View Full Version : We're getting huge

05-10-2006, 06:11 PM
Alright guys, things are finally going the way we had planned. We've found enough work for the 312 for the next month or so and we haven't done any advertising as of yet, so we're not doing too bad for having this machine for 2 weeks. We're about 2/3 done with our current job that covers 1/3 the cost of the machine so we're making pretty good money as of right now. Dad is looking to buy a 277B to use on large landscape jobs, unloading retaining wall blocks off our F450, and general duties. Since we have the 216 for detail work such as fine grading, using the Harley rake and the trencher, the 277 will be used for heavy tasks only, so we don't need it to fit the attachments we currently have as our 216 runs them perfectly. We are going to be doing pools next year so we might need a machine to crawl down into the pools if we can't get the 312 onto the site, so we'd use our 303CR and the 277 to do pools on restricted space sites. I would like to get a 6 way blade for the 277 and equip it with a laser grading system and get the one-up on the competition here, NOBODY runs laser grading systems out here. Our 312 is going to have a stick mounted laser reciever, the laser package comes in this week as well as our 2 other buckets. If we get the 277 in the next month or so, hopefully I can use it this summer to help backfill foundations and such, a backhoe would be nice but we need an all around dirt slinger the 277 fits that bill perfectly. We're also planning on using the 277 for doing some of this orchard removal stuff. One of our competitors uses a D4H with a brush rake and pushes an entire row of trees and then stacks them up with his excavator. Otherwise, you're running the undercarriage off the excavator tracking back and forth to the pile. So I'm planning on fabbing a custom brush rake for the 277 to push smaller trees into a pile and then stack and burn with the 312, we couldn't do any real big trees using the push method, but smaller trees would be no problem for a 277.

Well, that was a bit long, but it's just an update of what's happening in our neck of the woods. Seems like things haven't been busy on here lately so I thought I'd stir the pot. :cool2:

Gravel Rat
05-10-2006, 06:52 PM
Well you wanted to get into the excavation business now just have to be carefull you don't sink yourself into debt. Seen too many companies grow too fast and they end up folding because they spent too much.

Get more machinery more guys you need to run it all to keep it working. I don't know how many people you have working for your dad now but I prolly wouldn't go anymore than you your dad and a employee.

05-10-2006, 08:30 PM
Yeah, I hear you on that. We have 6 employees right now and can train someone on a machine if we had to, but the thing of it is that our 216 and 303 probably won't make it too far off our landscape sites and both of those machines are pretty much paid for, so if they're not working everyday it's not a big deal. We really need to keep the 312 working as much as possible and if we end up getting a 277 I'll use that on the excavation sites as a backhoe replacement. All of the smaller equipment at this point is just support equipment, the 312 is what we need to focus on keeping busy and by the looks of it we shouldn't have too much trouble doing that. GR, do you have any experience with hoe pacs? I need to figure out a compaction method before I need one, I can always rent one first to decide what I need, but a hoe pac for the 312 to compact and using the 277 to backfill is kind of what I'm thinking for a compaction plan.

Gravel Rat
05-10-2006, 08:57 PM
Wow thats a big skid I can see that being use full as a forklift or general bulldozer for backfilling trenches etc or carrying bedding material for pipe laying. That in combination with the 312 would probably work out good the only problem is your going to need a truck to move your equipment around.

I would prolly start looking for a good old used tandem axle logging truck build a ramp body for it so you can either carry your 312 or any of your other equipment. A truck with a ramp deck is easier to carry equipement around over dragging a lowbed.

Usually you can find a good old used logging truck for 6000-10,000 dollars you really don't need something fancy.

05-10-2006, 09:15 PM
dude that stick mounted laser you will LOVE it and wonder how u ever got by with out it.

05-10-2006, 09:17 PM
We're having our 312 hauled private party. All we do is give them 2 days notice and the machine gets hauled professionally. And, it only costs us about what we'd charge the customer for a move-in charge anyway, so it doesn't cost our customers any more than it would if we moved it ourselves.

That's the beauty of the 277, I can slap a 6 way blade on it and have a pretty decent grading machine, not quite that of a D4, but it's a little more versatile than a D4. I can also use it to backfill with a blade or bucket and compact with the 312 at the same time. It also will allow me to move materials around a site that would otherwise be impossible with a 312. At some point, our landscape foreman will be running our crew, allowing my old man to be free to help me on sites as needed. If we have to hire another operator, we will, but I'm trying to hold off.

