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Scag48
04-12-2006, 04:36 PM
Hey guys. Things have been nuts back home I guess, my dad called me yesterday and said he and another guy back in town want to partner up in starting a landscape supply yard with general supplies such as mulch, compost, etc. So, we need a mode of loading trucks, etc. so I've been shopping for a backhoe for the last couple days. First thing I've noticed, it's almost impossible to find anything out here. Everything seems to be spoken for and the amount of used pieces on the net is far too low for my liking. We're trying to spend under $30,000 I'm going to assume, I haven't been given a price limit as of yet, but $30,000 seems to buy a middle of the road machine with a couple thousand hours. So far, I'm looking at Case, Deere, and Cat. Cat's are hard to come by, everyone runs them until they're dead, Deere is a little easier to find, but like I said, any backhoe for sale around here is slim at best. Case is last on the list, but will buy one if we find something decent.

So with all that said, I've been looking at Deere 310D/E, Cat 416B/C, Case 580SK/L. Any specific things to look for? I know how to inspect for leaks, etc. but anything "backhoe specific" I need to be looking for while inspecting a machine?

I'll post a thread later about what kind of truck we're going to need, but that's another discussion.

Gravel Rat
04-12-2006, 04:58 PM
If you guys have a skid steer that will work in the mean time use it you don't want to rush into buying a used rubber tired hoe.

If the landscape material place you want to set up is on flat ground why don't you look into a small wheel loader instead like a used Cat. All you would need is older 930 or 950 you can find them pretty cheap anywhere.

The old Cat loaders are cheap to find cheap to fix you maybe can look at a John Deere not too bad. The old Ford loaders might be a little harder to get parts for.

A rubber tired hoe really doesn't make a good truck loader it doesn't have the weight plus you have a tail hanging off your azz which you always have to remember that is there.

If you do get a rubber tired backhoe it would have to be a 4x4 as a 2wd is almost useless even if your yard has hard ground.

Small wheel loaders are not in demand so the price is lower rubber tired backhoes are because every home owner with acreage wants one.

Scag48
04-12-2006, 05:16 PM
We can't use the skid, it's busy on jobs. We need a dedicated pit machine that can load triaxles and our 216 won't do that. I've thought about the loader, looking at an '84 Cat 930 that looks to be in excellent shape. They're asking $34,000, a little high in price I think, but it's been repainted and serviced. It also comes with some sort of coupler, forks, and it does have 3rd valve plumbing. I agree that an older loader might better, but who knows what we could end up doing in a couple years, I thought that having a backhoe might be nice to have if we ever had a utilities job where we needed something bigger than our 303CR to dig. With that said, I'm still learning toward the loader. It sits higher, will be easier to load the truck, and we can get a monster 3 yard bucket for it if needed as we're loading light material.

Gravel Rat
04-12-2006, 06:35 PM
There is a Ritchie Bros Auction in Oregon on May 13 they have a good selection of loaders up for auction. There will probably more when equipment is added to the auction. You will find a better deal at a Ritchies on a used loader just have to check it out thoroughly.

I see there is a Terex loader in the Oregon listings they are a good loader usually you can buy them fairly cheap. You really don't need a mint shape machine for loading trucks just aslong as it has good brakes and the center pins are not worn out.

Some of those old Cat loaders I have ran are pretty well worn. The 950 I ran a couple times had no brakes and the loader arms were bent so the bucket didn't sit flat on the ground :laugh:

mrusk
04-12-2006, 07:34 PM
Supply yard /excavation/landscaping is a good combo of business to be involved in. Each divison can work off the other, and equipment of each divison can be used in the other divisons when needed.

matt

Dirty Water
04-12-2006, 09:25 PM
A Backhoe is really the wrong machine for a supply yard. It's got too small of a bucket and too small of a reach, plus its a waste of good digging capabilities.

Get a small articulated loader.

Gravel Rat
04-12-2006, 09:56 PM
Here is something that would work good for a supply yard

www.equipmenttraderonline.com/dealeraddphotos.html?82433397

www.equipmenttraderonline.com/caddetail.html?/ad-cache/9/4/3/81868943.htm

My preference for loaders is Cat yes I do like Cat loaders they are hard to beat no one really hasn't matched them for Wheel Loaders.

ksss
04-12-2006, 11:58 PM
I will agree that a backhoe really wouldn't be the perfect answer. Although I included one because it looks like a good deal.

http://mylittlesalesman.com/database/detail.asp?recordid=100323963&industry=3

http://mylittlesalesman.com/database/detail.asp?recordid=100325363&industry=3

http://mylittlesalesman.com/database/detail.asp?recordid=100324361&industry=3

http://usediron.point2.com/Xhtml/Equipment/Details/P2/Loader-Wheel/CASE//313132/ViewEquipmentDetail.html

Actually Scag this is all you need.

http://usediron.point2.com/Xhtml/Equipment/Details/P2/Skidsteer/CASE/95-XT/265291/ViewEquipmentDetail.html

gammon landscaping
04-13-2006, 12:36 AM
i think that a backhoe is a great machine in the swiss army knife way. as dad told me along time ago, a backhoe can do everything but doesn't do any one thing well. i think if it was going to be a multi use maching go for it. 2wd will work fine for a yard machine. i will say that case probably makes the best machine we have used them for 35 years. we have never replace a major componat on one, ie engine tramsmission,pump,valve body, or rearend. other than tires, hoses, teeth, and a few other small parts, we have never had problems with them and i would guess that we have put 25,000 hours between three machines that we have owned.
things that i would look for is slop in the pins, major oil leaks, or roll over damage. hoses and leaks are easy to fix, so i wouln't look at that stuff to much.
one thing that i would stress is don't buy a machine that has been rolled hard. we rolled the 580b that dad started with and it was always hell after my uncle fliped it off a sea wall in to the lake. the front bucket was out of level and it was all just off. always somthing after that

thepawnshop
04-13-2006, 12:38 AM
Actually Scag this is all you need.

http://usediron.point2.com/Xhtml/Equipment/Details/P2/Skidsteer/CASE/95-XT/265291/ViewEquipmentDetail.html

Kaiser, you aren't right! You know he REALLY needs a Deere wheel loader...come on Scag. I bet you would feel "dirty" sitting in a Deere, wouldn't you!

