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Advise needed for my son....trimming job

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by johnwon, May 27, 2011.

  1. johnwon

    johnwon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 299

    Hi, I have a son who is 17 Y.O. and only does odd jobs due to being involved in sports.
    My daughter has been working the same way on a local horse farm for a couple years now.
    The owner of the horse farm is going to hire someone to do some string trimming around the farm and pay by the hour. They usually hire a kid/teenager for miscellaneous work around the farm.
    My question is; If my son were to use one of my trimmers, how much extra should he ask per hour to use our own trimmer, gas, line?
    I have 2 commercial trimmers; one is an old Robin 50cc brush/weed trimmer.
    The other is a Tanaka 260 PFL 24cc trimmer.
    Should I avoid getting my trimmers involved unless it is absolutely necessary?
    Also what would be a reasonable rate per hour a teenager would expect to receive while trimming, if he were to go out and pick up trimming jobs? I'm thinking along the highway I live on, there are some steep banks in the fronts of some peoples house that the homeowner currently cuts down about once a month?
    Thanks to any one who may advise: John
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    10 an hour with their trimmer. 20 an hour with yours.

    Just make sure that he wears safety glasses and ear plugs and either have the HO provide them or buy them yourself and get reimbursed.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Yep, if it's just after school hours work for a little bit of cash I would advise if the farmer wants to provide his own equipment
    to let it be, apparently the guy has had a system working for many years that works well for him and this may not be the best
    thing if you owned a business but for spare cash it is probably best to follow his lead, just I will tell you it's going to be work and
    not a whole lot of money, farmers work hard for a living.

    You can ask for whatever you like, he might pay you 10, he might not, it's his farm and he hires kids so likely
    this isn't his first one and I suspect if one won't do it the other one will, on the other hand it won't hurt to ask.
  4. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    One of our customers had a woman that did exactly that for them, and she was paid $15 per hour, and furnished her own trimmer.
  5. probe1957

    probe1957 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 165

    I moved off of a horse farm last year. Just got to be too much work. There can be A LOT of trimming, especially along fence lines, so I would try to avoid using your equipment unless it is commercial quality. It should also be mentioned that the job may call for something other than string on the trimmer...some sort of blade.
  6. johnwon

    johnwon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 299

    Thanks for the advise, my son is going to be talking to this man this evening. I think it maybe best to avoid using my string trimmers in this case. I'm thinking he may be insulted if I have my son ask for 5 to 10 more dollars per hour for the use of mine. It would be worth it to him though, because my 50cc trimmer can trim at least twice as fast as the typical trimmer that most people may have, who are not in the business.......
    Plus I don't want to use up the life of, or incur "wear & tear" on my trimmer, without being compensated.
    So thanks again, and if anyone else has anything to add, it would also be appreciated.
  7. h2oskier

    h2oskier LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 601

    Just don't let em take advantage of you son. Just my 2 cents, but i wouldn't let them think just because he's a teenager that they can get something for nothing.
  8. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Posts: 1,074

    Do not let him use your trimmers. Have the employer furnish them. To get an idea of how valuable your equipment is in a situation like this, just call a couple of your local rental shops and see how much they charge just to rent a commercial trimmer. That would also not include gas and trimmer line. Around here it's around $40.00 for 3 hours. If they insist he use his own trimmer, help him buy a good commercial trimmer and charge accordingly. Maybe $10.00, or more, per hour for labor and $90.00 per day for equipment useage.
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Then it takes twice as long for your son to trim and that's twice as much money for him...
  10. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    Not trying to be a wise azz, but $90 a day for using a trimmer and what, maybe a couple of gallons of mix and $3 worth of trimmer line, plus $10 more per hour? If it were my horse ranch, and someone suggested that kind of charge for using their trimmer, I'd tell them to get back on theirs and ride off into the sunset. :) I'm sorry, but that is totally absurd. We're not talking a $10,000 Z here, we're talking a $325 piece of equipment that will probably last in excess of 500 hours and use maybe what, 30 to 40 ounces of fuel an hour?

    I would think an extra $5 per hour added to the labor for using your own equipment would be reasonable.

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