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ksss
10-29-2006, 05:34 PM
Having jumped deep into the large scale residential excavation market, I must make several observations that I have noted.

1. Buy it and they will come. I have had this excavator for a month or so and I have enough holes to dig to take me well into Dec. already. Very few guys even know that I have it yet. I think that I will be as busy as I want to be atleast it appears so. My payment on the machine is $400.00 a month so atleast I wont have a gun to my head if it doesn't move.

2. Its a tight and competetive market, making money relies on being effiecient. I know other aspects of excavation inside and out and have doing them for almost a decade and a half now, I know the drill in my sleep. This market has a learning curve from bidding to digging and there are certainly things to be aware of and things to avoid. I don't know all of them yet but I am learning. Elevations on the depth of the dig. They are critical and I try to have the GC make such decisions if not being apart of the process to establish wall height. However it doesn't always work that way. No problems yet but it makes me nervous. I am not as proficient with this big machine as I am with the TK. Before on the few holes we would dig a year I would get through it even though I wasn't as fast. I now am spending more days in the 9020 than anything else with more holes piling on the schedule. My ability to do a good clean job, and do it fast is forcing a learning curve that feels very near vertical right now. I am getting the jobs based on our reputation in other aspects of excavation. Guys are familiar with our tight tolerances and clean work and were happy to see us enter this market. That creates stress for me. I think the term is "performance anxiety".

I can see how this market leads into needing more equipment. I have been able to keep up with onsite dirt moving with the 95XT and the 83" bucket. It moves about a yard at a time which is about the same rate as I dig it out. We dug a foundation for a 6K sf basement (the hole is easily 9K plus) and 7-8 feet in the ground I had to rent a 621 wheel loader and could have easily moved up to a 721. However for the what seems to be the normal 2-3K basement the 95XT can keep up as long as I don't have to move everything I dig with the 95XT. A wheel loader seems like a necessity if the work continues. I can also see a better dump truck on the skyline.

ON THE EXCAVATOR:
I must say that I got a lot more machine for the money than I thought I would get. It is very tight and precise. A little slower than I would have hoped but not bad. I had to get the HVAC system looked at the other day as the heat did not work when I bought it. It is getting cold here. That wasn't a big deal couple hours and they had it working. It obviously hadn't worked in some time as it looked like "Pig Pen" from the peanuts was running the machine when they got the blowers working. The bucket is smaller for a machine this size (about 38"). I think if I can get a thousand or so hours on it (basicly get on my feet in this gig) without having to spend a great deal more money I will be happy.

Outside of my comfort zone? Absolutely!

I must admit when I am not stressing out, I do feel more invigorated by the challenge.:dizzy:

DBL
10-29-2006, 05:42 PM
glad to hear you being sucessful and i hope youre having fun

btw what are you hauling it around with...contracting someone to do it?

ksss
10-29-2006, 05:50 PM
I bought a 25 ton tag trailer to haul it behind my dump truck. Problem is I have not had time to get the dump truck plumbed for air to the trailer yet. So I have been contracting to get it moved. PINTA. As far as successful ,that remains to be seen. After a couple of months, I will know what I am spending vs making and we'll see what changes need to be made. If nothing else it should give me something to do all winter and keep one guy from going on unemployment. Plus the big thing, give me work immediately in the Spring. Early Spring has to be the worst time of the year here. If this machine can take some of that away, it will have been worth the price of admission.

Digdug
10-29-2006, 08:33 PM
ksss- I have a 9020 also. Just wanted to say to you that i have never had to have a loader around to remove the dirt from foundation holes. We usually take the fill and spread it around the house to gain height and for concrete trucks to back up to hole. Then when backfilling if the material is good you can use some of it for backfill. When there is alot of excess fill in the hole that cant be stockpiled within reach of the excavator or graded around the hole we would load it into trucks for removal. Just wanted to tell you how we do it before you went and made a loader purchase and found you really didnt need one yet . I see you are a Case fan. I am also , and have owned alot of Case machines. Good luck , doug

bobcat9957
10-29-2006, 09:00 PM
I would have to agree with digdug on the loader. If you are not doing any big projects like roads etc. you can usually get by without having a loader. I think you would be better off with a small dozer for backfilling, cleanup, spreading loam, etc. But whatever you decide good luck.

Construct'O
10-29-2006, 09:13 PM
Welcome to the world of stress and performance anexity !!!!!!!!!! not that i'm sure it wasn't already there,but like you say "comfort zone!"

As you get more jobs and a time schedule the anexity level will go even high! but also with more experience on your machine and what it will do and not do will help.

I had to grin when i heard you say those words " I need " after 31 years in the dirt moving business ,i still say it also.I need! I need !!!!!!! There will always be something you need.

Unless you just have to be 7 or 8 feet in the ground for a reason, try digging 6 ft in the ground and using the extra dirt to backfill up around the basement walls and to spread around to landscape the yard with.

I realize every hole has a different lay of the ground or maybe close area between two house and no place to waste the dirt on the job. I'm sure you have already thought of that ,but if not,something to think about.

With your size machine i would think it would be nice to have a wider bucket ,not so much more for yardage ,but more surface graded with each pass.Fewer passes less time finishing to grade.At one time i had 225 ex with 72 inch bucket.

So are you using you skid on the floors of your holes to do the finish grading and clean up the loose dirt???????

Good Luck ! and just remember those two words.I need! I need! It is on going as long as your working in the dirt!

ksss
10-29-2006, 10:17 PM
On grading the floor. I have been ramping down in and grading with a skid steer or mini ex with a 50" clean out bucket. It would be much easier to grade with a larger bucket not to mention move more material. This machine came out of the highlands and the digging is much more difficult up there, hence the smaller bucket.

As far as the depth I don't have much to say about that. The reason I was 7-8 feet in the ground was the walls are 10' in height. The elevations are what they are, either set by the neighboring houses or the height of the road. The ten footers are rare most are nine. I have been laying the pit run around the perimeter of the hole and separating the topsoil. The topsoil is usually what I end up moving with the 95XT. What I don't like is coming into this time of year, the material gets driven on around the hole by the concrete guys and the cement trucks and then it freezes and is a pain to pull up to back fill with.

