PDA

View Full Version : Debating mini-x...


mrusk
04-22-2006, 12:20 AM
Well since the ink is signed on the 246b i been thinking. I know i am still going to rent a mini to dig retainign wall footers. 2 weeks ago my sales man told me they had a bunch of 2005 left over 302.5's with full cab and ac/heat for 36k and change. That seems like a good deal. What do you guys think?

Matt

chesie
04-22-2006, 12:40 AM
Look for something out of their rental fleet. We bought a 303 in Dec.- '05 with 150 hours, full cab, heat, no ac, long stick, 20" bucket for 32k

Gravel Rat
04-22-2006, 01:34 AM
The machine your looking at is a little small you may want to get something a little larger something in the 8000lb range or a little heavier.

thepawnshop
04-22-2006, 08:24 AM
I think a mini excavator is priceless...but like GR said, that may be a bit under sized. I fyou think it is enough machine, though, I say "Go for it!"

Looks like you have the equipment bug....it can be a VERY expensive sickness....

mrusk
04-22-2006, 12:14 PM
Pawnshop- The equipment bug is alot cheaper than hiring employees!!! I plan to work solo untill i am mechanicalized to the hilt! One i get a mini x i am going to go dump a pile of money on a big compactor so i don't have to do lifts anymore!

302.5 is proabably alittle small. I proably should go with a 303. Right now i rent a kubota k41 when i need a min x, since alot of times its the only machine available and sometimes i don't have alot of room.


Matt

Qualey
04-22-2006, 01:25 PM
I've had my 302.5 for 4 years now and for what it sounds like you'll be doing I can't imagine why you'd need anything bigger. Bigger machine=bigger trailer=bigger cost. Its a slippery slope.

Qualey
04-22-2006, 01:27 PM
Furthermore, FWIW if I could do it over again, I would rent a machine for the season and take advantage of the write-off and a new machine every season. Not sure the length of your season but payments suck when its sitting there in the winter depreciating.

mrusk
04-22-2006, 01:41 PM
All i would be using the machine for is digging out for walls and paver jobs. I am not interested in doing 'outside' work with the machine. I'm in the hardscaping business. I'm not going to branch out into other things and lose focus on my main business.

ksss
04-22-2006, 01:49 PM
I would go to Iron Planet and check out those they auction off. They are primarily CAT rental machines and they go cheap compared to new price. Considering how bad of a hit those machines take on depreciation, I would not consider a brand new machine. You can get near new and save money. The warranty period is so short it makes that a nonissue at least to me. Certainly not worth paying new price for.

ma5tr
04-22-2006, 04:33 PM
I bought a 302.5c last year and at first I thought it would be too small. So far it has far exceeded my expectations. For what I do in my field as a landscaper (i dont dig foundations) it is a GREAT size, gets me in tight spots and lifts way more than i would ever believe if i didnt see with my own eyes(it lifts stone 2.5'x4' x 16" on a regular basis). I didnt want to go with a zts on a machine that small because i knew it would not be able to lift as much. I demoed a 303cr before the purchase and found it to be "tippy".

Any machine that you buy will have those moments when it is going to be "To small" even if it is a 345, you just have to see and know what the majority of the work you will be doing is and buy a machine to suit. Dont let people that dont know your business tell you its to big or to small. know where you are and where you want to be and buy a machine accordingly.

murray83
04-22-2006, 10:00 PM
i'd go used mainly because depreciation,i see equipment just like a car,once you drive it off the lot,its price dropped already.

as fer size 302 is nice but look to the future,are you only going to stay at doing landscaping or venture in light excavation? cuz if you wanna stay in lanscaping like you said you want to,that mini isn't going to be working as much as it needs to to make it worth your wild.if your doing landscaping how often do you rent that kubota?

to me and its only my opinion,...if i was gonna put down big bucks on a machine it better be working 10 hours a day 5 days a week minimum if its sitting at all in my yard its bad buisness.

the mini/skid steer is a great combo,i think you should branch out and see where it takes you and it'll make you great money.

mrusk
04-22-2006, 10:42 PM
Right now i rent a mini to dig out every wall i build. But if i owned it i would use it for many more task. I could almost basically eliminate the need to do any shovel work.

The machine does not have to be working 50hrs a week to make me money. To think that is crazy. I just think that going for 'outside' work is loosing focus on the main goal of doing 1 thing, and doing it great and fast. The mini x can dig the wall, put the qp in the trench, back fill the wall, etc.

Squizzy246B
04-23-2006, 01:01 AM
to me and its only my opinion,...if i was gonna put down big bucks on a machine it better be working 10 hours a day 5 days a week minimum if its sitting at all in my yard its bad buisness.

