Nowadays, it truly is possible to make money with pretty much anything, if you’re creative enough. This includes the potential to make money with your tractor.
You probably don’t want to go out and buy a tractor simply to earn some income on the side. It would probably take a long time to make back your investment, but, if you already have a tractor, there’s no reason why you can’t turn it into a money-making venture.
Keep in mind as you read this post though – I don't personally own a tractor! This is a part of my series on different ways to make money other than a normal job. The information here is based on online research I've done. I welcome any current tractor owners to share their suggestions and stories in the comments to help other people looking to make some side cash or start a business.
Table of Contents
- Making Money With Your Tractor
- Make Money With Your Tractor
Making Money With Your Tractor
So, let's get started. What different approaches can you take to earn with your tractor?
Using Your Tractor In A Side Business
The main way to make money with your tractor is to focus on what you can do with it. After all, you can do a lot with a tractor that you simply couldn’t do with another vehicle. Many people end up with specific tasks that need a tractor, yet don’t actually have one themselves.
The end result is that the demand certainly does exist. Rather than rent one, learn it, and do it themselves, a lot of times it's just easier to hire someone to do it right. That's where you come in!
Research and Specialize
The first step towards doing this is simply to research. You want to know what services are actually needed in your local area, along with what other people charge for them.
You also need to think about how you’re going to advertise and target your services. For example, you could simply advertise that you have a tractor available for whatever people need.
However, being specialized in your marketing is often more effective. This is because people will be more likely to see you as an expert in a given area. For that matter, specializing like that would actually help you become particularly good at doing one thing, which could increase your reputation and profit over time.
One example is the practice of rototilling. This is a service that many people need but may not have the tools to do themselves. Some tractor owners advertise this type of service, specifically focusing on customers who have smaller acreages to till.
There could easily be enough demand for this one type of service alone, depending on your audience. For a small garden area, sure a hand-run rototiller could work, but for larger areas, you really need some big machines.
You could also specialize in tree or stump removal. I know last year I had someone bid on grinding a stump in my backyard – the bid was $500! Wow. It was way too expensive, so I just dug up the stump and cut it up with a chainsaw. But if someone had a tractor, charged me $200, and got it done in a day (instead of a month, by hand), I would have sprung for a deal like that.
Advertising general tractor services definitely do work, but not everyone knows what you can do with a tractor. Make a list of things you know you can do and try getting clients based on the results you can get for them, not just the services you offer.
- breaking hard ground
- clearing weeds
- spraying weeds
- towing or dragging (also works if you have a truck)
- shaking trees
- moving soil (or anything else)
- cutting trees and hauling wood
Advertise Effectively Online And Offline
If you’re developing any type of side business, you will probably need to advertise, particularly early on. There are various options for doing this, including taking out ads in local papers and having flyers hosted in shops.
You could also develop a website and promote your business that way. Websites do often work well for local businesses and it could be perfect for a local tractor owner/operator. Imagine if someone goes to Google and types “help tilling a large garden”. Your website can pop up in free Google listings or paid listings. Traffic to your site means business for you!
You could also put up flyers in a local coffee shop or meeting point. As mentioned above, focus on how you advertise your services. Calling yourself a “tractor guy”, may not be obvious enough. A city boy like me doesn't know what tractors can do. But make it clear that you could aerate my lawn in an hour and I might pay more attention!
Once you start to get some customers, word of mouth can often become particularly powerful as a promotion strategy. This type of marketing isn’t really something that you can control.
However, if you provide good service then you’re likely to find that you get repeat customers and that people recommend your services. I am always hesitant to hire new contractors to do work at my house because you never know what quality of work you're going to get. Even a lukewarm recommendation from a friend is enough to get me to call the guy and at least come out to look at the job.
Be Professional – It's A Business, Not A Hobby
A tractor-based business is never going to be as formal as working in an office. Nevertheless, being professional is still an important approach to business success. One example of this is simply providing good customer service, including turning up on time and communicating well with your customers.
Having a plan about pricing also plays a role in making you appear professional. In particular, it’s important that you can give an estimate of how much you’d charge for a given task. For example, you may charge per hour or you could choose to charge a set fee for a given task.
Figuring out pricing structures can be difficult at the beginning and may take some trial and error. However, having a set price structure makes the customer feel at ease about paying for services they are unfamiliar with.
With pricing, you also want to factor in insurance. For that matter, it’s important to have adequate insurance right from the beginning. Even for relatively safe jobs, there will always be the risk that you may damage your tractor in some way. That would end up being an expensive situation if you weren’t insured.
At the same time, liability insurance is something to seriously consider. That type of insurance protects you if you damage something while you are working, such as digging up a cable or something like that. This insurance really can be critical and not having it ends up being an expensive lesson.
Put Time Into Planning For A Business
If you want to make regular money, setting out some goals and ideas beforehand can help a lot. Treat this like a business, instead of just a side-project you'll do when you feel like it. Consistent income from any type of business is going to take some serious legwork in the beginning, and profits are often slow to start.
Calculate things like gas, ideal pay per hour, comparison to costs of other local providers, and potential advertising strategies. Maintenance is also going to cost you over time!
Yes, you can really make money owning a tractor, but how much do you want to make? If you just want to do weekend jobs for friends then a more casual approach could work for what you expect. But if you want consistent income, even just as a side business, your goal should be to get organized.
Making Money Online With Tractor Knowledge
Promote Stuff You Love, Help Others
With an online business, you can essentially promote anything you want. If you have a pair of work boots you can't live without, write a few words about them and recommend them to others. Do you have a favorite pair of sunglasses or jackets that were a great deal for the quality you received?
Help other people save money too, and you can make money in the process. Your website is about your opinion, and people are interested to know what an expert like you thinks.
Websites are pretty cool because you have a lot of flexibility about how they look and what you focus on. Maybe tractors were just a side thing for you, but your real interest in organic gardening. You could make a website about that and just have a few articles about how to garden using a compact tractor.
Though I don't own a tractor, I know that you can earn money with your tractor in the online world. Right now you're reading a website, and that website contains information.
There are ads on my website, so my website makes money. If you had a website about tractors or other farming related topics, you could put tractor-related ads on your site. This is the basics of owning an online business: You write information, and people reading your information online help you make money by clicking ads.