LANDART - Paul Jones

2017

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I am not certain that “Flipscreen” should be categorized as an equipment purchase using an unknown payback schedule as criteria. Rather I suggest that your prospective buyers consider creating a new profit center for their business; one which repays itself in several very significant ways.

I should mention that when I announced purchasing the U45 Flipscreen, my Brother & operating partner called the Flipscreen idea stupid and solicited two sub contract excavators to laugh along with him. I forged ahead, into composting and screening highly organic soil. A very, very high profit component. The highest profit margin product we sell. But the profit goes up from just the soil sales. In two years I have made fools of the naysayers.

Heres how

  • Reduced dumping/hauling costs
  • Profitable return on a piece of snow removal equipment not otherwise in regular summer use
  • Compost which is our highest single profit margin component of annual sales
  • Enhanced grass seed and plant growth with high organic soils
  • Retail sales magnet (freshly screed, high organic compost at attractive retail pricing).
  • Greatly reduced labor cost when using “freshly” screed topsoil in seed areas. (We are certain that the labor savings equals the soil cost by using fresh not compacted soil).
  • Environmentally friendly addition to our brand
  • Cost competitiveness to our competition
  • On large job sites, where roots and other contaminants are present, Flipscreen can save a fortune by separating debris from organics rather than hauling & replacing.
Having leveled an acre across the road from our main operation, I began a program of dumping the returning comingled landscape material in rows for organics and piles for aggregates.
The profit opportunity that many landscapers may be missing is the cost of either tipping fees or travel cost to dump material that can and should be recycled. I have used this to pay for land, equipment and labor that adds nearly a 2% increase in annual sales and 10% increase in net profit.
I am charging my time with equipment to the process at $100/hour and maintaining a 90% profit margin on the result without considering the savings in hauling and dumping elsewhere.
It happens that your “Flipscreen” is an excellent separator. Thus my aggregate piles, most of which include sand get screened onto the organics, thus adding sand which is the highest cost component of composting. The remaining aggregates are used to either fill more land, crushed for sub base use or building a road to the remaining 40 acres we own to eventually create residential lot sales.
By incorporating the sand and organics mixture, which includes grass for nitrogen, wood chips from our local tree service company for carbon, sod and plant matter I have gotten a 20%-25% organic content soil which grows grass seed better than anything we have used in the past thirty five years. The rows are ready for screening in two years with minimal turning with either a 130h.p. Wheel loader of the New Holland W80 loader that I use with the Flipscreen.
As a rule, I am making over 20 yards per hour with average moisture conditions. The more sand and the more dry days the closer it gets to 35yds./hour. I have used a five year amortization schedule on the U45; attached a charge of $2 / yard of soil. Making 2000 yards per year, which is our average use/sales volume, I am easily paying for the Flipscreen equipment in full and feel that its actual useful life might be twenty years, certainly not five.
Having used this process for two full years, I feel fairly confident that I can continue with only regular lubrication as maintenance. My only failure is breaking/bending one screen clamp, repaired in ten minutes.
This technology is what it is said to be in engineering and functional terms but also adds the potential to change the way a landscape operation does business. It improves profitability and is a profit center not an expense.
Paul Jones at Landart in Wisconsin
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