Back in the day, we knew a banker in a Midwestern town. Vice President of This and That, he would lick each stamp and envelope of his voluminous holiday cards he sent to family and friends. We asked him why; surely there are self-sealing envelopes and peel-off stamps. His answer: "Whatever it takes to get the job done."
We know a driver who simply doesn't like left turns. And so, whenever possible, she instead makes three right turns to get to where she wanted. Whatever it takes.
We know a guy named John Henry, who used his hammer and muscle to compete against a steam-powered rock drilling machine. And he won. Though he died soon after. But point taken.
We knew a guy named Neo who used his special set of skills to take down the Matrix of artificial intelligence machines controlling the planet.
And now we know a farm operation in Wisconsin that uses two mules to help offload what looks like either bales of seed or bedsheets and get them to the barn.
Which is as good a time as any to remind you that we buy, rent, and sell new and used mobile yard ramps and stationary dock ramps all across the United States.
As an added bonus . . . with our industry-disrupting Turnkey Services, we can help you with the delivery, off-load, and installation of your ramp (via mule by special request only, depending on availability).
Our ramps never need feeding or watering.
This week our man McCoy Fields has his own mule story? Of course, he does. He's McCoy.
You might naturally think that scenario involves an invoice: the customer buys or rents a mobile yard ramp or stationary dock ramp from us to help streamline their operations, and we generate an invoice.
Of course, we like that. Everybody wins.
The scenario we're focused on today is a different sort of transaction:
"A communicative action or activity involving two parties or things that reciprocally affect or influence each other."
In these situations, the exchange is of ideas and typically doesn't involve an invoice.
We rent and sell industrial yard ramps big enough for a forklift to pass through. Time was when we received a number of requests for ramps for smaller applications, like smaller, shorter inclines designed to traverse a couple steps from a walkway to the front door of a residential home.
The percentage of our qualified leads is pretty darn great these days, thanks to the work of our SEO guru (whose expertise in the mysterious world of algorithms and word competition has caused us to believe in magic).
Still, the occasional request slips in that's not the right match between what we offer and what someone needs. Example:
We recently fielded a request from someone who needed to place a large RV on a property in the desert. His glitch: the point where the paved road met the unpaved dirt road involved a significant dip. And so, he was looking for an inclined plane.
The Yard Ramp Guy's approach to business includes the notion that the only thing worse than needing to say no is to not answer at all. Here's the response from Jeff Mann, our Founder and President:
"Your application is quite unique. Our ramps won’t accomplish what you describe. But I hate saying that and not providing any ideas or direction. If you send me the location where your RV is going, I could Google Earth and see if I might have an idea for you. I’ll likely have additional questions. If so, I’ll give you a call."
The next day, we received this response:
"Thanks so much for your reply. I knew it was a real shot in the dark, and I came up with some other solution ideas that I’m implementing tomorrow when it’s delivered. So hopefully it works! Anyway, thank you again for the reply and for the offer to brainstorm another solution. I really do appreciate that and it speaks highly of you and your business."
We don't do such things for the accolades (though that feels good, too).
As Jeff Mann says, it's good karma for the business soul.
This week our man McCoy Fields has some issues with sand. And, as is usually the case, his issues are the world's issues.
Okay, the coupon. We've all clipped and carried them to the grocery store. Or scoured the internet for a discount code to apply at checkout. Might seem like an illusion that we're spending money to save money. And yet, if we want or need to purchase, we are, in fact, saving money.
“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.”
Your 2022 Deduction Limit is $1,080,000. That good for new and used equipment, as well as off-the-shelf software. To take the deduction for tax year 2022, the equipment must be financed or purchased and put into service between January 1, 2022 and the end of the day on December 31, 2022.
That's money you can keep in the plus column of your company's ledger.
Section 179 is a terrific tool for companies. Factors include businesses that want to finance their equipment, for whatever reason. It's virtually like applying a coupon to that three-ton workhorse of steel positioned near your loading dock.
Crest Capital, one of them, recently blogged about the nation's rising interest rates and their effect on businesses. As they write, it's "not all doom and gloom. In fact, savvy companies can make it work for them. And that’s because, all else being equal, the Fed raising rates works both ways. Yes, you pay more for the money you borrow, but you also generally earn more on your money in the bank."
That's a coupon worth clipping.
This week our man McCoy Fields has some bones to pick. Caution: gratuitious kitty litter description ahead.
In addition to rental and sale of new and used yard ramps, The Yard Ramp Guy's successful brokerage service provides your business with a streamlined way to sell your old ramp. By listing and promoting your ramp on our site and via our sales team, we take the hassle out of the process for you. And we offer you sweetened terms ⏤ 70% for you, 30% for us (not a typo) ⏤ that are otherwise unheard of in the industry.
We've been offering this service for many years and, while we're always up for new things, we thought maybe we'd seen it all...until Kim Harrison contacted us.
