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End of the Box Truck

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End of the Box Truck

Post by milspec6 on Thu Apr 12, 2018 10:28 am

I am sitting here today contemplating selling off my box truck instead of waiting until the fall. I just had the worst 6 weeks for this time of year in more than a decade and it doesn't seem to be showing any signs of changing. I would be taking a loss on it and hate to see it go, but the way things are right now, paying for any repairs on it would kill me. I probably spent well over $25,000 putting it together, but what do you think it would be worth to a business needing such a set-up? The truck is a 2005 NPR with the Diesel (110,000 miles) and new tires. The Judson TNT has 1,300 hours on it and the #4 Ext Psi Little Giant with 50 hours on it. Custom hose reels, SS chemical racks, LPG belly tank, and 80 gallon fresh water tank. It needs nothing mechanically except maybe the a/c condenser fan and the TNT is like new mechanically. I would think that a 1-ton cargo van with low miles set-up with the TNT would be worth $14k - $15k, but would the box truck be a plus or a negative in comparison?

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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:36 pm

$14k would be a deal.
Ask for a it more, and offer it for $14 to move it faster

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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by milspec6 on Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:35 pm

Thanks Matt
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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by Mo on Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:41 pm

20k thats a nice set up, and judson has a good rep especially in the south
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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by milspec6 on Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:50 am

Well, it goes up for sale today. I just left my CPA and I was slaughtered on taxes. We still can't warm up at all and the phone isn't ringing. I am not finding any reason to believe that it will change anytime soon. I am cutting off my limbs in hopes of saving the core body, but I might not have that much fight left in me to take this much farther.

I guess I was too stupid to believe this was going to work.
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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by Matt; My carpet cleaner on Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:23 pm

check with Les, let him know what you have. maybe he cant help with any leads.

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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by milspec6 on Thu Apr 19, 2018 12:13 pm

That is a pretty good idea Matt, I might do that. I got it ready to list, but really don't want to do it so I haven't done it just yet. I had 2 jobs today now that the Sun has decided to show up in the Midwest again. They were just 2 bedroom homes so not bick tickets, but it was still good to be working again. I am going to think it over this weekend and make a decision.
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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by Mo on Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:05 am

I say put it up for sale. You don't need to two trucks and you do need the money
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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by milspec6 on Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:59 pm

You are correct Mo, that is the situation. Makes no sense having the second truck when the phones are not ringing....except I really like that truck. The only reason that I built it was so that I could stop using a sub on one of my buildings. For the last 4 years that sub costs me $500 every cleaning and we clean that building 2x per month during the warm months and a couple during the winter. By building that truck and hiring a trained helper to run it, I could afford to pay the guy $25 per hour and still make a nice gain each month. That is, if I could find a good hire AND see that cleaning volume. It also provides a second rig for growth and dependability.

I just cannot understand what happend to this industry? I am $18,000 down from the previous 6 years by this date...nobody is cleaning anything residential nor commercial. I actually had to set up a meeting with the commercial to make sure that I wasn't replaced or something. They were very apologetic and reassured me that my status had not changed, but they just haven't felt the need to clean anything either. The Facilities Director did send out an emial to all managers asking if any buildings were in need of cleaning. I know for certain that they all do except one, but have yet to hear anything further.

I spent the day cleaning up the box truck and putting it through it's paces for the first time since winter storage. Worked like a charm cleaned up real nice. The TNT still only has 534 hours on it and the truck just broke 114,000 on the diesel. It should be a great truck for another 5 years at least. I really do not want to lose it...what I want is to see the industry rebound so that I do not have to. It is starting to get quite scary for 2018.
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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by Freemind1 on Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:29 pm

I still think you need to have penalties in your cleaning contract for letting the carpet get too dirty. I would want a contract with CLEARLY defined intervals as to when they get cleaned. If they want to skip it, fine. They still should be billed for it and have to pay for the cleaning whether they want it or not.

If you buy a membership to the gym, you don't get to skip paying if you don't use the membership for the month.

After all, you discuss with them what the cleaning plan should be. There pricing is based upon that, right?

I don't see the use of messing around with people you can't depend on. If they don't care about clean, they obviously are not the type of people you want to work with. You lose money on those jobs that get extra dirty, and you clean it for a maintenance price.

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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by milspec6 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:30 am

Wise words Freemind and you would get no argument from me on it. The biggest problem that they have is organization. Every building has its own manager and its own budget. Then to screw it up farther, they send the cleaning requests to the Custodial Manager who then contacts me to schedule. Some of those building managers are very bad about keeping their area clean until the complaints show up. Then there is the other issue in that if the Custodial Manager is out sick or on vacation, nobody tends to her duties and nothing gets done.

