Ramps for Material Handling

How We Fit Into the Mix

Planning Ahead

As our friends at MHI define it, Material handling is "the movement, protection, storage and control of materials and products throughout manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption and disposal."

From experience (and from continued robust sales and rentals), our mobile yard ramps and stationary loading dock ramps are essential to those operations without permanent inclines at their bay doors.

And yet, our inventory is part of much more than getting your inventory from Point A to Point B.

MHI lists three applications of material handling as Forecasting, Resource allocation, and Production planning. Those are readily grasped in light of the curious status of strawberry Pop-Tarts. From Southern Living:

"Walmart officials revealed that sales of strawberry Pop-Tarts increase by as much as seven times ahead of hurricanes, which is why they make sure their shelves are flush with the beloved toaster pastries ahead of time...

"Experts believe that their pre- and post-storm popularity has a lot to do with their long shelf-lives and that fact that you can eat them with or without a toaster should the power go out during nasty weather."

As in: Storm's coming. History shows that people are going to stock up on this food and that widget. We need to ramp up production and delivery.

Now, we know that yard ramps don't save the day in disaster recovery. Yet, in terms of process flow, the yard ramp serves as an important component of warehousing and manufacturing operations. We're quite proud to contribute.

With that scenario very much in mind: while we don't manufacture yard ramps, we do have quality inventory strategically located throughout the country (and mostly within 200 miles of 90% of the population).

That's The Yard Ramp Guy's version of forecasting and resource allocation.

This week, our man McCoy Fields unzips his road knowledge.

Click HERE to see what's the rumpus.

Steel: Bracing for the Elements

Weather or Not...

Keeping above the Storm

First, our thoughts and hopes are with those affected by Hurricane Ida. To your health and safety.

In the perspective of our industry, and as if the pandemic and the steel surge weren't enough, we now have the economic remnants of that storm to contend with.

Picture a house-that-Jack-built scenario. When it comes to steel, we import what we don't forge in the United States. That imported steel enters the country through ports. From there, it's delivered ⏤ largely via rail and truck ⏤ to manufacturing plants, and from there perhaps to a seller/reseller before it arrives at the end user.

S&P Global Platts reports:

"A total 1.04 million st of steel products were imported into the port of New Orleans in 2020, in addition to 3.51 million st of iron products and ferroalloys, according to data from the American Iron and Steel Institute.

"The port of New Orleans is also a hub for steelmaking raw materials, particularly pig iron, with 2020 pig iron imports totaling 2.61 million st and iron and steel scrap imports at 378,905 st, according to the AISI."

Early assessments show that while the port of New Orleans suffered no major damage, "A steel trader said he expected the port to remain closed for about a week and it would take 10 to 15 days for operations to go back to normal following the storm."

That scenario pushes back many timetables. With expected deliveries being delayed, manufacturing plants, already on deadline, typically source alternate suppliers. That takes time. Freight companies are delayed, with carriers reassigned, as everyone waits for the backlog to unknot. That also takes time.

Whether pandemic or weather event or something else: delays happen. How did The Yard Ramp Guy prepare for such events?

Last year we introduced New Yard Ramps: In Stock & Ready to Ship into our inventory options. We've located them in a dozen cities across the nation.

The end result?

Fast delivery, in which you can place your order Monday, pay us Tuesday, and receive your ramp as soon as Wednesday. This reduces your wait by up to two weeks for a new yard ramp.

Reduced freight cost. With shipping from our strategically-placed locations, freight lanes are more likely to be much more favorable, saving even more time.

In good times and bad, we're ready to help streamline both your delivery and your operations.

This week, our man McCoy Fields smelts something fishy.

Click HERE to uncover the mystery.

A Yard Ramp Christmas in August

Santa's All Ramped Up

In the past few days, we've nearly doubled our posted listings of Used Yard Ramp Inventory.

We've also added one-third more listings to our Yard Ramp Rental Inventory.

Some of those mobile yard ramps and stationary dock ramps are part of our For Sale by Owner program, the sweetest in the business. (We handle everything – the quote preparation, including obtaining freight quotes, off-loading considerations, and follow-ups with the prospects.)

All have optional turnkey solutions, in which we handle the details of the move and/or installation.

Our current distribution has available ramps in some 20 states. And, given the nation's population centers, our ramps sit within 250 miles of 90 percent of the population.

The Yard Ramp Guy: Nice Distribution

What that means for you is a better ability to save on delivery costs and delivery time.

Speaking of time, if you need or want something new, we now have both new mobile yard ramps and stationary dock ramps in stock and ready for immediate delivery.

Alongside our, again, industry-leading pricing, we're pleased to offer access to yard ramp financing opportunities for those companies that can't or don't want to pull the full price from their accounts.

However you purchase your yard ramp, keep in mind the Section 179 Deduction in which Uncle Same allows you to deduct the full price of qualifying equipment, up to $1,050,000.

