Taking a chance on opportunity in a time of pressure and demand.
Our interview with Todd Eldridge of Cheyenne, WY, A Haulit owner and owner of LandEscapes, LLC. Read about why he bought a Haulit Trailer, his experience with using it, and his advice to others in the delivery industry.
“This trailer saved us! It diversified us, and it saved us!”
When Covid hit, the home improvement stores around the country exploded with sales. This was too true for Menard’s, a home improvement chain in Cheyenne, WY where Todd’s business has been contracting the deliveries for years. The rapidly increasing demand for deliveries was beyond the limits of what their small business could do. At the time, they were running the deliveries with a box truck, a one ton pickup truck, a flatbed, and a flat bed with a Princeton forklift piggyback.
The holdup was in man power, equipment, and time. With each job taking 45 minutes to 2 hours to hand unload and 3 men on the job to get it done, there was just no way to get caught up and meet the needs for the individual deliveries. As a small business owner with just 3 drivers, one being his son, every decision makes a huge impact. The constant worry, knowing that even just one breakdown in operations could hurt them, means every decision has to be made with the mindset of continually keeping things moving forward.
“The problem is that with the skid steer, you put it on a trailer, and I lose my carrying capacity. Then, with the weight, we have to have a CDL driver and our son doesn’t have a CDL.”
With the pressure on from the store manager and deliveries piling up they brainstormed at their kitchen table for a solution, knowing they had to act fast and do something different. A quick internet search on delivery trailers led them to the Haulit website. After watching several videos of the trailer in use, they felt they had come across the exact answer to what they had been looking for- a way to make more deliveries in a day with less people!
After a phone call for pricing and a little more information, Todd’s Haulit was on the production schedule and they made the drive to Utah to pick it up because they said they needed it “yesterday!”
“You’re a small business. You can’t afford multiple forklifts or multiple trucks. It’s an investment, but it’s not huge. It’s not the price of a brand new semi. It’s not the price of a princeton!”
Before they had their Haulit, with the people and equipment they had, they were making 3-4 loads per day. With their Haulit, Todd says they at least doubled their deliveries if not more on some days.
Payoff and Payday
“We paid our trailer off in 2 months max! It did not take long. Covid hit and it was busy. We were going 7 days a week for weeks! It has been a godsend for us. There’s times that the semi is gone and the guy is screaming that he wants it and we say, “load it on the Haulit!”
From spectacle to supplemental, the Haulit replaced the hand labor and saved them from the constant scramble of trying to find more workers. It sped up the time from 45 minute to 2 hour deliveries to no more than 15 minutes and Todd said many times it only takes 5 minutes in and out, which allowed for an increase of deliveries per day.
“This thing sells itself once people see what it can do. It was quite the spectacle when we first brought it to the store. We get asked all the time, “what is that thing?” “Does that unload itself” Everyone is amazed at how easy it is to get unloaded.”
An expert in deliveries, working with trucking and delivering his entire life, Todd’s company has been delivering everything from dirt to steel and is very familiar with all the traditional delivery equipment. With a knack for taking action in times of need, Todd has always looked for the opportunity in seeing where needs are and providing the solution.
For the delivery industry, from construction to supply stores, there has been ample opportunity for Todd to bite into. Having the Haulit helped expand and diversify their delivery abilities.
“We haul everything. We probably overload our trailer, which I probably shouldn’t mention, but it has held up, and we’ve been able to make things happen!
We haul retaining wall block, pavers, CMU block, construction block. We haul steel for steel buildings. We’ve done trusses for houses, fencing materials, cabinets, pallets, sod, any box type of thing, wood pellets, PVC materials, even bunks of sheet rock.
If it’s local, we do it with using the Haulit trailer because I can generally get it within inches of where they want it- even into garages.”
The Haulit Experience
Todd says using the Haulit comes with a learning curve. It takes time to get to know your equipment and how to make all the adjustments for the different types of deliveries you can do.
“We learned quickly that the heaviest thing has to go to the front! We didn’t know that in the beginning and we put a heavy block on the back. There was heavy weight on the front but not as much. My son was in the single pick up and it damn near rolled him. He was scared out of his mind. Thinking it was maybe just inexperience, I was later hauling 4 pallets of CMU block over to Laramie. Travelling 65 mph, I was fine. If I went over 65, that thing just started swirling. You have to have the weight on the front!
Sometimes the weight is a challenge because it’s not in the order of deliveries. But you have to put weight in the front! With our bigger pickup- it’s more solid. It’s life. You learn. You make adjustments. We pushed our limits and always figured out a way to make things happen.
We know how the trailer sounds now. My son has figured out weight and positioning. It’s been fantastic!”
Advice from Todd
“When I went to pick it up- I didn’t originally get a tarp. Thank Goodness we ended up getting the tarp because it has saved us. With sod and anything boxed or loose, especially saran wrap materials and cabinets- we just put the tarp over everything, strap it, unload it and go.
With sheet rock it’s easy to break the corner so we put OSB underneath it so the OSB hits the ground first and the sheet rock is fine. There’s huge savings with delivering sheet rock because I used to have to hand unload each piece of sheet rock. Now we can do an entire bunk with the trailer.
Watch the videos! On our first delivery, we were doing 3 pallets of PVC parts in these boxes at least 8’ tall. I thought, “What in the world are we going to do?” The video on the website showed how to unload top heavy pallets – we did what we had watched on the video for each pallet and we were fine.
I see the value that it’s been to us and I know there are other guys that are in the same situation that we were. I would tell them, It has saved us manpower and time. The amount of time it saved us saved us! Using the Haulit, we were able to get more loads out in a day to get caught up!”
Haulit was created to help maximize profits on small order delivery. Our entire goal is to help you make more deliveries in a day, with less people, at lower operation cost, so you can put more dollars in your pocket and make your clients happy.
We sincerely want to thank Todd for the time he spent with us in this interview and sharing his experience. His time in the delivery field and experience with using the Haulit is inspiring. We’re taking his input for future models into research and development and will continue to put out a product that helps small order deliveries happen quickly and easily.
To learn more about Haulit, please visit www.haulit.com