What is your bread winner?

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864wood

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2004
Messages
87
My business has morphed so many times I have lost count! For example, my business is centered around a Woodworking/Cabinet shop business. I also have been in new home construction and home improvement all my life. Basically I do what pays the bills within reason. However, I have found that my skid steer 864 track loader is a gold mine for increasing work and cash flow. After reading posts for @30 days and contributing, do most people on this site use bobcats as their sole business or do you diversify as I. Team Fountain knows my history and his is even better than mine.
 

500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
My full time profession is as an engineer in the petroleum field. I work a rotation schedule which is 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. This gives me time to develop my own landscaping/excavating business. I worked 8 years full time in the contruction business operating heavy equipment previously. I have many contacts from this previous career and having old clients contacting me for excavating/landscape work. I like to take small residential jobs that can be completed in a day or two. That way I can finish any job before I have to go back to my full time job. This summer promises to be busiest building season ever and I hope to really expand my business. Hope to make my own business a primary means of income in the next 2-3 years, although it is hard to give up a 2 week “vacation” every month.
 

500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
My full time profession is as an engineer in the petroleum field. I work a rotation schedule which is 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off. This gives me time to develop my own landscaping/excavating business. I worked 8 years full time in the contruction business operating heavy equipment previously. I have many contacts from this previous career and having old clients contacting me for excavating/landscape work. I like to take small residential jobs that can be completed in a day or two. That way I can finish any job before I have to go back to my full time job. This summer promises to be busiest building season ever and I hope to really expand my business. Hope to make my own business a primary means of income in the next 2-3 years, although it is hard to give up a 2 week “vacation” every month.
Another question to owner/operator businesses: What income level can be expected from operating just a Bobcat skidsteer or compact track loader? $50K, $75K, $100K, $100+K per year? If you worked all year long (what a drag) at 40 hours per week, 52 weeks a year, and $60 / hour for your machine, that would be $124,800. Not bad, but you take about $5 / hour wear and tear on your machine for the 2080 hours (52 weeks @ 40 hours / week) that is $10,400. Now also add $3 per hour fuel times 2080 hours, its another $6240. Say you are making payments on you machine at $600 / month times 12 months is $7200. Now that's $124,800 - $10,400 - $6,200 - $7,200 = $101,000 not a bad year. We forgot to factor in the cost of a truck and trailer and insurance, but you should be about to make at least $75,000 per year right? Not bad for being your own boss. If you bid jobs (don't underbid them!), you could possibly increase your profits even more. I also know everyone is not going to work year around, but you probably work more than 40 hours during the busy construction season anyway so it should average out.
Should this income go up if you add a compact excavator? I imagine the cost of yearly operations would go up. Then you are only one person with 2 machines to operate, so most likely only 1 machine at a time is making money. I know with employees you can make more money because you can perform more work, but the high insurance and workman's compensation rates are leading me to try stay owner/operator for awhile.
Please add your 2¢ to this.
 

Team Fountain

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 16, 2004
Messages
61
My dirt play is just that. Play. I could never possibly recoup the investment I've made. I simply do it because it's a good release and I enjoy it. I love driving the truck. I enjoy running the equipment. It's just that simple. As far as a business, I've slowly morphed into a 'businessman.' Nothing more, nothing less. Just a businessman. I'm into many things, but everything falls back to being a businessman. I've found that my life has become an endless need to make decisions. I have a lot of people that count on me to make the right decisions day after day. I seldom get to work with my hands anymore. Fortunately, I have a couple of friends (2, I think) that can tolerate me and keep me dirty. It may be mud, it may be sawdust - hopefully it wont be paint.
 

864wood

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2004
Messages
87
My dirt play is just that. Play. I could never possibly recoup the investment I've made. I simply do it because it's a good release and I enjoy it. I love driving the truck. I enjoy running the equipment. It's just that simple. As far as a business, I've slowly morphed into a 'businessman.' Nothing more, nothing less. Just a businessman. I'm into many things, but everything falls back to being a businessman. I've found that my life has become an endless need to make decisions. I have a lot of people that count on me to make the right decisions day after day. I seldom get to work with my hands anymore. Fortunately, I have a couple of friends (2, I think) that can tolerate me and keep me dirty. It may be mud, it may be sawdust - hopefully it wont be paint.
I personally know who keeps you from paniting and I definately had you help me out of a muddy job. I still havent heard the full details of my repayment for that debacle. Headed out to yaet another job for the small bulider and he has expressed an intrest in digging foundations along with all the other requests. Has anyone reading attempted digging foundations with a skid steer? Sounds like alot of work but could be fun. Shoud be easier with a track machine.
 

