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Author Topic: Worth it to join the business in maine  (Read 1509 times)

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Offline Jchampagne93

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Worth it to join the business in maine
« on: May 19, 2018, 07:25:21 PM »
Hey looking for some advice. Just looked at a timberjack 208d in real nice shape. I have experience cutting firewood but not much in pine. Im just wondering if its worth it? Ive never worked on a crew so i dont have much experience. I have a market for tree length firewood and someone to haul my wood for me. Im super nervous so any advice would be great.

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 08:48:00 PM »
There are a lot of questions to answer there. How secure is your market and your source? Do you have the financial  means to deal with breakdowns? What are all your actual costs vs income? IE will you be making a profit or bleeding money? Are you quitting a day job to do this? If so what do you need to generate each month to keep the bills paid? What about insurance? Both for your business and yourself?

After figuring all that out one thing I will say from experience is that the logging world is hard, especially for the little guy, and in Maine even when times are good, logging is especially difficult, been there personally. 

Good luck with whichever way you go.
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Offline Jchampagne93

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 10:49:21 PM »
I have 3 different people to sell tree length to. Im thinking it would be wise to work a regular job at first and cut wood on the weekends. I have around 1200 in bills a month and the skidder will be another 200 a month. I've always had a dream of working for myself and especially in the woods. I just want to make sure I'm making the right choice for me and my family. I can afford some break downs but if it came down to putting a motor or transmission in I would be in trouble.

Offline BargeMonkey

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2018, 11:28:14 PM »
 Theres alot of very knowledgeable people on here from ME, logging is rough period. It's one thing to do it on the side, it's like the joke how to turn 2 mil into 1mil. Loglength can be a funny business, never enough or to much, takes quite a while to get a dependable customer base built up, take it slow. 

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 11:35:29 PM »
Starting on the weekends would be a very wise way to go about it.  Remember mud season can be quite long there, 8 weeks depending on the year, that's a wicked long time to have to sit in the dooryard with no money coming in, but at least smelts are running that time of year!!  :D   Where in Maine are you?  I am from The County.  
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2018, 12:31:27 AM »
Does the loan allow early payoff?  If it goes belly up, can you give the skidder back to satisfy the debt?  Those two reduce the risk somewhat.  

Biggest issue is if you go full time and the skidder is your only income.  If it burns or croaks youre in the toilet.  I highly advise you do not part with your current employment until the skidder is paid for.  Stable income prevents minor breakdowns from becoming full blown repo man/foreclosure/bankruptcy sized tornados.  Btdt.


There are really only two ways you can jump fully out of payroll wage earner and into self employed startup successfully.  One is with a big savings account/rich spouse, and the other is divine intervention/tremendous good fortune.  I promise you that hard work alone does not always mean money comes in.  Im living proof of it.  

So for the rest of us, slow transition out of W2/1099 wages and into 1040C income is the best bet.  You invest your paycheck into the business over time and wean off the dayjob as business gains force you to.  And if you dont know what i mean by those forms, consider it a bad omen.  Youre gonna need to know capital expense vs capital depreciation pretty well to.

I wish you luck.  Save every receipt and write notes on your paper bank statements as to what money went where.  You gotta be a good book keeper to be good at small business.  
Revelation 3:20

Offline Ianab

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2018, 01:52:44 AM »
I agree with Mike here. The ~$50 a week payments doesn't seem expensive, so if the machine is parked up for a few weeks, can you can cover that with your "day job"?

But we don't know your financial / employment situation here. Can you work weekends, take some annual leave from your normal job etc and get the logging business off the ground that way?

If you can do that with little financial risk, then go for it. 

And yes, get a good accountant. They know all the "legal" tax minimisation things you can claim. Depreciation, vehicle running costs, maintenance, their fees etc. 
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Offline Matt601

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2018, 03:42:03 AM »
The number one thing is how good of wood do you have to cut and can you sell it. I cut bunch and truck mine. I work on my days off but I work month on and month off. It lets me run full time for 4 weeks at a time. I donít see how anyone can do it just on weekends might just be me but it takes me a day to get running and if you have a break down on Sunday your down for a week.

No matter where you go there you are!!!