I know there is never an end to what a guy "needs" or thinks he does. I am done buying anything for a while and certainly not a wheel loader. I can see the value in one if things continue more so for backfilling and loading material than for use when digging (the monster holes being the exception) I want to see this thing pay and go on from there. My goal is to bring the precision that we use to complete our other jobs (concrete grades/grading and smaller excavation jobs) into this market. I think that will bring more work. Most guys don't spend that kind of time. I just need to get my skill level up to where I don't have to spend as much time making things look the way I want them to. Contruct'o your right more time on the machine, learning its abilities will help a bunch. Prior to this machine I was renting a CASE 225 from a neighbor. He had a huge bucket on it and of course the machine is about a third larger. It was not only larger but faster so I am now learning this ins and outs of this 160. It will take more hours behind the sticks. I appreciate everyone response and assistance.

minimax
10-29-2006, 10:23 PM
Rember wide buckets are great uhon till the digging gets tough, most guys here are running 36" dig buckets and 5' cleanouts on 160's and 42"digs and 6' cleanouts on 200's.I would keep the 38" dig and buy a 5' cleanout and QC and you will be set,PS a thumb would help:rolleyes:

minimax

Dig Doug
10-29-2006, 10:46 PM
Do you have any pictures of your equipment or work? Glad to see your sharing your experiences with everyone so everyone can learn what you have encountered so far. Good luck & keep up the hard work.

RockSet N' Grade
10-30-2006, 12:12 AM
KSSS...I know we have talked about this, and your soil condition may not be conducive to this......in our area, from the valley floor here to the mtn.'s by the ski resorts, 90% of the machines that are digging holes are set up with a razor ( butter blade or straight edge ) to do the work.
I talked to one of the excavating contractors that I work for who specializes in sub-division holes ( I set all his rock retaining and porch wraps ). He is running 19 guys full time, 5 track hoes, skids and dump trucks and he only occasionally rents a loader. Uses most of the material for backfill or loads it directly into one of his trucks and carts it away. One of the "keys" he shared with me is what to do with the extra dirt.....he tries to find a home for it before the job starts, trys to sell it, trys to get the developer to pay 1/2 the trucking cost......anything so he does not have to stack the excess and move it twice. Another thing, he has the developer/owner sign a foundation height verification letter stating the finish depth from t.o.c. so there are no miscommunications ( or convenient memories ).

Scag48
10-30-2006, 02:58 AM
We had a 24" trenching bucket for our 312, the standard 36" GP, and a 60" cleanup that was too big and if we would have kept the machine I would have downsized to a 48". 160's-200's can run 42" GP's easily and 60" cleanups given average conditions.

Have you thought about getting a hoepac? They're great for backfilling behind walls and around footers but you won't hit 95% with one on the critical stuff like basement floors (for obvious reasons). It's an equipment game, it really is. If you don't have the means to compete, rentals add up really fast. I dropped $2K into hoepac rental the last month I had the 312. Now the rental was covered and I didn't lose any money, but for $5K I could have bought a used one somewhere and paid it off in a few months.

Sounds like you won't end up like us. If only my old man would have listened to me about buying a used machine vs. a new one we'd probably still be in the business. Landscaping sucks these days, don't know how much longer my dad is going to row that boat.

tylermckee
10-30-2006, 03:16 AM
Why do you need to move the material with a loader? Around here i will either throw all the material outside the hole to backfill with, or load it out as i dig it. I usually start at one side of the house and dig a ~20 foot wide swath all the way along that side throwing the material outside my hole, throwing a little bit to the other side where i will be digging next so i have some material to keep the machine nice and level. then i work walk over ~10 feet and do it again, taking another ~20-30 foot swath out, and just throw the material either outside the hole if its a small dig, or if its a big one just to where ill be digging next. Then i just sit ontop of that pile as im digging the next swath. Works great for us.

We use a 160 with a 56" CO for the easy digging, and a 42" tooth bucket for the hard stuff. For me the key to digging a perfect hole, quickly is all about keeping the machine sitting as level as possible, especially with a wide CO bucket, i dont get too worried when using the tooth bucket as its smaller and i always leave the hole a few inches high so i can come back through and scrape everything up with the CO.

Gravel Rat
10-30-2006, 03:29 AM
Any time basement is dug in this area if you can find a chunk of property you can actually get a basement the excavated material is usually piled up on one side of the hole or on either side of the whole. A pumper truck is usually brought in to place the concrete so there is no real need for the mixer truck to get close to the hole in the ground.

If you need to move material away try get a dump truck backed in close to the machine. So you can rake all the loose material back or bail the material back with the excavator it goes quick with a clean up bucket. Get the dump truck backed in and start loading it up.

Plumbing a tandem axle dump for a trailer is going to cost a little bit of money hopefully the truck already has a tractor setup in the cab. If not then you will need to have a hand valve,tractor protection valve,trailer brake valve etc.

Lots of fun trying to deal with those hard old plastic brake lines they crack and break.

ksss
10-31-2006, 10:19 PM
The problem is even though my 160 is a long boom version you can't always swing material beyond the hole. I have not been on a basement yet that was small enough that I could swing clear of the basement. Today I used the 95XT to move material away from the hole. I think I am just in a streak of large houses and normally these would not be issues. The one I finished today was 3000 plus the overdig. A wheel loader would be faster than stopping the digging to rehandle material to get it out of the way. Again I have no immediate plans for a wheel loader but I can see where one would make it much quicker.

RockSet N' Grade
10-31-2006, 11:56 PM
Shane, I have no doubt that a super tight used wheel loader at half of market value will fall into your lap sometime soon.
Now for the important question: Does that 160 have a stereo in it? And does it work? If so, I'm still willing to pack a lunch and some green jello and come test drive that bad boy for ya........

gammon landscaping
11-01-2006, 12:20 AM
why would you buy a wheel loader??? that is a truck loading tool only. if i were you i would look in to a track loader, they are the most verisital tool for all types of grading. around here that is what we use for digging basements. we use the 312 for basements only of they have rock ( we excavate around the rocks so the breaker can get at them better). i don't want to start the excavator vs loader argument, but if i was looking to complement the trac hoe i would look at a track loader. they do a great job at basements you can get a bucket full and just carry it to you stock pile and only handle it once. if you load it to a truck and sell it you won't have anything to backfill with/ or build a drivewway with. the biggest benafit with a track loader is you compact the floor of the basement as you dig, so when you get to the back you have driven over the floor houndred of times. but don't get me wrong i love running the 312 it is so much better on the operator. and the down side of any track loader is that it takes a much more talented operator to do a good job.

Dirty Water
11-01-2006, 12:26 AM
Most house pads out here are around 4' deep and are usually dug with a D6 sized dozer by itself, or with a 160 sized machine and a clean up bucket loading trucks at the same time.

