1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community in the Franchising forum .

    Dismiss Notice

Clearing high grass/brush....

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by nobagger, Jun 8, 2006.

  1. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    I was asked to give an estimate to clear a hill side of mostly waist high grass and weeds. The hill stretches at least 150 to 175yards long and an average height of 300ft. The angle of the hill is very, very steep. Its almost to the point where you need to go down and brace yourself with your hands. There is no way any type of mower would be able to handle this hill. Also they wanted it raked after we cut. I know this question is asked all the time, but given the basic layout any ideas on what to charge. Thanks in advance.
  2. rodneyskip

    rodneyskip LawnSite Member
    from KY
    Posts: 196

    Do it by the hour. Sounds like a tough job.
  3. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    I think I would pass on that one. Too much work considering what they wont pay you. You would need one of those monster stihl FS 250's with the handlebars and a large steel blade.
  4. Yeah I'd definitely go time & materials. Then I'd do a little and say "well that's $70 worth, do you want me to continue?"
    These kind of jobs have a real knack for arguing the price AFTER the work's complete.

  5. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    am i getting this right? your talking over 135,000 sq ft of area to clear ? for regular road side ditches we estimate out at sq footage to get good ballparks. Some guys here go from .03 cents a sq ft to .10 a sq ft depending on the terrain and growth. But having to rake all that ? I might do it but your going to be looking at alot of hauling and a ton of labor. What about a controlled burn ?

    Man if I had to do this I would come in SUPER high on it. Without seeing it im thinkin 5 figures if your measurments are correct. like put a 2 in the first number lol... maybe im messing this up but that terrain plus raking you should be high... VERY high If its so steep you cant walk easy then using trimmers on it would be unsafe. BURN BABY BURN!
  6. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,195

    If the hill's too steep for any kind of mower then it's probably too steep for guys on foot to be using power tools safely. Sounds like specialized equipment is needed, maybe something like a dozer or tracked skidsteer with a brush cutter mounted on it.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    <- owner snip ->
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    No, 160 x 300 = 1.2 acres, around 48,500 - 50,000 square feet.

    That's what I sense, too. They haven't a clue what this is about to cost, which is why they're being kinda funny because I don't find it amusing to risk my life on a slope with a brushhog and then have to clean up afterwards. They said rake? Yeah, that tells me they don't think much of our kind of work, time to educate these folks on the finer aspects of risk and raw muscle costing money.

    2000 dollars would be my quote.
    That covers you for a whole week of work for one man. It ain't no joke, it will likely take 12 hours just to weedeat it all down with a 4-cycler and you best have bicycle handles on it and a backstrap. Come to think of it, consider investing in some steel blades as well. You might tackle the weedeating an hour at a time, do 3-4 hours / day and spend the rest of that day cleaning up - At this rate it will take you 3 days just to do that, but another day to haul all the crap away, so if everything goes smooth, you're out 4 days.
    If everything does not go smooth, you're looking at a week's time, still you're covered.
    You might even consider renting a hillside mower, but I am sure they are not cheap - These are special machines that adjust themselves to the contour and have special tires and all kinds of AWD and crap to hold you steady, likely a thousand dollars would cover this and you'd be done in a day of dealing with that and have some money for yourself, dunno...

    Yes, because I cut an acre+ of grass with the Wb in an hour, but the Wb is at least 6 times faster than a 21" and of course, it's self-propelled. I can cut grass almost as fast as a 21" can with the weedeater, but because it's really tall, it will take twice as long.
    So, 1 hour times 6 x 2 = 12 hours, at least!
    I won't go into the rest, you quote them 2000 and you can most likely walk away and let someone else deal with it.
    And if you really want to make sure, get 1/2 upfront or quote 3-4 thousand, either way they will not bother with this.
  9. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Posts: 689

    Kobuta w/ bar tires and front weights. i bushhogged over 50 acres on a golf course the past two years and i can tell you if you go straight up in low gear and reverse straight back down, you can go on some ridiculous hills. unless the hill is completely 90 degrees, you can do it and make short work of the job.gl
  10. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    Your math is incorrect topsites, he said 160 yards and 300 feet high. Basically 480ft X 300ft = 144000. Like I said before they dont have a clue what you are going to charge them and if they agree to whatever you charge, get a personal check or better yet a money order in your hand before you do the work. If I were in your shoes, I would pass altogether. I do like the controlled burn idea though; not sure if a black hillside is the look they are going for LOL.

    dcgreenspro, you should put a disclaimer on that advice, many a LCO have been killed by flipping their zero turns doing EXACTLY what you just described.

Share This Page