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 04-24-2001, 19:59 Post: 27184
Ralph Veldboom



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 Cost Justification

I am trying to justify purchase of a new compact tractor (Possibly a Kubota L3710). It would be used to perform custom work when I retire from my current job. Living in suburban Chicago, would lawn mowing at parks be profitable or would seed bed preparation for landscapers be better, or should something different be explored?






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 04-25-2001, 05:35 Post: 27199
Ted Kennedy



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 Cost Justification

Ralph, the best justification, IMHO, for buying a compact is the satisfaction of self-reliance. If you get too caught up in the abstracts of unknown cost analysis you'll miss the whole point of being an owner/operator. But if its numbers you want, I've got some for you. "Some Guy" starts his little landscape and design business with one flat hourly rate: $50.00. Total invested cost (including some attachments) for a Cub Cadet 7275: $29K. Total Numbers of hours on tractor to-date (five years): 650. Gross: $32,500. Net: $26K (after operating costs, not counting annual depreciation). In the sixth year, machine nets a profit. These figures are for just one machine and don't include all of the other stuff that goes into making a business profitable. Since the early startup days, he has to slide the rates up. This is passed on to the customer, who if you've done right by, doesn't mind paying the extra. You should really look at doing a much broader range of services if you want to be competitive. Still don't know what to do? Start a relationship with one or more quality nurseries in your area, tell them of your plans and ask them to consider using you on a per-diem basis (get insurance). You'll be surprised how much you'll learn about the business, what services are profitable, and what to charge. Armed with this knowledge, you can attempt to go it alone. One last note, depending on where you are, it pays to be a legitimate business.






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 04-25-2001, 09:12 Post: 27216
Murf

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 Cost Justification

As a fellow 'Pro' Ted speaks (types) very wise words indeed. On a lighter note, justifying a purchase of this nature is merely a case of 'mind over matter'....if your wife doesn't 'mind' it doesn't 'matter'. Laughing out loud Best of luck.






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 04-25-2001, 11:33 Post: 27229
steve arnold



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 Cost Justification

Yeah Ralph, I would ditto Ted and Murf's reply and add that Ted probably spent another 100 hrs quoting, maintaining/repairing/improving, retracing miles of roadside looking for a pto shaft that fell off his rototiller, etc. I justified my tractor when I bought a little farm and then got the "Great" idea of making money with it. If I took all the money spent on machinery and bought the right stocks and sold them 8 months ago......well everybody is saying that right now.

Maybe you thought of landscaping because you saw a lot of people landscaping.
Look instead at what a few people are doing but are busy at it, One service that comes to mind is custom concrete sawing, its a one or two man operation with as much or less investment as tractor/trailer/truck and it sounds like you are in a good area to do it. just an idea, good luck.






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 04-26-2001, 01:28 Post: 27252
JonB



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 Cost Justification

Ralph, personally I agree with Murf; if your wife doesn't mind ... The best justification for me is the tractor saves loads of time (something I have very little of). It also saves wear and tear on the body. Jobs that left me "hurting for days after" don't hurt at all. I can't help you with justifying a service type business, since I stay away from that. Best of luck. JonB






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Projects Forum

Thread 27184 Filter by Poster:
JonB 1 | Murf 1 | Ralph Veldboom 1 | steve arnold 1 | Ted Kennedy 1 |




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