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  1. #31
    Bronze Member amazincaucasian's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    95
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    mo
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    2013 Kubota kx-121, 1988 Kubota L2202DT 1998, Bobcat 331 bobcat, F800 dump truck

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    After reading my post, I see I wasn't very clear on the hourly rates. I've always charged the same no matter what I'm doing. EXCEPT when I'm messing with trees. Trees fall the wrong way and crash windows and lights, breaking roots is hard on pins and bushings, and you get slapped in the face with branches and scratch your machine up. Last year a friend called and asked if I could help finish a job. Seems his operator was pulling up a stump with a PC200 and it came free and jumped in the cab with him, breaking his sternum. Doesn't matter how good an operator you are, stuff happens with trees. Sometimes it happens in yer lap. I know people will say it's part of it, but IF you can stay busy doing other things, I would. There's lots of jobs you can do with a mini excavator:
    -small ditches
    -septic tanks
    -trenching for water lines, phone, electric, gas
    -prep for concrete
    -culvert installs
    -placing rip rap for erosion control
    -digging for geology studies
    -digging graves
    -bury livestock
    They even have augers and compactors and who knows what else for these things!

    Now the dump trailer is a good thing, but I think you'll wish you had a dump truck. They're lower and easy to load, but you can quickly wear out a pickup pulling that thing around loaded, and for the price of that truck you coulda had a single axle dump truck that's made to handle a load. Somethin you can haul a load AND pull yer machine to the job with at the same time. Just think about the specs on a dump trailer...you're hauling 7 tons, would you rather go down the road with a trailer that has 10 ply tires on 16" wheels, or 16 plys on 22.5's? Not being a smart-aleck, just giving you a perspective on it. I looked at them too when I started, but now after seeing and feeling how much 14,000 to 16,000 pounds is on a 2 ton, I'd kinda be scared of em. A friend of mine hauls cattle locally. From the mid 1980's till about 2000, he used dually pickups. Well they'd last a couple years, maybe three and he's shell a transmission or rear end and get a new one. Spent alot of time at the tire store too. Then he bought a wore-out F800 Cummins for under 10 and he's still driving it. I knows he's been running it hard for over 10 years and it was VERY used when he bought it.

    That being said, if you use a dump truck or trailer along with your digger or loader, you can make double the money per hour. If you live out of town you have a great advantage. You can stockpile material for jobs, and sometimes stockpile dirt you got paid to haul away, then use it later to make mo money

    Sorry bud I got carried away. Anyway, always be honest. That should go without saying. I picked up a storm shelter dealership last year and guess who most of my business came from? People I'd done jobs for previously. They saw I was dealing and installing tornado shelters and said, "Well that guy was dumb and kinda hillbilly, but he did what he said he was gonna do, showed up on time, and didn't gouge us or add any hidden fees". That goes a long way. Fast talk and big promises don't impress people around here. Probably anywhere. Word of mouth and all that good stuff....you know

    When you hit a good lick, don't go blow the money on whistles and tin tooters. Go buy tools and equipment that'll make you more money.

  2. #32
    Veteran Member RDrancher's Avatar
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    Sanger, Texas
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    New Holland TC35D, Case TR320 CTL

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    amazincaucasian makes a very good point regarding dump trailers vs. dump trucks. For quite awhile I thought I wanted a dump trailer for my business, but after renting one quite a bit this past summer I've noticed what a strain it is on my truck. And being able to load up your machine and take a load of trash or left over material with you when you leave the job is pretty handy.

    On the same topic...older, single axle dumps will begin to flood the market in the next couple of years coming out of California. There will be many good deals to be had.
    On-Road Heavy-Duty Diesel Vehicles (In-Use) Regulation

    amazincaucasian - If you don't mind, could you share what year your F800 is, mileage, engine, trans, etc?
    John

    My Work & Stuff Photo Thread: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/p...to-thread.html

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

  3. #33
    Bronze Member amazincaucasian's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    95
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    mo
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    2013 Kubota kx-121, 1988 Kubota L2202DT 1998, Bobcat 331 bobcat, F800 dump truck

