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Scag48
08-05-2006, 09:46 PM
Well guys, the **** hit the fan here. My parents bought a spec-house (signed papers in April) about 160 miles away on the west coast as a summer place, not a cheap sucker, running in the neighborhood of $700,000. Their plan was to sell a waterfront lot they own here in our home town and basically swap properties in theory. The propery was put on the market 4 months ago, usually lakefront here has been selling like crazy, you Seattle guys know what I'm talking about. The house closes in about a week or so and still no sale on the waterfront lot so I think my old man is going to pull the plug on the excavation biz, it's not looking good fellas. He says he can't go into the winter with heavy payments on the equipment and a huge mortgage on the house.

So everything I've worked for the last few years is gone. I slathered myself for this opportunity, turned down good operation jobs for the summer, put my heart and soul into the business because this is my ultimate dream. I had a college account that my parents had saved up for me that had about $25K in it, that was liquidated months ago to pay for change orders on their new house. I had about $5K in mutual funds I had been personally accumulating since I was about 13 that my dad sold so I've lost that money as well. The worst thing is that I've had my eye on a commercialy zoned piece of land here in my home town that would be perfect for running the excavation business out of. It has a 3,000 square foot house on it that was grandfathered into the commercial zoning and the mortgage for that was going to be about $1600 a month or so. I took a pay cut, told my dad to keep half of my hourly earnings and put that toward my house payments. This started in April so I'm down almost $5K just on that deal.

As for me, I don't really know what I'm going to do. Probably help a buddy out finishing a utilities job we started a couple days ago and then head back to Seattle about a month earlier than planned and look for a job. Since I've been screwed by my dad, I really don't have as much money as I'd like for school, so I might pass on fall quarter and go back this winter and keep plugging away at my Associates degree.

It's been great being on here, but it looks like my equipment operation days are numbered for a while. It sounds like by next week or so the 312 and 277 will be on the chopping block, maybe the 303 and 216 as well, I haven't actually consulted with what my dad was going to do exactly, all I heard from him and my mom (the accountant) was that they're dropping the equipment, not entirely sure what that includes. I keep hoping that he's just blowing off steam from a bad week, but I really think he's actually going to go through with it. The really sad thing is that we were really getting going in the excavation biz, I had some fairly good prospects on a couple upcoming jobs and it really sucks that all my hard work trying to get this thing off the ground is going to hell for a stupid ass summer home. The even sadder part is that the payments aren't killing us, we're making good money, the new equipment didn't help things but we were covering it pretty easy. Problem is, when you can't sell a piece of property and you've gotta close another, you need a little cash to fill that mortgage through the winter and excavation is extremely seasonal out here. I'm sure years from now I'll get back in it, probably won't be able to afford property back in my home town as the prices here are fairly outrageous already and won't be any better later down the road. That was my whole plan with buying a house now, I'd actually have something when I got back from school. A place to live, some equipment, and a good business going for me. This whole stint was never about greed at all, the money wasn't the issue, I strictly got involved because I really love playing in the dirt, but those hopes and dreams are gone until I can drum up some of my own capital and get some cheap equipment and get going on my own.

I appreciate everyone's help, sorry for the friggin story book here, but it's almost as if this place is a second family for me and I'd like to keep everyone informed. I guess I'll be drifting through time to time, we'll see what happens. Take care everyone.

thepawnshop
08-05-2006, 10:20 PM
Scag, man...why don't you wait to see how the dust settles before you write everything off? I know you are worried, but if your folks can afford a friggen 3/4 million dollar vacaton home, they have enough sense to take care of you as well. I seriously doubt that they are going to leave you hanging...unless you ride them too hard.

My advice to you, as a man who has lost BOTH parents, is to give them the benefit of doubt, trust them and more importantly, love them while they are still here. I am sure it is a tough pill to swallow right now, but you have this excavating stuff in your blood.

Hell, you may be better off working for someone else anyway! Could be a blessing in disguise, buddy.

Hang in there kiddo...it'll all be OK in the end, man!

tylermckee
08-05-2006, 10:46 PM
Sounds like your dad has lost his marbles, sell something that will earn 100's of thousands of dollars so he can buy something that COSTS 100's of thousands of dollars and do nothing but sit unused 3/4 of the time. Sounds like you need to give your dad a chance to cool off them have a talk.

Scag48
08-05-2006, 11:25 PM
Thanks guys. Sorry if this turned out to be a crazy sob story, not my intent at all, I'm not going to look for sympathy from anyone. I'm merely opposed by a situation that I need to overcome and thought I'd let you guys know what's up.

Doug, I know I shouldn't fly off the handle about this, but I know before it's all over the equipment will be gone, it's just a matter of time. Like I said I haven't talked to my folks in depth about it, I'm living at the motel they own in the manager's apartment at the moment, been here for a month keeping an eye on things so I haven't been at "home". The old man's been nervous about the new house for a while, at least a couple months, and he's finally waited long enough. The only good news is that there is a shortage of iron in the state, things are so busy everywhere we shouldn't have a problem selling the equipment.

Tyler, you're absolutely right. Couldn't have said it better myself. Got a place I can live and a spot for a job for me up there? You laugh, but I'd probably actually do it.

I'm trying to take this all in stride, without really knowing what implications are going to go down except for the fact that before the snow flies the equipment will more than likely be gone, at least the machines we owe money on.

The hardest thing for me is that even though I was technically broke, it didn't matter because I loved what I'm doing, it was NEVER about the money. I made the businesses I ran from day one, back when I was doing lawncare, the focal point of life. Maybe that's where I went wrong, focused on work too much and zoned out other aspects, but I guess if you enjoy it, what's wrong with that? At this point in the biz, I was just trying to get in, make machine payments and learn everything I can, which I was doing fairly well.

Obviously the equipment won't be gone tomorrow, it's going to take some time to sell whatever goes up for sale, but I honestly don't see a point in sticking around for another month to hit a dead end. I suppose I could go bid a couple jobs and try to make a run at it, but in the end I know if this all goes through I won't have a pot to piss in 2 months from now. I'm trying not to be selfish about all this, but at my age is it wrong to focus on my priorities? I have the mentality that if something dead ends, just keep on truckin' in another direction to find something better. Right now, that seems to be heading back over to Seattle to find something there, take a quarter off of school and get my financial situation stabilized. Basically I'd go into survival mode, focus on getting myself situated, leave the sale responsibilities to my dad as he got himself into this crap, I'm not going to bail him out again. I've put in too many overtime hours without compensation to loan myself out to dismantle a business and dream that I've worked hard to build, I just couldn't do that to myself.

In all of this, I do realize I was never guaranteed anything. I was never guaranteed my house was going to close, never guaranteed the business was going to be there next year, never guaranteed anything. Long and short, eventually I'll get going on my own in the dirt moving biz, but right now everything is so screwed up I'd like to just get the hell out of town, leave this all behind me, and leave my dad to solve his own financial problems.

Tigerotor77W
08-05-2006, 11:38 PM
Scag, I'm with pawnshop on this one -- keep you head up and don't drag your feet. Just because the house hasn't sold doesn't mean it won't; just because your efforts into your excavation firm hasn't resulted in you owning the firm doesn't mean new and bigger opportunities won't come knocking. But don't leave your father hanging, no matter what comes of it: I'm sure he wants your help.

Best of luck, bro, and let us know if we can help.

Gravel Rat
08-06-2006, 12:14 AM
Whoops I think your Dad has sunk themselves into a little trouble better hope your name isn't attached to anything because you don't want to get a bad credit rating at your time of life. Once the repo man starts knocking on the door watch out.

People here are sinking themselves into debt buying houses that they can barely afford. If the interest rate goes up they can't afford the payments the bank is going to be owning alot of houses.

Wait it out and see what happens if it looks like things are going to the worse say see ya dad got to go find a job. He is at fault for biting off more than he can chew. Too many people are buying places on speculation that their place they own know will sell in the snap of fingers and it doesn't happen because they missed the market.

I would maybe start looking for another job now don't give your dad a option make some money to keep you going through the winter.

tylermckee
08-06-2006, 12:24 AM
We actually are taking applications for another operator, but we are looking for someone that has a few years experience doing sewer/storm main line, water main, etc, developing work. Someone that is looking to stick around for a few years, its a tall order.

Scag48
08-06-2006, 12:25 AM
Yeah man, kinda my thoughts, right now he owes me more than I owe him. I spent countless weekends driving between school and home to produce a revenue, quit a good job, turned down an excellent operating job with a huge company on the coast. I really don't feel any remorse for him whatsoever, I told him when he was first looking at getting a fullsize excavator to buy used, could have bought a decent used piece for under $50K. We certainly didn't NEED a brand new machine, something with a few thousand hours would have done fine and at this point we'd probably be able to keep a lunker Deere or Hitachi if we bought it right.