If you are an hourly hire man then this is correct...however if you are hardscaping you will never get anywhere with that attitude. Our excavators save us two to three labourers a day, sometimes more..and there is way more to labour than wages. The machine pays its way everyday we work and sometimes it only works for an hour or two each day...still miles in front. Our skid sits around sites with the forks on and gets used for maybe 20 minutes a day...but if I didn't have it then we could at days to our job and that costs big time.

At the end of the day you can't do the work if you don't have the machine and time frames are more and more important to clients these days. You can get three labourers digging for half a day or you can get a machine to fix the problem in 10 minutes...go figure.

ksss
04-23-2006, 01:14 AM
If you plan on putting a hoe pac on it you may want to check the flow rates. a 302 is small machine with small flow rating. You may struggle reaching compaction specs with such a small machine and a hoe pac. I would speak to your dealer and make him/her assure you that the machine is capable to run a hoe pac and with enough force to actually compact something. I would agree that a little larger is better but not if it would no longer fit with what your doing. If you can get a 7500 pound zero tail machine in the jobs your on and still trailer it (which you can if you bought a 246) it would seem silly not to get the larger machine. Since with the same 36K you can buy a slightly used 303. If you are having problems with stability in a zero tail machine try demoing something other than CAT. I think you'll find that the zero tail machines are better balanced than a conv. machine if properly engineered.

qps
04-23-2006, 09:27 AM
Ksss......what else is there "other than a CAT":laugh: .....kidding...kidding.....

Squizzy246B
04-23-2006, 10:22 AM
I really don't get the discussion on the size of the machine...Matt will know whats best for his work by hiring. He's asking for comment on the deal. I can't advise much on that cause you go guys a talking different dollars.:confused:

For me I always buy as new as I can.

mrusk
04-23-2006, 10:56 AM
I am proably going to wait a month or two before i commit to another machine. I want to get a few payments paid on the skid first. I'm smart enough to not stretch myself too thin. But without a doubt, i should have a mini by the end of the year!

Then i'll be shopping for a truck to tow both!

janb
04-23-2006, 12:03 PM
..I want to get a few payments paid on the skid first. ... i should have a mini by the end of the year!...Then i'll be shopping for a truck to tow both!

1) get ahead of the payments to cover winter... Hopefully you can get a few major jobs and stash some bones to establish an acct to pay stuff off / or repairs / maint / accessories --

2) Tax situation from new skid (improved productivity) might dictate an 'end of year' purchase :) shop early, and get an in with some dealers to post you of 'end-of-year' trades, as they like to close their books, and knowing they have as buyer helps all parties at 'trade-in-time'

3) Truck ... keep your eyes open for a good used container (Drop Box) truck. They are pretty versatile for your type operation. You could modify a 'container' to have tool and attachment storage, plus room for both machines, and a section of removable sides for pallet goods. There is an old one nearby that has been modified like that + has ramps and D-rings, and he has 2 smaller containers that will fit inside big one. It was used by a plumbing contractor, and he liked that he could haul his hoe, plus and extra box to the job for materials, (come with sand or gravel, leave with waste soil and brush + the hoe) - a 'package deal' one side has huge underbody storage box. (shovels, rakes...)

ksss
04-23-2006, 12:11 PM
I tow my 70XT and TB53 on the same 24K, 31' gooseneck trailer. Its about 19-20K. Its a load, but it saves time and fuel. I have used my GMC 3500 D/A to pull it and it does fine. I try to use the 5500 D/A which handles the load better. However, either truck can pull it. If your running with just you or 1 other employee its nice because you can run a dump truck without a trailer and pull everything else with one tow rig to the job. With a smaller excavator you wouldn't need a 5500 to pull it but they are nice. The 4X4 is great and the best part is they cost less then a loaded up 3500. I paid 42,200 for my 5500 CC 4X4. It was 46K for a loaded up 3500.

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 03:55 PM
I probably would have bought a mini excavator first then a good used skid steer. In this area a decent sized mini ex will get double the work even tripple the work over a skid steer.

You may consider going back to Cat dealer and say I want to purchase a brandnew mini ex say something like Scag has a 304 and trade in the skid you bought and get a older skid.

The longer you wait on buying a mini excavator more chances of your local competition will take the work. If you are a good operator you probably could have a 7500-8000lb excavator working everyday on your jobs and other jobs.

Take for example the one contractor in this area has a 12,000lb mini bought new its pretty much paid for itself in a year.

Think of it this way you do have to spend money to make money some the local contractors here have payments up to 40,000 dollars a month they are not big companies either (4 employees).

Dirty Water
04-23-2006, 03:58 PM
I probably would have bought a mini excavator first then a good used skid steer. In this area a decent sized mini ex will get double the work even tripple the work over a skid steer.

