View Full Version : A little update

08-12-2006, 07:30 PM
Well guys, it's been about a week. Done quite a bit of thinking, talking to local guys that I've known and respected the majority of my life for the better part of a week. We have someone who might be interested in our 277, not a set deal yet but it sounds promising we'll sell it. The F450 is basically sold as well for only a couple thousand less than we paid for it, didn't take too much of a loss. Got a full price offer on a piece of property that my dad owns that we use to dump all our spoil on, which is going to be a huge bummer because now I have to find somewhere else to get rid of spoils. A big developer out of Seattle wants our 312, my dad is going to give him a call and see if they want an operator for it as well. If so, I might be going back over to Seattle and run the machine, but who knows. With the sale of the property, we have some breathing room now. I talked to a guy this week that has been in the construction business in this area for 30 years, he says I should stick it out and go for it. He says there's plenty of work, we just need to get our name out and we'll be fine. To this day, our recent start in the excavation business (and lack of truck and trailer) are the only 2 things holding us back, we've been busy for 4 months but it's starting to slow down, August is always this way for us. I'm confident we can make it work, even with the 312 payments, we figured a couple days ago that we could keep the 312, but if this guy offers us enough we'll probably sell it.

I've spent the last week working with a good friend of mine, I feel even more confident about my skills now. He spent time showing me some tricks and I've definately learned skills that I'll have forever. Been a tough, but good week, spent a couple 14 hour days in the field, I think we'll end up with about $7-8K in a week's worth of work.

So that leaves my old man a couple options.

1. Buy a lunker 120, truck, and trailer with about half the cash made from the property sale, or even get a loan and use some of the sale for a down payment. I vote heavily on this option, I think we can make it work without a doubt, not having a truck and trailer is the only thing within our control that has been holding us back, relying on somebody us to move our machine and such.

2. Push the developer to buy the 312 and send me back to Seattle to operate it, which would probably be an excellent opportunity for me.

3. Make me go to work for someone else in Chelan, which is a little tough this time of year because in 3 months nobody will be working and I doubt I'd get hired this late in the year.

Just thought I'd let everyone know what's going on. One way or another, everything will work out fine, just a matter of which direction to go.

08-12-2006, 09:16 PM
With everything sold couldn't you go get a like 2000-2003 312 and a 1996-2000 tandem dump and trailer? It would probobly be about $180K TOPS. With all the equipment sold and some land you should easily afford $180K. You probobly have brought in $300K+/- will everything gone.

02 312 CAT 2200hr.s- $85K
00 357 Peterbilt tria-axle dump, 170K miles- $65K
05 Eager Beaver 25 ton- $20k

Or older and get it for under $120K

08-12-2006, 09:32 PM
Well, all I NEED is about $80K if my old man wanted to go that route, and that's even a little high. For $80K, just about the bare minimum, I could get a truck, trailer, and older 120. That's the point I made to my dad, for what he spent on the 312 alone, we could have had one hell of a truck, a new trailer, and a pretty decent used 120, not even counting what he spent on the 277.

08-12-2006, 09:41 PM
sounds like your doing fine,though whats up with the 303 and the 216? they on the chopping block too?

-keep your 2500 gmc and find a transfer tank for the bed.
-find a 120 sized excavator hitachi,cat,deere or kobelco but older say pre 2000 get it cheap charge the same rate as your 312 and you just made quick cash.
-20 ton tag along,a 25 ton is a bit big for your needs honestly
-and a simple older tandem

with that set up you'll be fine but keep your overhead as low as you can,just cuz its not pretty doesn't mean it can't do the job.

08-12-2006, 09:46 PM
216 and 303 we're keeping, gotta have a mini ex around for tight footings (dug some today, actually). That's the plan, take the 100 gallon transfer off the F450 and put it on the GMC. Actually, all we really need right now is a truck and trailer, we're handling the 312 payments fairly easy, but if we can sell it for what we want and get an older used machine and lower our overhead, that wouldn't be too bad.

My only real concern about letting the 312 go is that there isn't much iron for sale out here. If I sell it and don't find something for the right price, right size, whatever, I'm really going to be in trouble, then I'm stuck without equipment.

08-12-2006, 10:10 PM
i wouldn't worry too much.

guy who's buying half my uncle's fleet (the guy's from alberta) told him they can't find gear decent enough to run out west and came here to buy,they're putting it on a train next week 30 some pieces.

btw,whats up on the 350? it on the chopping block too?

can u haul your 303 and 216 with your gmc?

08-12-2006, 10:22 PM
No, dad's keeping his 350. I can haul the 216 and 303 with my GMC, but it gets a little heavy with the 303 and a couple buckets. Hopefully I'll have a dump truck soon and I won't have to worry about it, I could get both machines on 1 trailer.

Been doing some truck shopping, quite a bit of stuff in Oregon, but I can get a NICE mid 80's Kenworth W900 with Cummins 400, 13 speed + OD, Hendrickson suspension, and a decent box for about $30K.

08-12-2006, 10:26 PM
Hey Scag, you just made me think of some thing.Pape in Mt vernon has a international tractor and 32 ton tilt deck gooseneck trailer consigned around $30k ( if I remember right ) guy hauled a 160 on it. Not a dump but will move that machine without looking for a ride.My friend who has a dump says dump truck'in is like flipping hamburgers!!!!Just a thought.

