Getting into the coal business

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Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Breakerboy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:39 am

I have a idea dunno if it's already exists .. But I will explain what I'm thinking of doing during the start till end of coal burning season say Aug through April .. Please tell me if u think it would be a good idea or not , any hurdles I might encounter or if u think it would be profitable ... Have any suggestions , Or maybe u would be interested in partnering up with me ... First let me tell u a little about myself .. I'm a soon to be 40 year old recently married man with a lot of drive .. Hard worker indeed.. I'm a self employed contractor who will just about do anything in my power to give people what they want for a fair price .. But with the economy in the dumps the last few years general contracting work has slowed tremendously .. I'm chugging along but thinking about starting a new business .. Here we go .. First off every business needs a name right ?? Well I kind of borrowed this one " The Coal Depot " My plan is get quality Anthracite coal to your area which is basically located in my back yard ... I live in Schuylkill County Pa the heart of quality Anthracite we sit on the worlds largest reserve... Nothing new right ??? There are plenty of 18 wheel trucks loaded to the hilt leaving the Local breakers headed north east south and west of here to unload there cargo to Grain Mills , Hardware stores , Stove retailers and even homes that a few guys got together and split a load.. I know of local guys with dump trucks that may even deliver to your home a few ton within a reasonable distance... So what makes my idea so special ??? My plan is to rent lease or buy a said piece of small property 1/2 acre should do, and set up a drop areas all over for coal in locations where u can pick up your quality coal in all sizes in loose or bagged by the ton or pound .. Delivery service from there available to you door or bin ..with the source name posted so u know where your coal came from...I don't know if u guys ever saw places selling mulch or landscape stone along roads and the way they are set up but during peak season they do very well for themselves I see people getting loaded all the time at them .. I ask myself why when there are a few facility's near by where they can get it ... Or even hardware stores or big box stores sell bags of it.. Cheaper ?? Convenient ?? Don't know but they sure look busy and been there for years even expanding !!! I'm seeing a trend around my area also it seems like every business is selling bag coal at a premium price most 7.50 to 8.00 a 50 pound at times 40 pound bags !!! I can't grasp this idea almost every direction in a few miles people can buy loose bulk coal anywhere from 160 to 200 a ton some places will let u fill bags buckets trash cans or trunks of cars I see it all .. Way cheaper ... Convenient ?? .. Also at one time 90 % of this area heated with coal now maybe 50% I asked lots of people why they changed mostly to fuel oil reason being fuel oil was also cheap at one time 90cents a gal a rem .. No work involved but prices now at 3.89 as of today that's just nuts .. So I think and it's just my opinion that there is going to be a change back to the old fuel I see more and more people either looking to supplement the cost of oil heat with a stove or just replacing oil furnace with coal boilers .. A trip to my local stove stores shed some light all 3 places reported a increase in sales of coal units over last 3 years each being better than the last.... Fuel calculator puts a ton of coal equal to 180 gal of fuel oil ... That's a huge savings .... So with all that being said you may also ask ... Why not just deliver local ?? I thought about it but guys that deliver coal here tell me .. " it's not as easy as u think ". " there is no money in it as u would think " and " too much competition " To many people doing it ???? I struggled to find a delivery guy and so did my dad and buddy most would not deliver less than 4 ton for one and 90% of the many I called would not take on any new customers !!! I swear to Jesus it's the truth .. So I may just do that also... I may have problems with loose coal with weights and measures not sure they are funny with selling to public .. Bagged I don't think ... Now what will I charge ??? Well I can tell u this .. I will be as cheap as I can be .. and deliver only the best quality anthracite I can get my hands on .. I will listen to my customers and learn from their feedback and will accommodate in any way I can ... Please fell free to tell me what u think positive or negative ...
Breakerboy
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Breakerboy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:49 am

Take my idea from me and I will hunt you down ... Lol only joking .. But seriously don't take the name give me that ... "The Coal Depot" lol
Breakerboy
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Breakerboy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 4:54 am

