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  1. #21
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    5210 MFWD

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    If you want to cut something cut lawns. A friend and his wife started a lawn business a few years back. They are now making good money. Their objectives where get on a street and get as many yards as possible to reduce moving equipment from place to place. Be full service provider, lawn, trim, core aerate/seed, cut down trees (or sub contract it), build fences, leaf/fall cleanup (big money there) etc, people like one person to deal with. As business improves get rid of the hard properties and hard to deal with customers. He keeps his equipment clean, working and blades sharpened. New customers get same day service, first impression is everything. At the end of the day, he cleans up the equipment and makes ready for the next day and his wife does the bills and gets dinner ready. Not saying it is easy work on those hot and humid days. Winter months are a little R&R time, maintenance on equipment, research on equipment/landscape and new services to offer. Big jobs gets a few guys from a temp agency.

    They also landscaped their property and wrote it off as training. This way when they show up to property they know what they are doing.

  2. #22
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Quote Originally Posted by EddieWalker View Post
    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,

    Very true...

    After a lifetime of spending time in a tractor seat, I still jump at the opportunity. I LOVE spending the day at the wheel! One would think that owning a mowing business would afford me that luxury.

    Think again.

    Since start up 4+ years ago, I've become the bookkeeper, the janitor, the purchasing agent, mechanic, truck driver, parts chaser, weed eater operator, HR director, medic, secretary, switchboard operator, guidance councilor, marketing director, investor, PR man, flagman, and occasionally the company scapegoat. Probably a few I've left off the list. Every now and then, I get to run a tractor.

    Regardless of what your "passion" is, you go into business for yourself and you'll often find yourself doing everything BUT exploring your passion.
    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.

  3. #23
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Guess I should promote myself more. First there seem to be many on the forum that are able to bill way more than the norm for my area. Here $25 to $35 pre hour will have people standing in line to cut your acreage. Second, in my case, as said by Farmwithjunk, if you want to be covered you need insurance. I have too many assets I want to keep to do it without insurance. Liability is a big word in these economic times, in my opinion.

    I thought the first link provided was funny. Didn't the guy say he rented a tractor and made $5K the first week. I sure would like to see that as a reality. Very unbelievable to me.


  4. #24
    Veteran Member scoutcub's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Yanmar LX4900//Cub 7532//Cub Yanmar SC2400//Komatsu D38//Cub Volunteer//Cub SZ60/CAT 289C/CAT 308

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    I wasn't able to open the first link, unsure why. The second one was pretty basic info.
    I have thought about doing the same thing somewhere down the road. I have all the equipment. But, with so many projects I just don't have the time.
    I would check local listing via Craigslist and phone book, see what the going rates are....and see what your buddy charges. You could charge about the same, or maybe a few buck cheaper to start with.
    Walk the area first that you would be working, to identify any bad hazards. Go slow with the loader close to the ground.
    Do good work, charge a fair price, and as already stated the word of mouth business will give you more future business.
    Good luck!

  5. #25
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    JD 5055

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Thanks for the guidance everyone that posted something useful. I am hoping there is occasional money to be made here. One of my friends was telling me that its not hard to make good money on big jobs if you have a bigger tractor and cutter. He has an older John Deere and a 15 foot bush hog that he does work with for extra money.

    The comment about the million dollar thing got me wondering so I did some math. There would have to be steady business of 4 tractors mowing an average of 30 acres per day at like 32 dollars per acre, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Doesnt seem impossible to me, especially if they had a bush hog as big as the one my friend has. Whether they really have that much work might be a different story?

  6. #26
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkV View Post
    Here $25 to $35 pre hour will have people standing in line to cut your acreage. V
    Not for long.
    It's about $30 an hour in costs just to run a small tractor. (fuel, maint, tires, depreciation, etc)

    they are paying you to do work.

    won't last long.

    I can sit at home and watch TV and not make any money. I don't need to work hard to do it.

  7. #27
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Mobile, Alabama
    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneCowboy View Post
    Not for long.
    It's about $30 an hour in costs just to run a small tractor. (fuel, maint, tires, depreciation, etc)

    they are paying you to do work.

    won't last long.

    I can sit at home and watch TV and not make any money. I don't need to work hard to do it.

    Amen, it's amazing how many guys can't figure that out... Try renting a tractor, trailer, truck and bush hog for a day and then buy fuel for two of them....

    Against my advice my son went into the lawn business with the premise that he'd undercut everyone's price.

    He bought over 15K worth of equipment not including his truck and quickly got all the work he could do. He "thought" he was making a killing until the 10K zero turn mower he was using blew up... few months later the transmission went out in his truck then the liability premium was due again...

    Turns out he was killing himself for about $8 an hour net after true expenses never mind depreciation..

    Every hour you put on a piece of equipment reduces its value, every mile you put on a vehicle reduces it's value... add accelerated maintenance intervals for the constant use and those costs go up too.

    I don't bush hog for a living but I get $75 for the first hour and $65.00 for each additional. I don't charge by the acre as only god knows how long it's going to take unless you've done that plot before and the owner hasn't drug anything out there since the last time you cut it.

    Liability is not an issue as I have them sign a waiver. I'm not going to be responsible for something I can't see.

    On another note. A fellow here a few years ago hit a part of a plow that was in about 4ft tall grass/weeds and destroyed his bush hog. He sued the land owner in small claims court for failing to warn him of "junk" in his pasture and won.
    If it isn't broken, fix it anyway!

    Machine shop

  8. #28
    Super Member CompactTractorFan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Kubota BX25

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Farmwithjunk View Post
    A million bux a year with 4 tractors? That there is some funny stuff!
    Maybe with one of these???

    Land Pride RC5020 Series Rotary*Cutters
    Kyle - CompactTractorFan

    Kubota BX25 w/R4's (23 hp, 17.7 PTO hp), Loader, Backhoe, 60" Mid Mount Mower, Cyclone Rake Z-10 Lawn Vacuum, CountyLine Carryall, Ferris 48" Walk-Behind Mower, Honda 21" Walk-Behind Mower, Mighty Mac 4" Chipper/Shredder,
    2000 Dodge Intrepid, 2012 Ford F-150 EcoBoost

  9. #29
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    I've broken a half dozen rough cutter blades clean in half. That means that a 8-10 pound chunk of sharp hardened steel was sent flying at 15,000 to 18,000 feet/min. I've NEVER once found any sign of those parts that went bye-bye either.

    If you are doing the rough cutting within 300 yards of a house, road or people you really NEED insurance. Not to mention chains on the mower!

  10. #30
    Veteran Member Pete Judd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    The Thin Gravy Ranch in The wet PNW
    Yanmar 186d, JD 314

    Default Re: Side cash from bush hog work?

    I have done a few 75 bucks an hour from the time the trailer is hoked up. Yes, I have hit batts, and tires on rims, poop happens. As I am disabled, and on fixed income, a couple hours, help keep food on the table. It's not something I do every day, but have contacts that need it done. There are a few other people doing the same thing around here at the same rates, but I only work for people that I know. I also do some for no charge, It depends on their needs.
    Yanmar 186D 1981
    5 foot Unknown brush hog.
    5 foot HF Finish mower.
    5 foot J-Bar back blade.
    HF Quick Hitch.
    Home made land leveler.
    Countyline Middle Buster.

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