Drewu223

How much to charge to bush hog?

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I have a 1086 and a bush hog 2620 batwing mower, and people are asking if I can come mow stuff for them. What is a good price to charge? These places are within a 30 minute drive in the tractor, but only a few 2-5 acre properties. 

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Drew figure out time from wen you set down in the seat till ya get out of the seat at the tractor barn + fuel and  a little towards maintenance.

the 1086 don't run on love.and your time is worth something. 

Mike

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75 Per hour plus   travel $1 a mile and clean up oil and grease  min , 

heavy brush ,and hills barbed wire NO !

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13 minutes ago, 560Dennis said:

75 Per hour plus   travel $1 a mile and clean up oil and grease  min , 

heavy brush ,and hills barbed wire NO !

Agreed. I'd say minimum $50/hr from the time you start the tractor to the time you shut it off plus $1/mile to and from.  

 

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Thanks yall. I was kinda thinking about $50/hr, but didn't consider travel

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I'm up to 75 an hour with a 6 footer, something bigger I'd charge more, takes less time. I do charge from my drive to my drive in the time, 4 hour minimum.

Rick

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The biggest issue here to me is: what are you mowing? Are these fields clean and just overgrown? If you sign up to mow 4 acres for  $75 dollars an hour and its a overgrown but clean accessible field your going to be finished in an hour with that size a mower. First go and meet the people and take a look, you sure don't want to find an old drag harrow with your 2620! If things look ok then $150 minimum charge and $ 100 hr after that. A 20 foot mower at 5 mph is about 5.5 acres an hour.

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Keep in mind if you thinking you are robbing someone charging to much what if you bust a rear tire ?almost a hundred just for the tube plus the service call plus the pumping fluid charge that's 250 ish bigger equipment gets the job done hopefully quicker for you but more in repair expenses if things go wrong or something breaks just because of wear and tear   I'll be the first to admit doing an elderly persons garden while I'm right there beside them doing field work I won't charge my way of looking after the ones that's paid there dues but going out of your way and driving time is different. Usually the ones that appreciate what you are doing and usually know the cost are grateful  and will thank you numerous times 

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What ever you do don't do it to cheap.  I know how it is , you want to be a good person help out. You already have a tractor and mower.      Makes it easy to operate too cheap . Imo if you just want to help your neighbor out.  You can do it for free.   But if you are going to change you need to cover all your expenses ( that includes your pay. Jmo about 25/30 hr).   If they are paying you they are going to feel that they have hired you for a service  they really won't.  Know, Care, Realize. That you did it to cheap 

something like.  The sting of high prices is usually forgotten but quality is remembered 😉

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Run over a deer antler and stick it in a tire, and they will just shrug their shoulders.  Even if you are only charging for the gas. If you are fool enough to price it too cheap, they won't care what it costs you.  They will expect you to appreciate the business no matter what you charge.

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Check with your extension service, here in PA, Penn State publishes a rate chart for custom machinery rates every year.

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With that size equipment 100 an hour 2 hours minimum, from warm up of tractor to sheding it,

As incentive to make sure there are no obsticals ie harrows or antlers charges access during site caused break downs (tires, wire around spindle, ...my 2 cents....

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Minimum $100/hr plus travel time. 

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Here it's rocks, mud, iron, and wire. Breakage out costs fuel and labor. I've never hogged a whole day without breakage. My in laws had an old barn foundation surrounded by overgrown Sumac, and blackberry, and goldenrod, and unidentified brush. I spent Sunday afternoon picking through it removing wire, and iron. Returning next week to hog, I saw the pile of debris was removed. Huh! I thought, somebody cleaned it up! Seconds later I knew where it had been moved to. Repairs were in the hundreds. When you mow your own, you take risks of breakage. Mow somebody else's they expect you to take the risks. I feel hog work is most unprofitable unless you cover expenses.

 

Willie

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For a 6' shredder, $125 to bring the tractor to the job that covers the first hour, then it is $50. per hour. 

Most of the jobs I see are things that someone else already passed on.  No one wants a nice flat field bush hogged.  It's the barb wire, broken field tiles and the old septic tank they forgot to tell me about, that they want cut.  The last job I did had a 60' drop off into a mini grand canyon.  Owners gave no warning of that little problem. I found it through my inspection tour.

A word of warning "NEVER TAKE ON A JOB JUST TO BE A NICE GUY!" or because the machine is not busy and you have free time.

I sorted out years ago that it costs about $30 per hour just to break even on the 464.

AND  no one is going to volunteer to pay extra to help pay for broken equipment! 

Also vector in the $1000. per year paid for the liability policy.

 

 

 

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It seems to me that a number of years ago someone else was trying to justify the purchase of a tractor and brush hog to go into this business.  I do not remember if they ever pulled the trigger or were just kicking the idea around.  Lots of good advice given here so I will just say to check to make sure your insurance covers what you are planning to do.

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Doug, that is a good memory.  I think I did inquire about doing that.  I had a 100 acre area that had been cut for years by company that owned.  They sold out and a friend could get the contract.  I think I bid it at $4000 per cut and they had been cutting four times a year.  Got it but no contract on number of cuts.  Would call when they wanted it cut.  I was planning on pretty much paying for an old IH and cutter in one year, just purchase price.  Then any other work would be bonus.  When They backed up on number of mows I backed out on purchasing equipment just for their job.   Looks like they don't mow it very often.   

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20 hours ago, rsscott said:

Run over a deer antler and stick it in a tire, and they will just shrug their shoulders.  Even if you are only charging for the gas. If you are fool enough to price it too cheap, they won't care what it costs you.  They will expect you to appreciate the business no matter what you charge.

This is what I really ment to say small and clear is one thing open and tire and blade problems equals another ! As the old saying goes who's gonna pay my bills (repair bills that is ) like I said last night honest elderly they paid there dues my old saying is try to be fair for everyone  cover costs at a min if it looks ruff maybe get a (repair clause ) with people doing it for in the event of tire failure or hitting a steel pipe laying out in the field 

20 hours ago, rsscott said:

Run over a deer antler and stick it in a tire, and they will just shrug their shoulders.  Even if you are only charging for the gas. If you are fool enough to price it too cheap, they won't care what it costs you.  They will expect you to appreciate the business no matter what you charge.

 

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Another unknown liability is when mowing brush like mesquite on honey locust, the thorns you pick up today will not leak air until 1 month from now.

Personal injuries do happen. I accidentally caught my gloved hand between a  tree limb and the the 14 gauge rops cover.  Took 4 stitches to get the skin back together and multiple x-rays to verify there were no broken bones.

When all is said and done, bush hogging for the public is NOT worth the effort except in very selected circumstances.

 

 

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7 hours ago, oleman said:

Another unknown liability is when mowing brush like mesquite on honey locust, the thorns you pick up today will not leak air until 1 month from now.

Personal injuries do happen. I accidentally caught my gloved hand between a  tree limb and the the 14 gauge rops cover.  Took 4 stitches to get the skin back together and multiple x-rays to verify there were no broken bones.

When all is said and done, bush hogging for the public is NOT worth the effort except in very selected circumstances.

 

 

That's why I charge like I do. Most people won't pay that around here. So no hard feelings either way. I'm not high enough for them to yell that I'm a crook and I'm low enough that I still get a couple of jobs a year.

Rick

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It's good to charge enough to not just be donating the depreciation of your equipment

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