If this is posted in the wrong section I apologize in advance and feel free to move it .. I am relatively new to this wonderful and informative site and haven't quite figured everything out yet.
Breakerboy
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Visit Lehigh Anthracite

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Breakerboy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 5:05 am

Breakerboy wrote:I have a idea dunno if it's already exists .. But I will explain what I'm thinking of doing during the start till end of coal burning season say Aug through April .. Please tell me if u think it would be a good idea or not , any hurdles I might encounter or if u think it would be profitable ... Have any suggestions , Or maybe u would be interested in partnering up with me ... First let me tell u a little about myself .. I'm a soon to be 40 year old recently married man with a lot of drive .. Hard worker indeed.. I'm a self employed contractor who will just about do anything in my power to give people what they want for a fair price .. But with the economy in the dumps the last few years general contracting work has slowed tremendously .. I'm chugging along but thinking about starting a new business .. Here we go .. First off every business needs a name right ?? Well I kind of borrowed this one " The Coal Depot " My plan is get quality Anthracite coal to your area which is basically located in my back yard ... I live in Schuylkill County Pa the heart of quality Anthracite we sit on the worlds largest reserve... Nothing new right ??? There are plenty of 18 wheel trucks loaded to the hilt leaving the Local breakers headed north east south and west of here to unload there cargo to Grain Mills , Hardware stores , Stove retailers and even homes that a few guys got together and split a load.. I know of local guys with dump trucks that may even deliver to your home a few ton within a reasonable distance... So what makes my idea so special ??? My plan is to rent lease or buy a said piece of small property 1/2 acre should do, and set up a drop areas all over for coal in locations where u can pick up your quality coal in all sizes in loose or bagged by the ton or pound .. Delivery service from there available to you door or bin ..with the source name posted so u know where your coal came from...I don't know if u guys ever saw places selling mulch or landscape stone along roads and the way they are set up but during peak season they do very well for themselves I see people getting loaded all the time at them .. I ask myself why when there are a few facility's near by where they can get it ... Or even hardware stores or big box stores sell bags of it.. Cheaper ?? Convenient ?? Don't know but they sure look busy and been there for years even expanding !!! I'm seeing a trend around my area also it seems like every business is selling bag coal at a premium price most 7.50 to 8.00 a 50 pound at times 40 pound bags !!! I can't grasp this idea almost every direction in a few miles people can buy loose bulk coal anywhere from 160 to 200 a ton some places will let u fill bags buckets trash cans or trunks of cars I see it all .. Way cheaper ... Convenient ?? .. Also at one time 90 % of this area heated with coal now maybe 50% I asked lots of people why they changed mostly to fuel oil reason being fuel oil was also cheap at one time 90cents a gal a rem .. No work involved but prices now at 3.89 as of today that's just nuts .. So I think and it's just my opinion that there is going to be a change back to the old fuel I see more and more people either looking to supplement the cost of oil heat with a stove or just replacing oil furnace with coal boilers .. A trip to my local stove stores shed some light all 3 places reported a increase in sales of coal units over last 3 years each being better than the last.... Fuel calculator puts a ton of coal equal to 180 gal of fuel oil ... That's a huge savings .... So with all that being said you may also ask ... Why not just deliver local ?? I thought about it but guys that deliver coal here tell me .. " it's not as easy as u think ". " there is no money in it as u would think " and " too much competition " To many people doing it ???? I struggled to find a delivery guy and so did my dad and buddy most would not deliver less than 4 ton for one and 90% of the many I called would not take on any new customers !!! I swear to Jesus it's the truth .. So I may just do that also... I may have problems with loose coal with weights and measures not sure they are funny with selling to public .. Bagged I don't think ... Now what will I charge ??? Well I can tell u this .. I will be as cheap as I can be .. and deliver only the best quality anthracite I can get my hands on .. I will listen to my customers and learn from their feedback and will accommodate in any way I can ... Please fell free to tell me what u think positive or negative ...



