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I live in NE Wisconsin, I have a young man that is willing to do some food plot/weed mowing for me. He has to drive about 25 miles to our property. I don't expect him to do it for free, what would you guys think would be a fair price? One plot is about 2.25 acres and is half clover and the rest tall weeds. There are 2 plots about .25 acres each of tall weeds. Do I offer a per hour price or a lump sum price? Maximum I would think it would take him 3 hours with the mower he has.
I would do lump sum. If you do by the hour he might drive 1.2 miles an hour and milk it all day. It's worth $20 per hour (for me), plus you should pay him for his gas to get there, to mow, and to get home. I'd give him at least $100 (probably more), but you should both agree on the cost before he shows up.
West central Wisconsin - a local guy with a new 40hp John Deere tractor with tiller, mower, etc. charges me $50 an hour. I just use him for tilling and feel it's a very fair price. He just raised his rates to $60/$65 per hour for new customers. BC
In Wisconsin where don`t you have to drive 25 miles to get anywhere...ha Is it a matter of you not wanting to do it or are you just helping him out? I would lump sum and take care of the guy....as we age it`s nice to have a good connection to do stuff we either don`t want to do or can`t.
Always pay piece work if you can. If both parties are sharp there is always a piece work price where the situation is a win-win. If one side is lazy and/or greedy is when it doesn't work. Don't be that guy and find a guy that fits.
Did you ask him what he expected? Basically 4 hours with drive time. He does have to maintain the mower also. If I was gonna do that I'd ask for 150-200. Otherwise not worth the time. I think 150 is fair though.
Your tractor, his tractor ? Not enough info, but........if it’s your rig, $15-$18 an hour including travel time at least one way. If it’s his, he should know what he needs to make a few bucks, but as mentioned, you need that worked out beforehand.
If I were him I would be worried about the tall weeds. It's not like he's cutting it with a bush hog. I cut a ,25 acre (mostly all weeds) last weekend with a mower and it was hard on equipment.
I mow grass for a living. As well as doing contracting work. And, see that most of you guys are like the tight wads I deal with daily. Do the math. He drives an HOUR TOTAL, Uses his machine, fuel, his vehicle, pays for al the costs associated with them, and you are going to have him for half a day of what most of you probably work. And, you want to pay him $100? Are you frigging joking?
I tell you what, why don't you go buy a mower like his, a trailer, buy a truck to pull it with, pay all the costs outlined, and tell me if you would do it for $100. Which by the time he covers his costs, will be lucky to be equal to what a greeter at Walmart makes per hour.
Since you asked, With his costs and what it is, I wouldn't touch it for less then $300. And, that is on the lower end. $400 would be better and, be more then fair to both entity's. In that line of work, he needs a minimum of $1/minute to make money. However, one unseen rock, stump, or any other hazard unseen, and he is out a lot of money. For what? $100. Keep dreaming guys. If he does it for that, he is a fool. Or, new to it. Either way, he won't last long if he agrees to do it for less then what I said
I do a lot of very tall weed mowing with my small Craftsman rider at the cabin. You can mow alot quicker and more thorough with freshly sharpened blades. I might suggest to the fella to make sure he just sharpened his blades prior to driving over. I know it is a Capt'n Obvious thought but with dull blades it will run the clock up costing you $$ if you're paying by the hour and he has to go real slow or back over it again because he has dull blades. Might even carry a spare set of blades too.....I do. He will go thru some gas so have that handy.
When I brush hogged to prep a field for a food plot, it was $75/hour, minimum 4 hours no matter how long it took plus $100 equipment fee. This was back in 2004.
I agree with Justin, you guys are dreaming, and cheap.
Totally disagree. I could easily find guys to come in and do 3 hours of work for $100. It ain’t Manhattan.
Lump some 150 bucks plus maybe a tip on top. I think if it is his equipment 175 to 200 is fair. Shawn
Totally disagree with what?
4 hours of work, using their equipment, resources, etc.... for $100 total is going to equal about $13 an hour in pay. That doesn’t pay the bills in a depressed rural setting. Much less Manhattan.
If you find an adult that is willing to do that for you, for what you say, then good for you. I don’t know for sure who or what your dealing with. But, I do know what it takes to do this and make money while doing it.
If you pay a business to do it, certainly you will pay more, and should. A neighbor or friend just doing it as a favor, on the side, whatever, will just about always take less. That is the guy I use, he does an awesome job, really enjoys tractor time and helps make a payment on his equipment.
I talked to a guy that lives 5 miles from me that does this as a part time business, to completely prep, fertilize, till and plant would cost me $600 to do 2.5 acres. When you add in my cost of seed, lime and fertilizer I'm easily at $900 if not $1,000. I know he does an amazing job, but I can't afford that. So, I look for much less expensive minimal tillage help (it's out there), and do 10 acres mostly by ATV and hand.
