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Are you really getting that much skid work/profits?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by IHI, Jul 11, 2007.

  1. IHI

    IHI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    Alright, this is the second time I almost signed my life away on the dotted line for a large skid. I kept thinking and analyzing and still couldn't see where I was going to make the profit needed to buy it. For some reason, most of my jobs have been in the back of client's yards, where I can't get a skid in there. How are you guys with skids really making it out there?

    Is it pure excavating work or ?, how are you gettting them in yards and not impacting/damaging current landscape (sod/etc..)??

    I'm a landscape guy and it seems like a skid would help at times, but I have been able to get buy with out one and the large payments as well. I'm having trouble getting myself to far into debt.

    Input appreciated.
  2. P.Services

    P.Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,319

    i cant answer that question but i am in the same boat as you.instead of a skid i have been thinking about the john deere 110tlb with turf tires so i can run on yards and such. i try to think back to every job i have ever done and it seems that this machine would have been more help the a skid steer. dont get me wrong i want one to just alot of $$$$$$$$$
  3. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    Hang in there i started in 94 with the idea and i was the first person in my area to actually say they was in the bobcat business. Other cont. had them but i was the first to be in the actual business. My company name is Bobcat Landscaping Service. My logo i have used in the yellow pages is " We specialize in small jobs ". I was actually called the bobcat man at times. They have there place i have a friend whom as the largest operation in my area all the big toys and he told me to charge the same as the big eqpt. because you are still moving dirt where he cant get his big stuff in and the job still needs done. I had a tough time making it but now im pretty well set. Doing yards great machine get the landscape rake you will even pick up work from other cont. doing there clean up at times. Good luck.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    One of the keys to "making it" in this business is to be diversified. We do landscaping, excavation and demolition. We excavate everything from tramp holes to house foundations. It helps to have a variety of attachments as well as a mini ex. It takes years to get established and build a positive reputation so stay focused, buy quality equipment, and do a quality job whatever you may be doing.
  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    What KSSS said pretty well sums it up. You need to look at how much competition you have. Right now where I live there are so many guys trying to make it in the mini excavation business they are probably not doing so well. I can see them loosing their equipment because they can't make the payments.

    The only guys that are working steady are the contractors that started in the 70s 80s and early 90s. Their name is established and they get 90% of the work. The new guys flooded the market with machines for hire they don't have their name out there nobody knows about them.

    Everybody jumped on the bandwagon thinking they were going to make it rich in the excavating business. I think now they are finding it really tough with so much competition and the jobs they get are the ones the long term contractors don't want. Either its because a customer that doesn't pay their bills or its on a nearly impossible site to work on.

    With the construction boom taking a flop with house forclosures nearing there is just enough work to keep the long term guys busy. Even some of the long term guys have some serious payments like 8 to 10 grand a month. New dump truck and a new excavator will easily push your monthly payments to 9 grand. You would have to do allot of work just to make payments.

    What ever you do don't sink yourself into debt because once you get a bad credit rating it takes a long time to get a good rating back.
  6. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    Im getting started like you also but I have a close friend that has been doing it for several years that has got large pretty quick. His key was a man about 70 years old with a wealth of knowledge and him going out all day dragging up the jobs. He know is building roads, ponds, pulling circuit tracks for truck and tractor pulling, septics and so on. I have picked up allot of knowledge from him. If some of his jobs where closer which some are I would go help him some and watch more. I think the key is as others here have stated. Be versatile, go after the business and once you get it know what your doing to make it look sharp.
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    Sounds like it doesn't make business sense for you. I would just wait till you can't afford NOT to purchase one. It actually sounds like a mini-skid might be a good choice for you if you are in backyards alot.
  8. RockSet N' Grade

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

    I hesitated for a long time in buying a skid.......so I made do. I finally ( my initial thought at time of purchase) broke down and bought one without alot of work for it out in front of me. I have mentioned to all the contractor's that I do and have done work for that I bought a skid and now it is busy.......there is a ton of work that has seem to come my way just because I have it and folks know that I have it........interesting paradox here. It has gotten to the point that I wonder how I ever got along without it and those thoughts were the furthest from my mind before I owned it........The next piece of equipment that I am looking to purchase within the next month or sooner is a Toro dingo or other similar mini skid. The market is changing here and a mini would sure be a real help..........
  9. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Rent equipment until the rental bill per month is double what a payment would be. Then you know you're making money if you buy one. Renting also helps you decide which machine (size, weight, etc.) you're looking for. The machine you rent the most and suits your needs on 80% of the jobs you're on is the one to buy.
  10. smalley360

    smalley360 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    You should try looking at the ASV RC-30. I just got mine last year and have been doing well getting the jobs the big guys can't. The machine has rubber tracks so low impact and it is only 4 feet wide so I get into a lot of gated back yards. The machine only weighs 3,400 lbs with the 4 in one on and the attachments are more reasonably priced than the larger machines. Of course they are smaller and can't move as much dirt as quickly as a bigger machine. Well, no, I stand corrected, the bigger machines would not be able to move the dirt due to not being able to get to most of the places the RC-30 can :weightlifter: . When I first bought my machine I was like why didn't I get the bigger one, then I started specializing in the hard to get to jobs that the 30 was meant for and It is working great for me. If this is something that you are looking for then you should try and demo one. Later I will be getting a bigger machine to expand but for now this machine does all I need it too and I have all the work I can handle at this time. Hope this helps!

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