Kim is the general manager of Coleman PowerSports in Falls Church, VA. The company, now with two locations, is one of the preeminent sellers of motorcycles, ATVs, side-by-sides, and snowmobiles. Coleman PowerSports is consistently at or near the top rankings in its categories (i.e., motorcycle riding schools, Ducati dealerships).
Kim's father, Bill, started the business in 1963 as a BSA dealership, then added Honda and Yamaha and soon evolved into a power sports operation: jet skis, personal watercraft, lawn mowers, scooters. ("Lawn mowing" is not an official sport yet ⏤ we asked ⏤ but the machinery can be very powerful.)
Soon enough, as business grew, Bill ramped up his operation by purchasing a ramp to ease movement of new motorcycles, which were delivered in crates, out of the truck and into the showroom. It doubled during auctions, providing an easy way to bring bikes up to the auctioneer. In time, Coleman PowerSports "retired" the ramp from that work and repurposed it as a pedestrian ramp against the loading dock.
"My first thought," he said, "was nobody makes specs like that." The industry standard today is 20,000-lb capacity, 84" width, and 36' length. Kim's ramp: 11,000-lb capacity, 60" width, 30' length.
Second: the frame was constructed of magnesium. Though not a rare metal (it's third-most plentiful structural metal on Earth), Jeff couldn't recall ever seeing magnesium used in a yard ramp manufacturing. (Magnesium as a metal is good for use in locations near salt water, and part of its processing actually involves seawater.)
Click thumbnails to enlarge these gems.
Third, and most surprising, and most pleasing: this yard ramp has had ONE owner for all of its 51 years in operation.
For perspective...in late spring of 1971, FedEx was founded, the New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" with Gene Wilder was released, and Bill Coleman purchased a magnesium forklift ramp.
Yes, it gets better. As Kim remembers, "Charlie was the forklift operator. He was one of my dad's first employees, and he stayed with us from the 60s to the 2000s."
George Brett played third base for the Kansas City Royals for his entire 21-year career. The Wayside Inn, Sudbury, MA, has the oldest continuously operating restaurant in the United States (336 years). Somewhere, there's a 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air, in perfect condition, with 4,000 miles on it, driven by a sweet little old lady, only to and from church on Sundays.
The Coleman family kept the same forklift ramp in its business for half a century. It remains in our categorized "Very Good" condition. Hydraulics work. And it's for sale (see the listing HERE).
We just love a ramp with a story. We're honored that Kim Coleman chose us to broker the sale. And we're grateful to Bill Coleman for saving these remarkable documents.
Speaking of magnesium, this week our man McCoy Fields gives a timely shout-out to the man who discovered magnesium. And that, of course, happens as he describes how coffee helped improve our world.
"When you see a fork in the road, take it."
⏤ Yogi Berra
Forklifts and yard ramps are the perfect pairing of mobility and incline to help a business streamline its operation. The efficiency of this combination has been an essential component in warehousing scenarios for decades.
Along with our recent entries on the power and benefit of the forklift, we dug a bit deeper and discovered a world populated by fascinating forklift stories. If it's not enough for a new superhero joining the cinematic universe (Captain Forklift, anyone?), it's certainly worth a pitch as a limited miniseries on Hulu.
We start with how not to operate a forklift.
On May 9th of this year, law enforcement in Rock County, WI, was called to investigate a stalled vehicle. Deputies found a truck stuck in a ditch. As detailed in the police report,
"Additionally, a male subject who appeared asleep was on a fork-lift in the immediate vicinity. The male operator was awoken and it was determined he had been operating the truck just prior. The male had utilized the fork-lift in attempt to free the truck from the ditch.
"The male operator was identified as Vernon R. Schmuck (Jr.), 62, of Clinton, WI. Schmuck displayed signs of impairment. Following investigation Schmuck was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated. A WI DOT records check of Schmuck showed four prior OWI convictions, making this Schmuck’s 5th Offense, which is a Felony."
You can read the Sheriff's Office media release HERE.
The Greening of the Forklift
Helping in its goal of eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions by 2040, Walmart has recently inked a deal with Plug Power Inc. to purchased green hydrogen for its fleet of forklifts. The deal includes up to 20 tons of liquid green hydrogen to power Walmarts material handling lift trucks in its distribution and fulfillment centers throughout the United States.
Walmart and Plug Power initiated a pilot program in 2012 for 50 vehicles, then expanded to 9,500. From the press release: "Now, the retailer is continuing to decarbonize its operations by striving to incorporate the use of green hydrogen throughout its facilities, in an effort to pursue lift truck operations that are efficient, clean, quiet and most importantly, more sustainable.
Market researcher IMARC reports some seriously impressive numbers for the forklift market:
"The global forklift trucks market reached a value of US$ 58.5 Billion in 2021. Looking forward, IMARC Group expects the market to reach US$ 82.9 Billion by 2027."
The report spotlights growth in the construction industry and rapid industrialization as key factors contributing to the projected jump in market value.
This week, our man McCoy Fields shows us how helium isn't only for birthday parties, though he really seems to like birthday parties.