Gravel Rat
04-13-2006, 01:30 AM
To make a skid steer load a truck easier you would need a pit for a truck to back into so its lower to make it easier to load. It wouldn't take much to make a loading dock sort of a deal for the truck to back into.

If you are going to be loading P/U trucks you should have a skid steer and a wheel loader for loading the tandem axle dumps and the single axle 5 ton dumps. We have loaded trucks with a 966c its a little worriesome the machine can easily wipe out the cab on the P/U truck. The landscape depots here usually have a skid steer for the smaller loading jobs. When the one gravel mine in the area used to sell to small P/U trucks people used to get worried when they came over with the 992 to load their truck.

You will get alot of home owners wanting topsoil or mulch and they want to put 2 yards into their 1/4 ton P/U and driveway with their rear bumper making a spark show on the pavement :laugh:

I see it every year when the weather gets nicer the little P/U trucks are loaded to the hilt with the front wheels just touching
the ground :nono:

You guys may want to run it so you do all the deliveries yourself then you don't need to have a person on the sales lot all day loading private vehicals.

It may cost you some money but you guys maybe have a 1 ton dump that can haul 2 yards and a tandem axle that can haul the up to 12 yard loads.

ksss
04-13-2006, 02:11 AM
I think after owning a 95XT, Skag would finally realize what he has been missing. A "profesional grade" skid steer that can load with a backhoe or small wheel loader and still the versatility of a skid steer. You have to run one to become a believer.:weightlifter:

Scag48
04-13-2006, 03:19 AM
Doug, I wouldn't mind a Deere, I would just like the Deere dealer to return my calls when I'm shopping for a machine. I've been blown off THREE TIMES by the local Deere dealer. Twice shopping for an excavator and now once again for this loader. I'm so sick of their service I quit with them. I will not buy from them, only buy parts from them if we end up with some sort of Deere machine.

Kaiser, I don't think I could get used to Case controls on the 95XT. I thought about getting a skid steer, but for the same price and a much larger bucket I could get a backhoe. I'm really thinking an older Cat 920 or 930 would be the ticket but I need to get some numbers from the old man. If we end up getting a truck, I'm looking at a single rear axle 80's-90's Ford/International with a GVWR of 26,000 or less. I've found quite a few for under $20,000 so finding a truck is the least of my worries. Going to go diesel for sure, manual tranny preferably with a 5 speed with a 2 speed rear end.

Gravel Rat, you're totally right, loading P/U's would be a PITA. I was thinking about it today, I would do all the deliveries myself and keep the BS to a minimum. My dad wants to hire one person to run the whole operation (which is me) and I can't be at the yard to load a customer's truck while I'm out making deliveries so it's going to have to be a deliver upon request basis. Most pits I have seen do as you've described, run a 966C for the triaxles and a backhoe or smaller loader for P/U's. I ran a 988B to load our dump trailer, that loader would flat run over our truck and trailer!

Dirty Water
04-13-2006, 07:57 AM
The gravel pit right down the street from me has a couple 966's. I've picked up a few one yard loads with a pickup there, its always weird seeing a bucket as large as your truck dumping gravel into the bed.

thepawnshop
04-13-2006, 08:00 AM
All the mulch places around here use wheel loaders with a special 1 yard bucket. They are Cats, bt I don't know which model, but I do know they are expensive as hell, even used!

Good luck man...sounds like your summer job has been filled!

Scag48
04-13-2006, 11:09 AM
We probably won't be doing any gravel as there's a pit just down the road. We might do topsoil because the local pit's topsoil sucks and we get asked all the time if we ever have any extra topsoil, everyone wants something for nothing. The local pit won't drop less than 5 yards, so we could serve those who want maybe 1 or 2 yards. Although, trucking costs would probably come out to be more than the cost of the material, but I can't be at the yard and on the road at the same time.

Scag48
04-13-2006, 01:03 PM
Called my Cat salesman this morning, will have a list of backhoes in our price range by Monday. He was sure to ask how both of our other machines were doing and if we have had any problems with them. I don't care what ANYBODY says about Cat, their service is second to none. Deere, on the other hand, I can't throw enough money at them to sell me a machine. This is the last time I call them for a machine, wasted too much time.

I was leaning toward a loader, but dad says no. He likes the backhoe idea so we can use it on a landscape job if we need it. Let's face it guys, we won't be moving more than about 50 yards out of there a day, at the most, the town just isn't that big so having a 950 or something would be totally overkill. I'm having my sales guy price 416C/D and 420C/D.

janb
04-13-2006, 01:44 PM
...If we end up getting a truck, I'm looking at a single rear axle 80's-90's Ford/International with a GVWR of 26,000 or less. I've found quite a few for under $20,000 so finding a truck is the least of my worries. Going to go diesel for sure, manual tranny preferably with a 5 speed with a 2 speed rear end.

do be sure to get a good engine (DT-466 or Cummins) both these trucks came with econo diesel alternatives during that vintage (IH 9.0L V-8 or the brazilian Ford diesel) Both those engines will make you quite poor and possibly without parts

Scag48
04-13-2006, 02:02 PM
Found a 95 Ford F800 with a 5-6 yard box, 70K miles, and a Cummins with a 6 speed for $20K.

