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Who is a bobcat/ skidsteer company only??

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by SouthernYankee, Mar 6, 2006.

  1. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    I was wondering who here on lawnsite is a skidsteer only buissness? What I mean is someone that owns a skidsteer and only does general grading and typical bobcat work. I know several guys back home that only run skidsteers and dont offer other landscaping services and I was wondering who does that here. Thanks SY
  2. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    We were a skid steer only until we realized how much more work you can do with a skid steer + a mini excavator. Having the pair really opens doors as far as versatility goes. If you could keep the machine busy doing grading and such, you'd be fine, but we found that doing just grading work wouldn't supply us with enough revenue to justify keeping the machine. Needless to say we need our skid for our landscaping tasks so that justifies its purchase, but if we were strictly in the compact excavation business there is no way we'd make it with just a skid steer.
  3. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    I have told this story before but what the hell. I started as a skid steer only business in 94-95. Back then it worked well, not many machines around and I stayed busy just grading, running a Rock Hound and doing odd skid steer jobs. Problem was the market started to change. Many more skid steers in the area and I wasn't making the money that I wanted (working strictly by the hour is a tough way to make your money in this business). I bought a used mini excavator and more attachments, added more trucks and got more into the compact excavation market as well as the landscape side which is where I started The key I believe is to be diversified. The rental places will rent a skid steer for 150.00 and there are private guys here that will rent you their personal machine for 100.00 a day. I imagine that it is the same elsewhere. Unless you live an area that can support a skid steer only business (I can't believe that there are many left) you'll want to get the line of credit increased to cover more equipment.
  4. imjustdave

    imjustdave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Hello Board

    I'm a little new to this whole buisness of dirtworks and such, need some advice. I bought a JD CT 332 back in Oct and went down to New Orleans to do some work, between the gang bangers, and the politics and lack of $$$ I decdided to head back home WA state.

    So I'm a 1 man show, 1 ton pickup and a flatbed trailer to haul my skid steer around. Advertising in the local free paper, truck and a few internet sites, but im not making any money right now. Im also not exactly sure what line I want to go in, doens't really matter as long as I can make money. Need some advice.....

    Where is the best place to start getting work?
    What should I avoid in Advertising and what works?
    I'm seeing the posibility of 1 machine not working the best when it comes to making a decient living. advice?
    Do I really need to go bigger then a 1 ton truck

    I have thouhgt about getting a dump trailer, a dump truck, and maybe a excavator. is a 11K lbs ex big enough to do anything?

  5. Caribbean Breeze

    Caribbean Breeze LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60


    My advice would be to look at attachments, look into getting a mini excavator ( 3 - 4 ton Zero Tail Swing) at some stage.

    Talk to established contractors who can give you a sub contract, I have learnt that advertising is not always necessary if you have a good list of potential customers, your plan should be to obtain small jobs from the contractors, demonstrate that you can handle on time and within budget, thereafter the door will open.

    I know a number of people that make a living on a Skid Steer with attachments, I would prefer a Skid and a Mini Excavator and have one or two employees.

    Look into a Auger, Hydraulic Breaker, a Harley Rake, Dozer blade etc.

    Good Luck,

    Through the sweat of thy brow, thou shall eat bread :-

    Caribbean Breeze

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    My advice would be to do landscape operation support for companies who typically rent their machines and are understaffed at times. If you target your market toward that, and continue with mailings, letting contractors know you are there, and then you can perform at will, and, you collect each night you work to stop any potential A/R issues you can do alright. I'm thinking about that very concept with one decicated crew right now. There are alot of companies just as I mentioned, and since space is at a premium, it is easier at certain stages of a companies size to farm it out.

    If you work directly with homeowners it will be considerably harder for you target and get those people to focus, plus, dealing with ametures is never any fun. Their failure to properly plan typically consisutes an emergency on your part and you don't need that.
  7. imjustdave

    imjustdave LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28


    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426


    First, understand that a 257B or any similar sized piece of machinery is not a D series Caterpillar. For what we do with it, it is one of the most used attachments we have in the toolbox. We mainly use that machine on side slope applications, and either crane it over house roofs, or have used H-31 Helo's to get it behind where we are working. We cut shelves in slopes, smooth grades, and also use the machines to spread and pitch gravel on paver applications. The 6 way feature helps when cutting swales, you don't have to get a ditch started in some obscure fashion, you just tilt it, and push. It's a Bradco, well built but I really like the way the Caterpillar blade is designed for that machine better. The edges of the blade are replaceable, where the Bradco edge is one piece, and the angle of the Cat blade has a better face to make your cuts. If asked would we buy another one, absolutley.
  9. Construct'O

    Construct'O LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Sw Iowa
    Messages: 1,387

    Hi! Dave
    I also have ctl 332 with several attachments.I do drainage work (tiling) for farmers.As of now i use mine for back filling tile trenches.

    I'm using a 96" Grouser 6-way blade.It is a super heavy duty blade and works great.It weights close to 2000 lbs.

    As of now that is mostly why i have it ,but have used it for other dozing.You will have to wire your machine to use the tilt(electric over hydraulic switch),not a real big job.That way you can go from angle to tilt by the flick of a button.I have hand controls on mine and the button switch was installed in the hand control.Nice and handy!!!!!!!

    Attachments is the key!!!!!!!!!! You need to be able to use your machine for more then one thing.I have over 9 attachments and several more that a person could get to use are out there.Depends on what you have in mind to do????????
  10. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 553

    i started with my dad in new home grading. i got my skid and it works alot as an addon machine to normal jobs. as far as just having the skid only i would probably starve. you need to find a niche. mine was sewing the yards after construction is complete. that led to doing the plants then lighting. there are other comact equipment companys around here. one does the dry stack retaining walls and is very sucsesful, another a paving company all the use is cat skids, small graders, and small pavers. there main focus is on driveways. the are doing really well in 10 years that have went from one man doing all the work to having 3 prep crews and 2 paving crews, and about 15 dump trucks. having a machine is nothing special, having the knowledge to do something well with it, is the key to sucsess. i think i read something a while back about a company in atlanta that had like ten skids and several roll off trucks and all they do is clean constrution sites during the building. and they are doing well

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