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  #41  
Old 08-11-2014, 02:09 PM
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AI Inc AI Inc is offline
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Originally Posted by slowleak1 View Post
Why wouldnt you be able to?
Because after the bills are paid its about $10 an hr.
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  #42  
Old 08-11-2014, 02:11 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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Flails are expensive to buy and operate compared to a rotary. Most people aren't willing to pay for it
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  #43  
Old 08-11-2014, 03:12 PM
Ridin' Green Ridin' Green is offline
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In the last few years I've found several flail mowers in great condition for very good prices, and close to the same money as a rotary cutter in the same condition. Deals are there to be had, but you have to keep your eyes open and be ready to jump when you see them. They may cost more to run than a rotary cutter, but if they are the correct tool to make you money...............
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I can also tell by looking back to see how they're hanging and often reach back and feel them to see how firm they are.
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  #44  
Old 08-11-2014, 04:12 PM
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Charles Charles is online now
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Strange that most won't bid over the phone, but will tell this person how to bid over the Internet. How big is the pond? We don't know. How many shrubs? We don't know. How many trees? We don't know. What kind of grass? We don't know. Rough terrain? We don't know. Would the mower get bogged down in the wet ditch? We don't know
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  #45  
Old 08-11-2014, 08:34 PM
Kbota Kbota is offline
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Charles, you are 100% correct. Heck,...I looked at it, walked it, and still couldn't get it right. Now,..did I lose my butt? No,...but I couldn't make a living doing it for that price. But I'm a little wiser today. Hindsight is a great teacher, and hindsight says I should have passed....but then I wouldn't be a little wiser would I?
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  #46  
Old 08-12-2014, 12:01 AM
herler herler is online now
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Originally Posted by Kbota View Post
Charles, you are 100% correct. Heck,...I looked at it, walked it, and still couldn't get it right. Now,..did I lose my butt? No,...but I couldn't make a living doing it for that price. But I'm a little wiser today. Hindsight is a great teacher, and hindsight says I should have passed....but then I wouldn't be a little wiser would I?
That's a fact, not a soul here can claim they ain't never been through it, and had you not took the job you'd be none the wiser so I am glad you took it and took care of it too, because I'm telling you... EVERYBODY can talk the talk...
But how do you think any of them learn to walk the walk?

You know, it takes time, years in my case...
But today, after many a many situations just like yours and then some blood and sweat soaked tears?
I'm the guy 'offering' the $250 job, if you get my drift.

Hang in there, it gets better in time.

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education aint cheap
This one wasn't expensive.
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  #47  
Old 08-12-2014, 09:36 AM
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MOturkey MOturkey is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kbota View Post
Slowleak; I would have been home working in my garden, or cleaning my shop. The results of either of those efforts would have been worth more than the $8 an hour I figure I made on this job. I doubt I could have found anyone to do either of those for that low a wage, plus they would have done it wrong....lol

Ridin Green; While I stop at calling it a mistake, it was not one of my smarter decisions. I completely misread the time required to get'er done. After we had settled up, we had a discussion about the next mowing, where I mentioned that I couldn't do it for this price next time. His thoughts were that if he couldn't get it done for that price, he would buy his own mower. I just said, "that's certainly your call", but I cannot do this job with my equipment for that pay. He'll probably find someone else next time...which is fine. It's worth $300 if it's worth anything, for the condition it was in. If he has it mowed more often, then maybe. But there are a limited number of guys mowing grass who will make the same mistake I did.


my 2 c
I'm glad to see you did exactly what I recommended, namely mow for the $250 and then go from there regarding price. I agree from your description that $250 is probably not enough, but, to be honest, I don't necessarily agree with your math. If you actually believe you made less than $8 per hour for this job, why would another $50 make it desirable?

If your total expenses were $100, and you spent a full 7 hours on the job, that still works out to over $20 an hour profit.
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  #48  
Old 08-12-2014, 10:25 AM
Kbota Kbota is offline
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Neil, I guess the $/hr of my labor would depend on what value is given to a Grand L Kubota tractor/hr, and what value is given to a Scag/hr. To arrive at that number you have to know the expected life of the Equipment. Then the operating and maintenance costs must be added to the purchase cost, then divided by the lifespan.

Good equip is expensive. Maintenance is expensive. For example, my tractor has 800 hours on it, so I need to change the hydraulic fluid and filter. Just the hyd oil is over $200. I could sit down and mathematically arrive at a close $/hr for each piece of equipment, but I'm not in a regular lawn business, although I do a job occasionally to earn a little extra. I'm retired and on a fixed income, and I like to stay busy. I just did a swag at the equipment value/hr. Honestly, I'm not sure what I actually made for my labor.
It was an interesting job, and it will pay for the tractors hydraulic system maintenance. And I really enjoyed reading the different comments and suggestions from the guys here. I learned something from each comment, and I learned from doing the job.
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  #49  
Old 08-13-2014, 12:33 AM
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MOturkey MOturkey is online now
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Kbota, I see where you are coming from. If it is any help, I figure my costs to operate a commercial zero turn (I run Gravely) is in the $15 per hour range. This includes fuel, routine maintenance and depreciation. I generally trade every 2 years so as to keep my mowers under full warranty, so my depreciation is probably more than someone who keeps a mower several years, but, I generally have little to no repair costs.

As for costs to run a tractor, I haven't a clue, but I do know depreciation is much less. A twenty year old tractor will still have lots of value if it is well maintained. Most twenty year old zero turns will already be scrapped well before then.
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  #50  
Old 08-13-2014, 01:56 AM
Kbota Kbota is offline
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Neil, your analysis is pretty good. And yes most quality tractors will outlive a ZTR. My tractor has 800 hours on it. I've maintained it well. It's barely broken in. With good maintenance, it will easily go 4000 hours and then could be sold for 50% of what it cost. One of the unique things about tractor values is the non linear depreciation line. After about 2000 hours or 20 years, the value hardly drops anymore. Several variables there though. It's all about condition then...kind of like an old Ford Falcon. Man, when I was in high school, I wanted a Falcon Sprint so bad I could taste it. Found one for $600 in cherry condition. Only problem was....the old pockets were empty. I saw one like it on eBay the other day....$9400. And then there was that old mustang...
Ahem....sorry...I figure the tractor should be worth $40/hr. The Scag should be worth 10-15, and then there's the trimmer, push mower, truck, trailers, insurance, labor (mine again) to pressure wash all the equipment, sharpen blades, grease etc.... This list could go a while... There's cell phones, business cards, cost estimates....after all, doing cost estimates is only free to the customer right? safety glasses, pens, pencils....etc... Somehow, all that stuff has to be accounted for in a successful business. After those sunk costs are reconciled, then I get whatever is left....until my wife wants to go out for dinner. Oh well, hard for a working man to get ahead ain't it? And Neill, respectfully, I understand I've been preaching to the choir...lol
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