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How Did You Guys Start Out?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by JJLMC, Aug 19, 2008.

  1. JJLMC

    JJLMC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    So how did you excavators start out? I really hate landscape maintenance and would much rather run heavy equipment. I've ran some machines before and am OK at it. But the question I have is how did you get to where you are now??
  2. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,595

    I got in to running equipment because of my dad... but i would say right now isnt a good time to go self employed if that is what you want to do... but you might try getting on with a smaller excavation company that would be more willing to let you learn...
  3. Dirt Digger2

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

    if you want to get into the dirt world you have to work literally from the ground up...start with a shovel as labor and hope your boss gets you seat time

    as soon as you run equipment in front of them they will know if you have the natural talent or not...if you do then you will quickly advace, if not then back in the ditch

    some people just never get the hang of running equipment, others pick it up naturally

    i started in the ditch at 16 and now am 21 running not only equipment but running jobs, acting as the supervisor for my crew out there and reporting back to the boss (owner)...its too bad this is only summer work for me
  4. RockSet N' Grade

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

    I started out with an idea. I was broke, living in a van in Colorado in December and got a job as a coal miner running equipment. My idea was this, I never want to be that broke again.......so, I did any and everything I could to get myself somewhere else and ended up here......which is better than there. Develop a plan of forward movement, stay single minded about the plan, yet remain flexible to opportunity and just go for it. Identify your passions and see if you can combine your passions with your income. I know that is round-about - - down the road a piece it may make a little more sense, or not,.....but the plan of action is the most important key element to anything. Be as specific with your plan as you can and write it down on paper........then execute one step at a time, and before you know it, you will be there.......
  5. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Bought a 150 then fired my one employee that could run it two weeks later. I had no choice but to learn!
  6. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    There's an old expression that lives on in my family, "Dad bought it, so we got it".

    It all started with my Dad.
  7. CAT powered

    CAT powered LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,185

    I started out driving tractors on the family farm. Driving equipment was a natural transition.
    I had a successful company, but I was a partner with my brother and we had a nasty split. My current company started out with about 20 thousand dollars and a willingness to work. Plus some financing. I used that 20k to buy a truck and a dozer. Then I financed my RGN through a local trailer dealership. After that I started doing more work and adding more machines and bidding more contracts and now I have a few hundred thousand dollars of trucks and equipment.
  8. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,246

    Rock, If that van was anywhere near the river...

    I felt that I could do a better job than some of the companies that I worked for and wouldn't give in. And some creative credit card financing.
  9. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I would shoot myself if I woke up everyday and had to mow lawn and edge flowerbeds.

    I started with a 1994 Power Tan 1840, made the payments out of the house account. It was a whole 248 dollars a month. I got a lot bigger payments now.
  10. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,595

    I am basically in the same boat as you jjlmc... I am starting from basically nothing... I had only one job when we got a loan for six grand for our trailer... Thank god we already had most the tools like a lazer, shovels, straps, hitch, and etc. etc. but we are basically starting again... but my dad started with a bobcat 730 that him and his father bought from bobcat and my dad replaced the wisconsin in it on a between the axle trailer outside during one of the coldest winters of the eighties.. when he finally got it running he climbed in and basically learned what controls were what as he backed it off the trailer and rolled it right on its back... but he went from that to four mini excavators, 2 frieght liner fl70's, two directional drills, a bobcat skidsteer, trencher, six dodge 3500 cummins, one chevy 3500 flatbed dump, 1987 chevy c60, a bunch of trailers both gooseneck and bumper pulls, a vac tron, a duct trailer, two wire trailers, an enclosed haul mark tool trailer and now my dad is starting from nothing and i am starting from new... but i have gained experience from when he had all that equipment and i am still learning right now from this website and running equipment on our small weekend jobs. but I agree with everyone else you are goin to have to start in the ditch like everyone else has or will be (i probably will be) and then once they get to know you they will give you some seat time...

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