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Need your help..Gryo-Trac type business questions.

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by LabLuvR, Jul 13, 2006.

  1. LabLuvR

    LabLuvR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Fellas, I live in SC and am thinking about buying a machine for brush management such as an ASV. However, my biggest concern is determining my market. At the moment, it seems that commercial lot, residential lot, maybe some food plot and pine management work would be my market. The problem is how do I make sure there is enough "demand" for the machine before I invest upwards of $70K? I'm at the point where I can retire at a relatively young age, however I hate to give up a pretty good job for an unknown. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences!
  2. FANS

    FANS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    what your state Forestry department will be planning in the way of fuels reduction (brush removal in the forests). If you can get on with several sections of State Forest to reduce the undergrowth in forests to reduce the fire risk you could make it work.

    If you're a small business and / or your wife / mother / daughter owns or controls 51% (can be split between several people) you can qualify as a minority owned business, or if you are a minority then you would already qualify - you would get preferential treatment in the award of any contracts if you met the bid criteria.
  3. jeffack1

    jeffack1 LawnSite Member
    from SC
    Messages: 16

    I am a civil engineer and a lot of the survey companies that we work with are sub-contracting out or having the Owner's hire somebody to gyro-trac properties before they are surveyed.

    Nice thing is that the surveyor does not have to waste a lot of time clearing lines and the Owner gets the property cleaned up so that it can be walked easily.

    You might want to get in touch with the local survey companies in your area and see if they can give you an idea of how much work they could send your way and/or referrals.

  4. janb

    janb LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    best be checking out some of these threads, and make some contact with local / regional guys

    don't miss this thread! for unexpected expenses / delays

    I would be cautious in plopping down $70k, unless you are making a fulltime+ commitment.

    These machines do great amount of work in short time, but.... as one recently 'retired' -pre-50- and doing this 'part-time', (because I needed to invest 'severance $$ to reduce income tax hit last year) I recommend serious consideration of this career. Very much depends on your interest, local competition, expertise, future plans, time commitment. (there are easier (less capital / time intensive) ways to make a living...or for adding 'spending money') consider all your costs...

    1) support equip
    a) tow rig - $10k - $50K
    b) trailer - $5000 - $15,000
    c) storage - (shop / lot / commercial zone)
    d) Maint & depreciation - ($30 / hr)
    e) Fuel - $10/hr
    f) repair equip and site

    2) insurance
    a) equip ($1000/yr machine + vehicle $1000/yr)
    b) business ($600/yr)
    c) bond ($200/yr)
    d) workman's comp ($2.35 / hr in WA)

    3) licensing

    4) bookkeeping expenses

    5) taxes (don't forget - 'use tax' and Personal Property if you have in SC...)

    6) estimating / invoicing time (fuel) requirements

    7) advertising costs and time required to arrange

    8) legal fees

    Currently I have been passing off a lot of 'tractor' and smaller jobs to a friend who is very busy and profitable. It is not too practical to drag in your $70k - 12,000# machine to mow a 1/2 acre lot, when a small tractor will do. (you might need some $$,$$$ 'auxillary' equip) My tractor is older and not great, so I don't use it as a 'business' machine.

    What is your background and future intent?
    Do some serious checking for competition, as there have been more than 10 additional local guys get into this in my area. This is not bad for me, as I don't need to make payments on $100k of machine, but some will undercut prices, do significant advertizing and most love to pump themselves up at the expense of others (unfounded horror stories... Interesting social dynamics amongst contractors... nothing new, if you've dealt with them, no shortage of pride:clapping: and back patting)
  5. LabLuvR

    LabLuvR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Gee, thanks for the reply's fellas. I realize there is a LOT to consider before I shell out the bucks for a unit. In addition to the factors mentioned above I have also learned that in my area someone can rent one of these units from Bobcat for about $450 a day. I guess the biggest issues are finding the right volume of work and taking into consideration what my competition will be and how they operate. The plus side is, the machine could also be used for other uses beside brush management.

    I already have a Kubota tractor that I use on my small farm. May put a front end loader and expand my capabilities in addition to the other.

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