For 5 years, we have always cleaned 5-7 buildings in March for the Spring kickoff. That volume pays for about 3 months of costs plus covers taxes in April....all 5 years except this one. This year, they cleaned 1. That is why everything fell apart since that customer makes up about 70% of my income.

There are a lot of things that I want to do differently with that contract, but they insist on this chaotic operatiing plan.
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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:54 am

Were it me, I would immediately redo the contract. Include where you schedule the cleans and notify the involved parties.
If they don't want to allow that, then the cleans if not done at the proper intervals, will be priced 2-3 times normal price.

I just don't see how this type of client is better than a slum lord. They want you to clean terrible carpets, for a cheaper price. The only difference is the amount of square feet.

I personally could easily lay down the terms to these people. They are not a client we should want, and you aren't making money with them. My efforts could be spent elsewhere to make money, rather than messing around with them.

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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by milspec6 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:00 pm

You touched on the main problem though Freemind, there isn't a lot of money to found elsewhere and it amounts to a huge portion of my business each year. Remove this one and I fold like a house of cards right now. That takes away all of my bargaining strength right now. It is BS and there failure to keep up with any sort of schedule is killing me right now...absolutely killing me, yet I can't do more than keep nudging them and sending out reminders. They have scheduled one building next week, but it is so little and so late.

In this area, that is the most prestigious client and the biggest one. After them, there is nothing except churches and restaraunts for commercial and the residential just doesn't seem to be interested in cleaning. Basically, it is a bad area for operations made worse by an unorganized anchor client. I have discovered that the hard way and it did a lot of damage to my financial situation. I have known it since last Fall, but haven't been able to change it.

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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by Freemind1 on Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:45 pm

I realize how you feel.

I look at it like this. You already lost the income and have no idea if/when it will be coming again. You'll never get back those lost dollars. But you CAN protect your future dollars.

I would have been mad enough to lay down the new ultimatum or walk. I am not one to hang on hope when someone has demonstrated to me their word is worth nothing. They fooled me once, it won't happen again.

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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by dp1 on Fri Apr 27, 2018 2:57 pm

@milspec6 wrote:You touched on the main problem though Freemind, there isn't a lot of money to found elsewhere and it amounts to a huge portion of my business each year.  Remove this one and I fold like a house of cards right now.  That takes away all of my bargaining strength right now.  It is BS and there failure to keep up with any sort of schedule is killing me right now...absolutely killing me, yet I can't do more than keep nudging them and sending out reminders.  They have scheduled one building next week, but it is so little and so late.

In this area, that is the most prestigious client and the biggest one.  After them, there is nothing except churches and restaraunts for commercial and the residential just doesn't seem to be interested in cleaning.  Basically, it is a bad area for operations made worse by an unorganized anchor client.  I have discovered that the hard way and it did a lot of damage to my financial situation.  I have known it since last Fall, but haven't been able to change it.


I can see how you’re in a bind with this situation as I will feel the same way, be firm with them with potential of losing all of their business or just let them do whatever they want in hopes they will do the same volume as in the years past, but there may be a middle ground, ask them for 15 - 30 minutes of time to sit down and explain nicely that when they skip cleanings, you will have to work harder and longer, harder and longer = more $$, I wouldn’t charge 2 - 3 x like James suggested because they would walk away and you would lose the business for sure, just let them know for every month they skip cleanings, the rate goes up 3%, they skip 3 months, 9% higher, I think that’s reasonable. I had the same issue with my monthly cleaning and they ask for more discounts, this was early last year I think ? I sat down with them and explain things and they understand and appreciative that I took the time to explain, and I also kept an open mind on what needs to be done regularly and what don’t need to be done regularly, I emphasized to them that this is not about me, it is about them and their needs and their budget.


Last edited by dp1 on Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: End of the Box Truck

Post by milspec6 on Fri Apr 27, 2018 5:11 pm

That sit down has been on my agenda 4 times now in the past 6 months. It just never seemed to happen as they can't be bothered to attend. That is really the big part of the problem, the managers don't care about the place at all. They will not come in a minute early nor stay a second longer than the time clock requires. I honestly think I care more than any of them.

I really hope to start transitioning away from them, but it is a large customer. Of course if it doesn't get busier, it will not matter one way or the other.
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Re: End of the Box Truck

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