Gravel Rat
04-13-2006, 02:30 PM
If I was buying a rubber tired hoe it wouldn't be anything but Case they are a well balance machine. If you are going with a Cat it better be a 426 the 416 is too small. You also want a 4x4 hoe trust me don't fool around with a 2wd trying to even push into a heavy wet pile of topsoil your really going to have to work the bucket without getting alot of wheel spin.

The JCB 4x4x4 I ran just for kicks I tried running the machine in 2wd talk about useless the rear wheels just spun trying dig into a pile. Some one else was using the machine one day and it was in 2wd I got into it and started working on the site it was WTF is wrong with this thing. Look down at the rotary switch its in 2wd opps.

I think if you tried a Case backhoe you wouldn't want to run anything else.

ksss
04-13-2006, 02:35 PM
I have an 85 IH L10, 9 speed, 33K GVW. 16' 5-6 yard bed double acting tailgate, brake controller pintle/ball combo hitch. Synthetic oil throughout. Excellent running truck.

C:\Documents and Settings\HP_Administrator\My Documents\My Pictures\IH truck

PM if your interested

Scag48
04-13-2006, 02:36 PM
GR, we're definately getting 4x4, 2WD is worthless. I would buy a Case if the Cat deal doesn't go through. I found one Case so far that I like, most of the ones I've found are older and are beat to hell.

ksss
04-13-2006, 02:37 PM
I have an 85 IH L10, 9 speed, 33K GVW. 16' 5-6 yard bed double acting tailgate, brake controller pintle/ball combo hitch. Synthetic oil throughout. Excellent running truck.


PM if your interested

Gravel Rat
04-13-2006, 02:50 PM
I think you will be hard pressed to find a hoe that isn't worn out unless you buy new. Backhoes are well abused the worst part for them is roading them then the hoe part gets alot of use.

We consider a good used machine will be priced anywhere in the 35,000-40,000 mark. Its why I say a wheel loader would be a better deal but it will be only good for loading trucks.


The truck that Ksss has sounds like a good heavy single it would be something you would want. It has a real engine and a decent transmission behind it something you could haul a good load of topsoil on.

The other truck to look for would be a L-8000 single axle with the 7.8 or if you can find one with a M-11 Cummins even better. You want a truck that will serve your landscaping company needs too like pulling a trailer with enough capacity to carry the excavator and skid steer. Sure you may have to get a CDL but its worth it.

Scag48
04-13-2006, 02:56 PM
GR, right now, I don't want the CDL, but within 2 years I will have one. At this point, we're just focusing on getting this yard off the ground. We have 2 other trucks to move equipment around, so we're not buying a truck to haul equipment and we're not spec'ing it to do so. It would be nice, however, to have a truck that is capable of 33K GVWR that I can re-tag for 26,000 now and then when I get my CDL re-tag it back up to 33K to haul equipment because at 26,000, you'll get the truck, the trailer, and maybe the skid steer all under 26,000.

As far as backhoes go, I'm trying not to buy anything with more than 2,500 hours on it. We'll see what our dealer comes up with. Until then, I've pretty much exhausted my search efforts on the net, been to quite a few sites and looked at everything and haven't found anything in our area that is reasonably close to what we're looking for.

minimax
04-13-2006, 03:11 PM
Scag, Make sure the bucket you get with the backhoe is a 1YD bucket.It gets harder to count out like 7YD's with a 3/4 YD,1 1/4YD bucket etc.

Scag48
04-13-2006, 03:17 PM
Oh yeah, for sure. We've had a smaller scale yard on some property across the street from our place and we loaded the trailer with a Kubota L3410 tractor. The bucket was 3/4 yd. when slack, 1 yard heaped. That definately made the difference, so much easier to be able to count the amount of scoops and be done with it.

Gravel Rat
04-13-2006, 03:50 PM
Even 2500 hours is a little high on a backhoe as they do see alot of mileage on the road.

You can look here www.brandttractor.com/e_search.htm

Scag48
04-13-2006, 04:03 PM
Their prices are a little high. Plus, I'd have to pay duty. Not worth shipping over the border.

blakeg314
04-13-2006, 05:10 PM
scag look here i dunno if this will help you out but the guys around where i live use these medium machines

1997 CATERPILLAR 914G $38,500 (USD)
https://www.usedconnection.com/MachineInformation#machineinfo
anything else i think is to big

ok well the link doesnt go to the machines page

Scag48
04-13-2006, 10:05 PM
I actually took a look at a '98 914G with 4,500 hours. It's a grey market machine and they're asking $54,000, forget that. Not much in the way of 914's out here, this is the first one I've found.

