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!!

work in georgia

Discussion in 'Demolition' started by dozier man, Jan 16, 2014.

  1. dozier man

    dozier man Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    north ga
    hello ive been grading for years and i feel like im not good at bidding jobs i get about half the jobs i bid but i mostly work for the same contractors heres my question i want to know if any of you guys know where i can get a baseline for bidding jobs that way im in line with everyone i may be asking a dumb question but for some reason since market crash i get work but dont seem to have any money after all the fuel insurances labor all is paid
     
  2. Colorado Digger

    Colorado Digger Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1,169
    Location:
    Carbondale,co
    Experience is really the only tool that will help you. Knowledge of your local market and keeping track of how much the job's go for that you bid also helps. The other thing that helps is having a few friends that are in Dirtwork as well. Being able to discuss work and talk about pricing really seems to help. In my experience excavation is not a get rich quick occupation. I always seem to spend my profits on more equipment.

    Good Luck, CD
     
  3. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,052
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    Speaking from my experience and I don't know your working area but if you are getting 1/2 the jobs you bid you are probably bidding too cheap.

    I get about 20% of the jobs I bid and the "we really want to use you but your not the low number" calls as well. I handle the "your not low but want to use you" jobs on a case by case basis, evaluating the owner and the GC from past experiences. There are a few GC's that I'll adjust a price on because they are good to work with and pay promptly, others I decline to lower my price.

    In the past I had a much larger operation than I do now and most of the times it ran me. This lead to taking work to keep guys busy, pay OH and all the other expenses that go with it. I wasn't making any more money and in fact chasing work to feed the machine. Not any more.

    I bid jobs to make a profit and have told many PM's to take the other guy's money when they tell me how much lower the lowest bid is. I don't need the experience, don't want to buy a job and don't mind loading up the competition with unprofitable jobs. This results in a large amount of time bidding projects that I don't get but I am willing to put my time into it, as there is no diesel fuel or undercarriages worn out in the process. It's what I have to do in these economic times to stay profitable.

    Back to the question - Your question can only be answered by you. Only you know your operating costs, OH and productivity. CD gave some great advice.;)

    What type of jobs do you do and who is your customer base?
     
  4. Acivil

    Acivil Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2010
    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I have walked a mile or two on that path, and I am about 45 min from you in SE TN, I have family in Lafayette GA, so I am semi familiar with your work area. One thing I did early in my estimating career is pick up bid packets for public work which will have public bid results, do a takeoff and generate a bid, then not submit it, and see where I landed once the public opening was held. Another place to get started is with the TDOT Construction Average Unit Price database. I sometimes check it out when I am bidding a line item I haven't bid previously, and do not have in my own unit price database to see if the number I am coming up with for that particular item of work is in line with the TDOT average I also use their online plans to generate test proposals, then look at the bid tabulations once the project is let to see how I compared. Generally, smaller, or private projects will have cheaper unit prices than TDOT, but its a place to start. I also wouldn't be shy about bidding higher, then asking the owner/contractor how badly you missed it, and gradually back down to a winning price, which in my experience is easier than raising your prices once you've trained your clients to values too low. I also like to look at the number of projects I am the successful bidder on as CM1995 stated... if you're getting the majority of them, you're bidding too cheap. Contractors don't need work, we need Profit... PM me if you need more help, I may be able to give you a few ideas.
     
  5. dozier man

    dozier man Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    north ga
    thanks for the replys yes im sure ive been to cheap i do residental work clearing lots footers backfilling small demo like a small house from time to time hauling my dirt gravel and brush the problem with what i do is all small companys like mine rely on these jobs so they cut the price to the core im trying expand to commercail to get away from this cheap work my problem is i have no idea where to to get on a bidders list or where to find out about upcoming jobs to bid on and how to find out what the winning bid was im currently been using the blue book for years with no success bid a dozen jobs to only find out later the company that i turned my bid into didnt get it and they didnt share no info on the winning bid i have a 953 d37 dozier bobcat mini ex a padfoot roller and 1 tandem dump trying to buy a 312 cat ex now but got to get some better paying jobs
     
  6. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    ohio
    There are several construction reporting services....I.E. Dodge, Reed, Builders Exchange, Onvia, Service Magic, I Sq/Ft, etc. The blue book isnt bad but they miss alot of projects and arent really very timely downloading specs and drawings for these jobs. These services are all pretty expensive so you might want to start a list of all the GC'S in your area and call them and get added to their bidders lists. When you bid a project call the architect or blueprinter and get a list of ALL GC'S! That is the only way you are going to get full coverage. Also, i have had many problems working for GC's over the years and it pays in the long run to do the homework and figure out which ones are good and bad, which ones are timely in payment and wont beat you to death with extra work, re-work, etc. Trust me on that one!
     
  7. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,052
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
  8. dozier man

    dozier man Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    north ga
    thanks everyone for the info
     
  9. Fastdirt

    Fastdirt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    GA
    Wow, so much work just to get the work.


    Sounds like words from experience there. The thought of that sounds deflating, but I remember as an employee for graders doing gas stations, fast food, and out parcels that there was always more work to be done even after thinking the job was completed. I too would like to get into to small commercial jobs at one point in the future, but I feel it will be just like residential where everyone cuts the price down to the point of no profit like dozier man said.



