Kubota cash cow, maybe?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moopups, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Got my Kubota B8200 about on line, its 19 HP 3 cylinder diesel, 9 - speed. It came with a scoop and a finish mower, the plan is to make a bit of additional income doing homeowner type services. Liveing about 20 miles out of Orlando, there is a vast market of people here needing services. Planned services are fence post holes, trenching for irrigation line or whatever, 2 types of mowing, garden prep, small fire rows, ect. The 4WD machine is bigger than what lawn services uses, so I can mow what they will not put thier machinery into; its PAID FOR, so I have no pressure there, from makeing payments. I do not have to compete with the guys whom have $1,000.00 per month payments and want the $300.00 per day prices, so I can charge less and do the small jobs. The question is: What am I missing in referance to oppertunities? What other services do I need to consider?

    Haveing contractor experience I know to avoid the other contractors and service the homeowners only - its how you get paid correctly and promptly. Going to set up my rates at $50.00 minimun, 25 per hour starting at the third hour, does this sound about fair amounts?
     
  2. RAC

    RAC Guest

    Sounds good, only thing you may have to really worry about is licensing and insurance--people unfortunately are getting really leery about hiring people without them nowadays. Sad but true. On the other hand, being licensed means you can deduct some portion of your business expenses, so it is something to look at. Good luck with it!
     

  3. Trisha A

    Trisha A Active Member

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    Moopups,

    Don't undercut yourself, sounds kinda cheap to me. We charge $75.00 for tractor work and I think $80 for loader work. Also I would not go on any construction jobs...the new workers comp exemption laws in Florida are making it impossible to be a small "biz" in Florida. I just went through hell and back trying to get our biz straight. I ended up having to get incorporated and reapplying for an new exemption. No more exemptions for sole proprieters in the state of Florida. You should be ok without and exemption just stay of of new construction jobs and lay low (try to work for cash only) If they catch you with out the stupid exemption card it is $1000.00 fine for you and the contractor. They have been out in full force in SW FL looking for offenders. (Welcome to communist Florida...)

    Trisha
     
  4. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    All rates is local(sorry Tip :) ).

    Around here, $65/hour will get you a decent sized dozer, and a decent cat-skinner to run it. $25-$35/hour is the going rate for bush-hogging. I suspect if you charge $5 bucks an hour less than the going rate in your area, you'll be busy.

    Don't forget, you can depreciate equipment you already own, if it is placed into business service.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Before you move one blade of grass or turn over 1 handful of soil make sure you have insurance. Your home owners policy will not help. You will need insurance specific to your tractor and this mini business. You will also need workmans comp insurance. YOu will need to upgrade the plates on your truck you tow the tractor with from non-com to commmerial (big bucks in most states). You will need a tax ID, You will need to know the laws for your area. Dont forget repairs and consumables. Filters needs changed based on hours of use. Personal use may be 1 change year, commerical use may be one change a month. Also dont forget advertising cost. Even flyers stuck on the board at the local lumber yard cost money.

    As for rates that will be a local issue. prices vary by region.
     
  6. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Thank you for the business advice but as a retired Building and Roofing contractor I do business knowledge. What I am asking is does any one have any suggestions about additional services or needs that I am missing? I am considering a 3 point mulch chipper, a cement mixer, ect. This is what I am asking about; different attachments, different abilities beyond what I have mentioned.
     
  7. Don Armstrong

    Don Armstrong In Remembrance

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    Don't really know, although the thought of being able to supply a small amount of cement after you've done the earthworks may have merit. Another - although I would imagine you don't want to get into too much physical labour, a couple of small chainsaws - one electric, for ease of use when you can, and a small IC-engined one, might let you do a lot more than without. Or maybe not. Your business is first and foremost the tractor and its driver - if you get off the tractor you're losing your focus, as well as running the risk of getting sucked into physical work you don't want to do.

    One thing that may be relevant - I've seen various big shears - usually hydraulic-operated. Would you need something like that to address any tree roots you run into?

    And, to weigh in on the question everyone answered that you didn't ask - have you seen http://www.buzgate.org/fl/bfh_busdev.html ? It's a portal site that leads to a lot of stuff relevant to small-business in Florida.
     
  8. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    How about a 3pth scraper blade or a landscape rake for leveling new lawns etc.? They're pretty cheap, too bad Florida is so far away I have a nearly new one to move along.
     
  9. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Double your hourly rate. I just called here in CO and its $65-70 per hour. Save the bargain rate for special situations.
     
  10. Sounds like you might be a bit light on both your prices and your equipment. While Kubota make a wonderful machine, 19HP is not a lot of power. I think you will really need to pick and choose what you will be able to do. Your machine is a bit too small for heavy work and a bit to big for light work. If your rig is outfitted with turf tires that are unloaded, it will make a good mowing rig but will be hampered for any front-end loader work. On the other side of the coin, if you are running loaded ags, you can and will easily tear the snot out of peoples lawns so mowing (or doing any work on existing lawns) might not be best but it will load much better. It is very hard to find a single tractor that will do everything well.
    As far as other implements, you can give some thought to a small brushhog, a small rototiller and a backhoe unit (if one is available for this machine). I don’t think this thing will be able to turn a chipper. All will add versatility but be sure to take into account the added weight of the implements when you trailer the tractor and the implements. Be sure you have a big enough trailer and pull truck or you can get yourself into all kinds of trouble.
    Your price scheme is admirable but you will not be making any money at $25 an hour. You really should think more along the lines of $25 for the operator, $50 for the tractor and $25 for the implement(s) with a 2 hour minimum. Maintenance, fuel, insurance and repairs are just too expensive to charge any less. Last time I went out on an easy $200 job, I blew a hydraulic line. I was very lucky, shut down immediately so no oil loss/ground contamination, the line was easy to fix and the parts store had the fittings to make the line. Still cost me 3 hour in time to get and install the new line and $100 for the line. By the time I finished unloading the tractor back at the ranch, the 1 hour job took over 5 hours and I only made $100 bucks. Not even worth hooking up the trailer to the truck for $100 bucks. Good Luck.
     
