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Hello from Chicago
July 13, 2010
4:53 PM
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I am a certified crane operator, I have donea lot of demolition jobs with cranes, I have also done dirt work, and road work. As far as your comments about seeing the deadly side of the business your not telling me anything I dont already know. Construction as a whole is dangerous, but much of the kind of "issues" you just discribed such as 2x4 in a guys chest and such are STUPID errors. I know the risks and the dangers involved. Accidents DO happen but preventable accidents such as the ones you described are stupid errors on the behalf of the operator. Safety is first! Knowledge is second! If your not smarter than the pile of wood, you have no business throttling a bobcat into a pile of the material. Dont insult my intelligence by trying to scare me away from this... Im not gonna be deterred from that. Im in this for the long haul. Also the way people learn how to do something is by asking questions to people who have the experience. If the people who have the experience dont want to share their experience and want to just try and scare me away with "horror stories" this forum has no purpose and I will get answers somewhere else. I dont want to sound like an A-hole but how would you react if when you were starting and had some questions the people you turned to for answers just more or less said "this isnt easy and its dangerous and chances are that you are gonna fail". Im looking for info not for moral support.. the way james responded was more constructive than what you posted cutter

July 11, 2010
3:09 PM
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it's great you will work your A$$ off and all that. Just to wake up one day and say I am going to start a demolition company is a bad idea especially in a climate like today. You may think you have put a lot of thought in to it but i don't think you really have. when you are asking questions on estimating that should throw red flags up in your mind. You say you were a union operator what type of companies did you work for? So many people look at demolition and say I can do that AND MAKE MONEY. Bidding and doing demolition work is a artform it is not black and white and that is what scares me when people say they are going to start a demolition company. I can tell you horror stories of people getting into demolition no matter what size of job. Until you see a man sitting in a bobcat with a wood 2x4 sticking out of his chest because he was just running into a pile of wood or a man electricuted doing just a small demo project in a house and cut thru a 220 line or the excavation company who decided to bid on house demolition in a major city and who had some of the best operators when it came to site work but when it came to house demolition one operator lost his life because he ended up in the foundation with the machine on top off him. i have know men who have worked for demolition companies for years and done everything from operating to estimating and have tried to make it on their own and failed.

July 10, 2010
2:32 PM
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as far as being harsh i would rather get a direct, honest answer than have someone tell me what i wanna hear and i go out and look stupid.

July 10, 2010
2:31 PM
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My original plan when I started the business was to give me something to do. I am a heavy equipment operator in the union and it has been really slow in the union for the past 2 years so I was laid off for a year and a half. I was doing odd jobs and small demo projects for my friends family's just so i could keep busy. Im not the type to sit still, I always have to be doing something(partially due to ADHD). I ended up really liking the demolition aspect of what i was doing for side jobs and figured I would start something and see where it went. Now that I have started it I did sit down and wrote a 50 page business plan but im more or less restricted to small residential jobs for now due to lack of funds because i was out of work for so long. Now im back to working for the union but its still slow(not getting full weeks). I actually just got connected with a friend who installs brick driveways and patios and we are in the process of working out a deal for me to do the dear outs and grading for him to come in and do the pavers. I am obviously gonna have to rent a machine and find a trucking company to use until i can puchase my own equipment but still its keeping me busy and its definately got me interested. I figure i gotta start somewhere and im just tryin to work any angle i can to generate business and buy some equipment so i can take on a little bigger jobs and grow. I dont expect to make millions out of the gate and Im willing to work my a$$ off to make it grow and get bigger... I have been getting experience with bidding and if i have questions they wont be general questions or "how much should i charge" questions. But thanks for the luck James!

July 10, 2010
8:21 AM
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Hi Chris,

Welcome to the forum!

Estimating is a tough thing just to give advice on. Unfortunately it's something you just have to work on over time, there will be people here to help you. But it can't be like I have a 2500 square foot house that I need to tear down, how much should I charge?

Business is kinda of the same thing, what was the plan when you first started for getting business? Sorry to be harsh, but these are questions that need to be apart of your business start-up plan.

Good luck

James

July 5, 2010
9:28 PM
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Hello everyone, my name is Chris and I'm working on getting my own demolition company off the ground. Its a slow start and a huge learning process but I just wanted to to say hey.... looking forward to getting advice from you guys,efinately could use advice on estimating. Thats prolly the toughest part for me.. another difficult part is generating the business... Im not able to take on big jobs yet... I am having to start at the small stuff and work my way up. Any suggestions on how I could do that would be greatly appreciated as well

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