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  1. #11
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
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    Bethel, Vermont
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    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Also remember, those folks advertising their books make their money selling books, not brush cutting.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  2. #12
    LD1
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    Super Member LD1's Avatar
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    Central Ohio
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    Kubota l3400

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    More echoing from me:

    Lots of risk, and little reward.

    That said, I do throw an ad on c-list for bushhogging. And I do make money doing it. But you are NOT going to make a living doing it. If I am luckey, I get 1 or 2 jobs a month from such ad. And not many more calls either. So its not like I am overpriced scaring people off. But in my area, it seems almost everyone knows someone with a bush hog. And it is cut-throat. I dont put prices on my ads. TOO many variables. Travel time, density of brush, obsticals, acres, etc. But I do see people post all the time only charging $35/hr with a $35 min.

    I'm sorry, I cant work that cheap. I usually try to get $75/hr INCLUDING travle time. My last one was 13 acres. 6.5 hours TOTAL including travel for $400. They were happy. No way would I have done that for what others charge ($35//hr) which would have only been $175. (only 5 hrs on the job). It isnt worth it for me to give up the better part of the day for that.

    But again, you run BIG risk of damaging stuff. You need GOOD equipment which isnt cheap. No TSC $500 cutters. And no old POS tractors that are going to break down 10 times per job. And then if you think you want the risk to pick up a few jobs here and there, go for it. But If you are unfamiliar with bushhogging, I wouldnt be in a rush to try to jump into it commercially. You have to know what you are doing, know your machines limits, and be able to accuratly estimate how long a job is going to take just by looking at it.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
    "Ok, hold my beer and watch this.........."


    Ford 5500 Backhoe
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  3. #13
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2011
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    107
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    1972 Ford 2000

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Well, at least GoinGreene is trying to make some honest money. My hat's off to him for that. Too many these days expect a handout at everyone else's expense. Maybe I've been lucky, but I have made a few bucks brushhogging other people's property. Yeah, you have to go over unfamiliar places with high weeds to assure there's nothing there that will tear you up, but hey, who said it was going to be easy money. I wish you the best in your business adventure, Goingreene. To all who joked about his plans, I just imagine you were first starting out on something similar at one time....

  4. #14
    Elite Member Car Doc's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    Kansas
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    YM3810D Yanmar

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    All I can say is try it and see what you think since you have the basic equipment now just be careful with the clients. I have been self employed most of my adult life so has my wife we didn't listen to the folks that said it couldn't be done its not the easy way but you get out what you put in mostly.

    There are folks out there that will cash in on your misfortune meaning if you damage anything on their property look out and you pay for your break downs caused by their junk you run over another loss of income.

    Its a matter of getting a few jobs lined up and see where it goes from there.

    You will either hate it or love it but any time someone carves out a niche in a market for their self's its a good thing and way better than standing around with their hands in their pockets wishing something would fall into their lap.

    Making the kind of money that first site said they did is IMHO a stretch of a wild imagination to put it bluntly but I could be wrong as always.
    Last edited by Car Doc; 09-20-2011 at 11:42 AM.
    Yanmar YM3810D, LT duty 3pt hoe, 6' KK2 tiller, 6' KK box blade, 6 1/2' KK disc, 5' Howse bush hog, 5' Howse back blade, 9" Yellow PHD, 3 Husky chain saws 346XP NE, 359, 372XP. 07 HD Heritage Softail, Crack injectors, check compression, take 2 beers and call me. "Hey you didn't build that."

  5. #15
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    It's not impossible to find a few decent "private party" mowing jobs that'll pay a few bucks. If you have enough nerve, you might even get away without carrying liability insurance. But once you start reaching out for bigger jobs, or clients who're dealing with commercial property that may or may not actually belong to them....The rules begin to change. And go after municipal/state/federal work and the rules REALLY change. Steep insurance requirements, performance bonds, 90 days (+) waiting for PARTIAL payment, having enough equipment and enough crew to do the job in a predetermined time frame, and a laundry list of other hoops to jump through. Profit margins grow tight when you're doing that sort of work.

    Stay relatively small, work for "beer money", and stay a "one man band", and life is simple. Go big and commercial mowing is absolutely no different than any OTHER business venture.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  6. #16
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Quote Originally Posted by RoyJackson View Post
    Also remember, those folks advertising their books make their money selling books, not brush cutting.
    Reminds me of a recent seminar held in a big convention hall in Louisville. You pay $250 for a seat in a 14,000 seat arena to have someone explain to you how to make big money the easy way....

