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Skid Steer VS Excavator

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Prime Interlock, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,403

    I'd tread lightly with buying "the biggest skid steer".

    Actually.....I don't think I would ever advise anyone in the RESIDENTIAL landscape / hardscape industry to "buy the biggest".

    Here is why:

    A) In the residential world, there is reality. Reality is - if the machine is too big - it ain't going to work. It's gonna be too tight. You'll end up knocking decks down. Damaging A/C units. And so forth.

    Our rubber tire skid steers are classified as 'Full Size Skid Loaders'. Weighing around 7000#. I don't want any skid loader that is one inch longer and/or one inch wider.

    B) Bigger machines require bigger trailers. And bigger trailers may require a Class A license. Although not too sure about Canada. Because I'm American. Not Canadian.

    I look for the smallest machine that can lift 3000#.


    To the topic creator:

    You're new. Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.

    Its hard to be in this industry working out of a 1/2 ton truck. You're gonna burn up brake rotors. If its an automatic - you'll fry the transmission.

    You're going to first need a truck.

    Next - try to find a decent used skid steer. No excavator. I been in business for 22.5 years and we do not own an excavator. Yet, I spend about 16 hours a week on one. Unless I come across a used one for the right price - I have no plans of buying one. In the residential world different jobs require all different sizes of excavators. If you own one - it's either too big or too small for the job at hand.

    Good luck to ya! You'll probably be excited to show us pics of your first job. And I'll probably tell you we're not interested in seeing the pics and to post them on Facebook instead. Haha! :)



    ,
     
  2. TomG

    TomG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 675

    Couldn't of said it better my self (obviously) haha, especially that last line. Our machines are all rated to lift 3000# and they are perfect for what we do. Anything more is over kill. I guess I just assumed someone starting out wouldn't have the funds to get a full size skid. Bad assumption... I remember our first skid steer was a old bobcat 743, it wouldn't lift a full pallet, so we had to unload half of each pallet onto another pallet. Not fun... But you have to start with something, I just think a machine that is rated to lift 700# is way too small to start out with. My opinion is you will most likely regret it.
     
  3. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,628

    Good advice (mostly) but I know what Prime is talking about because he's working in our neck of the woods and most of the new homes are a complete joke, were talking 4' sometimes between homes (premium lots are 40' wide). So you're not really removing a fence, you would have to remove all posts and a gate and neighbours while you're at it. So,coming from a guy who knows his area very well, my advice is to purchase (after the truck) is a used kx41 and a used mini dumper. Then work on getting your self a used asv pt 50 at min. All this can be had for around 40k. After the truck of course....
     
  4. Prime Interlock

    Prime Interlock LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Thanks for the advice everyone. I will keep this information in mind.
     
  5. Prime Interlock

    Prime Interlock LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Haha, that's halarious, about the photos. No, I've done a few now and believe me, I'm not coming on here to try to impress someone. I just wanted some advice, and I got some. Thank you to all who took the time to respond, I appreciate it.

    In my area, my limited experience has shown me that we basically live in clay, and trust me, I've done it with the shovel a few days. The good part about it is you can eat like crap when you're working like that and still loose weight :) That's about the only benefit other than not breaking buried lines.

    I'm hoping I can bring my truck through one more season. I put 3/4 tonne suspension on it and I have a 3-tonne dump trailer. My truck is rated to tow about 5500-6000 lbs. If I don't overload it, I should be alright. But I am aware its not meant to be stressed like that. I've already broken brake lines, had to change rotors, pads, calipers,etc...All of this of course just adds to your argument and I agree, I need a beast. Wish I had the cash. Nothing's cheap, that's for sure. I came in here knowing I'd have to pay the piper.

    Others may not agree with me and I respect that, never said they had to.

    I will probably do it like this:

    1) Truck
    2) Mini-Ex
    3) Skid steer
     
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,403

    What makes you even wanna do this work?

    What's your background, where have you been?

    When did you decide you wanted to do this?

    .
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  7. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,628

    I am wondering the same thing, also, where did you get your experience from?
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  8. Prime Interlock

    Prime Interlock LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Hi Guys,

    Respectfully, I'm not going to entertain justification of my credentials. I will say though that I didn't get here by accident and nothing was given to me for free. If you really are interested, please call and we can chat, I'm not going to have such conversations in a public forum...you know how it can be.

    If you ask nicely, I can post some pics off my facebook page of jobs I've done ;) (just kidding of course).

    Thanks again.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  9. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,628

    Good luck, you're going to need it in this industry.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,403

    I wasn't asking anyone to justify anything, silly boy.

    You have to keep in mind some of us forum jockeys have been here a long time. And over the years the same subjects come up over and over and over. And during the course of posts underlying facts start to surface.

    You mentioned you're not new to the industry. But yet 9 out of 10 times anyone asks questions about building walls - they always say "I've built walls in the past, but just can't remember which part of he block is the face". LOL and that's no exaggeration!

    So, when I'm/we're taking time to help someone and openly share our experiences, mistakes, and knowledge - I/we like to know who you are and what you're about. It's only fair :)

    .
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012

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