You may consider going back to Cat dealer and say I want to purchase a brandnew mini ex say something like Scag has a 304 and trade in the skid you bought and get a older skid.

The longer you wait on buying a mini excavator more chances of your local competition will take the work. If you are a good operator you probably could have a 7500-8000lb excavator working everyday on your jobs and other jobs.

Take for example the one contractor in this area has a 12,000lb mini bought new its pretty much paid for itself in a year.

Think of it this way you do have to spend money to make money some the local contractors here have payments up to 40,000 dollars a month they are not big companies either (4 employees).

Do you ever actually read the entire post? He wants it for hardscape, not general excavation.

Once again, you compare apples to oranges.

mrusk
04-23-2006, 04:13 PM
Gravel rat- read the entire thread before you respond. Just because i don't own a mini x, the compeition is not going to steal the rest of the retaining walls i might bid on for the rest of the year.

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 04:47 PM
I know he wants it for hardscaping thats all what mini excavators do here is landscape preparation. People want a mini excavator to come in and build boulder walls or re-develop the back yards.

I guess I'am so used to working on properties where a skid steer can't go but a mini excavator can. The customer will pay for a mini excavator with a clean up bucket to move material around a house site or into back yards. Yes it takes a long time to move 12 yards of gravel with a mini ex but you have no choice its that or a wheel barrow or 5 gallon buckets.

I have been on jobs trying to dig by hand where it takes 8 hours of hand digging when a mini can do it in 2 hours or less. When I do landscaping jobs if it requires lots of hand digging I tell the homeowner to hire a contractor with a machine. I actually don't do much hand digging anymore I have had too many trips to the back cracker to put my spine back into place.

Take one of my neighbours place it took 20 tons of boulders and 40 ton of fill to terrace part of the yard all done with a 12,000lb mini. The fill was moved with the clean up bucket and placed where needed. It was too steep for a skid steer to even run on without rolling over. After it was done you could run a skid steer on it.

Dirty Water
04-23-2006, 05:10 PM
I know he wants it for hardscaping thats all what mini excavators do here is landscape preparation. People want a mini excavator to come in and build boulder walls or re-develop the back yards.

I guess I'am so used to working on properties where a skid steer can't go but a mini excavator can. The customer will pay for a mini excavator with a clean up bucket to move material around a house site or into back yards. Yes it takes a long time to move 12 yards of gravel with a mini ex but you have no choice its that or a wheel barrow or 5 gallon buckets.

I have been on jobs trying to dig by hand where it takes 8 hours of hand digging when a mini can do it in 2 hours or less. When I do landscaping jobs if it requires lots of hand digging I tell the homeowner to hire a contractor with a machine. I actually don't do much hand digging anymore I have had too many trips to the back cracker to put my spine back into place.

Take one of my neighbours place it took 20 tons of boulders and 40 ton of fill to terrace part of the yard all done with a 12,000lb mini. The fill was moved with the clean up bucket and placed where needed. It was too steep for a skid steer to even run on without rolling over. After it was done you could run a skid steer on it.

We have tried to explain this to you in like 20 threads, maybe pictures will help:

Terrain where you are:

http://jholland.phpwebhosting.com/junk/steep.GIF

terrain where most everyone else is:

http://jholland.phpwebhosting.com/junk/notsteep.GIF

Just because you've spent some time running a few machines in the boonies does not mean that what you do there transfers to everyone else. What you have posted in this thread, is once again, completely irrelevant to the subject at hand.

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 05:32 PM
I have been partially in the landscaping business since I graduated highschool so about 11 years. I have been around heavy equipment from the time I could walk. When I was 5 years old dad had me with him when he was running skidders, cranes etc.

I do forget 90% of you guys are city slickers where your only working on small areas. Home owners here usually want 1/2 to acre developed and landscaped the prices usually range from couple hundred dollars for the small jobs to the 100,000 dollars or more.

Dirty Water
04-23-2006, 05:38 PM
the prices usually range from couple hundred dollars for the small jobs to the 100,000 dollars or more.

So, what I gather from this, is that your pricing is the same as us "city slickers".

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 05:50 PM
Your guys back yard jobs are prolly alot smaller than what landscapers here take on.

Take for example each load of boulders used to build walls here ranges from 400-600 dollars depending on the size and shapes a load consists of 10 tons of boulders. Most of our landscaping jobs takes 2-4 loads oh ya the boulders are not small enough to move by hand, walls like that are done by local stone masons their rates are around 25-30 dollars a square foot for stone work. The stone masons do the small retaining walls.

