Backhoe Work???

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by emil35, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    Anyone do backhoe work? I'm looking at buying one and was wondering what someone could make using it? Problem here is everyone has a mower and does it for cheap! I only make money on the things people don't have...aerators, dethactors, etc. Most people don't own backhoes or skid steers so I'm looking at maybe heading that direction. Any input? Thanks
  2. SWD

    SWD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Best bet is to check in with your local Chamber of Commerce.
    They maintain area demographics, business info and are a wealth of information regarding the demand for services in the area.
    Most fees are reasonable for joining, and you can use the fact that you are a member in your advertising as well.
  3. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    Backhoe work does bring in money as long as there are people around your area who are always building or replacing things. If you want to do heavy work get a CAT 420D IT or 430D IT. If not get a JD 110 which is a VERY nice little machine- great for retainer walls, and you can put tractor attachments on the back.
  4. golfguy

    golfguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    I would also look at promoting yourself to plumbers and electricians. These guys don't want to dig and many in my area contract out the work. IMO the Kubota B39 is the cadillac. Make usre you get a 12" bucket if you plan on digging trenches!
  5. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 343

    In our area backhoe work goes for about 60 bucks an hour; roughly what it was ten years ago. As you pointed out the competition will kill you which is what's happening here. Everybody owns a hoe here! Do you see a lot of machines parked, being trailered or working around you? That will tell you quicker than anything whether the market is saturated or not. The most successful guys buy used machines with around three thousand hours for around thirty thousand bucks or so. I talked to one operator and he said he didn't anticipate major internal work on the machine until six thousand hours or there abouts. Good luck since those are some really fun machines to make your living with.:)
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The thing is, is that you have to do the research on what the insurance will cost, a trailer to haul, maintenance (there's alot), the depreciation of the unit, and the overall cost of operation. Like any other larger piece of equipment, if you own one, you definitely really have to keep it busy for it to really pay for itself. If someone who already has one, it's paid for, that is fine. But if you are looking to buy one, you NEED to have the work to pay for it. The trailering, plates, and maintenance on a heavy trailer is enough. This all has to be factored in.
  7. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    $100/hr and it gets used 10 hrs a year. it costs a bit more than $1000, too.
  8. Birdhunter1

    Birdhunter1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 312

    If you're ghonna do backhoe and skidsteer work then I'd forget about a backhoe and get a mini excavator, they do the same amount of digging work in a much shorter time since they are easier to move and position and you don't have to worry about outriggers and they do less damage to the terrain and you can get in tighter places with a mini excavotr than you can with a backhoe. But they are exoensive. For example I rented a Bobcat 325 machine that worked great for the trench work and stump removal that I did,.... a 5500 lbs. machine on a 2500 lbs, trailer and I was able to pull it with my 1/2 ton truck (06 F-150 supercab 4wd with a 5.4 auto). A backhoe that has the same capabilities would have weighed much more and I would have to have a bigger truck. I say I was able to pull it with my truck, the truck pulled it ok and it was about the max that truck is rated for so if I hadto pull that machine everyday I would want a 3/4 ton truck, same as if I was pulling a skidloader everyday.

    Although if you are doing tractor work too, and you already have the tractor then a subframe backhoe would be cheaper since you already have the tractor.

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