New Beginning's - ARPI photo tour

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by ARP, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. ARP

    ARP LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,510

    I figured Junior- just double checking you know :laugh:

    Ya it was nice to work in sand for once. Nice easy grading :cool2:
     
  2. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,541

    Yeah.. :laugh:

    And sand is nice to work in till it dries out and the wind is blowing like crazy and your trying to load a truck with a thumb that is getting in your way, yeah, what you said, sand is fun! ;) :laugh:
     
  3. Looking Good Lawn Service

    Looking Good Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    Hey ARP, I noticed you had mentioned earlier in this thread that you went to school for your bachelors in BA, so how did u learn construction, not in college, right? I am wrapping up my 2nd bachelors in Business Management and was wondering where you learned.
     
  4. ARP

    ARP LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,510

    Looking good,

    I got my site work experience by working every spare moment I got between the summer before freshmen year of college and my senior year of college. I got my hoisting license at age 18 and the day after I went to work for a local landscaper running a Bobcat. I just showed up and asked if I could learn how to run a machine and that conversation led to a month and a half of work.

    I left the landscaper when I got an opportunity to work for a small sitework firm. There I learned how to read plans, set grades, use a laser, and run heavy equipment. After working for this company for about 6 months, he ran out of work and I had to go elsewhere. So I networked around and finally got introduced to the owners, who are brothers, of a very large sitework company in my area (about 250 employees at their height, 60 in the sitework division alone). I was brought on by the younger brother and placed in the field as an assistant supervisor on a $3 million apartment project. I worked on that job for my sophmore summer and through my sophmore winter and spring.

    For my junior year, I was brought back on as a site engineer, as was given a week to learn how to use a GPS system. I then spent the summer laying out four different sites, a store complex, pond, residential development, and trucking center. BTW- I never had a single failure or rework of work that I laid out (My little brag moment :rolleyes:). At the end of that summer, I was given the responsibility of a site supervisor, and was tasked with laying out a 26 acre trucking complex and a half mile of roadway. I then directed the land clearing and grubbing of the whole site. Unfortunately, I had to go back to school and I had to relinquish the reins of the project after a month and a half.

    Overall, the majority of my experience has come from working for that large sitework contractor. In addition to actual site experience, I also worked in the office doing estimating. As I have gone on to form my company, I remain close to my former boss and view him as a mentor of mine.

    The moral of my very long response, is that I have been very focused on what I wanted and have spent the last four years getting to where I am now. While college taught me good business practices and discipline, what I did in my spare time actually got me my (limited) construction experience.
     
  5. Looking Good Lawn Service

    Looking Good Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    Very impressive ARP,

    I had a similar experience with Landscaping and learned while I worked after school and summers for a local contractor, whom I am still friends with to this day. Very interesting story, and I admire your work ethic, reminds me of myself. I have my fathers friends whom have a nice construction operation, but, I'm not sure they would teach me, they are friendly and helpful, but they don't recommend "college grads" do their work and might not teach me because they feel as if I should be using my brains and not working with my hands, which I enjoy,lol. But academically I have done very well too, so its a toss up. I might bring the topic up and see how they react to it.

    Pleasure hearing your background,
    Sebastian
     
  6. ARP

    ARP LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,510

    Thanks Sebastian,

    It's funny that you say the owners of the construction company don't recommend "college grads" do this type of work. IMO, that kind of response is a symptom of a much larger problem in this country. With the large decrease in interest in "the trades" over the past decade by the general public, it makes one wonder who will do this work in the future?

    I wouldn't let their past response deter you from pursuing your passion. It's funny, because I did very well academically as well (graduating magna cum laude in May), yet I still choose to pursue this field of work. Before I started working in construction, I was of the mindset that anyone could do this type of work. Man, did that opinion change once I got into things! Needless to say, I am still learning constantly and looking forward to learning more in the future.

    I wouldn't let your intelligence scare you away from this work. This business can use a lot more intelligent people as business leaders in the future. I'm actually excited for the future, as the market will open up significantly as current owners retire or get out of the business.
     
  7. mrsops

    mrsops LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,879

    Apr come down to New York i got some nice jobs for that t320 :weightlifter:
     
  8. landscapesc

    landscapesc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 78

    I am new to the forum...have been looking at it for a while but i just registered and have enjoyed being able to post. I too went to College and did the suit and tie gig for a few years after i graduated but was not satisfied with what i was doing and missed working outside with my hands. I then decided to get into landscaping, which i have been doing my entire life through out high school and college. Long story short, i don't own my own business, but i am the ops manager of a regional landscaper and i hopefully will have a long successful career. I agree more educated people in this field would be great...i get tired of losing bids to people that don't have a clue what it takes to do the job right! I commend you on starting your own business and it looks like you will have sucess in the future! Best of luck....
     
  9. Looking Good Lawn Service

    Looking Good Lawn Service LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 272

    Thats very true Arp, the market needs educated people, they just don't see that now, and the fact that you cannot find qualified people in the trades illustrates this point. I guess learning by trial and error may be the only bet, if no one is willing to mentor you along the way. Its definitely true that many of the current companies are aging and will soon retire, the company I know is already in their 60's and still runs equipment, but that will be short lived as they plan to retire soon, so they say, and not one of their kids want the biz, and went to "college" to avoid it. It Doesn't make sense, whats wrong with operating a successful business?
     
  10. ARP

    ARP LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,510

    Landscapesc- Thanks and welcome to the forums! :drinkup: It's always nice to have new members. I, as well as others I'm sure, are interested in hearing about you and having you in the discussions on here. I'd certainly be interested in hearing more about your operation that you head up.

    Looking Good- It is kind of disappointing that the trades are looked down upon these days. But again, where there is a problem, I find an opportunity and I hope other like minded individuals will too.

    I was chatting with my former employer recently as well, and he too is wrestling with a succession plan for his company. What I would give to be one of his kids or relatives! Oh well- guess I'll just have to keep starting from scratch and go from there. It is a shame that people would pass up an awesome opportunity to run a very successful business (and one of the largest donors to charity in the area) because they might have to get some "mud" on their hands and clothes.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2009

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