Regular landscape blocks like Allan Block are too expensive for bigger jobs if its extreme we will use 2 ton concrete lock blocks to terrace a yard to get enough flat area for a lawn and garden. If the wall is over 4' tall you need to use lock blocks or 1000lb boulders its engineering requirements.

Homeowners here want the natural looking so stone is the first choice either it be dry stacked (boulders) or mortor and stones.

Its why I suggested get a larger machine so you can do the bigger jobs a you will want to beable to lift some weight.

murray83
04-23-2006, 05:51 PM
i think hes trying to say he does work on undeveloped properties as opposed to landscapers who work on developed land.

Dirty Water
04-23-2006, 06:03 PM
Its why I suggested get a larger machine so you can do the bigger jobs a you will want to beable to lift some weight.

All that rambling about what you did aside, mrusk isn't doing dry stack boulder walls....

So your advice is moot.

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 06:09 PM
We work on developed properties alot of homeowners want a excavator to come in and build say a wall to break up the terrian abit. Peoples back yards usually cover a city sized lot or smaller. Excavation contractors can do 90% of the landscaping with a 16 ton excavator. Its the mini excavators that can come in and do the finishing like building garden walls etc.

The mini excavators are a big thing for the building contractors that do renovations where they hire you to come and do the foundation trenches or digging utility lines.

All a skid steer really does is move material its a wheelbarrow a mini excavator is like a painters brush it creates the landscape you can place rocks etc. What you can do with a good operator on a mini excavator will pay for that machine in no time. It has to be the right sized machine thou you have to beable to do everything.

If your economy is good enough you could technically have the mini excavator paid for in max 2 years. A 304 or 305 Cat making 70-75 dollars per hour and 8 hours a day if you could make 3 grand a week you would be :laugh:

What does a skid steer make 50-60 dollars per hour you wouldn't get a full days work with it.

mrusk
04-23-2006, 06:16 PM
GRAVEL RAT JUST DOESN'T GET IT!! What he is talking about has nothing at all to do with this thread.

When you build hardscapes you buy machines to cut labor and speed up productivity. Those are the two reason to buy machines. Even if you only use a machine 1 day a month, if it is cheaper to own the machine than to hire labors to do that job, it makes sense to buy.

I could care less if i buy a mini x and only put 10hrs on it a week. Those 10hrs a week would proably equaly atleast 100 man hrs if you have to use a shovel and pic instead! Hell, in my average week i doubt i will put more than 15hrs on my 246b, but it will still make me a ton of money.

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 06:29 PM
What do you pay labourers ?

No landscaper in their right mind here would by a machine and only work it 10 hours a week. What do you call profit ?

You must have more money than brains to go out and spend 40 grand on a machine and not work it.

A landscaper or contractor charges a labourer out at 50-60 dollars per hour with tools a labourer gets paid 15-20 dollars per hour. A labour that is paid 10 bucks per hour is some highschool kid looking for some summer work.

Like I said stone masons here get upto 30 dollars a square foot for building walls beit stone to Allan blocks.

When the day is done do you take home 200 dollars for the day ?

Some of the jobs I have worked on range from the average 200,000 dollar property to the million plus. When you work for the people with the million plus properties money is no issue just do a good job.

I looked at your bio you have only been in the bus for 2 years you got alot to learn.

Dirty Water
04-23-2006, 06:34 PM
We pay unskilled labor $10 an hr.

A machine can replace 4-5 of these people.

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 06:52 PM
Thats it 10 dollars per hour :confused:

If you don't pay a labourer 15 dollars per hour they are off to another jobsite. The building contractors are paying up to 20 dollars per hour for helpers just packing wood and holding things.

With bigger landscape jobs a machine is brought in regardless if a machine isn't possible the homeowner pays the landscape contractor the 40-50 dollars per hour for each labourer.

With our economy is booming contractors will hire somebody with no skills and train them. If they are willing to work hard and learn the trade they are hired.

Home owners can be freaking stupid they don't want to hire a machine oh thats too expensive but have no qualms about having labourers do the job by hand and it costs them double what a machine would.

If I was buying a machine that was only going to work 10 hours a week I would be looking at high hour machines that go for a cheaper price.

Just for a local landscaper to come and do some lawn and yard maintenance is 200 dollars for a hours worth of work. If they are there all day doing maintenance it could cost the home owner 1000 dollars.

tylermckee
04-23-2006, 06:53 PM
all you are using the machine for is retaining walls, pavers, prep for concrete, etc then the machine should be fine, a bigger machine might be a little faster. GR is just out of his mind

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 07:06 PM
What do you guys do one job a month ?

I can rent a 6000lb mini excavator for 350-400 dollars a day that comes with a dig bucket clean up bucket and hydraulic thumb. I can rent 763 skid steer for 250-300 dollars a day. Or I can hire a contractor with a 12,000lb mini for 75 dollars per hour.

mrusk
04-23-2006, 07:08 PM
A 10 dollor laborer cost alot more once you add in workers comp and all the taxes.

