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CALandscapes
01-17-2008, 01:31 PM
OK.. So here's my dilemma..

About 6 weeks ago I purchased a T-190 (with grappler and dirt buckets) a 36 cu. yd. dump trailer, and an additional truck to pull the dump trailer (08 Dodge w/Cummins).
I purchased all of this equipment in order to do debris cleanup for Hurricane Katrina (under a recent contract offered by the Road Home Org. - I entered in as a sub).
The dilemma is that the work load has not been anything close to what was promised. We're working two or three days a week (on a good week), when we were initially promised the opportunity of virtually limitless work (I'm not above working 7 day weeks -- I'm a single 23 yr. old).
I'm now sitting on over 100k worth of additional equipment that's hardly working enough to pay the notes that I've assumed. I've begun to grow increasingly worried as the promises of more work have evaporated in to bullshit.
Being a landscape contractor (and owner of a small landscape co.) I will occasionally use this equipment for my bus. (the additional truck is really nice).. But def. not enough to warrant the $4k/month worth of overhead that comes along with it...
ANYWAY -- to get to the point.. I've been pondering my options -
1. whether to try and ride out this gov. work and see if it does pick back up
2. to try and sell the equipment (and take a $25k+ loss)
3. to try to pick up work using the equipment (debris hauling, bobcat work, etc.)
I'd appreciate any feedback that you'll are willing to give...
Namely I'm looking for suggestions on how to market the expansion of my business (into debris hauling and skidsteer services). I guess I really just gave the full explanation of my situation to vent...
Also, if anyone's interested in purchasing any of this equipment feel free to PM me... As the days without work increase, I'm edging closer and closer to wanting to sell it (which would obviously be worst case).
Thanks all for listening and for advice/info!

Chase

ksss
01-17-2008, 02:08 PM
It seems that the second disaster involving Katrina has been with the clean up itself. I have heard numerous stories like this. I have yet to hear about someone that went to work down there and got the work they were promised and also got paid what was agreed and in a timely fashion. I am sure someone made money, but there sure seem to be a lot of guys that did not.

This sounds similiar to situation of the guy on this forum that has the CAT 939 and has lost the work or it. Like I said in that thread. When buying equipment based on "Pie in the Sky" promises, it is best to do it on an RPO (rent to purchase). If things don't workout you can give it back, no questions asked. Your dealer could have helped you out on that one (aside from sticking you with a T-190).

You will obviously lose big if you try to dump the equipment. Tracked machines devalue very quickly and of course pickups do to. The trailer would be an easy sale I would think down there.

Not knowing what you know about your situation, I try and make a go of it. There will be cleanup work for the next 20 years (or more) in that area. You likely will be able to pick up work. The question is will it come fast enough and pay enough to save your situation. I would follow the idea that you can always take an ass kicking on the equipment if you chose to sell it off. I would try push forward and see what you can drum up either by doing the demo work or expand your landscaping business to justify your new equipment. Good luck.

CALandscapes
01-17-2008, 02:15 PM
Thanks for the response ksss...

I'm with you on the hit I'd take if I try to sell the equip.. It'd be monumental, to say the least..

Right now I'm trying to do my best to come up with a game plan on hustling enough work to justify owning all of this additional equip..

Seeing that you own a skid steer service, I'd love to know how you bills (hourly, by the job, other) and what you charge. I'm pretty new at this, and unfortunately am in a position where I need to move quickly or sink..

Thanks again.

qps
01-17-2008, 04:03 PM
(aside from sticking you with a T-190).


Your killing me over here:laugh:

CALandscapes
01-17-2008, 04:12 PM
QPS -- I'm lost on that comment...??

RockSet N' Grade
01-17-2008, 04:18 PM
CAlandscapes........since (this is an assumption) you have some Katrina work and it seems to be diminishing, I would step up the ladder and see if you can make contacts with the higher-ups to see if you can increase your work load. Alot of "underlings" just don't make it happen......go right to the top with alot of phone calls, emails and personal visits. If/When you talk to the "Big Dawgs", they could rock the boat, shake the tree, and get performance. If you rattle the cage hard and long enough your position could change overnight......

CALandscapes
01-17-2008, 04:34 PM
CAlandscapes........since (this is an assumption) you have some Katrina work and it seems to be diminishing, I would step up the ladder and see if you can make contacts with the higher-ups to see if you can increase your work load. Alot of "underlings" just don't make it happen......go right to the top with alot of phone calls, emails and personal visits. If/When you talk to the "Big Dawgs", they could rock the boat, shake the tree, and get performance. If you rattle the cage hard and long enough your position could change overnight......

Thanks for the response...

Right now I'm working for a sub-contractor doing debris clean-up. I'm capable of contacting the company he's working for (the actually company holding the government contract), but have hesitated as of yet because I don't want to step on his toes (he brought me in to this work... but at the same time there's been a lot of broken promises).
The work's still there, there were just too many debris crews added all at the same time, and the debris is being picked up faster than it can be readied for removal...
Wondering if I'd be out of line to attempt to contact the higher ups and by-pass this guy I'm working under...?

ksss
01-17-2008, 05:06 PM
(aside from sticking you with a T-190).