    There is a great 312C with the dozer blade on Craigslist Atlanta right now. Also Nasser seems to have the 312's often.
     
  10. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,052
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    I don't understand your statement.:confused:
     
  11. dozier man

    dozier man Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    north ga
    ive been talking to nasser about a 312 they dont have any at this time but there looking for me before the economy crashed i had a new 312cl i had to sell it to keep from losing it so im just looking for an older model to keep the price down
     
  12. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,052
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    I understand that statement because I have lived through it as well..:cool:
     
  13. Fastdirt

    Fastdirt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    GA
    It seems to be a lot of work to get the work in an open bid market. I only say that because I've never tried the route of open biding, but I'd like to eventually. Things can seem complex until you get a couple of first hand experiences under your belt.

    I'm sure they will surface eventually. I am always searching craigslist for some reason and it seems there is always a 311 or 312 on there. LEB equipment seems to be very resourceful too in the used market.
     
  14. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,052
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    It is to a certain degree and not that hard on the other. It just takes some time to bid the projects, I get about 20% of what I bid but that's how it goes in this economy. You have to devote the time to estimating projects, know your numbers and not get discouraged when you bid 4 jobs and not get one.

    It's not as "open bid" as it seems either. Sure it's lowest bid wins the deal most of the times but relationships you develop with GC's over time plays a big part as well.

    The "big box" GC's, the ones that build national chain stores, travel and build all over. Site work guys like us can't travel all over the country or the region for that matter and make a profit, like the steel erectors or concrete contractors can for example. This is a detriment of sorts and an ace in the hole when you develop the relationships with these GC's.

    I mostly work for out of state GC's, only have one local that I work for. There is opportunity in this market and once you gain a relationship with these GC's that build national accounts, they have jobs that come up that no one knows about in your area. You get a phone call from the estimator, an invitation to bid and the process goes on.

    Pay day is 30 days at the earliest, 45-60 is the norm so you have to be able to carry that. Just my $.02 but there is more money to be made in commercial than residential once you get over the "hump" of the pay cycle.
     
  15. Fastdirt

    Fastdirt Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2010
    Messages:
    740
    Location:
    GA

    Great stuff CM, I'm sure I'm not the only one who appreciates that. 20% means you just really have to stick with it. 45 days has got to be tough to float. I like the "once you get over the hump" part you mention and love the repeat paying customers part. I worked for a guy one time and all he did was Dollar General stores. He was a traveling man and just rented equipment and went all over the southeast.... he was a stress case because of it. I didn't like the travel and quit that quickly. I've also worked for grading contractors that did nothing but let the GC down. The GC was always complaining about the company I worked for. Nothing on my part, I was just an operator, but I really wondered how the company I worked for didn't get run off and replaced.
     
  16. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2007
    Messages:
    9,052
    Occupation:
    Running what I brung and taking what I win
    Location:
    Alabama
    It took me a while (about a year) to get to the point that I was paying everything forward of the pay application every month. In other words, I have everything paid for except for large material or trucking bills, as I go. When we turn in a pay app for that cycle, usually everything on that pay app has been paid already - labor, fuel, equipment, subs and material. Of course a $30K storm tech system or large pipe bill is not, can't float that much.:D

    The 30 to 45 day cycle will force you to watch your cash flow that's for sure. In the past I have "robbed Peter to pay Paul" and won't do it again. I was working in a different segment of the construction industry and the depression that hit us in 2008 taught me a lifetime of lessons in a very short time.:cool:

    I research not only the GC's I work for but the owners as well, I want to know where the money is coming from and the economic strength of the owner. When I land a job, it's me interviewing the GC. I am frank and to the point about progress payments and the timeliness of getting paid. More often than not, I give them the old adage - " I am here to make money, i don't need the experience."

    That's why I like the commercial market, profit is not a dirty word like other segments of the industry. When I worked primarily in the residential market, the term/word profit was liking dropping the "F" bomb at church on Sunday.:rolleyes:
     
  17. dozier man

    dozier man Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    north ga
    That's why I like the commercial market, profit is not a dirty word like other segments of the industry. When I worked primarily in the residential market, the term/word profit was liking dropping the "F" bomb at church on Sunday

    this sounds like all the the residential gcs i work for im ready for a change
     
  18. barklee

    barklee Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Messages:
    898
    Location:
    ohio

    Totally agreed. The only way to make it long term in this particular market is to carefully watch your cash flow!!! The people in this market think nothing of paying you in 45-60+ days. If you are using a bank to fund your projects in the interim, it can be a very slippery slope.....one of which i learned about 15 years ago and will not ever do again.
    An important thing to remember is that unlike the residential market you can be very bold about requesting your money without losing any friends. I typically always send out a notice of furnishing for any project that we sub contract. This seems to really set the tone for a job and lets the client know that you will not think twice about taking action if you aren't paid per the contract. Also, getting a good attorney that understands construction law is something i would recommend, its not that you would have to use them for everything you do but its nice to have that perspective to bounce perspective pit falls off of and to review contracts etc. Also, it seems to mean more if you have the attorney have a conversation with the client that doesnt want to pay your bill on time for whatever reason. Its not that expensive and can save you your livelihood in the long run.