Rough Cut Mowing -- Has anyone found a niche for this??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by merrimacmill, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Well this coming landscaping season I will have two tractors sitting for 3 seasons that we use for snow. I used to use one of them for landscaping, but with the current purchase of a skid steer I cannot imagine using it to much.

    Anyways, this got me thinking of the idea of rough cut mowing with a rotary mower on the 3pt hitch. I have not seen anyone offering this service around here, and I see lots of very nice homes set in "rural settings". These people have acres of this and I don't imagine most of them (judging by the area I live in) have a tractor and brush hog to go take care of it a few times a year or once a month, etc.. If the work is out there for it, I think sending a machine out to run all day with the operator in the nice A/C cab wouldn't be a bad way to keep the equipment busy..

    Has anyone found this to be a profitable way to keep your equipment busy? I know if I can get my hourly rate it will be profitable, but I guess what I'm asking is do you guys who do it or have tried it find that if someone has that kind of land with that kind of mowing needs that they own their own compact tractor to deal with it? Or is there a niche for this service? (I know it all depends on your region, but I'm just asking "generally")

    My machines are a 2009 Kubota L3240HSTC and a 2010 Kubota M7040 w/cab. I would plan on putting a rotary cutter on my L3240 to start as it is a more compact machine, easier to load and trailer, more manuverable if a tighter situation arises, lighter weigh incase of mud situations, and the rotary cutter to fit it would be a cheaper initial investment rather than a larger one for the M7040.

    Any thoughts on this are appreciated
  2. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    Sell one of them and use the skid steer in place of it for snow removal and use the other to cut brush, I do some brush cutting but not much, I usally try to line up a bunch of jobs at once and then I rent a brush hog and still make good money so if you own the machine you would have no trouble making a good profit.
  3. merrimacmill

    merrimacmill LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    georgerk82, thanks for the rely. I depend on all my machines for snow removal as the snow removal operation is larger than the landscaping, so if they sit all summer, I planned on that during the purchase. So paying for it all while it sits is not the problem. But if there is potential income generators sitting in my shop collecting dust for 3 seasons, I might as well capitalize on it.

    What form of advertising have you found reaches the customers like this the best? I feel like the newspaper, yellow pages, and similar forms would almost be wasteful due to the fact that around here I feel like 80%-90% of the people they would reach would never have a need for this pretty specific, specialized service.

    I was thinking maybe door hangers and direct mail? This way as I'm driving by a house I notice has some acreage, I could drop off a door hanger or record the address and eventually do a direct mail to these properties.

    Any thoughts on this?
  4. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    I dont advertise it, all the ones I do are weekly customers that have a portion of the property that is only cut once a month most of them are commercial, for example one of them I cut about 5 acres weekly and then I brush hog about 10 more acres behind the business monthly.
  5. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    I bought a WB brush mower last July and this has turned to be a very profitable add on service. Around here the price you can charge for clearing very large areas is not very high, but can be profitable if you already own the equipment for other uses. Smaller lots is where you make the money. Although I will not advertise my mowing on Craigslist, I will do it for brushmowing. I also have a flyer specific just for this service that I will leave at any overgrown properties I come across. My policy is very strict, cash up front, unless it is a an existing customer. I have lost some jobs because some people wanted billed or to write me a check. I have encountered too many snakes and have been stung by too many bees to alter my policy.
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah it doesn't pay a lot of money here either so you definitely need a brush cutter / rough mower.
    I think there's an attachment called a flail mower?

    That or a very old finish mower but it will ruin blades and spindles etc...
    And how I know this.
  7. johnnybravo8802

    johnnybravo8802 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Ga.
    Messages: 2,319

    I was into the bushhogging for about a year. I stayed pretty busy for the first year and then it all disappeared. :confused:My tractor sat until I sold it and I haven't received one call since(I rent a tractor when I need it). People with large tracts of land either have a tractor(You can p/u used tractors cheap-a person usually buys a large piece of land with a tractor in mind) or they will lease it out to bale hay a lot of times. Down here, land owners will let you hunt on the land in return for keeping it up and paying a small fee. Or, you always have the little ol farmer who wants a little extra cash and will do it for almost nothing. Bottom line, it's a dead end. Forestry mowers took a dive also with the economy. If you already have a tractor, there's nothing wrong with utilizing it but I wouldn't expect much return. One quote I always remembered, "If you have a mower, people will call you out to a job where you need a tractor and if you have a tractor, people will call you out to a job where you need a bull dozer." That was very true when I bushhogged.
  8. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    Occasionally I do jobs on overgrown lots, but it's not lucrative and by no means a niche.
  9. meicher806

    meicher806 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    Some years i get swamped with calls for it, last year i got 2 calls for it landed 1 job cuz i bid it low as i was getting rid of one of my tractors and it was full of fuel so i figured burn it off make some cash i dont care im selling the tractor anyway. I try and get 50 per hour for it. most of the time last year there were farmers underbiding me just to get some extra cash.
  10. hockeyman20

    hockeyman20 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 120

    WEll recently i won a tractor and i have already talked to some of the big companies around my area that have a lot of land. They have agreed to give me a chance. They are 3+ acres and i will mow 1.5 with the tractor. I figured 1time a month at 1.5 acres about 5 minutes from where i am adds up to about $85 per cut. Wich they more than happily agreed too.

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