GR how can you not understand that a machine working 10hrs a week is replacing alot of manhours.

Even if i only use the machine 1 day a week. I still come out ahead compared to renting. I come out even furthur ahead when i calculate the manhours to do the work manually.

To rent a 2000 roc skid stear runs about 225-240 a day. Then you have about 1.5hrs wasted time picking up the machine. So when you bill out at $75 an hour , your out of another $112 dollors.

Gravel Rat- i ran all the numbers, and know the #s well. I do not just rush in and spend 35k without thinking of it from all aspects.

For every job that the skid steer will be need i price in $125 per a day. This is on top of my $75 per a man hour rate. Every week the machine is on a job site it brings in enough money for the payment. Once i subtract, fuel maintence, payments, etc, the machine will put a minimum $1800 in my pocket per a month.


Matt

Dirty Water
04-23-2006, 07:10 PM
GR, First off, $10 USD is a little more than $10 CA. Secondly, if unskilled labor is getting $20 US in BC, then I'm hopping the border, because over here a skilled person won't see more than $30. Are you confusing what employee's get paid versus what we actually bill for manhour?

We treat our machines like a employee, and charge their for its time, just like we would for a skilled laborer. The difference is this machine can do the work of 4-5 people.

Money in the bank.

ma5tr
04-23-2006, 07:21 PM
In my honest opinion a 302.5 is a great size. This is a picture of a volvo we demoed(ec25) same size as a 302.5. It performed amazingly, but the dealer support was not nearly as good as cat, so we went with the cat. But like i have said many of times our machine lifts 2500# stone regularly, fully extended over the side slowly, but it does it. We chain most of the stone because a thumb wont open wide enough to handle some of the stones we use. The top layer of stones is only about 1.5' wide by random lengths, but some of the stone on the bottom layers is about 3'-3.5' wide. And yes there is filter cloth, 3/4 clear clothed weeping tile and geogrid. I will post another picture of the finished product.

To gravel rat...it seems that you are a jack of all trades but a master of none. Some of us our content in just landscaping and not digging foundations, digging septic tanks etc... Why buy a bigger machine and not use it to its full ability....wouldnt that be a waste of money???? Spending money on features and not using them...that sucks!

ma5tr
04-23-2006, 07:30 PM
Wall dimensions are 50' long x 10' tall. Here is the finished picture...we also built the wetlaid flagstone patio. It is about 1000 square feet, 8" concrete reinforced with 1/2" rebar, (20) 10"x 4' deep sono tube footings and a 12" granular 'a' base. Yes...overkill but the homeowner is a owner of a steel company so the rebar was next to free...and he paid for quality so thats what we gave him. Sorry for the thread hijack. But just shows you the work you can do with a "small" machine

murray83
04-23-2006, 07:57 PM
i'm really confused....

say you do buy a 302,what do you do in winter? you still have to make a payment it'll be sitting from november to say march making no money plus your skid steer payment you already mentioned i hope those walls bring in big bucks man......

as a labourer i would get $12/hr with workers comp,profit and government crap like EI and such so it rounds out to i believe $24/hr so 3-4 labourers at cost rate would be say $20/hr american.... $60-$80/hr fer your mini...when you DO use it,sounds kinda high and your not useing it all the time it would take a few years to have that machine pay for itself.i understand your going by the job but holy crap....

i'm banging my head on this desk laughing that your trying to buy a machine and fighting GR that its OK to only use it under 10 hours a week?;) can i have whatever your smoking? it HAS to work every day to actually be profitable.this is excavating its not a toy.

i think landscapers have way too much time and money on their hands your gonna loose yer shirt with payments and no winter income for those 2 peices of equipment unless you plow snow with that 246 and even then plowing is a waste of your time,your gonna regret staying in hardscaping only

ma5tr
04-23-2006, 08:24 PM
I do agree with murray83 that if a machine is only working 15 hours a week you do not need to purchase a machine. And my guess is that the 15 hours you are working it can be substituted with manual labor.

However, a machine that is run in a small landscape compnay will not be run as hard as say a excavation company because the excavation compnay only excavates, all day every day, where the lc has to lay pavers, lay walls, pour concrete, roll out sod, plant shrubs etc...

Another thing is that I dont believe people are charging nearly enough for their equipment. We charge $150.00 hour for our ex and $125.00/hr for our skid when we are asked to odd jobs in the winter months. And there is a 5hr minimum.

As for landscaping; equipment costs are figured into our pricing.