It is not just the costs out of pocket, time is the big factor. Loading and unloading equipment, attaching several 3 point implements to do the job properly, securing equipment for transport, insurance, maintenance etc.
I agree with WV Moutaineer. Spot on!
It looks like he would be mowing just over 1.5 acres of tall weeds and the rest clover. I suppose you would have to define "tall weeds". If I was doing a 1.5 acre lot of knee high, basic weeds it would take me approx 1.5 to 2 hours with my small rider if the blades are sharp and the ground is level. It's not that difficult. When you get to waist high stuff and small saplings is when things slow down.
Tall weeds: Knee to thigh high and thick in some parts,maybe .25 acre. Mostly knee high and less and not real thick in the rest that is not clover.
Mower: He will be using a brush hog.
He is one of my sons buddies who happens to have the equipment and offered up. He is not a professional. Thanks for the input.
Habitat for Wildlife, I totally agree with you, we are on the same page. I'm certainly not saying it's not worth it. I'm saying I can't afford a professional, a full time business to do my food plots. If money wasn't an issue, I would do it in a second. As a long time business owner, I understand that my services are worth what people are willing to pay. Hopefully, that covers all my fixed and variable costs and, of course, more. BC
Here is the guy I use for tilling, he writes: "Food plots, new gardens, old gardens, new flower beds. My fee is $65 per hour ($65 minimum). My hourly rate; I charge $1 dollar per horsepower which I rounded to $40 dollars an hour and the remaining $25 dollars is for me as the operator. I have a 39 hp tractor with a 5 1/2 foot tiller. I can till between 1/2 to 1 acre per hour. The type of soil is the biggest variable and the amount of time it takes to till can vary. If the vegetation is long you will have to cut it or I can cut it prior to tilling. It’s really hard on my equipment to try to break ground and till in tall grass.
Some might charge less than me per hour. Please take the following into consideration when seeking service. If they are charging less they probably have a tractor with less hp, or the width of their tiller is more narrow. Both scenarios will lead to longer tilling times. My minimum is only one hour as well. If you know others that need the service I would be more than happy to split the mileage up between all parties.
** I have a dump trailer and can haul mulch, gravel, etc. and perform light loader work. I also have forks for my front end loader, and can brush hog/clear fields/cut trails etc. I am also looking at getting a fertilizer/seeder spreader, and a box scraper so please inquire if you have a need. The same fee schedule applies to these other services as well.
Mileage fee in addition to the hourly rate: I charge $1 per mile (one way) from my house"
This is west central Wisconsin. He does a great job, a great guy to work with. BC
Many factors to be considered.. What size Brush hog, 4 ,5, or 6 footer.. How many horse power is his tractor.. Brush hogs work well in brushy stuff, but you must go slow in tall grass to get a good cut. My guess with out knowing exactly what he's cutting and what equipment he's running is that it's going to take at least 4 hours to cut about 3 acres right. With that I'm thinking that he will have to go over a few places that did cut well the first time. It's going to cost him close to 75 bucks in gas and wear and tear on his equipment.. Remember I'm sitting behind a key pad right now, not looking over your fields to know what you got.. So I only have a guess.. Ed
Years ago before I realized tilling and discing destroyed soil I had a guy till up a 1/2 acre plot for me 3 years in a row.
His equipment, his trailer, fuel etc. I paid $250 for each job. I thought it was a very fair price.
You guys that are saying $100-$150 for almost 3 acres are just cheap asses. That guy couldn’t even break even on that money.
I pay $200 cash to have a 5-6 acre dove foot plot mowed. The guy with the tractor mower travels about ten miles to do the mowing.
To call us cheap asses is totally ridiculous. It’s like saying I’m paying too little in a grocery store so charge me more. Free market society. I hire teenagers to do that type of work all the time for temporary summer work. They’re are thrilled with $100 for 3 hours work and they pay no taxes. Keep voting for Hillary if you want socialism.
BullBuster, how much do you thing it's going to cost this young man to drive his truck pulling a trailer, with even a cheap 10k tractor, his gas in tractor/truck to do 3 hours work and at min 1 hour of drive time to get there and back?
I can't imagine paying someone $400 to do this work, at least based on the limited information given, which indicates this is fairly routine brush hogging. I'd find another way to get it done, but that is just me. Cheap? Well I suppose I always had more sense than dollars, but ymmv. Lots of break-even speculation on here as well, when nobody knows the particular situation of the guy being hired besides Konk1. For all I know the money he earns is just gravy on a setup he owns for personal use (which seems kinda likely, but I can't say for sure).
