Confronting Yard Ramp Steel Surcharges

Dealing With Market Volatility

The Yard Ramp Guy: Steel Stability
Cycles of Steel Pricing | Yard Ramp Stability

We often write about steel: how central it is to our business, how pricing fluctuates, how supply and demand influence the industry.

With new tariff strategies being introduced, the market is, indeed, volatile.

In response to dramatic changes in the steel industry recently, the top yard ramp factories in the country have alerted us to a Steel Surcharge to be added to every ramp order.

The Yard Ramp Guy generally enjoys special considerations as one of the top three dealers in the country for the #1 and #2 ranked yard ramp manufacturers in the United States. Because of our volume, our bottom line pricing will continue to beat other dealers and even the factory pricing to end-users. We believe this will be a temporary anomaly in the steel market.

Therefore, in the interest of transparency, we will pass on the surcharge and show it on its own line within our quotes and invoices We will watch this development carefully and routinely going forward. In the meantime, if you are in the market for anything made of steel, move quickly. Most existing quotes will not be honored after April 10th.

Heraclitus wrote that change is the only constant. And that may very well be true today. In the meantime, The Yard Ramp Guy remains committed, as always, to fair and competitive pricing.

Yard Ramp Steel Integrity

The Case for Domestic Consumption

An Indian steel company plans to pump $500 million into a manufacturing plant it owns in Baytown, Texas. Governor Greg Abbott said Monday the state will give the company a $3.4 million grant to jump start the expansion.

— Houston Public Media, March 26, 2018


United States Steel Corporation announced today it will restart one of two blast furnaces (“B” blast furnace) and the steelmaking facilities at its Granite City Works, an integrated steelmaking plant in Granite City, Ill.

— Globe Newswire, March 7, 2018

steel quality
The Ups & Downs of Steel: Price & Quality

Steel has been in the news. We suspect it will continue to make news. And while prices might fluctuate, The Yard Ramp Guy’s commitment to quality remains firm.

We’re keenly interested in steel.

As the largest single component of the majority of our portable loading docks and stationary yard ramps, steel is—literally—the foundation of our inventory.

From the beginning, we made a strategic choice to partner with manufacturers of new yard ramps who met three specific criteria. And so:

  1. All of our new yard ramps are U.S.-engineered.
  2. All are U.S.-made from U.S. raw materials.
  3. All meet U.S. testing standards.

Given that we are a high-volume dealer for our select manufacturers, we’re able to provide significant savings on new purchases for our customers.

It’s not just about the price point. Quality is where we draw the line. This involves the integrity of the design, the quality of the steel, the rigorous standards used in testing that integrity and that quality (core drilling, taking samples, x-raying the layers of metal).

Why this emphasis on ramps engineered, made, and tested in the U.S.A.?

First of all, we share a pride in contributing to the American economy with American-made yard ramps.

Even better is pride with substance: we choose to work with manufacturers that use the best materials. In our view, the highest quality stationary yard ramps and portable loading docks are made in the United States.

In our experience, pride with substance is the better form of patriotism.

Wrecker Making Yard Ramps Right

Profiling a Valued Service Provider

YRG: Communication
It's All About Communication

These past weeks, we described our Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services – both in general terms and with specific examples.

Turnkey services are extremely beneficial for our customers who don’t have the resources for—or don’t want to deal with—off-loading and securing their yard ramps.

Your business deserves an order from our inventory put into service as quickly, securely, and smoothly as possible. That’s always been our commitment to our customers.

Getting the job done correctly has always been the bottom line for our strategy. Toward optimizing our efficiency, we’ve developed many strong professional relationships with our service providers. This week, we profile one of these valued providers.

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Eighteen miles west of Atlanta, GA, is Lithia Springs, home of Dixie Wrecker Service. Among other services, its fleet and crew cover tire replacement, fuel delivery, large and small vehicle towing, and lock-out.

When we needed an off-load in the area recently, we contacted Brian Freeman, who runs Dixie Wrecker. This was the process:

  • Two days before delivery, Jim Kunze, our Yard Ramp Guy Sales Coordinator, called Brian to schedule the off-load.
  • Jim followed that with an email to Brian, listing the specs and exact time of delivery.
  • The day before delivery, Jim phoned Brian to confirm everything.

That is, the off-loading component of our largest custom solution in years required two phone calls and an email.

Dixie Wrecker
Dixie Wrecker: Fleet at the Ready

“In this business it’s hard to arrange things at the last minute,” says Brian Freeman. “Some people call us 30 minutes ahead of time and expect we’re able to handle everything. So, it’s important to arrange things in advance. It’s easy to work with The Yard Ramp Guy. They communicate. And they’re good at it.”

Part of the expertise we appreciate is Brian’s attention to detail. He services his trucks every seven thousand miles, whether they need it or not. And he’s adopted trucker GPS to his fleet.

For our off-load, Brian used one of their 35-ton heavy-duty wreckers. Another reason we appreciate and trust him: “Some like to use cranes for a job like that,” he says, “but that’s overkill and more money that you shouldn’t have to spend.”

Brian has been in wrecking much of his life and with Dixie Wrecker 14 years. “My dad’s not the type to just give you a job,” he says. “He wanted me to go out, see the world, and start at the bottom. Which I did, driving the oldest truck. So, I earned my way into the position.

