to many skids and mini-ex

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by gammon landscaping, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 550

    it seems that every one has a skid now. i know 2 electrians that have skids now!?!!? and seems that every builder is buying them. and they all want a mini-ex. i am starting to think that i need to just get rid of the small stuff and go with dad on the bigger equipment. it just feels that my market niche is getting cut out by everyone buying there own. my work has slowed down. it used to be that everyone would just rent one make a mess than i would get a call to come fix it which i liked but know every one is just buying one. i think my original idea of staying small is a thing of the past, and that we need to buy a 973c, 330dl, and a d8r. cause house buliders will never be able to make the payments on this kind of stuff.......but will i?
  2. zz4guy

    zz4guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 901

    Are you talking about the smaller skid steers? Becauase larger skid steers (2000lbs+ capacity) are going for a minumum of $15k if they are in any kind of decent shape. It's hard to believe electricians or guys that dont use them very much just have them sitting around.

    I'd like to get into the skid steer market too (doing work for other people) but plan on getting a large enough skid to give myself a little demand.
  3. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,170

    Would you have the work to afford those machines? When you get into the big iron, you have to have work under contract. A handshake, try to find work, kind of deal is too dangerous. Those machines need to stay busy. I like the small to medium stuff, and I think that the market (at least here) has enough demand, even with the rental companies, and maybe some other fields of work who are buying them. Very few builders around here have their own equipment, everything is subbed out.

    Maybe you could branch out some with the equipment that you have, through attachments, or whatever, to take on different jobs that could serve as space fillers? I think the construction scene has changed, especially in the last 7-10 years, where contractors need a spectrum of skills to stay competetive. The days of isolating on one phase are winding down.
  4. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    It's the same here. Everyone seems to have one even more so than a tractor. Use to be it was rare to see one, now I can drive down the road and see one almost as much as passing a car or truck. I bought one knowing this and according to my friends there is still work out there. Like i said before i bought mine because we needed them on the farms. If I never bought the machine I would have had to hire allot of the work out so it made it justifiable for me. I am not making any big bets of getting rich. Around here you can rent skid steers and mini excavators at Lowes and Home Depot now. I have a buddy that is 23 that has all the big toys. He started with nothing. He claims he has enough work to last for three years. He spends most of his time rounding up the work and buying the equipment/maintenance while the crew runs the machines. He is running a risky deal though. The guy that knows how to run all the equipment and has the experiece is about 80 years old. When he dies he is screwed unless he learns how to do everything. Not saying he is not good but from what I saw he knows more about how to talk and get the business than operarting the equipment. He has all the big jobs to pay for the equipment but the old guy is saving his bacon by knowing how to do the jobs. He is spending like crazy. He has a 2006 Duramax service truck, 2006 Dodge Ram 4x4 four door diesel, 2001 Dodge Diesel extended cab 4x4 with a good twenty thousand in the motor and tranny to make it smoke,new Deere mini, new Deere CTL 332 bunch of attachments, 2001 Cat D6, just bought another Cat Dozer,two Terex Pans,big Cat track hoe, Cat crawler loader, drop deck with Peterbuilt day cab, Cat wheel loader, new trailer for the skid steer and mini. Been a while so I forget what all numbers of the machines he has. I have thoght about getting some experience for him working with the old guy. I then would not have time to do my own though, working with the farms, a full time job, and a gf.
  5. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    That's how i started working with equipment, a friend who took over his dad's business, and had the main operator as a 64 year old guy The guy had a stroke and left him with a big problem. I worked with him until a new operator could be found. The older guy was also a good mechanic, so my friend ended up getting me to do repairs. There was always something to do, but beter on the lot than on the jobsite! If I had the opportunity I would continue to do the weekend jobs as an operator.

    On the other hand I still do repairs for homeowners and contractors who buy their own skid steers. There's quite a few here in the Keys, in fact I am going to fix a Bobcat this week that has lost it's right hand drive. In some ways the small machines are harder to maintain than the larger ones! It was easier to diagnose a cat 955 than an s130 with everything stuffed in there. If you can get experience working with the older guy do it! But if too busy, concentrate on importnant things first. I learned quite a bit on the job.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,544

    This area is the same everybody and their dog has a mini excavator now.

    You really need to have a niche market or have a good reputation to get enough work for a mini. Skid steers there isn't much demand for that service at all.
  7. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 550

    the electrician bought a brand new 257b cat. this guy is 24 years old and has had his buesness 2-3 years!?!?! i mean that every one i meet these days has a skid. it is just to the point i feel that either the market is going to come back and bankrupt these guys or they are going to put me out. i guess just installing lawns is not going to be enough any more. i need a new niche. maybe hardscaping? man that is alot of manual labor to deal with.....i don't know just feeling frustrated these days, work seems to be slowing down by the day. i think it is just a little late winter depresstion. i'm sure in 2 months the phone will be getting on my nerves again with all the calls but it's killin me right know
  8. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,504

    Well, I have said for a while it's going to be like the trucking business. There is trucks every where and there is always someone willing to work for less. Some people have the idea that just because they are getting all the business they dont have to make a profit. I have actually saw guys do jobs for a loss just to get the job. Not me, I did not get where Im at today by working for nothing. I feel for ya, Im pretty sure I got in to late but then again mine is jsut on the side for work. Im not gonna go without food. Thats my biggest worry if I had the work is if I would have enough $$ to get me by through the winter.
  9. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    With all those skid steers out there it looks like we'll have the choice of low priced loaders in the future! Around here though, I have noticed an increase in skid loaders. Just means more side work for me fixing them!
  10. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    work is good now, but I have heard this quote and plan to live by it

    "If I go broke, I am going to go broke rested"

    I will not work for a loss or break-even. sometimes when we are well staffed I will do low margin things to help with the labor-burden, but I always refer to my quote and it brings me back to reality

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