Eccentric Yard Ramps

Honoring the Sand Pad

The Yard Ramp Guy: Sand Pads
Well, we could arrange delivery.

When we posted an All-Steel Yard Ramp with Sand Pads, it gave our web guy pause. He paused on the sand pads. We forgive him; he knows not.

Internet research brought up a number of possibilities for “sand pads,” including:

  • The proper name for a beach house rental in northern Oregon.
  • Certain sand pads (aka “sander pads”) used to smooth surfaces before painting.
  • Areas created for people to stand and observe so they don’t trample on things during visits to nature conservation areas.
  • Our favorite: the SandPad, providing “a wider base of stability than normal crutch cane or walker tips to support a user’s weight for easy travel without sinking into sand, grass, gravel or snow.”

Most of these alternatives speak to mobility—easier application of paint, free movement in a specific area without disrupting the environment, and better negotiation of otherwise inaccessible or exceptionally challenging territory.

As applied to yard ramps, the definition is a fairly simple and straightforward. For our purposes, sand pads are square, flat plates of steel. Customers use these on ramps that are literally going to be used in a stationary capacity, though not at a dock. Rather, they’re best put to work in, say, a field or in the middle of a recycling center’s lot.

A yard ramp with sand pads provides a fitting option to tires, especially when you have no need to secure it to a loading dock. It typically has an incline to accommodate your forklift moving from one service range to another.

And whether serving in sand or in a cornfield, the sand pad performs with greater stability than a tire and will prevent your yard ramp from getting stuck or sinking into the softer ground.

Rare, yes, though not unprecedented.

A yard ramp with sand pads. Another example of the breadth of our inventory. Need a custom solution for your application? We readily handle that.

It seems that our man McCoy Fields has just turned his house into Jurassic Park. And it has something to do with kitty litter. We kid you not.

Click HERE to read about it.

Honoring Industry Partners

Our Above & Beyond Appreciation

Ace Wrecker Service in Action

When we thank you for the opportunity to earn your business, that’s not an empty catchphrase. Rather, it’s our guiding principle. In our experience, business works best when trust, not profit, takes priority.

Time and again, we’re honored by our association with customers, vendors, and manufacturers.

Which brings us to Hurricane Florence, which struck the Carolinas in early September of this year. Florence caused at least 55 deaths and some $17 billion in damage. It is the wettest storm ever recorded in North and South Carolina.

The Yard Ramp Guy strategically places its depots across the United States, giving us the ability to shorten delivery time and reduce transport costs for our customers. One such depot is with Ace Wrecker Service in Wilmington, NC. We also contract with them for loads and off-loads for transactions mostly within a hundred-mile radius of their location.

As Hurricane Florence bore down on the Carolina coast, the governor encouraged evacuations. That was followed by a series of voluntary and mandatory evacuation orders, depending on location, as informed by the weather forecast.

At the same time, a Yard Ramp Guy customer needed a ramp delivered from Wilmington to Florida, and we scheduled transport to pick it up.

Because so many people were evacuating, and with the resulting volume of traffic on the roads, our carrier called Ace Wrecker Service to report that he was delayed.

Ace said, We’ll wait for you.

Our carrier arrived. He loaded the ramp onto his flatbed, secured it with straps, and took off for Florida.

If the traffic congestion and impending weather would have created imminent danger, we know that the scheduling would have been delayed or cancelled. Because we would have insisted upon it. And, without complaint, we would have found an alternate solution for our customer in Florida. As it happened, the timing was good enough to assure a safe pickup.

The aftermath for people and businesses in the Carolinas was another story. In the wake of Florence, all that rain and storm surge created floodwaters that cut off Wilmington from the mainland for a time.

Our gratitude to the team at Ace for going above and beyond.

This week, our man McCoy Fields has discovered that it took 2,000 years to build a canal, and he's just a bit impatient about the whole matter.

Click HERE to read about it.

Managing Transportation Blips

Tapping the Pulse of Compliance

Customer Service with Transparency
The Yard Ramp Guy: Keeping Our Eyes on Transportation Conditions

In the name of transparency (one of The Yard Ramp Guy’s pillars of business), we want to share with you an interesting situation regarding the nation’s truck drivers and a planned U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration inspection that’s set for next week.

The inspection will last all of 72 hours—June 5th to June 7th—yet has potential impact on our deliveries.

Some background:

On December 18, 2017, the U.S. government mandated an Electronic Logging Device (ELD) be installed in buses and commercial trucks. The ELD mandate is designed to automate compliance with hours of service a driver can be on the road in any given period of time.

Though there are some exemptions to the rule (i.e., short-distance operations, tow truck drive-away operations, etc.), the ELD mandate applies to most vehicles The Yard Ramp Guy contracts with to deliver our inventory.

