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  • Tiller Assistance

    This week I have done 2 jobs where I tilled the entire lawn. One 24,000 sg. ft. and the other 19,000 sq. ft. I rented a Kubuto front loader with a rerar tiller ($400.00 per day plus delivery and pick-up and fuel - $530.00 plus). I charge rental fees plus $350.00 labor. I'm looking at picking up another 8 - 10 jobs.

    I found this http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...000P?adCell=W3 for $1,200.00. If I charged $350.00 per job, I could pay for it with just 4 jobs. Also, with the rental tractor, I have to skip where the septic tank is and use a walk behind for fear of crushing the septic tank. This would bypass that.

    I have a Craftsman 26HP ZTT-52 tractor/mower I picked up at an estate auction for $1,100.00 to pull it with.

    Any input would be greatly appreciated. I was looking at putting down $6,000.00 and financing a model similar to what I am now renting and then would hae to get a different truck (SC law requires a 1 ton capacity vehicle to transport it).

    Any suggestions?

    Steve



  • #2
    Steve, At the rate you are going I would encourage you to consider a small four wheel drive Kubota or John Deere tractor that has a three point hitch and PTO, I know it is considerable capital to start with however it will open a lot of doors and pay for itself fairly quick.

    I do not know your terrain so my observation would be based on my experience here. I pull tiller for a lawn tractor would not work well, we till a lot of gardens and lawns and we quite often use four wheel drive for grades etc.

    Does your rental place rent a pull tiller you could attach to one of your tractors to try so that you would know if it might work? I believe what you are renting is PTO driven. The other thing I would do it talk to the rental place and work a deal, we rent a compactor from time to time and they give us a 50% discount off consumer rental prices.

    You might also be able to lease a tractor if the up front capital is a concern, keep in mind Kubota and John Deere have 0% financing on at the moment.

    You had mentioned the Kubota dealer was getting a small CUT (Compact Utility Tractor) in, these things really hold their value and are not cheap but then again in my experience they pay for themselves in 6 months or less.

    Andy
    Andy
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

    Comment


    • #3
      Job and ecomonny outlook

      Steve, At the rate you are going I would encourage you to consider a small four wheel drive Kubota or John Deere tractor that has a three point hitch and PTO, I know it is considerable capital to start with however it will open a lot of doors and pay for itself fairly quick.

      I do not know your terrain so my observation would be based on my experience here. I pull tiller for a lawn tractor would not work well, we till a lot of gardens and lawns and we quite often use four wheel drive for grades etc.

      Does your rental place rent a pull tiller you could attach to one of your tractors to try so that you would know if it might work? I believe what you are renting is PTO driven. The other thing I would do it talk to the rental place and work a deal, we rent a compactor from time to time and they give us a 50% discount off consumer rental prices.

      You might also be able to lease a tractor if the up front capital is a concern, keep in mind Kubota and John Deere have 0% financing on at the moment.

      You had mentioned the Kubota dealer was getting a small CUT (Compact Utility Tractor) in, these things really hold their value and are not cheap but then again in my experience they pay for themselves in 6 months or less.

      Andy
      Andy,

      I see your point, but you are much larger than I am. I have 2 equiped trucks and 3 employees (took on 2 this week). I do plan on getting what you suggest, but I want to do it without financing if possible. At the rate I charge per sq. ft, I could recap my investment with 3-4 jobs and have that income to build my cash reserve for future purchases. I give myself a salary and refrain from "dipping in" to the assets of the business.

      I'm 60 years old, My equipment is all paid for, I have 3 years - 7 months left on my house mortgage. Maybe, if I see more assurances that jobs and the market will continue to grow I will change my outlook. I feel our current President is only going to make doing business more difficult and much more expensive. Unemployment here is now 9.9% and growing.

      The terrain here is mostly compacted sand with some clay here and there so I feel this equipment will do the job for now. I have a 6 month living expense reserve and would like to keep it for emergencies. Neither the Kubota or John Deere dealerships have 0% financing. Neither even have in-house financing.

      If things go bust, I will be out $1,300.00 instead of $20,000.00. I have 8-10 pending jobs that will need tilling (and sod). Success here will greatly ease my concerns and probably will change my outlook.

      Steve


      Comment


      • #4
        This week I have done 2 jobs where I tilled the entire lawn. One 24,000 sg. ft. and the other 19,000 sq. ft. I rented a Kubuto front loader with a rerar tiller ($400.00 per day plus delivery and pick-up and fuel - $530.00 plus). I charge rental fees plus $350.00 labor. I'm looking at picking up another 8 - 10 jobs.

        I found this http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...000P?adCell=W3 for $1,200.00. If I charged $350.00 per job, I could pay for it with just 4 jobs. Also, with the rental tractor, I have to skip where the septic tank is and use a walk behind for fear of crushing the septic tank. This would bypass that.
        I think you should keep looking for something else. The size of the jobs you talk about compared to the size of that craftsman tiller would be a joke.
        I looked at the tiller and read the reviews and watched the demo video.
        It would take you a long time to do one of these jobs and I dont think you would be able to do many with this tiller before it broke down.

