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Excavators - One of the Top 4 Tools a Landscaping Company NEEDS

All righty. We've got an awesome video for you today guys, because it's all about the heavy equipment. But we are going to be diving deep, and getting very specific in talking about one of those pieces of equipment you absolutely will eventually need to run any kind of an outdoor service related business. If it's landscaping, excavating, demolition, you guys are gonna need to have this in your tool chest, and it's an excavator. But what we're talking about today guys, can apply to any kind of piece of heavy equipment that you may be looking at buying. And what I mean is we're gonna talk about new versus used, what brand of equipment you should buy, and more importantly, why you'd wanna pick out a certain brand. And lastly, we're gonna be talking about sizing that piece of equipment to get the most use out of it. Do you go really big, or do you go really tiny? You wanna size it exactly right, so that you can get the most use out of it before you need to reinvest into a different piece of equipment.

So what are we waiting for? We got a lot of ground to cover. Let's just do it. Let's do it.

Oh hey guys, make sure you check out the blooper reel at the end of the video, 'cause I'm just gonna tell ya, my brain really wasn't working very well today. That means there's a lot of bloopers. 

Now, when I first started my business guys, I didn't actually own an excavator for quite a while. In fact, one of the first pieces of equipment I bought was a tractor loader backhoe, and or known as a TLB. And the reason I bought that is I thought it would be more versatile. Without ever really knowing the difference between an excavator and a TLB, I imagined that a tractor loader backhoe with that bucket on the front, and then the boom arm on the back would give me more opportunities to do a variety of jobs. 

But what I learned was after I actually bought an excavator, I would never go back to a TLB. Now, I still do own a few different TLBs because they have their applications. But as a versatile, all around machine, an excavator absolutely dominates, and gives you the ability to get into different situations. It gives you more stability. It allows you to do more things than a TLB could ever do. 

Now, the primary difference between an excavator and a TLB is that boom arm that you're looking at right there. A tractor loader backhoe has a very limited swing radius. And that limited swing radius makes a big impact in overall efficiency. Plus, stability is a big factor. You can take an excavator in places, on hillsides, and doing jobs that a tractor loader backhoe, with its top heavy design just isn't very comfortable to be in.

Hey boss. You got something going on?

We got lots of firewood, so I think we're gonna play a little legos.

Playing legos.

Case, Caterpillar, Komatsu, Kobelco, Volvo. Who makes the best piece of equipment. Well, my answer is they all do. They all spend hundreds of millions of dollars investing and improving their equipment just for you guys. So when it comes to what brand you should buy, you shouldn't. What I mean is, you really need to look at the service dealer in your area. You need to buy the dealer, and not the brand. Which dealer is going to treat you the best, because every single one of these pieces of equipment we just mentioned is going to break down. When you bring it into the shop, who's gonna treat you fairly? Who's gonna give you the best price, and who's going to get you back in operation is way more important than who's logo is slapped on the side of a piece of equipment.

Let me give you an example of how extreme I mean. I love Case, plain and simple, but I don't own a lot of Case equipment. Although its' one of my favorite brands, the dealer in my area wasn't my favorite dealer. I didn't even know anything about Kobelco, but the dealer was amazing. From the first time that I talked to the service rep in my area for Kobelco, I knew that that was the guy for me. That one simple conversation with the dealer led to me buying five or six different Kobelco excavators. They also sold New Holland, so I can't tell you how many New Holland skid steers, and New Holland backhoes that I ended up buying, because I knew the dealer would treat me better than anyone else. I've actually had the best experience with Case equipment over any brand. But my Kobelco dealer is what eventually changed my mind.

And it looks like we're going to be ready to go to our new home for the next six months. See this asphalt? $2700 'cause we had a few oil leaks from underneath that machine. We had to mill down the parking lot. To keep that from happening again, we'll take an extra precautions, putting tarps down, and plywood on top of them. 

Now, when you buy a piece of equipment, do you buy it brand new, or do you buy it used? There's a time and place for both. The benefit of buying a brand new piece of equipment is that there should be financing, and that financing can be a game changer. Some of it's zero percent. Otherwise, it can be very low interest. The problem with buying a brand new piece of equipment is as soon as you drive it off the lot, and load it onto your trailer, it goes down in value. But the benefit is you also have a warranty. Now that warranty can go a long way in giving you peace of mind when you own a piece of equipment long term. Now, I would recommend buying new equipment if you are going to be the owner operator, and the person taking meticulous care of it. But if you're not, and you're going to be giving the equipment to crews, then buying used is a great alternative.

If you buy a piece of equipment the right way, it's instant equity. What I mean is there's companies that don't do hardscaping. They don't do any work with the equipment. They just buy, make money, and sell equipment, meaning that as soon as they buy the equipment, they've made money on it, and then they sell it for more than they bought it for. That can be you. If you take the time, and you do the research, and you know which piece of equipment you want, and you're willing to travel, and you're willing to spend the time to find that piece of equipment at the right price, as soon as you buy it, that piece of equipment, before it even turned a wheel, before the engine even turned on, should make you money, meaning that there's a lot of people that buy equipment. They buy it very lucratively. They'll do certain jobs with it, and then they'll sell it for what they invested into it in the initial outlay. 