Basement holes are usually done with 200 size machines. We are rocky, and you hit solid bedrock at about 10'.

tylermckee
11-01-2006, 04:39 AM
How long does it take to dig a 3,000SF basement, say 7-10' deep?
the last 2 big basements i dug were about that size, problem was i only had room to keep ~100 yards of material on site. had to haul off the other 800+. material was hard hard clay/till, had to use the tooth bucket on one then hop down and clean it up with the cleanout. both took me about 2.5 days each from laying out the footprint to loading the machine up, I'm a one man show. I cant see it being easier with any other piece of equipment. I'm usually within 1" of grade throughout the hole. The average house with just a crawlspace where i can just throw the dirt outside the hole and use to backfill later takes about half a day to a day depending on size, material, etc.

Gravel Rat
11-01-2006, 06:34 PM
For us most of the time the home owner opts out of a basement when they get the estimate for blasting :laugh:

When your digging a basement hole if you can build a ramp down into the hole to back the truck in as you work yourself backwards you dig out the ramp. If you can walk the 160 sized machine into the lot easily then a tandem axle dump will be able to back close to the hole.

On basement digs the contractor might have a rubber tired backhoe on site but skid steers or any kind of wheel loader is very very uncommon. Less equipment you have on site less cost to the home owner which makes them happier and no prone to be b*tching at you or when you send them the bill and it takes them 3 weeks to send you a check.

If your doing a basic rectangle or square hole you throw enough material on either side for backfill and out of the way for the forming crew that are going to-do the foundation. If you get in a situation where you have to walk the machine out of the hole to bail the excavated soil back that you have piled on the sides do it.

I can see a person using a skid steer to cart material way is if your working on a reno job where you are digging the basement hole with a mini excavator and you can't get a truck behind the house.

We have used a dump truck to move excavated material less than 50 feet away from the excavator. Its quicker to move 14 yards of material at a time than having a skid steer moving 1/4 of a yard at a time. While the truck is going away to dump the load the excavator operator is raking the material up with the clean up bucket ready to load the truck again.

The excavator operator can even do the whole thing himself jumping off the machine getting into the truck and dumping the load.

Depending on the complexity of the basement it should only take one machine to dig a basement and depending on the conditions and size no more than a day. If there is blasting to contend with like we deal with then that takes time your waiting for the blasting contractor.

For us depending on the slope the house is sitting on the slope might have to be benched. There are so many variables but I do know for one thing a good operator and a dump truck can do any basement hole. For us if the basement site is real bad we will have two excavators on site and a dump truck. One machine is digging the hole and bailing the material back the other machine is loading the truck. That has to be a pretty tough site.

ksss
11-01-2006, 09:42 PM
The one I was on today was about 2000 sq ft much easier and much faster. I didn't have move anything twice . I had a guy in the 440 moving what little topsoil there was and knock down the pile around the hole. I have been ramping in the hole and letting the skid steer tighten up the hole. I have been using my Apache Plus 5 on the boom of the 160 to check grade. Man that thing saves time and I have been keeping it within about an inch. Definitely much easier on the smaller holes. On the track loader. I don't think that would gain me anything over the wheeled 95XT. The issue really is bucket volume. The other problem is everything is cobble rock. It would tear the heck out of the tracks. The 3000 sq ft took a day and half with all the material staying on site. I think I should be faster than that but thats what it took. The 2K hole today I have about 80% done plus the garage footings to do and I have 5.5 hours into it. Very easy hole only one bump on the entire house. That was in contrast to the 3K hole that was nothing but bumps.

minimax
11-01-2006, 10:15 PM
I don't think there talking about a CTL/MTL but a full size track loader.

minimax

Construct'O
11-01-2006, 11:42 PM
KSSS
Sounds like your getting the hang of it,so less stress already ,amazing how a few days and new easier hole change things.The deep finder is a wonderful tool isn't it!

I know your not a Cat fan ,and i think they was talking about track loader like 953 or 963 size loaders.Do Case make a track loader like a Cat 963??????

Anyway if you had 963 track loader size be Case or other brand to morve dirt on the big holes which with the size of the big holes would make it easier.

My thought over wheel loader is that sometimes you could just dig the whole hole with the track loader verses wheel loader,to much spinning.Plus since you will have your trailer going some time soon and you could use it to haul the big track loader.Tie up more jobs that way,plus need more jobs and help ! I need! I need !

I know it's not your plans to expand yet ,but something to ponder.

Excavators are nice except when you run out of reach,if your setting on top of hole you have to finish it as you go before you move ,or then if not you have to ramp down and get into the hole to finish ,that is if your a one man and machine operation.I know you have your skid .

Here!!!!! we have to deal with mud ,so if your down 8 to 10 ft. your having to deal with mud ,so you can't ramp down and smooth things up so easy with water coming into the hole and no place for it to go.

It's pump it or have to dig trench out of it, if possible,unless it is flat for miles the it is dig hole over in the corner out side the floor area and start pumping ,that's when the reach issue comes into play,Finish as you go!!!!!See rocks aren't so bad sometimes!!!!!!!!!

Also i heard you when you was worried about the weather and fozen ground.Winters here will get over a foot of frost and ground like concrete.If you plan on trying to work all winter you might want to think about getting frost ripper tooth for you excavator.

Plus if you work when cold always finish as you go and try to get it done that day ,so you don't have to fight it the next day.

Again i'm sure you have worked enough winter and frozen ground to figure out what to do.Here when it gets a foot of frost i park the equipment and call it quits.To hard on equipment ,plus time comsuming,takes more fuel and customers don't want to pay for the extra time and i don't want to donate!!!!!!!!!!!!! O' plus you have to let the machine warm up to get then to move unless you have engine heater ,but then the hydraulic needs to warm up also. Don't you just love worrking WINTERS!!!!!!!!!!!

Gravel Rat
11-02-2006, 12:42 AM
You guys still use track loaders I thought those went out with the stone age :laugh:

They were common 20-25 years ago but now they are very rare nobody uses them a excavator (track hoe) can do 95% of the landclearing and excavating.

I think KSSS next machine purchase should be a Case 590 4x4 backhoe its a good all around machine. You can load trucks, grade driveways and do jobs that you can drive to especially if he gets into doing utility work.

AWJ Services
11-02-2006, 08:19 AM
You guys still use track loaders I thought those went out with the stone age

Here Track loaders are used probally 20 to 1 for lot clearing and basement digging.

The lots often times need the poor soil moved in large quanities around the lot and all the pads have too be down too good clean hard pan for the foundation.

