1. Thank you for visiting HeavyEquipmentForums.com! Our objective is to provide industry professionals a place to gather to exchange questions, answers and ideas. We welcome you to register using the "Register" icon at the top of the page. We'd appreciate any help you can offer in spreading the word of our new site. The more members that join, the bigger resource for all to enjoy. Thank you!
  2. ALL NEW MEMBERS READ THIS FIRST!! Thank you for joining Heavy Equipment Forums! If you are new to forums we communicate with "Threads", please search our threads to see if your topic may have already been answered and if not then click "Post New Thread" in the appropriate forum. This will allow all of our members to see your question and give you the best chance to be answered. After you've made a number of posts you will graduate to Full Member status where you'll see a few more privileges. Following these guidelines will help make this the best resource for heavy equipment on the net. Thanks for joining us and I hope you enjoy your stay!!

Starting a grade business

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by AlbertaBlackTop, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. AlbertaBlackTop

    AlbertaBlackTop Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Canada
    To start I essentially know nothing about sub grade or final. So obviously I've decided to start a grade company. I have two pieces of equipment, a 740 Volvo grader, and a 272 ssl. I am looking to purchase laser grading equipment for both pieces.

    I won't talk actuall dollars as pricing varies by location, but I have narrowed it down to 1000 sq feet per hour for the ssl, and 2000 sqft(?) for the grader.

    My questions are does that time include compaction? Should my price include the use of a roller an a labourer? Are companies looking for strictly grading services while providing the material and compaction themselves?

    From what I've read the process is 1) remove the top soil 2) bring in suitable fill 3) compact and level fill 4) add a compactedand levelled (+\- 2") layer of gravel for drainage 5) spread and level final grade material

    Does all this sound right? Is there anything missing? Am I off on my time estimates?
     
  2. backhoe1

    backhoe1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Sounds like you had better get a job working for someone else.
     
  3. AlbertaBlackTop

    AlbertaBlackTop Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Canada
    Wow one post one troll!

    I don't have time to work for someone. I own a grader and a skid steer. This non existent business is obviously not my only source of income.
     
  4. Queenslander

    Queenslander Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Australia
    Backhoe's suggestion could have some merit, in that the success or failure of your new business will depend entirely on the ability of the grader operater.
    You could look at subcontracting to an established outfit to help gain that experience.
    We have a road maintenance business with only a limited number of potential customers, so it has been a slow but steady
    process building it up... we live or die on our reputation.
     
  5. AlbertaBlackTop

    AlbertaBlackTop Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2016
    Messages:
    5
    Location:
    Canada
    I do have a few operators I use and trust. They have done a few jobs for me in the past and have always recieved positive feedback. We hire them as contrators. We pay a bit higher wage, but end up with less insurance cost and overhead.

    I am concerned with all aspects of the business as any owner worth his salt should be, but the reason for my post is primarily about the process itself and bidding. I have a guess as to the time these steps take, provided that I have the steps right. Just want to know if I'm on track or way off base.
     
  6. wrc

    wrc Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2014
    Messages:
    149
    Location:
    Topeka
    X2 on backhoe comment. I'm not trying to be a downer to prade, however I can not even follow your questions entirely and have been in business for 12 years. if you do proceeded with this best of luck to you. my best advise short of getting a job for someone else would be to hire an experienced opperator/Manger and let him or her run the show and be prepared to give them a lot of financial backing. what type of jobs are you currently doing to make a profitable business with your equipment? maybe that's the area where you should expand instead of ventures into a new area where it seems at best your are lacking experience. I know I was where you are right now a long time ago and if it wasn't for good friends, great family and illreplaceable business contacts I never would of made it to where I am today. hopefully someone here smarter than me can give you the advise your looking for and need
     
  7. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,040
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    Welcome to the Forums Albertablacktop!:drinkup

    I moved this thread from wheel loaders to General Industry Questions as it was more fitting.

    From your screen name I assume your in the paving business? Give us a little more of your background.

    I can't speak for Canada but here the grading contractors do everything project wise from demo/clearing to final grading. Personally I don't know of one grading contractor in my area that subs out final grade. Your market may be different.
     
  8. Queenslander

    Queenslander Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Messages:
    902
    Location:
    Australia
    I would definitely keep that job for myself, the most satisfying stage on most projects.
     
  9. joispoi

    joispoi Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2008
    Messages:
    1,284
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Starting a company is a great endeavor. The fact that you own a grader and a skid steer gives you a slight advantage over everyone on the planet who does not own those pieces of equipment. However, not knowing the ins and outs of the business puts you at a considerable disadvantage compared to the established companies that do this work as part of their daily routine.

    The thing about laser grading is that everybody and anybody with a dozer or skid steer can buy their own setup and do it themselves. What would be the incentive to hire out work that they could do in house when they can make the same investments?

    What can you do that others can't? What can you do better? Is there a market for this service?
     
  10. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    3,301
    Location:
    Canada
    I think with Alberta's economy really in the tank, it's going to be tough to compete with established firms that want to try and keep their employee's working. They say 66,000 lost jobs due to the low price of oil but I'd bet the number is well over 100,000 when you consider how many support businesses rely on the oilfield. Look at rig welders alone who's loss of income doesn't show up on unemployment numbers. Nisku industrial park is getting like a ghost town again. Not as bad 1982 but the way things are going could get there. I consider myself really lucky to have landed the job I got last year where I provide tech support for all of Canada where the economy isn't as dire as Alberta.
     
  11. surfsup

    surfsup Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
    14
    Location:
    temecula, ca
    Have you thought about renting the equipment out? Find good operators to run the equipment or consider renting bare. If you are thinking about starting a grading company just because you have two pieces of equipment, don't! Not to be mean, but it's obvious from your words that you have no clue about the most basic processes and methods involved in grading. There is so much more to it and it's not something you learn overnight, or as you go along. Team up with someone who has a decent amount of experience or find good operators. Who's going to service or fix the equipment? MISTAKES WILL COST YOU MONEY!
     
  12. Oxbow

    Oxbow Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2012
    Messages:
    859
    Location:
    Idaho
    How does one end up owning a blade and a skidsteer I wonder. Interesting combination of equipment.
     
  13. dozerman400

    dozerman400 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2013
    Messages:
    136
    Occupation:
    Heavy equipment operator
    Location:
    schaumburg, il
    Before you take on to much work I would learn how to operate the tractors with out the laser grading equipment. Sometimes the laser equipment fails and you need to do the job any way. I graded for 25 years before I had the opportunity to use GPS and other grading sensors and I am glad I had the experience because when the fancy stuff went down for one reason or another, I could still finish the job.