In the end, I'm going to get blamed for all this. He'll try to tell me that if it wasn't for me he woudln't have bought the equipment, then order me to go back to school this fall when all I really want to do is get back on my feet and take things my own way. The excavation business was the only leverage he had against me to go back to school, said if I didn't finish school he wouldn't sell it to me but now I guess it doesn't matter. I'll probably finish school, but I'd like to go at my pace and he can't hang anything over my head now. Actually, this might almost be a good thing. I'll learn a good lesson from all of it on someone else's dime and it'll remove just about every tie that I have with him. The apartment I live in Seattle he owns, but if he throws me out of there then I guess I really am on my own, just the way I like it.

minimax
08-06-2006, 01:31 AM
Scag,hang in there you will make it thorough this.Put the numbers of selling the equipment down on paper and how much money your dad and you will lose vs.keeping the equipment I thing it will be in your favorer.And maybe sell the 216, the 216 and the 277 are kind of the same use.If it comes down to selling the equipment maybe you can sell the 312 ,277and the 216 and buy a good used 312 or 120 and 277 and run them until you can buy new!! I want a 50 sized machine at first until i saw the payments and thought I would never wood get a machine,the next day I check on a 35 sized machine and could make it work,and found out about a month later that a 50 would be to big for my market.

There is more then one way to skin a cat( not dad!!!)

Good luck, minimax

Lumberjack
08-06-2006, 08:53 AM
Scag, What you have is an attitude problem and your gonna get screwed because of it. Your old man doesnt "owe" you anything, you owe him everything. You are not even finished with school yet and you act like your life is over. Life hasnt even gotten started with you yet....

Dump the attitude. It wont do you any good.

once you pull your head out, sit down with the old man and ask him what he intends to do and ask what you can do to HELP him.

all ferris
08-06-2006, 09:29 AM
Scag, What you have is an attitude problem and your gonna get screwed because of it. Your old man doesnt "owe" you anything, you owe him everything. You are not even finished with school yet and you act like your life is over. Life hasnt even gotten started with you yet....

Dump the attitude. It wont do you any good.

once you pull your head out, sit down with the old man and ask him what he intends to do and ask what you can do to HELP him.


I hate to say it but I tend to agree. You are still eating out of daddy's hand.

If you want the business to keep going you are going to have to crawl out of your dads wallet and start putting your own money out.

jazak
08-06-2006, 10:27 AM
I have to agree with tylermckee your dad is off the deep end on this one. I just sold out my tree & lawn business after 20 years but NOT to guy buy some $700K house. I sold out becuase I found a new business which doesn't require me to go out and bust my @ss everyday. You shouldn't carry an attitude like you have now because it will only hurt you. But your dad is smokin crack to think that he should sell out the business and leave you hanging just to guy buy his $700K house. His problem is that he didn't think when he went to buy this house, he should have waited until his property sold and then bought the house. This is just common sense. To you I would stay until you are sure the business is gone then go back to school and work for someone and slowly get the business you want. Have you put any money into this business? If so then when your dad sells out he must repay you for every penny you put into "his" business. (As long as its in writing or else you're screwed)

Scag48
08-06-2006, 11:18 AM
I have money invested in the business, I'd say at least $6-7K that I won't get paid back. Plus countless hours, but what are those worth? I had fun while I was doing it anyway.

For those of you guys that think I have an attitude problem, just think what it would be like to lose your ultimate dream to something out of your control. I didn't do anything wrong, made the payments, sure they're a little stiff but I was busting ass to get them made. I told my old man that when it really came down to it, it's me that should be busting to make the payments and that's what I did, I hustled HIS business for my own success because I figured years from now my hard work now would pay off. I didn't just wake up 4 months ago with a bunch of equipment and start going to work, I started working my ass off when I was 13 mowing lawns and that culminated to landscaping then excavation, so nobody handed me anything, I earned my spot in the business. It's just that with their new house he can't afford to keep that equipment through the winter with a monster house mortgage. This whole scheme was part of my master plan, buy my house, keep the equipment busy and then when I'm done with school I'd have myself in prime position to get it going a little more solo. Sure I was never guaranteed anything, but it kinda rocks your world when your whole master plan gets blown to something out of your control. Sure the equipment is going to be gone, big deal, buy new iron, that's not the issue. But I lost my shot at this awesome house here in town, I'm going to lose a reputation that I don't know what I'm doing because my dad couldn't keep the equipment long enough for anything, just alot is tied to closing up shop in a small town, people talk like you wouldn't believe.

I might go out to the house today and see what the hell is going on. He's been talking about getting out of landscaping for a litttle while now so I'm going to guess our smaller stuff is gone as well as our excavation equipment. Maybe if everything sells he might be game to pick up a beat to hell 120 for about $30-40K, which is what I suggested we buy from day one, but I'm really thinking he just wants to retire at this point, I think he's gone completely over the edge. I feel a little better about things today though, I think I went a little crazy yesterday with the shock of it all, but I'll get through it, I'm already scheming for something else, just haven't really figured out exactly what yet. THanks for the stability guys, this is about the only place I get any with my old man around. Hahaha

jazak
08-06-2006, 11:22 AM
Well there is one thing for sure he doesn't give a sh!t about what you did for his business. At least not the way he's acting. Which is sad becuase he's your father and I would never do something like that to my sons. Can't you talk to one of his buddies to go see if they could go talk some sense into him? Could you buy this business off of him? Or do you not have enough money/jobs lined up to take it over?

mrusk
08-06-2006, 11:24 AM
Something had to happen to make your dad loose his mind.

In business the only one you can count on 100% is yourself. If your dad sells everything and retire so what. You'll just have to make your dreams come true by yourself. It might take you a little long to be doing huge devlopments and to have the right equipment to make money doing it, but it will be more worth in the end.

I'm the same age as you. 1 year out of high school i started my own business with no help from anyone. A year later i have a 100k in equipment and am doing some 30k + jobs. Nobody gave me a dime. I just worked my ass off. I routinely do 80 hour weeks. Work is all i do.

Don't give up. Just push harder!

Matt

Dirty Water
08-06-2006, 11:49 AM
Personally I thought your dad went off the deepend when he bought a 312 and a 277 on credit without having a established business.

Sad to say, I'm not at all surprised to see it fall apart.

I think I told you this before Scag, but you need to get in with another excavation company as a grunt before your going to get the seat time you want.

AWJ Services
08-06-2006, 12:23 PM
I think I told you this before Scag, but you need to get in with another excavation company as a grunt before your going to get the seat time you want.

Anytime you start any buisness OTJ training is the best.

But sadly some of us just go at things like a bull in a china shop.:)

Go big or Go home I say.

I worked with my dad for years and from experience I can see both sides.

Working with family is tough.
Also most kids who's Fathers have buisness's that they work in are just taking a free ride.

My Father grew up in an era were a promotion in a job might take 20 years of hard work too get.

Most think they should be the CEO after just a few years these days.

Remember you and your Dad are family and this buisness means nothing compared too that.

Buisness's will come and go But you will only have one Family.

Good Luck

Lumberjack
08-06-2006, 02:23 PM
No plan ever survives the first engagement.


Sounds like its time to strike out on your own. Pick which pieces of equipment are absolutly needed and work out a deal for them like taking over the payments. this gets the bills off his back and you get your own start which I suspect your dad will respect. If your dad is serious about quiting , then helping him to liquidate so he can recover his money and get rid of the payments will benefit both of you. 20 years of doing anything everyday gets tireing no matter what it is.

Whether you start new or take over the old company Im sure you dad will want you to stay in school until you finish so dont bother with any plan that requires you to quit school and make sure your dad knows that is your #1 priority right now.

In other words, TALK to him and find out what his plans are and tell him yours so you both can work things out. I seriously doubt he is doing this solely to mess your plans up.

Gravel Rat
08-06-2006, 03:08 PM
I used to work for my dad I don't anymore the one contractor I worked for his son went on his own. Working for or with familly doesn't work 90% of the time.

Most contractors in this area do buy used equipment to start out with or add to the fleet of equipment. To make a brandnew excavator pay for itself you really do need guaranteed work.

The biggest drawback is Cat's financing it draws people into bankruptsy they give you the line of bull to buy new machines and your stuck with it. The sooner you get that machine paid off the better.