“Over the years, my dad was the most honest guy you’ll ever meet, I try to stay within the guidelines he always had. And one of his main things was: if you’re honest with people and offer a service at a fair rate, you’ll build your business.”

Usually, in this business, you never know what yer gonna get till you roll up on it,” says Brian. “I’ve been working with The Yard Ramp Guy a couple years now. When Jim calls, I pretty much know what he needs.The heads up – a day or so in advance – makes it easier to schedule. It’s turned into a great relationship.”

And the respect works both ways. Our man Jim says, “Brian and his team at Dixie Wrecker have always provided great service to our customers. They are on time, communicate very well, and perform the exact services requested. The service Dixie Wrecker provides is a great example why many of our customers take advantage of our Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services.”

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Quotable

Yes, sir, McCoy Fields Zipping up our end of the alphabetical quote-off:

Za dvumya zaitsami pogonish'sya, ne odnogo ne poimaesh'.

(If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one.)Assyrian proverb

Loading Docks with Turnkey Delivery & Installation

Describing Our Largest Custom Solution in Years

In our last entry, we described our Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services, which are great for our customers who don’t have the resources or don’t want to deal with turning a yard ramp into a safe, secure, and productive function of their business flow.

By experience, this is a terrific value-added service, designed to smoothly and efficiently put your ramp into operation. We have two prominent turnkey services that account for some 90% of this work:

Off-Loading
Our customers need to secure an offloading piece of equipment to pick the ramp off a flatbed truck and place it on location, either at the dock or in the lot and ready for immediate ground-to-truck use.

Dock Installation
Installation of the dock ramp at a loading dock involves physically connecting a ramp to a dock so that it will not vibrate off the dock ledge while in use. We either spot-weld or anchor bolt in a variety of techniques depending upon the particulars of the dock location.

Here’s a great – and extreme – example of our turnkey services:

We recently completed a sale with turnkey solutions, where the ramp was so big – 20 feet wide – it required shipment in four parts, which required completion of assembly on site.

This was a high-capacity ramp, designed to support 80K lbs. (Yes, our Custom Solution portable ramp & platform systems are precisely geared to accommodate such special orders).

YRG: Custom Solutions
Our Largest Custom Solution in Years

The work we orchestrated included a crew of people who performed:

  • welding together of the sections
  • welding of the support legs (16 legs in total)
  • connection of leg bolts to the dock base
  • connection of legs to ground to cement slabs via lag bolts
  • touch up painting

At every step of the process, The Yard Ramp Guy team maintained precise and clear communication with all of the professionals involved. This included:

  • Our Manufacturer (which created the custom ramp to exacting specifications)
  • The Logistics Provider (which executed pickup and delivery on schedule to eliminate any idle waiting time)
  • The Wrecker Service (for off-loading and positioning of the yard ramp sections)
  • The Installation Team (which provided welding expertise, installation of support legs, anchoring the ramp to the dock, and anchoring the dock to the paved surface)

Whether your business needs a standard dimension ramp or a custom solution, The Yard Ramp Guy has the hands-on experience to complete your transaction – from placing the order to delivery and installation.

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Quotable

So, McCoy Fields Your alphabetical quote-off is nearing its end.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.Samuel Ullman

Turnkey Solutions

Service Doesn't Stop at the Door

YRG: Turnkey Services
The Turnkey Service Gem

To review: The Yard Ramp Guy leads the field for buying, selling, and renting new and used yard ramps to customers throughout the United States.

Alongside—and very much connected—to that, our value-added services add layers of quality to help streamline your operations.

Three factors work in tandem to make the business successful:

1. Our Focus
We concentrate exclusively on the business of yard ramps.

2. Our Value
We provide great value to customers, whether buying, selling or renting yard ramps.

3. Our Network
We have developed—and continue to nurture—an outstanding network of specialized businesses that assist our customers in the transport, placement, and installation of yard ramps, (along with de-installation and return of rental ramps to our strategically located depots, where they are available for the next renter).

The descriptive term for transport, load/off-load, and installation services is Turnkey solutions.

Of course, many of our customers opt to handle these tasks themselves through their own or hired resources. But about 50% of our customers request some or all of our Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services.

Many customers do not have the skills, expertise, or time to perform installation tasks such as:

  • installing anchors at docks;
  • spot welding; and
  • equipment such as cranes needed to offload a ramp from a flatbed.

We’ve researched, contacted, and maintain a network of expert installers, wrecker services, welders, and other specialized services. And we provide these services without the customer needing to hunt, negotiate pricing or supervise installation, all of which can be quite time consuming.

Costs for these Turnkey Services are far below what many customers would incur in sourcing these types of services on their own. Customers who choose these Turnkey Services do so with the assurance that we provide them safely and professionally.

Not least, time is money: we also coordinate the timing so that any and every required turnkey service happens when the ramp or ramps arrive at the your location.

Our Turnkey Delivery and Installation Services provide a major assist to customers who want the great value of our yard ramps, in a transaction that literally does not stop at the door.

The Yard Ramp Guy delivers…and then can also unload and install, literally taking on the heavy lifting in a way that saves you time and money and allows you greater focus on the flow of your business operations.

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Quotable

So, McCoy Fields X-ray quotation here for you to study:

X marks the spot.Anonymous