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View Full Version : Still busy?


Scag48
11-09-2007, 11:38 PM
For those of us in somewhat "seasonal" climates, who's still out working? Here in western WA, the work season is pretty much year round. On the eastside of the state, things are a little different. I talked to my dad a couple days ago, they're done for the year landscaping. Barely got a big paver job finished, he's ready for snow now. His foreman is very experienced with finish work in houses and such, they re-tile bathrooms and do all sorts of maintenance/additions to the motel my dad owns during the winter. Keeps our foreman busy almost year round and helps keep that maintenance hog of a motel up and running. If you guys think wrenching on your equipment every once in a while is bad, 40 motel rooms is a maintenance NIGHTMARE, there's always something that needs fixing.

Currently I'm writing an 18 page research paper due in 3 weeks, good times. Really hating life right now with school and working 32-35 hours a week, 19 credits this quarter was not a good choice. Looking forward to Christmas break, a buddy of mine is looking to pick up an excavator that needs a bunch of work done on it, maybe I'll get my mechanic skills going again and lend him a hand a couple days a week. Spring definately needs to hurry up and get here, I'm ready to get back on the iron. With the summer months behind us, the "scenery" at the restaurant isn't getting any better, what a buzzkill!

ksss
11-10-2007, 12:50 AM
I have got work for the foreseeable future. I think the weather will give out before the work does.

Gravel Rat
11-10-2007, 01:59 AM
Thats one thing about living on the West Coast/Pacific Northwest area we can work all year round. What is snow :laugh:

I do think we are going to have a colder winter than last year.

mrusk
11-10-2007, 08:08 AM
We are going year round this year. The tents are ordered. The karosene heaters are orders. We are ready.

bobcat_ron
11-10-2007, 10:04 AM
My work has come to a slow trickle, now I am waiting to give my Local CAT rep a call and start trying out their MTL's, this time of year is always slow, but interest rates go down and buying new equipment is cheaper now.
But I still have work with other machines on the side too.

Gravel Rat
11-10-2007, 04:57 PM
The Finning's salesman doesn't get around this part of the coast much see more Brandt Tractor and Conneco trucks more than anything then the odd time you see Wajax.

Work does continue all year round in my area but as the realestate market has gotten way overpriced the market has gone from a sellers market to no market.

Talking to a regular customer the other day he said he is watching the market and what to-do he would like to go back into the excavation business himself. He was said we are seeing the same repeat of what happened in the 70s with the Canadian dollar sky rocketing and the cost of oil is high along with a good economy then shortly after a recession started. One thing he said to me was don't buy a house right now the prices are overly inflated and they will drop signifcantly. He said there are people buying houses 100-200,000 dollars more than they are actually worth same thing that happened in the 70s. I was telling him I wanted to buy a house he said wait till 2011 when the house prices drop.

I almost quit my job the other day I was so frustrated but I was convinced not too. With the good economy predicted to only last another 5 years and the signs of the local economy already starting to flop. So I got to stick with a job I really don't like, it looks like this winter many guys won't be working especially in the forest industry.

Got to do what you don't like I guess have to look at the long term picture of things.

I know many of the excavation contractors in the area now could pull the pin and call it quits they would. They want to get away from the 10 grand or more a month equipment payments and the stress. Most of them had to buy newer equipment to do the jobs and replace worn out equipment.

One of the contractors I was work with last week was saying he would love to get out of the business but he can't he is too far into the hole with equipment payments. A familly friend who is a contractor got right out of residential excavating because the lack of profit and constant fight with getting paid from homeowners who has been in the busines for 30 years.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 5-10 years not many new excavation companies are starting. The current companies operating will probably close up when the owners decide to retire. They are not hiring people to sell the company too. As I said in my last post the training of equipment operators isn't happening. People only have their sights on now and there is enough equipment operators to fill the jobs now not 5-10 years from now.

Same with truck drivers supposidly there is a huge shortage of drivers but its so expensive to get a class 1 (A) CDL from a driving school its not worth getting your CDL. A barebones basic class A cdl at a driving school is 3 grand then goes up to 8 grand for more training. When I went for my CDL 12 years ago it was 800 dollars thats just to drive a tandem axle dump truck now its double that a class A was 1500 dollars.

Anyhow enough rambling but trying to put a rosey spin on the situation is tough to do when everybody is looking at short term aspects to the economy.

