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View Full Version : ? About grading and excavation services


weed wacker 2
02-13-2011, 09:45 PM
I have been tossing around the idea of expanding my business towards small excavation and grading and leveling. Right now our services are limited to lawn maintenance and small landscaping. I don't have experience with running skid steers or mini excavators but I am willing to learn and get experience. What services would I be limited to with these machines? However, I don't want to buy a machine and it not pay for itself.

Landrus2
02-13-2011, 09:48 PM
rent as you need that is how you start

Dirt Digger2
02-15-2011, 07:39 PM
you need more then just a machine...while renting is your option there nobody is going to want to pay for a crappy job...not saying you will leave it that way but having no experience doesn't help...

anyone can run a skidloader..it takes skill to operate equipment and some people have it, others don't

i would find a buddy with a lot of land and do a lot of practicing before you have someone pay you to do it...nothing worse then putting a bad reputation on your businesses name

Junior M
02-15-2011, 07:53 PM
Experience is the first thing you need...

weed wacker 2
02-15-2011, 08:47 PM
We have 40 acres of ground so I will get some practice in before I take on some jobs. I am about to build a shop so I will rent one and do some of the grading for the slab to get some seat time.

DoornbosOutdoorServices
02-16-2011, 04:18 PM
We have 40 acres of ground so I will get some practice in before I take on some jobs. I am about to build a shop so I will rent one and do some of the grading for the slab to get some seat time.

That would be a good start. Just be careful of the jobs that you take to start untill you feel comfertable in the machines. Good luck.

RockSet N' Grade
02-16-2011, 10:45 PM
weedwacker.......read the thread. skids are nice, i have one......i would suggest looking at a mini skid - maybe a ditchwitch 650 and try that also.....not as glamerous as a skid, but incredibly practical.......a lot of the scapers who are successful around here have them.....great for yards.

S&S Outdoor Services
04-18-2011, 08:58 PM
It may be easier to start taking on bigger landscaping jobs before you decide to start doing the excavation and grading. We were in your situation (somewhat) last year and I ended up getting an awesome deal on a bobcat. Pretty quickly I realized how much faster I can knock out the landscape work on jobs that I wouldn't have considered renting a skid for in the past, for about the same price. Now I'm starting to transition into large landscape jobs and bidding on excavation/ grading. I actually just sold my mowing accounts to focus on using the skid and dump trailer as much as possible. In my opinion you should try to grow into more of a full service landscape company rather than having two competely seperate divisions of mowing and excavation. Once you get into the landscape construction, it'll be a lot easier to transition into the excavation and grading. - Sam

jbird3898
04-19-2011, 08:16 PM
S&S gave you great advice. Having my skid steer for over a year now I realize how much more effiecent work i can do. I put in alot of lawns in my area and on an average I can do 2 to three a day with my machine when before i could only do 1. Remember if you market it right and have conections for people to get you jobs with the machine it is literly a license to print MONEY

stuvecorp
04-19-2011, 09:22 PM
:rolleyes: Ahh, confetti does not drop from the sky if you have a skid...

Trust me, everyone and their brother has a 'bobcat' and are the world's best operator too. If you are in maintenance why not add a mini skid or ASV 30 with some attachments that will compliment what you are doing?

tallrick
04-21-2011, 01:14 AM
I own Bobcats, trenchers, a dozer and several skid steer attachments and never got into the business. All I do is maintain properties I own, and the occasional cash or barter job. My main money maker has been repairing equipment, so the machines provided valuable experience to practice repairs and making hoses. As for operating I agree that finding a place to use the machine and doing it is important. I used to watch others do their jobs when I was younger to get ideas. Generally I could disassemble and rebuild a machine before I had any real experience running one. My first skid steer was a trade for trailer tires I cleaned and mounted. Once I had assembled the skid steer (Mustang 1700) I set out to figure out how to run it. After almost 25 years I never had the heart to get rid of that machine.

ACC_INC.
05-11-2011, 02:31 PM
I have been tossing around the idea of expanding my business towards small excavation and grading and leveling. Right now our services are limited to lawn maintenance and small landscaping. I don't have experience with running skid steers or mini excavators but I am willing to learn and get experience. What services would I be limited to with these machines? However, I don't want to buy a machine and it not pay for itself.

I think you are making a mistake. Keep doing what you are and expand when you are ready. Buying a piece of equipment thinking that you are going to make money selling it as a service is a mistake. I think most will agree we bought our equipment to help make what we are currently doing more productive and cost effective. Finding work for a machine is a lot harder that you would think.
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