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

    I know I can make it go, I do know I'am not going to make the same mistakes as the other guys. For one the money isn't in fullsize excavators anymore the construction industry is still too slow. The work is in the landscaping side of things and small yard improvements like opening up smaller areas of land.

    I own a F-450 and yes I'am a CDL'ed driver I don't have a trailer but I can borrow one. Insurance is covered the only thing I will need is liability insurance.

    Currently there is only 3 guys with mini excavators working this area if next year (2011) picks up there should be enough work for a 4th. Like I have said my goal is to make some extra money and not to expect to make a living with it.

    The only hold back is fighting the finance companies a steady regular gov't job isn't good enough, for a income source. The machine is going to pay for itself, the one job I was hoping to get isn't going to happen it may happen but I'am not holding my breath. It all depends on gov't funding, well the gov't is broke.
  2. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    If all the other companies have 300-500k in debt and have monthly payments of 25-30k they should have all their stuff paid off in 2 years and be balling.

  3. ioilyouin

    ioilyouin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

  4. AdvLandscapeLLC

    AdvLandscapeLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    I stewed about buying a mini for almost 6 months and finnally saved a good chunk of change and purchased a used bobcat 335 with full cab hyd thumb ac the works. As soon as word got out I purchased the machine, work for friends started..... all paid work of course. Hell if your friends wont pay you then who will? Each friend told another etc... the machine has been busy up till this week now that the ground froze up pretty good. I see a good spring coming on. Sometimes you just have to man up and make a purchase and never settle for less than success no matter what it takes. The nice thing about the mini's is that you can have a good niche market that the "big guys" dont touch. It has paid off well for me but theyre are expenses associated and you need to be prepared for those. Do yourself and your customers a favor and get insurance.:usflag:


    Last edited: Dec 19, 2010
  5. juststartin

    juststartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 341

    Saving money for something is a major no-no for gravel rat! You must finance every dime of your existence!
  6. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Messages: 3,792

    I got that machine and love it! My only complaint is the air blows too cold! I'm glad you found a niche for it. They really are neat to have in the line up. KSSS told me once that after you use one you will wonder how you did without.
  7. AdvLandscapeLLC

    AdvLandscapeLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    I found that the 9200# 335 is a very good happy medium between the midi\small mini market. It still towes easily with the dually and gooseneck and the machine is small enough to fit in most areas.

    Where did they find that gravel rat picture from? it looks like the sex offender registry......
  8. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    The weight of the machine is still an issue for the truck I have, a F-450 is too small of a truck to be pulling a 14,000lb bumper pull trailer on the hills in this area. Very few people pull any heavy trailer behind anything smaller than a single axle 5 ton truck for the very reason of the steep hills.

    You can run out of braking power very quickly with a 14,000lb bumper pull trailer behind a F-450/550 truck, it would be a death sentence if you had a 14,000lb gvw trailer behind a 3/4 ton or a dually.

    Decending one hill too fast will distroy the brake pads on the truck and the brake shoes on the trailer. Seen many people with brake fires over the years the brakes get so hot the grease boils in the hub and the brake calipers blow out. One mistake of going down one hill too fast costs you 500 dollars in brake repairs.

    A 3.5 ton mini is the heaviest machine you want to haul on a bumper pull trailer The only way I could haul a machine the size of a Takeuchi TB145 would be on a trailer with the lightest tare weight possible.

    A 14,000lb gvw trailer has a empty weight of 2600lbs it leaves you 11,400lb payload a TB145 weighs 11,000lbs with a cab. To haul a TB145 you would need a 20,000lb tag behind a single axle or tandem axle dump.

    Kubota KX121 weighs 9800lbs, you end up with 1600lbs of payload left which gives you some wiggle room.

    A Deere 35C weighs 8200lbs you can haul that on a 12,000lb gvw trailer, a 3.5 ton machine is just a little too small, it is really borderline size for the work you get around here.

    I have looked at the spec's on a 335 Bobcat but I can't bring myself to even consider buying a Bobcat mini.

    The KX121 is still forsale I was looking at 2 months ago, it is the ideal size machine for the truck I have.
  9. alco

    alco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 255

    No, no, no, no! Unless you mean Homer.
  10. AdvLandscapeLLC

    AdvLandscapeLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 568

    So your telling me that my one ton cummins dually can not effectively tow or stop my 14000#gvw Gooseneck trailer. Its funny that you say that because I tow that combination daily with a gcvwr of 24000-25000lbs. I have lost my trailer brakes and can still effectively stop my trailer and truck without issue... I really dont know where you pull some of your statements out of other than your A$$.
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