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View Full Version : How Did You Guys Start Out?


JJLMC
08-19-2008, 05:22 PM
So how did you excavators start out? I really hate landscape maintenance and would much rather run heavy equipment. I've ran some machines before and am OK at it. But the question I have is how did you get to where you are now??

Junior M
08-19-2008, 05:41 PM
I got in to running equipment because of my dad... but i would say right now isnt a good time to go self employed if that is what you want to do... but you might try getting on with a smaller excavation company that would be more willing to let you learn...

Dirt Digger2
08-19-2008, 06:18 PM
if you want to get into the dirt world you have to work literally from the ground up...start with a shovel as labor and hope your boss gets you seat time

as soon as you run equipment in front of them they will know if you have the natural talent or not...if you do then you will quickly advace, if not then back in the ditch

some people just never get the hang of running equipment, others pick it up naturally

i started in the ditch at 16 and now am 21 running not only equipment but running jobs, acting as the supervisor for my crew out there and reporting back to the boss (owner)...its too bad this is only summer work for me

RockSet N' Grade
08-19-2008, 07:13 PM
I started out with an idea. I was broke, living in a van in Colorado in December and got a job as a coal miner running equipment. My idea was this, I never want to be that broke again.......so, I did any and everything I could to get myself somewhere else and ended up here......which is better than there. Develop a plan of forward movement, stay single minded about the plan, yet remain flexible to opportunity and just go for it. Identify your passions and see if you can combine your passions with your income. I know that is round-about - - down the road a piece it may make a little more sense, or not,.....but the plan of action is the most important key element to anything. Be as specific with your plan as you can and write it down on paper........then execute one step at a time, and before you know it, you will be there.......

mrusk
08-19-2008, 07:33 PM
Bought a 150 then fired my one employee that could run it two weeks later. I had no choice but to learn!

bobcat_ron
08-19-2008, 08:05 PM
There's an old expression that lives on in my family, "Dad bought it, so we got it".

It all started with my Dad.

CAT powered
08-19-2008, 08:27 PM
I started out driving tractors on the family farm. Driving equipment was a natural transition.
I had a successful company, but I was a partner with my brother and we had a nasty split. My current company started out with about 20 thousand dollars and a willingness to work. Plus some financing. I used that 20k to buy a truck and a dozer. Then I financed my RGN through a local trailer dealership. After that I started doing more work and adding more machines and bidding more contracts and now I have a few hundred thousand dollars of trucks and equipment.

stuvecorp
08-19-2008, 09:14 PM
I started out with an idea. I was broke, living in a van in Colorado in December and got a job as a coal miner running equipment. My idea was this, I never want to be that broke again.......so, I did any and everything I could to get myself somewhere else and ended up here......which is better than there. Develop a plan of forward movement, stay single minded about the plan, yet remain flexible to opportunity and just go for it. Identify your passions and see if you can combine your passions with your income. I know that is round-about - - down the road a piece it may make a little more sense, or not,.....but the plan of action is the most important key element to anything. Be as specific with your plan as you can and write it down on paper........then execute one step at a time, and before you know it, you will be there.......

Rock, If that van was anywhere near the river...

I felt that I could do a better job than some of the companies that I worked for and wouldn't give in. And some creative credit card financing.

ksss
08-19-2008, 10:30 PM
I would shoot myself if I woke up everyday and had to mow lawn and edge flowerbeds.

I started with a 1994 Power Tan 1840, made the payments out of the house account. It was a whole 248 dollars a month. I got a lot bigger payments now.

