?Starting a Bobcat/Skidsteer service?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by jhanes, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. jhanes

    jhanes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I'm 18 and have been in landscaping since i was 10. Now i have my own accounts and work full time for a landscaper in the summer and soon to be full time as i graduate High School. Recently i came across a childhood dream of operating equipment and realised i could potentially make enough money this summer to buy an older Bobcat or skid steer of another brand. My questions are .....Is there enough room in the market for this or is it too flooded? Can i start off with just a skid steer and my F250 and wait and see if it works out before purchasing a dump? Also a rental company locally told me he has a S185 with 2500hrs he would sell for 12500. I am worried cuz its a rental and people beat on themn, but on the other hand they are maintenenced regulary. When do the engines usually need rebuilt? Any suggestions, stories or wisdom would be greatly apprciated. Thanks!!
  2. ScubaSteve728

    ScubaSteve728 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    if i were you id go to college while working on the side a college degree helps a lot in this very competitive business world. you could go to some sort of greens keeper school or agriculture school or even a construction school. and you will need proper licences just to legally run the skid if you are making money with it. dont buy an old rental machinery unless you know it was very well taken care of. you pretty much should get a dump to do proper bobcat work like hauling loom, debris or mulch unless you can borrow one.
  3. jhanes

    jhanes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Thanks, and also has anyone seen anybody use a roll-off(hook lift) truck to transport a skid steer as well as material to and from the job site?
  4. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,607

    I'd try and find some work for the bobcat first..like branch off into sod and landscape construction since you already have a base in Landscaping.

    Don't just go for a regular old do everything service. Have a specialty. And focus on that. It might take a while to find out what is gonna bring in the money but once you do stick with it.
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    NEUSWEDE LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,150

    Like this: http://youtu.be/Bthep_aGGIU
  6. jhanes

    jhanes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    Thats pretty much what i was thinking, just maybe with a regular roll off dumpster you could drive into then pick it up and away you go. thanks for the idea of finding a nitchie, that could be key. I also wouldn't drop everything for doing this i would continue working and doing this on the side to see if it panned out, keep in mind Im also renting with the parents so i don't have much to loose....worse thing that could happen is i have to sell the machine.
  7. Junior M

    Junior M LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,607

    I would personally rent a machine and have some work before dropping $12k on a machine that might sit for months..
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  8. AEL

    AEL LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,724

    We move all of our small machines with our roll off, and pull the larger machines on a 20 tonne tag behind it. For the work we do it is a perfect setup.
  9. bobcat_ron

    bobcat_ron LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,137

    Having a dream and operating a buisness are 2 different things. Don't start a buisness this early in life.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    I can't emphasize enough to the youngsters to go work for someone else and learn the necessary skills on the gear. I did the lawncare/landscaping thing in high school, my dad and I did excavation in that period of time and I was figuring on taking over after college. He let the gear go when I went back to college, all was lost....or so I thought. Having 6 summers of equipment experience, I had enough of a taste to know I liked the business. I got into a union apprenticeship, hit the ground running, and haven't looked back. Been a lot of places in the 5 years since I started, run a whole lot of equipment and learned even more tricks to doing things most efficiently. Point is, work for someone else to learn the tricks. Anyone can get a mini or a skid and fumble around in Joe Blow's yard, eventually figure it out and maybe make a decent business out of it. However, if you just give yourself a few years to learn from the big time operations, you'll be much better off. Speaking from experience, I thought at 18 I knew enough about the business to make a good run at it and reality is that I didn't know sh!t. Could have made it work, but if I was to start it all over tomorrow, I'd be leaps and bounds better off with the knowledge I've gained working for someone else.

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