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Looks like I will stick with the junk business

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Gravel Rat, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    Finding a tandem axle dump for the amount of money I want to spend is becoming not a easy task its nothing but junk. If a person wants a decent truck looking at spending 40,000 dollars anything for 25,000 dollars is site trucks.

    Also the prediction of the local economy doesn't look good I think the housing boom we have had fizzled out. This time last year contractors were busy and the same time last year were busy. Right now its like somebody pulled the plug on the work the contractors are laying employees off or they are down to couple days a week.

    A little frustrated sitting at home no work going on I can't find a job with a excavation contractor because they have no work :rolleyes:
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I would move. Granted easier said than done but a man has to do what a man has to do. Certianly other parts of CANADA must do better than where your at. If nothing else get a work visa and come south. Pick up some skills and go back up north. You would be much more marketable with a good resume.
  3. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    I have to move to Alberta where is 40 below zero in the winter and in the summer the black flies are like birds and 40 celcius. One of my brother's friends works out in Alberta driving end dump makes 6 grand a month he is working 12 hours a day never sees days shorter than 12 hours and works 2 weeks on 10 days off. Lives in a camp and never see's his familly he is trying his hardest to find a job out here but there is nothing.

    Most jobs in Alberta are working on the oil fields and most of it is in camp work. There are not many places to rent in Alberta if you do find a place its a 1 bedroom appartment for 1000 a month. People are renting out bedrooms in their houses for 200 a month. There is no real life most guys in Alberta spend allot of time in the bar and gambling.

    I have looked in the Interior of B.C. where my uncle is he said there isn't much going on. He works for a company that tries to create work and enployment. The economy in the Interior isn't doing that good because it is mainly logging as the industry.

    When the B.C. gov't keeps preaching B.C.s economy is doing good is limited to Vancouver and that little corner. It is all the hype about the winter olympics in 2010 that is driving the economy there. The 2010 olympics is going to drive B.C. so far into the hole the provincial debt will increase millions.

    I don't want to really live in Vancouver its a horrible city with bad crime just living there will shorten you life by 10 years. Just visiting for a day drives me insane.

    Driving truck in Vancouver is frustrating as h*ll because the roads are not designed for the amount of traffic on them because they were designed for a 1950s 1960s population. One accident grid locks the freeways for hours I talked with guys that drive in the city sometimes you can be sitting in traffic for 2 to 4 hours. One truck driver I talk to quite abit says even at 3am there is rush hour traffic.

    The requirement to drive dump truck in Vancouver is you wear a turban and don't speak english. They under cut the rates so bad nobody else can work. They will work for the cost of fuel if it means they will get the job and then they end up crying they are not making any money. They operate their trucks in deplorable shape but they are certified because they take them to shops with their own race working there. They will pass a truck even thou its not really legal. The trucks I looked at in Vancouver would never pass inspection at our shops here but in Vancouver they have a current inspection.
    The one truck I looked at had a new CVI done and it was passed but when I looked at the truck it had tires that were past the legal limit. Other parts of the truck were not legal and would have made the truck fail here.

    I have helped with many truck inspections I know what needs to be done and what is legal. I asked on of my mechanic buddies he said they get away with that done there because soon as the gov't inspectors check on these shops they start pleading racism :angry:

    If the gov't does close these shops down they pop up somewhere else and start the same BS all over again.

    So I'am not sure what to do I thought I could make enough living with a dump truck here thats not the case. Then there are more people jumping on the excavation bandwagon I seen a few more ads in the local paper for new excavation companies offering services.

    The people I talked to figure our local economy isn't going to pick up till March and who knows if its going to be good or bad.

    I'am looking for other ways to get work so I can quit my part time gov't job that I dislike. Its a dead end job that will never go anywhere plus the fact you never know what they will do. With them your a number and thats it.

    I could get a job with the highways maintenance contractor but they are worse than the company I work for now. They wonder why they can't get anybody to work for them. The starting wage they pay is :laugh: able I would make more money sitting at home.

    There are so many companies with bad attitudes towards their employees and they wonder why B.C. has a labour shortage problem.
  4. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    I can tell you it's getting that way especially in the US no matter what field of work your in. Even excavating for example has been a big thing around here for the past few years. I have several friends that farm that bought some excavating equipment. I have one buddy for example that has bought the follwoing in the past three years. He has Cat 2002 D4 dozer,Deere CTL 322 with many attachements, Cat track hoe, Deere 35 mini track hoe, 2006 dodge ram 4x4 diesel,Cat crawler loader, just bought two old Terex pans,2000 4x4 extended cab dodge ram diesel, 20' corn pro gooseneck trailer, 2005 chevrolet one ton duramax service truck, 1999 day cab Peterbuilt with a drop deck detach trailer. He bought all of these and is now twenty five years old. He is very good at the books and hired workers that know there stuff. The main guy that he has is almost 70 years old and has done it all his life. He does mostly septic systems but recently got a job putting in a 1.5 mile road to the sound of $600,000. Im not sure on the debt he has but personally I think he got big way to quick and personally I would rather know how to do all the work as good as my employees. Anyway according to him and others the housing development has fallen off sharply. He told me he has put in about half the basements he put in the year before. Also if you work somewhere like I do the companies keep wanting more work for less money. I mean we will take where I work for example. They want to start a person out at $9.35 an hour. There is no way you can rent an apartment and pay a cheap car payment on that. I think the big picture is this. Allot of money in the last few years spent has been (old money) that has been made in the stock market and from people that sold there land for a bunch and had to reinvest that money in a given time to avoid the heavy taxes. Eventually and where seeing it around here all over in Ohio as soon as the average people are not spending any money no one will be spending any. I recently bought me a skid steer to make a little extra money. I sometimes fear though that in another five years they will be doing that work for nothing. Around here a skid steer is as common if not more than a tractor now.
  5. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    We are beginning to see cracks in the proverbial dam here. I was working at a site the other day and overheard the contractor talking about filing bankrupcy because some of the homes he built and that were due to close, fell out of escrow the day before closing. When this thing breaks, and it will, I don't see a soft landing........there is too much debt floating out there. More important, once confidence is lost by the majority, homes from 200,000 to 2 million will see a drop. I've rode through this cycle two times before in my life and made it both times. It's most interesting though that the homes from 5 million and up seem to be a stable commodity even in bad times when bottoms are falling out all over. I personally, am reducing debt.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    My situation is I don't want to take on debt I have a clean record now and if the housing boom we have had is going to take a dump there is going to be a few contractors going under. There are allot of home owners so deep in debt with house payments they can't see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    For me to buy a tandem axle dump truck for 25,000 is 500 dollars a month plus another 200 a month in insurance. The truck will have to work atleast 10hours a month to make the truck payment.