Oh yeah, we have a truck/trailer combo to move the 277. Shouldn't be a problem with the F450 :drinkup:

05-10-2006, 10:26 PM
Scag good for you! Just doesn't loose focus of the companies many goals and drift off into to many areas. Funny thing is, i was just about to make a thread asking what you were going to buy next!

I'm in love with my 246b. I just wish i got to run it more! I put 13hrs on it in to weeks. Can't wait to get it onto the next job where i have to make a big cut into a bank for a SRW. The better i get on this machine, the less i think i'll be renting a mini x. I think i can hold off on one for awhile unless i start doing walls 100% of the time.

My next peice of equipment is going to be a bigger compactor.


05-10-2006, 10:28 PM
Your gonna need a T series next.

Mini man
05-10-2006, 10:29 PM
Sounds like you are a go getter!
Best of luck for your future!:canadaflag: :clapping:

05-10-2006, 10:35 PM
Thanks guys. It's been crazy, we've put 65 hours on the 312 so far. Just keep plugging away.

That T series Kenny looks pretty nice, too bad I don't have a CDL yet to drive it. Thinking about taking the written exam and getting my learners permit.

Gravel Rat
05-10-2006, 11:06 PM
After figuring out the costs for a dump truck I wouldn't be buying one unless I needed one. You might want to look for a old beat up tandem axle like a old L-9000 Ford or a old W-900 Kenworth for a site truck. You will prolly get jobs where you need to move material around a site.

Anyhow it sounds like your doing okay so far.

05-10-2006, 11:12 PM
My dad has a friend he graduated high school with who rented us his water truck on the site we're on now. It's a '91 L900, pretty nice truck. I actually drove it a little off road, pretty easy to drive. Anyway, this guy wants to buy a dump truck. He has his CDL and has had it for about 7 or 8 years. We're planning on having him contract haul for us at a set rate per hour. That way, we don't have to buy a truck and our customer get's billed the same as they would if we were doing the trucking ourselves. Since my dad is pretty good friends with the guy, he'll more than likely stay loyal to us and be ready when we need him. Like I said before, we have our hauling situation figured out. We get it lowboy'd anywhere we need it professionally and efficiently for a decent price, can't complain about that.

05-11-2006, 02:08 AM
hoe pacs are the way to go, we have to one a a JD 410 and one on a 710 with wain roy couplers...way faster than big plate compactors, you can do bigger lifts, etc....ours are Allied brand and have been good....NPK makes one but I would stay away from NPK at all costs....I'm sure Cat has one they can sell you too...

05-11-2006, 02:40 AM
I'm looking at Cat just becuase it'll be easy to get and I'll get it for pretty cheap as we've bought quite a bit of stuff from the dealer, but I'm also looking at BTI and Allied just for fun. It's not a for sure deal yet, not sure how many foundations I'll be doing. If I had my way, I'd focus 30% of our efforts toward doing basements and such, but I'm not the boss of this operation just quite yet. :rolleyes:

05-11-2006, 03:14 AM
....too bad I don't have a CDL yet to drive it. Thinking about taking the written exam and getting my learners permit.

Get an appointment for your DOT physical, as that will hold you up for CDL. There are some commercial joints that can fit you in via cattle inspection (FedEx did that for my wife in one day), otherwise you need to schedule a couple months in advance.

I'm not sure you need a learner's permit, but maybe under age 21 req's one.
go ahead and get endorsements while your studying, as you can use in future (air, doubles, tanker, HazMat)

Can't go wrong having your CDL, unless you get a DUI...:hammerhead: (zero tolerance) But that's the case now for under 21 in WA (IIRC) now back in my day... 3.2 beer in Colorado @ age 18 encouraged a lot of 16 and 17 yr old DUI's lucky to have lived through that one....:drinkup: but lost a few classmates.

05-11-2006, 11:51 AM
I'm thinking about getting the learner's permit, I'm pretty sure I have to get one here in WA state. What I'm unclear about, however, is if I have my learner's permit, a) how long does it last? b) can I drive a truck with a full payload? Know obviously I don't have the ability to go towing our equipment around with a dump truck and tag trailer, but if put in a jam if I could legally drive a truck to transport spoils, etc. that would be nice.

05-11-2006, 07:14 PM
In CT i had to to drive with someone when I had my permit.....carried a load sometimes...not sure if its legal...i do know that the passenger and the operator must have the right license for the truck being driven

05-11-2006, 07:42 PM
I got the lowdown from the DOL today. All I need to do is pass the written knowledge test to get a CDIP (commercial driver's instruction permit) which is good for 1 year. I can drive as long as I have someone in the truck who is licensed to operate that particular truck. Plus, I can still drive with a full load. All I need to do now is study the written portion, take the vision screening and the test and I'm good. Then when I need to get my CDL I have to take a DOT physical exam, plus I have to go through first aid and CPR training I believe.