You dad should have said to you something before the crunch started happening or never should have started the excavation business. If your dad goes T.U. you don't want to be dragged down with him.

ksss
08-06-2006, 04:37 PM
I hate to see this go down like this for you Scag. There are some valuable points made here. Gravel Rat makes a point that hasn't been address really and that is you and your dad may not realize what a bath your going to take on your equipment. That no payment for three years excavator, is going to eat your dads lunch. You owe new price on a used excavator there is no getting around it. The 277 unless you put money down, same boat. GR is right there are guys around here that have been used and abused by these types of gimmick sales tactics. Check Iron Planet and see what they go for used. You will cry. The equipment maybe around longer than you think. Either that or he will sell and try and recoup the lose in the form of a tax break. If you want to stay in the business keep your 216 and mini ex. They must be close to paid off I would think. Do what you were doing before this buy new equipment phase hit, be an excavator phase hit. Maybe you can take some of the equipment in lew of your time spent in the business.

OR


My personal thoughts are something else is at work here to cause the types of decision making that is occuring, but whatever it maybe doesn't really matter. What will be, will be. Get an education, if you like excavation which you do, than grab a shovel and get a job with an established company and spend a considerable amount of time there. Don't expect to be an operator. Demonstrate through your attitude, leadership ability, and a solid work ethic that you deserve a shot at an operators position. I am afraid however that based on what you have written in the past, you are not able to do that. I don't think you are able to humble yourself to the point of being a laborer, even for the short term and you don't have enough experience to be anything else so I guess it is a tough spot to be in. Scag you want it all, and you want it all now. That is not unusual for someone your age. If you can keep that drive, and lose the entitlement mentality, the sky will be the limit. If you can't lose the entitlement mentality you will forever be frustrated not by what you have, but by what you don't. Take an honest assessment of what you bring to the table. You have spent less than 500 hours in a 216 (even if all those hours are yours) and however many running a mini excavator and a full size excavator (certainly in the hundreds of hours range). That is next to no experience. Realize your situation for what it is. You have been exposed to operating heavy equipment, that is the extent of it. You should not even think for a second about running your own excavation company with that kind of resume. I hope you realize that nothing that is written is meant in a negative way. It is written in the spirt of trying to help you by providing an honest, no BS assessment by someone who has not even met you, just knows you by what you have written. This certainly will be a defining moment for you, what you make of it is up to you.

murray83
08-06-2006, 06:14 PM
i really don't know how to reply to this,your damned if u do,and damned if u don't.

sell everything off even though it won't be more that 3/4 what its actually worth,its in his name so its his equipment to do as he wishes.once your free from school drop off resumes to local contractors as a laborer.

sorry man i'm 23 and had plenty of seat time but know i have to earn my dues to the business,shovel first joysticks later.i was 16 in summer vacation when i started as a shovel jockey and at 23 i'm still there.shut yer mouth work hard,listen and the seat time will come in due time.

i wouldn't think about your own company for awhile stick with a good company and after 10 years of solid seat time maybe go after that 120 sized machine and seek out work.

i agree with many that posted that after the day is done the only thing u have left is family and friends,although family doesn't mix with business its the grand rule your dad will always be there.

best of luck i hope you'll use some of the posters knowledge.

Gravel Rat
08-06-2006, 06:46 PM
Most contractors here deal with banks or some kind of financial insitution never directly pay a dealer. Its easier to deal with your local bank if you go into a slump they will carry you a little bit. Also the banks will tell you if your pushing your credit limit too far.

Its like dealing with a car dealership they love telling you oh you get so much back or they are charging you less interest etc. You never beleive their crap they try preach. When ever I ask prices on things I want a straight answer I want total cost so when I go to the bank I say this is what I need.

You figure a excavator costs 150,000 you divide it by 48 months the minimum payment per month should be 3200 dollars approx. The machine should be making atleast 1000 dollars gross per day or in the slower times per week.

I know contractors that are smaller scale 3 employees that have equipment payments etc in the 10 grand per month bracket. That gets a little stressfull the owner of the company gets a little testy when the work is slow.

Hopefully your dealer your dealing with Scag will give your dad a little bit of a break or the dealer might be rubbing their hands together.

I have been doing number crunching myself trying to get my junk removal business going again. Do I really want to spend 30-35,000 or more on putting together a F-450 or F-550 rolloff container truck.

ksss
08-06-2006, 07:14 PM
The dealing time is over. CAT is not going to do anything for them on what they owe. Especially since they are not a long time customer and they wont even be a repeat customer at least not anytime soon. Perhaps putting the purchase on a RTO would have been a good idea, hindsight being 20/20, but at this stage it is irrevelant. Hopefully dad has some cash left to cover the difference in sale price and balance due.

Gravel Rat
08-06-2006, 07:53 PM
I guess that friendly dealer is going to be no so friendly anymore if the deal goes sour. If your already mortgaged to the hilt there is nothing else you can do. The one problem they have is the 312 is a odd ball size machine its a little too small for regular construction and too large for landscaping. If it was a 315 the machine would sell quicker the 16 ton machines are more in demand.

wanabe
08-06-2006, 08:41 PM
Why don't you just buy the 277 and 312. You said that you were making a bunch of money right? If that is the case, then just buy the 2 and make the payments.

Scag48
08-06-2006, 09:02 PM
Alright, got the plan hammered out with the folks.

First, 312 and 277 are gone. 277 won't take a huge hit, only about 60 hours on it right now. 312 will take a hammering, especially since the tax was about $15K. But, we made a good amount of money with the 312, so we'll cover the tax and such, not too worried about it. 216 is paid for and 303 is close, dad's going to keep the landscaping deal going for a couple years I guess, we'll see what happens with that.

Next, I'm going back to school in January for winter quarter. They didn't hassle me too much about that.

The next phase is to steamline our cashflow. We're going to sell the F450, the Harley rake, maybe a trailer, and a 2 acre piece of property close to town that has a great view and we owe very little on it. I expect it'll fetch $140K easy.

Once some of that stuff gone, we will be able to get a loan for everything we need. Turns out my dad doesn't want to retire, he just wants to get things a little more manageable. That stupid house he's buying doesn't help, he admits that we'd be able to keep plugging away if it wasn't for that, but my mom I swear will divorce him faster than you can blink if he bails on that house they're building. What my plan is to get a loan for maybe $70-80K, buy a cheap 120 excavator with a couple buckets, a hoe pac, a cheap dump truck and a trailer and go at it myself. I told my dad I'll make the payments myself, just produce a finance package and I'll take care of the rest. I told him I'd be better off if he just physically loaned me some money, I'd be making the payments myself on the equipment, and it would be somewhat "mine". As soon as I have a truck, I'll get my CDL, been waiting to get a truck so I can start figuring that side of the biz out. It'll be much easier to learn the truck and get my CDL in the fall than it will be next June, we'll be slammed I'm sure so I need this fall to get my trucking figured out. It's a good thing I'm a faster learner because I HAVE to learn a truck or I'm in trouble, god help me.

Gravel Rat, you wanna buy my F450? $21K US takes it. 77K miles, 7.3PSD, automatic, 4x4, good rubber.

Thanks for all the advice guys, I'll take it all in stride. I kinda should be in a trench for a while, but I wouldn't be happy at all, been there, done that. The school of hard knocks is going to teach me more than college will, but I'm still planning on getting my degree. At this point, if I can keep some cheap equipment busy to the point where I can cover the payments throughout the year and still go to school, I'm totally fine with that, I'm not out to take over the world just yet. My goal right now is to get going in the business, get my name out, make a little money, figure my life out, go to school, learn something new everyday, not necessarily be the best guy for the job all the time, but provide good service so that I'm making equipment payments. That is the plan. You'd think the LAST thing I'd be doing is shopping for equipment, but I'm looking for a good Deere or Hitachi 120 right now, under $40K like we should have done the first time. After all said and done, dad finally realize that this was probably almost for the better, I learned a lesson that'll stick with me for a while.

In other news, blew an o-ring on a brand new breaker yesterday. Called my Cat guy and he met me at the shop on a Saturday for o-rings, gotta love that service. Too bad I'll never be able to afford Cat ever again, so I'm getting my jollies on the 312 because it'll only be around for a little while longer, I'm going to hate to see it go but it happens.

Dirty Water
08-06-2006, 09:44 PM
Scag, I mean this in the nicest way, but you are in no way, shape or form at the maturity level to be ready to run your own business.

Just the fact that you expect your dad to finance you shows your ignorance.

Don't do it, you'll be up to your eyeballs in debt, and if your Dad isn't there to bail you out, then your sunk.

AWJ Services
08-06-2006, 09:52 PM
Hey Scag is it a Crew cab F 450 by Chance?