The loader can do the whole job by itself were an excavator will need truck support and I am not really sure how you would bring grade up and compact the soil at the same time with an excavator.

dozerman21
11-02-2006, 08:41 AM
Around here, nobody uses track loaders for digging basements. Everything is done with excavators. They're much more efficient than the track loaders, at least for the conditions we have here. On most lots, the temp drive gets put in and the trucks back up to the excavator. Whatever dirt can't be thrown out and used for the backfill gets hauled away. Most guys use 320 Cats, or something similar.

Case doesn't make track loaders anymore, they stopped selling them around 12 years ago, I think. We have a Case 855D track loader. It's nice for odd jobs. We use it mostly for loading trucks or any small demo work. They're nice machines. They have good reach and good power. The worst thing about it is when it gets packed with mud, it gets HEAVY! You have to run in low gear, and it just seems like it takes forever to move around. Those are only in pretty wet conditions though. You could probably find a descent one for around $25,000. I would try to learn to use the excavator only though. Maybe once you get used to it better, you can learn more tricks and shortcuts to get around having to buy another machine.

AWJ Services
11-02-2006, 10:25 AM
I guess lot size has alot too do with it .

A small lot here is still over a 1/2 acre with most lots 1 + acres.
When you are contracted for lot prep you are required too clear it,remove all material,excavate for footings and or basement,backfill then rough grade.
Loaders just fit the bill.

Dirt very rarely leaves the site.

An excavator here without a dumptruck and a loader too support is pretty much only useful for pipe work.

It is very interesting how each areas of the country do things so different.

RockSet N' Grade
11-02-2006, 09:07 PM
I agree with AWJ on how interesting it is on differing styles of operation to accomplish the same task. You see loaders around here, but you have to look real hard to find one.......it's all track-hoe, skid and dump truck combos for the production hole digging. When a hoe gets done with a basement floor in this area, it is flat and clean.......butter blades ( Mormon razors ) are the standard and they seem to be on 85-90% of all machines.
We've been working right near a mini-mansion hole thats being dug and it has just been track-hoe and lots of dump trucks running the excess material out as fast as they can sling it.....
I guess the bottom line would be, maximize the equipment you have without having to add another piece of iron.....

Gravel Rat
11-02-2006, 09:18 PM
The last time a track loader has been used in construction was prolly in the early 80s. When excavators became main stream in the late 70s excavating became quicker and cleaner. I can't picture somebody trying to dig a basement with a track loader. Most residential lots are a acre the larger residential lots can be up to 21 acres.

Scag48
11-02-2006, 10:09 PM
Yeah I'm trying to picture in my mind how digging a basement with a track loader would be faster/more efficient than an excavator. I understand that it would be faster if you're not taking any material off site and you need to spread the spoils throughout the site, but physically digging the hole with the excavator is much faster. Seems to me the real way to go about doing it is to bring in both, have the excavator dig the hole and the track loader would run the spoils wherever they need to be placed.

ksss
11-02-2006, 10:29 PM
I guess I can be glad for rock rather than pumping water. That would suck. I finished said 2K sqft house today at noon which included garage footings. So about 9 hours. I kept the 440 busy keeping things neat and grading the floor. The 95XT is a better match. I think I will try and keep that machine with the 9020 if I can. I will continue to make do with the skid steer while doing these holes. It actually seems to work fairly well now that I am getting a system down. The bigger holes I will rent a loader if thats what it will take. I don't forsee digging that many of those monster holes. speaking of monster holes you should see the dirt piles. I have roughly 2500 yards to move off and backfill with. Then the entire back half of the house gets a walk out basement. That should be good for another 800-1000 yards of material. That 465 is coming at the right time as it turns out. It will get broke in on this job.

Dirty Water
11-02-2006, 10:34 PM
I guess I can be glad for rock rather than pumping water. That would suck. I finished said 2K sqft house today at noon which included garage footings. So about 9 hours. I kept the 440 busy keeping things neat and grading the floor. The 95XT is a better match. I think I will try and keep that machine with the 9020 if I can. I will continue to make do with the skid steer while doing these holes. It actually seems to work fairly well now that I am getting a system down. The bigger holes I will rent a loader if thats what it will take. I don't forsee digging that many of those monster holes. speaking of monster holes you should see the dirt piles. I have roughly 2500 yards to move off and backfill with. Then the entire back half of the house gets a walk out basement. That should be good for another 800-1000 yards of material. That 465 is coming at the right time as it turns out. It will get broke in on this job.

I've done concrete work on some jobs that had dirt piles 60 feet tall. I couldn't imagine moving that with a skid steer :)

Construct'O
11-02-2006, 11:28 PM
Scag
Most of the track loaders here are good sized with 3 1/2 to 4 yard plus being 5 to 7 ft wide buckets ,so excavator with 3/4 to 1 yard bucket has 38" wide bucket unless they have clean up bucket.Again you have to change buckets back and forth that takes time .Good loader operator can finish a floor quickly and it will be pacted when it is done.

Like on KSSS walk out basement the track loader would be very productive 3 to 4 yards a trip plus when down to grade you will be finishing grade on floor with 5 to 7 ft bucket,and with out having to back out of a ramp you could really move dirt.Thats where the loader can gain time.

Plus like you say if your needing to spread dirt on the job bets moving the dirt two to three times.

I think there is places and room for both machines,if your big time and could afford each machine they would go togather like a team,but if you didn't need one on small job either one could work independently with out the other and still be productive.

Here mud is a problem so the excavator is very productive also,you don't have to wallow around getting in and out of the hole with 3 1/2 to 4 yard bucket load of dirt.Like all places there is lots of dry time also.

This summer i dug pits for hog comfinement that was over a 100 ft wide and 400 ft long and the cut was from 8 ft to over 14 ft deep on parts of it.We used dozers and scrapers,also big 4 wheel drive tractors and scrapers since we had to waste the dirt and it was over 500 ft haul to waste the dirt.We had mud so trucking isn't always the answer.

If you used excavator and truck to haul you still have to have dozer or something to spread the mud because truck don't cut it unless there 6 wheel drive and end dumps ,but again you still need some thing to spread the dirt or mud.

So that old stone age dozer and scraper (at least the scraper was hydraulic and not cable,so wasn't completely stone aged)looked pretty good dumping that mud down hill.Plus we got 7 inches of rain and we were almost down to grade and had to pump the hole then get in there and clean the mud out.So wasn't a fun job!!!!!!

Loaders and dozers might be stone age machine too some people,but they can still move a lot of dirt especially if you have to move any distances.

Gravel Rat
11-03-2006, 12:55 AM
The ground must be awfully soft in your guys area if your using a track loader to dig a hole. One place I was digging with a excavator the dirt was so hard the bucket slided over top causing smoke from the friction.