Gravel Rat
04-23-2006, 08:43 PM
When a contractor is on a job site the customer pays 40 dollars per hour for labourer or labourer depending on the customer.

The employee gets in his own pocket 15-20 dollars per hour he is covered by workers insurance and thats it. I converted your 10 dollars per hour to CND that comes to 11.37 per hour good luck in finding a person to work for that.

I don't know your labourers must be pretty feable if you need 4 or 5 guys to do one job. The landscape contractor I subcontract with time to time usually only has 1 to 3 people on one job. That could be doing hardscaping to just maintenance.

Yes I'am a Jack of All trades I drive truck, run hoe, repair equipment and I'am the labourer in the trench.

Take one of the local stone masons they usually have a main guy and one or two labourers. They would do a nice looking wall like ma5tr is showing with two men maybe 3 at the most. To take a guess that job would cost the home owner here atleast 10,000 dollars maybe closer to 20,000 with nice uniform stone like that.

Take my neighbours place again the excavation contractor dumped 36 yards of mulch to do the borders around the yard. It was all moved by hand in wheel barrows with 2 guys those poor guys were at it for 3 days.

When I was doing Allan block walls me and another guy did a easy wall took about 4 skids of jumbo block 2 days to build. That was doing the trench to cap stones it was around 50' long 4' high the ends had block stairs that took another day. We only put in 7.5 hours a day with 30 min breaks for coffee and hour for lunch.

When we bill homeowners for jobs they get billed for every thing if we are there for a extra 30mins they are billed for a hour. If extra tools are used like chainsaws thats a extra 10 dollars per hour. For me and my saw to-do clearing is 30 dollars per hour for me to buck firewood is 30 dollars per hour.

Saving labour costs doesn't make sense it just gets billed to the customer if they are too stupid to realize bringing a machine in to do the heavy digging is cheaper than 2 guys and goonspoons. No one bids a job so low that they need to save time on labour costs. When I work for the contractors I have a book I write down how long it took or what I did during the day. I could be working on 3-4 different jobs in one day.

When a contractors machine is on the site say a mini ex if its being used a few times a day the homeowners pay a day rate so a 12000lb mini 600 bucks because that machine is sitting there it could be on another job. The one job I was on we had a site truck it was a older tandem axle dump truck if it didn't turn a wheel all day it still got 500 dollars a day.

If you have to rent a smaller machine the homeowner pays the 350 dollars for the machine rental and another 20-30 dollars for the operator to run it. Skid steers are the most common machine to be rented because they are used so little landscapers can't justify the 45,000 or so for one.

A 11,000-12,000lb machine will go anywhere a 6000lb machine will and does double the work. So the landscape contractor can have it doing the block wall job doing the heavy digging etc once the machine work is done it goes to another job. While the hand work is done with labourers.

murray83
04-23-2006, 08:45 PM
i'm sorry if my prior post make me seem like a jerk and i appologize if anyone was offended.

i TOTALLY agree ma5tr i don't care if its a mini or a 60 ton hoe.....its still a machine and it has its price you guys don't buy equipment to look pretty its used to save time and money and your customers should pay as such.

btw great wall job and how do u like the volvos?

ma5tr
04-23-2006, 09:11 PM
Murray83,

Thank you for your compliments as well thank you gravel rat for the compliment. That wall actually took about 90 tons of stone.

We did that project about 3 years ago and were demoing skids at the time. We bought a skid that year and bought our 302.5 this year. As far as the Volvo skid...it did what it was supposed to do, no problems. It was a basic machine no fancy features, foot/hand controls. It is basically a skat trak machine. It was LOUD and not to comfortable, i have heard the new b series volvos are much improved.

As for the volvo ex...it was VERY impressive, quick, quiet, stable and strong. It had all the fetures the new cat c series have but that was 3 years ago. Our cat dealer told us that Volvo was giving them real problems in this area because there excavators and articulated dump trucks are so good. Some of the big land development are running ALOT of volvo.

If the dealer support was as good as cat it would have been a no brainer. It was cheaper than cat but everything is here. We got a quote for a mc70 and they wanted 24500 for it for our cat 232 we paid 31000, but the skids were not even close(cat being far superior).

To garvel rat...if you can build a wall like that for 10 or 20 grand in bc that is crazy. Going rate for us is $300.00/ton installed

mrusk
04-23-2006, 09:37 PM
I have a gig already lined up for snow plowing with the 246 at a commercial site.

At 15 hrs a week it is still cheaper to own than rent, so i do not under stand how you guys say it is not justifiable to own the machine.

My # was off in one of my previous post. I plan to add 225 a day to all my hardscape jobs to cover the skid. If i have a job that requires large quainties of material moved, the price will be more.

Also cutting labor is important. It allows you to price more competively and make more money at the same time.

