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  1. #1

    Default Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    I am going into the brush hogging buisness im from south carolina and was wondering what i should charge by the hour? i was thinkin a $200 dollar first hour fee and a $100 dollars every hour after that how does that sound? need some help deciding on what to charge

  2. #2
    Veteran Member wedge40's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    If you do a search on here there are a number of posts about what to charge for bush hogging per acre. Seem most people charge that way. It would really depend on if it had been done once this year or if it hadn't been done at all in the last 5. It seems most people hover around the 80-100 dollor per hour range.

    Just my 2 cents. I'm not in the brush hogging business.


    Here is one of the most recent posts I could find.
    1967 Ford 4000,Mahindra 4530 with FEL and BH, Box blade, straight blade, FEL, Rake, Bushhog, Backhoe, Jinma chipper, KKII tiller, Grapple. Mahindra 4530, with FEL and Backhoe.

  3. #3
    Super Member RickB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Eastern NY
    Case 885, Ford 4000

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    Charging by the hour rather than acre is the way to go. But asking the question without telling us what size machinery you have makes it impossible to give a good answer. In my part of the Northeast, a 90hp tractor and 15 foot batwing brings $100/hr and up. Try charging a mobilization fee for small jobs instead of $200 for the first hour; that is going to be a dealbreaker for a LOT of customers.

  4. #4
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    Quote Originally Posted by palmetto brush control View Post
    I am going into the brush hogging buisness im from south carolina and was wondering what i should charge by the hour? i was thinkin a $200 dollar first hour fee and a $100 dollars every hour after that how does that sound? need some help deciding on what to charge

    What size/hp tractor? What width mower?

    I own a mowing business. We do large acreage and highway ROW mowing. I have tractors ranging from 47hp/6' mower to 100hp/15' mower. Rates vary depending on equipment used. But... as a general rule of thumb, around here anyway, you can expect approx. $1 to $1.25 per hr/per hp for average conditions. That doesn't factor in "hand labor" (ie weed eating, removing trash, ect)

    Conditions and terms of contracts may alter pricing. The business is so competitive here, I can't charge an "across the board price" that covers all the risk involved with mowing in harsh or dangerous conditions when I'm mowing pastures. Prices are adjusted to conditions at hand.

    Instead of a higher "first hour" charge, I bill hourly rate for each tractor from the time I leave the shop until equipment is loaded and ready to move to next job.
    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.

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    South Central Georgia
    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    I had my planted pine tree acreage mowed last spring approx 10 acres in south east Ga.. It had grown up with oaks and sweet gums and blackberries for about 6 yrs. some of the hardwoods were 3" to 4" so I didn't want to use my tractor.

    The guy that did the work for me came with a 120 hp tractor and a woods tree cutter mower and charged me $70 / hr. He said work had slacked off and was glad to get my job.

    Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.
    A bumble bee is considerably faster than a tractor.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    thanks ya'll well i have a 52hp kubota mx5100 with a bucket and a 7 foot woods brush bull ima be brush hogging 3inch and smaller brush and also lot clearing how high of a mobilazation fee should i charge? id still wanna make some money on small lots that wouldnt take long to cut

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Fayetteville, Georgia now should be GATC45
    New Holland TC-45D

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    I always price mine by the job, and I always look at them first.

    My two main competors use a 27 HP tractor with a 5 ft mower, the other uses a 40 HP tractor with a 6 ft mower. I have a 56 HP machine with an 8 ft mower. When customers ask how much I charged by the hour I always lost the jobs to my competors because they were lower. People didn't understand I could mow a given amount of acerage quicker, thus having less hours paid. People also didn't like to have the clock start when you loaded the machine at your house. They felt like their were getting cheated.

    I also look at the job first. Seems like everbodys defination of "knee" high is different. That could mean from 1 to 3 feet high. Also be careful with what type of land you are mowing. I had a guy once who wanted 5 acres of old farmland cut. To me "old farmland" means a cotton, or soybean field that wasn't planted for several years and had grown up with brush and saplings. This guy meant an old farm place that was basically abadoned 5 years earlier. It had cars, trucks, tractors, implements, barrels, etc everywhere buried under 5 years of grass, vines, and sapling. It even had saplings growing thru some of these items. The ole fellow who bought the placed wanted me to clear all that stuff out at a normal "bush hogging" rate. I passed on that job.

    I basicaly look at the jobs and take several factors into account; grass type, grass height, terrain, obstacles, trash, travel distance, will they be a repeat customer, etc. Then I use a reference number of $40 to $45 per acre if it were a perfect situation. I add anywhere from $2 to $15 an acre depending on the other factors i just listed.. So when I give them a price it's an exact number that will not change. I will never break down how much I'm charging for loading, travel, trash removal, etc. I give them one solid number. Most people really seem to like this knowing exactly how much it will cost.

    This approach seems to work well for me. I have probably 15 to 20 customers where I cut their fields 3 to 4 times a year for the past 4 years.

    Something else I do to pick up more work is what I call "grouping". If I have several customers who have really small pieces of land they want mowed where it's just not ecomically feasiable for me to load up a tractor and do their one job I will group them.
    So what I will do is mow all these small jobs on one day. They all must be in the same area, or it's not worth my time. In other words I may be passing Joe's and Sam's place to get to Dave's place. So I will do all 3 on the same day. The customer's must understand and agree you will cut their place on your terms. You pick the day and time you will do the work. They all seem to like this because they are not having to pay a higer rate for your travel time. This last summer I had one "grouping" day where I did 5 small jobs and made $1,000.00.

    Good Luck....

    New Holland TC-45D * Kubota M5400 * Bobcat T-190

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Wise county Texas
    Kioti DK 35 now

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    Don't forget to factor in some insurance into your cost.

    personally I wound'nt go on a job without it and if you get a good contract, most require proof of liability. Home owners may not care but its a good feeling knowing your covered.

  9. #9
    Elite Member AlanB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Clarksville, TN, USA
    NH 1925

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    On our work, we price similar to how GATC35 laid it out.

    For the same rationale.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Brush hogging what to charge per hour?

    I'll tell you what I struggle with in these discussions. It would seem that the price should be based on:

    Price of tractor divided by life expectancy of tractor = $/hr cost of tractor
    Price of maintenance divided by hours between maint = $/hr cost of maint
    Price of mower divided by life expectancy of mower = $/hr cost of mower
    Price of mower maintenance divided by hours between maint = $/hr cost of mwr maint
    Price of tank of fuel divided by hours of operation on a tank = $/hr cost of fuel
    All above same for truck and trailer = $/hr cost of transportation
    Annual price for insurance divided by hours worked in a year = $/hr insurance cost

    Sum of above would be fixed cost. I think that it will vary significantly based on the equipment that you use.

    Now, take the market price for the jobs in your area. The difference is going to be what you need to decide if you can live with. Out of that difference you have to both earn a living and save for catastrophic losses that wouldn't be included in typical "maintenance." My dad once ran over an old box springs hidden in a field (only the metal remained). That became my mental image of catastrophic loss. It took a lot of time and material to get the bushhog back in order after that.

    Now, I guess that is all pretty obvious. The hard thing to me is to estimate those life expectancies. I think some discussions with dealers and mechanics would be a good place to start.

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