Also if u think this would be a good idea and like to see something like this in your area .. Please tell me your State and location . I will hang up a map and put a pin in each and every location interested .. If nothing else it will be fun to see how many locations I could get.... Thank you
Breakerboy
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Freddy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:00 am

My dad used to say "To start a business, find a need, and fill it." You may have found a need, but the trick is to fill it. My first reaction is: Let's say you have 12 drop spots.... it seems that now you need 12 fences, 12 personnel to man the operations, 12 loaders or forklifts. 12 loads of rice, 12 pea, 12 nut, and the same for bagged..... It just seems like a huge investment to get the ball rolling. Even just one location is a big up front cost. As for the fence, I don't think you'll be able to just leave coal unattended. It's a new world out there & I think without secure fencing you'll find coal "evaporating" when you're gone.
Freddy
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 130 (pea)
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Reading piece o' junk in the barn (rice)
Coal Size/Type: Pea size, Superior, deep mined

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: fifthg On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:02 am

the easiest way to make one million in the coal business has been to start out with five million...
fifthg
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Harman DVC 500
Baseburners & Antiques: Reading Foundry & Supply Co.
Coal Size/Type: rice,pea Gale Mining Co Anthracite

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:11 am

fifthg wrote:the easiest way to make one million in the coal business has been to start out with five million...


:lol: I think someone told me that once before about horses.

Freddy brings up a good point that the overhead costs would be substantial...plus the Department of Weights and Measures will be all over you.
Rob R.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM DF520
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Hitzer 50-93
Other Heating: Dad's 1953 EFM Highboy

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: fifthg On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:28 am

BWM agent told me I can't use my truck scale,good for up to 120,000 pounds,to sell any quantity less than 1000 pounds because it weighs in 20 pound increments,like all truck scales I have seen.He said the minimum sales limit has to be 50 times the 20 pound increment.Now I need a scale in 1 pound increments to sell a fifty pound bag.(or I sell by the pallet,20 bag minimum,unless bags are individually marked and weighed on a scale they can test and calibrate,in 1 pound increments)
fifthg
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: EFM 520
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Harman DVC 500
Baseburners & Antiques: Reading Foundry & Supply Co.
Coal Size/Type: rice,pea Gale Mining Co Anthracite

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: windyhill4.2 On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:27 am

Freddy said what i was thinking ,he just put it into words better than i can . With all the trucks available to move the coal , i personally think that the logistics of the whole thing is the key. If customers had a place to call with their needs, you being that place would arrange delivery's based on a truck running full loads every time any distance is involved,the truck might have multiple stops on it but stops would be grouped in a reasonable area per load . Investment for this would be far less than multiple drop lots. This idea would take a great deal of planning & timing loads ,loads could be bulk loose or bulk bagged. Load a 48' flatbed with pallets of bagged coal ,flatbed carries "stinger" loader on the tail,& can unload most anywhere. I will quit there as i don't want to do all the planning for you.
windyhill4.2
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: 1960 EFM520 installed in truck box
Hand Fed Coal Stove: Crane 404 with variable blower
Coal Size/Type: 404-nut, 520 rice ,anthracite for both

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:30 am

Breakerboy wrote:My plan is to rent lease or buy a said piece of small property 1/2 acre should do, and set up a drop areas all over for coal in locations where u can pick up your quality coal in all sizes in loose or bagged by the ton or pound .. .


You need a certified scale and a Weighmaster license to sell coal in bulk. If you are getting it from the breaker they provide that service but that ticket is only good for that load, you can;t dump it on the ground and reload it. You also have a lot of product on the ground that has a lot of value. Not too many people are interested in stealing mulch but you have a product that is 5X the value. Then you have the loader, breakage.... We used to stock pile coal so I speak from experience, lot of expense involved and the place we were using already had the scale.