BTW i always come in at over 100 a man hour on walls.
Matt

Mike33
04-23-2006, 10:09 PM
i have 185 with 709 hoe attm. works well little more time taking on and off but i feel it would take a long time to pay for comparing to my hoe attm. that is paid for. Minis are sweet but for my 2 man operation i cant justify it along with making to trips of moving eq. to job. I operate with a 03 srw truck and 16' trailer to pull my cat and hoe att.

mike

Gravel Rat
04-24-2006, 01:07 AM
That stone price would be about the same as we pay here thats just for the material not installed. It looks like its been split which looks nicer than being cut.

With our back and front yards being really large we would only use a fancy stone like that for around the house where people can see it.

I'am not a big fan of the precast blocks like Allan blocks they work okay for some jobs they just look a little too "Modern" when you live in a rural area where you have evergreen forest.

Landscaping isn't cheap here when your building a new house budget minimum 10 grand for just to clean up the property and upwards of 40,000 for the perfect lawn and garden etc.

The people that live here and move to here are pretty much outdoor people they do most of the work themselves and have a landscaper or excavation contractor etc to do the bigger stuff. One freak in the area had a laser level out when he was doing his lawn so it would be perfect.

Personally don't sink yourself in the hole buying a newer machine get your Cat dealer to find you a decent used excavator or any other brand excavator. I wouldn't spend more than 15 grand if the boom is a little sloppy so what its still better than a shovel.

Scag48
04-24-2006, 02:28 AM
Cat has some excellent deals going on right now for new equipment. However, I would highly advise against buying a rental machine, especially in this size class. Morons rent minis, they don't grease, they don't know how to run them, rental machines are just beat to hell, unless you find something with under 200 hours or so. The demo 303 that I had last spring had 800 hours on it and it was about halfway through it's life span.

iowacatman
04-24-2006, 10:43 AM
Good debate guys. There are some rules of thumb on cash-flowing a machine. Though they vary from industry to industry, and region to region.

We all can agree that these machines save man-hours. Though at some point a guy needs to bill enough hours against a machine to make it cash flow.

For example: If I own a D6R dozer, it costs me $300,000 new and in five years is worth $200,000. I have a net cost of $100,000 (plus tvm (time value of money) or interest). So my owning cost is $25,000 per year. If I bill $125 per hour, I would need 200 hours billed per year just to cover the payment.

My operating costs are $35 for an operator, $3 for oil and grease, $4 for repairs and $24 for fuel for a total of $66 per hour. If I take the $66, plus give my business a 15% ROI of $19 per hour, that leaves $40 per hour to pay your note. To pay the $25,000, you now need to be at 625 hours to cash flow. Add in interest or TVM, building, truck, trailer, catastrophic failures and that could easily push up to 750 hours.

At some point, your cost savings tool has to cash flow. Otherwise, you will be out of business and your equipment will be on iron planet.

Squizzy246B
04-24-2006, 11:08 AM
Dam I hate those D6R's...they get paid on Friday and go booze it up all weekend and then don't turn up on Monday!:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Gravel Rat
04-24-2006, 02:18 PM
Good explaination Iwoacatman :)

He is right about working the machine for so many hours I'am thinking about the same with the dump truck I'am looking at getting its not going to make all of my living just part of it.

Squizzy246B
05-30-2006, 08:38 AM
Thought I'd re-ignite this thread: So Matt, whats the verdict??...which way did you go?.

And to those who don't understand about hardscaping with machinery and are stuck in the hourly charge thing; I just finished 2 1/2 weeks work with our two machines and cleared $25K.....That nearly paid off my 248B. Doesn't happen like that all the time but thats what you can do if you have the machines and the smarts. I only need one or two good jobs in a year to pay off a compact machine.

jazak
05-30-2006, 01:39 PM
I think mrusk did right because on hardscaping you are always moving materail- block, sand ,dirt, ext. For this year I would stick with the rental and then next year go get a NEW 303 or 304 because like SCAG48 said the rental units get beat to h@ll by operators who should be using a shovel. Any way good debating.

jazak
05-30-2006, 01:41 PM
I think mrusk did right because on hardscaping you are always moving materail- block, sand ,dirt, ext. For this year I would stick with the rental and then next year go get a NEW 303 or 304 because like SCAG48 said teh rental units get beat to h@ll by operators who should be using a shovel not entrusted with such a machine to try and kill. For a truck go with a F-550 or similar, use that and once you have enough money get a Peterbilt 335 (if you have money to burn go strait to the Pete) with a rolloff, its the perfect size for hauling your equipment and for bringing supplies. With this type of body you can change the it to what you need- flatbed, dump, inclosed(for carrying all your "little" tools and keeping them dry :) ), ext. A guy here has 2 International dumps and several 1 ton trucks well this year he is selling 2 of his 1 tons because he is getting a Peterbilt 335 with the rolloff because of the amount of supplies and equipment he moves and he is strictly hardscaping. Any way good posts.