        Steve
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        • #5
          Tiller

          I think you should keep looking for something else. The size of the jobs you talk about compared to the size of that craftsman tiller would be a joke.
          I looked at the tiller and read the reviews and watched the demo video.
          It would take you a long time to do one of these jobs and I dont think you would be able to do many with this tiller before it broke down.

          Steve
          Thanks for the input.

          The jobs I have pending are 8-10k. The 2 I did this week are exceptions. It is hard to justify a $500.00 plus rental fee, and the rental place only has 1 and it is in demand. I had to wait 2 weeks to get it for 2 days and they charge $65.00 per pick up and delivery. For the 2 jobs I did last week it cost $195.00 for this.

          Steve


          Comment


          • #6
            Steve,

            What do you think you might do then?

            It also makes you wonder if you could get one of these and rent it out although I am sure that would create other headaches but it seems if they are in demand, others out there would either want to rent them or hire someone to perform the service.

            This reminds me of a post Andy made in the past about one of his attachments that he had gotten,
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            • #7
              Steve,

              What do you think you might do then?

              It also makes you wonder if you could get one of these and rent it out although I am sure that would create other headaches but it seems if they are in demand, others out there would either want to rent them or hire someone to perform the service.

              This reminds me of a post Andy made in the past about one of his attachments that he had gotten,
              I agree, I understand twenty grand is a big investment but I guess I am a bit of a risk taker and go after it. I put $97,000 of my own money into the company in February, the company will soon have enough to pay me off, if I wish.

              I decided today, being my B day, to say to heck with it and continue to grow, I am buying a John Deere 17D excavator, it's a $40,000 investment but I have more than that on the books in jobs to do.

              Personally I don't pay a lot of attention to the economy, it is driven for the most part by the media, the media does more damage to the economy than any other thing I am aware of, when I wrote my Masters degree, this is what my thesis was on.

              Also tend to buck the trends, there is all kinds of work out there but it doesn't come to you, one has to go after it. I have only been in business since the second week of April, we are now 11 employees and growing and are booked solid into mid June. The majority of the new business is referrals as I stopped all advertising a couple weeks ago, I don't like making people wait.

              Anyhow bud, give it careful thought, I don't think the craftsman unit will do the job, I did some researching on Google and wasn't very impressed.

              What is your biggest tractor that you own?

              Andy
              Andy
              Halifax, Nova Scotia

              Comment


              • #8
                Steve, The guys over on the John Deere forum love these units, never seen one but there are a pile of guys that swear by them

                http://www.drpower.com/home.aspx

                http://www.drpower.com/Roto-Tiller.a...%20Main%20Link
                Andy
                Halifax, Nova Scotia

                Comment


                • #9
                  DR Power Products

                  Steve, The guys over on the John Deere forum love these units, never seen one but there are a pile of guys that swear by them

                  http://www.drpower.com/home.aspx

                  http://www.drpower.com/Roto-Tiller.a...%20Main%20Link
                  This is much better. With the Cult-packer attachment ($355.00), you can till, seed, and roll inthe same operation.

                  It is $1,100 ($1,300.00 with electric controls) more but the features and warranty is better. The 1 gallon gas tank I think could be bigger but they say it gets 90 minutes per tank.

                  I sent for more info.

                  Thanks,

                  Steve


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This is much better. With the Cult-packer attachment ($355.00), you can till, seed, and roll inthe same operation.

                    It is $1,100 ($1,300.00 with electric controls) more but the features and warranty is better. The 1 gallon gas tank I think could be bigger but they say it gets 90 minutes per tank.

                    I sent for more info.

                    Thanks,

                    Steve
                    Some of the guys over on the forum said they have excellent financing. I know two guys on the forum quite well that do the same things as I do and they tell me these products are very well made, one fellow has become a great friend and knows his stuff so I believe this would be a far better option for you and let us know what you decide and how it works out.

                    What will you be pulling it with?
                    Andy
                    Halifax, Nova Scotia

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pulling

                      Some of the guys over on the forum said they have excellent financing. I know two guys on the forum quite well that do the same things as I do and they tell me these products are very well made, one fellow has become a great friend and knows his stuff so I believe this would be a far better option for you and let us know what you decide and how it works out.

                      What will you be pulling it with?
                      One truck set-up has a Craftsman 26HP 52" ZTT, the other truck has a Murrey with a 42" deck. The craftsman, I bought at an estate auction. It's less than a year old. The Murry I bought new about 3 years ago for use at my home.

                      I didn't do any 'labor' work today! Rain storms all day so I had research time. Bid on 12 jobs. Might have to consider another truck set-up. My mechanic has Ford Explorer like the one I have now that he just rebuilt the engine on that he will let me have for weekly payments of $75.00.

