It is no secret that the construction business, in general, has slowed down over the past year. As with almost every negative thing in our lives, this has created opportunities.
The weak housing market and the weak economy have conspired to cause many changes in the marketplace. For example, many marginal businesses have failed. Many businesses became too much work for the meager profits they were producing. Lots of folks decided to retire early. The end result is that there are fewer competitors for many of us in the construction related businesses.
For example, one of the largest players in the industry, United Rentals, has closed a large number of stores. They have also returned to their base business, equipment rental. That means that they have cut back dramatically on their merchandizing and have removed trailer-based concrete from most locations. This creates a huge opportunity for someone to step in and fill the gap.
Among the stores that United has closed are two in California both of which had excellent sales of concrete and landscape materials. The Napa, California store, for years had sold about 5,000 yards of trailer-based concrete each year. That represents gross sales (of just the concrete) of about $625,000 and gross profits of approximately $350,000 annually. For a business that can be run with two people full-time and a bit of temp help, that's not bad. The other example is Turlock, California. The Turlock store had trailer-based concrete and a decent selection of landscape materials (18 material bins plus concrete mix). With the nearest United Rentals store in Modesto, 14 miles away, this is an outstanding opportunity for someone to step in and pick up this business.
Opportunities like this come to the attention of the staff at Cart-Away on a seemingly daily basis. If you want more information, please call, toll-free, 800-909-9809 or put your questions on this blog.
If you have any news of concrete or landscape materials stores closing or reducing operation, please let us know. We have interested parties and both new and used equipment to turn this opportunities into gold.
Cart-Away Concrete Systems has just announced the release of their newest concrete mixing trailer, the MixKing® It is a 10,000# GVW vehicle. That means it can mix and carry over 1.75 cubic yards of concrete at a time. After almost a year of field testing, Bruce Christensen, Cart-Away's General Manager, says, "It is fully tested and ready to release to our customers." Most customers will want to use a full sized three quarter ton or one-ton pickup to tow the MixKing® though when loaded with less than 1.75 cubic yards, it is possible to tow the new trailer with a half-ton full sized truck.
Compared to the workhorse model CMT-100 concrete mix trailer, this new machine will mix and deliver 75% more product. Cart-Away also plans to offer an option for on-board water. This can be useful for those who will use the MixKing® in remote locations. By offereing water on-board as an option, the 95% of users who have water available at their sites will be able to carry more concrete. Mixers with water systems typically lose 300-600# of concrete carrying capacity.
If you are a Cart-Away customer and want more information about adding the MixKing to your fleet, contact Scotty or Ryan at 800-909-9809.
If you are a contractor or homeowner looking for a dealer who sells concrete and has MixKings available, please contact Cart-Away at 800-909-9809 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
A manufacturing neighbor of ours here in McMinnville, Oregon, Water Right, has come up with an interesting new product. It is a very high quality hose that eliminates the hassles of recoiling hoses.
I have a couple at home right now and have discovered two things I like already. First, the hose takes up less space than the one it replaced. Second, it always looks neat, not just a big mess like most of my hoses do.
I imagine that these hoses would be easier to handle in a work truck and at job sites than old style hoses. Let me know what you think by commenting to this post.
The start of the year is the time to start making lans for this year's landscape and garden projects. Here's a list of considerations for your checklist. Please feel free to comment and add a few to the list.
1. What is the goal? Do you want entertainment space, outdoor living space, play space, a quiet garden area?
2. What is your budget? Setting a budget helps prevent 'project creep' (where the size of the project grows well beyond the original plans and goals).
3. What is the timeframe? Is this a project needed to be complete for a special time or event? Is there a season that is best to do this work?
4. Are special skills required? Do you plan to do this yourself or is this a job you will hire out to a pro? I you don't have the skills, how will you get them?
5. Are there unique or hard to find materials needed? Do you need to order far in advance or is most everything available at your local building and landscape materials store and nursery?
6. Consider environmental issues: soil type, water requirements, drainage,electrical needs, protection from rain, wind, etc., fire prevention, future plant growth, etc.
7. Make a purchase list for all the materials needed.
8. List the tools you will need to do the job. Include a list of the tools you will need to buy or rent.
9. List the steps needed to get from where you are to where you want to be. This is where all of the above considerations dictate what must be done before each step in the process.
a. Start with protecting plant materials and structure that could be damaged in the construction process
b. The next step is demolition and haul-off.
c. Ground prep sets the stage for layout and forming for concrete pours, piping, etc. (Don't forget to plant pvc pipe for future needs).
The following link is a great start to developing your plan/checklist:
If you are considering using stamped concrete on your next
landscaping project, you should bone up on the subject a bit before jumping
into the mud (concrete guy’s term for ‘concrete’).
