Excavation – One Person on a Machine or Dozens Working a Site?

Excavation – One Person on a Machine or Dozens Working a Site?

The way in which the process of excavation is managed varies widely depending on the size and scope of the work involved.

At one end of the scale, installing a domestic swimming pool starts with digging the hole that will eventually become the pool. At the other end, preparing the site that will be the foundation for a large office or apartment building will also require removing soil and digging holes.

The scale of the project determines the role of the excavator contractor.

The Difference Between a Contractor and an Employee

At this point it is worth examining the legal definition of a contractor as opposed to an employee.

A simplified explanation from the ATO (Australian Taxation Office) is that an employee works in a business while a contractor is running their own business. An employee is paid for time worked, a price per item or activity or a commission, takes no commercial risks and has no control over the work.

A contractor is paid based on the quote they provide, takes all the commercial risks, is legally responsible for the work and any defects, and controls the way the work is done subject to any contract terms.

One Person or Many?

Therefore, excavation contractors operate their own businesses, employ others where required, source their own work and secure it by contractual agreements. Under this model, an excavation contractor can be a sole trader, or a large enterprise employing office staff, technical experts, skilled machine operators and others.

A sole trader does everything from the quotes right through to the actual excavations. Enterprise or company owners choose their own roles and hire others to do everything else.

Many excavation companies in Australia started out as sole traders, and as their businesses grew, they could no longer manage all the work involved.

Our company, Dee Gees Bobcats, started out just like this. With one person, a truck and a single bobcat, we are now, 21 years later, a trusted excavation company with a reputation for quality work and excellent customer service. We have a range of quality earthmoving equipment and a team of experienced operators working on diverse projects.

Excavation Contractors Wear Many Hats

Whether large or small, excavation contractors start a project under a contract setting out the agreed scope of work, terms of payment, time frames and other relevant terms.

On a small project they may be the only workers on site; on a large construction project they may be one team among many other trades and technical experts. Either way, for excavation contractors, there is much more to their expertise than just digging holes.

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