How to Make Money with a Tractor

If you own a tractor, there are many ways that you can utilize the tool to earn money. Tractors are a very versatile piece of farm equipment and you can earn money with your tractor by using it to carry out different kinds of jobs and services.

This article is especially useful for tractor owners who own tractors that they do not use often. Instead of letting your tractor become a liability, consider utilizing it to earn extra money by starting up a tractor business.

Things to consider before doing side jobs with your tractor

Before you decide to use your farm equipment to earn extra money, you need to consider some factors. These factors will determine what kinds of jobs you can do. You should figure out the answers to all these questions before you start working with your tractor.

What type of tractor do you own?

If you are new to tractors, you will need to understand what type of tractor you have. There are three main types of tractors, which are sub-compact tractors, compact tractors, and large tractors. They are graded based on their horsepower range which is less than 20HP, 20-45HP, and up to 180HP respectively.

Bigger tractors with higher horsepower are used for bigger farms that need large-scale operations carried out while compact and sub-compact tractors are used for smaller tasks and the kinds of jobs mentioned in this article. With proper understanding, you could have the right equipment for any job.

What services are needed in your local area? 

The location where you live will determine what kinds of tractor services you can do. That is why you should carry out some research on what kinds of services are feasible where you live before you start offering work.

If you live in a rural area, the options for tractor services will be more than if you live in an urban area. This being said, that doesn’t mean that there is no use for tractors in urban areas. You just need to establish what kinds of jobs you will be able to do.

As farm equipment owners, knowing what kinds of services are most needed in your area is also important because that gives you an idea of how much money you will be able to make with your tractor work.

How much experience do you have with the tractor?

Having a tractor and using it for your own personal projects is very different from offering services to people. When you are using your farm machinery leisurely, you don’t have to worry about speed, precision, or financial commitment.

This means that you could have been operating a tractor for years but are not necessarily a professional at using a tractor. When it comes to offering services to clients, you have to remember that they expect professionalism from you. This means that you have to be efficient and precise.

Ideally, you have some years of experience with farm machinery before you start offering tractor services. This way, the only learning curves you will need to cross are speed and efficiency. If you are starting from scratch with a tractor, you may want to consider spending some time learning how to use the machine before you start offering services to clients.

What additional equipment do you need?

If you have a sub-compact tractor, you probably have the most versatile type of tractor for side jobs. Even with that, you will need to purchase several additional equipment and attachments if you want to offer a wide range of services.

Your tractor is already a versatile piece of equipment so all you need now is to find the right attachments to make it able to do multiple things. You should take inventory of what equipment you already have and what you want or need to purchase.

If you don’t plan on taking on certain types of jobs, it would be a waste of money to purchase attachments like a dump trailer that are needed for that job. This is why you need a clear idea of what kinds of tractor services you want to offer before you start your business.

How will you handle your business planning?

When you start offering services with your tractor to make extra money, you will find that there are many business decisions you will need to make. This includes securing liability insurance and other types of insurance for yourself and coming up with a pricing model.

Pricing should be done based on the intensity of the job as well as the average rates for similar jobs where you live. People would not want to pay higher than average. You should consider what equipment you will need to do the job and transportation if that is a factor for you.

You should also consider establishing a schedule for your working hours, especially if you do not want to use tractor work as your primary mode of income. You should establish your business policies for different types of jobs and your procedures in case of emergencies like accidents or if customers are unsatisfied with your work.

Finally, you should think about how you want to advertise your business. Advertising in local papers would be a nice start.

10 ways to make money with a tractor

Here are ten ways that you can use your tractor to earn money. Whether you live in a rural or urban area, this list will provide ideas for how you can make money with your tractor.

Rototilling

Rototilling is likely one of the first ideas you would have for ways to earn money using your tractor. This is a task that can be carried out easily using a compact tractor. Rototilling services are also commonly in demand so you will always find people who need your services.

Rototilling involves the process of plowing and tilling the soil to prepare it for planting. People who own large gardens or small farmlands need to have their grounds maintained yearly. The rototilling process helps to till the manure and previous season’s plants into the soil to nourish it for the new season.

