yellow excavator in front of blue sky

How to Choose and Hire Excavating Contractors

Hiring contractors of any sort brings a host of challenges to your project. We know, we’ve hired our fair share. This time on the BC Land Dev blog we wanted to use our platform to help you understand how to choose and hire excavating contractors  – and why it’s worth the struggle! Alright, let’s get into it!

First, it will help if you know a little bit of the basics about excavators when you’re doing your vetting. Here is a quick rundown on excavators. Sometimes called diggers, excavators are one of the most common constructions (and mining) machines. Excavators are heavy construction equipment consisting of a boom, dipper, bucket, and cab on a rotating platform known as the “house”. The house sits atop an undercarriage with tracks or wheels.  They come in a variety of sizes and models. 

You know what you’re looking for, now how do you go about picking and hiring one? 

How to Choose and Hire Excavating Contractors

First Look the Right Paperwork

One of the most crucial things an excavator operator needs (and therefore something you need them to have) is verification of competency (or VOC) as well as an excavation license. This is the bare minimum you need any potential excavation contractor to have. You’ll also want any contractor worth their salt to be bonded and insured 

Know Your Job

Different types of jobs require different types of diggers – thankfully you don’t need to know the ins and outs of each if you can rely on some local know-how. Reach out to local excavator companies or equipment rental agencies and they can help you understand what kind of job you have exactly, and from there get recommendations on the equipment and crew you need. 

There are several other factors that can influence what kind of digger you may need:

  • Where the job is (and the surrounding location)
  • The size of the job
  • Access to the job site
  • The type of ground being excavated
  • How much room for equipment there is on the job site
  • Any work needed aside from digging

With all this information in hand you should be able to get an excavator who understands the job and is up to the task. Don’t go with a small excavator because you think it’ll save money; understand your job and you’ll get a contractor to match it and that will save you money.

Get Multiple Estimates

Feels like this should go without saying but it never hurts to mention it.  Never go with the only estimate you get! Once you have all the information about your job you will have the ability to get a dialed-in estimate from any contractor so talk to several, get some written estimates, and work from there. You may end up going with the first contractor you spoke with but at least you’ll have a better idea of their costs, and the place in the market.

Hire Local Contractors

Make sure you look at local contractors for your work. First of all they’re local and supporting your local economy and businesses is always a plus. But more practically, hiring a local contractor comes with a few less obvious benefits.

One – They know the area. Local contractors will better understand the environment, the landscape, and conditions of the job.  This means they can give you an accurate quote, and have experience working in the local area.

Two –  A local contractor is more likely to have readily available local examples of their past work that you can review, and have an easier time checking references.

Remember, take your time making this decision as it will be one that costs you plenty of money and will lead to a working relationship you’ll have for some time to come. It’s better to mull it over an extra week or even month than to have a project go long because of hiccups in the excavation process.

Hiring a professional excavation contractor is a must – they have the special equipment needed, the job is too dangerous to do yourself, and never mind the risk of property damage and the unpredictable nature of the soil. Go out there and find the right excavation crew.

If you’re in the Valley and looking for a great local excavating crew – look no further. BC Land Dev is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a call with our expert land development team members to discuss your earthwork project needs!

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