Mini Skid/Compact Utility machines - Business question

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by bling_2k4, May 27, 2005.

  1. bling_2k4

    bling_2k4 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    Hi there guys...

    Just wanting to know if anyone runs a business and owns one of these machines (Dingo, Ramrod, MT55, etc) as their primary business tool....

    I'm wanting to become a sub contractor with one of these machines... i'm thinking i could sub contract to plumbers, electricians, fencing, landscapers etc... just concentrating on the earthmoving side of things...

    The area i live in is primarily residential where houses have very limited access down the side... usually 3-4 feet either side of the house. I see this as the target market for this type of machine...

    Has anyone made some big dollars because of these machines?? (other than the manufacturers..;))
     
  2. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    There are three landscape companies here that have one as their primary dirt moving machines. The heavier dirt jobs they sub out. However, they offer more services than just moving dirt. Business is different everywhere you go, so to say it would not work for you may not be true. It seems to me from my experience around here that it would be a tough gig if that was your primary income. They are easy to rent. Home Depot started renting them here last year. I borrowed one to backfill an addition and was ready to use it as fill after 20 minutes. I parked it and used the excavator and labor. I thought they were more productive than they were, and maybe they are in more capable hands. I think if you had a skid steer and a mini that may prove more adaptive than a mini alone.
     
  3. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    i think it would work fine. i would think that you would be doing more trenching, augering, etc.....

    we have been doing a lot of sub work with our dingo and the sod laying attachment....

    laid about 5 tractor trailers of sod for other contractors...
     
  4. gary wise

    gary wise LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 4

    Anything but Ramrod. They are lots of trouble.
     
  5. UNISCAPER

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    I have said this before, and will stand by it. The Bobcat 4 series machines and even the New Holland LX125 series machines with a 36" kit will get into tighter places, you get to ride inside a cab rather than stand on the back or walk behind, and, this is key....They will load an F-450 or smaller dump truck from ground level, something every one of the machines you mentioned cannot do without a ramp. This one function, is more important to me than anything else. If they can't save my employess abcks by loading a truck unassisted, they are basically a worthless unit for our company. Every attachment that the stand ons use is available and will work on the 4 series.

    The fact that you have a cab allows to to close it in come winter and plow walks, or install A/C to keep the dust down and out of your lungs. We rent ours out to clean horse stalls when we are not using it.

    And here is the real selling point....The 4 series is within the same price range as the stand ons. The only reason we do not have a Cat in this size is they do not make anything 36" wide, yet.... The downside is those antiquated Bobcat 4 limb operational controls. I get out of the thing and my body is beat silly, and ankles feel like I danced all night with a big fat girl who stepped on me. That tug one at you, push one away control system was used in the 50's on dry clutch style Caterpillars until they patented powershift in the mid 60's and made the style obsolete.....

    That is the only bad thing I have to say about the 4 series, truely a little work horse that we have dug swimming pools with.
     
  6. Gilla Gorilla

    Gilla Gorilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 923

    Bill I hear you about the sitting in the cab versus standing or walking for a couple of hours behind a machine. But I can tell you one thing for sure my TX420 tracked Dingo will do a lot less damage to turf compared to my buddys old 443 Bobcat and I can go on the turf alot sooner after it rains compared to his machine.

    The other big drawback to a sit in machine is if you have to get in and out of the cab alot during the day especially if the bucket is half way up in the air. Also if you are installing a different size auger bit on the auger drive head, I can see where it would be nearly impossible to do by yourself on a 4 series Bobcat. I am able to install my 30" bit on my own with my Dingo.

    And yes I would LOVE it if the Dingo could dump into a 450 dump body but I guess that is one of the reasons that I would like to get a dump trailer one of these days. LOL
     

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