Marketing an compact excavation service

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by T Scapes, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. T Scapes

    T Scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,224

    I own a landscaping and tree service(separate for tax reason) I am going to be purchasing a skid steer looking at kubota(SV75 bobcat(T590 T650) and deere(323D 329D) and i will be buying a U35(36 til 30 24 18 12 tooth thumb. I have a F450 to pull them for starting out. Maybe a year or 2 in i will be a 4300 and tag trailer. I can use the machines to do any commercial work i can market to my commercial landscaping customers and do smaller stump jobs with the U35 and the skid can move brush. I eventually though am going to be looking into using those machine exclusively for compact excavation work. I am going to start looking erosion control work for both private and government work. I know a couple GC's one who does some pretty big stuff i could at least big on work for as well as a couple others. I will also market to other landscapers? anyone have any other good avenues of work for this type of equipment?
  2. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Don't go out and buy two new machines and have two payments if you do not already have the work for them. Grow slowly, market your self to the right people , do some jobs for them, make some money and make purchases when you have a study revenue stream. Don't buy the machines thinking having new machines will get you work - it won't.

    When I started out I knew more big Gc who promised me lots of work then I knew what to do with. When the time came I was ready to do the work and was equipped they all disappeared. Moral of the story is don't count your chickens till the eggs hatch.

    Also I don't know how it is where you are but hear it is quite hard to start doing government projects . They require bonding ( which is very difficult to get ) require you too have proven experience for jobs of the same scope and size etc . Not trying to discourage you at all , if you want something go for it. Just do all of your research and have jobs in place before making big purchases.

    Best of luck
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  3. T Scapes

    T Scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,224

    neither machine will be new. I am always looking for used deals out there. My tree service is already bonded and i have done municipal work already. I am in the process of getting the landscaping side done to do sports field maintenance. I could bid the work under either company
  4. jmacd

    jmacd LawnSite Member
    Messages: 230

    Sounded like AEL gave good advise.

    Why did you ask for new avenues for customers if you already had them? Sounds like you new the answer before you asked.

    Get more municipal work by biding that work with your bonding that you all ready have in place.
  5. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Don't take this the wrong way but what is your definition of bonding? If you own 2 companies and one company has bonding why wouldn't you bid jobs under the bonded company and sub the work to your non bonded company?
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  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Messages: 4,281

    Depending on the scope of work and area not all work here requires bonding for goverment work.

    As AEL said never count your chickens before they hatch as nothing is guranteed.

    If you have a positive income with your other buisnesses then buying these 2 pieces is not a bad idea wether you have the work or not. I have not figured out how too build a buisness big enough too afford me a piece of equipment with work for that equipment when I actually do not own it so I always buy first and then build the buisness around the purchase.
  7. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,156

    As to the equipment side of the equation. I would consider what type of excavation you want to do and the requirements of that work before buying a machine either a CTL or especially an excavator. A 3.5 t mini ex has some real limitations in commercial excavation in my view, its a nice size if you have bigger equipment but as a stand alone ex it can easily become overwhelmed. I don't know how things are done there, from an excavation standpoint, but learn the standard operating procedure for the type commercial excavation you want to become involved in. Be sure as you make equipment purchases that you have these things in mind.

    Some examples are:

    Do you plan on loading trucks with excavator-answer is yes.

    How deep are your sewer connections in your area? Max dig depth on the spec sheet is a little misleading its not all useable from a practicality standpoint.

    You will certainly want a quick coupler and hyd. thumb on mini ex and can you isolate the aux. flow for hammer and hoe pac use? Make sure you the appropriate plumbing or plan to install it (most minis are good this way, large excavators this can be a 7-8k bill to plumb a stick).

    You will need a hoe pac, does your mini ex make enough flow to run one? make sure you can buy or rent one.

    What size buckets do you need upfront. A small 1' bucket is valuable for digging smaller trenches but also great in frost and pulling concrete. A clean out bucket is priceless and of course a primary digging bucket, usually a 2', 30" or 3' bucket.

    Granted given enough time, any thing can be accomplished. The key especially in commercial excavation is productivity. Time schedules are not just suggestions, don't be the subcontractor that pushes a project back. So select your equipment accordingly.

    As to CTL's, you have already selected on a CTL just make sure that makes the most sense for what you want to do. Think about such features as ride control, high flow, hyd quick coupler, vertical or radial lift. Check the specs on the machine, the bucket break out spec can be important if plan on using the CTL to excavate, dump height for truck loading, high flow specs if you are going to do mulching, cold planning and so forth. Bucket type and capacity are can be critical. If you are going to prep for concrete, wide, extended lip/low profile buckets are great, however they are not as great for excavating because you lose bucket breakout with them and you can get debris behind the bucket easily and damage/beat up your tilt cylinders. I have 5 different CTL/SSL buckets. Not saying you need 5 different buckets right off, but again productivity is important and having the right tool for the job makes/saves money. As to other attachments be sure that your host machine will run those specialty attachments you plan on purchasing in the future.

    I could go on, but just realize (and perhaps you have already done this) that selecting gear before you know what your going to do with it, can waste a lot of money. My suggestion is to get a 5-6 ton mini ex, but do the research and make an informed purchasing decision.
  8. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    Excellent suggestions by Shane there
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