Then you get the never knows when digging the hole like you start digging and you encounter a 2000-4000lb boulder. Or your digging a basement and you run into a huge rock ledge.

Then with a trackloader your tearing up the site running a tracked machine turning etc. A excavator you can lift and swivel the machine and usually excavators have wide pads so your not gouging the ground that bad.

tylermckee
11-03-2006, 02:38 AM
When im digging with an excavator i can move about ~1.5 yards every what, 10-15 seconds, as long as i dont have to move it too far i dont see how a track loader is going to be any faster, and it certianly cant be any cleaner. When im done with a hole using an excavator im left with a nice smooth, clean floor, perfect undisturbed virgin ground right at the grade i want. I dont see how you can get that running over the floor with a trackloader a couple hundred times.

Scag48
11-03-2006, 03:23 AM
Yeah I'm still failing to see how a track loader, even taking 3-4 yards per trip, is faster than an excavator. At first when you're up on the top things are quick, but once you have to trek down a ramp to get into the bottom it could take you a couple minutes to move 4 yards of material out of the hole. Sorry guys, I just don't see how a trackloader would beat an excavator in productivity. I can understand how you'd choose a trackloader if you had to have one machine and you never load trucks and material stays on site, but there's no way you can move more material faster than an excavator, just no way. As I said, a trackloader would be a great compliment piece to an excavator for moving material around the site. I'm sure with 2 guys you could do a 3,000 sqf. basement in 1/2 a day.

AWJ Services
11-03-2006, 09:35 AM
Then you get the never knows when digging the hole like you start digging and you encounter a 2000-4000lb boulder.

I thought we were talking about excavating not a mining operation.:)


There are alot of solo operators here that clear lots.
Take that one person with no outside assistance and a excavator and it will be a logistics nightmare too prep a lot with an excavator.

I think everyone here will agree that an excavator will dig a hole faster than a loader but KSSS is not digging a hole he is prepping a building lot.

A good loader operator can rough in about 1 basement lots a day not counting travel time from job too job with a loader.
That is rough grading and padding the lot for concrete.
It will take about 1500 to 3000 bucks too get too this stage.If it is heavily wooded then add extra money.

After the concrete is poured then he has too backfill and finish the rough grade too the house.
Another 1000 and a day at the most.

This is all a one man job.
No trucks and no one else there too help.

A dump truck is only used too haul off debris.

Of course we do not have alot of rock here like you guys up north do.

There are always exceptions for sure even here.

nac
11-03-2006, 07:36 PM
Well I also have to say an excavator schould be faster. I can can clear a lot with an excavator push over trees pull stumps, dig out the basement, load trucks, rough grade, put utilities in, break rock (Hammer), backfill prep stone base for pads. All you need is a good laborer and a laser. I dig many basements out with my 160 (36" Bucket) only no clean up blade and when I am done I am with in 1/4" inch that what the laser and labor are for. I have excavated 1,700 Cy of fill and loaded in one day as long as the truck can keep up. The only time i bring a loader or dozer in is if i have to stock pile in a tight area and don't want to move the machine 3 or 4 times or if i am working by the day and the contractor wants to stockpile all the fill and only truck it out when we are done backfilling.

Gravel Rat
11-03-2006, 08:48 PM
If you need a all around machine on a site a rubber tired backhoe would be it because it has a 1 yard bucket its can load trucks you can dig and it doesn't tear up the ground. The biggest plus you don't need a trailer to move it so when your working on a site haul the excavator on the trailer and a employee runs the backhoe to the the job.

As for mining you should see what has to be done to get a building site on our lots in the area. Some jobs require blasting 100 ton of rock to get a house foundation in. If you want a basement and you have rock plan on spending a extra 2 grand or more to have a blasting contractor to blast out the material.

Dirty Water
11-03-2006, 08:52 PM
If you need a all around machine on a site a rubber tired backhoe would be it because it has a 1 yard bucket its can load trucks you can dig and it doesn't tear up the ground. The biggest plus you don't need a trailer to move it so when your working on a site haul the excavator on the trailer and a employee runs the backhoe to the the job.

Are you kidding me? Roading a backhoe more than a mile is a totally stupid idea.

Gravel Rat
11-03-2006, 11:44 PM
I don't know where you have been but backhoes are meant to be roaded the contractors with them road machines up to 60kms (37 miles). When I was running backhoe I used to road the JCB 30kms (19 miles). A backhoe is a pain in the azz to haul on a tag trailer so its easier to road them. In the year running the JCB I probably racked up 150kms (93 miles) roading the machine.

Dirty Water
11-04-2006, 02:22 AM
I don't know where you have been but backhoes are meant to be roaded the contractors with them road machines up to 60kms (37 miles). When I was running backhoe I used to road the JCB 30kms (19 miles). A backhoe is a pain in the azz to haul on a tag trailer so its easier to road them. In the year running the JCB I probably racked up 150kms (93 miles) roading the machine.

93 miles in a year?

Excuse me while I :laugh: at you.

If you were to road a backhoe to every job out here, you'd be over that in less than a week.

Why? Because most of the contractors out here service two towns. Also the only road in between is HWY 101. I highly doubt a backhoe would be real safe to road down a 55 mph highway.

The only time a backhoe is roaded here is when your moving it less than a mile to a new job.

Its not hard to load a backhoe on a tag trailer.

murray83
11-04-2006, 09:52 AM
I road my backhoe,nothing wrong with that at all.

By the time I hook up the tag,do my walk around of the truck/trailer,load the hoe,chain it down,and unhook it all,I could have been half way there by now.

So no,loading a hoe on a tag is not as easy as it sounds.

AWJ Services
11-04-2006, 10:10 AM
Many of my jobs are far as 70 + miles away mostly through downtown traffic.

I sure hope that bachhoe has a road gear and enclosed cab.:drinkup:


The closest 2 jobs I had all year were still 5 miles apart.

Once again the diversity of our work environment shows up.

Speaking of antiquated loaders
I am going today too look at a JD 450c,single axle dump and a good tag trailer.Always needing a small dump and the loader will ease some abuse on the skid steer.:)
The JD 450 series is a favorite of landowners here and they sale really well.
The resale value alone on the loader will leave me sitting right on the truck and the trailer.

Dirty Water
11-04-2006, 01:45 PM
I road my backhoe,nothing wrong with that at all.

By the time I hook up the tag,do my walk around of the truck/trailer,load the hoe,chain it down,and unhook it all,I could have been half way there by now.

So no,loading a hoe on a tag is not as easy as it sounds.

Apparently your only roading it for a few miles if thats all the time it takes.

