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  1. #1
    Gold Member
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    Nov 2005
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    Texas
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    NH TN70D, NH L190

    Default What price for grubbing mesquite?

    Hey guys,

    I may have an interesting job going (for me anyway, I'm easily entertained). A fellow called me last week and asked me to give him a price to grub and rake mesquite on a 33 acre pasture. I have a single point grubber that fits on my skid steer (NH L190) to work with. I have grubbed some of this sized and larger mesquite before, so I do have some idea what I'm getting into. However it was for a friend and was a freebee. I told the land owner that I would have to look at the pasture first.

    Well, I went and looked. The pasture is fairly flat with mostly small (less than 5' tall to just showing above ground) mesquite and some clumps of Russian Thistle (that's what the owner called it). As far as density for the mesquites there is maybe 400-500 plants per acre, for the Russian Thistle maybe 150 clumps per acre. The mesquite had been treated with remedy about five years ago and maybe 2/3s of it is dead but still standing. The rest is alive and kicking. The Russian Thistle is all new growth.

    The owner wants me to grub out the mesquite and the thistle and pile it in several smaller piles (maybe 2 piles per five acres) for later burning by him. My plan is to rent a root rake to mount on the skid steer for the clean-up.

    My questions are, what should I charge him for this service? What is the going rate for this type of work around the country?

    This job is near my home in West Texas so all you guys in the southwest who have experienced the pleasures of grubbing mesquite please chime in.

    Thanks,

    Tim

  2. #2
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
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    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: What price for grubbing mesquite?

    You will likely be your own best expert, having done this on a small scale before, which very few people have. You know to beware of thorns in tires. just guessing, I'd bet the stacking will be the most time consuming part. Lots of plants to pick up by hand or with a grapple. Soil moisture will make a big difference too... you are lucky since West just had some rain. Worse, the dead plants will be very brittle and shatter, making pickup yet more difficult. I bet he's thinking of a clean pasture except for burn piles. I recommend strongly walking over a good portion of the ground...am betting that there are double the number of plants...small ones sprangly and close to the ground just emerging seedlings that you can't see just driving by. He'll want them dug too...he's looking for eradication...very tough to achieve
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  3. #3
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    Hawthorne, FL
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    Default

    Several quick thoughts
    1. Can you do it for time ($75 per hour) or does he need a lump sum (in which case I would try to figure my time needed x $100 for a safety factor)
    2. Be very clear in writting what his and your deffintion of cleared and raked is (you may feel 3" limbs and roots are OK but he may want finger sized and up just be clear on expectations).
    3. Would renting a jd544 with rake be more cost effective or an ASV100 with forestry cage and mulching head and grapple.
    4. Make sure you both agree on ground condition. Does he want a smooth field ready to graindrill or are 6" ruts OK.

    Couple of these things turn a 3 day job into a 2 week clean up nightmare.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    NH TN70D, NH L190

    Default Re: What price for grubbing mesquite?

    Hey guys,

    I got the job We settled on an hourly rate for as long as it takes (or until he tells me to quit). I will be starting tomorrow.

    texasjohn, when I bought the skid steer I anticipated doing some land clearing and some light demolition. I had the tires foamed which has eliminated the flat issue. I am going to try this without tracks, but if I need additional traction it will be a good excuse to buy some I think that he will be reasonable about how clean the land is when I finish as because of the hourly rate thing.

    paulharvey, I think he will be ok with me running over it with a root rake and piling it. I don't get the sense that he expect much more that that again because of the hourly rate thing. I am not sure if the dozer would be more effective or not. If I get more of this type of work I might try one and see. I don't think the mulcher would work for him. He wants to eventually eradicate the mesquite to the extent possible. I think you would see massive regrowth within a few short years. I think pulling the roots of those plants out will be the most effective for long term eradication. If I am wrong, please correct me. I am seeing quite a bit of mulching of right of ways going on in my area so I wonder what their thinking is.

    Thanks guys, if you have any other thoughts or insights on this please post them.

    Tim

  5. #5
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    Congratz on the project. Any chance you report back when done with how many hours it takes.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    NH TN70D, NH L190

    Default Re: What price for grubbing mesquite?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulharvey View Post
    Congratz on the project. Any chance you report back when done with how many hours it takes.
    Hey paulharvey, I will be keeping track of my production (hrs per acre grubbing and hrs per acre raking) and will be happy to share the results when I'm done.

    Tim

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    NH TN70D, NH L190

    Default Re: What price for grubbing mesquite?

    Well, first day behind me. I grubbed 5 acres today. 10 hours on site today including an hour for lunch. 8 hrs of machine time on the clock. Wow my knees are sore. Looks like about 6 hrs of machine time per day is all I am going to be able to do. The mesquite I was taking out ranged from 5-6' tall down to just sprouting and above ground. Most were dead (from poisoning about 5 years ago with remedy), some new growth and about 15-20% regrowth from old trees that had been pushed some years ago. The dead stuff and new growth came out pretty good. I was able to get the tap root in most cases and got the basel bud in the rest. I had to work on the regrowth. Getting that stump out takes some time.

    My plan is to grub all 33 acres then rent a root rake and pile all the debris.

    Here is a picture of my machine and the grubber that I am using.

    -dsc02722-jpg

    All in all I was pretty pleased with the progress today.

    Anybody used a Root N All Grubber? Or even seen one?

    -rootnall-jpg

    Looks like it might be a step up from what I am using.

    All the best,

    Tim

  8. #8
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
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    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: What price for grubbing mesquite?

    Looks like the right equipment....you are on your way!
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  9. #9
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    Default

    So roughly 6 days grubbing and 2 days rakeing and stacking. Thats a pretty nice sized project. Are you getting plenty of traction with the wheels?

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    NH TN70D, NH L190

    Default Re: What price for grubbing mesquite?

    Hey paulharvey, went for 6 hrs today. Yesterday I was going full tilt boogie, today I backed off some. It was easier on the skid and the body. For some reason, NH didn't think to include a tach on the L190. So there is no way to tell how much power your producing except by feel. In fact, the lights light up only if there is something wrong. The only digital readout is the hour meter. Anyway, production was only slightly less.

    As to you question about traction, no. The tires will spin when pulling up a good sized mesquite. If brush control turns into a regular thing, I may get a set of over the tire tracks. I have been looking at the "Affordable Tracks". On the other hand, the lack of traction may be keeping me from destroying my machine.

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