What do folks know about making money with a skidsteer/bobcats?

TL;DR What do folks know about making money with a skidsteer/bobcat + truck and trailer?

I have a career with the US Forest Service, so I get laid off for 3-6months every winter. I’m and have been looking for a good side gig to do in the winter. I’ve tried and failed to start my own forestry business. Worker’s comp basically makes that industry impossible. I work for a forestry contractor in the spring/fall. He’s on his way out of the industry, but has always dreamt of buying a tracked skidsteer. Why? Because it replaces the need for about 80% of his employees.

He’s about to retire. I’m only 28. I’m playing with the idea of buying a skidsteer, diesel truck, and trailer/dump trailer. I figure I could buy his business out (probably via a gradual transition/cost sharing agreement). The value of his business is really his local connections, physical capital is minimal (i.e. some beat up chainsaws and handtools). It’s his side gig too, he only works about 60 days/year, PLUS I could plow snow with the skidsteer in the winter.

Just some rough numbers:

Costs

  • Skidsteer $25,000
  • Diesel truck $15,000
  • Dump trailer, $12,000
  • Buying his business out $20,000
  • Fuel, maintenance, insurance, other costs x 3 years $45,000

$120k~ costs over 3 years

Income

60 days/year @ $1000/day (which is the minimum of what you can charge doing the work we do) = $180k income over 3 years plus any bonus money you can make from plowing and/or renting out the dump trailer.

Bottom line

$20k/yr or $41/hr minus taxes… a decent side gig.

Ive been working for this guy for about 4 years and I know the forestry side of the business. He'll likely offer to sell me his business within the next 5 years, but it's brutal work. A skidsteer sounds nice, but I dont know much about running them. They seem easy to learn, but what do yall know?

Just testing out an idea.

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