Right now its all about 2010 and the Olympics crap well when that 2 week event is over it puts the Province into debt and all those construction jobs disapear what is going to happen. There isn't any sustainable economy in B.C. its all about building expensive houses for retiring baby boomers.

Scag48
11-10-2007, 05:35 PM
There will be a shortage of operators and excavation companies in 10 years. That's just fine with me, even in a slow economy 1 guy alone can't handle a town of 6,000 people which is more than likely where I'll set up shop, back home. I'm just looking at the guys back home who are in business, they'll be done in 10 years, 15 years at the absolute most with nobody to replace them. There's at least 10 local guys back home in the biz, if they all retire, I couldn't handle all the work even if I wanted to in a slow economy. That's my plan, I'll be the only guy in a 35 mile radius in the business. My home town is small, but with people from Seattle flocking there to build summer homes and what not, we stay pretty busy.

We'll see what happens, In 10 years I'll hopefully have $100K to throw down on some equipment, or at least a healthy down payment. The 3.5 acres I bought will put me into business after I sell it.

bobcat_ron
11-10-2007, 06:36 PM
I coughed up a meager $600 for my class 1 DL. I'm cheap!

SiteSolutions
11-10-2007, 08:12 PM
I was telling him I wanted to buy a house he said wait till 2011 when the house prices drop.

With the good economy predicted to only last another 5 years and the signs of the local economy already starting to flop.



You should look into suspended animation like they did for Austin Powers. Just let em freeze you now and then thaw you out in 20 years when the economy is good again.

Or, you could try to do something over the next five years and try to have your debts paid down (or paid off) by then. Maybe keep a little money in a separate account just to travel to somewhere better when the economy finally does collapse, someday.

FIVE YEARS?

Come on.

If somebody told me a killer tornado was coming in five days, I would stock up on supplies for the next four days!

If somebody could prove to me that we would only have five more good years around here, I would work my butt off to make as much as I could and see what happened, not crawl into the storm cellar five years before the bad times got here!

bobcat_ron
11-10-2007, 08:21 PM
You should look into suspended animation like they did for Austin Powers. Just let em freeze you now and then thaw you out in 20 years when the economy is good again....

But then some fat Scottish jerk comes along and steals your "mojo". :cry:

Gravel Rat
11-11-2007, 12:37 AM
If I upgrade my class 3 to a 1 I will do it on my own its cheaper payup

For 5 years ya thats short term but the out look after the 2010 Winter Olympics isn't supposed to be the greatest. The B.C. gov't is spending billions on the Olympics and its all going to be coming out of the tax payers wallet.

There is no beef left on the economy dinner plate the sustainable jobs are disapearing. Logging is one of them there is so many spin off jobs related to the forest industry. Commercial fishing is another one.

Right now the economy is running on house sales and land developement. That isn't a sustainable industry that only provides short term work and its already slowing down.

Areas are out growing the infrastructure so developing is slowing down. Developers have spent millions on land clearing and they haven't been selling anything. One developer from Alberta is building 1 million dollar houses on spec figuring they are going to sell.

As for debt I don't have much I have maybe 3000 dollars on credit card which is nothing compared to other people that have their credit cards maxed out. Some people I know are 20 grand into credit card debt. If they bought a house and the interest rate rises 1 to 2 percent they can't afford the payments.

Ateast I'am not like some of the excavation contractors who have to pay 10 grand a month for equipment payments :laugh:

A new gravel truck is 4000 dollars a month a 160 excavator another 4000 plus another 2000 a month for a smaller excavator for the other jobs. Fuel expenses another 2-3 grand a month a operators wages for a month 4200 dollars.

Fuel for the gravel truck is running 4.07 a gallon I haven't checked to see what dyed diesel is but its gotta be 3.50 a gallon. Truck tires for the gravel truck for steers 800-1000 each, drive tires 350-400 each. Engine oil in 5 gallon pails 70 dollars each.

I did find some stats that show that the average age of equipement operators in B.C. is 43 years old. The average truck driver age is 40.

bobcat_ron
11-11-2007, 10:35 AM
My brother has already started making preparations for next year and the future downward slide, he's got a reno'ed house that they will rent for $1300 a month, property owner is fed up with the existing renter (trashed the place) so he was given permission to do what ever the hell he wants to do with the house and landscaping.
In a nutshell, he saves $4000 property taxes every year, $4000 mortgage payment and $20,000 for a new roof on the house they currently live in now. After the Olympics, the Province will breathe a sigh of relief and prices will come back down to a sensible amount and he can buy the property of his dreams and get the mortgage that he wants.

