Well guys, it's pretty much a done deal. If you've been keeping track of my other thread, my dad and I have been kicking around some ideas. He went to talk to one of his long time friends who is in the excavation biz. His friend has 2 excavators, a small dozer, and a couple other pieces, plus 2 dump trucks and a lowboy to haul his Cat E200BL. So my dad talked to him today about me getting a job working for him this summer. I know the guy, I've jumped up on his machines a couple times while he was on the phone and he knows what I'm capable of as far as operating goes. This could be complicated to explain, but I'll try my best. My dad does not want me getting my CDL and driving a dump truck. He just doesn't want the liability/insurance issues. So he's got his buddy with an established excavation business, he's been in business for 6 years, always has way too much work to do and not enough equipment and manpower to do it all. My dad proposed to him that we buy a 312 with the 36 month zero payment option, they would split the gross profits (into a certain percentage, I'm not really sure what it is) if Todd (my dad's friend) would haul the excavator and supply the jobs for the machine. Sounds like a decent deal. I get the experience, Todd can teach me everything I need to know about the business, and I'll have fun and make a little coin too, but at this point, I don't care what I'm making. I am running numbers for used machines, although my dad has the finances and wouldn't have any problem getting approved for the loan. My dad has looked over Todd's books to see what kind of revenue he's made and it's been consistent enough that we should have no problem paying for the machine and putting a decent amount of change in our pocket after the 3 years has gone by. Basically, we're going to be subcontractors for Todd. I'll be working for my dad (paycheck wise), I'll be covered under dad's insurance and L&I. Todd will move the machine and supply jobs, we own the machine, and dad and Todd will split the revenue. This way, we've taken the risk out of getting into the business. We are guaranteed work, we'll be working for a reputable excavation contractor, I get the experience I want, and both my dad and Todd put some money in their pockets. With all that said, I'm in charge of spec'ing the machine. Here's what I'm getting: -Hydraulic thumb -Cat dedicated hydraulic coupler, we'll get a much better deal going with Cat brand than CWS or PSM, but I will check into what it would cost to do a CWS coupler and thumb -Medium stick -Standard boom -Work lights on cab -18" trenching bucket, 48" cleanup bucket, and 36" GP bucket -High ambient cooling system -Swivel guard? Lower rock guards? Idler guards? What do you guys think? -A/C is standard, radio is standard Please guys if you don't think this is a great idea, don't bash me. This is basically a dream come true, I don't owe a dime and I'm going to learn a ton about the business. At this point I would like some helpful criticism, but not something like "You're stupid, you're going to go broke, this is the worst idea I've ever heard". Eventually, my dad will phase out of the landscape business completely and we will be a competitor in the excavation business. He has already told me, against his own will, that's what he has planned. So he figures even if we don't make a whole ton of money with this excavator, as long as we pay for it, the experience and the knowledge we gain in the long run will be worth millions. Thanks everyone!