08-12-2006, 10:34 PM
dump trucks can make or break you.

most guys i know are going with hiring an independant so the trucker can show a loss and not them,with the cost of fuel and insurance the little bit of money your paid gets eaten up pretty quick.

08-12-2006, 10:49 PM
Hauling for hire is really risky, especially with fuel prices the way they are. Now, having a dump truck that you own on your site while you're running an excavator to load it you can average the hourly charge for both all day long. Now that's the only way it works around here, you'd go broke trying to haul for others alone.

Gravel Rat
08-13-2006, 12:52 AM
If you are able to do your own repairs on the truck it isn't too bad but if you need to sub out your repairs on the truck it will kill you. If you are in the excavating business you do need a dump truck. If you have to rely on a other contractor to haul you material you may end up loosing jobs.

A single axle 5 ton dump isn't good enough you can't haul enough material if your doing a decent sized job and you need to haul away or haul in you can't be hauling away 6 yards at a time.

I still can't figure out why you guys want a 120 sized machine a 160 sized machine will get you more work. If your going with a tandem axle dump get a tandem axle tilt trailer to move the machine. Most equipment dealers can't give away a fullsize excavator smaller than a EX150 Hitachi.

08-13-2006, 04:25 AM
Because most jobs we're on a 12 ton handles it perfectly. There's 1 guy around here that has a 200, 1 out of like 25 guys, 4 guys have 160's, but they have 120's as well, and the rest of us run 120's, minis, and most have backhoes as well.

Right now I honestly don't know what my old man is gonna do, if he sells the 312 then I'm out of a job and I'll have to pound pavement during the most difficult time of year to find work. I guess I wouldn't mind running a shovel in a trench for a while, I know I won't be happy with it, but whatever it takes to learn I guess I gotta do it. Then it's back to school in January for sure.

08-13-2006, 10:05 AM
i can see your point on spoil removal but if you go that way,i wouldn't spend anything over 25 grand on a dump truck. for what its gonna cost you to run it as opposed to what you'll charge for it on your job its going to be close.

08-14-2006, 08:19 PM
Looks like we'll be throwing in the towel, got a very interested buyer for the 312, just need to hammer out a price and she's gone. Not sure if I'll go to work for this guy or not, haven't had a chance to chat with him about it, but I think it would be a good opportunity. I realized over the last couple days that even though I know I can make things work, even if I figure out most everything I need to know to run the business sucessfully, people just won't take me seriously. I went to look at a real small, one day job placing rock around a swimming pool for a pool contractor. I get out there and 5 minutes into chatting he's telling me that if I start showboating and drop a rock into the pool he'll fire my a$$. Now I don't know this guy all that well, but I would hope he wouldn't say that to a seasoned veteran. Needless to say, I think I'm too young to be taken seriously. As much as I want to give it hell and go for it, I think I'd just be spinning my wheels at this point. I have the utmost confidence in my abilities, but if nobody else does, the phone doesn't ring. I think I just need to finish school then come back into the picture when all the veterans in town have hung it up. Even if we're making money, I don't mind the hard work, but I've been stressed out for the last week and it's not the way I want to live when I'm 20 years old. With that said, we made a hell of a run, but part of running a business is knowing when to let go of it. Thanks for all the advice guys!

Oh yeah, I'm not quitting the entreprenuerial spirit, going to start a photography business in Seattle. Something I've wanted to do for a while and I have the funds to do so, my down payment for the house I was planning on buying is going to be reimbursed to me for a nice sum of about $8,000, so that'll get a few quarters of school paid for, another camera and some start up costs taken care of.

08-14-2006, 09:04 PM
don't give up man,you still have a skid steer and mini that needs an operator.

its too bad you can't keep busy like full out on mini work around your area doing anything someone can't do with a larger machine and too lazy to do with a shovel.

septic repairs,trenching for plumbers,smaller excavations for pools and additions,foundation drainage issues and waterproofing...anything and keep busy the 303 is a nice machine i don't see why more people aren't useing you maybe your not advertising in the right places?,rates too high? i can't figure it out.maybe its just a crappy market.

08-14-2006, 09:07 PM
The mini market out here sucks, you have to have a mini to assist a 12 ton excavator, but you just can't make a business out of them, otherwise we wouldn't even bother running the larger iron. I'd rather stay with smaller jobs, smaller trucks, and smaller equipment, but there's zero money in it out here. Most of the excavation guys here have 120's and then they have a mini as well, so it's not like we could offer our compact equipment service to them.

As I mentioned once before, we've had our 303 for a little over a year and half, and the 216 since '03 and we've never done more than about $10,000 a year in compact equipment work outside our landscape installs, there just isn't a market for them.

Gravel Rat
08-15-2006, 01:08 AM
I'am surprised you don't have any market for mini excavator or skid steer work. In my area there are jobs that you just can't do by hand. Like I meantioned a few times the contractors with the 10,000-12,000lb machines are busy they work everyday almost. The one contractor I worked for his 12,000 mini almost paid for itself in a year which was a brandnew machine.