Roading a hoe is a waste of money on wear on the machine. Its also dangerous in many area's.

murray83
11-04-2006, 07:46 PM
I have to disagree.

The backhoe was built to be roaded long distances,actually JCB has the claim for the longest distance record I do believe.

The big reason I myself won't float the machine is added insurance,when you bring in to play a float on your insurance it quickly adds up due to the added risk it may cause.Say a rock on the deck you could miss before driving away that might hit a windshield well that would break me so fast its not even funny.

I ran a detachable float truck for a civil contractor and the responsibility made it not worth getting up every morning

Gravel Rat
11-04-2006, 08:39 PM
The jobs here are not that spread apart and also the JCB I ran went to the site and worked on the site for couple weeks to a month at a time. One of the contractors that runs a backhoe service in the area has been roading backhoes for 30 years.

The tag trailers we use are tilt trailers usually they are too short. The only way to haul a backhoe is drive on forward and lift the front bucket up so it over hangs the truck box. Then hauling a backhoe is a pain because it bounces all over the place. Doesn't matter how tight you get the chains the machine still bounces.

Roading backhoes is legal on any part of our highway which has a speed limit of 80km/h 50mph. You find places to pull over to let the built up traffic behind you by.

ksss
11-05-2006, 06:14 PM
A backhoe would be nice at times. A 590 size would make a decent loader as well as having backhoe ability. Running them down the road is a necessary evil. It is not always practical to load them. I am sure that excessive road time takes the life out of the tires prematurely but such is business. I would also think that running them in 4X2 instead of 4X4 on pavement would help reduce the driveline wear from roading them. Not that I would buy a new one but has anyone seen the prices lately on new backhoes expecially the 590 size machine? They are 100K and the 710 JD machines are 100 and a half. That is a lot of money for a hoe, granted the 710 is like a small wheeled excavator but still thats a lot of money.

Digdug
11-05-2006, 07:11 PM
I have a 580M 4wd. and have had two other 580's. We drive them everywhere. But we do haul them if its 15miles or more to the next job. Just becuase i think its faster.

gammon landscaping
11-05-2006, 11:47 PM
ok the track loader's i was reffering to is our 953b, 943, and 941b that we currently have. we also have a 312. a loader is easer to dig a basment level with a loader be cause you can feel bumps and if it is out of level. we alsays dig bacements with the loaders it just makes since. you don't remove material fom the jobsite till you are grading the yard because you don't want to charge to haul it off then have to charge to haul it back in cause you needed more than you thought. i think alot of people just like the idea of an excavator because it is the newest thing. several people here talk about ramping down to a basement but that make no sence to me. we always daylight basements out so that water will drain naturally. but our terrain allows this. if we sould have to " ramp down" we advice people not to have a bacement cause you would have water and mold problems down there for the life of the house. when you think about money part i think that a track loader just works out better. one operator can dig the basement place the spoil in a pile that is compacted that will drain water off so that it is not mud when you go back to backfill, compact the floor of the hole to well over what it was naturally, and dig 2500-3500 in a day with one machine and operator. all of this with a machine that cost lets say 200k for a 953c" new". vs taking a 320 180k 2 trucks at 100k a pop, and then looking at having spoil that needs to be graded down or run up in to a stock pile( either on site or off you still have to deal with it) witch you are looking at a skid at the least or a small loader, d3 75grand.

i loader is alot more versital and cost effective

but on the other hand if you are running 4-5 machines to do the same thing it makes you look big time and you can charge more money, but i bet the lowballer with the ole 953 gets the work cause his over head is way less than half of what yours is. and he can do it by his self and doesn't have to deal with works comp/employee crap.

i know most of the same guys in here are talking about using 2-3 machines and how much better it is also go to the employee forum and ***** about not being ably to find guys that can do what they need from them for prices they can afford

not to rant but me and dad put around 2-2500 hours a year on the loaders and 2-500 hours a year on the trac hoe

so we do know the ins and outs of this discution as we also thought that every one else has a trac hoe so we must need one too. and really and truly probably wasted 50 grand in buying one. but there are a few weeks out of the year that we like having one

Scag48
11-06-2006, 02:27 AM
So why do you even have an excavator?

RockSet N' Grade
11-06-2006, 10:42 AM
I have learned alot from this thread. Everyone has different styles and different equipment. Each geographic area seems to be the same way. If we could all agree and purchase "the perfect machine" all the other manufacturers would be out of business.
Use what you have got, develop a competative system for your area, do the best job you can and more work will come.......
By the way, Gammon what kind of track hoe did you guys buy to supplement your loaders?

tylermckee
11-06-2006, 12:25 PM
ok the track loader's i was reffering to is our 953b, 943, and 941b that we currently have. we also have a 312. a loader is easer to dig a basment level with a loader be cause you can feel bumps and if it is out of level. we alsays dig bacements with the loaders it just makes since. you don't remove material fom the jobsite till you are grading the yard because you don't want to charge to haul it off then have to charge to haul it back in cause you needed more than you thought. i think alot of people just like the idea of an excavator because it is the newest thing. several people here talk about ramping down to a basement but that make no sence to me. we always daylight basements out so that water will drain naturally. but our terrain allows this. if we sould have to " ramp down" we advice people not to have a bacement cause you would have water and mold problems down there for the life of the house. when you think about money part i think that a track loader just works out better. one operator can dig the basement place the spoil in a pile that is compacted that will drain water off so that it is not mud when you go back to backfill, compact the floor of the hole to well over what it was naturally, and dig 2500-3500 in a day with one machine and operator. all of this with a machine that cost lets say 200k for a 953c" new". vs taking a 320 180k 2 trucks at 100k a pop, and then looking at having spoil that needs to be graded down or run up in to a stock pile( either on site or off you still have to deal with it) witch you are looking at a skid at the least or a small loader, d3 75grand.

i loader is alot more versital and cost effective

but on the other hand if you are running 4-5 machines to do the same thing it makes you look big time and you can charge more money, but i bet the lowballer with the ole 953 gets the work cause his over head is way less than half of what yours is. and he can do it by his self and doesn't have to deal with works comp/employee crap.

i know most of the same guys in here are talking about using 2-3 machines and how much better it is also go to the employee forum and ***** about not being ably to find guys that can do what they need from them for prices they can afford

not to rant but me and dad put around 2-2500 hours a year on the loaders and 2-500 hours a year on the trac hoe

so we do know the ins and outs of this discution as we also thought that every one else has a trac hoe so we must need one too. and really and truly probably wasted 50 grand in buying one. but there are a few weeks out of the year that we like having one

sounds like its working well for you guys, but saying that you need support equipment if you are using an excavator isnt true. i can dig a hole right on grade, no need to worry about compaction acround here, most of the time you have to dig with a tooth bucket. I wore through a set of teeth digging a crawlspace, was only around 400 yards of material too! I can place my spoil in a nice compact pile just as well as any trackloader, if the lot allows me to keep it on site. Our lots go from 10 acres to small res. lots that litterally take up the entire lot, you will have 5 feet from the house to the property line on both sides, and 10-20 feet in the front and back. Try to dig 9' deep hole there and keep material on site.
With an excavator we can drop it on the site and do everything that needs to be done with one machine, and one operator. Do the clearing, dig the hole, backfill, dig for utilites, put in the sewer or septic system, build the driveway, and final grade the lot before we load the machine up and take it to the next job, which could be another house, or it could be a 200K job replacing some sewer main down town. If you know how to use an excavator it is IMO the most versatile piece of machinery you can own.