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    Quote Originally Posted by RDrancher View Post

    amazincaucasian - If you don't mind, could you share what year your F800 is, mileage, engine, trans, etc?
    Yes sir it's a 1995 with a 5.9 Cummins 12valve turbo with about 230,000 miles. Has an Allison AT545 (4 speed automatic). If you bang the breaks, it downshifts nice. You can downshift it like a manual too. Not sure exactly what it gets on fuel mileage, but it's really good. Course not quite as good as a pickup with the same motor, but pretty dang good. It's a little gear-bound, but it has to be cause the motor's a little small for the truck. Well, small by today's standards anyway. To me it's fine but nowadays folks think you need a 400 hp diesel in a pickup truck. This truck is only 170 hp if I remember right. Truck weighs 10,400 lbs. Has a 12 foot bed. Pretty much like driving a pickup. I end up using it like a pickup and get groceries, lumber, hay, pull a stock trailer, whatever we need. It's under CDL

    If I had to change anything on this truck, I'd put a cab guard on the bed. Once in a while getting loaded at the quarry, rock will bounce up and peck the back glass. And it has an electric motor on the dump instead of PTO. It's a little slower than a PTO setup but still better than a shovel. Harder to tailgate rock with the slower dump speed. It wants to come out in shifts. It will dump about 8 tons, depending on if they load me heavy on the front or put it right in the middle. Everything else that didn't suit me, I already changed. Installed a big toolbox under the bed (not seen in pics because for some reason all my pics are from driver's side), mounted a place for a shovel and rake on bed, put in a block heater because these trucks don't come with grid heaters, put a sweet CD player in it, and a CB radio so I can aggravate the real truck drivers

    I love the automatic, love the size, manueverability, reliability, everything. If I got another truck, it would be the same thing just newer. This truck has had almost no problems in 4 years. Not fast at all but dependable. Very interesting about the California trucks. I've noticed these trucks for sale pretty cheap with low miles. Ex-municipal trucks

    Here's more pics if you're like me and love pics

    -tractor2-jpg-tractor4-jpg-tractor3-jpg
    Last edited by amazincaucasian; 12-09-2012 at 12:56 PM.

  4. #34
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2006
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    871
    Location
    western NC
    Tractor
    Ventrac, Steiner

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    I think what ever you hual with is going to depend on the type of work you are doing. I had a f450 flatbed I pulled my trailers with. The flatbed didnt dump and usually had a hydroseeder mounted on the back of it. I made the hydroseeder removeable instead of permanate mount so i could use the truck for other things. In the bed I had a gooseneck hitch to pull my 28ft gooseneck trailer for moving my TN75 NewHolland tractor. I also had a reesehitch for bumper pull of my 18ft tag along and my 12ft dump. The job I had to do set the perimeters of what trailer or piece of equipment I took to the job. For large hydroseeding jobs of course the machine set on top of the flatbed, but I still needed hydroseeding supplies so they went into the dump trailer hooked behind the truck. I could pull up to the fill site, drop the trailer, fill the machine and do the job, Hookup when I'm done and move on. No double tripping or extra truck to hual equipment and materials. If I had to do lots of prep work before seeding, I have set the hydroseeder on the gooseneck, along with the tractor, with materials loaded on the truck. It all just depended on the situation as to how I would get the job done. One thing I always tried to do was plan. I didnt like returning to the shop once I left and I didnt like taking more vehicles than neccesary to get the job done. I had other trucks and trailers if I needed them, but they cost money to run and increased overhead if they werent really needed.

  5. #35
    Veteran Member RDrancher's Avatar
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    Sanger, Texas
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    New Holland TC35D, Case TR320 CTL

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    Quote Originally Posted by amazincaucasian View Post
    I love the automatic, love the size, manueverability, reliability, everything. If I got another truck, it would be the same thing just newer. This truck has had almost no problems in 4 years. Not fast at all but dependable. Very interesting about the California trucks. I've noticed these trucks for sale pretty cheap with low miles. Ex-municipal trucks

    Here's more pics if you're like me and love pics
    Thanks for the lowdown on the good looking truck. And I hear you on the current high HP diesel fad. Maybe for the guys driving their truck to the office, but for everyday work it doesn't make much sense to me. I've been looking at a lot of single axle dumps lately including the ex-municipal trucks, especially those with room between the cab and bed for a cross box for tools, spares and stuff. I'd need mounts for a broom, shovel and landscape rake as well. I'm only interested in Fords and Internationals and nothing with a CAT 3126. I've heard too many bad things about them.

