Starting An Excavation Company - Excavation & Site Work - Contractor Talk

Starting An Excavation Company

 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 03-11-2019, 10:43 PM   #1
Registered User
 
Boonz's Avatar
 
Trade: Residential foundations
Join Date: Mar 2019
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 2

Starting An Excavation Company


Hey guys

I know there's a bunch of posts with this title but I have a unique situation I think.

I currently work for my father in law who does poured concrete residential foundations. He did about 80 last year but obviously it depends on the year. He subs out the excavating and often hires a concrete boom pump. I have 40k to put into a business, so it makes sense to either 1. Buy a dump truck, trailer and excavator, or 2. Buy a pump... Right??

Father in law said he'd go excavator route if he were me, but if any of you guys have input on a pump that that'd be appreciated too.

Problem is I don't have any experience with either. I would rather be a separate entity from his business, but I know he'll help out with pricing and everything. He's been in business for 25+ years so he knows his stuff at least on the foundation wall side.

What would you do if you were "guaranteed" that many holes a year?

I'd prefer to be a one man operation to start, do you need more than one guy for a residential foundation?

Rent equipment to start, then buy later?

Ballpark what kind of income would I be looking at after paying/withholding overhead?

Would it be worth taking some kind of operating course/training?

Sorry if this is kind of vague, I'm just trying to feel out if there's an opportunity for me here.

Thanks, Adam
Boonz is offline  

Warning: The topics covered on this site include activities in which there exists the potential for serious injury or death. ContractorTalk.com DOES NOT guarantee the accuracy or completeness of any information contained on this site. Always use proper safety precaution and reference reliable outside sources before attempting any construction or remodeling task!

   

Advertisement

 

Old 03-11-2019, 11:03 PM   #2
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,723
Rewards Points: 2,264

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


if you can't dig a clean, straight, properly dimensioned footing you won't be in business long. especially after paying for extra concrete.

even your father-in- law is only going to cut you so much slack.

40g for a dump, trailer & machine....on what planet?

what about licenses, insurance & overhead?

and a boom pump is expensive & high maintenance.

what are you going to do on a 80 yd pour if your pump phvcks up after the first truck????

and no experience with either?????????????

WTF....move to nevada & open a brothel....

you'll have more fun & make more money....

Advertisement

__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
Old 03-11-2019, 11:20 PM   #3
Pro
 
Fouthgeneration's Avatar
 
Trade: Masonry
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Middle
Posts: 2,312
Rewards Points: 8,249

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


Prepare for all options, Get your CDL, sign up for a pumper class....And run a Excavator....

Why buy a pumper and destroy it? when some desperate contractor will teach you to run his on his dime or hundred thousand $s?

Ditto on digging foundations, spend a few days watching the upper end pros get it done, around here ~ 15-20 ton excavators have run off most bucket cats, one man with GPS and good pins, one short day = basement and garage for 300K$ homes... these guys dig to plus or minus an big inch, ready to form.

The smarter dirt diggers have storage sites with a few miles of most building sites, and often gross more on the spoil hauled away then the digging......but some spoil from brownland projects might require special treatment or even incineration....

I'll throw out getting trained up to run a crane as a side line to pumper operator?

What are YOU bringing to Daddy in law besides getting you away from the hard working employees? What could you do to make him $ or save him $ pouring basements?

Who is go to be throwing the forms around when the border walls meet? Poppa have a magic source of cheap labor to replace illegal alien cement workers?

Check your credit on the pumper truck loan just for information for deciding.

Take some business and accounting classes at night at the Junior Colleges....

If you are in snow country, Go south to get experience faster every winter.
__________________
I might be an Idiot, but I know things that You don't: Please wait till after you get my know-how to insult me....

Last edited by Fouthgeneration; 03-11-2019 at 11:23 PM.
Fouthgeneration is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-12-2019, 12:13 AM   #4
Pro
 
Jay hole's Avatar
 
Trade: General contractor
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 778
Rewards Points: 1,639

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


Or you could buy an extended forklift and rent it out, or you could buy a welder, or you could open a restaurant, or you could keep doing whatever got you the 40k to invest.

40k doesn’t go far in the two fields you are thinking about. Maybe invest in something you know something about????
Jay hole is online now  
Old 03-12-2019, 06:59 AM   #5
Pro
 
going_commando's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrician
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: New Hampshah
Posts: 149
Rewards Points: 256

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


Running an excavator properly and knowing how to shoot grades and follow them is more complicated than hopping in a seat and playing with joysticks. Why don't you get a few thousand hours of experience working for someone else? I know some skilled operators and it takes years and years and thousands upon thousands of hours of time to get really good. I know some that are passably good and have a couple thousand. I am horrible and have probably 40. It's about the same as buying a nailgun, compressor, and a tape measure and starting a framing business.
going_commando is offline  
Old 03-12-2019, 06:09 PM   #6
Registered User
 
NGCExcavation's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/Excavation
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 13
Rewards Points: 38

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


Can you dig a foundation with one guy - yes, but it won't be very profitable or efficient.

