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Everything posted by EquipmentJunkie

  1. A regional salesman for Tommy Gate lived in the same apartment complex as I did 25 years ago. He was rarely home and I usually just saw his company pickup truck when he was coming or going. He normally parked his truck close to where my motorcycle was parked. I never gave Tommy Gate a thorough look (always had a motorcycle ride on my mind), but from 20 feet they appeared to be a good design.
  2. Wow, even a 3408 Cat! This one won't last long. It is located close to me, but I've never seen it on the road. I always liked the look of the large grill White Freightliners. You knew that there was something potent under that cab.
  3. You beat me to it. Automotive News just announced the headline: VW: Scout brand coming back to U.S. I'll post more details as I find them.
  4. I have heard people say that an IH DT360 from a school bus is a decent option. I can't remember why the DT360 was better.
  5. I had caviar back in the USSR when studying international business in college. It was not black but bright orange and the eggs were larger than the black. I found it like others did: salty, oily, and fishy. I don't know if I have found a seafood yet that I don't like, but I didn't care for the caviar I had. I found it funny that a few in our group questioned the Soviets that this caviar wasn't black caviar, but orange. We were told, "Black not good. This better." I thought to myself, "Well, if this is better, I sure wouldn't want to try the black!"
  6. Coincidentally, I just ordered five cans of VHT SP181 High Temp Argent Silver for our Ford F350's steel wheels a couple days ago. (We rotated the tires on the dually and they looked horrible when the inside faced out.) I suspect that the Ford Argent Silver may be a bit dark for your application. I saw that VHT also offers "Aluminum" in that same paint code. That may be an option for you. When searching the internet, two brands of wheel paint that kept coming up for me were VHT and Eastwood. Hope that helps.
  7. I have a 424 brochure and it shows a 1501 loader but no other loader options. The 1501 is shown as being available in both mechanical dump or hydraulic dump.
  8. My two cents: Electric vehicles do have their place. I've driven them and they exceeded my expectations by a great deal. An EV would likely work for about 50% of my driving and a Rivian R1T would be appealing to me. That being said, I get tired the hard sell that we are getting on electric vehicles. They are not God's gift to mobility. A few of you touched on these same points in your discussion which I applaud. Like me, you are skeptical about EVs. You brought up good points which square with mine. I hear very few answers from EV proponents who should be able to address these critical points: Insufficient Production Grid - Incidents of brown outs and shut downs are increasingly common in the past 10 years. How are EVs going to do anything but create more of these problems. I am for all types of power production because we need them all: coal, gas, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, and solar. Our demand for electric will not diminish. What is the solution? What is being done about it? Infrastructure at the Plug - A friend of mine is very close to a US Rep who sat on some federal committee a few years ago. This rep heard a presentation about the future of transportation. The bottom line of EVs is that a lot of our underground power infrastructure would not be able to handle the power demand for electric cars. To clarify, your average suburban development does not have the underground wires to adequately charge EVs if the neighborhood made the switch to EVs. Let's say that 20% of residents drive EVs. That might be OK. However, double that number and there would probably begin to cause some difficulties. For sure, 80% of residents with EVs would pose a problem. My friend tried to throw developers under the bus for this shortfall of infrastructure. I said that's not fair. I don't believe that the local housing market would tolerate a substantial uptick in the price a new home. Your telling me that the average McMansion has corners cut on all sorts of tangible things to the homeowner like paint, drywall, fixtures, lawn seeding to meet a price point, but the new homeowner won't care about thousands more in electrical service that they can't see or may never use? I don't buy it. I wonder how many people know of this problem? I didn't. Battery Disposal - How easy and cost-effective is it to recycle EV batteries? I hear very little in the way of solid answers to this question. Human Cost - Where are these elements for EV batteries mined? Who controls most of the production? I can tell you that this isn't under a first world government's watch. Does anybody else see the irony in the average EV proponents' view of human rights violations and the EV battery's production?
