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Starting An Excavation Business

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment' started by pioneer123, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. pioneer123

    pioneer123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    Hey guys,
    my names josh, i am 20 years old and i am very very interested in getting involved with excavation so I figured i would come to the experts. i have many questions to ask if i'm going in the right direction and so on. I would like to go to go school but im curious on what schools i would go to, i would like to go and get my level 3 with a cdl. do you guys have any suggestions on schooling or how to start? any information will be VERY VERY useful!!! thanks guys...
  2. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    if your looking to get a cdl make sure it is a class A with air brakes and get your tanker and haz-mat endorsements... this can all be obtained by either studying on your and renting a truck to go and take the test or by contacting your local community college most will have truck driver training or yet another option is to look at companies such as jb hunt, cr england, schneider etc... they will usually have truck driving training however you may have to sign an agreement to work for them for a year or be charged for training.
  3. pioneer123

    pioneer123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    thanks so much! that information will be very useful!!! i was checking into a school of training called ATS and it certifies you with all heavy equipment, and provides a class to obtain your CDL. would i be interested in something like that if i was interested in excavation or should i go other places to obtain any of those types of things
  4. dfdsuperduty

    dfdsuperduty Senior Member
    Messages: 597

    Some people may wonder as to why you need tanker and haz but if you become large enough you will probably want a water truck to help keep the dust down and the haz is nice to have just in case you never know what might happen. The person that you should be really nice to and send him a case of some golden cold ones is power joke he has a wealth of knowledge in this area
  5. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,935

    If your starting out you may want to consider mini excavating, Its specialized and alot of the work is for plumbers, electricians, waterproofing, utilities etc. Entry fee is minimal compared to full sized excavators, but hourly rates are reasonable. Take baby steps first, and your business will evolve. A guy I know started with a used mini 12 years ago, and has over 40 pieces now (big and small), all paid for, out everyday making him $$$. It all depends what you want and how much $$$ you have to invest, bankroll, and what kinds of hits you may possibly have to sustain at the startup level of your business.
  6. Bruce'sEx

    Bruce'sEx Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Really depends on what kind of excavation your looking for, Commerical, New houses, existing resi. Everyone of them of them has different demands, and different advantages.
  7. StoneDevil

    StoneDevil Senior Member
    Messages: 516

    pioneer how far are u from Findlay OH
  8. pioneer123

    pioneer123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    i would like to start small then evolve into something bigger over the years, so hopefully when i have kids i can give them work in the summer and hopefully they could take over the business. Bruce'sEx what would you recommed getting involved in in your opinions whats the best one with the best advantages and such... and stone devil i'm about 75 miles away from findlay...
  9. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    I say before making any decision I'd get around 3-5 years experience running machines before going on your own.

    Then its pretty much find a niche market in your area then jump on it and take baby steps.
  10. pioneer123

    pioneer123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    yes true, i already have experience on some equipment, i've worked on our farms for the past 6 years, i was actually going to go to a school to become a heavy equipment operator... and also get my CDL. would that be the right path?
  11. 90plow

    90plow Senior Member
    Messages: 739

    pioneer enable your pm's and then send me a message I will message you back with some info.
  12. powerjoke

    powerjoke PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,341

    90plow:......he dosent have enough post to enable PM's

    Pioneer:......it's a rough market right now, it's not a good choice of occupation's right now :rolleyes: lol

    if i had it to do all over again and starting from scratch not haveing experiance etc. i probably would.......

    first of all go to a tech school like LINNTECH, not so much for the equipment operation's but to lern the do's and dont's of buisness and i would also lern a little bit of buisness law, and after that.....then i would consintrate on playing with machine's.

    it not as easy as sittin on youre ass in a hoe and digging a trench, or riding a dozer and pushin tree's.........their is alot of buisness that comes in it regardless of how big or small you are!

    if you go to a Tech. school they'll teach you enough to get you started in equipment repair and so on,

    Tech. school's are really really good at placeing you in a job as soon as you graduate, and that is something in itself that is worth a ton of money.

    i guess what i am trying to say is, we have guy's pop up and go away all the time..... down here in MO we have more "lowballer" dirtworker's than you can imagine. just because a guy has a wore out skidsteer and a 1972ford backhoe he thinks he's a exavator :rolleyes: but slow times like these sure do good at weening them out.

    in my local phone book thier is approx. 25,000 people. and alphabeticly counting from a-1 excavating to Stunz Excavaton L.L.C. thier is 65 companies between us :eek: 90% of wich i am sure is out of buisness.

  13. pioneer123

    pioneer123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    i get what you are saying... i am actually attending a community college now in business, so i could learn how to run a business cause like you said no matter how big or how small it deals with business... and while i was doing that i have the option of doing the heavy equipment training. kill two birds with one stone then i was then going to start small and work my way up.
  14. murray83

    murray83 Senior Member
    Messages: 420

    Best way to get your foot in the door is start small side jobs around your area while working for someone else.

    Rent a mini excavator or backhoe and fix a septic or some drainage work,the big jobs may have the big cash but they also bring you big headaches.
  15. big pusher

    big pusher Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 129

    Pioneer listen to what PJ IS telling you. Now is not the time to start an excavating business. The decline in the housing market has really put a strain on business.
  16. hickslawns

    hickslawns Senior Member
    Messages: 627

    Pioneer- Used to drill at the Urbana Armory before they closed it. We drove to Springfield to work in their motorpool. I am sure there are some CDL or possibly heavy equipment schools in Springfield. Possibly in Bellefountaine as well. Drove past a place called Levan's Exc (I think that was the name) in Bellefountaine once a month. Looked like a larger operation. Might try getting in with them or an excavator in Springfield just to get some seat time and work your way up as you finish your schooling. You are 20 and have time on your side. Be patient and learn from those that have made a name in the business. If they are a decent employer they will probably tell you why or why not to do certain things. Or why one thing works better when another way seems easier. etc Get your experience and FINISH COLLEGE! It is like an insurance policy to fall back on no matter what direction you go. If you are 20 and in college with little credit and no existing clients it is probably going to be tough to talk any banker into a loan for a truck/trailer/mini exc/skid steer or even a wheel barrel with the current banking crisis.
  17. Knockah22

    Knockah22 Senior Member
    Messages: 245

    I would not go to ATS. I looked into it a couple years back, and from what everyone was telling me is its a waist of $15000. the certifications they give you mean nothing. with excavation expierence/machine time is everything, if u dont have it, no one will talk to you. The other way to get started is workin as a laborer for an excavation company, or start really small like everyone else is sayin.
  18. pioneer123

    pioneer123 Junior Member
    Messages: 7

    thanks alot for all your guys help i appreciate it very much and i will be looking forward to taking it all in and using it down the road!
  19. BOSShog

    BOSShog Junior Member
    Messages: 23

    Check into your Union ... you would be supprised at what they can offer .... experience and great pay.
  20. BOSShog

    BOSShog Junior Member
    Messages: 23