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-   -   Curb Machine (http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=18136)

SECTLANDSCAPING 02-22-2013 12:44 AM

Curb Machine
 
I was just thinking of getting a curbing machine. Not sure what the demand is but I figure I can use it as a selling point in snow contracts.

I have taking out a few 100 ft of curbs over the years. Even though no one has ever asked us to fix them. I can see it being a good add on service. Just not sure how many calls I would get other then that. I know I could use it to do borders on beds. People might prefer stone over concrete.

It only cost a few bucks per foot and I believe the going rate is $15-$20 a ft.

It might be a better idea to go with sealcoating and curb making. Not sure though. I'm just bored and brainstorming more ideas for revenue.


Heres a picture of beds with curbs.
http://northerntool.ugc.bazaarvoice....3820/photo.jpg

patrick6411 02-22-2013 07:15 AM

Contact a few concrete companies. New communities, think out of the box, do this before you buy, it will give you an idea of your return on investment. (ROI)
Also look at the resell value of say three years after you purchase the machine. this way after three years of use you can sale it and recoup some money for your new one.

dpld 02-22-2013 09:38 AM

i looked into it years ago and the end product is garbage.

they call it a curb machine but all it is doing is forming concrete into a desired shape and laying it on the ground.
there is no support and as far as curbing for snowplowing goes it would move as easily as the snow.
it also would not be a good repair for existing damaged curbing.

every year i see guys buy the whole set up and then by the end of the year it is on craigslist for sale.


i will say the curbing it makes looks good and is ideal for plant beds if you like a concrete border but in the cold regions the final product does not last too long and can not deal with the heaving of the ground.

the concept has been around for 25 to 30 years and they been selling the machines for about the same time but i have nor seen too much of it over the years and there is not much of a demand for it in the north east.

it really is a catch 22, if it lasts for years then the customer will not need you again and if it crumbles up and breaks apart like all poorly laid concrete does they would not want you back anyway as well as most people don't like a concrete border between their lawn and plant beds.

fieroboi 02-22-2013 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dpld (Post 122336)
i looked into it years ago and the end product is garbage.

they call it a curb machine but all it is doing is forming concrete into a desired shape and laying it on the ground.
there is no support and as far as curbing for snowplowing goes it would move as easily as the snow.
it also would not be a good repair for existing damaged curbing.

every year i see guys buy the whole set up and then by the end of the year it is on craigslist for sale.


i will say the curbing it makes looks good and is ideal for plant beds if you like a concrete border but in the cold regions the final product does not last too long and can not deal with the heaving of the ground.

the concept has been around for 25 to 30 years and they been selling the machines for about the same time but i have nor seen too much of it over the years and there is not much of a demand for it in the north east.

it really is a catch 22, if it lasts for years then the customer will not need you again and if it crumbles up and breaks apart like all poorly laid concrete does they would not want you back anyway as well as most people don't like a concrete border between their lawn and plant beds.

I have to disagree here, we have had great success with offering this as one of our services. While it is a one time deal, it has added to our profile and i've gained some lawn contracts because of it.

As for the product, there have been advancements over the years with the additives that are used to strengthen the concrete. While there is never a guarantee that concrete will not crack. Installed incorrectly it does not hold up well, there are many guys that (incorrectly)install it on the top of the ground. Those are the guys that want to get in and take the money and don't care about the product or result in a year or two.

I use a sod cutter and my curb is installed about 1.5 inches in the soil, we also install a steel cable in the curb as well as expansion joints to help with the movement of the ground from frost as well. As is the case with many lawn guys that do crappy work, it also is true of curbing, and the workmanship shows.

It is a fairly labour intensive process, and I would say that it is not for everyone. I would highly recommend if your looking at getting into that, that you take the time to do lots of research as to the difference in companies and how they support you as a business. Chances are the systems you are finding on craigslist are from the guys that figured they could make a quick buck doing it, just like the low ballers that show up in the lawn business every year.

Done right and with pride, I believe this is a great product and I am pleased that we offer it as an add on service.

