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? About grading and excavation services

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by weed wacker 2, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. weed wacker 2

    weed wacker 2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    I have been tossing around the idea of expanding my business towards small excavation and grading and leveling. Right now our services are limited to lawn maintenance and small landscaping. I don't have experience with running skid steers or mini excavators but I am willing to learn and get experience. What services would I be limited to with these machines? However, I don't want to buy a machine and it not pay for itself.
  2. Landrus2

    Landrus2 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,021

    rent as you need that is how you start
  3. Dirt Digger2

    Dirt Digger2 LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,396

    you need more then just a machine...while renting is your option there nobody is going to want to pay for a crappy job...not saying you will leave it that way but having no experience doesn't help...

    anyone can run a skidloader..it takes skill to operate equipment and some people have it, others don't

    i would find a buddy with a lot of land and do a lot of practicing before you have someone pay you to do it...nothing worse then putting a bad reputation on your businesses name
  4. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,595

    Experience is the first thing you need...
  5. weed wacker 2

    weed wacker 2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    We have 40 acres of ground so I will get some practice in before I take on some jobs. I am about to build a shop so I will rent one and do some of the grading for the slab to get some seat time.
  6. DoornbosOutdoorServices

    DoornbosOutdoorServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    That would be a good start. Just be careful of the jobs that you take to start untill you feel comfertable in the machines. Good luck.
  7. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,454

    weedwacker.......read the thread. skids are nice, i have one......i would suggest looking at a mini skid - maybe a ditchwitch 650 and try that also.....not as glamerous as a skid, but incredibly practical.......a lot of the scapers who are successful around here have them.....great for yards.
  8. S&S Outdoor Services

    S&S Outdoor Services LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    It may be easier to start taking on bigger landscaping jobs before you decide to start doing the excavation and grading. We were in your situation (somewhat) last year and I ended up getting an awesome deal on a bobcat. Pretty quickly I realized how much faster I can knock out the landscape work on jobs that I wouldn't have considered renting a skid for in the past, for about the same price. Now I'm starting to transition into large landscape jobs and bidding on excavation/ grading. I actually just sold my mowing accounts to focus on using the skid and dump trailer as much as possible. In my opinion you should try to grow into more of a full service landscape company rather than having two competely seperate divisions of mowing and excavation. Once you get into the landscape construction, it'll be a lot easier to transition into the excavation and grading. - Sam
  9. jbird3898

    jbird3898 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    S&S gave you great advice. Having my skid steer for over a year now I realize how much more effiecent work i can do. I put in alot of lawns in my area and on an average I can do 2 to three a day with my machine when before i could only do 1. Remember if you market it right and have conections for people to get you jobs with the machine it is literly a license to print MONEY
  10. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,246

    :rolleyes: Ahh, confetti does not drop from the sky if you have a skid...

    Trust me, everyone and their brother has a 'bobcat' and are the world's best operator too. If you are in maintenance why not add a mini skid or ASV 30 with some attachments that will compliment what you are doing?

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