Your killing me over here:laugh:



Tim was merely poking fun at my subtle, yet pointed way of saying that the T190 is not on my list of must haves. I will PM you when I have a minute.

Construct'O
01-17-2008, 05:11 PM
Mistake one ! Don't sub off sub contractors:hammerhead:,period !!!!!! They are the one that get the money first and then it trickles down.

If the work isn't coming down to them fast enough, then it isn't going to get to you very fast either.Plus if they aren't keeping there crews busy ,then your not going to get extra work.

Run your own show,either sub off the Prime Contractor or find your own work.Don't use sub contractor to get work like said above.:nono:

Look around and see if you can bid your own jobs.You might have to bid something small or lower then you want to survive,just becareful with the lower thing.Use as last resort to get you foot in the door and prove you can do the work

On time and good workmanship.

If you get busy and works start coming in faster then you can do it.Bid it higher and make money.

What kind of work history you got of your own work.As do you have bonding abilitys.That is inportant.You need to be able to get bonded to bid the big,higher paying jobs.

It is winter here things always slows down here,so do you think it is a seasonal thing? Hang in there at least until it get to unbearable.

If you have to sell off equipment.Try selling off some of your other older outdated landscape equipment ,or some of the new stuff that isn't getting used as much as the other stuff.

I have had to sell off to keep a float, don't feel bad at 23 you still have a long ways to go.Hang in there.Good luck.:usflag:

KRtraxx
01-17-2008, 05:31 PM
(aside from sticking you with a T-190).


Your killing me over here:laugh:

Ksss.. I read your T-190 comment 5 minutes ago and I am still chuckling.:) I am not pro or con T-190 but your sense of humor cracks me up! ;)
CA I would push forward instead of taking a hit on your equipment..The advise about doing a rent to own in uncertain situations is great advise.Remember it for the next time around.. Good luck making it work.

RockSet N' Grade
01-17-2008, 05:35 PM
CA..........if ya aren't getting the work and your back is against the wall......who cares if you start stepping on toes! 'cause the banks are gonna step on yours pretty hard here pretty quick. Man, I'd be rattling some cages, making my case heard and I would be getting work.......period! Personally, I refuse to rollover without a fight and I will do whatever it takes to get it done. Be inventive, be proactive........don't be appologetic......go get it.....Selling your stuff is a last resort and the easiest thing to do........go be aggressive and creative.

RockSet N' Grade
01-17-2008, 05:45 PM
CA....I just did a quick search....looked at louisana recovery authority site.....I would be bangin' on their doors.......look up other sites and create a stir........light a fire in your belly and go...

Fieldman12
01-17-2008, 06:12 PM
I think at this point in the game I could care less if I stepped on someones toes. The fact is the bank is going to come after you not him. If he has been filling you of BS than he gets what he deserves. Hey really at this point what do you have to loose? I mean lets say you keep letting things go the way they are. Eventually the bank is going to get the stuff anyway. I would be banging on someones door at the top loud. Either they give you more work or they dont. If they dont give you any work well at least you tried and the stuff just goes back to the bank quicker. I would stick it out but also I would be looking hot and heavy for my ("own") work.

qps
01-17-2008, 08:47 PM
QPS -- I'm lost on that comment...??


Sorry.....bad form on my part:waving:

Kepple Services
01-17-2008, 09:12 PM
Ahhh another one gets bit by the Katrina bullchit bug! I fell for it, as did many many others. I got bit so bad that I have never dug out from the hole it left me in (almost 2 full years later) and I may have to give up the game all together. Sorry you fell for it, hope all works out for you.

qps
01-17-2008, 09:18 PM
Ahhh another one gets bit by the Katrina bullchit bug! I fell for it, as did many many others. I got bit so bad that I have never dug out from the hole it left me in (almost 2 full years later) and I may have to give up the game all together. Sorry you fell for it, hope all works out for you.


Man...sorry to hear that.....

CALandscapes
01-17-2008, 11:47 PM
Thanks guys for all of the comments...

At this point I am doing my best to try and feel around and see what other kind of work there is available.. Also haven't given up the idea yet that I may try to step above my connection and go to the top dogs, although it is somewhat of a delicate situation as the guy I'm working under is their biggest sub and, from what I understand, they need him in order to fulfill their contractual obligations with the government (his crews are the most productive in the entire effort). I'm just trying my best to feel around and not do anything to possibly burn a bridge with the whole operation altogether, because the little bit of work they are handing me is at least getting my closer to paying the bills..

As far as being bit by the Katrina bug is concerned.. I made it this f***ing long without it, and, here I am, 2 and half years post-K falling for it. I should have stuck with what I had (a growing landscape biz) and not let these false promises cloud my judgment.. I'll bounce back somehow someway I'm sure...

