Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall? - Excavation & Site Work - Contractor Talk

Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?

 
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:44 PM   #1
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Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


So time and time again I am always wondering the best procedure to move dirt, and often it comes down to experience, site conditions and schedule. But let's say schedule is not an issue. Who thinks it's better to gear up with 2-3 very experienced but we'll compensated employees and have idle equipment, or 5-6 decently experienced guys and just push through it like mad?

I am starting to lean to the "lean" crew, and save money on labor but unfortunately that means idle rental equipment (hard to make money anyways).

What's your guys preferences?
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


I myself would opt for the 1st option. Do it right the first time or don't do it at all. Not exactly what you are saying I know. But you also have to choose the path that keeps your head above water. If you have a reputation of doing a job well with good reliable and smart employees, I don't think you'll find your equipment sitting idle.

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Old 12-16-2016, 08:50 PM   #3
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


My dad who is 64 yrs old and I completed a $600,000 residential development in 12 months total working time. We did all aspects of the project except water lines and paving. We also did another $200,000 worth of other work in that same time.

We have 17 pieces of equipment, mostly older stuff and some newer. Two tri-axle's, lowboy and tractor and ton of support equipment and attachments. Everything but 1 machine is paid off. I am a firm believer in running lean.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:43 PM   #4
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


I don't think there is one answer. Generally, if you have NEW equipment, you want to work that as hard as possible. On the right job, you can work it 24 hours a day, with scheduled down time for maintenance. You want all very experienced people if you do that, but middle of the night you tend to get stuck with whoever will show up and stay awake.

If you're running old equipment, having excess equipment covers breakdowns....
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Old 12-18-2016, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


Get the best people you can, your reputation and sanity depend on it. There will be times you will need to be off site and having competent guys makes a huge difference. Not having to babysit will let you work on other small jobs, meet perspective clients and work in the office while they work. Good experienced employees will also be better for your equipment because they care and know what to and not to do with them.

We started with older and minimal equipment and rented a bunch at first. We still add used equipment as we need it and buy very few new pieces. I've gotten to the point of wanting zero business debt and plan to pay off what little we have this winter. (Personal as well, but it's going to take a little bit to get the house done.)
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Old 12-18-2016, 06:05 PM   #6
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


does it have to be either or? why not one really experienced guy to work with 2-3 decently experienced guys and 1 inexperienced? The less experienced guys support the more experienced and will learn along the way, becoming more experienced and will be able to take on more responsibility and help teach inexperienced guys as you add crew or have turn over. That way if a lead guy moves on you might have someone in house to replace vs having to hire whoever is looking for a job at the time.
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:36 PM   #7
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Moxley-Kidwell View Post
Get the best people you can, your reputation and sanity depend on it. There will be times you will need to be off site and having competent guys makes a huge difference. Not having to babysit will let you work on other small jobs, meet perspective clients and work in the office while they work. Good experienced employees will also be better for your equipment because they care and know what to and not to do with them.

We started with older and minimal equipment and rented a bunch at first. We still add used equipment as we need it and buy very few new pieces. I've gotten to the point of wanting zero business debt and plan to pay off what little we have this winter. (Personal as well, but it's going to take a little bit to get the house done.)
what he said
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Old 12-20-2016, 06:39 AM   #8
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


Run lean and mean. Always go with experience. It will cost more per hour and less in the long run.
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Old 12-20-2016, 07:59 AM   #9
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


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Run lean and mean. Always go with experience. It will cost more per hour and less in the long run.
I agree, I went from large and lumpy to lean and mean and make about the same income per year BUT the quality of my life has improved immensely.

And perhaps purchase the equipment you use most and rent the rest.
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Old 12-22-2016, 06:01 PM   #10
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Re: Run Lean Or B*lls To The Wall?


Why do you have idle rental equipment? The whole idea of renting the equipment is so that it is not idle. Working with your experienced guys secure the equipment you need to fit the crew size. I feel like I'm missing something? Maybe it is because I do tree trimming not excavation.

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