  11. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    While I do agree the 19hp is a bit low I dont agree the $100 for the work wasnt worth it. It was $100. granted you will have those days but if thats the norm then junk the tractor.


    One issue I do see with 19hp is TIME? Your not going to be pulling a 12ft bush hog, maybe a 6ft, most likley a 5ft so your going to take longer to do a field than someone with a wide cut. Before I got my yanmar to bush hog myself. I had folks come in to bush hog. They all wanted to quote hour rates, but I wanted to know cost for the cut. Been a consultant to long to fall for that one. If you show up with a 4ft bush hog and it takes you 3 hr to cut, why should I pay you the same hourly rate as some who shows up with a 12ft batwing and cuts it in 1hr. You need to look at "cost" vs hourly rate if your going to compete against the big boys.
     
  12. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Get a 5 or 6 foot rear tiller I make lot's of money with mine. I just park out front every now and then with a "FOR HIRE" sign on it.


    mikell
     
  13. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Around here the tractor would be known as 'an estate tractor; or a compact tractor; or a class 1 tractor', it will be used to mow building lots, spread fill dirt, tear up grass, dig out shrubs ect, nothing much harder than that. Just the general stuff the homeowner would find need for. I would not approach a 20 acre mowing job, just seeking to fit between lawn service and commerical tractor operations. If I work 8 hours per week I have doubled my income, I am on a limited VA pension. The $25.00 per hour is correct for this area with this size tractor. Locally loaders go for 65 per hour, bulldozers 75, mowing big rigs about 45 and up. There are 7 million people within a 50 mile diameter, includeing many whom do this same type of service.
     
  14. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    One of the neatest schemes (entirely legal)I ever heard of, was done by a local man.

    The gentleman had bought a tiny, badly worn dozer, a trailer, and one ton truck to pull it.

    He'd bid on selected parcels of land, at the local Sheriff's sale, and buy them for back property taxes owed. As soon as he bought a parcel, off he went with his little dozer, straight to his newfound property. He'd unload, and spend the next few days scratching around a bit - not knocking any trees down, just clearing up the underbrush, and generally neatening up.

    Of course, most folks eventually pay their back property taxes, and the title of the land reverts back to the original owner. But our dozer man could still smile broadly. The law down here stipulates that he must be paid for all "improvements" that he made to the property while he owned it.

    Which almost always consisted of at least a couple of days of well documented, $65/hour dozer work.

    Oh, what if the people never came back, and paid their taxes? Well, nice piece of property he picked up, and would later sell....
     
  15. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    A trenching attachment should make you some money. You could bury electric and water lines as well as install drain lines for gutters. We have a semi retired man in the area that stays rather busy doing the small jobs that others turn down.
     
  16. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    If you are going to start your hourly cost out low, do it as an introductory special, such as perhaps half off what you say your eventual rates will be, for the first job you do for them. That way they won't be surprised when they call for more work and find your price is higher. Do like the supermarkets do with beef. Don't lower your price, offer specials.

    You have indicated from past experience you know not to do work with a promise of future payment. Payment when the job is done - period.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  17. Looked up the specs on the B8200. It features 19 HP at engine 16 at PTO with a dry weight of 1565lbs. Falls into the compact range of tractors. Both power steering and roll over protection system were listed as optional. You can live without the power steering but you can die without the ROPS. If your tractor does not have a ROPS, you would be wise to talk to your local Kubota dealer and get one installed.
     
  18. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    If you really think you need the ROPS get the folding kind. Myself i wouldn't bother but I've been driving tractors since I was 7. For general work.

    Front loader with detachable forks

    Rear blade

    Rear tiller 5' or 6'

    Box Scraper

    Turf Tires are less mess and good as any if you have FWD

    Chain Harrow

    Get what you can used and buy new if you wear it out. I have all the above
    and can handle any job with my Ford 1210 16 HP

    mikell
     
  19. shakeytails in KY

    shakeytails in KY Well-Known Member

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    Mikell- DH has been operating tractors his whole life. A few years ago he was simply driving one down the road and the steering locked up. The tractor ended up upside-down in a ditch. Had it not been for the ROPS(cab, actually), he would be dead. He was lucky, he just had a big gash in his head and was bruised up. Most people don't live to tell about a roll-over! Any future tractor we buy WILL have a ROPS. Anything can happen, be careful.
     
  20. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    The Kubota has a factory installed ROPS (Roll Over Protection Structure) and I am going to install a custom made sun shade. The shade roof will hindge at the rops so it can be elevated to enter and exit the seat, then drawn down as needed for use, tired of bumping my head! Central Florida is about as flat as you can get, it would have to be intentional to roll over here.

    Other features will include a 12 volt fan mounted up behind me, an FM radio with headphones, additional temp gagues, I will even install a 12 volt refridgerator if I can figure out how to do it!