05-11-2006, 09:29 PM
I would be sure to demo the 277 doing what you want to do with it. The one I ran wouldn't push much of anything. One thing to ponder I would be careful on your tax planning. By not making any payments for three years should you depreciate the machine immediately you have little depreciation left to offset the cost (payment) of the machine when you have to start paying for it. It may cause some stress when your payments are coming with no depreciation left to offset the taxable income. Congradulations sounds like your heading where you wanted to go. When does the name change come?:clapping:

05-11-2006, 09:59 PM
Make sure you sign up with a local drug testing consortium when getting your cdl. State patrol is starting to check drivers and it can get expensive if you're not in one.

05-11-2006, 10:34 PM
KSSS, we have depreciated the machine right off the bat for the reasons you stated. We have a 277 on demo this weekend I believe, we're on the last 30 acres of our 90 acre plot and I believe our sales guy is bringing up a 277 for us to demo. This could be the last orchard we do until fall, so I'm crossing my fingers that we get a machine for this weekend.

DK, thanks for the heads up with the drug testing deal.

06-06-2006, 08:24 PM

What all do you do? company wise that is? Also you have listed 2 places in WA, are you and your dad on the West or east side? The only reason I'm asking is I'm not working right now and its driving me nuts, not sure if its my prices? advertising, or just being new in the landscaping, excavation business, Doesn't help that I only have a CT332 loader curently.

DKinWA you mention a drug testing item for the CDL, are you saying that in WA state if you don't have a drug test company, the state patrol is fining people? even if you own the buisness and know weather or not your going to fail a test? Can you explain a little on this? Thanks

06-06-2006, 08:53 PM
The business is located in Chelan, but right now I'm in Lynnwood until the school year is over, only 1 more week. As of now, we do everything, all aspects of landscaping and excavation. Full softscape, hardscape, pavers, block and natural stone retaining walls, irrigation systems, Xeriscape, we are a distributor for Synlawn, decks and wood patios, ponds and waterfalls. On the excavation side of things, we do it all there as well. Home site prep, retaining walls, utilities, septic systems, orchard removal, land clearing, road building, shoreline and streambed improvements, and we create defensible space for those who could come into the path of a wildland fire, the whole 9 yards.

Dirty Water
06-06-2006, 09:44 PM
On the excavation side of things, we do it all there as well. Home site prep, retaining walls, utilities, septic systems, orchard removal, land clearing, road building, shoreline and streambed improvements, and we create defensible space for those who could come into the path of a wildland fire, the whole 9 yards.

You mean you Will do it all? :)

You guys don't have a septic certified installer yet do you?

06-06-2006, 09:54 PM
We have a guy that is certified that will work as needed. I've done work on septic before, they really aren't that complicated. I don't understand why a guy needs to be certified to throw pipe in the ground, but whatever.

06-06-2006, 09:55 PM
We have a guy that is certified that will work as needed. I've done work on septic before, they really aren't that complicated. I don't understand why certification is needed to drop a tank and throw pipe in the ground but whatever.

Dirty Water
06-06-2006, 09:56 PM
I don't understand why a guy needs to be certified to throw pipe in the ground, but whatever.

Because I don't want to drink my neighbors piss.

Sorry, I'm tired tonight, didn't mean to come across as Bitchy.

06-06-2006, 10:11 PM
Oops, double post. Thought I was editing, guess not.

06-06-2006, 10:21 PM
"Because I don't want to drink my neighbors piss"

LOL,agreed its not a DIY job,actually the testing should be harder and the fines stiffer in shotty work...seems everyone and their dog is passing the tests these days.

Gravel Rat
06-06-2006, 11:55 PM
For septic systems here the contractors have to be gov't certified because now the contractor takes the blame if the system fails 20 years from now. The contractor signs the plans and engineering for the septic system and they are held liable.

Also the newer septic systems are expensive so you need to go to school to learn how to install them. Most lots here can't have a conventional system anymore the cost is upwards of 30,000 dollars to have one installed. You get into the commercial septic fields it can be 30,000 dollars just for the materials.

The biggest septic field I had to work on was 1/2 a foot ball field in size the poo tank was custom built it holds about 10,000 imperial gallons. I can't remember how may infiltrators were used but it was alot.