What order did you purchase your equipment in?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Drafto, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    Dan - I do all of my running around within my excavation area. No need to drive into the lawn (Only for bringing the SS in and out, which if you are careful leaves No damage) We bring the Dump right up to the edge of the excavated area and dump right into it. I think that the finished product of a SS excavated area is way more conducive(sp) to even compaction due to lack of highs and lows. I guess it's all operator dependant, but I will take on anyone in a patio excavation. Plus, I can get rid of a yard of material at once. It will take you 4-5 loads to get that plus you have to do alot of hand work at the end.:nono:

  2. bigviclbi

    bigviclbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Posts: 894

    As a newbie I'll chime in too. First bought a compactor, cut off saw and dump trailer. Last year I bought a table saw and a one ton stake body dump. I rent a john deere skid steer for about 275 a day delivered. My next purchase will be either a skid steer or mini x. I rented a mini for $100 a day and it was AWESOME, it was a ramrod and I could get into the backyard no problem(the yards are tight here). I think with a mini I could load soil and mulch into a wheelbarrow, we do lots of gravel spreading around here and it would help with that too. I also want a good sized dump (4-5 tons). Compounding the problem is the fact that I'm getting married in December and am going to be purchasing a house around August. And i'm in a cutthroat market for pavers. I'm really trying to hold off on these purchases, but think a mini might take precedent as it could replace one man a day on alot of jobs. I saw a boxer at MAHTS for around $16,000. I can't explain how much I appreciate all the info. you guys throw out here for free, even things I don't understand I eventually run into and then I can act from your guys experience.
  3. Drafto

    Drafto LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 442

    Ahhh, finally something I have experience in! Here is my advice, buy the mini and the dump truck of your choice and drive it all in the opposite direction of the church on your wedding day:) ! I am just joking, congrats on the up and coming marriage. I love my dump trailer, I think it was really the only great purchase I made last year.

    I have the same thoughts as you on the mini. I am envisioning something similar to what Bill Schwabb does, purchasing a concrete buggy to load with the EX, then drive up into the dump trailer to dump it. Keep everything a 2 man operation, excavation, base prep, screed and lay pavers all with 2 men, and except for laying pavers, no fatigue.

    It sounds great on paper, we'll see what happens in the spring when I start renting these things and see how smooth it goes. I really believe my love of the EX might be b/c of my lack of experience in a SS.

    As far as free advice, don't tell Bill, Chris, or Mike, but I am planning on opening up satellite offices in each of their back yards:rolleyes: !

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426


    It took me a few years to think like this, but consider wages, in ANY state.

    Any device that saves labor in reasonable amounts of time is well worth the price. Start adding over dug spots, extra gravel to fill, and not to mention the time and extra spoils we haul out. The lazer/computer assist is well spent money.
  5. orionkf

    orionkf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 122

    I just rented a tx420 dingo a few days ago, and I'm thinking that a mini loader might be my first major purchase, not including trucks/trailers. Great for residentials with small gate and/or tight access. Load wheelbarrows for places where the machine couldn't go. Auger would be awesome for digging post holes, rent a trencher if needed. Load to and from a trailer. I see lots of uses on just about every job we have. I realize they have limitations, but other equipment can be rented if needed. Bottom line is...savings on time, $, energy, frustration of employees, etc.
  6. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    we use our tx425 dingo on all our paver jobs...
    it is the cat's meow for digging and spreading the base, etc..
    we use it to run pavers also... it can lift 1/3 of a pallet. and leaves NO dammage...

    i see uses for both the skid and the mini X, buy i wold have to say that i would buy a skid before the mini ex...
  7. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    Dan, I couldn't decide between a skid and a mini-x, so I bought them both :D

    Seriously, have you thought about used? At the time, I bought a used bobcat 753 and a used 331 minix. I've since moved up on the 753, but it did the job for a while. Knock on wood, the 331 is a great size machine, and still running well. I got into both for 30K.

    I guess one of those 7k compactors is prolly next for me too.
  8. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 837

    My advice is to leave the compactor to last. They are a machine that is designed to break by way of vibrating itself to death...rent one and let someone else have the maintenance hassle...a petrol powered kangaroo is OK though (Jumpin Jack)..they don't screw up as much. Bomag is the best of the plate compactors.

    AS far as real iron goes, we couldn't work out which so we got an Ex first for our blockwork and a skid..shortly after, both are inseparable now on our bigger sites.

    If you are not working with a laser you are wasting your time.
  9. Drafto

    Drafto LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 442

    When it comes to equipment I really don't see the advantage to purchasing new. The warranty's are short and the stuff depreciates like a muther as soon as you drive it off the lot. BUT, financing NEW equipment is very inviting especially with the special terms they offer. I am going to see how this season goes, if I can book a few months out I will seriously consider purchasing. But I will have to play a lot with renting before I make a decision. Like I stated above, I would like to run 2 man crews and eliminate as much human error as possible.

  10. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 549

    I started with a skid steer and a 5-ton dump to pull it and haul material. A year and a half later I picked up a used mini-x and haven't used the skid for excavating since. Last year I picked up a used reversible plate on ebay and saved thousands.

    Squizzy, I can't agree with your thought on the compactor. Until I bought my first one (4600lb bomag) I used one that was at least 10 years old and it was in great shape. A friend in the asphalt business has one that is so old he's had the plate replaced twice and it still holds up fine.

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