DKinWA
04-13-2006, 10:06 PM
You're in farm country scag:laugh: You can find a good used low hour farm tractor with loader for a lot less than $30,000. I looked at New Hollands website and found a lot of 70-100 hp tractors that would work fine in a supply yard. Put a heavy weight on the 3pt and you won't even need 4 wheel drive.

wanabe
04-14-2006, 12:17 AM
You may want to look at the newer JCB/NH backhoes. I ran a 575E for a long time and it was a good machine. They have a super big factory bucket and long arms. I could load a single axle dump with 4 foot sides in three buckets rolling off the side(mulch).

minimax
04-14-2006, 01:08 AM
I think i would look at telehander cat,deere,bobcat,etc.They are great for loading highsides,lowsides,p/u's,tub grinders and stockpileing at the yard.On the job moving pallets.backfilling walls,placeing rock in new foundation,light grading,etc. If you need a backhoe just rent one, if you need a machine at the yard you won't have one if the machines on a jobsite.I don't think you will use the hoe having the 303,35 deere out trench's my friends cat 416 hoe (feet per hr).Most of the guys around here are buying mini's to replace there backhoes.

tylermckee
04-14-2006, 03:30 AM
I would try to talk pops out of the backhoe, like minimax said most guys are using minis now instead of a backhoe, and with your mini/skid combo you really would never need a hoe. The farm tractor idea doesnt sound too bad actually, plus you know, girls think tractors are sexy:cool2:

murray83
04-14-2006, 09:34 AM
actually i think hes going in the right direction........

he wants to be able to do larger excavations when its not busy in the yard,the 303 and skid steer are busy on jobs what if he can land digging basements too? he's trying to make his buisness more than just landscaping and small excavations with the hoe he can bid on larger jobs.

first the backhoe.....then the 312CL my friend

Scag48
04-14-2006, 12:34 PM
Murray hit it right on. Farm tractor serves us no purpose, we will have spent $30,000 on a slow machine that moves mulch. That's it. A telehandler only serves the same purpose as well. If we're spending over $30,000, I want a machine that I can use elsewhere if I need it. A farm tractor and telehandler does neither. That's my plan actually, to start digging basements and do jobs that would be just a touch too big for our 303/216 combo. And, those machines are tied up every day of the week on landscape jobs, no doubt I could dig a basement with both of them, but they're on other jobs making a much higher margin, so why would I pull them off? I've got a chance to spend $40K and I'm going to spend it on something I can use more than 1 place if needed.

tylermckee
04-14-2006, 08:03 PM
Well if thats the case, then go find a hoe. I just threw that out there because 95% of the time our backhoe is sitting, we really only use it for the breaker and hoe pac.

mrusk
04-14-2006, 08:23 PM
Scag- What type of landscaping do you and your dad do? Are you doing pavers, retaining walls or what? Softscapes? I am just wondering sincew you don't talk about the jobs that much.

Also- The more i think about it, i don't thnik its the best idea to run a yard and operate a landscaping company. Other companies might not want to deal with you since your the compeition. A yard is nothing without commerical clients. Just something to think about. Are you guys planning on selling wall block, pavers, natural stone, etc.?

Dirty Water
04-14-2006, 09:44 PM
Digging a basement with a backhoe would make me cry.

Scag48
04-14-2006, 09:44 PM
tylermckee - I agree with you, I wouldn't buy a backhoe if I was running an excavation business, but if need be I'd have a backhoe if I needed it for maybe 2-3 jobs a year.

mrusk - We do quite a bit of new landscapes, not a whole lot of renovation. Most of the jobs we do require a substantial amount of equipment work, whether it be reshaping what's there or working around existing structures. We're in a pretty "hilly" spot of WA state, we do alot of retaining walls, mostly block walls because most people don't want to shell out the money needed to put in a rock retaining wall. If I had to split up all of our tasks on one job, it would come down to this:

20% is reshaping the land
30% is irrigation
30% is hardscape
10% is plants, grass, etc
10% is cleanup, debris removal

With all that said, I found out today that we're not even sure if this yard idea is going to go through. The guy supplying the land (the partner) isn't really on the ball with things, so it's looking pretty bleek. He's a pretty good guy, runs about 5 other businesses and my dad has known him for about 20 years, you'd think it would have been a perfect match with someone to team up with but it doesn't look good right now. Needless to say, I had a job interview with an excavation contractor today, didn't get the job. They told me I needed more than 3 years experience so my summer job is in jeopardy yet again.

murray83
04-14-2006, 10:24 PM
hard blow man being young sucks but hey could always go home and work with yer dad?

my summer too is not looking good lost a road job,blew a few water & sewer jobs and my hours are cut back so i'm gonna cut ties and go job hunting since i'm 23 should be fun its all fun and games in this buisness i guess

Scag48
04-14-2006, 11:03 PM
Well, to be honest, I don't want to move back home. My dad and I don't get along, although we should, between him and I we run 2 other business aside from the landscaping business. I just can't handle the "small time" stuff anymore. Landscaping is boring for me anymore, been doing it for a while. Although, as a last resort I can go back but I'd really like some time on a machine that weighs over 12K pounds. I'm going to make a run at excavation full time after college, but since 3 years experience isn't enough to get hired, I'm thinking about saying to hell with working for someone and just going at it by myself. I've learned enough about the business and how to handle contracts, customers, bids, ect.. I can run any piece of equipment I'd need, the only thing I'm not too sure about at this point in time is getting my CDL to transport the equipment. Once I have that down, I should be able to dominate, but with 3 more years of school, no capital to get it started, I just have to wait.

tylermckee
04-14-2006, 11:35 PM
I'm 19 and work for a decent size (for my area) excavation company, worked for a smaller contractor for a year then applied with the company im with now, they had just gone through 3 different operators that had been running equipment for years and years and the guys couldnt even dig a basement or even grade for that matter. so YEARS of experience doesnt really mean anything its what you can actually do. maybe you could offer to come in for a day or two at no pay and prove you know what you are doing (and i didnt say how old i was either at first). I didnt have to, but after my first 3 days they were very impressed with me and the boss told me he'd get me more money and a truck.

Dirty Water
04-14-2006, 11:58 PM
Scag, I know it may seem demeaning but don't be afraid to be the guy working the hand shovel just to get a job with a big contractor.

