PDA

View Full Version : dig or rent?


bobbygedd
12-19-2004, 09:12 PM
you have a job. if you do it by hand, it's 5 hrs of digging. if you rent a machine, it's $300 rental fee, plus whatever time it takes you to make the arrangements, etc and do the work. what do you do? dig by hand, put the $300 in your pocket, or rent the machine?

redoak77
12-19-2004, 09:22 PM
Rent the machine because it is fun to play with big toys. In all seriousness, why not rent the machine charge the 300.00 and then charge an extra 100 for the work.

grass_cuttin_fool
12-19-2004, 09:22 PM
Are you actually doing the digging or is it your workers doing the diggin??. My opinion I would rent the machine because of running into rocks or what ever that could make the job longer. Also if some one else will pay for you to play and get some experience with a machine why not go for it.

Soupy
12-19-2004, 09:22 PM
Does the 5 hours digging allow for breaks? I would never dig 5 hours straight by hand for $300. You could fine a couple of cheap laborers to do the digging for you for about $100 though. I would probably rent the machine and charge accordingly.

Don't forget about wear and tear on the body...

bobbygedd
12-19-2004, 09:29 PM
i'm not talking 5 hrs steady digging. i lttle digging, a little picking (frozen ground) dump the wheel barrow, stop for a few min, etc. now, if you are getting $1500 for the job, you can take out $300, spend it on rental, or put the 3 bills in your pocket, and sweat a little

SodKing
12-19-2004, 09:33 PM
I would rent the machine and use the time I saved to do another job.

bobbygedd
12-19-2004, 09:34 PM
if you have that much work lined up, sure, but still don't forget, you dumped $300 that could have been profit on this job, by renting a machine

Green Care
12-19-2004, 09:34 PM
I will rent bg and save the back trouble

Soupy
12-19-2004, 09:35 PM
i'm not talking 5 hrs steady digging. i lttle digging, a little picking (frozen ground) dump the wheel barrow, stop for a few min, etc. now, if you are getting $1500 for the job, you can take out $300, spend it on rental, or put the 3 bills in your pocket, and sweat a little

I would dig, but it wouldn't be me digging :)

Shuter
12-19-2004, 09:44 PM
Rent the machine, add the cost to the price plus an up-charge for the time it takes you to make the arrangements. A lot of this business is about productivity, and if you are comparing a shovel to a machine for digging, you may not be making productive decisions. Take the 5 hours it will take you to dig and add on another small job to increase the bottom line.

coastallandscapesolutions
12-19-2004, 09:44 PM
Rent it or find some unknowing fool to dig it for a six pack :p

bobbygedd
12-19-2004, 09:45 PM
so check it out...to rent the machine, it's 15 min ride to rental place, 5-10 min jerking around, waiting in line, signing, whatever. another 5 min to load and secure machine. 20 min ride to jobsite, 5 min unload. this is 55 minutes. repeat process to return the machine. this is almost 2 hrs time, not to mention the mess the machine made on the clients property, but to save 3 hrs, YOU SPENT AN EXTRA $300 BUCKS!. no thanx, give me the shovel, i'll dig, and keep the 3 bills, and take tommorow off

Smithers
12-19-2004, 09:46 PM
... dig........

Fareway Lawncare
12-19-2004, 09:48 PM
There's 2 Keys to Success & eXpansion in this Biz.

The first is Specialize..The Second is Sub-Contract.

The Third is...Don't Do Anything By Hand !

the scaper
12-19-2004, 09:51 PM
I'd pay someone to dig for 5 hrs while I go do something else, or stand there and stupervise. Much cheaper than the rental. If my schedule is slam full I'd rent the machine so he could dig it faster.

tx_angler
12-19-2004, 09:58 PM
Either way call before you dig!

http://www.electricsmarts.com/content/callbeforeyoudig.asp

SodKing
12-19-2004, 09:58 PM
if you have that much work lined up, sure, but still don't forget, you dumped $300 that could have been profit on this job, by renting a machine

No It wouldn't be $300 additional profit. You have to account for actual increased labor costs, insurances, taxes, etc for that 5 hours you were hand digging not to mention the opportunity cost for the time spent digging where you could have been billing some other minutes or selling other jobs.

richard coffman
12-19-2004, 10:01 PM
I'd go for the machine, if worried about rutts, you can put down plywood, has worked well for me in the past. something else to consider before digging, is have the utilities marked so you know what's where, or you'll run into some big trouble. that service should be free. there is no comparision between machine digging and the good old shovel. key to it all is to work smarter, not harder.... just my thoughts Bobby.....

Respectfully,

Richard/Owner :D :D :D :D :D ;) ;) :D

trying 2b organic
12-19-2004, 10:09 PM
I think by the time the customer pays you to go get the machine. learn to use it and then return it, that you would have all been much better off to sub it to someone who owns the machine and is an expert in using it.

Its just too classic a sub-contract when you have those types of efficencies not to go that route. If im right then the customer will find out that to hire a landscaper who already owns a mini-ex would have saved him hundreds. The only exception might be if I had cheap and amazing labour already on site, with the size of job u mentioned that might be ok.

Good post Fareway, to that end Im meeting with guys who run dump trucks, bobcats etc to learn about how we can work well together next season as far as profitable and efficient sub contracting goes.

olderthandirt
12-19-2004, 10:17 PM
I would BUY the machine and find enough work for it to pay for itself with aded services.After that it becomes cheaper than renting becouse I don't have to pick up or return plus I added additional services for the Biz and additionally I know that it will be available when I need it.