jazak
05-30-2006, 01:54 PM
: Below.......... tttt
I screwed up :angry:

mrusk
05-30-2006, 10:07 PM
I made the 1st payment on the 246b which i am absolutly in love with. Dropped 5k on a equipment trailer. Within a month or two i will be closing the deal on a 302.5 or a 303. Not owning is one is not an option. I'm going to be going with full cab with air and heat. This week has been the first hot days of the year in my area. Around 90 with lots of huminity. I realized today that the 3k i spent for the air/cab on the 246 was 100% worth it!!!

Yea i don't think i need bigger than a 302/5 or a 303. The job i am on now i moved dug over 150 yards out of a hill for a retaining wall all with the 246. The excavator is really just going to be used for the footing trench.


Matt

Scag48
05-31-2006, 02:30 AM
Nice! My dad just went and picked up our 277B today, we got zero down and zero payments for 12 months on that machine and we're making nothing but money. We cleared $45K in 5 weeks with the 312, doing pretty well so far.

mrusk
05-31-2006, 08:23 AM
^^^ Holy sh*t. Just on the orchord job with you just working weekends?

Maybe i should buy a 315 instead of a 303!

Gravel Rat
05-31-2006, 02:40 PM
Hey wait a minute before you guys go machine crazy that 45,000 may look big but you have to subtract the expenses.

As for Cat's financing they are no different than a car dealer its "we won't get you now but we will get you later". No matter how you slice it you will be paying more for the machine than its worth at the end. If your not paying zero down or zero payments for 12 months they will make that up in interest rates or extra charges. Caterpillar wants their money and their financing plans are just more ways to squeeze more money out of you.

Talking with a excavator operator yesterday he has been running excavators for over 20 years has owned 20-40 ton excavators and now has gone to a 8000lb machine. He says he makes more money with his mini than he has ever done with his fullsize excavators. He has gone from 40 gallons of fuel per day for the excavator to 5 gallons per day those are imperial gallons. For us 40 gallons of marked fuel is 162 dollars down to 20.25. His total investment now with a decent used machine and trailer is 60,000 dollars compared to 250,000 dollars just for the excavator.

The 8000lb machine gets charged out at 60 dollars per hour and its always busy.

The one contractor I worked for has 161 Kubota its rarely out of work that machine has paid for itself in a year. The other 2 fullsize machines don't work as much as the Kubota.

Yes you can make money with a fullsize excavator but you have to have the work for it and don't fall into the financing trap make sure every month your paying atleast 1000 dollars machine payment. What may look good now is going to bite you in the azz later.

Scag and his dad are just starting in the excavation business they haven't experienced the head aches yet they will thou.

Scag48
05-31-2006, 05:21 PM
The job was bid at $54,000, $45,000 was our net profit after fuel, hand labor, and water truck rental.

Gravel Rat
05-31-2006, 05:43 PM
You do know I wasn't putting you down or anything Scag :canadaflag:

I think its great that you and your dad are moving ahead in the business. I was just stating to Mrusk that you don't go jumping into buying a fullsize excavator right away.

The biggest expense with a fullsize is when it starts to break down then your into replacing undercarriage etc. The most expensive part is having the dealer service man doing the repairs getting charged 80 to 100 dollars per hour or more to have the machine fixed. If you own a fullsize excavator you should be capable of doing 90% of the repairs and have the tools to do the repairs. The engine and electronic work can be left to the service man.

If you don't have a truck to move the machine around expect to pay another 100 dollars or more per hour for a truck and trailer.

Scag48
05-31-2006, 07:56 PM
Oh I know man, I was just proving my point :rolleyes: :waving:

mrusk
05-31-2006, 09:55 PM
Gravel rat- I was joking about running out and buying a full size. I'd have to have a lot of contracts signed before that. I think i am just going to stick with what i am doing right now and just do hardscapes for awhile untill i atleast get 1 crew set up that can function with out me. Then i'll start hiring machines out when there not in use.

I am 95% sure i'll have a 302.5 or a 303 by the end of summer.

jazak
06-19-2006, 02:43 PM
Hey Mrusk are you still looking for a mini-ex?
Just saw a 2005 Cat 304 with 287 hours on ebay. It comes with a 36", 24", & 12" buckets it does NOT have a cab. It looks pretty clean in the pics he has posted. The bid is starting @ $20K with zero bids on it and it still has 6days left on it. He is located in Easley, S.C.
Just thought I'd let you know. :)