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Oftentimes, people will buy a machine just to do a job, and then sell that machine for the same price they bought it, meaning they got to use the machine for free. In this example, that's exactly what I did. I bought this excavator, with this thumb, to build a massive boulder retaining wall. As soon as I was done with the project, I planned on actually pulling that thumb, or that grapple right off from the excavator, and selling the excavator for the same price as I bought it with the grapple attached. That grapple unit you're looking at is worth about $20,000. So that means I got to use an excavator for absolutely free. I got to keep a grapple unit, which was worth $20,000, and sell the excavator for the same price I bought it, but without the grapple on it. That means that I won, won, and won. 

If you guys take the time to buy your equipment the right way, you can do this day after day. There's people who make their living doing this, and trust me, you guys can do the same thing. 

But, as some of you know, I still actually own this setup to this day. My original plan fell through, because I developed a love hate relationship with this, and I got more boulder work lined up after my big project was completed. So I'm still planning on getting rid of this unit. But for right now, I still own it.

One of the things I've learned over the years, guys, it's easy to get stuck in a machine that's too big. A machine that's too big is actually worse than a machine that's too small for a job. What I mean is, you can't get a big machine into a tight site, meaning it's absolutely useless when the machine is sitting down in your yard and not working. But now if you buy something that's too small for most of your projects, you can usually still work it. It may take you longer to complete that project, but at least you're still working. A lot of time, you get a big machine, and it just won't fit onto a project. So I'm going to caution you to err on the side of being too small instead of being too big.

But there is a happy medium. And what I consider to be a happy medium for most landscape companies is about an 18,000 pound excavator. That's just about the right site that you can actually go in and demolish a house. You can demolish a swimming pool. You can build a boulder retaining wall. You can dig footings. You can do most of the work you need to with an 18,000 pound excavator. It's not going to be the right size to get into bigger projects. But if you occasionally get into those bigger jobs, and you wanna stretch yourself, an 18,000 pound machine will allow you to go ahead and do that. And if you have to get into a bigger machine, well, there is always the option of renting them. 

Hey, let's talk about renting versus owning for a moment here guys, 'cause this is an important factor for you to consider. Remember, renting a piece of equipment is 100% tax deductible. It also allows you to try out the various sizes on the different kinds of projects you have with no risk. Remember, every time you rent a piece of equipment, it should be making you money, not costing your money. So go ahead and rent that equipment, test out different sizes, and find the ones that you like. 

And finally guys, I wanna leave you with these thoughts. Don't worry about how your equipment looks as much as how it works. Also, don't worry about investing a lot of money into those attachments. You can do a ton of work with just a regular dirt bucket. In fact, I'm going to encourage you to start with just a dirt bucket, because what happens is, you have to get clever. You have to get creative, and you gain skills when you use the bare minimum tools. And then, when you can upgrade to a nice attachment, you're gonna be that much further ahead. But start with the bare basics before you start spending money you haven't yet earned. 

In fact, guys, I'm gonna tell you that the best equipment operators got that way, not because they had the best equipment, but probably because they didn't have the best equipment, but they could still figure out a way to get their jobs done. 

Guys, whatever it is you can afford to buy, be proud, because it's not the bells and whistles that pay the bills. It's the skills that pay the bills.

All right guys. This video was a little bit tough to make today because I get migraine headaches every now and then, and I had one all day today, yesterday, and the day before. This totally sucks. I don't know how to get rid of these things. So if you guys know how to get rid of migraine headaches, let me know in the comments down below, because I could use some help with that, first and foremost. Second, let me know what you think of this subject matter, because if you like talking about this stuff, I'll make some more videos, 'cause there's three other tools that I think every landscaping, excavating, hardscaping company eventually will need to own if they want to grow, and get bigger and better, basically.

Also, make sure you check out the blooper reel, because of this pounding headache, I got plenty of bloopers to share with you guys. 

So God bless you guys. Go get 'em, and don't let anything stop you. Don't worry about what your equipment looks like, and make the absolute most you can of it. God bless you guys. Go get 'em.

All right guys ... All right guys, we got a jam packed show for you today. All right ...

All right guys. We got a ... Boo.

Golly, it's one of those days. It's one of those days where my words, they're in here, but they come out in ways I don't want them to.

All right guys, we got a full house today. Full house. I hate that show, Full House. Why did I say full house? Full house. My kids like that show, but it drives me nuts. Ugh. And then they brought it back. Why? Some things are just better left undone.

All right guys, we've got a pretty full show for you today. Pretty full? Pretty full. It's like I don't know. Do I know? I don't know. Is it good? Is it bad? No. I know. I know it's gonna rock.

We got a full house today. Said full house again. I hate that show. 

I'm gonna eventually get this right. I promise you I can do it. This is gonna be one of those videos where I've got like 25 minutes of footage just for the intro. 

All right guys, we got ...

All right guys. You guys are gonna ... All right, you guys are gonna love this ... Why do I always say guys? I think there's a girl or two that watches my channel. Probably not many. I always say guys.

 

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