Rototilling is also needed by people who want to plant on a piece of land for the first time. If the land is big, a walk-behind tiller may be too small to cover the entire land quickly. That is where your tractor comes in.

For rototilling work, you will need your tractor and a three-point rototiller that runs on the tractor’s PTO.

Snow removal

For people that live in snowy areas, snow removal services are a great way to earn extra money with your tractor. People will always need your services so you will never run out of business from this side job.

To carry out snow removal services with your tractor, there are a few attachments and equipment that you could use. These include a front blade, back blade, and front loader. The front and rear blades should be plow types as they will make the snow removal process quicker.

You will also need a set of chains for your tractor tires. When choosing chains, make sure that you buy chains that are the right size. You can buy these online or in farming hardware stores.

A 4×4 tractor is ideal for snow removal services but any compact or sub-compact tractor should still work well for clearing snow. When you are done with snow removal jobs always make sure to check your tractor tires and joins for any accumulated ice and scrape or rinse it out for tractor maintenance.

Snow blowers are also a helpful addition that can be used for snow removal with your tractor.

Mowing

Another obvious choice for a way to make money using your tractor is offering mowing services. Mowing with a tractor isn’t suited for small yards but rather for large acres of land or pastures.

Mowing with a tractor is a more in-depth process of clearing grasses, weeds, and other organic debris from land. Mowing is necessary to maintain the beauty of the land or prepare it for planting, depending on what the land is used for.

If you have a sub-compact tractor, it may come with a drive-over mower deck option which will make the mowing process easier. If you do not have this feature, you simply need a three-point finishing mower that can run on your tractor’s PTO.

Mowing services are commonly demanded and with a tractor, you can make mowing quicker and neater. You can also use your tractor to mow your own land to practice or test out your skills before offering services to others.

Brush removal

Brush removal can be seen as a combination of mowing and rototilling services. It can also be seen as an extension of both and an additional service to either mowing or rototilling. Brush removal is part of the process of preparing land for planting and is usually done with a bush hog.

Brushes are the larger weeds and vegetation that cover land that hasn’t been used for a long time. Before you can carry out mowing or rototilling work on the land, brush removal will have to take place. That is why the three are often connected.

Brush removal services will be in high demand in areas where there are large acres of unused land and development is about to begin. Large plants and stumps that mowers cannot handle can be taken care of with brush removal services.

It is common to charge higher for brush removal since it is slightly more laborious work. Additional equipment like a brush hog can be used to simplify the process and reduce the amount of clean-up that will need to be done after. Though with most brush removal jobs, raking and clearing will still need to be carried out afterward.

If you cannot get a brush hog, a three-point standard rotary cutter can be used instead.

Light garden work

There is a lot of light garden work that can be done using a tractor in a large garden. The range of services you can offer for people’s garden maintenance and preparation depends on what jobs you are willing to do and what equipment you have.

Tractors can be used to prepare land for planting past just tilling and plowing as we mentioned earlier. If you want to offer gardening services with your tractor, you need to have a good idea of gardening work and be able to offer your clients advice and gardening tips.

While gardening and farming are not the same, there are a lot of similarities between the two practices. Therefore, if you have more experience in farming than gardening, don’t be scared to brush up on your gardening knowledge before you start offering gardening services.

Services you could offer for a garden with your tractor include fertilizing, plowing the soil, disc harrowing, planting, and more. Some equipment and implements you may need for jobs like this include a tiller or a disc harrow, a single-row seed planter, a spreader, a sprayer, a middle buster, and more.

You should manage your gardening services based on jobs you know you can do so you don’t bite off more than you can chew. Tractors can be used to work on mid to large-sized gardens.

Spraying and spreading

Spraying and spreading manure, fertilizer, pesticide, and many more materials is a service that you can offer with your tractor. Using a tractor to carry out spraying and service work lets you work on larger pieces of land and work faster than if you were working by your hand.

You will need a three-point sprayer attachment for your tractor. These usually come with single nozzle sprayers that allow you to target specific areas when you are working. There are many different sizes of sprayers and they are measured in gallons from 20 to 300 gallons.