Junior M
08-19-2008, 10:45 PM
I am basically in the same boat as you jjlmc... I am starting from basically nothing... I had only one job when we got a loan for six grand for our trailer... Thank god we already had most the tools like a lazer, shovels, straps, hitch, and etc. etc. but we are basically starting again... but my dad started with a bobcat 730 that him and his father bought from bobcat and my dad replaced the wisconsin in it on a between the axle trailer outside during one of the coldest winters of the eighties.. when he finally got it running he climbed in and basically learned what controls were what as he backed it off the trailer and rolled it right on its back... but he went from that to four mini excavators, 2 frieght liner fl70's, two directional drills, a bobcat skidsteer, trencher, six dodge 3500 cummins, one chevy 3500 flatbed dump, 1987 chevy c60, a bunch of trailers both gooseneck and bumper pulls, a vac tron, a duct trailer, two wire trailers, an enclosed haul mark tool trailer and now my dad is starting from nothing and i am starting from new... but i have gained experience from when he had all that equipment and i am still learning right now from this website and running equipment on our small weekend jobs. but I agree with everyone else you are goin to have to start in the ditch like everyone else has or will be (i probably will be) and then once they get to know you they will give you some seat time...

Scag48
08-19-2008, 11:40 PM
I started in lawn maintenance at 13, rented skid steers and mini excavators at 16 for the occasional small project for my lawn customers. When I was 17, my dad jumped into landscaping, so that's where I got a fair amount of experience on skid steers. From the landscaping deal, we jumped into excavation a little, and now here I am. I'm a union apprentice, I run a little of everything. Best on excavator, getting better on dozer, I want to learn grader a little more. Backhoe and loader are a piece of cake. I plan on eventually going back into business for myself, but right now I'm having a blast running on jobsites that are huge money and massive production.

minimax
08-20-2008, 12:34 AM
I started mowing yard at age 11,at age 13 we bought a 22hp tractor with loader and from there I grew more and and more,at age 15 I landed a farm maintenance contact for one of the largest alpaca farms in the USA and bought a new 35hp tractor to take care of 150 acre farm and worked there 5 years,but kept running my tractor work business on the weekends.After 5 years there I bought a used mini-x and let my farm contact go and when full time running doing brushcutting and excavation and that was 4 years ago and now I own 4 machines 2 trucks 2 trailers and about 20 attachments and over 500 customer's.

minimax

Gravel Rat
08-20-2008, 02:17 PM
You will have to start out as a labourer then work from there. Getting your CDL would be a start so you can drive truck and get into the industry.

bobcat_ron
08-20-2008, 06:21 PM
You will have to start out as a labourer then work from there. Getting your CDL would be a start so you can drive truck and get into the industry.

Or you move to Vancouver and find your Class 1 or 3 licence in a box of cracker jacks and start driving big rigs as soon as your signature dries on the liability forms.

Gravel Rat
08-21-2008, 04:39 AM
Or you move to Vancouver and find your Class 1 or 3 licence in a box of cracker jacks and start driving big rigs as soon as your signature dries on the liability forms.


What do think you are Al Roy :laugh:

backhoe1
08-21-2008, 10:45 PM
I worked for my dad in landscaping for awhile, wanted to do something on my own so I went to the bank. Couple trucks, couple trailers, skidloader, backhoe, and excavator, nearing end of season number 2 and all is fine.

Bleed Green
08-21-2008, 10:56 PM
did you find it very hard to start out on your own? I am thinking about starting a small company next summer once I get out of school. I just am not sure there will be enough work to be able to be successful enough on my own.n How many people do you have working for you?

RockSet N' Grade
08-21-2008, 11:57 PM
the employee question: sometimes too many and sometimes not enough. It all depends on your ability to market and close the sale to insure the work load. It depends on your game plan: do you want to stay small and diy or go compete with the big boys in the shark pond? I have done both and at this stage of the game, for me, the niche that I have chosen is to stay small, control my overhead, sweat my little butt off and make "a good living". I will tell you this, to find one good employee you will have to sift through at least 20 guys or more.....but if you do land a good hand, it sure lightens the load.

AWJ Services
08-22-2008, 08:51 AM
The worlds greatest business
"No employees and no Customers"
Have not been able too make it work as of yet.LOL

Lawn mowing lasted a year for me and I was done with that.

I skipped the laborer stage and went straight too operator.:)
Not the best idea but I am not known for them.
The biggest problem for me was learning too bid jobs.

backhoe1
08-22-2008, 09:02 PM
I found that the employee thing is a big problem. Some days I need 4 guys, but a week later I might have enough for just myself, but I won't send my guy home because I don't want him to be looking for something else.