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Old 04-07-2014, 10:33 PM
Yanmar226D Yanmar226D is offline
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Default Bush Hogging Rates

Im a contractor in Colorado with a Yanmar 226D and a 5' bush hog. Anyone have ideas on what to charge for bush hogging service? Per acre? Per Hour? Per Job?
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Old 04-08-2014, 09:30 AM
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Can you check around your area to see what others are charging?

A lot of things come into play when determining price.
Size - if it's small, you may need to charge more since it's not a full days work.
Distance - What's your plan for charging for distance?
Area condition - If it's hilly, rocky or full of other things that may damage your equipment, you should charge more than a nice simple, flat field.

You'll need to cover depreciation on equipment, fuel, maintenance, insurance, travel costs... as well as make a reasonable wage for yourself. I'd think somewhere between $40-60 per hour (but you need to consider the aforementioned points before specific pricing) is in the ballpark.
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Old 04-08-2014, 10:43 AM
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A couple more points that might not be obvious starting out:

I've seen posters mention a scare when the mower threw heavy objects right past them. It's capable of chewing up tree limbs and other debris and has the power to throw them with deadly force. One guy added heavy steel wire mesh - the kind you could use for temporary flooring - lashed on the the back of his ROPS after such an experience. And the liability for damaging a customer's house, car, etc with thrown objects is obvious. (BTDT with a 5hp lawnmower!) The optional chains kit that slows down thrown objects is a good idea if your work is on unfamiliar ground. And make sure your liability insurance is suitable.

One poster here long ago commented many times that he was losing money with his new snow removal business - a similar business model to weed mowing. I think he bought an expensive rig then had paid in advance for an expensive advertising contract that covered an area far larger than he could reasonably travel to (maybe radio advertising?) so a high percentage of the phone calls he answered were of no use to him. He spoke often of his frustration. Today, a simple ad on Craigslist could more accurately define the area you want to serve.

MBA lesson 1.00. You probably already know this. To figure pricing include all costs including your own labor then add an additional markup to make the business itself profitable. If you leave out this last factor your income is limited to no more than what you would earn working for someone else.
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:18 AM
Yanmar226D Yanmar226D is offline
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Bczoom.

I haven't really been able to find prices for competing companies. For my other jobs I add the cost of fuel and the time and wear and tear to the job into my bid. I didn't think about charging more for different terrain and if it's a short job. Thanks
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Old 04-08-2014, 11:21 AM
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California.

I am looking into the chain kit for my bush hog. I like the mesh idea but I have to find the ROPS first. I did contact fredricks like you told me to and haven't heard back yet. I know my insurance will cover any damage my company causes to someone elses property. Thanks
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Old 04-08-2014, 12:11 PM
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My experience has been that Hoyetractor is customer-oriented and helpful.

Fredricks in contrast is the real source of most of the third-party Yanmar parts out there, but their customer interface isn't as good as the parts they sell.
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Old 04-08-2014, 04:20 PM
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Around here, I don't think I'd load my tractor for less than a min. of $175, or $65 an hour if more than that. And a lot of people charge a "move-in fee" of say $50 or $75 to pay for just getting the equipment to the property. (Remember, it takes time to chain/un-chain the tractor to the trailer, fuel to tow there and back home, etc.) & You never know what you are going to find. Not just the mower throwing stuff, what about posts or boards with nails for your tires, wire to have to cut out of your mower, the list goes on. BTDT.
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