Scag48
08-06-2006, 09:52 PM
No, standard cab.

I almost took on $300K in debt buying a house, $70K doesn't sound that bad. Not mature to run my own business? Sorry man, been there, it might have only been lawn care but I still did it for 6 years and turned one hell of a profit. Actually, cutting grass doesn't sound too bad anymore. Cheap to get into, and still $65 an hour.

Let's face it guys, moving dirt really isn't that complicated. You gotta take into account that I hustled this biz for the last 4 months by myself, ran it as it was my own and I still made some huge payments on the equipment, did the jobs right and covered myself. Looks like I did something right.

AWJ Services
08-06-2006, 10:00 PM
Darn I have been looking for a Crew Cab F-450 with low miles.

mrusk
08-06-2006, 10:06 PM
It seems like you always kept the 312 working. I thought you made like 50k on the apple orchard tare out????

Next, what do you mean your dad can't handle the equipment payments over the winter? I thought the 312 was 000 for 3 years?

What gives.

Duramax8832
08-06-2006, 10:23 PM
Good luck finding a guy that will work in your trench, when all your "operating" consists of pulling out apple trees. I have been running excavators 300s and 400s for 5 years now. Just when you think your the best there is always some old timer that can teach you a few new things. Get a good machine and go with it, forget about quick couplers and multiple buckets..Im sure many of the guys on here can do everything, with there standard digging buckets. Have to worry about gettin the job done, not what bucket should i use.

Dirty Water
08-06-2006, 10:33 PM
Let's face it guys, moving dirt really isn't that complicated. You gotta take into account that I hustled this biz for the last 4 months by myself, ran it as it was my own and I still made some huge payments on the equipment, did the jobs right and covered myself. Looks like I did something right.

Give me a break Scag.

Your dad's buddy was providing the work and hauling your machine around. You were not running a business, you were operating a machine.

Were you doing Bids and estimates? Beating the path trying to drum up work? working out details with potential clients? Ordering inventory? doing piles upon piles of paperwork? What about insurance, you need a huge policy to do excavation, especially if you want to get in with Public works.

A lawn business has very little at stake if you fold, a excavation business worth tens of thousands of dollars has a lot. Why are you obsessed with jumping in feet first?

Kiaser is a perfect example of the way to do it, he started with used equipment, started small, and now from what I can tell, has a real good niche market going.

I see it all the time out here, guys rolling around with brand new trucks, brand new equipment, not a clue what they are really doing, and they fold because they can't afford the payments.

Keep the 216, keep the F450 and the 303. Run a mini excavation company since most of that is paid for. If you start to grow, then buy equipment as you outgrow your old equipment. Don't buy expensive equipment expecting to grow into it.

Especially in the seasonal market you have there.

Personally, If I were you, I'd go to school (on your dad's dime right?) get a degree and get a high paying job that doesn't require getting dirty. Trust me, 12 hours a day in a excavator gets old eventually.

You have no idea how good you have it with your Dad paying for your school. I wish I had that chance.

Qualey
08-06-2006, 10:39 PM
"Personally, If I were you, I'd go to school (on your dad's dime right?) get a degree and get a high paying job that doesn't require getting dirty. Trust me, 12 hours a day in a excavator gets old eventually."

Yup. Make some real money elsewhere and buy or rent an excavator to play in the dirt on your own land as a hobby.

Gravel Rat
08-06-2006, 11:19 PM
If there wasn't such BS importing a truck here to Canada I would have one from the US by now the deals on trucks in the US is unbeleivable.

I would probably keep the F-450 it will pull a trailer better to move the mini around. You may want to take the flatdeck off and put a 11 mason dump on it.

jazak
08-06-2006, 11:31 PM
I agree with most on here I would keep the 303 & F-450 (you will want a dump on it) but sell the 216 and get a little bigger used skid. With this equipment you can do smaller better paying jobs and then if you have to rent out the bigger stuff when needed. Then in a year or three you can get your 312 or 315 size machine along with a bigger truck. Since the equipment is pretty much paid for I'd use it.

minimax
08-06-2006, 11:39 PM
Scag,I was like you and though I knew it all and got knocked on the head a few to many time's.I have talk to a few old timers and they have said that staying with smaller machines make more money than the big ones.Big one cost more to buy then the small ones,take more fuel to run,have bigger insurance bills,take a bigger truck and trailer,etc,and don't make that much more money.Keep the 303 and 216 and make a go a it,I bought my 35 a year and a half ago and have a great deal of work,the guys with 120's,160's,and a 200 give me a lot of work because they can't do the job with there machine,they could rent one but most of those jobs they don't want.I do a lot of less than two hour job and because I have a two hour min.I can make some good money(Have done some 10 min. jobs,$70x2=$140 divide by 10 min = $14 a min.)and have done as many as 6 jobs a day,some times I have a tractor there to.I make between $700-1200 a day with a 35 sized and a 40 hp tractor. I would want to be the best mini operator vs being a so-so 120 size operator,people don't want OK operator they want great operator.

the bigger they are the harder they fall

minimax

minimax
08-07-2006, 12:01 AM
Scag,not to be rude but on this site you are saying you are broke and Heavy equipment forums.com you are talking about buying a hoe-pak for the 312 and what are you smoking?????????

Gravel Rat
08-07-2006, 12:14 AM
The guys with the 8000-12,000lb mini excavators make good money especially the guys with the 161 Kubota sized machines because you can dig foundation trenches and get places a fullsize machine can't.

Scag48
08-07-2006, 01:53 AM
Scag,not to be rude but on this site you are saying you are broke and Heavy equipment forums.com you are talking about buying a hoe-pak for the 312 and what are you smoking?????????

It changed that fast man. This has all come about in the last 2 days. Dad was telling me he's having ulcers everyday about what he's going to do if he doesn't get that house closed.

Dirty water, my dad isn't paying for sh!t, I'M PAYING for school myself. Did you not read the part about how I want to take a quarter off so I can make a little more money for myself so I can afford to go? My dad didn't give me anything except an opportunity to do something great. And yeah, I was doing all the paperwork, all the bids, hustling jobs, talking with customers, I love it and that's why I did it.

Minimax, we aren't broke, it's just that the house my parents HAVE to buy (I'm totally against it) is robbing us at this point. Like I said, I've been making good money with the machines, it's just going into winter is a little tough with machine payments and a huge house mortgage, they had to drop something and they chose the equipment.

Now I'm thinking out loud here, but go with me on this one. Instead of buying a big truck, buy a smaller tandem like an International or something like that with a 5 yard box, small tiltbed trailer and like a Kubota KX 161. I could get in cheap, my payments would be minimal, and with a 161 I could probably almost do a basement, it would be a challenge, especially with a 5 yard dump, but it could be done if I hire trucks. The only thing that worries me about this setup is that when it really gets down to hogging some dirt those little machines just don't cut the mustard.

Gravel Rat
08-07-2006, 02:35 AM
Go get your CDL then if you can find a decent used tandem axle rolloff truck it doubles as your dump truck and will haul your machine in the empty bin. A single axle is too limited for hauling also you need to buy a trailer and have a CDL.

The machine doesn't have to be a Kubota any 10,000-12,000lb machine will work for doing the medium sized jobs.

Quick and portability is the key you can load up the machine and head off to a job go get it done and move on to the next one.

Scag48
08-07-2006, 02:49 AM
Yeah, I gotta get my CDL. Another reason I'm putting off school until winter quarter, I need to get it done. I need a truck, something cheap that will pull a 120 fairly well. Been shopping, found quite a bit of stuff for around $15-20K, nothing fancy and I know I'll be working on them alot, but it's a truck and it'll get me started. Hindsight is 20/20, but we shoulda gone this route the first time around.

murray83
08-07-2006, 09:15 AM
i don't think he should be running his own excavating outfit and thinking about any equipment simple as that.

there is no way at your age contractors will take you seriously,as pointed out before you have very minimal equipment experience and haven't been in real world situations.

your best bet is to forget about being your own boss and finish school,then get a job in the trenches its the only way your going to be an operator and thats a fact,you need to learn the buisness inside and out and learn everything you can learn.

when i first read the comment.....