  9. You built a nice truck. I was pricing something similar a couple weeks ago myself. The main differences in mine were a Super Cab, short bed, and the STX package. Presently, I'm leaning towards an F150 STX with the 2.7 Ecoboost. The pricing is surprisingly close. I have priced across the Big Three and am astonished at how well Ford lets me equip a truck for our needs...and for less money. I was a huge fan of diesels up to roughly the Tier 4 emissions era. While the power and torque of newer diesels these days is fantastic, but the economy just isn't there. Gotta burn more fuel to save the planet and I simply don't understand that mentality. The last diesel truck we bought was a '17 Ram 2500. I'm quite frankly disappointed in the way it drives compared to my older Rams. If I'm buying a new truck for my personal needs or for our business, it would be gas. If I want a diesel, I'll wait to find a clean, low mileage, pre-Tier 4 model and pay close to new price.
  10. I should add a major suggestion if you go the way of an online auction. Wash the equipment. Bring it out into decent light. Take three times the photos you think are required. It is worth your time. I have seen some equipment that would have fetched several thousand more if half an effort was given to take decent photos!
  11. I should mention that his cab corner was neatest "gone" I've ever seen. No ugly rust. It was like a groundhog got hungry for a cab corner.
  12. One of my co-workers just traded his '11 F150 for a '19. The passenger side cab corner was gone on his '11, too. He claims that the '19 is a lot snappier in acceleration, as well.
  13. Yes, Landis Zimmerman is the expert on Oliver Cletrac crawlers. http://www.olivercletrac.com/ I believe that he took over Farmersville Equipment's Oliver wheeled tractor parts business, as well. I used to work with Landis in the '80s. Little bit of trivia, Landis' first antique tractor was a McCormick Deering 10-20 and his second was a 15-30. The crawlers came later.
  14. Please tell me more. I am hoping to finally travel via the UP this summer on my way to Duluth. What would you recommend in the UP?
  15. Say 'hello' to my brother and his wife if you see him. They fly out later today.
  16. A lot of factors came into play for Messicks to be at their present size in terms of locations and facility. I have witnessed the rise and fall of all the dealers around Eastern PA. I will give you my perspective on the major ingredients that helped Messicks accomplish what they have. 1) People - This is nearly always number one and it manifests itself over and over again because good people make things happen. Messicks sought very good people for decades. I can think of one particular hire that Messicks made that set the stage for growth in their parts business nearly 25 years ago. Messicks hired an "eager beaver" parts manager away from a competitive dealer. This parts manager was tenacious at research, sourcing and stocking parts. He got answers and had what customers needed. Those answers and inventory developed a loyalty among customers and parts volume grew. He could buy smarter because he had the parts volume to justify those purchases. Messicks recognized what he was doing and hired him to do that same process for them...this was back when Messicks was a one- or two-store dealership. Before long, close to a half dozen of that competitive dealer's key people were hired by Messicks, forming a strong team. The next generation of Messicks are well-focused and intent on better service. 2) "Absorbtion Rate" - This is an industry term in both the automotive and equipment industries. It is a measurement of the financial health of a dealer's management processes. The definition of absorption rate is: Total Parts & Service Dollars / Total Dealership Expenses. In other words, the goal is for parts and service departments to carry the weight of the dealership even if new sales are zero. How well can parts and service cover the dealer's fixed costs? An absorbtion rate of 100% is what happens in a perfect world and allows a dealership to break even during severe down times. Equipment dealers have tried to achieve a high absorbtion rate for decades. This thinking drives change and progress in the parts and service departments of dealerships. In Messicks case, they felt the pinch of a competitive dealer's well-run parts department and made changes to boost their absorbtion rate. 3) Dealer Consolidation - The single-store dealership is all but gone now. Dealer consolidation is the Earl Butz mentality at the dealership level instead of the farm. The cries of "Bigger is better!" and "Specialize!" were heard from equipment manufacturers. Caterpillar started doing this before others. Cat became the benchmark for the ag manufacturers since Cat's multi-store locations, large dealer coverage, and super absorbtion rate levels became the envy of Deere, AGCO, and CNH. Driven by these manufacturers, dealer consolidation reduced the manufacturers' fixed costs of keeping their franchise dealers operating and writing orders. Dealer groups with dozens of locations are now very common...RDO, Titan Machinery, Ag Pro, United Ag & Turf to name a few. I see things gained and lost with consolidation at the grassroots and won't go into details. The bottom line is that dealer consolidation shook up the normal business practices of a smaller dealer and provides a certain economies of scale in parts. I agree with Bitty that CNH dealers produced better results than Deere with dealer consolidation in this part of the country. Good people look at the new consolidated path laid before them with multiple store locations and suggest changes to help things operate more smoothly. Messicks added stores over the years and those five stores brought more business to them. They made wise decisions to make the consolidation work for them and their customers. 