Larger freight companies have the capital to install and put the ELDs into service on their fleets. The independent contractors have tended to bristle at the added expense and training. Various amendments were introduced last year to delay the mandate’s timeline; they were largely unsuccessful.

With that, a percentage of carriers moved on to other professions. Which caused a disruption in the supply-and-demand chain. Which caused an increase in freight charges. From manufacturers and resellers to freight companies and end-use customers, the entire industry has been grappling with this. (It’s been quite a year; we’re not even folding in the issue of volatility in the steel market.)

Conventional wisdom points to the disruption calming down and steadying over the next few months.

In the short term and the long term, the goal and the effect are to increase safety on the nation’s highways.

And so, next week’s road check. From a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance press release in March:

“The vehicle inspection includes checking brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers. Additional items for buses include emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating.

“Drivers are asked to provide their operating credentials and hours-of-service documentation, and will be checked for seat belt usage. Inspectors will also be attentive to apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment.”

From our view, and in the name of safety, it’s hard to argue with that concerted inspection.

Still, we suspect June 5-7 might be an opportunity for some carriers to take a few days of vacation. We work with freight logistics specialists we consider part of The Yard Ramp Guy team.

With or without a planned vehicle road check, we always strive to find all of our customers the quickest, safest, and most reasonably priced delivery of our mobile yard ramps and stationary loading docks.

The Yard Ramp Guy Goes Hawaiian

Our Loading Dock Says “Aloha”

The Yard Ramp Guy in Hawaii
The Yard Ramp Guy: In Hawaii

When a restoration and reconstruction business in Honolulu needed a stationary loading dock, The Yard Ramp Guy said Aloha. ‘A‘ole pilikia. (“Hello. No problem.”)

The challenge was transporting a three-ton piece of industrial equipment across twenty miles of southern California highway to a harbor, then 2,500 miles across the Pacific Ocean to our customer in Hawaii’s capital.

To be clear: this was a challenge, not a problem. Whether across town or across the ocean, a movement of freight is an issue of logistics. The Yard Ramp Guy team coordinated smoothly with our manufacturer and logistics partners to deliver.

And so, we had an intermodal scenario—a combination of transportation methods. Fortunately and unsurprisingly, companies transport from land to sea to distant harbors all the time.

In this instance, an ocean freight company specializing in California-to-Hawaii delivery placed the loading dock onto a flatbed truck at our manufacturer’s plant. For protection, it placed the loading dock inside a rectangualr rack—a steel frame some 40 feet long and eight feet wide.

The next steps:

  • At the harbor, a crane lifted the loading dock, in its frame, from the flatbed and placed it onto the container ship;
  • the ocean journey took six days to reach Honolulu Harbor;
  • the shipping company’s crane picked our container off the ship; and
  • placed the loading dock onto a flatbed truck,
  • which was delivered to the customer’s location.

The special consideration in the entire transport scenario was fitting into the ocean freight transport company’s schedule.

Beyond that, and as a follow up, the customer contacted us via Skype to confirm proper installation of the anchor bolts at their dock.

Mahalo.

Loading Dock Financing Options

Enhanced for 2018

The Yard Ramp Guy: Section 179 Deduction
Smart Financing . . . Money Back

 

Over the years, we’ve worked diligently with our customers in all aspects of new and used loading dock purchases and rentals, along with our Cash-Back Program, which we created to help companies unload their no-longer-needed inventory.

We pride ourselves, too, with our Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services, literally doing the heavy lifting to help our customers transport, position, and install their new (or used, or rental) equipment into position smoothly, safely, and efficiently.

Our work most definitely does not stop at the bay or truck door.

In fact, our work begins before you even contact us. That’s why we’ve made it easy for qualified customers to finance a loading dock purchase.

Businesses can readily find a number of advantages to financing equipment. First of all, financing eases the dent in cash flow by spreading out payments over a period of months.

Beyond that, your tax burden is eased when April 15th approaches. The U.S. government’s Section 179 Deduction is an attractive incentive for busineses to finance in a smart, strategic manner that actually reduces your financial liability for the year.

The IRS has increased that deduction to $1 million for fiscal year 2018. It “allows your business to write off the entire purchase price of qualifying equipment for the current tax year.”

We’re The Yard Ramp Guy, not The Tax Deduction Guy. So, we certainly recommend running everything by your CFO or accountant. That said, our read of the rules and regulations looks very good for those looking to finance our equipment. As the Section179.org site states:

“This deduction is good on new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software. To take the deduction for tax year 2018, the equipment must be financed or purchased and put into service between January 1, 2018 and the end of the day on December 31, 2018.”

Qualifying equipment includes “Property attached to your building that is not a structural component of the building” along with a listing of other materials goods that are not loading docks. (See HERE for their presentation.)

As in: combining all that equipment, up to $1 million, could help put a substantial amount of capital back into your company’s coffers.

More than ever, now is a great time to make that loading dock purchase.