life so much easier that I am going to buy it even if it doesn't make sense on paper.... You can always pencil whip it if you want to bad enough. Most of us farmers and ranchers are highly skilled equipment justification artists 🤠
 

ARS

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I’ve always thought it would be prudent to partner with a neighbor or two and go in halves or thirds on things that are relatively high dollar but seldom used. Yes, I’m aware of the pitfalls of sharing equipment. Just a random rumination.
I’m a fan of this method, as long as the partner is reliable and isn’t known for breaking things. My husband and I have made a few co-purchases with my dad and brother and all has worked out well. We’ve bought a hay wrapper and a livestock trailer and are looking for a seeder at the moment. It takes a little communication, especially during hay season and weaning for example, and we try to be considerate of what the other is doing.

One other thing to consider is insurance: are you both going to insure the equipment or is just one? Just something to think about.

And finally, to answer tom4018’s question - we try to figure how much the item will make us each year and see how long it would take before it pays for itself. This isn’t always feasible, but is a good starting point. We also like to list out pros and cons and see which outweighs the other.
 
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