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How to Make Money with a Skid Steer? A Practical Guide for Skid Steer Owners

How to make money with a skid steer

Table of Contents:

1. Advantages of Owning a Skid Steer
2. What Jobs Can You Perform with Your Skid Steer?
3. How Much Can You Make by Operating a Skid Steer?
4. Be an Expert in What You Do
5. Prepare a Solid Business Plan
6. Make Your Business Legitimate
7. Buy or Rent Your Equipment
5. Search for Jobs

Dreaming of being your own boss? No middleman, just you, your hard work, and earnings being paid directly to your bank account- who would not want that? However, having a unique set of skills is rare, and not everyone can think of running their own business. Luckily, as an owner of a skid steer and our reader, you have an advantage. You already have the equipment and after reading our article you will know exactly what to do to run a successful skid steer business.

Advantages of Owning a Skid Steer

The thought of doing business using your skid steer might not have crossed your mind before. Or perhaps it has but you dismissed it for various reasons. That is why we will start by mentioning a few benefits of skid steers that can help you run a successful business.


Probably the most important feature of all skid steer loaders is their versatility. It is possible thanks to multiple types of available attachments that allow one to complete various jobs. However, getting high-quality attachments is the only guarantee of successful skid steer operation. Read on to find out more about the importance of a trusted supplier providing appropriate attachments.


Most skid steers are compact, and light compared to other machines. Therefore, they can reach and navigate narrow areas, and tight spaces that other construction vehicles cannot. Their low weight also allows them to transport between the job sites.

Control and Visibility

Skid steers are easy to operate even for those who are still learning their ropes. The machine’s controls are based on moving the joysticks. When it comes to visibility, operators have an enhanced experience thanks to the small size of the machine.

What Jobs Can You Perform with Your Skid Steer?

One of the greatest benefits of operating a skid steer that we mentioned above is their ability to complete various jobs. Now, the time has come to explore their abilities in more detail. Below, you can find a few areas great for starting your skid steer business. All you are left to do is take your pick (or a few!) and get your business running!

Construction Work

Perhaps one of the most popular areas in which you can usually find skid steers are construction sites. Construction and excavation work are truly the two areas for which skid steers are the most suited, thanks to their powerful engine and a variety of attachments for construction works. This combination allows the operator to use the machine to perform activities such as digging trenches and foundations, hauling materials, demolition, or grading land.

Landscaping Tasks

Landscaping is also one of the most popular areas for which you can use your skid steer. With proper attachments, you can move soil, level ground, spread materials, and prepare surfaces for further work. It also works well for removing various obstacles such as trees, tree stumps, or overgrown vegetation. You can use a skid steer or a compact skid steer, depending on whether you work in commercial spaces or residential properties.

Skid steer landscaping applications include:

  1. Digging necessary for leveling land, creating flower beds or holes for a pond or a fountain.
  2. Removing obstacles from the landscape using a bucket attachment or pallet fork attachment.
  3. Spreading fertilizers or mulch on lawns or gardens using a spreader attachment.
  4. Disposing of yard waste and other debris without the need for manual labor thanks to a spreader attachment.
  5. Sweeping away sand, dirt, or snow from driveways, patios, or any other outdoor surfaces using a power broom attachment.

How Much Can You Make by Operating a Skid Steer?

Truth be told, making money is one of the main things we are here for. Most operators love working with skid steers but doing it for free will not pay their bills. That is why before we explain how to earn money, let us look at how much we can make.

We will not calculate how much you will earn as a business owner because, frankly, many factors come into play here, such as expenses, your skills, and the type of equipment you purchase. However, we can tell you how much you can earn while being an employee. Depending on your skills, experience, location, and the type of work you perform, you can expect pay within the range of $18 to $20 per hour. If you are a professional with substantial skills and years of experience, you can even get paid over $30 per hour.

Undoubtedly, your earnings will be entirely different if you run your own business. It will also come with more independence and freedom. However, it will also require more preparation and effort to run your skid steer business successfully. Following the few steps below will help you make the best of it.

Be an Expert in What You Do

It should not come as a surprise, but you should know as much as you can about your profession and your machine. A lot of it is knowledge but you should also have experience. Therefore, take time and learn not only how the machine works but also how to operate it safely and efficiently. It will make you a trustworthy contractor in the eyes of your potential customers and bring you more business opportunities. After all, everyone wants to have the job done well and no one is happy to pay for sloppy work.

How to gain knowledge and experience? Start from taking a training course dedicated to your profession. Then, get in touch with other operators. Finally, nothing gives you such an advantage as experience, so get hands-on training on a job site.