I struggled to find a delivery guy and so did my dad and buddy most would not deliver less than 4 ton for one and 90% of the many I called would not take on any new customers !!!


Running around with small loads is not that profitable, I'd take full loads 1 hour away all day long before taking a bunch of split deliveries locally. What I used to do is offer credit for a small amount of interest. Since I offered lower pricing on larger deliveries generally speaking they were not paying anymore or less either way. I on the other hand was making far more for it because I only had to go there once.

FYI if you're interested I have a high lift for sale:

31K GVW Int. w/7 ton Marion High Lift $10K
View: New PagePopup
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: stovehospital On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:35 am

There is a farmer in Fairhaven , Mass. that had little to do in the winter so he started to sell coal. He was very careful to do the chemistry of the coal and it really is big step ahead of the coal I see for sale in other places. I talked to him last week and I think he said he had sold around 400 tons this winter. He has developed a method of bagging the coal alone with his tractor/loader and also delivers loose. You might want to talk to him at Fairhaven Coal. His name is Toni Lopes. When I buy coal I go to see him.
stovehospital
 
Stove/Furnace Make: 250 stoves in barns
Stove/Furnace Model: #6 Herald baseheater

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:41 am

fifthg wrote:BWM agent told me I can't use my truck scale,good for up to 120,000 pounds,to sell any quantity less than 1000 pounds because it weighs in 20 pound increments,


At Hudson they were selling a bucket of coal for $2 a long time ago, probably be $3 now. That's about 40 pounds give or take a few pounds. People would come with their buckets and fill up a few themselves etc. Of course that is illegal... :roll: They tried doing the small scale for while but I'm pretty sure it ended up being a giant hassle so they scrapped it. I believe they sell bagged coal now for some ridiculous price. You can still get the bulk but it's half ton minimum.
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Richard S. On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:02 am

Richard S. wrote:FYI if you're interested I have a high lift for sale:


Just to add one other thing, if you are going to be serious about delivering coal you need a high lift. No if, and's, or but's about it. If you only have a dump you might luck out with some basement windows you can back up too but that's a very small percentage of them. The lifts are not easy to find especially one in good shape, if you have to buy one new it will have to be custom made. Bend over...
Richard S.
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Van Wert VA1200
Coal Size/Type: Buckwheat/Anthracite

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Breakerboy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:59 am

Freddy wrote:My dad used to say "To start a business, find a need, and fill it." You may have found a need, but the trick is to fill it. My first reaction is: Let's say you have 12 drop spots.... it seems that now you need 12 fences, 12 personnel to man the operations, 12 loaders or forklifts. 12 loads of rice, 12 pea, 12 nut, and the same for bagged..... It just seems like a huge investment to get the ball rolling. Even just one location is a big up front cost. As for the fence, I don't think you'll be able to just leave coal unattended. It's a new world out there & I think without secure fencing you'll find coal "evaporating" when you're gone.



Thanks for reply... One location at a time . Nothing is cheap except burning coal... :) estimated cost for material ,fence around pavilion the pavilion and a used trailor body to store bagged bagged coal and skidder 18K I supply labor 1 week complete ..location is important well lit area near town or business .. Don't be a dream crusher lol
Breakerboy
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Re: Getting into the coal business

PostBy: Breakerboy On: Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:01 am

Richard S. wrote:
Richard S. wrote:FYI if you're interested I have a high lift for sale:


Just to add one other thing, if you are going to be serious about delivering coal you need a high lift. No if, and's, or but's about it. If you only have a dump you might luck out with some basement windows you can back up too but that's a very small percentage of them. The lifts are not easy to find especially one in good shape, if you have to buy one new it will have to be custom made. Bend over...




I use a dump with a shoot or auger it wouldn't suit everyone but I try my best ... Yeah they are expensive..
Breakerboy
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Harman DVC 500
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Other Heating: Keystoker Oil Boiler Cast iron Standing Radiators

Visit Lehigh Anthracite