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About Construction Projects in Arizona

Browse our Arizona heavy equipment rental locations by city. BigRentz offers a wide variety of heavy equipment for rent, including earth moving machines, aerial equipment, lift trucks, compaction equipment, and job site services.

What You Need to Know

If you plan to start or expand your general contractor business in Arizona, you need to learn about the different state laws and soil types. A good understanding of these topics will help you avoid legal trouble and make smart choices.

Getting the Right Permits

Arizona state law is specific about who needs a contractor license. You must be a licensed contractor to do any of the following:

  • Build
  • Alter
  • Repair
  • Add to
  • Subtract from
  • Improve
  • Move
  • Wreck
  • Demolish

This covers not only buildings but also highways, roads, railroads, and excavations. You need a license even if you won’t be handling the entire project. You also need a license for related jobs, such as building scaffolding or connecting utility lines. Don’t make a bid, sign a contract, or begin work without a license.

The Arizona Registrar of Contractors issues licenses. You can find forms and more information on the official website. You’ll need to score at least 70 percent on any required exams, register your business, and get a license bond. If you have employees, you’ll also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS and worker’s compensation insurance.

Understanding the Soil

You can find many soil types in Arizona, but the most common soil is Casa Grande soil. This type of soil contains large amounts of clay and salt. Clay makes the soil very alkaline. Although iron is present, the clay keeps plants from absorbing this chemical which leaves plants yellowed. Clay can be a problem for buildings, too. It expands when wet and collapses as it dries, shifting buildings and damaging foundations.

Arizona soil also has very little organic matter, which makes it difficult for the soil to hold water and nutrients. The high salt content further hinders growth.

Caliche is another negative feature of Arizona soil. You’ll find caliche beneath the surface layer of soil, and it can be up to 6 feet deep. Calcium carbonate binds its particles together, forming a cement-like soil. Typically, you’ll need a jackhammer to penetrate caliche.

Choosing the Best Equipment

Take into account the soil type when choosing an excavator and other equipment, even your rented aerial equipment like scissor lifts, boom lifts, manlifts, and forklifts. Determine how powerful of an engine you need, and compare options using the bore and piston stroke figures. You should also pay attention to weight. If the soil is soft, an excavator that is too heavy will damage the site.

A standard excavator between 7 and 45 tons is enough for most jobs, but you may need a compact model for tight spaces. If you need to get through a layer of caliche, you should look for an excavator with a hammer attachment.

The weather in Arizona is beautiful enough that you likely won’t need to worry about storage. However, if you often leave your excavator outside or on-site, anti-vandalism features are important. You might also need an air conditioning system, considering Arizona’s warm temperatures.

If your projects don’t involve excavation, it might make more sense for you to rent the equipment you need. Renting allows you to have the right tools for the job, without having to spend thousands of dollars on equipment you won’t use often.

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