The size of the sprayer you choose should be determined by the size of your tractor. If you are operating a bigger tractor, then you can go for a large-size sprayer. Spraying and spreading on large farms will likely require that you use big tractors and large sprayers.

Your sprayer will likely make use of the PTO on the tractor to power its pump. If this method is not used, an electric pump can be used instead. Sprayers and spreaders usually come hand in hand. After spraying, spreaders are used to complete the service and ensure that the sprayed material goes everywhere.

Lifting, hauling, and moving

Tractors are primarily heavy-duty farming equipment so they can be used for moving heavy materials and items across a farm or land for people. You can utilize your tractor as a moving service for people with large pieces of land.

Equipment and attachments you will need for lifting and hauling services include front or rear lifts such as clamp-on pallet forks, a three-point boom pole, and a drawbar with receiver and ball. These can all be used to load the tractor and move things around.

Front forks that attach to the bucket can be used to lift logs, move the brush around, and do other light tasks. A loading pallet can also be used to carry materials and items.

For larger items that are heavier, a boom pole is a good piece of equipment. These can be used to transport items as large as engine blocks and more. You can offer transportation services for large items, assistance with moving firewood, and more.

Driveway maintenance

If you think that you do not have a lot of options for work with your tractor in a primarily residential area, think again. If you live in an area that doesn’t have a lot of pasture but rather has a lot of homes, driveway maintenance is a great way of making money using your tractor.

This is another tractor service that you should try out on your own property before you offer services to other people. If you have a small tractor, driveway grading and other forms of driveway maintenance are a way for you to utilize this piece of farm machinery.

Some equipment you may need include a rear blade or box blade, a front-end loader, and bucket for transporting debris, a rear grader blade, and a landplane. With these tools, you can carry out all kinds of driveway maintenance jobs.

A box blade or rear blade is an ideal tool for moving gravel as well as leveling the driveway. For people who are just moving into a home or have had their driveway damaged by the weather or time, driveway grading is an essential service.

Raking services

Many people don’t know that tractors can also be used to provide raking services. Tractor work is not only limited to heavy-duty jobs and tractor owners can find opportunities to earn money with their tractor by raking.

There are two main types of rakes that you can use with your tractor but the most common type is a landscaper rake. You can also use a pine straw rake. Whatever rake attachment you use, make sure that it is a three-point rake.

The landscape rakes are designed with curved tines which allow them to penetrate beneath the soul and unearth all kinds of debris and underlying objects like sticks, stones, trash, and more. Raking with tractors is a more intensive process that pulls out any objects in the soil that you don’t want to be mixed in the soil before you start planting or while plants are growing.

Pine straw rakes have smaller tines than landscape rakes and the tines are further apart. This time of rake is ideal for pulling out finer pieces of debris like leaves, straw, pine needles, and grasses. They don’t go as deep as landscape rakes and are ideal for surface work.

Your rake attachments should be cleaned after every job to reduce the amount of wear and tear they take over time.

Backhoe digging

Backhoe digging is a tractor service that you can offer, but you first need to make sure that you have good liability insurance before you start doing this. You will also need to do some research before you can start carrying out digging work.

This research includes finding out what the local laws and ordinances for digging are where you live. Fully understanding these laws is necessary so you don’t find yourself in legal trouble that you could have easily avoided by doing some research.

You will also need to research to find out what is underground in the area you want to dig. This could include cables, pipes, and other forms of utility. You can consult with professionals to find out about these.

Once you have all your bases covered, you can get into backhoe digging as it is a very lucrative business that you can do with your tractor. You should also note that adding a backhoe attachment to your tractor could damage it in the long run so you should consider that when accepting backhoe digging jobs.

Conclusion

Tractors are equipment that can be used to lighten the workload and carry out heavy-duty tasks for the tractor owner. While you can save time and money by using a tractor for your work, you can also earn money by using your tractor to offer services.

There are even more ways than we mentioned to make money using your tractor and its implements. Don’t be scared to expand your services with time and try out new types of tractor jobs to continue making money with your tractor.

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