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I have learned don't trust housing booms

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Gravel Rat, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I have been talking with more local people to see what is going to happen and they all say don't quit the gov't job. I talked to one developer today he said your better off sticking with the job you have. He figures the boom is over the area over priced itself it will slow down to a normal level. Its not going to be mass developing like has been in the last 2 years.

    In 6 months I will have the chance to go full time with the gov't so I think its probably a wise move to make its guaranteed fulltime employment, not a big money making job but atleast I know I will get a paycheck every 2 weeks.

    I do want to see if I can make a mini bin business go it might cost me a little bit of money to get started. I can do it part time before and after work and on my days off. The way my PM shifts work I can almost get a 7 hour day in before I go into work or if I'am on AM shifts I can work 5 hours after work. I will beable to drop empty bins off and go pick full ones up the next day or go deliver loads of topsoil or do other quick and easy deliveries. I can also do landscaping on my 4 days off. With a rolloff truck the truck isn't being tied up with a load on it so I can go drop a loaded bin off in my yard and drive the truck to work.

    Our local landfill is filling up fast I have a feeling garbage disposal and garbage is going to be a big problem. Not many of the local people don't know it but we may have to start trucking garbage 45 km (28 miles) to the other landfill in late 2007 that is going to be expensive. I have been noticing how full the landfill space has been used up since last year I worked there you can see the increase in population has had a big affect.

    With only one disposal company serving the area it might be time for me to get my stab at the garbage business. Garbage collection is done by a private contractor no municipal service the people pay the contractor to pick up residential waste ever week. Its time for me to give some competition.

    My current truck is giving me signs its going to want another grand dumped into it time to get rid of it while I can get some value out of it. I have to do something fairly quick. I have funding now and I may beable to get more that I'am promised a fulltime position with the gov't.

    I wanted to get in the excavation business but the way things are going the current excavation contractors might be fighting over the jobs in 2007. These guys might have to cut back on employees going from 3 to 4 employees to 1-2 employees. In the earlier years it was common for excavation contractors to have the owner of the company and one employee having 2 employees and more than one excavator you were a big operation.
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    I'am glad for one thing I'am not in debt like other people are I think a few contractors will be hurting with the equipment payments. When you have 2-3 grand a month payments you need steady work.

    The greedy-ness of the people selling property have driven prospective buyers away and the developers have aimed for the wrong market. There is nothing geared for the lower income earners 40,000 dollars and less annual income. They developed the subdivisions for the people that can afford 400,000 to 1 million.

    Do I keep beleiving what is being said on the news that when the baby boomers retire there will be lots of jobs and work. Right now I doubt I could even get a job working for a excavation contractor they don't have enough work.

    One of my worries is if I do go full time with the gov't I'am not learning any trade skills. So if I ever want to leave the gov't job I'am out of luck.

    What the gov't and news keeps preaching that there will be a big need for equipment operators in a couple years from now I won't have enough qualifications.

    Its why I'am trying to think of ways to keep my foot in the door I would be rather running equipment. The job I have now is boring and monotonous its the same thing every day nothing changes. You never see and satisfaction of a job well done. I always been a person that likes to get my hands dirty.

    Running as a owner operator dump truck is a way of keeping my foot in the door but the profit margin isn't quite enough :angry:

    Becoming another excavation contractor is a tough one for one I don't have enough experience I can run a hoe but not enough to go on my own. Also there is so many excavators in the area its flooded with them. Guys with years of experience leaving companies to go on their own has overloaded the market, the mini excavator market is the worst.

    The housing market is so unpredictable in the area now who knows what is going to happen. I don't want to move away because I have contacts and know people so if the market does come back I can get work. I move to another area I don't know anybody non of the contractors know you they are leary of hiring a new person to the area.
  3. murray83

    murray83 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 347

    The way things seem to be going out west you guys might end up in a small bust very soon.Now to many on this site they will disagree with me but you in my mind are doing the smart thing,your staying low key and getting your name out there while others are buying their way into the market which isn't very smart on a few levels.They say take the risk and such but remember,its not THEIR money your spending....its yours.

