hello all, great site. I work 3 days a week (weekends) serving in a managerial role for a large corp. I have two children who will be starting school soon, and I will find myself with Monday-Thursday off every week. I'd like to do something with my off time to earn some money, possibly create some tax benefits, without taking on another job where I have to punch somebody elses clock. I've run equipment in the past, however most of it being LP fork lifts and electric reach trucks and pallet skids. I have several thousand dollars worth of work that I want to do on my land, and most of it will require the use of a skid steer and possibly an excavator (I have neither). So....enough about me now to my question. Are there any formal training courses that a person can take to accelerate the learning curve on a skid steer or an excavator (or mini). If not how practicle will it be for me to rent equipment for my own personal work and gain experience for more commercial work? Is anyone out there currently doing this for a living that is "self taught" in that you didn't have seat-time with someone else, or under an employer before you started? Since I have so much work to do on my land, (5 acres of my own to maintain, and another 180 of my father in laws that I can always use a equipment work) would I be better off buying a VERY used skid to practice on and purchase a better one when it comes time to go commercial? Lots of questions I now, any help appreciated.