Many Hazards of Bush Hogging
What seems like a mundane activity can be dangerous or even deadly. At a minimum it can be expensive when repairs are required. In this recent example the metal rod left over from a game feeder resulted in two flat tires at one time! $620 later, and the tires were inflated but still damaged. If the tire had caught the sidewall, a new tire would need to be purchased and mounted for considerably more. With a mobile tire repair service I would have been stuck for much longer.
Dealing with Trash and Debris Hazards
Tractor tires are tough but having experienced four flats in the last year, I have learned they are not indestructible. They are not designed to roll over metal objects or even fire hardened stumps. This is probably why most land clearing companies utilize skid steer machines with tracks. However, many people have a tractor due to their versatility.
As a bush hogging service you should have a plan and policy. The plan is how are you going to deal with the inevitable flat tire. The policy is who is going to pay for it and under what circumstance.
My policy came together when I got the bill. In the future I will communicate the customer is responsible for tire damage due to debris or time spent removing wire or rope from the bush hog. It is best to discuss this before getting onsite in case a customers is unwilling to agree to your conditions.
Tractor Tire Repair
- Professional plug tools
- 20+ sticky plugs
- External rubber repair patch
- Internal rubber patch or tube
- Jack stands
- Impact wrench with proper socket
- Blocking to go under jack stands
- Air compressor
- Tire removal bar and tool
- Starter fluid & lighter
- Large ratchet strap
- Tire lube
- Metal valve stem
- Water to valve stem adaptor
- Downloaded YouTube videos on how to repair a tractor tire
Other Hazards of Bush Hogging
- Holes – man-made or hog wallows
- Wire or rope buried in the brush
- Electrical lines
- Concrete debris
- Mud pits
- Tree limbs or stumps
- Mud and swamps
Damaging your tractor can be expensive in direct repair costs but even more so in lost productivity. The hours your tractor is not producing billable hours can be far more expensive than the repair costs. Doing the tire repair yourself can save you a lot of money but you still have a loss of billable hours. At $75 to $100 per hour, lost billable hours will add up very quickly. It is unlikely you could get a customer to cover these lost wages which is why you need to charge enough to overcome setbacks of this nature.