Anybody from Texas doing tractor work?

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by dswinnerjr, Jan 6, 2007.

  1. dswinnerjr

    dswinnerjr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Hello, I am starting a part time business this year doing fel, bb, and mowing work with my tractor. Already have an ad coming out, just curious as to the going rates for these services. I am thinking 30 -40 dollars an acre when mowing and 50 dollars for dirt work. Does this sound reasonable to ya'll? Thanks in advance, and I love this site - has been very helpful!
     
  2. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 619

    Here in the far North Eastern side of Texas we are charging a min of $50.00 for the 1st hr and then $30.00 per hr after the 1st hr A lot depends on where you are located at and how many other people have tractors and do custom tractor work here they almost drive them to the local Dairy queen for morning coffee
     
  3. dswinnerjr

    dswinnerjr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    thanks twj721! I think I may charge around that except I will have to trailer my tractor to the jobsite and that cost money so I ll need to figure that in as well
     
  4. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759

    How do you guys stay in business at those rates? Do you carry insurance, collect sales tax, etc. Just curious.. You can get more and you wouldn't be driving the market down with such low rates. When I started out with a tractor 10 years ago we charged $35-45/hr and had more work than we could handle. Tractor guys here (nw of San Antonio) get up to $85 hour for moving brush and abut $75/hr for mowing, grading, etc. with a 40-50hp tractor w/loader.
     
  5. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 619

    I know it needs to be more but too many steel mill employees and retirees supplementing their income with tractor work so the rates are not really what they need to be We went up on the rate 2 times thus far and we are higher than most of them,Most are still charging $25.00 Per hr with no min
     
  6. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759

    I just don't see how you will succeed given shop rates, parts, and fuel are at an all time high. Throw in insurance and the paperwork with collecting sales and use tax and 30 bucks an hour is too cheap for anything. Chainsaw crews get $20-$33 per man hour in this neck of the woods and illegal, cheap labor keeps a cap on that too.
    You can't run off the cheap guys but they will fade. I just hate to see someone get labeled cheap and then your customers expect that and how do you grow?
     
  7. twj721

    twj721 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 619

    All depends on area you live If you can get 50 to 80 dollars a hr in your area I am proud for you but here in this area you would get laughed at and then they would ask you if you were nucking futs for a price like that !!!! like I said before too many old farts with tractors and time to kill so if you charge more than Joe blow down the street then you will sit at home and not get any work or you can charge a bit more and make ends met beside we do not do that much tractor work just yard mowing and weedeating that is where the money is but now we are starting to get the influx of Mexicans now there is somebody that works for nothing I am lucky so far as I stay as busy as I want to and sometimes more than I want to
     
  8. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,083

    I have aflat minimum price for trailering my tractor and implements to a job site.
    It is the same cost as if the customer had to rent equvilant equipment.
    The price break down is: $225.00 for the first three hours, travel time included.
    Then $65.00 per hour for every hour past the initial charge.
    Provided the job will take more than one day, I encourage people to request for a bid rather than the per hour charge.
    The people that complain, I don't work for. The tractor stays busy so I'm not worried.
     
  9. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759


    This is more in line with how we charge for Bobcat work, etc. We charge $75 minimum per hour for s300 for basic dirt or grapple work. Charge significantly more for brush mowing/grinding and a haul/set up charge of $65 for 1 hour or less haul trips. Of course, I do by the job quotes, but by the hour suits a lot of folks.

    think I am going to do away with haul charge and add it in to the hourly charge. A number of people have questioned it as if hauling is free or something. My truck costs more than my best skidsteer!
     
  10. dswinnerjr

    dswinnerjr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    I really appreaciate everyone's input. How do you advertise? I have been trying to get my name out and have recieved a few calls but nothing promising.

    One potential customer has a lot about 75x250 that she wanted mowed, told her 150 for 1st 2hrs then 50/hr. Don't think she liked that.

    Thanks everyone.
     

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