View Full Version : Whats a good peice of equipment to get started?

12-09-2007, 01:11 PM
I want to get involved into light excavating. Shed pads and do some finish work after sidewalks and patios are installed. What would you guys recommend and do you think this is a good business to embark on. I currently do maintenance and mowing.

12-09-2007, 01:16 PM
A mini excavator, you can do more work with one than a skid steer, like digging trenches for the sheds that have electrical or digging out 3 foot wide side walks.

12-09-2007, 06:01 PM
Good question, Its like buying a boat without the motor tho, It takes multiple pieces to make it all work

Dirt Digger2
12-09-2007, 06:03 PM
with todays economy...especially in eastern PA guys are getting out of the business instead of getting into it....where in Eastern PA are you?

12-09-2007, 06:05 PM
shovels work well,i woould say a skid with a backhoe if your just getting started.good luck!

12-09-2007, 06:28 PM
Wow, you guys are tough on here. I am from the Lehigh Valley area. I was considering on doing some light excavating and finish work. I have had some people ask in the past and i rented some equipment for some jobs but i am seriously considering on going at it full force. Just some questions with equipment and how hard is this industry. The maintenance industry is tough too.

12-09-2007, 06:45 PM
everyones just trying to help, the more specific you are the more help you will get.

Gravel Rat
12-09-2007, 08:31 PM
I would try renting or leasing machines before you start putting any money out. A mini excavator will do more work than any other machine.

Dirt Digger2
12-09-2007, 09:14 PM
put it this way...we are a full service excavation company with 4 operators and 2 laborers and 2 truck drivers and they are having a very difficult time keeping the schedule booked right now...there are 4 guys going out to 2 men jobs, the truck drivers and holding a shovel in a ditch

if you want anything to do with new construction it just isn't the time right now...look at Toll Brothers, they just had their first quarterly loss in years, and if they are struggling that means the entire market is bad...you might be able to do some small jobs for homeowners but there really isn't any money in that, plus you have to deal with the homeowners who are a lot worse then contractors

but to get back to your question about machines, you should include whether you have a CDL or not because that will limit you a lot as well

12-09-2007, 11:58 PM
GreenHor7, you have a pm.

12-10-2007, 03:25 PM
Try an asv rc 30. I've always run Bobcat, but these things are awesome. They're versatile enough to do pretty much anything, and small enough to go anywhere. You can always rent or pay someone with a bigger machine if you need one.

12-10-2007, 04:57 PM
What do you guys think of the Ditchwitch unit that has the front-end loader and back-hoe attachment also?

Dirt Digger2
12-10-2007, 05:02 PM
it might dig a shed pad ok but wouldn't do a very nice job with finish grading...the trick with grading is that you want a long undercarriage and that little thing doesn't have one...your best bet for doing small jobs like shed pads would be a 1 ton dump truck and a case 1840 sized machine...but that little ditch witch is a "specialized machine" and you might have a difficult time keeping it busy, at least with a skid loader there is always some type of work to be done..the ditch witch is just a little too small to do a lot of jobs efficently

12-10-2007, 06:26 PM
It really depends on the area you live in and how many people are doing it. The idea situation is to have a smaller dump truck, mini excavator, and a skid steer with tracks able to be put on it if needed or at least in my area. The thing is the more machines you have the more help you "should" have. As far as cutting shed pads you may get a few of them but I would look more forward to a barn pad or garage pad. Most people putting sheds in are usually on a tight budget or at least around here. I would say for one machine I would probably go for the skid and as I get experiece go for a mini track hoe. Insurance will probably be cheaper if you are not really going a over a couple feet deep at most with the skid.

12-14-2007, 06:46 PM
I started with a dump truck, skid steer, and tractor. My business is growing everyday.

12-14-2007, 06:55 PM
:) Welcome to the site:waving:

RockSet N' Grade
12-14-2007, 10:28 PM
GreenHor7......there are several guys here who run a ditch-witch and pull pipe for sprinkler systems. Along with pulling pipe, they trench and install 4" drain line from the downspouts out into the yard. These guys hook up with local sprinkler supply houses, put their cards on the counter and do quite well. Average 1/3 acre new home here for pipe pulling is $250 and that does not include the pipe.......just labor. Just something to think about.......ask local supply houses, landscape contractors, etc. if there is a need for that type of service......

Strawbridge Lawn
12-22-2007, 09:41 AM
Always remembeer there are backhoe attachments for Skid Steers. Diversification is the key. Buy a machine that can do many things, and attachments to follow your work demand. Best to you

12-22-2007, 09:58 AM
ditchwitch xt600 best of everything