    I know contractors that have gone out and bought new equipment I think some of them might be selling that new equipment if next year turns bad.

    The people that are trying to flip houses aka buy them cheap and try re-sell them are going to take a bath. Then there are people out there with 2000 dollar a month house payments.

    Have to wait and see what happens I might be glad I have a part time job :p

    Our economy in Canada partially relys on the US economy and if the California market is slowing down there goes millions of dollars in gravel sales and wood. There are millions of tons of gravel shipped to California from the West Coast of B.C. .
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,067

    I think there's money to be made with smaller equipment doing compact work. Buy a mini for $15K, a truck for $10K, and a trailer. Same investment, and at the end of the day, you can clear way more than a dump truck, plus it's less stressful and the insurance is a hell of a lot less. We were doing well with our excavation endeavour, us getting out had nothing to do with business dropping off, we were quite busy until the day I left for college. It was strictly a logistics issue my dad overlooked when purchasing the machine. With that said, if you came about 200 miles south, you'd find work in the Seattle area. There's always something going on over here. The housing develpment scene seems to still be going on, although in a lesser force, but nonetheless it's very, very consistent, there's tons of really loaded people looking to build and developers are breaking ground wherever they can. I don't know everything, but as far as I can tell, the middle man doesn't make it. Either you're small and have small overhead, or you're huge and taking on as much work as possible. There are too many guys in the 10-20 employee range that can't streamline to compete with the smaller guys and are losing bids to the big boys. My strategy when I get done with school is to start out with a small mini ex, a cheap truck, and just go for it. I might get on a with a big firm for a year or two and do some more hard knocks learning on someone else's dime, but we'll see where things take me. I still haven't learned large pipe work so that's on my list of things to learn, I want to run scraper for a while and understand what it takes to bid those types of jobs, I'd like to get on a grader as well, polish my dozer skills, and if I could do some demo work along the way I think I'd be pretty well rounded.
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    The guys jumping into the excavation business are guys with mini excavators. The mini market is getting just as flooded as the excavation contractors with fullsize machines.

    It looks like if I want to stick around here I'am going have to do 20 different jobs not just one. It looks like I may have to go back to mowing lawns :nono:

    I don't think I can do bullwork anymore doing landscaping by hand and digging with a shovel. I'am so out of shape I get tired running my 046 Stihl bucking firewood for 5 minutes. There will always be landscape maintenance work the one landscaper I work with was so busy this summer it was non-stop.

    There has been too much speculation that this housing boom was going to continue. As I mentioned some contractors have gone out and bought newer equipment and I know those machine payments are pretty high. Some of the people I have talked to that have been through these housing spurts says this one has been the strongest boom yet. It might be fooling people to beleive its going to continue. I do think some of the developers have stuck their neck out pretty far spending big chunks of money clearing land on speculation.

    The one subdivison I was hoping that would go isn't selling that quick. If it was selling lots then I could see lots of dirt hauling. It seems like the interest from buyers has turned into tire kickers want to look but no big sales.

    It may turn into like it was 3-4 years ago there was people renovating houses but new construction and landclearing was pretty slow.
  9. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    Don't you guys save money? I do. If the market bottoms out and there is no work at all i will be fine. And i a truck loan and a skid steer loan. You got to save your money and budget so then your not afraid to take a little risk and spend money expanding in a new field.

    BTW i doubt housing will fall drasticly nation wide. Interest rates are falling. I basically think housing will just even out for awhile.

  10. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    There is tons of mini-excavators and skids around here. Yes there is work for them around here but eventually they will be more people doing the work than there is a demand for the work. This will drive what you run the machine for way down. Dont forget all the rental stores that have both the machins you can rent for a decent price. I bought a skid steer to use on our three farms and Im looking at buying another farm. If it never leaves the farm it has more than paid for itself. I did buy a three year old machine that is good enough to take out and do some jobs. Im just not betting on getting rich or quitting my day job anytime soon. Allot of people that bought skids had to buy the truck, trailer, tools, fuel tank, and the machine. I had everything but the machine. Yes I could use a better trailer but that is no biggie. Farm ground has more than doubled in value the past few years. What we see here is extremely high prices for farm land and no one is buying. The funny thing is thought for some reason when they put it up for auction someone will go there and pay the outrageous price. Also in Ohio as of next year they are passing a new septic law that will add another $7,000 to $10,000 to put in a septic. Dont think that will have no effect. The person wanting to build will either have to build a smaller house, buy less land, or buy an existing house. Something else that will drive the land prices up around here is all the talk about ethanol and using soybeans for fuel. It's going to be an interesting next few years.

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