Mac

DUSTYCEDAR
12-19-2004, 10:21 PM
Just Dig It

TClawn
12-19-2004, 10:24 PM
I would rent the machine. it will let you be more productive so you can move on to another job.

out4now
12-19-2004, 10:29 PM
Depends on if there are other jobs to go to that demand more time or if there was another job that machine could be used on. For one job, probably just dig it if there was nothing else demanding time. What type of machine are you renting for 300? Here a cableplow used to run about 175 plus fuel a day. What type of job is it exactly?

TClawn
12-19-2004, 10:36 PM
if it's gona take you five hours you really can't get started on another job. by the time you pack up, get to the other job and setup you'll have about an hours worth of work left before you have to pack up to go home. if you used the machine you would have at least 2 1/2 hours left.

bobbygedd
12-19-2004, 10:56 PM
putting in a dry creek. that is the job. the cost of rental is $250 plus tax minimum. u can have it all day, or one hr, it's $250 plus tax.

trying 2b organic
12-19-2004, 11:00 PM
Isnt a dry creek the wierdest idea for a landscape? Sounds cool though, maybe u can post pic when done. And great off season gig too.

Or is a dry creek a drainage solution not like a design thing?

out4now
12-19-2004, 11:00 PM
Dry creek bed, so you'd be looking at a bobcat with backhoe attachment or a mini exacvator, just dig it. For what you'll shell out ain't worth it to rent it.

bobbygedd
12-19-2004, 11:09 PM
Dry creek bed, so you'd be looking at a bobcat with backhoe attachment or a mini exacvator, just dig it. For what you'll shell out ain't worth it to rent it.
yes, correct. i did take before pics, my after pic is delayed, i ran a freakin half ton SHORT on the stone, and the only place open today didn't have anymore. anyhow, who wants to price the job? anyone wanna take a stab at it? 5 hrs prep. 2.5 ton 1.5" deleware river stone. 2 ton 2.5" deleware river stone. 1/2 ton 3/4" red stone. small "boulders", maybe 25 pieces, total cost $25. 5 variegated lillyturf (liriope) my cost $7 each. 2 spreading yews, my cost $20 each. 3 azealeas, my cost $10 each. 1 roll weed barrier fabric @$50. any takers? i'll do an after pic, god willing there is no snow here tommorow, and i can finish.

Green-Pro
12-19-2004, 11:40 PM
olderthandirt I would BUY the machine and find enough work for it to pay for itself with aded services.After that it becomes cheaper than renting becouse I don't have to pick up or return plus I added additional services for the Biz and additionally I know that it will be available when I need it.

Mac

I like Mac's option way more than the two being debated, to rent or to dig by hand. I've pondered this as I get ready to start and it seems to me if it is a viable service a guy could add to those he already provides, you will be in a better position to look towards the future.

Just my .02

G-P

all degree
12-19-2004, 11:45 PM
Generally I would dig by hand. Another option I have used for spreading stone when its over 6-7 tons is a dingo. Home Depot Rents them for about $100/ day and they have digging attachments as well.

DuallyVette
12-20-2004, 01:56 AM
I buy one if I didn't have one. Maybe I'd use it again or maybe not, but as an ex boy scout...I'd be ready.

I have a JD 4400 tractor . I bought it to aerate. I had a loader and backhoe added...just in case.

Soupy
12-20-2004, 02:09 AM
yes, correct. i did take before pics, my after pic is delayed, i ran a freakin half ton SHORT on the stone, and the only place open today didn't have anymore. anyhow, who wants to price the job? anyone wanna take a stab at it? 5 hrs prep. 2.5 ton 1.5" deleware river stone. 2 ton 2.5" deleware river stone. 1/2 ton 3/4" red stone. small "boulders", maybe 25 pieces, total cost $25. 5 variegated lillyturf (liriope) my cost $7 each. 2 spreading yews, my cost $20 each. 3 azealeas, my cost $10 each. 1 roll weed barrier fabric @$50. any takers? i'll do an after pic, god willing there is no snow here tommorow, and i can finish.

I don't know, maybe $1500 :)

YardPro
12-20-2004, 08:55 AM
i'd have someone else dig it.
you pay one guy say $100 or even $120 to dig it. for them that's good money. you keep the $180-$200 saved from the machine and take the family out to dinner

Runner
12-20-2004, 01:53 PM
I agree. I think I would pay for the labor. A point that I was going to make, was that after the hole was dug and the work is done, doesn't the hole hole have to be filled in again? But then, when I saw what it was for, that changed everything. For $300., I think I would skip the rental charge (seems pretty high, but it's prorbably the area's rate) and just do it by hand. I you could find someone who is will to come in with a small tractor w/ a backhoe attachment for cheap, that would be just to cool, but it's just finding someone like that who is willing...

Remsen1
12-20-2004, 03:15 PM
I would either dig by hand or if it looked like too much to do, I would sub it out.

I have always wondered though... I wonder if the customer's perception of the amount they pay changes based on whether you use a machine? Same hole, but one is done with a machine in 1 hr and the other is done by hand in 5 hours. Which does the customer expect to pay more for? Also we must be talking about pretty tiny excavators right? I've seen many small excavators operated by good operators that could dig a hole in 30 minutes that would take me two days by hand.

KathysLGC
12-20-2004, 04:19 PM
Since you stated you don't have anything else lined up, i would dig by hand. A pick and a shovel can do a lot. I know, I put up a few pools by hand so i know what it's like to dig and level by hand. Hard work but if you have nothing else to do why not do it by hand and save the money? That's just me. I'm not lazy. Some are, or have bad backs. Clay is the worst to dig by hand and it sucks when you hit bolders but a sledge hammer does wonders to them....

muddstopper
12-20-2004, 05:07 PM
I would go to the dealer and tell him I wanted to demo a new machine. Take it to the job site,dig your hole and take it back. Dealer might even let you keep it a day or two so you can do even more jobs with it to see how well you really like it. I am suprised at you Bobby for not having thought of this solution.