I'm taking a break from running the weed wacker (string), taking down tall weeds around the perimeter of my horse pasture under the electric fence. I'm thinking I wish I had used it on my small plot upnorth. It works better than my mower on the tall weeds.
For context......for a $100....I'd drive the 50 miles RT and mow it with my small rider and think I made out ok. This doesn't sound like that big of a project based on what is posted. If it was a buddy I'd do it for free just to be neighborly and help someone. I guess I've done so much of it already I don't give it a second thought.
Holy cow, prices sure fluctuate. I would never pay $250 for someone to till 1/2 an acre. That's 30 minutes or less of tilling. I can rent a newer 40 hp tractor with tiller, delivered to my place and picked up, for $360 for the day. If I order for a Friday, they pickup on Monday and I can use for the entire weekend at the daily rate. I used to do that until I found the guy that charged me $50 an hour. If i use him on all my plots, it's less than renting. Again, west central Wisconsin. BC
It's pretty obvious that the guys saying 100-150.00 have no clue. I rent a walk behind flail mower for a full weekend every year to mow my trails. It runs about 250-280 just for the rental. My land is an hour and a half away, so there's the fuel to trailer it there and back. Plus my time. I do similar work for my business and I would be getting 30.00/hr and that is cheap. Tell me how without having a friend or relative do it, would you get it done for 100?
^because those guys (1) are not commercial, (2) already have the equipment/mower (3) have done it before and know what it entails, (4) it's a small area, (5) it's only a 50 mile RT run and (5) likely have time on their hands.
The pics are a hillside I did in May that had some waist/chest high briars, small saplings and scrub. It had never been mowed before. It maybe took me 1 - 1.5 hrs to mow it down with my little rider....which is what we're talking about. The pic with the tractor in it shows some of the stuff I was mowing thru to make a transition path to another field. The other pic shows the hillside after mowing it down and tilling.
If you have to rent the equipment, drive several hours, have commercial overhead, gotta pull stumps, etc.....then ya, the costs increases. But just to mow something like that....I don't see it as a big deal. I've done it quite alot on that property.
JL, the OP stated the man has a brush hog. The only person talking about a ride mower is you.
Bow crazy, this job being discussed is an all day job if you rented. You couldn’t get the machine back in time for half rentals. If they’ even do that. Anyways, you are at $280 not counting your fuel, your other costs, or your time. What’s those worth to you?
Commercial or not, the whole premise is what’s fair for 4 hours of work minimum, using a brush hog. It appears to me that $300-$400 for this job is a great deal to the OP . No speculation needed to assume that.
WV, the point being is it can be done without alot of expense. I explained and showed how I do it. Based on what the OP stated ("Tall weeds: Knee to thigh high and thick in some parts,maybe .25 acre. Mostly knee high and less and not real thick in the rest that is not clover")....it can be done for a alot less than $300-$400, especially if you already have the mower, or in this case the brush hog. Unless the OP is growing telephone poles, it won't take 4 hours to do the small areas he listed. Heck, Dale above is paying $200 for 5-6 acres and that is with a tractor.
As I said before, you/your service is worth what people are willing to pay. If you can get $250 for tilling a half acre, go for, that's awesome! If you are willing to pay that, I am happy for you. Me, I would rather do it myself or find someone that doesn't charge as much. In fact, I will again use my garden roto tiller in a couple of weeks to do two small food plots, totaling close to 1/2 an acre.
I have been seriously thinking of purchasing a new Tractor, mower and tiller for our land. This thread has got me thinking, If I can get $100 an hour I may start up a part time business.
WV, if I rented the tractor for the entire day, I would be on it 8 - 10 hours doing a ton of other stuff beside the mowing. The only extra cost would be gas. What is my time worth? We all have time to do the things we love to do. BC
That’s about 2 hours of tractor time on flat ground. They get $100 a hour here for simple tractor work like mowing disking etc. they would charge travel time too! Mowing unknown ground brings rick to the equipment so $100 per hour is fair imho
JL, if you make a habit of cutting other people’s food plots or hillsides with a ride mower, the little expense thing doesn’t apply. I’ve never seen a finish mower that would cut saplings, rocks, dirt, etc... for very long before you were working on it or buying a whole new deck.
Perhaps you have a special mower or ability. But, more then likely we are calling saplings two different things. I own some high dollar finish mowers and not one will cut what I call a sapling.
As I said before, if anyone can get it done cheaper, good for them. It doesn’t change the cost associated with it to be profitable. Only, it illustrates what those doing the work, are willing to do it for.
Good luck OP
$100 would be using my equipment. Guess I read wrong. Probably more like $150-200 if he were to bring his own ATV with mower attachment. But if you are talking bringing in a tractor with brush hog that’s different.