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  1. #1
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    7,514
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    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Time to put up or shut up!

    Every few months, there's a post where someone wants to know "how much to charge" for various tractor related chores. Quite frequently it's regarding bush hogging. I've replied to a few. Obviously there's a great disparity in pricing from state to state. Here in Kentucky, a person will be LUCKY to get $45 or $50 an hour for 45 to 60 HP/6' to 7' mower under normal conditions.

    Well, I got lucky.

    During the summer, I started trying to get bids on mowing a large acreage belonging to a family trust (wifes family) It's over 100 miles from home, so I wasn't really interested in doing it myself if there was someone who'd do it at a fair price. We found that. It's now contracted through this time next year.

    What followed was unexpected. During the process of bidding the work, the court appointed trustee started "working" me to price mowing properties they manage that are near my home. Most are 10 to 50 acre average, semi-rural to suburban settings, and previously kept mowed. Not tough jobs to speak of.

    I was offered $75 an hour, travel time included, $250 per job minimum, and I dictate WHEN they get cut. (Don't let them get over-grown.... Probably cut 4 to 6 times per year) I'm estimating 16 to 20 hours per week at the max based on list of properties now in their control. Should work load increase significantly, I already have 1st employee in line.

    Looks like I'm going to take a stab at it. Already have insurance policies, my accountant is onboard, and equipment is ready. Train leaves the station first thing next spring. Probably won't have to add on to the bank vault, but I reasonably expect to make a few bucks.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,668
    Location
    Central VA, USA
    Tractor
    Mahindra 6000 MWFD, 2 1950's Farmalls, 1974 Farmall 140, 1967 Mf 135Delux

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    F.W.J.: You know, I never gave the "court" a thought, but trustees and estate executors are not usually "picky" about pennies. Sounds like you slipped in the barn and fell into a pile of ......roses. You know once this gets out, the rest of locals are gonna be knockin' on that trustee's door....Way to go! BobG in VA

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,969
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    2003 BX2200

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    Hey, you done good!

    I've been in on several of these bid threads. I think there are a few rules I go by when I bid jobs:

    ** Never bid a price where you don't make a profit. After all, I can leave my tractor parked and come out ahead over buying fuel, spending my time, etc, just to make the monthy payment.............

    ** Since my jobs are generally one time deals, I add in an "unknown" factor. I've not worked a job yet where the person didn't want me to do "just one more thing" or more often, I find out they didn't clean out the firewood like they said they were going to, or I have to do several small tasks before I can do the real job.

    ** When I take a job, I do it like it should be done. I don't shortcut it just cuz I mis-bid it. This last weekend job, I cleaned up an area, moved a compost pile, dug out some landscape timbers, and planted grass.

    What I didn't do in the bid process this time, which I will ALWAYS do next time, is take a shovel and dig a few test holes. The "garden" area I tilled used to have a rock drive there, so my tiller hammered and banged the whole time I was tilling.

    I don't have the space for one now, but someday I might buy a 40HP tractor and bush hog, and just pick up jobs moving properties near our city. The city hassles people to keep these areas mowed. I think there's money there, especially if I can find a good deal on a utility tractor........

    Have fun,
    ron

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    3,059
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Tractor
    2003 NH TN70A

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    Go for it once you have the insurance worked out.
    Bob

  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    3,044
    Location
    Windham County, Conn
    Tractor
    Ford 2120 , New Holland TN75D, Hitachi UH083LC Excavator

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    Sounds good. Nice to have enough work lined up so that you can concentrate on doing it and not always be looking for more.

    Andy

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    22
    Location
    South Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    F.W.J.
    That's great,maybe you will have to get the F40 MF50 restored a little ahead of time. A lucky break for you and I am sure you deserved it.

    Stanley

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor jinman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    21,011
    Location
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    Tractor
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    16 to 20 hours per week at $75 per hour would make a nice retirement income for someone who did not want to work a full 40 hours. Of course, it's seasonal, but still a very nice deal for anyone. If you have the time and equipment while you keep your regular job, that will work too.

    Congratulations! I think you've found a nice deal, but be sure to report back on how the job(s) turn out.
    Jim


  8. #8
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    7,514
    Location
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    Quote Originally Posted by jinman
    16 to 20 hours per week at $75 per hour would make a nice retirement income for someone who did not want to work a full 40 hours. Of course, it's seasonal, but still a very nice deal for anyone. If you have the time and equipment while you keep your regular job, that will work too.

    Congratulations! I think you've found a nice deal, but be sure to report back on how the job(s) turn out.
    That's the plan anyway. (retirement income) I can take my lunchbox and march out the door in less than 3 years. I've made a few good choices over the years on saving enough to retire on, plus have a good pension coming. But I'd still like to have enough coming in from a part-time source to cover living expenses. My son will help me as needed. (He's that "1st employee" I was referring to) I'm not interested in making this a fulltime (40 hrs +) job. The 20 hour figure looks good to me. With normal growing seasons here, I can expect to stay busy 7 months a year.

    The more I think about it, the better it seems!

    And it sure beats being a WalMart greeter
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    7,344
    Location
    Northeast, Ohio
    Tractor
    TC-40D SS New Holland

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    I think you did real good. Hope there are lots more jobs headed your way.


  10. #10
    Veteran Member daTeacha's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,352
    Location
    Funk, Ohio

    Default Re: Time to put up or shut up!

    There seems to be an amazing number of guys around here who are in the lawncare/mowing/yard maintainence business. Many of the McMansions in town hire out the yard work. We had a guy teaching here last year who built up his mowing business over a couple of years and then retired in the middle of the school year when he got his 30 years in to go cut grass and move snow. He mows around the shopping area, homes, other businesses, clears parking lots and driveways, and is making more money than he did teaching.

    Another guy retired from being a Captain with the Sheriff's department and set up a mowing business and a lot of guys get into it right out of the box.

    It's pretty common, like I said. Of course, we also have the OSU/ATI (Agricultural Technical Institute) where they offer degrees in landscape management and stuff like that.

    Even so, I'm always amazed at the number of different signs on the trucks pulling trailers filled with mowers and such.
    Rich
    300 hours on the DX29, 850 on the JD 240 and too many to count on the Cadet
    Funk, Ohio

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