500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
I personally know who keeps you from paniting and I definately had you help me out of a muddy job. I still havent heard the full details of my repayment for that debacle. Headed out to yaet another job for the small bulider and he has expressed an intrest in digging foundations along with all the other requests. Has anyone reading attempted digging foundations with a skid steer? Sounds like alot of work but could be fun. Shoud be easier with a track machine.
I don't know what type of foundations you put in where you live, but here in Interior Alaska we need to have foundation footers below the seasonal frost line which is about 42”. Most foundations have a concrete footer with a foundation stem wall on the exterior of the building. If the home is utilizing a crawlspace, just excavate the whole building footprint. This is easily accomplished with a skid steer and is performed fairly quickly. The skid steer machines can move around in tight areas easily and moves an amazing amount of material in a short period of time. I can't be sure of the exact figures and distances, but last year I was excavating and transport material about 150' at a rate of ~30-35 yd³ / hour. This was with my 773 and a 74“ low profile bucket. Sometimes a compact excavator could be faster, but on a large excavations, the compact excavator may not be able to discharge the excavated material out of the work area and it may need to be moved again with a skid steer loader anyway.
If a slab floor is needed, we only excavate for the footers on the exterior walls about 4'-5' and excavate the interior area about 12”-18”. The footing usually only require about a 2'-3' wide excavation so digging with a skidsteer bucket would excavate about 2-3 times the amount necessary. I perfer to perform this type of excavation with a compact excavator or backhoe to reduce the amount of material excavated and the amount of gravel (in my silty/loamy area, 1'-2' of gravel needs to be installed underneath the footer to allow for drainage, higher compaction, and to allow for minute shifting of the building without cracking the foundation) to be installed beneath the footer.
I would say go ahead and take a foundation job or two to see how your machine performs. I think you will profit well and proably get more work from that client. If it doesn't work as well as you anticipate, at least you can never say you didn't try it :)
 

500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
I don't know what type of foundations you put in where you live, but here in Interior Alaska we need to have foundation footers below the seasonal frost line which is about 42”. Most foundations have a concrete footer with a foundation stem wall on the exterior of the building. If the home is utilizing a crawlspace, just excavate the whole building footprint. This is easily accomplished with a skid steer and is performed fairly quickly. The skid steer machines can move around in tight areas easily and moves an amazing amount of material in a short period of time. I can't be sure of the exact figures and distances, but last year I was excavating and transport material about 150' at a rate of ~30-35 yd³ / hour. This was with my 773 and a 74“ low profile bucket. Sometimes a compact excavator could be faster, but on a large excavations, the compact excavator may not be able to discharge the excavated material out of the work area and it may need to be moved again with a skid steer loader anyway.
If a slab floor is needed, we only excavate for the footers on the exterior walls about 4'-5' and excavate the interior area about 12”-18”. The footing usually only require about a 2'-3' wide excavation so digging with a skidsteer bucket would excavate about 2-3 times the amount necessary. I perfer to perform this type of excavation with a compact excavator or backhoe to reduce the amount of material excavated and the amount of gravel (in my silty/loamy area, 1'-2' of gravel needs to be installed underneath the footer to allow for drainage, higher compaction, and to allow for minute shifting of the building without cracking the foundation) to be installed beneath the footer.
I would say go ahead and take a foundation job or two to see how your machine performs. I think you will profit well and proably get more work from that client. If it doesn't work as well as you anticipate, at least you can never say you didn't try it :)
Most foundations dug around here are with excavators... but I do remember hearing about digging foundations with skids. As long as the ground isn't too packed, I'm sure it'd work out quite well.
 

864wood

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 27, 2004
Messages
87
Most foundations dug around here are with excavators... but I do remember hearing about digging foundations with skids. As long as the ground isn't too packed, I'm sure it'd work out quite well.
Well I am commited, not only have I obligated myself for the backhoe attachement . I have successfuly landed myself in one whole house demo(knockdown and load into dumpsters with my combo bucket) but with the setup I have plus the backhoe I get my first water management system install. The largest hole is for the french drain pit is 30'x36'x6'deep. I can't imaginre that wil take to much time, then the rest is trenching to connect everything. The major hand labor is all the conduit work. WTF and why do I care, work is work and some pays better than others and this has potential to give me my leg up in the market. I like home buliders that pay evry 5-7days.. This guy is a gold mine!
 

500K_773

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2004
Messages
342
Well I am commited, not only have I obligated myself for the backhoe attachement . I have successfuly landed myself in one whole house demo(knockdown and load into dumpsters with my combo bucket) but with the setup I have plus the backhoe I get my first water management system install. The largest hole is for the french drain pit is 30'x36'x6'deep. I can't imaginre that wil take to much time, then the rest is trenching to connect everything. The major hand labor is all the conduit work. WTF and why do I care, work is work and some pays better than others and this has potential to give me my leg up in the market. I like home buliders that pay evry 5-7days.. This guy is a gold mine!
Good luck with the french drain. You will have to tell us how you do. How far do you have to move the dirt that you excavate? What size bachoe attachment and bucket are you getting?
BTW, have fun with the house demo. I know the one I did was a blast. I used a John Deere 690 excavator to demo and load the trucks. There was also a T.V. still left in the house. I dropped the T.V. from about 20' and the tube didn't even break! To tell you the truth, I didn't even look inside the house before I started. Would have been a bad situation if it was the wrong house.
 

Jack

Active member
Joined
Nov 27, 2004
Messages
28
Well, I run my own Internet based low power wireless OEM product business, doing sales, engineering support, consultancy etc. I have been in my own business for 19 years, doing radio. Starting with commercial two-way systems VHH/UHF and HF. Moved to Satellite Ground Rx Systems, then to Radio Telemetry/SCADA Systems, low power radio for the last 7 years. I have travelled to various parts of the World in my work. Technology is starting to bore me.....I would rather be sitting on Earthmoving equipment, getting covered in dust :)
 
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