Prepare a Solid Business Plan

Do you want to fail in your business? Starting with no preparation is the best way to do it. However, if you wish to be a successful skid steer operator, planning your endeavor is a must. Therefore, prepare a solid business plan. Without it, you will not be able to track your expenses and profits. It is very easy to overspend in day-to-day life, not to mention business! It is true that 'it takes money to make money', however, everything needs to be under control.

Skid steer operators must remember that their income is not the money they receive from their customers. It is the amount they are left with after subtracting all the expenses. That is why you will certainly not be in plus after completing your first jobs. Moreover, you may be surprised to hear that it usually takes up to three years for many new businesses to start being profitable. Why does it take so long? Think of all the upfront and regular costs you must cover:

  1. Costs of setting up a business, obtaining licenses and permits.
  2. Third-party services: accountants, attorneys, advisors, subscriptions, IT services, etc.
  3. Purchase of heavy equipment and attachments.
  4. Adhering to safety requirements (training courses, PPE, etc.).
  5. Equipment maintenance and storage costs.
  6. Fuel.
  7. Transportation costs.
  8. Taxes.

All the above costs (and more) must be reflected in your price point. Therefore, it is not the best idea to charge less than others just to get the customers in. Firstly, you will create an unfair pricing market, secondly, you will simply delay the point of becoming profitable. Focus on performing your job excellently for a fair price. With time you will get very proficient and therefore can increase prices.

Remember, you truly cannot do all the math in your head. A business plan is a must!

Make Your Business Legitimate

After you have your plan, the next step is to make it a reality. Start by setting up your company. As many heavy equipment operators do, you can choose the most common form, which is a Limited Liability Company (LLC). What are the benefits? It is easy to set up and maintain, costs are rather low, and most importantly, it limits our liability to a certain amount. However, with such a high-risk endeavor as heavy equipment operation, ensure you run all details regarding the form of your company by your attorney.

Also, in such a risk-involving profession business insurance is crucial. To obtain it, you must submit the necessary documentation, such as registration details and licensing. Such documents will also be needed if you apply for funding or simply when you want to gain your prospective customers' trust.

The types of insurance you should consider are General Liability Insurance, Equipment Insurance (Skid Steer Insurance, etc.), Business Auto Insurance, Umbrella Liability Insurance, and Workers’ Compensation.

An important step in setting up your company is separating business finances from personal ones. Therefore, you should set up a separate business bank account for your company. Make sure that your bookkeeper advises you on the rules regarding money flow too.

Buy or Rent Your Equipment

Apart from the spending money aspect, getting your equipment is probably the most enjoyable part of setting up your business. The question is whether you would like to rent it or buy it. There is no middle ground when it comes to the quality. If you get a low-quality equipment it will compromise business. Therefore, pay attention to such factors as durability and performance, but also low maintenance costs, and operator satisfaction.

An important part of choosing what part of the equipment you need is considering what jobs it will perform. Once you choose your model, remember about organizing your new equipment, transportation, and storage.

You can choose from popular brands, such as Caterpillar, Bobcat, New Holland, Case, and many more. The offer is broad and includes compact skid steer loaders as well as larger models.

Do not forget about one of the most important parts when it comes to versatility, which are various attachments. The ones you need must be able to complete jobs your business will deal with.

You should also think about how your equipment will move between the job sites. You might want to consider renting or buying a trailer or a truck for such a purpose.

Search for Jobs

Once you have your company set up and equipment organized, now the time has come to start the actual work. You probably wonder how to get your first clients. We have got your back! Have a look below at some ideas regarding the places where you can search for jobs:

  1. Put together a description of what services you offer and publish a classified ad on popular social media groups or websites.
  2. Job sites are also a good place to advertise your services. Do not forget about preparing a business card you can give or send out in case clients need your services in the future.
  3. Use a community newsletter to publish your ad. It is a particularly good tool for expanding your business.
  4. Prepare a flyer and carry a pile with you. Leave some on construction sites and in construction vehicles. They can do wonders!
  5. Make sure you sign up for the contractor's bid list in the surrounding area.

Do you want to ensure you use high-quality equipment that will make you earn more money instead of spending it on costly repairs? Browse the skid steer attachments section and the mini skid steer attachments section in our shop. The available attachments are made of the highest quality American steel, which makes all the difference while working in the skid steer business. Our wide selection of attachments will be perfect regardless of whether you own a construction company, or simply do a few jobs in your garden. Additionally, we also offer you assistance regarding all equipment-related matters. Get in touch to get the best equipment on the market for your company.