The Yard Ramp Guy heartily invites you to explore our blossoming inventory.

This week, our man McCoy Fields is on the road again, this time in his time capsule.

Click HERE to hit the pavement with him.

On Price Points

Should-a Bought a Crystal Ball

Watch sparks fly in pricing.

Welcome to the world of business terms. Today's phrase toward a more powerful vocabulary: "should cost."

A should cost is what the widget should cost. As in: "This is the should cost of the widget."

Let's forget for a moment that they've turned a verb into an adjective. It's the most horrifying grammar invasion since they turned the word "party" into a verb. English majors everywhere are cringing.

In business, should cost is "a projection of the total cost of a given component if efficient manufacturing and distribution practices are followed. A robust estimate will need to account for a plethora of factors including labor, materials, overhead, and profit margin."

We emphasize the word "projection." aPriori, a company providing digital manufacturing simulation software, frames the situation this way:

"A product’s underlying cost drivers can be quite complex, and any should cost model is attempting to calculate projections for market-driven costs that can change by the day. Anything from a change in the price of steel to a new union contract for welders halfway around the globe can suddenly and dramatically alter a product’s current cost."

Then there's this: "If the same part specification is sent to three different suppliers, we often expect a variance in quotes of +/-40%."

Whether or not that surprises you, price differentials are a real ⏤ and often dramatic ⏤ thing. The price of a Big Mac, for example, is not at all constant. Pay $6.80 in Switzerland for the same two all-beef patties you can get for $1.67 in Ukraine. (Caution: a flight from Switzerland to Ukraine for the cheaper burger will add about $230 to your meal.)

Which brings us to the price of steel. Which, as it were, is our bread and butter. We've explored the recent steel surcharge that's affecting a large number of manufacturers and industries, in part as a result of the wide swing in supply-and-demand as the world negotiates its way through what we hope is the post-COVID transition.

We don't know if that surcharge is a should cost snarling its way into the mix or a real cost waiting for the bubble to pop. Either way, our factories have been passing through to us a "steel surcharge" on new yard ramps. And we have been passing through this charge to our customers without markup.

Most all businesses that provide services or material goods compete on pricing. And here's where our business model gives The Yard Ramp Guy a quality advantage. Our "most favored nation" status with our trusted and valued manufacturers continues to work to everyone's advantage.

Even with the steel surcharge, business continues to be strong. Companies run their versions of should costs for yard ramps, and they see our competitive, often industry-leading price points, and they continue to buy from us. We keep our manufacturers busy. We bring business to the freight industry and to local turnkey service operators for off-loading and installation. And businesses continue to streamline their operations.

Everybody wins.

This week, our man McCoy Fields sees trains on highways. And he's not making anything up.

Click HERE to catch a ride.

Advanced Warehousing Plans

Optimizing Your Operations and Your Ledger

As we approach the halfway point of 2021 (yep: July 2nd, for those calendaring on at home), it's never too soon to think about the end of the year.

COVID-19 restrictions are easing in the United Staes. The economy looks to be revving up. The supply-and-demand pendulum has swung back in favor of the demand side, which is causing all sorts of logistical challenges across multiple industries.

(Here's one example: there's a shortage of peach flavoring. To the chagrin of Starbucks peach green-tea lemonade lovers (especially in Georgia, the Peach State.)

Given this past year and a half of unpredictability, we'll be the last ones to predict what the next six months will bring.

Except for this: we know ⏤ and with fairly good certainty ⏤ that the Section 179 tax break remains an excellent way to save money for your company's bottom line.

As Uncle Sam describes it:

“Essentially, Section 179 of the IRS tax code allows businesses to deduct the full purchase price of qualifying equipment and/or software purchased or financed during the tax year. That means that if you buy (or lease) a piece of qualifying equipment, you can deduct the FULL PURCHASE PRICE from your gross income.”

For the year, that means a deduction of up to $1,050,000. That's not peanuts. And we like peanuts.

Among a few other terms, this means putting your equipment into service by December 31, 2021 in order to qualify for the deduction.

And there's the rub. The supply-and-demand imbalance is disrupting the ability to get essential and desired things to the end user in a typical, pre-pandemic manner. That's why we're encouraging you to plan ahead for the rest of your year's needs with some extra buffer room.

We've detailed the steel surcharge that's affecting our customer base. Essentially: our factories are passing through to us a "steel surcharge" on new yard ramps. We, in turn, will pass through this charge to our customers without markup.

The good news is that both Section 179 and ⏤ should you need or want it ⏤ our partners' financing services are agnostic about the total price. Which means that with or without a steel surcharge, you stand to take a full deduction off your purchase price for qualifying equipment.

It's a great deal. In our eyes: totally worth it.

This week, our man McCoy Fields leaves his man cave to explore...other caves.

Click HERE to see if he went all batty.