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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1

    Default Making money with your tractor

    I'm not sure if this is the right section for this particular post, but I was just wondering how many of you use your tractor to perform services for hire? Typically like bushhogging, FEL work, etc. I am considering acquiring a compact tractor (30-35 HP) to use on my own property, however, I would like to possibly generate some income from it to offset the cost of ownership, as I don't have enough work around my property alone to justify owning one. Any information regarding buisness use, been there-done that, etc. would be helpful and appreciated. Thank you.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    35
    Location
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota B1700HST

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    So far rototilling has been by far my largest customer draw. I advertise my services aimed at smaller acreages (backyard gardens, corrals, etc. up to 4 acres) and have been pretty busy.
    I also appreciate the local kubota dealer referring people to me since they no longer rent equipment out. In return I try to spend most of my money there.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Posts
    1,778
    Location
    Cherry Valley, New York (near Cooperstown, NY)
    Tractor
    Kubota L4630, with cab and loader, 1951 Ferguson TO-20, 1986 Ford 5610 with loader

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    I haven't charged for it...yet. But I have done quite a bit of brushhogging and driveway maintenance with my landscape rake for several of my non-farmer neighbors.

    On my wife and my list of things to eventually purchase, is a trailer to tow at least one tractor on, so I can start to do some of these things for hire. Right now, I drive my tractors to their place to do the work. A trailer would sure expand my territory!

    Some of my farmer neighbors have asked me if I was interested in doing some of the mundane tasks that they don't have time for, like stacking round bales with my loader, and even some brush hogging. They said they would pay me, but we haven't gotten into prices, I might just trade services for stuff like that, and have them do stuff that I haven't yet got equipment for.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    296
    Location
    Zelienople, PA
    Tractor
    L2500

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    I am thinking of doing the same thing. Does anyone carry insurance or have a business permit and such or are you doing this just cash in hand. Do you sign any argeements with the land owner? Charge by the hour or by the acre for brushhogging?

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    316
    Location
    Peabody, Ma.
    Tractor
    KUBOTA BX-22

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    I do some side work with my bx22, loader and back hoe stuff. I try to quote the jobs by a set price. so far I have been averaging $100. an hour. Just make sure you have liability insurance, use dig safe if needed, you never know what can happen and one mistake could cost you a lot of money and then some.

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,673
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    Risert, a number of the members on the forum use their tractor for pay and the range charged per hour seems to run from $25 to $50 for most work. Backhoe work and other specialty equipment can draw a higher price. In my opinion you need to look at the cost of insurance before you venture into the for hire market. Homeowners insurance will generally cover you if you are on your property only. Some of the farm insurance policies will extend that to off your property but with some limitations on distance. A landscaper policy will cover you most places and often has limitations that do not include coverage for backhoe work. Contractor insurance pretty much allows the use to your tractor most places with most implements and of course is the most expensive.

    MarkV

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    672
    Location
    Tupper Lake, NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500 HSD

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    As an Elecrtic Meter Supervisor for the local Elecrtical utility I use my kubota B7500 to help (with pay) many local contractors with ditch digging or pole setting. I "play" with my toy and get paid for it. Can't beat that.
    -T

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    1,807
    Location
    Sharpsburg, Md
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 HST

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    There are a couple of things that you'll need to consider. First, make sure you get insurance to cover you and the equipment. The kind of policy, costs, etc. will be totally dependent upon your state laws and availability of insurers. In Maryland, the only way I could get coverage to take my tractor off my property and be covered was to get a landscapers policy. It will cover my tractor and all of the equipment listed on the policy for $500 a year. Key words are equipment listed on the policy. If it isn't listed, don't remove it from your property.

    Now what to charge..... hmmm - very subjective. Our family (me or my daugher) do a couple of lawns in our neighborhood. I've set the price at $35 per yard. It takes a little more than a hour to do so I thought that it was a fair price. I will adjust the price depending upon the size and/or terrain of the yard. I haven't done any brush clearing. If and when, I do that I'll charge it out at $35-45 per hour. If at all possible, I will try to use a fixed price amount as mentioned earlier. If the work gets done quicker, more money in my pocket. If it takes a little longer than expected, note the problems and adjust later. Fixed pricing works well and people do not think that you're screwing them if the job takes longer than you anticipated. The only way I would charge by the hour is if I cannot come up with a reasonable guess as to the length of the job.

    Hope this helps.

    Terry

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    951
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, Northern California
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300; JD LX233

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    I don't do any work with my tractor for hire (although I would like to). The reason is liablity. You really must have full insurance coverage, not only for your tractor but for any damage you may cause. If you were to dig up (for example) a little 'ol fibre cable that carries internet or phone services to a bunch of homes or some big businesses either you or your client are probably responsible, which can easily be measured in the million $$$ range (I've done big computer systems where downtime is often in the hundreds of thousands (yup, dollars) per minute.

    On the other hand, if you are just mowing someone's pasture, simple coverage on the tractor and yourself is probably good enough. But be careful when digging!

    And if you do find that it works out, please let me know. I'd love to drive a tractor for a living, but the going rate out here for an equipment operator isn't all that great - unless you own it.

    ...Chris

  10. #10
    Platinum Member buppy69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    788
    Location
    Western NC
    Tractor
    Hinomoto E2804, Hinomoto N239,

    Default Re: Making money with your tractor

    If you can't justify the price of a tractor for your own property maybe you shoud look at a grey market. I have a 28hp 2WD with mower, 28hp 4WD with a box blade and a 31hp 4WD with factory front end loader and have less than $10000 in all three. I don't even have to change implements between jobs!

    Eugene

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