YellowDogSVC
11-11-2007, 11:14 AM
[QUOTE=Gravel Rat;2029206]
As for debt I don't have much I have maybe 3000 dollars on credit card which is nothing compared to other people that have their credit cards maxed out. Some people I know are 20 grand into credit card debt. If they bought a house and the interest rate rises 1 to 2 percent they can't afford the payments.

QUOTE]

That's a flag for not having a variable rate mortgage.

RockSet N' Grade
11-11-2007, 02:52 PM
As for work load, there is still plenty out in front. We have two jobs in process and the weather is turning........rain and snow right now as I speak. I have an impaired walking ability, my right hand man's son just in for heart surgery.......it has been a good season to date, maybe it is just time to slow down or shut it down.......

Chilehead
11-11-2007, 05:25 PM
This winter will be one of hardscape construction for me. The drought may have killed any notion to plant ornamentals, the cold night-time temps may have put the grass into dormancy, but retaining walls, patios, and ponds will keep me busy for the winter.

Gravel Rat
11-11-2007, 06:38 PM
Aslong as we get our usual 3 inches of snow for 2 weeks is good enough but I have a feeling we might get more than that. Hopefully we don't get the hurricane force winds like last year. Today it is blowing and raining all you can say is friggin miserable out.

bobbyg18
11-11-2007, 08:11 PM
my phone calls for new business are down to nothing...i know its heading into winter time but last year at this time i had a bunch of work lined up...people trying to finish projects before the real bad weather hits...

this yr that push just doesnt seem to be there...i mean ive had only a few calls in the last month...if i hadn't aggressively pursued a couple of these jobs i have now, i wouldnt be working...

i think that its going to be like this going forward w/ all these economic problems (real estate slump, oil @$100/barrel etc) ...there will be work out there, but you'll have to be creative and hungry to get it...im going to need to adjust my marketing over the winter

RockSet N' Grade
11-11-2007, 09:40 PM
BobbyG.....I think everyone who will survive this is thinking along the same lines you are. I am working on "adjusting" my marketing already. I don't know what will work, but I am throwing it out there: website, newspaper, phonebooks (plural), phonebook yellowpages on net, have flyers being designed already, created contractors lists with postcards ready to be sent to them in spring, talking with an estimator to see if he will work on a "per job basis" so I can work other areas and such things as that.........I have a feeling being creative and hungry will be the name of the game.

qps
11-11-2007, 10:26 PM
You should look into suspended animation like they did for Austin Powers. Just let em freeze you now and then thaw you out in 20 years when the economy is good again.

Or, you could try to do something over the next five years and try to have your debts paid down (or paid off) by then. Maybe keep a little money in a separate account just to travel to somewhere better when the economy finally does collapse, someday.

FIVE YEARS?

Come on.

If somebody told me a killer tornado was coming in five days, I would stock up on supplies for the next four days!

If somebody could prove to me that we would only have five more good years around here, I would work my butt off to make as much as I could and see what happened, not crawl into the storm cellar five years before the bad times got here!


Yeah....Baby....P.S. on the tornado thing...I'd leave town...didn't you see "twister" ????

SiteSolutions
11-12-2007, 12:08 AM
Yeah....Baby....P.S. on the tornado thing...I'd leave town...didn't you see "twister" ????

I was practically born in one. You mighta heard of it, the "night of 100 tornados" back in '74. Round here, we just get in a room with no windows and hold on tight.

ksss
11-12-2007, 06:33 PM
Growing up in North Dakota I remember the Tornado warnings well. Nothing like seeing those black clouds rolling and turning. Don't get any of that in Idaho, not even any serious hail storms.

Scag48
11-12-2007, 07:14 PM
We get wind here in Western WA, last winter 65+ MPH winds, up to 80 on the coast knocked out power just about everywhere for a day or two. I lost power for about 8 hours, not too bad.

The winds bring all sorts of tree work, especially after a storm. A guy could go out and work for probably a good week after a storm charging whatever he wants for his services with just a truck, fuel, and a saw.