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2018, 06:37:39 AM »
Jchampagne93,welcome to the forum.
You said pine too,need to know how to cut the best grade from each tree. Each tree needs to be read for the best log. Where are you selling the pine? Also need a market for the other trees too.
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Offline Jchampagne93

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2018, 10:42:50 AM »
My job is only 4 days a week. So I was planning on cutting wood 3 days. My plan is to save everything I make for the first year incase of a breakdown and to pay it off faster. And if I saved instead of spent I can make it through mud season with part of my savings. Ive done the math a few times and it seems like i should make 450-500 on a load of hardwood without issues. Is this about right? Im from Richmond 

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 11:35:37 AM »
The less equipment you have to maintain the thinner a margin you can operate on.  So farming out the trucking is pretty good.  Its really hard to succeed when youre too spread out so focusing on just getting logs from the stump to the loading site is a smart way to go for a while until you get stable footing.  The short workweek is a major bonus for you.  My full time job was three 12s which gave me 4 other days to bust my butt and not be too worried about business cash flow.
Revelation 3:20

Offline celliott

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2018, 12:06:52 PM »
I have always wanted to try my hand at logging for myself. But with little experience nervous about diving in headfirst and giving up my day job. So last fall I bought an old Clark cable Skidder, but paid cash for it. I didnít want to have a payment on a machine Iíd only work weekends. So I own it. I cut spruce/fir over the winter, Saturday and Sundays. Some days I was too tired from my weekly job (we tapped and sugared from 75,000 taps this season) that I didnít log. I didnít feel like I had to go push it. Right now Iím searching for my next job and the Skidder is sitting. No big deal not costing me anything. It can be tough finding a landowner who doesnít mind you only working weekends and they donít get a stumpage check each week.

My 2 cents, try to save up and buy a machine straight up. Then ease into it and see how you like it/how you do.
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Offline celliott

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2018, 04:31:47 PM »
I just wanted to add, if you want to try something, go for it. Donít get down on yourself. I was nervous too starting out, took me awhile to get things going smoothly but man, when I cut and pulled my first hitch it was great. I had a lot of fun this winter and made a few bucks to boot. Just be smart and make sound decisions.

On the 208D youíre looking at, they have a reputation for having fairly light duty planetary gears and axles. Be careful not to overload it.
Donít rush getting a Skidder either, there is plenty of older cable machines out there for reasonable money. Timberjack, tree farmer, Clark, Franklin, Deere, Cat, theyíre all over Maine.



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br>


 

 
 
Chris Elliott

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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2018, 06:01:35 PM »
Nice pics chris
Revelation 3:20

Offline Jchampagne93

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2018, 08:15:05 PM »
Thanks Chris glad to hear its working out for you. Im going to go ahead and try it. I am a little worried about the axles on the 208, but its a really nice machine and seems to have been completely gone through and has a fresh paint job. Tires are 85%. Has just a small oil leak on the 353. Ive heard if there not leaking add oil. Thinking maybe someone rebuilt it at some point. Im just gonna baby it and hope for the best. Btw nice pics 

Offline CX3

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2018, 09:41:41 PM »
I'd be more curious to how much grit you have. It's easy to figure what a load of good logs will bring you, it's another to actually get them on the truck.

I talk to people all the time that think a big day in the woods would be to cut 4 or 5 trees. Best to stay on the clock if that's the case.

If you've got it then get that skidder and stay on good jobs. Don't take crappy jobs even if you're broke. Go help someone frame a house or something. Bad jobs don't pay.
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2018, 10:00:38 PM »
LOL ive proven that one a few dozen times too!  
Revelation 3:20

Offline OntarioAl

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2018, 10:14:01 PM »
Lots of good advice been put forward I'll  add a few and reiterate a couple
1/ Keep your day job log  as a hobby if it grows into a  viable business fine if not you so be it  .
2/ Insurance (personal injury, liability, property damage) 
3/ Mud season and other events can and will cut  8 to 12 weeks a year out of your cash flow (plan for     it)
4/You mention you have a Family X Nay with the 3 day logging weekend save on day for your family and yourself.
5/ I have a 230D with Eaton axles darn near bullet proof If yours 208D has Eatons oh happy day if they are Rockwells the are not as strong.
good luck
Stay Safe
Al
Al Raman

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #18 on: May 21, 2018, 12:07:11 AM »
and has a fresh paint job


OH NO! - Someone put the Sin-hider to it!!!  :o
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Offline mike_belben

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Re: Worth it to join the business in maine
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2018, 09:20:55 AM »
 :D
Revelation 3:20


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