"Let's face it guys, moving dirt really isn't that complicated. You gotta take into account that I hustled this biz for the last 4 months by myself, ran it as it was my own and I still made some huge payments on the equipment, did the jobs right and covered myself. Looks like I did something right"

it showed your lack of maturity,there is so much to be learned in this industry it'll make your head spin,100 hours in a 312 is nothing i have over 600 in excavators alone since i was 16 (now 23) and i'm still a shovel jockey,its the respect thing to me,the man in that machine above me has years of experience and knows more than i'll ever know hell hes still learning and hes almost 60.

i know inside tells you to be yer own boss but you just don't have the experience,you might know how to run an excavator (and that means jack ****) and help your dad do bidding but theres so much more than that,as said above if you start knocking on contractors doors at your age they'll laugh at you,if you were 30 they'd look at you more seriously its not cuz of your age its experience.if you buy that 120 and do a utility job and cut a cable even by accident your toast for the rest of your life.

its not a shot at you and i hope you don't take it as such but your family should sell 90% of the equipment they have,it sounds like he's been over his head for awhile if your both serious about keeping a small operation going invest in older equipment

-the 303 with the thumb
-skid steer with attachments you use every day (bucket,forks) anything else rent,you should keep the 216 since its already paid for.
-a decent 1 ton with dump get rid of the 450 and get an older used set up
-and a good equipment trailer

and thats it nothing more,you'll stay busy and you can still operate,its not a 312 but its still a machine and really you'll need only 2 people at max and your 1 of them .

Lumberjack
08-07-2006, 12:37 PM
Sounds like Scag does have an idea of what hes doing, more then most start ups. Granted he does have a slight attitude problem but give him a break. Hes trying a lot harder then most his age.

jazak
08-07-2006, 02:40 PM
I agree qith lumberjack give him a break. You guys are just mad because if he starts now he will be bigger and better then you. Most people his age wouldn't even think of doing "work".

qps
08-07-2006, 02:59 PM
Sounds like Scag does have an idea of what hes doing, more then most start ups. Granted he does have a slight attitude problem but give him a break. Hes trying a lot harder then most his age.

I think some trench time would be a good thing, est. credit and purchase your own equipment instead of the "bank of dad" most of us started from scratch with little or no help, harder that way but when you see first hand what it takes you appreciate it. And no I'm slamming Scag for what he's done or tried, I wish was more focused at his age instead of starting later in life, but it was the fear of the unknown....anyways best of luck with whatever you decide:)

murray83
08-07-2006, 03:33 PM
why would we be mad? the simple fact is that with 2 skid steers and 2 excavators they were in over their head at this time they should stay small and grow.

i come from a family of contractors and once i get told its my time a fourth generation operator,i've done labor work,answered phones,welding repairs on gear you name it i've tryed it and have no regrets every summer vacation i was in holes up to my knees in muck earning my keep and its the best thing i've ever done not only did the people alongside me in the hole respect me more for getting dirty with them and not kissing my uncles ass to keep my hands clean but the operators respected me too and cuz of that on slack days gave me seat time,i never tryed to work my balls off i did my job shut my mouth and listened to everything anyone has told me.

as the person in the hole the operator was my best friend,he could make my job real easy or a pain in the ass,since he knew what he was doing and damn good at it it made my life real simple and thats how people will view you in the seat of your machine.

i really think you should think about this route,you'll earn respect from others but take pride in it yourself that you earned that job,not given your seat time on a silver platter like you have been i've ran excavators,dozers and loaders and as said above probably 600 hours since i was a kid do i claim to be an operator?,no do i know how to run a machine? a little...any complete jackass can run a machine but an operator knows how to use it.

Gravel Rat
08-07-2006, 04:56 PM
I do think they went a little overboard when they bought another skid steer thats really sinking yourself into payment h*ll. Like I said Cat's financing BS gets people into trouble.

As for their jump from landscaping to excavation was a big step especially going into the venture with a brandnew machine.

Now they just hope they don't take too much of a bath on the sale of the 312.

I guess depends on how your economy is doing and how much seat time you are getting in machines. With B.C.'s construction boom which isn't happening here but else where in B.C. most contractors are willing to take a person with some experience and put them behind the controls. There are companys calling people that have retired back to work because there is a lack of experienced guys.

The construction industry isn't a sustainable industry its just short term work people maybe busy for the next year to 5 years but what happens 25 years from now. Its one of the reasons why I'am looking at the disposal business yes hauling garbage. There will always be garbage to haul and junk to remove and metal recycling.

I would rather be self employed than working for somebody but some people can't work on their own.

dvmcmrhp52
08-07-2006, 06:12 PM
Let me get this straight..........
Your Dad supplies you with an apartment in seattle, your Dad supplies you with a managers apartment at a Motel he owns , your Dad ponied up his credit to buy equipment, your Dad bought some real estate at the peak of the market and is now trying to sell another piece of property to pay for it in a market that is sliding down hill and you're complaining?

Not to mention Dad is paying for college?

Get a grip son.

2004F550
08-07-2006, 06:23 PM
no he does pay for college himself

dvmcmrhp52
08-07-2006, 07:15 PM
no he does pay for college himself


I suppose that's a plus but damn, life seems to be handed to him and all he's doing is complaining that Dad won't do more.

Dunno, different generation I guess.

minimax
08-07-2006, 07:40 PM
Hey scag, How many hours on the 312???,and remember we all read the equipment classifieds!!

Gravel Rat
08-07-2006, 08:00 PM
Out here on the West Coast there is no hope in h*ll the younger generation could start a excavation business without some help. The cost of living is freaking expensive. The Pacific Northwest where Scag is located at is in a realestate boom like it is here. Places that used to sell for 200,000 are selling for 400,000. The cost to rent a place is minimum 1000 dollars a month for anything decent you can find a real dumpy place for 700 dollars.

In my area if you don't make atleast 40,000 dollars a year you will starve and never own a house. I only make roughly 30,000 dollars and I can't afford anything.

mrusk
08-07-2006, 08:21 PM
Some of you guys are being way to hard on Scag, and if it keeps up i think he might leave the site.

My take on this whole thing is that i think his dad lost his mind. To sell equipment that produces money for a 700k vacation house is retarted. He should bail on the house. If his wife would divorce him if he bailed on the house, he should of gotten rid of the bit*** years ago!

Scag it is kind of hard to dive right into the excavating business at age 20. You got to start small. You would of been better off trying to just get work with your dads 303 and 216. If you wanted to do stuff on your own you should of kept your lawn business going and took the time to build it into a excavating business over time. Almost every new excavator in my town started with cutting lawns at age 15.

Don't look for your dad to loan you money to buy a truck!! Do it on your own. In my mind you got 2 choices. Either get a job with a company being a laborer and start at the bottom and work up. Or start your company back up cutting grass and start at the bottom and work up. Either way you will start by being jack ****.

I am the same age as you. The only difference between me and you are i only had my parents moral support.

Matt

all ferris
08-07-2006, 08:33 PM
I just really think it'f funny that you don't want your dad to buy a $700k house so he can keep making payments on equipment:laugh: :laugh: . What a joke. Don't be mad at your old man because he is trying to have a few nice things before he dies.

murray83
08-07-2006, 08:43 PM
mrusk i totally agree.

the best option in all this is to keep the 216 and 303 and start from there this new housing market is gonna die off soon and there will always be odd and small sized jobs to tackle and while the larger firms die off or downsize scag's operation will be paid off.

if i was him i wouldn't get any bigger than the above set up (216,303,1 ton dump and 10,000 pound equipment trailer) you have the skid already paid for,303 almost there all he needs is the trailer and a decent used 1 ton dump.

the 120 size machine work is gonna end soon and let them die,residential excavation work is cut throat and they'd lowball to get any work they can get their hands on.

if u can convince yer dad to save this set up i described these 2 machines will make u more than the 312 ever will and when its slow haul topsoil and sand/gravel to other contractors with the dump minimax seems to have a great operation going and the right idea get ideas from him and apply them to your own small operation.

again take no offence to anything i nor anyone else said,i would hate to see u loose your shirt as does everyone else that posted in this thread. theres many on here i've learned from and i've seen alot over the years,the key is to never stop learning.

Dirty Water
08-07-2006, 08:49 PM
The housing market has a taken a huge down turn here. There is going to be a lot of foreclosures.

minimax
08-07-2006, 08:55 PM
Scag,I'm not trying to be rude,hard on you,etc.But it sounds like a different person some times in yours posts.By the way i'm only 22 almost 23 but have around 7500 hours of seat time,AND I'M NOT SAYING THAT IS A LOT OF HOURS.My friend in the excavating business has about 25,000 hours or more,he is on his third excavator and they have had 9000 plus hours each,and may backhoes,dozers,skid steers,and a old grader and loader with a lot of hours

Scag48
08-07-2006, 09:16 PM
Alright, if you guys always think hours equate to quality operators, I'd suggest you re-look at that idea. I've seen veterans that suck terribly, and let's face it, this isn't complicated stuff. I'm not saying I'm one hell of an operator, but I picked it up fast and I'm pretty good at it, quality is the game, not sheer speed.