If you know your stuff, you'll get on the equipment quickly enough.

Everyone has to start somewhere.

Scag48
04-15-2006, 12:01 AM
I think that was the problem, the guy was in doubt of what I can actually do. I don't think he listened to a thing I said, I got the feeling he tuned out after I told him I was 19 and going to college. Don't know what other experience I need, I've done some footings, septic work, sewer lines, water lines, utility lines, retaining walls, what else are they looking for?!?! Oh well, their loss. In the meantime, I'm still looking for a job.

Dirtywater, I'm worth more than $10 an hour. Sorry if that sounds arrogant, but that's the truth. I took my licks for 3 years doing hand labor and such.

Dirty Water
04-15-2006, 12:05 AM
I think that was the problem, the guy was in doubt of what I can actually do. I don't think he listened to a thing I said, I got the feeling he tuned out after I told him I was 19 and going to college. Don't know what other experience I need, I've done some footings, septic work, sewer lines, water lines, utility lines, retaining walls, what else are they looking for?!?! Oh well, their loss. In the meantime, I'm still looking for a job.

Gotta start somewhere. Just because you've put a few hundred hours on a 303 and a skid, and a couple on larger (312?) machines doesn't make you a expert.

Trust me, if you told the guy that you have some experience but were willing to be the grunt until you've proven yourself, you probably would have that job.

Btw, I didn't realize you were only nineteen, you present yourself much more mature than that on here :)

I've taken a few jobs on that were way under my worth as well. Its pretty easy to work for a month, prove yourself and then ask for a fair wage.

Sorry, I keep editing the post but I need to explain the economics here:

At the moment you have $0 income, this means that even $10/hr income is appealing. Beggers can't be choosers. Not only is that $10 hr appealing over nothing, but it will give you the valuable actual working for someone experience (solo ops don't have much respect from other companies) to stick on your resume.

So, bite the bullet, swallow your pride and get used to holding a shovel and you will be making great money and running machines in no time.

Scag48
04-15-2006, 12:20 AM
My dad is offering me $20 an hour but would have rather worked for them, but not for $10 an hour, I've got bills to pay. When it comes down to it, I'm not going to loose my pride to make somebody a millionaire, the guy just didn't me a chance to prove myself. If I wasn't in college, I probably would have taken a labor job. The reason being is if it takes me 6 months to get on a machine, what's 6 months when you have the rest of your life? The problem is, I have 3 months and then school starts again, so about the time I'd get done "proving" myself I'd be going back to school. Totally not worth it. He said that he might not even have labor positions open, yet they're running an ad in the local paper for help. If you want to know what I really think, I think he just blew me off, honestly. I don't think I was given a fair interview. I'm not going to get mad, but I thought he'd take me out to the yard and let me show him what I can do with their lousy Deere and Hitachi 120's! Haha

tylermckee
04-15-2006, 12:24 AM
I wouldnt tell them you'll be out the door in 3 months either

Scag48
04-15-2006, 12:27 AM
Well I wasn't going to lie about it. Then I wouldn't get hired back the next year even if I did get the job this summer.

Gravel Rat
04-15-2006, 12:33 AM
Hey don't feel bad I'am 30 dad and I don't get along working together its why I work on my own or working for excavation contractors. In this area being a resource community operating equipment part of life for most people.

You just have to find a company that will give you a chance even if you start out as a goon spooner for the start. Venturing on your own is a good sized risk especially if you have no experience with the bigger equipment.

Like myself I'am venturing on my own and going to run a independant owner operator dump truck. Our economy is really busy right now and its projected to be like that for the next couple years.

Keep searching you will find a company that will take you on but you do need a CDL most excavation contractors won't even look at you if you don't have license to drive a tandem axle dump. You have to be muli tasking so able to drive truck run equipment and able to pull wrenches.

Where I benefit is my mechanical skills I can repair most things and I'am a welder.

Good Luck with the job search :dancing:

Scag48
04-15-2006, 12:37 AM
I think there's more going on in Canada than there is down here, it's busy here, but BC is going CRAZY! I should move up there instead and get some free healthcare while I'm at it!

mrusk
04-15-2006, 09:07 AM
Man i thought i was the only one who didn't always get along with there dad! I'm 19 and when ever me and my dad talk about business we normally get into a fight. Mostly just on theories and stuff. We have didn't beliefs on things.

My dad feels that when his business is slow, it because the economy sucks.

When my business is slow, i blame no one but myself and push harder and think on new ways to advertise.

Scag- If i was you i'd get what ever job i could that would pay me the most money. Your going to need alot of $$ to get going after college. Save all you can. Also, if you had a CDL it might be easier to get a job. Just a thought. Even if your never get a job with a excavating contractor, you will proably do fine starting your own company. You might not be devloping 100 house sub divisons right away, but if your area has a decent new housing market, you will do fine.

RockSet N' Grade
04-15-2006, 09:29 AM
What GravelRat has presented just feels right to me. I think I would have taken the job at $10 an hour, but make it clear that if this guy likes your work and style after a 30 day trial you expect to be compensated. That would show creativity, determination, confidence, and a willingness on your part "to do whatever it takes" to get the job done.
I'm 50 yrs old, I've hired and fired a few in my day......and get hit with the same old lines all the time......the guys that I have hired "present" in a way that is somehow different from the rest. The money pay part.....I always start 'em low more as a test than anything else and some guys if they are good, I have given substantial raises in as short a time as a day.....I look for someone with "salt" and substance and when I find a guy like that, I'll pay whatever it takes....but until then, I just assume everyone is blowing smoke up my a** talking the talk. From an owners point of view....I'm hunting for someone who walks the walk, loves what they do, is not there just for the money and who will watch my back.....How do I find you? I give you crap for pay, lowest dirtiest job I can think of and see if you will do it and your attitude......it's just a test but believe me if you pass, I can't afford not to have you.....That's just my two cents worth and probably not worth much more than that. I wish you well and great success....

