Is the excavating business even worth getting involved in

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by Gravel Rat, Dec 18, 2010.

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  1. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Talking to my friends that are in the business said if they sold everything they own they still would be in debt. Most of them would be over 100 grand in debt. The reason why this topic come up we were talking about retirement and many of these guys are screwed they have to keep working.

    What happened to these guys they sunk themselves into deep into debt the building boom contractors were buying up new shiny iron like it was going out of style. Now they are well over half a million dollars in debt with payments of 25 to 30 grand a month :dizzy:

    These guys are litterally worth more dead than alive they owe so much money invested they are not making any return the way the economy is they are not making any profit just enough to pay the bills.

    I think some lessons to take from these guys mistakes is don't get greedy buying more equipment to do more jobs all at the same time. Stay small scale have a full size machine and a mini along with 1 truck.

    I need a career change I'am 34 and stuck in a hole that I can't climb back out, the frustration at my job I have now is reaching the boiling point, I need to find something else to do in 2011. Some days it feels good just to scream the "F" word out loud.

    I should have never been talked out of working as a equipment operator 5 years ago. I would like to try a crack at the mini excavating business but is it really worth it ? Do I want to end up like the other contractors ?. Currently every day I feel like punching somebody because the frustration from work.
  2. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,572

    No. dont do it. You'll make it worse.
  3. ioilyouin

    ioilyouin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Mods! Can we please shut this one down now, before it's too late?
  4. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,131

    If it's a small company and you were born into it, yes, it's worth it, but knowing when to get out is key.

    If it's a small company (no relation) and you got hired, just go with the flow.

    If it's a large company and you have had a good position and you are thinking about going out on your own, no, stay put. 1 word, COMPETITION.

    If you are thinking about starting a small business with little or no outside work and related business experience and you are doing it just for the money, put a gun to your balls and just pull the trigger.

    If you live in an area where work is scarce, but big companies are booming in other big cities, move there and get a position with them and suck it up.

    You can't pick pepper out of fly sh*t.
  5. coopers

    coopers LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    Agreed. It would be nice for a moderator to shut these off topic threads down.
  6. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,903

    just jump in and go full balls to the wall and don't look back.
  7. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    There is tons and tons of money to be made in this business. Its called niche markets.
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    This is not off topic this is about excavating and its future and is it really worth getting involved in the excavating industry.

    There is a few of you here that are true operator owners but many are just employees working for your relatives or familly. How many of you guys actually pay the bills and the equipment is in your name ?

    Around here there is no such thing as big excavating companies it is the owner and 1 to 3 employees with 2 to 4 excavators and 2 or 3 gravel trucks no such thing as unions either. All the work is residential excavating no such thing as commercial jobs they are non existant. You get jobs on your reputation and who you know there is no such thing as bidding on jobs.

    When the boom was happening back in 2004 to 2007 the money was rolling in equipment dealers sold more new excavators in 3 years than they ever did. Every contractor in the area has atleast 1 to 2 brand new machines or trucks.

    The dust settled now these guys are saying oh crap we are in some deep trouble they face huge payments each month like I said 25 grand a month isn't uncommon for a contractor. These older guys are talking about retiring but they can't they are too deep in the hole to even think of retiring.

    Here is where I come into the picture I want to start a "Small" sideline mini excavating to get my foot in the door.

    These other guys are going to drop off like flies they can't keep going with the huge debt load they are carrying. It is really hard to survive when your just keeping your head above water if it stays slow for another year these guys will end up drowning. We are going to see a colon cleansing and things will end up starting all over again in the excavating business.

    The only guys left will be the operators that are small operators with no huge debts and the younger generation like myself and the others that are under 40 years old.

    The work is out there for "small" jobs none of these other guys can't do small jobs no profit and they don't own "mini" excavators.

    I need a career change before I end up dying behind the desk I sit at, I have a camera the managment installed so they can make sure we are still alive and keep track of us.

    I don't have much of a life with the job I have actually it distroys any social life you do have. Have a job like I have don't plan on having any kids you won't have time for them. Want a wife or girl friend you won't have time for them your working. Want to go to a party or family event sorry got to go to work.

    1) You can't get sick if you do they want a doctors note
    2) You can't take time off unless it is approved by managment if they don't approve tough luck you get no time off.
    3) You can't be late for work if you are you get suspended.

    Too much stuff to deal with, I'am doing a supervisors job but I don't get paid supervisor wages and if we refuse to do it then we get suspended .

    So I want to try get back into something I want to do not something I hate doing and can't take much more of it.
  9. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,572

    Dont do it.
  10. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    good lord. Walk upstairs from the basement and ask your mommy what she thinks you should do. :)
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