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View Full Version : Brush Clearing Estimate Help


getdown
12-04-2012, 09:51 AM
Hey Guys,

I've got a call to estimate a brush clearing job. It is 3 acres of this (see photo). What do you guys think is fair for this. By the way, I'm in south florida.

KrayzKajun
12-04-2012, 10:23 AM
Is the full three acres that thick? Have you done any clearing like that? I would look for a contractor in your area with a mulcher or skidsteer brush mower.
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getdown
12-04-2012, 11:04 AM
I'm going to go ahead and do it with a stihl brush cutter and a DR

KrayzKajun
12-04-2012, 11:28 AM
I'm going to go ahead and do it with a stihl brush cutter and a DR

I hope your not serious. Good Luck
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getdown
12-04-2012, 11:29 AM
why would this be so difficult? I'm not cutting the trees down, just the brush.

Moose's Mowing
12-04-2012, 12:04 PM
eh, 3 acres will take a while with a walk behind. I'm with Kajun, seemed you were gonna clear the whole thing. if you're not messing with the trees or palmetos or whatever u call those things down there, I think a walk behind cutter would work fine, just take awhile and be killer on your body. I've used a Billy Goat cutter several times in the past. I make a lot of $ on those types of jobs. But I take the ones nobody else wanted to do because it was on the side of a steep, slippery hill or infested with briars or whatever other reason. But I charge accordingly. It's a PITA but it's worth it to me. But then again, I don't do 3 acres at a time either. You might want to consider renting a compact tractor and bush hog. youll have it done in a few hours, if not itll take you 2 days, that's if you work fast. If you decide to rent something, be sure to factor that in to your bid. Good Luck

getdown
12-04-2012, 12:24 PM
MJ Services, thank you for your response. I am on board with your kind of thinking. I am not "big" yet, and I'm thirsty for jobs. I actually really enjoy this kind of work (although, heck is it taxing on the body). At the estimate tomorrow I am going to check the clients time frame. If it is more of a casual "get it done in the next couple weeks and I'm happy" type of gig, that will make it much more appealing. Frankly, I would enjoy being out their busting my butt in the cooler weather we have this time of year and I will make some more christmas money.

Krazy Kajun, I completely understand and appreciate your input from a management point of view. Respectfully, I think that your point of view is coming from one that has an already developed and busy/thriving business (my fault for not clarifying)...if I were in the situation Krazy Kajun Enterprises were or another thriving business, I really that the time/cost justification would not be there unless I could delegate it to someone with the proper equipment. However, since time in on my side (lots of it), I'm probably happy just to get the gig. That being said, doing it with a brush cutter would be a pain and I want to make it look good. I've got my DR, but I might rent a tractor to assure quality.

KeystoneLawn&Landscaping
12-04-2012, 02:24 PM
I did a similar job this year. I rented a bobcat with the bullhog attachment. The machine, including delivery, was 1k for 8 hours of use. My site was about 1 acre with a lot of trees to drive around, which takes time maneuvering. I also mulched down many trees that were about 6 inches in diameter, more time consumption. Total run time on the machine was 9 hours, total time on the job..12. IMO, if it is only brush the same machine would chew it all up in 8 hours of run time. Bonus with the bull hog is everything is chewed into almost nothing.

lawnkingforever
12-04-2012, 02:42 PM
I'm going to go ahead and do it with a stihl brush cutter and a DR

I own the biggest DR WB brushmower with the 17 hp kaw. and 30" deck. I have done countless clearing jobs. I try to keep them at around an acre or less. I have done larger properties such as this. If it is real thick and you have to run the DR in 2nd gear, you will be there for awhile. If it is wide open and not real overgrown, you may be able to run 4rth gear. If this the case and you have the time it is doable but still going to take awhile. I would require payment up front or at time of the service.
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getdown
12-04-2012, 03:18 PM
oh yeah, definitely. I won't spend 8 hours at a job and then have someone not pay me. Definitely paid up front :-) I've learned that the hard way!

getdown
12-04-2012, 03:21 PM
So what would you guys bid knowing what you now know?

getdown
12-04-2012, 04:38 PM
I need to put together some sort of an idea for the bid tomorrow. If anyone could help me figure this out that would be so greatly appreciated.

Exmarkboy13
12-04-2012, 04:45 PM
I do a lot of this work. In my market, that 3 acres is about 600. That what id bid it at. 200 an acre. As the acres increase, you could adjust the price per acre. Youll be fine with the DR and trimmer WITH A BLADE....... hire someone for 9 or 10 an hour and knock it out!

getdown
12-04-2012, 04:48 PM
ExmarkBoy, thank you so much for your help! I'm actually going to just do it on my own. Yeah, my brush cutter has the blade. I really appreciate your help!!!

Exmarkboy13
12-04-2012, 04:51 PM
yup. you could even do it for 150 an acre. I reallly dont know what the market is down there, but thats what i charge. any questions, just ask.

getdown
12-04-2012, 04:54 PM
ExmarkBoy, thanks again. It's very kind of you to be so helpful. Where do you hail from, if I may ask? I do notice that typically Florida rates are much lower than anywhere north of the sun belt.

Exmarkboy13
12-04-2012, 04:56 PM
im in a suburb of cleveland ohio. My grandparents own a summer home in estero, florida. So, im kind of familiar, but not alot. Stick with 200 an acre and see what the property owner says.

getdown
12-04-2012, 05:47 PM
Yeah, I agree. I think I will do the $600. Either she balks and gives me a chance to rebuttle to win the gig, or she walks and I save my back! haha

alldayrj
12-04-2012, 07:04 PM
I don't see a need to price it per acre. What do you like to make per day? Its going to take you two days, so charge for three. I think if i was in your shoes i would want 900 or 850 to make the people happy but only you know what your market will bear. Don't be afraid to ask for the "big bucks". We're in this to make money. Not break even
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getdown
12-04-2012, 07:25 PM
True, I completely understand where you are coming from. I won't take a job unless I'm making enough to make me happy. And if I take a job and there isn't enough profit to give that extra incentive to make the property beautiful...I try to stay away from that. It's got to be worth my while. I'm not sure, however, that the market here will support that price. Too many good old boys with tractors willing to do 50-100/acre for beer money and gas in their jon boat.

getdown
12-04-2012, 07:26 PM
I do agree, I don't like leaving money on the table or lowering the bar by lowballing. I've missed out on quite a few contracts recently because of my high bids.

Moose's Mowing
12-04-2012, 08:49 PM
MJ Services, thank you for your response. I am on board with your kind of thinking. I am not "big" yet, and I'm thirsty for jobs. I actually really enjoy this kind of work (although, heck is it taxing on the body). At the estimate tomorrow I am going to check the clients time frame. If it is more of a casual "get it done in the next couple weeks and I'm happy" type of gig, that will make it much more appealing. Frankly, I would enjoy being out their busting my butt in the cooler weather we have this time of year and I will make some more christmas money.

Krazy Kajun, I completely understand and appreciate your input from a management point of view. Respectfully, I think that your point of view is coming from one that has an already developed and busy/thriving business (my fault for not clarifying)...if I were in the situation Krazy Kajun Enterprises were or another thriving business, I really that the time/cost justification would not be there unless I could delegate it to someone with the proper equipment. However, since time in on my side (lots of it), I'm probably happy just to get the gig. That being said, doing it with a brush cutter would be a pain and I want to make it look good. I've got my DR, but I might rent a tractor to assure quality.

I know the feeling of being small and thirsty for jobs. I'm currently there as well. I'm learning, though, that you don't have to be a huge outfit to make $. Kajun sure has some nice stuff, but I bet he's got the headaches to come with it. No offense Krazy, I love your posts btw. But for me, I'd never wanna be that big, I'm content being a solo outfit. And I can relate to the frustrations of wanting to take on a big job like this but knowing in the back of your head you don't have or even have access to, the proper equipment to get in and get out and have it look great. So you do what you gotta do, break your back and make it work and get paid doing the job with whatever means you have available. One thing I learned this past year being in business is that if you're gonna be successful, you gotta start some where and take crap jobs and do them the hard way. But you also have to be willing to jump in to the deep end when it comes to certain things. It's risky and downright scarey, but that's business so they say :cool2: whatever you decide, hope you get the job, good luck.

getdown
12-04-2012, 08:54 PM
Thanks MJ, I really appreciate it. Yes, you definitely have to jump in and play with the big boys and test the waters. It's fun. I enjoy doing the work myself and would rather make money than have a big business with no profit, but I also want to develop my living into a business and not just a job. Something that is self-sustainable and doesn't need me to be involved. Eventually, I want to essentially be the "majority shareholder" in my company...but not the CEO. I can use the dividends and gains to fund future endeavors and caribbean vacations. But I'm not afraid to drop 20 gallons of sweat in the field each day to get there...although 5 years from now I hope to be more of a Marketer/Superintendent than a laborer. I have to earn that promotion from myself though!