As for my college apartment, my old man bought that as an investment and is charging me and my buddy $500 a month a piece rent and the apartment at the motel I was forced into living in, the head manager quit and so they needed someone to look after the place at night, etc. so when it comes down to it I work 10-12 hour days in the dirt and another couple hours at night. I'm not complaining, that's just the way it is.

I guess the only thing my dad actually helped me out with was the purchase of my house, but he doesn't want to go through with that deal, I'll have to look into property of my own a couple years from now.

I think what's really going to happen is that we're going to keep the excavation business going under my dad's jurisdiction. Not really sure who's going to be the official owner of the equipment just yet, I might just continue to work as a "project manager", handle all aspects of the business, and take a wage for a while.


As for running the compact equipment, not enough work. We've had them for 2 years and never made more than about $10K a year on work outside of landscaping. We're not in heavy residential, most guys out here get big projects and don't dick around with the little crap. I can see how there would be money to make in heavy residential doing utilties and such, but out here a small machine only equates to slow digging times. Why bring in a mini when you can bring in a fullsize. I know some of you guys make good money with your minis, good for you! Because running those minis is cheap, the trucks to move them is cheap, and we fetch about $80 an hour for an 8K pound excavator. But, they just don't go out that often. With that said, a mini in invaluable for working around footings, I'm bringing our 303 in tomorrow to dig some footings on a monopour, but the 303 and skid steer by themselves would sink faster than lead in water.

And for you guys busting my balls, just chill. Some of your attitudes against me make me feel bad for you, can't even give a kid trying to make something of himself some positive encouragement.

mrusk
08-07-2006, 09:46 PM
After 6 pages of post i bet they keep all their equipment!!!

coney12
08-07-2006, 09:56 PM
"you cant even give a kid " Thats exactly how your acting! you need alot of growing up to do man.

thepawnshop
08-07-2006, 10:02 PM
Scag,

You obviously have the entrepreneurial spirit. All you need to do to succeed is want it bad enough and I think it's obvious you want it. Do what you gotta do to get ahead, but please, as I have said before, don't let it hurt your family life. You only get one set of parents...but you get hundreds of opportunities to alienate them! Good Luck, Bro!

Scag48
08-07-2006, 10:03 PM
After 6 pages of post i bet they keep all their equipment!!!

Nah, the 312 and 277 are outta here. Called my sales guy today, he's gonna help us move the equipment. There's a pretty big shortage for equipment out here, the construction boom, as Gravel Rat said is enormous. Although real estate took a slam this year, we can attest to that waiting 4 months to sell waterfront property that would have been gone in less than 3 weeks last year, no BSing there.

The crappy thing is that the 277 payments really sunk us, I'm betting we could keep the 312 if it wasn't for the 277. I really like the machine, but I was super skeptical when my dad bought it, it just didn't really fill a niche for us at all. I told him it's a good machine given it gets used for what it's designed to do, but we don't have enough big landscape jobs to justify that machine. Nice machine, but having a nice machine doesn't pay the bills.

He just went nuts when we started, thought he was the sh!t getting into the dirt biz. I took a leisurely approach, who was I to stop him? I was getting paid to run the division, all I had to do was perform and I've done that, made some good ties with people even for my young age, I'm even surprised people trust me but when it comes down to it my customers are always happy when I'm done. Can't tell it any better than that. I've been having so much damn fun lately, I just love it.

dvmcmrhp52
08-07-2006, 10:08 PM
And for you guys busting my balls, just chill. Some of your attitudes against me make me feel bad for you, can't even give a kid trying to make something of himself some positive encouragement.




Positive encouragement?
You're trying to make something of yourself at Dad's expense and pizzing and moaning when it isn't going your way.
Positive encouragement is fine when it is deserved, however your father owes you nothing.

minimax
08-07-2006, 10:13 PM
Sorry to ask one more time how many hours on the 312,I know a guy that had his 311 burn down last week.

minimax

coney12
08-07-2006, 10:15 PM
Please let this threat die. Were giving to much attention to this kid:sleeping:

Scag48
08-07-2006, 10:17 PM
Dude you're totally missing the point, he's not going to give me anything than an opportunity, if I pass that up then I'm the stupid one. All said and done I will pay market value for all the stuff, all he would be doing is facilitating the equipment for a while, hire to me run it for a couple years and he'll make some coin, and then when I'm outta school I'll buy the whole lot from him. I'm really re-thinking him loaning me the cash I need to buy the equipment, I know I could do it, but there's just a little unknown. I think for the next couple years we'll just stay low key, low cost, cover some payments, make a little money for my old man so he can afford to pay for the drive over to his stupid house and I'll buy him out completely in a few years. I think that's a much better plan than getting myself loaded into debt, although I still say I can make it work. Plus he's not going to quit working, so if I get in a pinch and need an operator for a day he can run equipment, not fast or well, but hogging dirt he could do it.

Please let this threat die. Were giving to much attention to this kid Dude, who are you? You've got a solid 3 posts, who are you to judge me? I respect the guys who give me advice that I've actually interacted with in the past.

murray83
08-07-2006, 10:21 PM
project manager?

i don't know how u can say civil work is easy stuff,seriously i wish you all the luck and your really gonna need it.true,some operators aren't worth a dime but with the minimal time u've spent in gear you don't have the right yet to judge others.i've spent about 600 hours in excavators alone from minis to a 550 hitachi even at that i have no right to say another operator is worthless.

subdivisions are slowing down,new home construction is drying up and interest rates in due time are gonna skyrocket and all these new homes are going to be forclosed on.

my family straight up doesn't bring in money i have 4 family members owning seperate firms and they just survive,their gear is simply a tax write off,after the end of the day if they make coin thats just a bonus my great uncle has been at it through the 50's and 60's till now and he's downsizing there is no work for an excavator larger than a 200 simple as that if he could he'd sell off all his dump trucks and hire subs he shows no profits from any truck he owns even the new ones.

would i step in and buy any of them out? absoulty not.i work at the port part time and my goals are to get on full time but i can't kick the dirt bug,i'll buy an old backhoe and putter around part time on my time off but if i wanted to do this full time i'm nuts.

qps
08-07-2006, 10:25 PM
Please let this threat die. Were giving to much attention to this kid:sleeping:

After looking at ALL 3 of your post, my first impression is that you shouldn't be giving advice to someone.....A. your new here. B. I had to laugh at your trailer post, I guess you got tired of all the people calling it junk so your lurking around over here, you obiviouly don't have heavy equipment, unless the cub cadet ztr you bought at Tractor Supply is considered heavy equipment....( JUST A GUESS)...anyways good luck with your e-bay auction on the trailer:dizzy:

Scag48
08-07-2006, 10:26 PM
No man, you got it all wrong, I'm not hardtiming the oldtimers, that would be plain stupid, I'm just simply stating that some guys can't run equipment for nothing even though they have tons of hours. It's the guys who I've been working with over the years who have taught me the most. I think you'd really have to know what this town is like, there's no more than 5,000 year round residents here and all the work is for the "coasties" with cash from Seattle. The locals hold their own, we work together and I've learned from excavation guys since I was 13, well before I was ever on equipment, I'd just stand there for hours and watch. With that said, I'm no expert nor will I ever claim to be. I'm just trying to do some honest work, get the job done right and keep some customers happy, I'm not trying to rule the world. I think some of you guys want to believe that I'd like to own the whole damn town, not true, I just want to make enough money to keep doing what I like to do. Actually the guy I've partnered up with on a job started out just like me, only he was about 30 when he got going. Bought a truck, a gray market 120 and went to work with little or no operating experience at all and now he's the top guy in town. Little success story, doesn't happen all the time, but if you stick with it around here people notice that.

Minimax, 312 has about 215 hours on it right now give or take. Don't know what we're going to ask for it yet but it's in excellent condition, I'm a maintenance freak. Didn't you want to buy a Harley rake or something? I could have sworn it was you being from San Juan, ours is for sale if you want it. Less than 150 hours, 6 footer with angle cylinder.

dvmcmrhp52
08-07-2006, 10:26 PM
[QUOTE=Scag48]Dude you're totally missing the point, he's not going to give me anything than an opportunity, if I pass that up then I'm the stupid one. All said and done I will pay market value for all the stuff, all he would be doing is facilitating the equipment for a while, hire to me run it for a couple years and he'll make some coin, and then when I'm outta school I'll buy the whole lot from him. I'm really re-thinking him loaning me the cash I need to buy the equipment, I know I could do it, but there's just a little unknown. I think for the next couple years we'll just stay low key, low cost, cover some payments, make a little money for my old man so he can afford to pay for the drive over to his stupid house and I'll buy him out completely in a few years. I think that's a much better plan than getting myself loaded into debt, although I still say I can make it work. Plus he's not going to quit working, so if I get in a pinch and need an operator for a day he can run equipment, not fast or well, but hogging dirt he could do it.