    I'm working in my off hours doing small digging jobs and I plow in winter,much like you I have bills to pay and giving up the chance to keep a steady pay check isn't the smartest thing to do.I'm not big nor do I wish to be for the simple reason you stated in your post...you just never know when the market will bust.

    Don't give up your idea of doing excavation,people there know you,put the bug in their ear that you do excavation even if you don't own the equipment and get business cards saying work you know how to do with a machine since its not hard to rent a mini or a skid steer for a day that way you have no equipment to pay for and you can still do what you love.

    Do small excavation,water sewer line repairs and hook ups to new homes,drain tile repair,septic work,junk removal,small demolition on things like decks or small garages?,all you would need is your truck and the rental firm can drop off and pick up the machine you rent.The advantage you could have over the other mini guys is your reputation,if people know you and know you do decent work in junk removal they may hire you to do some equipment work.I think your already in the game and your half way there just the equipment is holding you back.

    Anyways hopefully you'll read this and ponder the idea of renting and knowing that contractors and people in your community already know you and hopefully you can use that to your advantage and forget about everyone else on here and in BC and stick to your guns and you know what you need to do to survive.
  4. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    From the market research we've gathered from First Research, the real estate market fell 2-4% from Sept of '06-Dec. '06 and will fall another 2-4% until it stabilizes in summer of '07. The market has become in limbo...not a sellers or buyers market.

    The landscaping industry (green industry) is supposed to maintain a 1.969% steady growth until 2012. The amount of businesses will consolidate over that period. With 500,000 companies out there, the top 50 only have 15% of the market. Experts expect new companies to sell to the larger ones after being driven out. The companies that will succeed will be able to manage their operations effeceintly and will introduce innovative ideas to the industry. Companies that try to compete with traditional practices will fail.

    These are not my deductions. I pay way too much money for our reports, so I have to believe these people are well aware of the industry. After all, they are "industry experts".
  5. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    You are doing the correct thing by keeping your job. I am a Operations Specialist (fancy name for a computer Tech/Network administrator and phone specialist). I also do some skid steer work and farm some.You have to have your hands in many skills these days that make you versatile. You also have to detect fads in todays economy and jump on them. Such as when the stock market was going wild and the Tech sector was going wild. Then after that hit the fans it was buying land and dumping those stock profits into big houses. Now since the land and housing market is cooling people are looking for other things to dip there money into. I dont think you have to be a genious to see that Agriculture is getting ready to make a come back due to the Ethanol and Bio-Diesel talk. They are really trying to hype these two things. The thing is like usual is knowing when to get in and get out. Personally people can do what they want but I have found the best thing to stick your money into for the long haul that is better than any 401K and gives you full control is land. Im now thirty and have bought my second farm. The excavating thing because of the housing boom has become a fad. Look around and take a look at all the skid steers out there and mini-excavtors. How many of these people really know how to shoot grades and read elevation. I myself have friends that have been doing it for years that I ask questions and I also read every piece of material I can on the subject. Start small and build your way up and take jobs that you know at that time you have the skills to do. I got one buddy that has farmed and trucked all his life and in the past few years bought some excavating equipment. He is still excavating but it's obvious from what I have heard and saw he didnt know really anything about that type of work or how to set a job up. He has been into trouble a few times and has had to have buds bail him out of his jam. Just because people have these expensive payments and have some money backing them does not mean they know how to run it. But like others on here have said you have to take risk but also ahead of time you have to know in your mind if this fails will this break me. I take risk all the time but I go by the theory (if this fails will I be okay) if no I wont be okay then I dont do it.
  6. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Everybody I talk to says stick with with the gov't job I guess because it is steady employment. Maybe the people I have talked to see the 80s happening all over again. I was in school in the 80s but I was told it was pretty tough times getting jobs you were lucky to have a job.

    I will have to stick it out for another 6 months then I should be getting a regular paycheck and no more being a part time employee.

    I still need something else for a second job any of the employees I work with do jobs on the side to suppliment our wages. We have to because 20 dollars per hour isn't enough for the cost of living.

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