                      It could be a good vehicle for spraying. Looks like I'll have enough work to dedicate it for just that. Now I'll probably have to get another employee!

                      Steve


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Funny, I am looking at another truck also, I think I will get another Ranger, have two of them and they work great, I pull the Tandem with a F250 Diesel, prices seem good, I can get a 2007 with 24,000 mikes for about 10 grand, this truck would be used for pulling a 10 foot trailer, ATV and the small log hauler I built today. Interest rates here on anything up to three years old is 1.5%, seems like the thing to do.
                        Andy
                        Halifax, Nova Scotia

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Steve, The guys over on the John Deere forum love these units, never seen one but there are a pile of guys that swear by them

                          http://www.drpower.com/home.aspx

                          http://www.drpower.com/Roto-Tiller.a...%20Main%20Link
                          Hay Now! These look alot better to me and I think I want one now.
                          Who knows might be my next service to offer also.
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                          • #14
                            This week I have done 2 jobs where I tilled the entire lawn. One 24,000 sg. ft. and the other 19,000 sq. ft. I rented a Kubuto front loader with a rerar tiller ($400.00 per day plus delivery and pick-up and fuel - $530.00 plus). I charge rental fees plus $350.00 labor. I'm looking at picking up another 8 - 10 jobs.

                            I found this http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_1...000P?adCell=W3 for $1,200.00. If I charged $350.00 per job, I could pay for it with just 4 jobs. Also, with the rental tractor, I have to skip where the septic tank is and use a walk behind for fear of crushing the septic tank. This would bypass that.

                            I have a Craftsman 26HP ZTT-52 tractor/mower I picked up at an estate auction for $1,100.00 to pull it with.

                            Any input would be greatly appreciated. I was looking at putting down $6,000.00 and financing a model similar to what I am now renting and then would hae to get a different truck (SC law requires a 1 ton capacity vehicle to transport it).

                            Any suggestions?

                            Steve
                            I am not against using a pull behind tiller, but like someone else said, this machine will break down with little use. It is designed to do a personal garden, not multiple lawns. Something else to check into is for small 2nd hand tractors. Around here, at least for a while, I could buy a second hand Yanmar or similar diesel tractor for about $4,000-$6,000 depending on size, 2 or 4 wheel drive, and attachments. They had one with a tiller, 4X4, etc for $5,xxx. This would be an awesome deal for what you are doing.

                            In case you are not familiar with Yanmar, they are a very tough little tractor, but have not seen the marketing that Kubota and JD have seen. And I would absolutely abstain from the sears tiller. Sears lawn and garden equipment is manufactured by the LPB (lowest possible bidder). PERIOD!

                            Here is a Yanmar I found on tractorhouse.com that is located somewhere in SC (don't know if its even close to you). I see it is advertised as having only 100 hours on it. my brother worked for a guy some years ago and the guy had several Yanmar tractors that they run hours and hours on end with absolutely no problems..... They joked that they could run it all day and at the end of the day they would have to take some fuel out of the tank as it was too full!!! Point being, like most small diesel tractors, they use very little fuel.

                            If you decide to buy a pull behind model tiller, I would at least recommend getting a better quality one, that is if there is a better one available. I really do not think the Craftsman one will hold up...

                            Either way, good luck, and let us know what you decide and how it works out for you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Pull behind tiller

                              I am not against using a pull behind tiller, but like someone else said, this machine will break down with little use. It is designed to do a personal garden, not multiple lawns. Something else to check into is for small 2nd hand tractors. Around here, at least for a while, I could buy a second hand Yanmar or similar diesel tractor for about $4,000-$6,000 depending on size, 2 or 4 wheel drive, and attachments. They had one with a tiller, 4X4, etc for $5,xxx. This would be an awesome deal for what you are doing.

                              In case you are not familiar with Yanmar, they are a very tough little tractor, but have not seen the marketing that Kubota and JD have seen. And I would absolutely abstain from the sears tiller. Sears lawn and garden equipment is manufactured by the LPB (lowest possible bidder). PERIOD!

                              Here is a Yanmar I found on tractorhouse.com that is located somewhere in SC (don't know if its even close to you). I see it is advertised as having only 100 hours on it. my brother worked for a guy some years ago and the guy had several Yanmar tractors that they run hours and hours on end with absolutely no problems..... They joked that they could run it all day and at the end of the day they would have to take some fuel out of the tank as it was too full!!! Point being, like most small diesel tractors, they use very little fuel.

                              If you decide to buy a pull behind model tiller, I would at least recommend getting a better quality one, that is if there is a better one available. I really do not think the Craftsman one will hold up...

                              Either way, good luck, and let us know what you decide and how it works out for you.
                              Andy (picfraimer) pointed me to DR Power. I have sent for more info. It seems much more suited for the job. I will (depending on circumstances) get more commercial grade equipment eventually.

                              Thanks for the info.

                              Steve


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