Lloyd
Blue's Yard FX
Camrose, AB

SECTLANDSCAPING 02-22-2013 11:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fieroboi (Post 122345)
I have to disagree here, we have had great success with offering this as one of our services. While it is a one time deal, it has added to our profile and i've gained some lawn contracts because of it.

As for the product, there have been advancements over the years with the additives that are used to strengthen the concrete. While there is never a guarantee that concrete will not crack. Installed incorrectly it does not hold up well, there are many guys that (incorrectly)install it on the top of the ground. Those are the guys that want to get in and take the money and don't care about the product or result in a year or two.

I use a sod cutter and my curb is installed about 1.5 inches in the soil, we also install a steel cable in the curb as well as expansion joints to help with the movement of the ground from frost as well. As is the case with many lawn guys that do crappy work, it also is true of curbing, and the workmanship shows.

It is a fairly labour intensive process, and I would say that it is not for everyone. I would highly recommend if your looking at getting into that, that you take the time to do lots of research as to the difference in companies and how they support you as a business. Chances are the systems you are finding on craigslist are from the guys that figured they could make a quick buck doing it, just like the low ballers that show up in the lawn business every year.

Done right and with pride, I believe this is a great product and I am pleased that we offer it as an add on service.

Lloyd
Blue's Yard FX
Camrose, AB

One of my workers is a jack of all trades, master of none. We were talking about PITA jobs and he brought up laying curb. He has some experience doing it and hes a big strong guy. If its grueling work for him, I know its tough to do.

With that being said. I'm thinking like you as a good add on service or even as part of a existing contract. I know no other landscaper/snow removal contractors offer this in my area. By bidding properties for snow and including curb damage repair it would set me apart from my competition.

At this point I'm just looking in to it. I might go with sealcoating instead. So much easier and its pretty good money.

Steve 02-22-2013 01:44 PM

Quote:

i will say the curbing it makes looks good and is ideal for plant beds if you like a concrete border but in the cold regions the final product does not last too long and can not deal with the heaving of the ground.
What depth would the foundation have to be in order for these curbs to not break apart? In order to give us all some good insight why it's probably not a good idea to just lay a curb on the surface?

wandfsmall 02-22-2013 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve (Post 122363)
What depth would the foundation have to be in order for these curbs to not break apart? In order to give us all some good insight why it's probably not a good idea to just lay a curb on the surface?

that would depend on the frost depth of your area. For example where I live it is 2ft.

dpld 02-22-2013 03:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steve (Post 122363)
What depth would the foundation have to be in order for these curbs to not break apart? In order to give us all some good insight why it's probably not a good idea to just lay a curb on the surface?


the curbing process with the machine they have for it does not allow for any variations to it's installation.
you cut out the sod and you lay down the curb and outside of materials you can add a cable through it.

we have encountered some curbing here but my region has too much ground heave for it to be effective.
i have seen many variations to this system from buying just a stand alone unit to buying a whole set up for it that comes complete with mixers and powered wheel barrows and multiple slip forms.

as i said earlier, it can work out in different regions as well as it depends on the market in your local region.
my area we have had dozens of guys come and go over the years and you rarely see it installed.
to me, in my region that would suggest it is not a big seller as well as doing countless projects over the years dealing with concrete and any other stone products i just can not see it holding up and even though the true quality lies in the installation you are still at the mercy of the installer.

it sounds like a real viable business and it would seem as a match made in heaven. i mean everyone wants some better looking longer lasting edging, right?. they even sell nice fancy business packages that come with everything you need except the customers.

but for what ever reason in my region it has never taken off.
i am not knocking it and i am only speaking from what i know in my area and my experiences.

Steve 02-25-2013 12:43 PM

Quote:

At this point I'm just looking in to it. I might go with sealcoating instead. So much easier and its pretty good money.
Have you looked for any used equipment in your area to do some experimenting with curbing?

willshome 02-25-2013 03:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SECTLANDSCAPING (Post 122321)

I have taking out a few 100 ft of curbs over the years.

SECTLANDSCAPING I was LOL this weekend walking around my girlfriend's apartment complex every 20' the curbs are KILLED. Thinking about this post made me laugh.
I don't think they know to raise the plow blade a little before the curb.


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