QUOTE]



Here's my point young man, this whole post is quite condescending as though your father is an idiot.
I highly doubt that's the case.
If the equipment were actually making money I doubt it would be leaving.
And just a pointer for ya.........the construction market throughout the country is sliding, that includes your area.

murray83
08-07-2006, 10:31 PM
again,i myself (i don't speak for others) have nothing against you and i have total respect for you.

i don't bull**** or talk trash,simply i'm just trying to guide you in a direction that is best for you.

Scag48
08-07-2006, 10:34 PM
QUOTE]



Here's my point young man, this whole post is quite condescending as though your father is an idiot.
I highly doubt that's the case.
If the equipment were actually making money I doubt it would be leaving.
And just a pointer for ya.........the construction market throughout the country is sliding, that includes your area.[/QUOTE]

No my dad's not an idiot, although he gets wound tight and makes some crazy decisions sometimes. Simply put, we just couldn't afford a NEW 12 ton machine. I've said that since day 1, but that's what he wanted to buy so he's paying the price now. I would have been totally fine with an older machine, doesn't bother me any, makes the same wage per hour anyway. But we learned it the hard way. I hope EVERYONE learns something from my story. After 8 pages, this thread has to be worth something.

Actually, some article in a magazine a couple months back, can't remember what it was, maybe Time or something crazy like that, said our county was the fastest growing county in the US. Now who is really going to read that and go "well hell, I'm going to get into construction", but you get the point. The thing of it is, I'm still going to finish school and if the whole excavation deal just doesn't work out in the next couple years at least I've got my degree and had a little fun moving dirt while it still makes money. That's all I can hope for, I'm guaranteed nothing.

Murray, I understand, I guess I'm just a little hard headed sometimes, runs in the blood. haha

dvmcmrhp52
08-07-2006, 10:43 PM
QUOTE]
The thing of it is, I'm still going to finish school and if the whole excavation deal just doesn't work out in the next couple years at least I've got my degree and had a little fun moving dirt while it still makes money. That's all I can hope for, I'm guaranteed nothing.





And now your attitude is correct.

minimax
08-07-2006, 10:45 PM
Scag,I agree that hours are every thing, everybody can learn something from everybody, most of us pick up tricks watching somebody else.And 30 years from now you will provably be running state highway projects! How much for the rake,was looking for one the tractor 3 point,but can rent a skid now and then.

minimax

Scag48
08-07-2006, 10:46 PM
Well, I don't think my attitude is wrong ALL the time, I was just way pizzed off the other night, I kinda lost it. It's okay to flip out every once in a while, right? The guy I'm working with flipped out on me today, then realized it was his mistake. Forgive and forget I guess, we got along the rest of the day, got some work done and I had a good day, minus being covered in a couple gallons of hydr. fluid, the thumb couplers on the 312 took a dump and wouldn't connect, then got hung up and I took some fluid to the face. See, new equipment screws up too, had a new breaker blow o-rings on Saturday but that great Cat service provided us with rings to get rolling again, gotta love it.

Minimax, I don't know what the old man is going to ask for the rake, and personally I really don't know what it's worth. We paid $7700 for it new, it's 3 years old but it's in great shape. We used it alot when we bought it, I'd say we put about 125 hours on it in about a years time, but lately it's just not seeing use so we might as well part ways with it, just filling up space. Maybe $5K is a starting point? Take into account this thing is mint, there isn't a single thing wrong with it and it works awesome for what it does, but like I say it just doesn't get used all that much anymore.

Dirty Water
08-07-2006, 10:47 PM
Scag, take some time to re-read some of these threads:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=142354
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=142983
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=146212

murray83
08-07-2006, 10:48 PM
i'd have to see your market to understand but,if mini work is a no go money wise and the larger stuff dieing out how about a good old fashion backhoe?

my goal is to do small jobs part time...excavate for additions and install septics,water/sewer lines,french drains etc and the backhoe came in mind for everything,and its much like your issue you have work set up yet to many machines i know from past posts you hate the backhoe but could it work?

its just one machine and it'll replace the 4 you have now and do the same job not as good mind u but its an option...just a thought.

coney12
08-07-2006, 10:49 PM
nobody's judging you but i just proved my point! I got a reaction out of you . by your response you have exhibited immaturity
on your behalf :walking:

minimax
08-07-2006, 10:50 PM
Scag,I agree that hours are every thing,

I met to say hours are not every thing.

Scag48
08-07-2006, 11:11 PM
You know, I've actually thought about going the backhoe route. I mean you could do a basement with it, loads a dump truck, pulls a trench pretty well, fairly cheap, $40K buys one hell of a backhoe, and I could get a tandem axle dump to pull it, Internationals with a DT466 are $15K for NICE ones. I might look into that a little more, it could at least get me going. Yeah, I really don't like backhoes that much compared to an excavator, but whatever gets it done. The guy I'm working with is selling his Case 580, I think it's newer, maybe like a '97 or so, might have to look into it. Only problem out here is that we're on steep terrain on a daily basis and backhoes don't hold well to hills compared to a tracked machine, but it's definately a possibility. Only bummer is that orchard pulling is big $$$$ and you need at least a 120 for that, we bid about $600 an acre on average and you can do an acre in 2 hours if you stop and have lunch halfway through, it's good hourly pay for a 120. Walks the undercarriage right off the machines but nothing better than getting a 20 acre plot, get it done in about 4-5 days and bill out $12,000, not a bad way to go.

Gravel Rat
08-07-2006, 11:43 PM
I don't know who this Coney person is but I think he or she better leave before he gets booted out :laugh:

A rubber tired hoe isn't a easy machine to run it takes years of experience to operate efficiently. The contractor I worked for was getting me on the backhoe. I spent more time in the backhow than any other employee in the company. They are really limited for areas on the Pacific Northwest area because the terrian is a little steep.

There has to be a market for a mini even if you went to a 10,000-12,000lb machine. A 120 sized machine has no market here but if you own a 160 sized machine then your doing land clearing or road building etc.

thepawnshop
08-08-2006, 06:11 AM
Give the martian a break...though his opinion differs from many on this thread, down the road he may have some helpful advice. Gravel, you most of all should appreciate that, considering some of the flak you have gotten for your posts, buddy!

Speak your mind, Coney. As they say, everyone has opinions and *********...just some stink more than others.

Welcome to the site, man.

murray83
08-08-2006, 09:41 AM
hmmm $12,000 for 4/5 days work too bad if it was in distance you could rent a 120 size machine another post you were saying you rented one with a breaker for $1000 a day.pick up that work and your still making money even if you rent the machine.

too bad you couldn't use the backhoe more often since you could drive it around town to your jobs again i know you dislike roading it but it might save you getting your cdl as you call it,insurance on the truck & trailer plus the fact dump trucks are such money pits.

if push comes to shove the 5 ton excavator is a great machine you could do quite a bit of work with it.pair it up with a thumb,24 inch digging bucket and a ditching bucket your set.

Construct'O
08-08-2006, 12:44 PM
I'm having different thoughts like everyone ,but this is what i did thirty plus years ago.

I went the "Rent to Own" thing like ksss talked about.I had worked on road construction 6 years and wanted to be close to home and my family.Note i said family!!!!

I tried bank and used maching no luck no credit or collitral on anything.One day on job i was talking to Cat saleman and told him i wanted to run a dozer.He said that Cat at the time had a rent to own program.We talked for several months.Then it happened!

Guess what ?????? The saleman said he would loan me the first month rent if i thought i would like to try it.That's how it started ! This was a new D6C dozer and i got my first job from a friend that i grew up with that farmed .I got started building terraces and never looked back.

Big payments and all,i paid the saleman back in 2 months plus made the payment and lived on very little,but got'er done.Worked daylight to dark and never even stopped for lunch for a lot of years.My customers(a lot of them the same ones for my entire busniess) kid me today about stopping now for lunch.I tell them after 30 years i think i earned time to stop and eat a meal.

So be it your dad willing to help or a salemen!!!!!! we all need a little help once in awhile.I said help not a give me program.Sounds like that is all you need a little help too me.I'm sure you can do anything you want ,you just need a little help to get it off the ground,and up and going.I have no daint that you can do it on your own!!!!!!!!