    The secret? Fill 14,000 seats @ $250 each to have unsuspecting folks hear you tell them whatever it is they want to hear......
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  7. #17
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2003
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    New Brunswick, Canada
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    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    I made some half decent money bushhogging overgrown fields with good clean owners. 10 acres, 10 hours, no damage.

    I lost money hogging small properties. 1/4 acre, 1 hour+, cinder blocks, tires on rims, oven doors, kids toys, deck furniture, matresses, rocks, firewood, stumps etc etc.

    The rougher the house sitting next to the lot, the more frequent the foreign objects seem to be.

    I rarely hog now, I raised my price to make it worth it, and many people won't pay now.

  8. #18
    Super Star Member brin's Avatar
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    Georgia - Mt. Vernon by The Store just 5 miles east and right by the big oak tree then to the creek.

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmwithjunk View Post
    It's not impossible to find a few decent "private party" mowing jobs that'll pay a few bucks. If you have enough nerve, you might even get away without carrying liability insurance. But once you start reaching out for bigger jobs, or clients who're dealing with commercial property that may or may not actually belong to them....The rules begin to change. And go after municipal/state/federal work and the rules REALLY change. Steep insurance requirements, performance bonds, 90 days (+) waiting for PARTIAL payment, having enough equipment and enough crew to do the job in a predetermined time frame, and a laundry list of other hoops to jump through. Profit margins grow tight when you're doing that sort of work.

    Stay relatively small, work for "beer money", and stay a "one man band", and life is simple. Go big and commercial mowing is absolutely no different than any OTHER business venture.
    Now that is solid advice the OP can take to the bank.. I have a friend that has made some money year after year bush hogging and has built up a number of loyal customers..he knows what he is cutting now, no surprises in the fields and he has kept it small , just him and he rides his tractor to most jobs but uses his trailer to get to a few...it has worked well for him, staying small....Good advice farmwithjunk
    Bob

    WORRYING does not take away tomorrow's TROUBLES, it takes away today's PEACE.


    NH - TC-29 , FEL, Bush hog, Bush hog brand finishing mower, Post hole digger, 6' Back blade, sub-soiler, Pallet forks, 20KW PTO Generator , 21 hp Murray Mower
    JD -3020 with FEL and a 16 HP. K-Grow Lawn Tractor (bought from K Mart 1994) and runs great !
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  9. #19
    Gold Member
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    Oct 2007
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    North Central Mississippi
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    JD 5075E Cab

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    I do it, but I stay small and only manage a few properties. I need the tractor and equipment for general property maintenance and would own one regardless. I'm mainly working on the side to make enough money to cover my note and to be able to manage family property and pay for some nice deer plots and related equipment. There is no way I would be able to make a living doing it.

    I cut small properties that are already fairly well groomed. I charge $100 for the first acre and $65 for every acre after that with a $100 minimum. If someone doesn't want to pay... tuff... I have to make it worth my time and risks. Otherwise, they can have someone else risk damaging their equipment and cutting in 100 degree temps. I am selective in what I will cut, and I will NOT venture into the "unknown" cutting areas that have not been cut in 2-3 years or areas that are likely to have lots of trash, engine blocks, etc.

    If you do it, just make sure you have good equipment, a good trailer, and a REAL good heavy rotary cutter. Also make sure to budget for maintenance and repairs such as flat tires, busted hydraulic hoses, welding, etc. Also make sure to carry liability insurance.

    I use a JD 4320 48/40hp 4wd with a FEL, MX-6 rotary cutter and a 22+2 ft gooseneck trailer.

  10. #20
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Like any business, the actual work is the easy part. It's getting the clients and keeping them happy that is the real challenge. Before somebody hires you, they are going to have to fire somebody who has already been doing it. Either you will be cheaper, and make less money, or you will have to be better. That might mean better at cutting, but more then likely better at kissing but, smooshing and just having them like you more then whoever they already have.

    Sadly, some people are very good at the getting the work, but terrible at keeping them happy once they get the work. This is probably what's available. Once you get your foot in the door, then word of mouth and constant marketing will allow you to grow.

    Good luck,
    Eddie

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