Gravel Rat
11-06-2006, 03:14 PM
A excavator here is used to develop a whole property it can pretty well do anything that needs to be done. A skid steer might be brought in to do the landscaping but otherwise the rest of it is all done with excavators fullsize or mini. You get a experienced operator on a excavator they can do anything.

I have ran trackloader quite abit but I don't think it would ever replace a excavator. One thing about a excavator is you can crawl down a extremely rough slope and start working it and benching the slope for the house. Allot of building lots here you need to walk down grades that are steep enough you need to wear your seat belt your your going to fall out of your seat.

Most of the time your using the dipper,stick and bucket stabilizing the machine while walking over a ledge or rocks. Lots of fun :laugh:

When I worked at landfills walking excavator over garbage was a little interesting because its spongy and no real traction you can sink pretty quick.

gammon landscaping
11-06-2006, 11:55 PM
it is more of a machine that we have so if people think you have to have one we can take it, and we just wanted it to see how it would do for us, in retrospect probably should have just saved the money but you got to spend some or give it to uncle sam

stuvecorp
03-03-2008, 11:28 PM
Have been looking thru the older threads and this cought my eye. I have been thinking and talking to people the last couple months about mini x's but acouple guys made the comment about 'just buy a normal machine' and have been looking at older machines like Ksss got and it has me wondering if this may be the way to go. Any other thoughts or things you wish you did differently with a bigger machine?

RockSet N' Grade
03-04-2008, 01:00 AM
The market is changing.....what worked the last 3-5 years is demanding flexibility in thinking now. What market segment are you going after? There are alot of 130-160-200 class machines around here sitting idle. One guy I know has 400 to 1100 sized machines and he is extremely busy, he is the gorilla on the block doing demo work. The foundation diggers are starving for work. This is an interesting time that demands prudence and creativity...

coopers
03-04-2008, 01:00 AM
stuvecorp,

What would you prefer to do and what type of market do you want to work in? You can really go either way here in Washington State. At least in my area, if you get a 120, 160 or a mini excavator work is here for you (well winter time sucks in general but...). I worked for a guy for a couple months just getting more experience and it was something to fill in my need for hours and he used his 160 for everything! I have never ever seen someone grade with a beam as well as he did. I am working on starting my own excavation business for side work and the calls I get from people more often than not always required a mini excavator versus a 120. However, I am personally marketing myself to both types of jobs that require a 120 or a mini only because I want to and because it's not my main career I can be picky, if that's what you want to call it. But where I live it can go either way, there's still a lot of land 25 minutes away from where I work and live that could use a 120 to do land work or there is a whole county full of houses that can't accommodate anything but a mini excavator (9500lbs). I think that if you live in an area that you can market yourself for any type of job go with what you want to do and what in the long run, might be more steady and make you money. Like I said, if this was to be a full time gig for me, I can easily decide to go buy a 120 and market myself for work and be fine or I can go buy a mini (which I'll do in a couple years probably) and market myself for that field. If in your research you find that buying a big machine may not be too wise then obviously don't do it, if a mini will get you more work then you can always rent a larger hoe for work that comes up.

coopers
03-04-2008, 01:01 AM
The market is changing.....what worked the last 3-5 years is demanding flexibility in thinking now. What market segment are you going after? There are alot of 130-160-200 class machines around here sitting idle. One guy I know has 400 to 1100 sized machines and he is extremely busy, he is the gorilla on the block doing demo work. The foundation diggers are starving for work. This is an interesting time that demands prudence and creativity...

x2

Blake
WA

stuvecorp
03-04-2008, 02:59 AM
To give you some idea, I have been in business with my dad for the last nine years, this had been my job and my dad helped when he could. I have always considered us to be a 'hybrid' or an 'excavating' landscaper. We have always moved alot of black dirt and done excavating jobs each year but do real good with retaining walls and this last year did a 6100 sq. ft. paver driveway. The last couple of years bad decisions compounded and has been a struggle but this last fall I sold off the snow plowing part of the business, just had enough but got us to zero. I thought about going to work for someone else but didn't find anything I really liked or wanted to do.

Over the winter I remembered why and what parts I like to do in this business. So I started thinking, if you could remake your business, what would you do? So many times I was talking with people and I would say we can do this or that and the customer said 'but you are a landscaper'. (and the next time someone tells me to start a lawn mowing or irrigation division, I may hurt them)

I had two different ways, one would to stay with a 550 sized truck, skid and mini x or tandem/tri dump, skid and 120 sized excavator. Money isn't unlimited but I honestly think the bigger stuff would get me more work. For some jobs the full sized excavator would be to big but alot of rock jobs in the past could be done with the big stuff. The big thing I'm thinking is to not over spend for the equipment so if it sits it won't hurt. The way things are penciling out with the big equipment I can do do most any excavating project(residential) and yet still pick up some walls and patios.

ksss
03-04-2008, 02:23 PM
To give you some idea, I have been in business with my dad for the last nine years, this had been my job and my dad helped when he could. I have always considered us to be a 'hybrid' or an 'excavating' landscaper. We have always moved alot of black dirt and done excavating jobs each year but do real good with retaining walls and this last year did a 6100 sq. ft. paver driveway. The last couple of years bad decisions compounded and has been a struggle but this last fall I sold off the snow plowing part of the business, just had enough but got us to zero. I thought about going to work for someone else but didn't find anything I really liked or wanted to do.