The very best way to do this is to go to the World of Concrete in Las Vegas.I
know.You are laughing.World of Concrete?Yes.It is the leading edge of everything that has to do with
concrete and you will be amazed.I
invited my sister to attend one year when it was held in Orlando, nearer her
Florida home.She was blown away
by the counter tops, the stamped patios, and the color.She was going to just drop into the
show and do her little brother a favor by saying how nice it was.She stayed the whole day.Over 75,000 people go to this trade
show each year. If it is new and
has to do with concrete, it is happening at the World of Concrete.
Stamped concrete is a project for advanced
do-it-yourselfers.You really need
to talk with contractors, get prices, weigh the savings vs. the risks and labor
of doing it yourself.
I can’t vouch for or recommend the company, but I have to
send you to http://www.concreteforever.com/
to see a wonderful gallery of concrete stamping and color jobs.Just click on the thumbnails to see
Our local waste agency, Yamhill County Solid Waste, recently sent out a "Renewsletter" with lists of resources and lots of tips for preventing waste and preerving environmental quality. Among those tips were tips on saving water with regards to lawns. Lawns take far more water than most crops. They also use far more chemicals than most farmers use for a similar space. The end result is lots of water carrying lots of chemicals off the lawn and into storm drains - not a good situation. It also wastes water,the most used commodity on earth and one of which there is a limited supply. Here are the tips:
1. Raise Blades. Keeping your mower blade at three to four inches high allows your grass to grow deeper roots to compete better with weeds. It allows you to water less because it has better temperature tolerance. It also prevents erosion.
2. Grasscycle. Leave your clippings on the lawn to nourish the soil. It is a natural fertilizer and helps the lawn retain moisture.
3. Sharpen your lawnmower blades. Sharp blade make clean cuts. Your lawn will look better (no brown tips) and it will stressed less.
4. Clean up. Fertilizers and other waste should be cleaned up so they don't end up in the storm sewer system.
5. Me Moderate. Don't apply fertilizers and other phosphorous-containing materials unless the lawn needs it. Consult a local expert.
6. Leave clover. Clover is a helpful nitrogen fixer. It helps create a dense turf.
7. Water smart. Water only when necessary. Deep soak to help develop root structure.Water in the cool part of the day to avoid evaporation (late night or early morning).
For more information on this subject, I recommend the following sites:
As you can tell from the many posts regarding BlogWorld, this blog has strayed from its purpose for a few weeks while we have let the BlogWorld Experience sink in.
What lessons did we learn at Blogworld that will inform us and our readers about things connected with hardscaping, landscaping, concrete projects and the Cart-Away Supply franchise?
Blogs are amazing forums. You can discuss with experts and amateurs alike any and all questions that you have regarding your next project in your yard or the next contract you have to design and build a new patio for a client. You can ask a question and get answers from all over the world.
Blogs create communities. I may have a passion for practical planning and preparation prior to tackling a landscaping project. Their might ot be another person like me in my local area. However, I might find twenty like minded souls via my blog. We can discuss matters near and dear to our hearts and build a supportive, informative community.
Faith Popcorn, the trend spotting guru suggests that "clanning" is a major future trend. People will look to join communities of people like themselves whether by hobbies, professions, or other similarities of thought or history. As people have retreated to their homes and become more isolated, they are looking for outlets to share their histories, their passions, to be connected. TV does not listen or respond to you. The internet, especially through affinity blogs has that feature: it talks back.
In the next weeks, I will attempt to post more often and about subjects of interest to you.
Do you have a topic you want to discuss? Hit the comment button and make a suggestion.
I apologize in advance for any misdeeds (forgotten people, misspelled names, etc., etc.). I have decided, even though I have yet to learn how to do this, I won't have time to enter all the names and pictures from the Expo. I will try to enter names and links so here goes, in no particular order:
Ben Koo - did a nice post for us, had cool sports blooging booth.
Mario Bonilla - came by to discuss his great PR product, PRWeb
Major Charles Ziegenfuss with soldiersangels - it is a great cause and is doing wonderful things for our soldiers.
Jay Berkowitz, TenGoldenRules.com, wish we had the time to ask a few more questions. Will have to explore his site.
Patrick Hewitt, GM of Sitemeter. We discussed how we will track the success of our adventure at Blogworld.
John Pozadzides with Layered Tech, He got us a beta of Woopra and introduced us to Lorelle Van Fossen. We have already called Lorelle and hope to get together with her soon. She is a neighbor in the Great Northwest.
Jim Forde, born and raised in Hawaii (I could identify, I'm a graduate of Kailua High School - go Surfriders!) He wore a different Hawaiian shirt each day-both nice.