4) Exploiting the Parts Niche - Focus on an area long enough and you get better at it. Messicks had enormous success with the changes they made in their parts operation over the past couple of decades. They learned things about their customers and suppliers that nobody else knew. They invested in IT people and a website to take that knowledge and success to the world. Who compares to Messicks in parts for CNH products? Their good people made informed decisions to better serve their parts business. 5) E-Commerce Explosion - The storm front of ecommerce has been on the horizon for 20 years. The internet has changed the business landscape. Only in the last five years has that change been fully realized. The explosive growth of Amazon gives you a hint of what Messicks has done. Neil Messick produces YouTube videos regularly which reach tens of thousands on a weely basis. Their new building could not have come fast enough. A building of Messick's size will dominate the financials for a couple of decades. It was a huge step and I wish them well. I focused on Messicks in particular in my comments. However, there are other dealers (like Hoober's) who have made similar decisions as Messicks but in different ways. These dealers also have invested in excellent people and new locations. People are the greatest asset to help navigate the ag equipment business in the future.
  17. That is great news! Wishing the best for the entire family.
  18. I am glad to hear that Baxter Black's health issues are perhaps not as dire as I initially thought. Back when I listened to NPR, Baxter Black was a welcome voice of grounded, common sense within their programming. I could never quite understand how Baxter fit into that puzzle but I was glad he did. Those Baxter Black segments were a wise usage of my tax dollars.
  19. Both of my vehicles appreciated by the end of 2021 according to Kelly Blue Book. Needless to day, 2021 turned out to be a very weird year in the auto industry. (FYI - Hyundai/Kia outsold Honda in 2021 according to Automotive News) Generally speaking, a vehicle purchase in the second half of 2021 was probably not a good financial decision. I know some people who got lucky since their vehicle purchase was early in the year and took advantage of desperate dealers calling up people looking for decent, used inventory. The trouble is, most folks had to replace that vehicle with something and used prices were downright crazy. Those I know who made out the best were small business owners driving leased, company vehicles. The "buy out" at the lease end was thousands under retail. I know one person who bought out their Tesla Model X when their new Model X arrived. They were set to pocket $20K for the hassle of the paperwork, photos, and ad. A prime example of the phrase, "It takes money to make money."
  20. Eby. https://www.mheby.com/truck-bodies We have always had at least one around since '99. No regrets and our first choice for a replacement. Here is a listing for their 3/4 ton bed: https://www.truckpaper.com/listings/trucks/for-sale/193553007/2021-eby-7-ft
  21. I never tried making prime rib before, but Alton Brown's recipe was a first at-bat home run for me. I found that Kent Rollins has good recipes, too. However, my success with Alton Brown will probably keep me from deviating from his recipe.
  22. Your 4400 should handle that width without issue. In a prior chapter of life, I sold a tri-wing finish mower with a very high blade tip speed that took some grunt to keep spinning at speed. We could safely sell the 12-ft. models on most of the Ford 3-cylinder utility tractors. The higher displacement (192 & 201 cubic inch) Fords would handle that 12-ft width better than the smaller, 179-ci Deeres or the anemic M-series Kubotas.
  23. No, but I am aware of them. Neat concept that was introduced in the early-'90s maybe? The machines looked like a quality piece. I have heard of some negative issues on earlier models with the outside blades on the belt-drive models. Since belts have a known inefficiency, the outside blades have that inefficiency multiplied and therefore have less "power" than the inner ones. In tougher cutting conditions, the blades towards the outside will bog down more quickly and produce a cut that is less than ideal. I am guessing that has been rectified these days and those early models were targeted to the golf industry which is very concerned about cut quality. I hope this helps a bit.
  24. Thanks everybody! I appreciated the well wishes.
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