RockSet N' Grade
04-15-2006, 10:35 AM
Scag, for some reason this really hit home with me. A little of my story. I was broke, needed a job...asked this guy (Fast Eddie) for a job. He told me to go pull weeds off this acre. I did it by hand. I came back and he had me clean an industrial bathroom in a metal polishing shop......I did it and it was spotless when I was done. I made $5 an hour......
A few years later, I needed $150,000 to buy a piece of land and no one would loan me the money. I went to Fast Eddie and he said come back at 4pm. I came back, he gave me a cashiers check made out to cash for $150,000 so I could buy the ground.......was that $5.00 an hour job worth it? For me, it was life changing.
As far as school goes, it doesn't matter to me as an employer. I have two "kids" who clean my horse stalls everyday. They have for years now.....they don't have much stuff, but want to go to college. So what I do, unbeknownst to them is put money every month into a college savings account for them, not much, but enough....so when the time comes they can go. Why?
These kids have "want to", they have desire, they have no sense of entitlement about them, they help me and in turn I am helping them......what I am saying is simply is prove it to me through your actions. This is not meant to be brag, it's simply an account of part of my story.......you just never know what life has in store. For me, the money comes and goes, but it all really boils down to relationships and that $10 an hour job may just be worth millions down the road.....

Qualey
04-15-2006, 11:35 AM
Scag
I hate typing these things on forums because the response sounds too sterile, but in all respect, you need to get off your high horse and listen carefully to what some of the older fellas who have been in your shoes have to say. I can relate all too well to what RockSet has to say, and it really burns my ass when potential new hires (all between the ages of 18-30) come here and want to work 6 hours a day, start at the top and make $20/hr. You may feel that you are worth more than you are offered, and in reality you may be, but in the eyes of an employer..who owes you nothing......it makes no difference. You are going to pay your dues. Fly to Maine and run my excavator and 277 for the summer. Hell, I'm looking for someone to take over the division, but unless you have deep pockets its not gonna happen overnight.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do

Matt

qps
04-15-2006, 12:18 PM
Scag, for some reason this really hit home with me. A little of my story. I was broke, needed a job...asked this guy (Fast Eddie) for a job. He told me to go pull weeds off this acre. I did it by hand. I came back and he had me clean an industrial bathroom in a metal polishing shop......I did it and it was spotless when I was done. I made $5 an hour......
A few years later, I needed $150,000 to buy a piece of land and no one would loan me the money. I went to Fast Eddie and he said come back at 4pm. I came back, he gave me a cashiers check made out to cash for $150,000 so I could buy the ground.......was that $5.00 an hour job worth it? For me, it was life changing.
As far as school goes, it doesn't matter to me as an employer. I have two "kids" who clean my horse stalls everyday. They have for years now.....they don't have much stuff, but want to go to college. So what I do, unbeknownst to them is put money every month into a college savings account for them, not much, but enough....so when the time comes they can go. Why?
These kids have "want to", they have desire, they have no sense of entitlement about them, they help me and in turn I am helping them......what I am saying is simply is prove it to me through your actions. This is not meant to be brag, it's simply an account of part of my story.......you just never know what life has in store. For me, the money comes and goes, but it all really boils down to relationships and that $10 an hour job may just be worth millions down the road.....


You don't really know how true this is...the $10 hr job today can open so many doors down the road. I'm not going to preach either but it seems like the youth of today feel as though they are "owed" something, don't get me wrong "C" you know who I am and in our conversations you come across as a bright level headed young man, I wish I had the vision at 19 that you do, all I cared about was....well anyways I'm strolling down memory lane:dizzy: you'll be fine.

Scag48
04-15-2006, 01:58 PM
I think you guys are missing the point. Like I said, if I wasn't in school, I would take the $10 an hour job because if it takes me 3 months, 6 months, a year, who cares to get on the equipment, it won't matter, I'd have the rest of my life. Short term, I have to generate $10K this summer to pay for my college education and at $10 an hour that just won't happen. Like I also said, he couldn't even promise me that there was a labor position open, so who knows. He said things were too busy and he didn't have time to train anyone. I don't understand how everyone complains about not having any good help but they turn away willing workers. I'm pretty sure that about one month into the job I'm going to end up getting pissed off that I'm sitting a ditch, something I've already done, when I know I could be working elsewhere, having more fun, and making more money.

murray83
04-15-2006, 02:56 PM
i have to agree with the others,most contractors want you to work your way up and earn it,i'm 22..i started as a labourer like most,i shut my mouth and kept quiet and watched,learned control patterns and watched other operators...as with most my day came and i ran with it and never looked back,i still do labourer work and never whine about it i've got to run my fair share of gear and when the time is right,i'll be a full timer till then i tough it out but hey $12/hr isn't all bad 50 hours a week and overtime which i grab any that i can....its a pay check.

moral to the story if i have 1 :confused: is just tough it out for that 3 months its a pay check and its better than nothing.

qps
04-15-2006, 03:41 PM
I think you guys are missing the point. Like I said, if I wasn't in school, I would take the $10 an hour job because if it takes me 3 months, 6 months, a year, who cares to get on the equipment, it won't matter, I'd have the rest of my life. Short term, I have to generate $10K this summer to pay for my college education and at $10 an hour that just won't happen. Like I also said, he couldn't even promise me that there was a labor position open, so who knows. He said things were too busy and he didn't have time to train anyone. I don't understand how everyone complains about not having any good help but they turn away willing workers. I'm pretty sure that about one month into the job I'm going to end up getting pissed off that I'm sitting a ditch, something I've already done, when I know I could be working elsewhere, having more fun, and making more money.