Take care and good luck ! what ever you decide.

AWJ Services
08-08-2006, 02:27 PM
hmmm $12,000 for 4/5 days work

You can rent a 15 ton excavator for less than 3000 dollars a month delivered and picked up.

About 1900 for a week.

Make 12/k $ in 5 days ?

If the jobs are still there then there really is no excuse for not taking them.

murray83
08-08-2006, 03:07 PM
in all honesty trying to get into residential services and new home excavation at this period of time is a bad idea.

my area like most,new construction is drying up and those nice new homes are going to be foreclosed on and repo'd very shortly,not to mention the contractors working on them are mostly going to be taken to the cleaners.

once it happens anything bigger than a 120 is going to be sitting in the yard collecting dust and dealer payments,no one is going to afford a new house if whats predicted happens which seems very close so your local markets will have plenty of contractors and very little work so at this time new construction is a big jump even in the current "hot" markets its gonna die off soon.

that said a septic system always will fail and need repairs and a water line will always break good economy or not,so buy the machine best suited for these jobs.thats why i threw out the backhoe idea.unlike the backhoe which you can drive to your job you have to float the excavator so you need a truck and float and anyone with an idea of the excavation business can tell you about trucking,Gravel Rat can tell you that.if Scag had contacts he could have a guy haul material for him and let him take the loss in the wallet while Scag saves on insurance,extra fuel and tires.

the key to all his answers is to find the machine best suited to his needs and he posted that small jobs aren't big money makers and with housing cooling off staying small but busy seems to be the less risky direction

thepawnshop
08-08-2006, 07:11 PM
You can rent a 15 ton excavator for less than 3000 dollars a month delivered and picked up.

About 1900 for a week.



Up here it set me back $3,900 for 4 weeks of a 120 size machine. A 15 ton machine is 5k a month. Different areas, different rent amounts I guess.

AWJ Services
08-08-2006, 11:50 PM
Up here it set me back $3,900 for 4 weeks of a 120 size machine. A 15 ton machine is 5k a month. Different areas, different rent amounts I guess.

Atlanta is really booming in regards too construction.Almost every machine I see has some sort of sticker that associates it with a rental store.

But the fact remains if you can make 12 grand in 4 days renting is a pliable solution.

Gravel Rat
08-09-2006, 12:02 AM
The other option lease a machine alot of the contractors do that here its another option.

ksss
08-09-2006, 12:07 AM
I think Scag with a little bigger excavator you could make good money. Ideally you could use a bigger skid steer but you could probably get by with what you have. You mention that there isn't enough work for it. If I may suggest your overpriced. You have mentioned $90.00 an hour before as your price. My response has always been if you can get it then good for you. It appears you may not be able to get it. My 12K machine goes for $75.00 an hour. It is decent money and I have more work than I can do. I will tell you how I have gotten to the point I am at now which is certainly not Nirvana but I make a good living.

Grab a pillow, I started in 1995 with a used CASE 1840, rock rake and scrap bucket. I did what I knew how to do. I did a lot of landscaping and rock raking. I added a backhoe attachment and other skid steer attachments as I could afford them. I then got a used mini ex and added a second skid steer. I started getting more into excavation and large scale landscaping and demolition. I bought a larger excavator. I have added equipment as my knowledge has increased. During the last twelve years, we have worked on everything from small back yards to Super Walmarts. The moral of this story is this: If your area is expanding as you say you can make money with what you have. Believe me. Don't even look at a bigger excavator unless your going to rent it for a specific job and don't take on work that you are not capable of doing and doing well. Case in point, I have been getting bid solicitations from 4 of the major large commerical contractors in the State for large commercial work. I don't have an experienced enough work force to successfully take on some of these large commercial jobs. Rather than take on this work I'll let it go and when I have got my guys enough experience, I will take on the large scale commercial stuff. I would rather save my reputation than take on something I am not ready to. Remember all I have are two skid steers and 12K excavator. I have estimators asking me to do entire commerical footprints. OK, put the pillow back where you found it.

Let go of the need to have everything now. If your good at what you do it will come. Take on what you know and be very good at it. Take on more as your knowledge base increased. My hell you are in your early twenties. You have plenty of time to get the big iron if that is what you want, but you can make money with what you have now and learn something along the way. I came from an Ag backround. I knew nothing about excavation or landscaping. I became a sponge. I asked a lot of questions and learned as I went.

Dirty Water
08-09-2006, 12:10 AM
The other option lease a machine alot of the contractors do that here its another option.

I think we all should be encouraging Scag on ways to make money with what he has and not sink him into a lease, or debt of any kind.

There are a handfull of guys out here with 12k mini's staying very very busy.

Scag48
08-09-2006, 12:32 AM
KSSS, thanks for the advice man. Our skid goes for about $75.00 an hour, and we get it, if there's work for it. I'd replace a backhoe with it, it won't move material as fast but it gets it done. Problem is, the only time guys ever bring backhoes in around here is if you're doing a basement or something like that need to assist an excavator, backhoes just really don't fit a niche anymore. I might do some fishing around, I've got a lot of seat time to do in the next couple of days and that's time to think. The old man is in pondering mode at the moment, he's really trying to keep the 312 if he can because we'll take a slaughtering if we sell it, but like I said before there's an iron shortage out here, not much available in the way of used machines, let alone new machines with only a couple hundred hours and well under new price.

Actually I was working today, having a good time, it was a 13 hour day and the telephone company screwed up the locate and we tagged a 6 pair line that we believe is abondoned since the pedestal only houses (2) 25 pair lines. Nonetheless I spent today just trying to figure things out. If my dad says he doesn't want to get in big right now, whatever I'll go run sticks for someone else or find another way. I've actually been trying to get some advice from the guy I've spent about 4 days working with. I've known him for a while, but never really got to work with him and I've been having some pretty good times just doing what I do best with a guy that does it better than me, I've been learning alot. I'm still pondering, trying to figure out where to go from here.

Gravel Rat
08-09-2006, 01:57 AM
I wasn't suggesting Scag go out and lease a machine its just a option if him and his dad lands a job they need a bigger machine.

Scag's area must be like mine you rarely see a rubber tired hoe used on a site its the same with a skid steer. Material is thrown into a dump truck if its dug out of basement or its thrown to the side.

A 10,000-12,000lb machine can do alot of work they do get around 75-90 per hour. The 6000lb machines are too small plus the fact homeowners can rent them and figure they can do the job cheaper themselves which isn't the case.

The 10-12,000lb mini's usually do the heavier landscaping jobs,digging power pole holes,digging foundations,septic systems.

ksss
08-09-2006, 02:23 AM
Going from a 7500 pound machine to a 12,500 pound machine made more difference than I thought it would. It actually expanded my work year and allowed me to take on much bigger projects. Much bigger projects. They cost about 15K more than does the 7K class but the return more than justifies it. Had I known then what I know now I would have gotten an enclosed cab. Lesson learned. Bigger may not be better for everyone but it was a good decision for me.

badranman
08-14-2006, 06:32 PM
What sort of work did you expand into ksss? I have 2 430's (4 ton) and am always questioning whether to go with bigger machines. We get an awful lot of work now because of the small size. Alot of places just can't fit a bigger machine and they need a small one.

ksss
08-14-2006, 09:08 PM
The first thing I noticed was it was no longer a PITA to dig water lines. The added reach and increased power has made it much easier. We have taken on much larger demo jobs. Sewer tie ins are much easier. Loading trucks is much easier. We dig foundations with this machine (usually not full depth). However, we do dig a lot of full depth additions. Every thing I did with the 7500 pound machine is faster and more productive with this larger machine. I have only had to rent a smaller machine once since the Spring of 04. My IHI was 5' across and this machine is 6.5 with zero tail/zero swing. It is really a wash. The only downside is it takes more to more it around. Heavy trailer and a good size tow rig. Where you have to machines the same size maybe try moving one machine up to the 10-12K range and see what happens.

qps
08-14-2006, 09:12 PM
Going from a 7500 pound machine to a 12,500 pound machine made more difference than I thought it would. It actually expanded my work year and allowed me to take on much bigger projects. Much bigger projects. They cost about 15K more than does the 7K class but the return more than justifies it. Had I known then what I know now I would have gotten an enclosed cab. Lesson learned. Bigger may not be better for everyone but it was a good decision for me.

Why the enclosed cab???:waving:

Scag48
08-14-2006, 09:21 PM
You guys poke way too much fun at each other...it's hilarious!

qps
08-14-2006, 09:24 PM
Why the enclosed cab???:waving:

Hey Ksss, you got a birthday coming up...how old??:weightlifter: