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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Rowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    1,478
    Location
    North Central Vermont, Jay Peak Area
    Tractor
    2004 New Holland TN70DA with 32LC loader, 2000 New Holland 2120 with Curtis cab, 7309 loader

    Default What\'s the going rate?

    Hello everyone!!!!!!!

    I have a great opportunity to do some work on the side. It will include tractor work (backhoe, grading, chipping, moving stones etc.), brush cutting (with a walk behind brush cutter and harness trimmer type), chain saw work to supplement the bruch cutting, and hand work seeding small areas of grass maybe even some field stone work. I was wondering how much to charge and how to beak it up. How much for the tractor? Should it vary with the type of implements? Should I use the hour meter on the tractor for tractor time. How much for the walk behind brush cutter? How much for manual labor?I know rates vary across the counrty. It would be nice to know rates from other parts of the counrty. I'm from VT. I would like to stay way from a flat rate to do the job due to the complexity of the job, lack of estimating skills and that it is a job that may last all summer.

    Thanks for your help, again!!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    1,806
    Location
    Houston, TX.
    Tractor
    2001 TN65, 1951 8N Ford

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    I've been charging $30 an hour if I don't have any idea how much time it'll take. People jump right on that so I'm probably low. I'm still in the learning stage so I'd feel guilty charging more. Same price on the tractor or off. Time starts when I get there and ends when I leave. I haven't had to deal with any breakdowns or flats so I haven't figured out how I'm going to deal with that. If the tractor breaks it's on me but I might negotiate tire problems in nasty stuff. I was worried that my TN65 would be too big for a lot of stuff but, suprizingly, I've had a lot of people comment favorably on the bigger tractor, they say they've hired people with smaller tractors and paid the same hourly but it took twice as long and I didn't have near the problem breaking up dry clay.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,726
    Location
    Cambridge, New York
    Tractor
    JD425 lawn tractor; JD4710 CUT; JD JX75 Walk Behind

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    $40-50 per hour for simple tasks such as brush cutting, tree cutting, brush clean-up , etc. This is going rate in eastern upstate New York. Beyond that and for bigger jobs, do the labor breakdown (this has to be gotten right), then provide price for the whole job based on appropriate labor rate.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Rowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    1,478
    Location
    North Central Vermont, Jay Peak Area
    Tractor
    2004 New Holland TN70DA with 32LC loader, 2000 New Holland 2120 with Curtis cab, 7309 loader

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    I was thinking $35 to $45 dollar per hour. I thought of using the hour meter because it count extactly one hour at around 1700 rpm. If I use the backhoe I'm at 2K rpm and chipper at 2.4k rpm so the hours at up faster. Then charge $15 per hour for manual (hand) labor. But I like you idea of one price for all. It would be much easier to keep track of and figure out come billing time. I know what you mean about little tractors. Not that they are bad or can't due the work. I'm kind of in between with a 43hp 4wd tractor. That could bad or good, time will tell. I know the tractor is to heavy with the ag tires to drive on finished lawns. I'm meeting with the guy today to discuss price. I think I'll mention 30 to 40 per hour and see what he says. He likes my work I've done and doesn't have enough time to use a tractor if he had one. It seems like this will work out great for both of us. Again this is just side work for me and not my profession.

    Thanks for you input.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member gordon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    1,786
    Location
    Delaware
    Tractor
    L4310hst-loader-hydraulic top link

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    Throw $38.00 an hour at him for a price, that would be about $300.00 for an 8hr day. You would not be making a killing but it would even out in the end. Instead of trying to go lower for a manual labor rate and higher for the tractor/operator rate.

    With the shorter working season up your way, the $38.00 number would appear to me as pretty much a lowball price. But a decent way to get your feet wet and get paid to do it.

    Also keep close track for yourself how long some of these jobs take you and write each down in a notebook for future reference. That way you are building your own time book. So on future jobs you can look back at what you have done in the past and then can give a flat rate on the job. Some people want the total cost up front others just want an hourly wage number. You will find in the end you can take more to the bank with the flat rate qoutes.

    But for now until you fill a few pages in that notebook just do the hourly thing. That way your assured a decent pay at the end of the day.

    On some flat rated jobs I"ve made a killing and then again on some I lost my tail. But that doesn't happen very often anymore. It's that live and learn thing.

    You also might want to look into drawing up a simple contract just to cover your tail as well. With your hourly wage on it and exactly what the customer wants done. Also when the money is due you is key as well. Just so you don't end up doing all that work for free. Like I said live and learn. I've been screwed a couple of times in the past and it's no fun.

    Good luck and I hope the baby is doing well, my mrs should be down loading in the next week or two. Don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet, on all my other childern we knew ahead of time, it's more fun not knowing, but harder to pick a name out also.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Gordon

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Rowski's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    1,478
    Location
    North Central Vermont, Jay Peak Area
    Tractor
    2004 New Holland TN70DA with 32LC loader, 2000 New Holland 2120 with Curtis cab, 7309 loader

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    Thanks Gordon for the great info as always. I'll try the $38 per hour. I'm actually leaving know to meet him. I never thought about writing down how long it takes for future reference. It's basically going to be after hours work and weekends. The contract idea I had though about but not sure how deep to go into details. He is a pretty easy going guy but its no excuse not to have something written.

    The baby and family are doing well. I'm trying to get him into it early [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img], see attachment. Hope all goes well with your new one. It must be pretty hard for your wife in this humid heat carring around the package. Again best of luck and I'm sure you'll let me know what it ends up being.

    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    1,806
    Location
    Houston, TX.
    Tractor
    2001 TN65, 1951 8N Ford

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    I've had to get off the tractor to clean up with a flat shovel and when I filled the pool I had piled the extra dirt in the middle. It was just a little far to reach with the loader and it had rained in the meantime and I wasn't about to drop the front wheels in the pool like I had when I put the dirt there. I only had a half an hour knocking the high spots down. When I have a lot of manual labor I pay Manuel $7 an hour and lunch. I still get $30.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    504
    Location
    Vermont, Franklin County
    Tractor
    NH1720, .

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    Hey Derek and Nick, nice pic. Your pretty much on target for the hourly rate. Talked to a guy at work who has a simular situation.
    Have fun!!!!![img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]
    Al

  9. #9
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    10,055
    Location
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    Derek,

    So, what happened? Did you get the job at the rate you asked? [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    The other approach is to figure out how much it costs YOU to
    pay your bills. Add up the cost of the truck, tractor, equipment,
    fuel, misc expenses, INSURANCE to cover same, how much to pay
    your labor, and then your profit....

    Then figure out how many billable hours you will have a month.

    Divide your expense/profit by the billable hours and you have your
    hourly rate... If your hourly rate ain't the same/near as your competitors....

    Later...
    Dan McCarty

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    340
    Location
    Fairfax, Franklin County, Vermont
    Tractor
    1999 Cub Cadet 7260

    Default Re: What\'s the going rate?

    Hi Derek. I've been doing a few small backhoe jobs with my Cub. I've been charging $50 for the first hour, and the clock starts when I leave my door yard. $35 per hour after that. I've had no one complain or even try to haggle with me on that price. If I had to do it for a living, I'd probably up the prices another $10. Right now, it's still fun, and it helps me justify the price of the tractor and hoe. Good luck with your project!

    Corm

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