    You also re-sparked my interest in storm shelters. When I first moved here I made a wholesale deal with a concrete shelter manufacturer. I took out one year ads in all of the major yellow pages and received exactly ONE call. Funny thing...the call came four years after the ads expired! I hadn't thought about marketing them to my current and past customers. Good idea.

    And thanks for the pics. We ALL love pics!
    John

    My Work & Stuff Photo Thread: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/p...to-thread.html

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

  6. #36
    Bronze Member amazincaucasian's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    mo
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    2013 Kubota kx-121, 1988 Kubota L2202DT 1998, Bobcat 331 bobcat, F800 dump truck

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    sorry nothin here I screwed it up
    Last edited by amazincaucasian; 12-09-2012 at 06:14 PM.

  7. #37
    Elite Member
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    Mar 2009
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    Lee, IL
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    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    if you are in a "richer" area, maybe in-ground swimming pools would be a thought. Also, with all of the "green" thinking, rising utility costs, and possibly falling unit prices, I think geothermal heat pumps will become more popular and they require a lot of underground piping. Try to maybe get together with a couple HVAC guys that are interested in installing them.

    These are relatively small jobs that I think could be done with a smaller excavator.

  8. #38
    Bronze Member amazincaucasian's Avatar
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    mo
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    2013 Kubota kx-121, 1988 Kubota L2202DT 1998, Bobcat 331 bobcat, F800 dump truck

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    Sorry RDrancher that didn't work. I'm trying to post up a link to a truck. I'll try again...

    kubota U35, International Dump Package

    RD-For me the storm shelters have been a good deal but seasonal, of course. I haven't been doin em that long. I can hook you up with the manufacturer if you might be interested

    mikehaugen-yes I tried to do geothermal systems too that's a great idea. Didn't work for me because all the heat/air places around here already had backhoes. Good idea for somebody starting out I think
    Last edited by amazincaucasian; 12-09-2012 at 06:13 PM.

  9. #39
    Veteran Member RDrancher's Avatar
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    Sanger, Texas
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    New Holland TC35D, Case TR320 CTL

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    Thanks AC. Looks like a great business start-up package. Maybe the OP is paying attention to the thread...?

    The only problem with the concrete storm shelters is the weight. Unless you can back the delivery truck up to the install location, they're pretty heavy to set. I'd be interested in talking to your manufacturer.
    John

    My Work & Stuff Photo Thread: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/p...to-thread.html

    Slow is smooth, smooth is fast.

  10. #40
    Bronze Member amazincaucasian's Avatar
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    mo
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    2013 Kubota kx-121, 1988 Kubota L2202DT 1998, Bobcat 331 bobcat, F800 dump truck

    Default Re: I want to start a small excavation business...need advice!!

    PM sent to ya RD
    And no problem man anything I can do. If you're like me, you can't git enough lookin at equipment! I been eyeballin that kubota in that ad for a week. Don't need the truck really but I need to upgrade to a newer hoe. But I'll probly wait till spring before I buy and it'll be gone so I thought I'd share it. After lookin at my posts, I hope I haven't got off topic too much. I'll try not to hijack the thread. I think this is relevant to what he should know starting out. Yes I agree with the concrete thing. There's a company about 20 miles from me that makes concrete structures for storm shelters. They're pretty good, and I talked to them about installing em too BUT....that's all I'd be, an installer. I can't haul em, can't move em, but a guy with a 3.5 ton machine or bigger can set these fiberglass ones right where you want em and have enough reach for the hole required. I wouldn't try to get into the storm shelter business with anything smaller than what I have. A 11,000 lb machine with heat and air would be tha cat's meoww.

    RPpaving- what's the public water supply set up like there? Do they have their own equipment? Many don't. Well, around here the water departments in town have backhoes, but the rural water districts hire excavating guys to dig. Could be something to check into. Like I said if you can get yer foot in tha door with public utilities work, you won't have as many sleepless nights wondering if the phone is gonna ring.It'll be there

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