I'm always looking forward to hearing more suggestions.. You guys have been a big help thus far..

ksss
01-18-2008, 11:19 AM
I would not feel bad in the least for trying it. We are all in this business to make money and when someone comes to you with an offer to make good money, you do what it takes to make the money. That usually involves some risk. If this was easy everybody would be doing it, and we would all be millionaires.

allinearth
01-18-2008, 09:21 PM
Don't go down without a fight.:nono: I would be talking to everyone I could find. You might get in.

BobcatSteve
01-21-2008, 11:11 PM
Become the "GO TO" SKID STEER business If you want to expand your skid steer business. You want to become THE business that people call when they need skid steer services or equipment. The fastest way for that to happen would be to advertise your business phone as 877-SKIDSTEER in your area and on all of your advertisements. People will remember your phone number and even strangers will recommend your business to others. Your business will soon have more work than your T190 can do every day and you will be growing it to the number of machines that you desire while maximizing your skid steer business profits. You will also be in a position to choose which projects that you want to do rather than taking what is available as a sub. With cost effective marketing to keep your equipment busy, your track loader will earn far more money than an established landscaping business without the hassles of finishing a lawn route each Friday.

Check out www.877skidsteer.com (http://www.877skidsteer.com/) and become the "GO TO" company for skid steer services!

Mike Fronczak
01-22-2008, 12:29 AM
Are your truck/trailer lettered that may help with smaller fill in jobs a 36 yd trailer with "debris cleanup" or somthing to that effect on the side makes one hell of a billboard going down the road.

dozerman21
01-22-2008, 07:54 AM
Great, now we have late night info-mercials on here.:rolleyes: Maybe if we wait, the price will drop to $19.95 and they'll throw in a Miracle Blade knife set!:cool2:

RockSet N' Grade
01-22-2008, 10:01 AM
I called the 877 sikd steer or something like that........and they refered me to some guy in rigby, idaho...................just kidding :) :)

cddva
01-23-2008, 12:56 PM
If you really want to get connected with the money you should call Brad Pitt! He was getting quite a bit of air time not long ago for his efforts (funding) in helping with the cleanup and rebuilding since he and Angelina are residents there. Tell him you'll be his go to skid steer guy for all his projects there. OK, I'm being a little sarcastic but hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. I think this administration has made it clear that Katrina cleanup efforts are not their top priority. I think at this point they spend more money trying to figure out where the money went than actual cleanup/rebuilding. You need to find non-government work versus waiting on the government. Good luck.

qps
01-23-2008, 02:44 PM
I called the 877 sikd steer or something like that........and they refered me to some guy in rigby, idaho...................just kidding :) :)


I got the same message:cool2:

ksss
01-23-2008, 09:17 PM
Those are my advertising dollars hard at work. I still working up my mobilization costs to Indy. Thought I would try and line up as many jobs as possible, cheaper that way.

BobcatSteve
01-24-2008, 02:22 PM
I see we have humor here too. A quick Google search on 877-skidsteer will reveal that this is a well established and capitalized business that has specialized in skid steer related projects and equipment rental for many years.

It is a fact that skid steers and mini excavators will add more value to your projects and are also more profitable than labor intensive services such as maintenance, etc. A systematic marketing plan that increases the percentage of skid steer/ excavator work that your company performs will in fact increase your business's added value, reputation, and profits. 1-877-SKIDSTEER will deliver a sustainable competitive advantage over your competitors and turn your business into the "GOTO" for skid steers and skid steer related services. This will dramatically increase equipment projects to 100% of your outdoor work as it has done for ours.

Advertising this number in New Orleans (or most any available area) will increase the profits of any business that is not already utilizing their skid steer equipment to its most productive capacity.
www.877skidsteer.com (http://www.877skidsteer.com)

YellowDogSVC
01-24-2008, 04:06 PM
Are your truck/trailer lettered that may help with smaller fill in jobs a 36 yd trailer with "debris cleanup" or somthing to that effect on the side makes one hell of a billboard going down the road.

an often overlooked point :clapping:

YellowDogSVC
01-24-2008, 04:14 PM
I've heard that landscape installs are still big on the North Shore area. With a trailer that big, I imagine you could move materials for other contractors and or your own landscape crew. Can't see how a small tracked loader wouldn't be an asset to a landscape biz and a good truck and trailer open the possibility of taking jobs a bit further out of town. I have friends trying to sell a home on the north shore and homes aren't selling as fast as they should. That area is just slowing down but it is probably a temporary lull. Subsidize what you can with some landscape/lot clearing jobs and bang on the doors for the debris removal if you don't want to get out of the equipment. Personally, I'd consider a smaller trailer if you aren't hauling debris all the time and you would be a bit more portable. Find a guy to chip or grind what you clear and advertise lot cleanups. It isn't glamorous work but it can help pay the bills and might get you some landscape installs after the home is built. Keep positive too and don't trust subcontractors unless you have a working relationship with them. You can get hung out to dry waiting for subs to part with your hard earned money.