I own an excavating company - On all but the smallest jobs we run 2 guys, and we have grade control and automatics on our machine.

$40k in the excavating game is not a lot.I would not start a company without significantly more than that. To dig most house foundations I'd be looking at minimum at a 316 or bigger ($200K). To move it you'll need at least a tandem dump preferably a tri-axle ($150k). And a tag trailer at $50k.

Now - I know what you're gonna say...I'm not gonna buy new - but without experience, you have a reasonably good chance of buying a lemon, and thus bankrupting yourself. I have never regretted buying new equipment - in a production environment, a used piece of iron rarely makes sense.

As you can see, it's a lot of $$ to get in to the game, and you won't be very profitable if that truck or shovel isn't running. A good crew size for house foundations would be 3. 1 in the truck, 1 in the shovel, and 1 labourer.

Just my 2 cents.
NGCExcavation is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to NGCExcavation For This Useful Post:
griz (03-12-2019)
Old 03-12-2019, 08:19 PM   #7
Pro
 
dayexco's Avatar
 
Trade: entrepreneur of excavating expertise
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,382
Rewards Points: 218

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


i've bought a lot of used through the years, rarely got stung.

i just slip a mechanic friend of mine 4-5 mallards and he checked them out for me, do oil analysis
dayexco is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to dayexco For This Useful Post:
griz (03-13-2019)
Old 03-12-2019, 08:24 PM   #8
Registered User
 
NGCExcavation's Avatar
 
Trade: General Contractor/Excavation
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: Ottawa
Posts: 13
Rewards Points: 38

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


Quote:
Originally Posted by dayexco View Post
i've bought a lot of used through the years, rarely got stung.

i just slip a mechanic friend of mine 4-5 mallards and he checked them out for me, do oil analysis
Oh for sure, it is possible - but the thing is, we've got experience, and a network of people we trust to rely on.

I just bought a dump truck and did exactly that - but starting out I didn't have a mechanic on speed dial, nor did I know the ins and outs of every machine. I think that comes with experience in this game.
NGCExcavation is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to NGCExcavation For This Useful Post:
griz (03-13-2019)
Old 03-13-2019, 12:10 AM   #9
Fire up the BBQ
 
griz's Avatar
 
Trade: GC
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: CA
Posts: 21,723
Rewards Points: 2,264

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


Quote:
Originally Posted by dayexco View Post
i've bought a lot of used through the years, rarely got stung.

i just slip a mechanic friend of mine 4-5 mallards and he checked them out for me, do oil analysis
Quote:
Originally Posted by NGCExcavation View Post
Oh for sure, it is possible - but the thing is, we've got experience, and a network of people we trust to rely on.

I just bought a dump truck and did exactly that - but starting out I didn't have a mechanic on speed dial, nor did I know the ins and outs of every machine. I think that comes with experience in this game.
but you guys have experience, knowledge & a mechanic you can trust.

way different than this guy starting out not knowing chit from shinola....
__________________
SOME JOBS JUST AREN'T WORTH DOING:
griz is online now  
The Following User Says Thank You to griz For This Useful Post:
NGCExcavation (03-13-2019)
Old 03-23-2019, 11:29 PM   #10
Registered User
 
DandEwork's Avatar
 
Trade: Electrical and Excavation
Join Date: Mar 2019
Location: Washington
Posts: 1
Rewards Points: 2

Re: Starting An Excavation Company


There is some fantastic advice in here already. Outside of reiterating what has already been said..
What is your plan for your business structure?
How are you going to bid work if you don't have any relative experience pertaining to the job you're looking to perform?
How are you going to propel yourself above your competitors?
How are you going to handle your business marketing and advertisement?
Insurance, books, payroll, maintenance?
How will you handle customer complaints and issues with payment?
Start up business loans have some horrific interest rates, and as a new business you will have no credit, are you prepared to put up your personal assets as collateral?

These are all questions that i wish i had been able to answer before embarking on the journey we started 4 years ago. I had an answer to most of them, and it has still been a huge struggle to get to where we are at.

Advertisement

DandEwork is offline  



Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Starting excavation company etc plz help DitchinDriven Excavation & Site Work 10 06-28-2017 11:58 AM
Starting Monument company ben12345 Sandblasting 3 06-30-2016 09:27 AM
Starting a Construction Company via Spec Homes black95gt Business 16 11-26-2012 08:44 AM
Starting a excavation business buzzin Excavation & Site Work 10 01-11-2012 06:49 AM

Join Now... It's Fast and FREE!

I am a professional contractor
I am a DIY Homeowner
Drywall Talk is for
PROFESSIONAL CONTRACTORS ONLY!

At DrywallTalk.com we cater exlusivly to professional contractors who make their living as a contractor. Knowing that many homeowners and DIYers are looking for a community to call home, we've created www.DIYChatroom.com DIY Chatroom is full of helpful advices and perfect for DIY homeowners.

Redirecing in 10 seconds
No Thanks
terms of service

Already Have an Account?