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  #31  
Old 11-30-2011, 06:24 PM
Mike Leary's Avatar
Mike Leary Mike Leary is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txgrassguy View Post
I just smoked another.
We're lucky, the border patrol guys that stay in our park bring us gifts daily.
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  #32  
Old 11-30-2011, 07:42 PM
Irrigation Contractor Irrigation Contractor is offline
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[QUOTE=FIMCO-MEISTER;4230450]Plasma cutters? I don't even like the sound of that. What state are you in?[/QUOTE

We are in TN and I am not kidding. I used to live in Chicago and we pulled poly, but that was way back when I helped my dad back in the early 80's.

When I moved to TN 18 years ago, irrigation was not very popular so I called a guy to price my house. He wanted $6000.00 for a 7 zone system. The other guy told me "If you have to ask the price, then you cannot afford it". So we installed my house, parents, and brothers house. Then the neighbors all started to ask for a price and that is how I got started, this was also when the economy started to boom.

I did most of the systems myself for the first year and it would take me all day to just trench a 7-10 zone system with a walk behind. Then clean all the trenches, load and haul off all the rock to a point where we often need to bring in some topsoil to fill the trenches because we removed so muck rock. The builders are getting better at scrapping the yards down now and putting in 2-6" of top soil so it is better.

I saw a the Dingo one day after killing my back in 100 degree temps, did a demo and bought it right off the trailer. It usually would take 4-10 wheel barrel loads of rock for each job and the Dingo with a bucket was a life saver and we have been using mini loaders ever since.

The equipment takes a beating, I mean when you have to run full welded shark chains daily you can imagine the repairs needed. It is to a point where we cannot use the "crumber" or auger because they shear off pulling up all the rock. My best install foreman all know how to weld and we keep a stick, mig and tig welder ready to go in our fabrication area. We have cutting torches, band saws, plasma cutters and hoists to just work on the machines.

We always joke about the videos Toro, Vermeer and Ditch put out when showing one of their machines trenching. It always looks like a farm somewhere in the mid west with nice black top soil. Our area is more orange, yellow and add some grey for the rock
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  #33  
Old 11-30-2011, 08:18 PM
txirrigation txirrigation is offline
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Originally Posted by txgrassguy View Post
This thread is bad luck - I just smoked another hydraulic pump.
Wash plate was scored all to hell - talked to the guys and found out they decided to "add" hydraulic fluid which wasn't - it was a bucket of used oil from my tractor.
I swear if there was a bounty on dumbass employees I could retire tomorrow.
haha x2. My guys brought the kanga back in today with a snapped arm on the kanga. I do a lot of my own welding repairs, but this one is going to the welding shop.
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  #34  
Old 11-30-2011, 09:27 PM
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FIMCO-MEISTER FIMCO-MEISTER is offline
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Yeeesh I. C. that sound you heard was TX contractors dropping at the thought of 6,000.00 for a 7 zone system. I know central TX has some serious rock but I doubt they get anywhere close to that price wise.
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  #35  
Old 11-30-2011, 09:40 PM
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Mike Leary Mike Leary is offline
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Originally Posted by FIMCO-MEISTER View Post
the thought of 6,000.00 for a 7 zone system.
Works for me.
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  #36  
Old 11-30-2011, 10:17 PM
txirrigation txirrigation is offline
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Originally Posted by FIMCO-MEISTER View Post
Yeeesh I. C. that sound you heard was TX contractors dropping at the thought of 6,000.00 for a 7 zone system. I know central TX has some serious rock but I doubt they get anywhere close to that price wise.
No that sound was the last trailer full of my stuff slamming shut in route to TN. I will have to buy a small bus...errrrr... tin can to haul my swim team* up with me. How is the I.C.E presence in TN? My take a while for my guys to get bootleg I.D.'s.

That's almost a grand a zone... sign me up buttercup.

We have serious rock, that is why every irrigation co worth it's salt has 1-2 30k rock saws. I tried the earth saw attachment, and that lasted about 2 installs before the limestone chewed it up and spit it out.

*Border of Mexico and TX has a river... put one and one together.
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  #37  
Old 11-30-2011, 11:24 PM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Leary View Post
Works for me.
1K/zone .... sounds about right to me.
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  #38  
Old 12-01-2011, 01:12 AM
Irrigation Contractor Irrigation Contractor is offline
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I need to clarify that the price was back in 1998. When I got in it around here, most commercial sites did not get irrigation let alone a model home or your average house. Like me, many people move to TN to get away from big city taxes and all the other problems that come with it. These transplants are used to irrigation and started complaining to the builders that they wanted to buy a house with irrigation and the cities began to put urban enviromental agencies in place forcing the rise of irrigation and its popularity. As the popularity grew came a flood of new companies and most do not know how to sell quality so they use the easy way by making it all about price.

We have a good run for about 5 years at $800-$1000 for a 13 gpm zone, but then the landscapers decided that it would be ideal to get into installing irrigation and give it away for cost to get the landscaping portion of the job. So prices quickly went down to as low as $375 a station and around here you just cannot make money at that price and still be a legit company doing things the right way. It is just impossible to operate, pay taxes and just overall do business on the up and up. We have hovered around the $600.00 plus mark this past year, but of course that number is just a generic price for conversation sake.

Many of the guys that were low balling are gone now, so the prices are actually making a come back in this shitty economy and is the one plus out of the last couple years. We have very few "real" irrigators left around here and the few of us left get paid right once they try all the others.

It was really frustrating back in 2006-2007 watching prices going down, meanwhile we were so busy we turned work away due to lack of labor. When 2008 came, all of our loyal builders came to us and said "Thanks, but times are tough and we are getting prices much less than yours". We know our costs since we use Rain Cad and we draw 80% of our installs so we told them that we could not drop the price and they dropped us.

After 12-18 months of pure frustration with the low ballers they started coming back which put us in a good position to get what we are worth. All of you know what it costs to not only run good install crews, but good service techs all having locators, remotes and all the other goodies. A lot of guys can install and do a decent job at it, but it always comes back to high quality service and quick response times.

Last edited by Irrigation Contractor; 12-01-2011 at 01:16 AM.
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  #39  
Old 12-01-2011, 12:53 PM
arbor pro arbor pro is offline
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Originally Posted by pblc View Post
I'm looking to pick up a second mini skid steer to work on our new irrigaiton crew next year. This will be our first year with irrigation so I'm completely new to the game. We have planned to concentrate on residential installs and small commercial jobs.

As I'm looking at trenchers to buy I see there are all different sizes and types. What size do most use for this type of work - how deep do the irrigation trenches need to go? We are located in the southeast missouri, northwest tennessee, west kentucky area.

Also I'm looking at a mini skid steer to tug the trencher around. Will a 20 horse gas engine be big enough - like on a Bobcat MT50 or Dingo 420... Or would it be smart to go bigger and diesel to complete these tasks.

Do most trench and then hard pipe in pvc or are you ripping and installing a flexible pipe?

Thanks for the help.
left you a pm. call me if you'd like to chat about minis and/or attachments. I still have my sk650 for sale (buyer's financing fell through) and have reduced the price on it. AP
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  #40  
Old 12-05-2011, 06:25 PM
pikewillis1 pikewillis1 is offline
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Location: Manassas Virginia
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Call Everett to get a list of used Dingo and attachments that he has.

I know hes got a couple used dingos and a used vibratory plow and trencher attachments
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