What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour?

   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #1  


Super Member
Feb 10, 2011
I have somebody that wants me to give them a estimate on cutting some drainage ditches along their driveway and grading it up. What is a tractor like the L4240 worth a hour doing this kind of work?
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #2  
In Arkansas it would bring around $85 to $100 per hour with an operator.
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #3  
And that would seem fair in Washington state also.
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #4  
Honestly, it depends on if you know what you are doing and have the right implements. If you have the "right stuff" $100 an hour no problem. If not, what I do is charge what it would be to rent the machine and I come along at "no charge". This has worked out well for me in the past. ;)
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour?
  • Thread Starter
Thanks for the replies so far. I consider myself to be half decent with a tractor but I am not as efficient as somebody who does it for a living. I have a TNT on the L4240, I guess a tractor with a TNT should be worth a hair more a hour than one that does not have one. I would probably take my box blade if I did this job but I also have a scraper blade. I am going to need the scarifiers to help cut the ditches.
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #6  
Ask them if they have any othe bids and if they do, tell them to show them to you and then beat the lowest price {O'Reilly's, Auto Zone, Advance Parts, Bumper to Bumper etc. all do it!} but don't mention insurance unless you have it to offer {that can be a great selling point as the homeowner is liable if anything happens unless you are insured and they have a copy -- at least in Arkansas.
Also, your "skill" DOES make a difference. If someone with the same machine can operate twice as efficiently as you can -- they can do the job for half the money or will make twice as much as you would!
Go get the job, do the best you can and if you feel guilty about the fee -- lower it. If you ask for referrals and have given them a good deal, you might get more work without having to advertise for it.
All the best.
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #7  
a concern here for you 94Bullitt... the instant you accept a penny for work completed, your homeowner policy ceases to exist as far as
"odd job" liability. Do it for free, most likely fine. But charge a fee and then the question is, do you want to run bare without insurance?

Excavator liability and workers comp insurance are seriously expensive. Deal breaking for many small businesses, even if you opt out of
sole proprietor workers compensation coverage. So many small businesses become cash only and pray that nothing happens. Problem is that it does, and particularly with equipment capable of digging,
the consequences can be catastrophic, e.g. hitting a LNG line.

Unlikely you have any such concerns doing ditch work, but it's a slippery slope, no pun intended, so if you do this on the side, your pricing should be significantly less than a true commercial contractor with full insurance.
Just be careful not to put your personal assets on the line for a three hundred dollar job...or as many zeroes as you feel comfortable adding to that.
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #8  
With regard to cutting the ditch, I tried doing it with my box blade once and got terrible results. The blade just didn't have enough weight to really dig in, at least in part because it was riding on the side-plate, and I also couldn't get enough tilt on the blade with my lift arms to make more than a shallow vee. If I was going to do it again, I might try a scrape/grader blade with built in angle, so that I could get closer to 45 degrees and put more weight on the corner of the blade. I don't think a box blade is a very good tool for digging ditches.
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #9  
My thought is - If you want to go into business that is great. But do it right. Be serious about it, Get the equipment, insurance, and experience that you need first in order to be fair to the customer and protect both him and yourself. Then you will know your costs and profit requirements and won't have to ask what to charge.
If you just want casual tractor work then do it as a favor and enjoy yourself.
   / What is Driveway Repair Work Worth a Hour? #10  
I wouldn't do it for any less than $50 per hour actual hours or $75 per hour if you bid a fixed price. Undercutting a pro helps noone. The pro makes less profit because of lowballers. You lose your shirt when you hit a gas line, and the homeowner has no easy way to fix it because you have no insurance so they (and you) are on the hook for thousands of dollars for an emergency repair.

Lots of risk for a couple hundred bucks. That being said you must call 811 before doing it which I'm sure you will anyway. Tell them to mark the entire property to cya.