The Combine Forum banner
1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone help me I'm wanting to start a chopping buisness and have been planing but I need help figuring out how much to charge that's fair and before I get the equipment I'd like to go to a couple farms and talk to them but should I have a contract or just verbal and how many acres should I get at the least to be profitable I want to get as many as I can but what's the least I'd have to get to stay afloat
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
961 Posts
The chopping business is a brutal one. Parts are ridiculous, machines are even worse. You have to run a lot of acres and if you run a lot of acres you have to keep new machines. If you run lots of acres you basically have to be able to tell the farmers when to plant so you can get to it when it needs to come off. You'll make more money packing and hauling than you will cutting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I was planing on getting a decent used chopper with both heads and two trucks and a packer tractor I mean most of the farms around me will be short hauls but in my area there not huge farms they average 200 milk cows so it's hard to estimate there acres and there's only one outfit around after a couple years ago one got out of it it's just been one of my dreams to run my own operation
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,919 Posts
I run a small custom forage operation, more of a sideline than anything. I cut with a JD 6710, 15 foot corn head, 10 foot hay head. Also have 4 16 foot boxes. You will tie up a lot of money fast if you want to play that game. No one will want to be the first to cut, but when you start everyone is calling. Cutters are not cheap and are very high maintance, parts are not readily stocked around me so you quickly get used to over night or next day charges. You have to get good iron to do custom, doesn't have to be the newest though. Boxes or trucks need to be top notch, you don't want to be wrenching on those when you are cutting, besides the cutter will give you enough grief. Then you get the people who want theirs cut right away, but don't pay. I've only once never collected cash, but was able to do some fly by night repo, so I've been lucky.

If you were in my area, I would be glad to sell out to you, not because it is that bad, but is becoming more of a time issue for me.

Hope I did not discourage you, best of luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the advise I'm not discouraged but what your saying is that it's hard to get started but once you start cutting your first job your phone starts ringing for other customers I wish I could find someone like you in my area wanting to sell out but the problem is that there's not but maybe 2 at the most around here and is leaseing the equipment and trucks a good idea or is it better to loan the money?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
5,151 Posts
I run a small custom forage operation, more of a sideline than anything. I cut with a JD 6710, 15 foot corn head, 10 foot hay head. Also have 4 16 foot boxes. You will tie up a lot of money fast if you want to play that game. No one will want to be the first to cut, but when you start everyone is calling. Cutters are not cheap and are very high maintance, parts are not readily stocked around me so you quickly get used to over night or next day charges. You have to get good iron to do custom, doesn't have to be the newest though. Boxes or trucks need to be top notch, you don't want to be wrenching on those when you are cutting, besides the cutter will give you enough grief. Then you get the people who want theirs cut right away, but don't pay. I've only once never collected cash, but was able to do some fly by night repo, so I've been lucky.

If you were in my area, I would be glad to sell out to you, not because it is that bad, but is becoming more of a time issue for me.

Hope I did not discourage you, best of luck!
Oh, heavens no, I almost want to get into the business now!:eek:
Almost.;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,919 Posts
Oh, heavens no, I almost want to get into the business now!:eek:
Almost.;)
Don, now that I have you interested, maybe you should expand southward... Just think- shorter winters, longer growing season, bikini clad women everywhere(maybe not). I can see you running the two operations successfully! This could be a win-win situation for both of us... or at least one of us!:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
961 Posts
Thanks for the advise I'm not discouraged but what your saying is that it's hard to get started but once you start cutting your first job your phone starts ringing for other customers

And when everyone calls, everyone wants their crop off right now. And to run that hard you need a lot of moneys worth of equipment. I am not saying it cant work, but I have been quite involved in a good sized sileage operation in the past and I can safely tell you its not an easy place to make money.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
422 Posts
I ran a small custom small hay and straw bailing operation beside cash crop 2 Balers NH bale wagon most were horse people most were paid up 6 months after job was done but some never did pay .One guy when I was just starting out with plenty of bills and a young family to feed when I went to get paid he told me he had no money I asked why he did not tell me that before I started I would of not got my straw bailed. All custom work is like just buying yourself a job.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,919 Posts
I ran a small custom small hay and straw bailing operation beside cash crop 2 Balers NH bale wagon most were horse people most were paid up 6 months after job was done but some never did pay .One guy when I was just starting out with plenty of bills and a young family to feed when I went to get paid he told me he had no money I asked why he did not tell me that before I started I would of not got my straw bailed. All custom work is like just buying yourself a job.
So what did you do to collect? Or did you just have to eat it? That crap burns my ass. Cut corn silage for a guy that wouldn't pay once. All I got was "take me to court." Prick left for a week so I loaded up enough hay to cover my bill, plus interest. Not something I like to do, but I hate getting robbed worse.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
422 Posts
I was young then and had a friend that was a student lawyer took him to small claimed court and the judge ripped him a new one he paid a few hundred that day and that was it we took him back again and the judge made him give me all the cash he on him $80 that day he declared bankrupt and I burned for $3000 there was a company that built a building for him and they burned for over $80000 . Kick in the ass when you were just starting out .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
I started my own custom harvest business 4 years ago with the help of my dad and some of his equipment. This can be a great job or a nightmare depending on the customers you will have to deal with. Plus like said earlier you will always worry about being paid. And then theres the help issue. Seems like everyone these days wants a paycheck but not willing to work the long hours. That being daid i have no regrets about starting in this business. We have machines now that i only dreamed of as a kid and it allows us to get our crops off for our dairy alot faster. It seems though that the more money you spend on equipment the more things you need. it is kinda the snowball effect. The places where you make good money are cutting chopping and hauling. Set your rates so you can cover your costs be prepared to do alot of your own maintenance and be willing to work with your customers concerns and needs and youll do fine. it just takes time to build your base. Best of luck!!
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top