Over the winter I remembered why and what parts I like to do in this business. So I started thinking, if you could remake your business, what would you do? So many times I was talking with people and I would say we can do this or that and the customer said 'but you are a landscaper'. (and the next time someone tells me to start a lawn mowing or irrigation division, I may hurt them)

I had two different ways, one would to stay with a 550 sized truck, skid and mini x or tandem/tri dump, skid and 120 sized excavator. Money isn't unlimited but I honestly think the bigger stuff would get me more work. For some jobs the full sized excavator would be to big but alot of rock jobs in the past could be done with the big stuff. The big thing I'm thinking is to not over spend for the equipment so if it sits it won't hurt. The way things are penciling out with the big equipment I can do do most any excavating project(residential) and yet still pick up some walls and patios.


I can tell you what it has meant to my operation. The work year is longer that alone is worth the price of the machine. The money is lean in this market but it is money and I no longer have the issues of "but you only have a mini excavator are sure you can handle this job". It has been a good thing for me. The key is not getting buried in a big payment. I got unbelieveably lucky when I got my 160. When it sits I don't cry about it. The biggest issue is one my name, and two fighting almost 13 years of skid steer and mini ex type work. I am in kinda of a box, but I am working to change that. My operation sounds very much like yours.

Construct'O
03-04-2008, 08:13 PM
My work is different then nearly most everyone else on here.I have bigger equipment then landscaping equipment ,but also have CTL,and mini x.

For me the mini has worked well for paying it way.It was used, low hour machine and has already paid it self half way off.

It has been used for field drainage repair ,which no one else wants to do ,so work is plenty ,altho seasonal.My younger helpers are getting good at running it and i can now turn them loose on there own.

It is easy to move ,with the equipment that i use to move the CTL,it is easy on fuel,has had no repair so far.I get $85 an hour for it setting on the job or working.It is only a 3ton size machine.

If things goes as good as last year i'll consider trading for a new machine next year.

I had a 25 ton excavator years ago and it was a hassle to move and people was always wanting me to move in for a little job.It was great once on the job,but hated the moving,plus took a good truck and lowboy to move it.

My lowboy was not a drop deck ,so you had to load over the back,put out the outriggers,and had to always watch for objects when moving for clearence.

So that is something that you have to consider when going bigger equipment is moving it around,plus CDL.

Just depends on what else your planning on doing down the road.Good luck:usflag:

Construct'O
03-04-2008, 08:19 PM
My work is different then nearly most everyone else on here.I have bigger equipment then landscaping equipment ,but also have CTL,and mini x.

For me the mini has worked well for paying it way.It was used, low hour machine and has already paid it self half way off.

It has been used for field drainage repair ,which no one else wants to do ,so work is plenty ,altho seasonal.My younger helpers are getting good at running it and i can now turn them loose on there own.

It is easy to move ,with the equipment that i use to move the CTL,it is easy on fuel,has had no repair so far.I get $85 an hour for it setting on the job or working.It is only a 3ton size machine.

If things goes as good as last year i'll consider trading for a new machine next year.

I had a 25 ton excavator years ago and it was a hassle to move and people was always wanting me to move in for a little job.It was great once on the job,but hated the moving,plus took a good truck and lowboy to move it.

My lowboy was not a drop deck ,so you had to load over the back,put out the outriggers,and had to always watch for objects when moving for clearence.

So that is something that you have to consider when going bigger equipment is moving it around,plus CDL.

Just depends on what else your planning on doing down the road.Good luck:usflag:

RockSet N' Grade
03-04-2008, 08:26 PM
Ksss......to address a thought. I don't believe your business name is a hinderance, I believe it is an asset since it has been there 13 years. It just needs tweeking to make people aware that your services go beyond skid steers.......that is just a bit of remarketing. Stuvecorp, your operation also sounds abit like mine. Question: what guys that you talk with or see are busy and what is their equipment? What guys are not working and what equipment do they have and why aren't they working? For me, I have stepped up my advertising to warp speed. I am considering "buddying up" with some guys who have bigger pieces than I do, vs. rent and share the pie a bit. I will also rent equipment if I need it vs buying anything right now. I still see it getting tougher out there, and when guys are really hurting and bleeding.....that is when I will buy, but not yet. I am keeping my remaining powder dry and marketing........

Construct'O
03-04-2008, 09:04 PM
Rock ! Good luck with keeping the powder dry.It is ice,snow, it melts,then it rains ,then snows again.Mud, mud ,muddy here.:dizzy:

My powder is already wet before i get started and i don't have to have a work plan as of yet ,because doesn't make any difference it's to muddy here and by the time the powder drys up the planters will be rolling.

Buddying up is something that takes some planning,who responsible for what,who is in command,how will the work be divided and the money???????

I have done a few partner things,some worked great and some not so good.Be willing to compromise,what ever it takes to get the job done ,because once started it's hard to turn back.

Your a seasoned contractor ,so i'm sure you have a plan,and hopfully things goes well for you and your buddy.:usflag:

stuvecorp
03-04-2008, 09:35 PM
I have to be honest and say that there is alot of iron and trucks in our market. So many guys are in smash and grab mode. One of the biggest problems I have is like Ksss said 'but it is a skid steer' or 'what kind of excavator do you have', I never claim to own one but always tell them we are able rent the right size machine for the job but that doesn't seem to make them happy. One of my ideas or hopes is if you are the first in on the job it could lead to getting the lawn, walls/patio or other landscaping.
Rock, the buddy up idea is good but around here it is dog eat dog unless you are in with the guy.

RockSet N' Grade
03-04-2008, 09:44 PM
It's dog eat dog here........no different, but there are some (decidedly few) who do not function that way. It takes time to find them. If I get asked what kind of excavator I have, I politely divert the question or answer that we have all the equipment necessary to complete the job in a professional and timely manner........so, I answer the real question which is: can you get the job done.

stuvecorp
03-05-2008, 03:34 PM
A big advantage I think we bring to the job is we are so used to doing the finsh grading that I know how I want the subgrade, I have followed some excavators and it was real bad. The worst part the customer knows this but figures that it is the way excavators operate.

I also have realistic plans, I want to bill out 120-150 hours of excavtor time for the first season. I have been talking to the guys that do acouple of houses or basements a year, people aren't really treating them too nice because they don't do enough work. I am also trying to find some younger homebuilders that I can grow with them in the coming years. I did talk with a contractor that puts basements under houses and his excavator has had a shake-up and if I get the machine he said I can have a shot.

RockSet N' Grade
03-05-2008, 04:18 PM
stuve.........you are sounding more like my operation the more you post. Network, network, network.......I know finish grades and that is what I am known here for and expanded from there. When I had a business in Calif. years back we figured out we finish graded over 1,000,000 sq. ft. with an old MF 30 tractor until it gave up the ghost. Keep pluggin'....Work or at least bid opportunities are starting to come our way here.....phone is starting to ring.