how to start

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by CBlandscaping, Mar 21, 2007.

  1. CBlandscaping

    CBlandscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 48

    Im not sure if this is in the right place or not but i was wondering how i should start a small excavation company, like doing bobcat and mini excavator work, and what i should consider buying. Im 18 yrs old and i have been mowing lawns for about 5 years now and plowing this past winter, and iv had a job working construction for the past 2 years. Im currently going to collage for a degree in construction managment and would one day like to be a general contractor. Im just looking for advice on how i should get started, and how other people did.
  2. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 550

    read my thread i think now is probablly a bad time to start, things are slowing down and equipment is a big ticket item.....think long and hard about it
  3. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    Most insurance outfits won't insure you with 1 million in liability at your age,I'm 23 with a older backhoe and older plow truck and pay $2000 a year just in insurance.

    I agree sit down and do the math as this is nothing like mowing lawns.I say get 5 more years experience as an operator before even getting a business number and insurance.
  4. thebobcatkid86

    thebobcatkid86 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    All I can tell ya is Good Luck. To elaborate on murrays post unless you can afford to be self-insured(multi-millionaire) or do the bad thing like I did, and work for friends (who have a mutual understanding that no one sues eachother) then dont bother. I saved a couple of years (from 14 -17) working in interior construction and home renovation and bought a Bobcat and trailer at 18. Since I bought it I have made more money PAINTING HOUSES IN FLORIDA for 3 weeks for some friends of mine (thats another story) than I have in my own operators seat. I am now into my 3rd month of my 20th year on this planet. Lately I have been thinking of seeing if this heavy highway const. co. still has a job opening or going to school to be a landscaper or construction manager. Im not trying to be a bringdown, really Im not, Im hoping to make some good money this year finally but who the hell knows. Plus, I know Ive watched enough 'This Old House' to know that most of those northern east coast states are, some of the biggest pains in the a$$ when it come to rules and regs. reguarding contractors.
  5. CBlandscaping

    CBlandscaping LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 48

    Thank you to everyone who has replied im planning on keeping a job working for someone else cause i know there is always more to learn, but is it worht trying to start somehting on the side even if its renting equipment and doing work for people i know so i dont need insurance?
  6. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    My advice would be to get on with a company and learn what you can, and save what you can. Don't jump into anything too soon. You'll know when the time is right. A machine payment can either be a monthly bill that you figure into your job estimates, or it can be a small business eliminator. You need to have the work for it. Get your degree first. You can't go wrong having that fancy piece of paper if you need it. I would concentrate on that, maybe while working in the field in the summer or free days that you have. You might even be able to do some kind of internship to help you get your foot in the door down the road.
  7. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 550

    you always need it, every ones your friend when you are filling out the bill but when the tree total's thier house you are the bad guy
  8. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I'm insured for $1 million in liability for $350 a year for lawn maintenance, doesn't cover any landscaping/excavation, but I know he could get insurance. We pay $2000 a year for $2 million in coverage for landscaping, but once we added excavation on there we were in the $4500 a year range.
  9. bobbyg18

    bobbyg18 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 166

    im insured for 1 million a year for about $1000 per year but i cant dig down more than 4 feet...
  10. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    With limited experience and being just 18 I don't think many would take a gamble on him.I started with my insurance 2 years ago when I started my company and even then they were iffy but with no screw ups (thank god) they didn't ask a word when I refiled last year.

    In his first year alone the insurance could sink him at $2000+ a year.

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