10K during the summer...wish I could have found a job like that....I get your point.....if pop's is paying 20.00 hr. I'd jump on it...

tylermckee
04-15-2006, 04:50 PM
10K during the summer...wish I could have found a job like that....I get your point.....if pop's is paying 20.00 hr. I'd jump on it...
I was making 20K during the summer when i was 16 payup If only i was paid by the hour, i would have probably made millions

Gravel Rat
04-15-2006, 11:13 PM
The only way you are going to make 10 grand in a summer is grow funny smelling herbs in your basement with bright lights.

My one job I make 20 dollars per hour before taxes after taxes I'am down to 17 dollars per hour I take home about 2600 dollars a month thats CND funds.

You are going to have to get a student loan for your schooling its how 99% of people go to post secondary education.

Scag48
04-16-2006, 01:59 AM
I refuse to take a student loan. I'm going to pay for college out of pocket. There's no way I can get any business off the ground after college with loans to pay off.

Interesting story, dad got something from our Cat dealer in the mail, one of those sale flyers or whatever. They're offering 10% down and 36 months without any payments on excavators up to a 315 I believe. He wants me to crunch some numbers and see what kind of money I THINK we can make with a machine like that. Of course, gotta buy a truck and trailer, but the building economy is going nuts here and I think he's finally seeing the light. I doubt we'd spring for anything larger than a 312, but a brand new 312 would be the cat's nuts.

Gravel Rat
04-16-2006, 02:44 AM
I would go with a heavier machine a 16 ton machine will net you more jobs than a 14 ton machine. So if you want to stick with Cat go with a 315 if you want to do any serious excavating a 312 is only a step up from a mini.

One contractor in my area has a 312 and its too small I watch him dig with it definatly no comparison to a bigger machine. The same job with a 16 ton machine would have gotten the job done quite a bit quicker.

Scag48
04-16-2006, 02:47 AM
I've pondered about that, as much as I like 312's, 315's have so much more grunt and reach it's ridiculous! He might just be blowing smoke about this whole deal, but we'll see. It's been a crazy week.

I told him I could buy an older Hitachi with around 6,000 hours for about $40K, but with no payments for 36 months, you can run a brand new machine for 3 years, cut your losses when you sell the machine and probably put a good chunk of change in your pocket. If we put no more than 1,500 hours on it in 3 years, the machine could be sold for at least $105K. I'd hope we can make more than $40K with it in 3 years, sounds like some money can be made with that size of machine. We'll see how this plays out.

Those numbers are for a 312, 315 is going to be a little more money, but I'm a little more familiar with 312's productivity and numbers so I'm using it for an example.

janb
04-16-2006, 12:01 PM
I refuse to take a student loan. I'm going to pay for college out of pocket. There's no way I can get any business off the ground after college with loans to pay off. ....

Interesting story, ... Cat dealer in the mail, one of those sale flyers or whatever. They're offering 10% down and 36 months without any payments ... He wants me to crunch some numbers and see what kind of money I THINK we can make with a machine ... building economy is going nuts here and I think he's finally seeing the light. ... .

keep it ALL in perspective, and be cautious about becoming "dogmatic"...("I refuse to take a student loan") I agree and support your values, but.... you WILL be making payments on the "free" CAT money someday. 2.8% student loan money is pretty cheap (going to 5% finally this summer) I encouraged each of my kids (both seniors in WA U's) to fully exploit their student loans, AND to fully invest what they would have been spending on school into their ROTH Ira's, (which they've had since Jr. high) real estate and 'passive' investments. They have been getting 15 -19% returns on their diversified portfolio's (International ETF's have helped :) ) so... school will be over, and they will have plenty to payoff the loans, but... I will encourage them to take the 'deferral' and not pay on them till required, and consider leveraging that money into business assets, since school loans get preferred tax reduction benefits, and are not a major detraction when applying for future loans (an 'expected' debt, unlike an 'equip loan';) ...). Life / business is a strategy (kind of like paying off your personal residence, some like to, others say "that is very cheap money to invest elsewhere")

Do be cautious, Both my parents and my in-laws lost EVERYTHING building spec homes in a major hot market (as in, the sheriff came and moved them out of their homes after many years of 'experienced' success)

the vultures are waiting everywhere to 'pick-you-off' (school, stock trading, business, irs, DOT, DOR, DOL...)

Keep a cool head, open mind, ask lots of questions, bury the pride :drinkup:

RockSet N' Grade
04-16-2006, 12:04 PM
Scag, What a wonderful opportunity you have. This guy is too busy to train anyone....use your imagination and creativity to see how you can help lighten his load.....if you could do that, this guy would walk on water for you. I know what "too busy is". Yesterday, I was up at 230am: boiled out two radiators, changed oils, greased, welded. I had 4 bids/appointments from 830am-1pm and got all 4. The rest of my day was cleaning, organizing for the coming week. What was everyone else doing? Don't know, but what I know is, I got 4 more jobs while my competitors were bbqing and partying.....I'm still hungry and want it.....that's "too busy" and that's the kinda guy you want to hook up with 'cause he is out burying the competition.......As far as loans go, not borrowing money for the proper reasons is non-sense. Everyone who is successful borrows money, has a LOC at the bank and uses that resource wisely.....if you woulda showed up at my shop yesterday at 230 and dug in and helped, you'd have your job.....and college.......and more. Don't focus so much on the money, it will come.....focus on putting yourself out there and doing the ordinary with extra-ordinary effort and enthusiasm!

ksss
04-16-2006, 12:46 PM
janb and Rock make excellent points and since both of these guys have "been there done that" its advice we can all learn from.

On the excavator: Skag buying a new machine for a "new to you market" is taking unneeded risk. Buy a used machine at auction or dealer whatever and test the market. It does not sound to me like you or your dad have a lot of experience in the heavy iron market. Before you get your excavator you will spend 20-30K on decent dump truck to pull your excavator (and that money it wont be a great truck) 15-25K on a trailer to haul a 160 size machine. Plus all the DOT, insurance inscreases, you may also plan on hiring someone that has worked the heavy iron before IE: run sewer, water, done taps, etc. Again you don't need new paint to get this off the ground. Three years from now when your on your feet then buy a new excavator. Check what the values are: price a new excavator and look at the price of near new excavators. They are no different than cars are.

Just my thoughts

RockSet N' Grade
04-16-2006, 01:14 PM
This is kinda like a dog biting at my heels that won't leave me alone. It strikes a chord deep in my bones.
Scag: here's a job that may pay what you need and more. Buy a hotsie or power washer. Put it in the back of your truck and show up at these guys yards and wash down their equipment. That is just your calling card.....talk with them and find out their needs and that may lead to a job.
Do you have a CDL? If not, take the time and get it. I believe John Deere has an operator school in Texas.....go there and get their certification......it should open a door or two so you have a chance to compete.....
Just thoughts of encouragement for you......

Scag48
04-17-2006, 12:28 AM
Well, dad and I sat down and talked about the excavator purchase. We decided it wouldn't pencil out, it would be easy to get into and we could make it work, but we don't need the risk.

With all that said, my dad has a buddy that does alot of residential excavation. I'm trying at this point to see if I can make very little per hour running equipment, but learn a whole lot. I don't feel too bad about making very little money if I'm having fun and learning a lot at the same time. A job in a trench would do neither, I'd only end up wishing I would have done something else. Right now that's my new tact for employment this summer, we'll see what happens.

I have a TON of opportunites to make decent money. I live in a tourism driven town, the 3 months I'll be home are the busiest months of the year. I don't really want to be greedy, but I want to make some money while I'm at it. I guess my whole intent of working for an excavation contractor this summer was to learn, but I won't learn a whole lot in a trench, I know that for a fact. I'd rather get paid $8.00 an hour to run a 12 ton excavator, have fun, learn a ton about the business rather than make $10.00 an hour to sit in a trench, learn very little, and it wouldn't be as much fun.

As for a CDL, I would like to try and get mine this summer, I just need a truck to practice/take the test in. I can't afford to rent, but I might find someone who's got an older truck they'd let me use for a couple days.

2004F550
04-17-2006, 08:36 AM
there is a lot to learn in a trench

RockSet N' Grade
04-17-2006, 10:41 AM
Scag,
Alot of truck dealers have a certified trainer on staff....you can hire that guy, use one of the company trucks, get behind the wheel time and get your license.....first step is DMV test for CDL....they have a book to study, and the written test is minimal as far as cost goes...

One of the biggest lessons I have ever seen demonstrated was by a guy named "Poncho". He was a trench man for Ortiz Construction, and that was his job. A backhoe operator was not following Poncho, the operator was sloppy and almost hit Poncho with the bucket. Poncho jumped out of the trench, yanked the driver out of the machine and beat him with his shovel. Robert Ortiz showed up, agreed with Poncho, and sent the operator and machine packing.....at that time I thought it was extreme, today I do not.

Josh Boler, a friend, was in the trench. Track hoe operator reached over a mound of dirt, grabbed Josh and ripped his leg off. Whose fault, the operator without question......Where was Poncho then? I wish he could have taught some of these youngsters the real deal........the guy in the trench is the man in control and calling the shots, not the operator. Alot to be learned from a good trench man.........

ksss
04-17-2006, 10:58 AM
Absolutely. That and getting hands on experience on how to excavate near utilities, running grade in sewer trenchs, doing hot and cold taps on main lines, working a trench box. Ect. You learn a whole lot at the end of a shovel. Your education at the shovel end makes you a much better operator. Which is why most companies start you out on a shovel before exposing you to hydraulic power. Not as much fun perhaps, but a good education seldom is. I would learn that aspect of the job while your young. The experience will last as long as you are in the business.

murray83
04-17-2006, 02:55 PM
it doesn't take an idiot to run machinery,it takes skill to know how to use it.

i'm tired of seeing these kids running up to their formen and run his mouth off saying he can run anything,and as RockSet N' Grade mentioned....hurting someone.

thepawnshop
04-17-2006, 08:18 PM
Is the idea of a lawn supply store put to bed with this latest 312 venture, Scag?

Dirty Water
04-17-2006, 08:29 PM
Absolutely. That and getting hands on experience on how to excavate near utilities, running grade in sewer trenchs, doing hot and cold taps on main lines, working a trench box. Ect. You learn a whole lot at the end of a shovel. Your education at the shovel end makes you a much better operator. Which is why most companies start you out on a shovel before exposing you to hydraulic power. Not as much fun perhaps, but a good education seldom is. I would learn that aspect of the job while your young. The experience will last as long as you are in the business.


I can't agree more. just about anyone can operate an excavator, but it takes someone with some experience to do anything beyond dig a hole.