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Is Bush-Hogging worth it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by UTM-PIKE, Feb 27, 2002.


    UTM-PIKE LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    Okay, new guy here. I have a small farm and my dad has a decent Ford tractor (medium sized) and a 5 foot bush hog. If I were to add this service, can I expect to make good money off of it? I would probably charge this type of service by the hour, correct? I hate doing that because then they put two and two together and know how much Im making. And how much per hour should I quote? Thanks for any imput.
  2. plow kid

    plow kid Banned
    Posts: 516

    I do alot of field mowing with my John Deere and I have found that a rate of $40 is a good starting point, we get $40 per acre providing the grass is less then 12" tall, taller then that but less then 24" and we get around $60 a acre, anything taller then that and we sub it out to a guy with a small kubota 4wd tractor and he is retired and just wants something to do he only charges us $40 a acre and we bill it out @ around $65-$75. Hope this helps.~NaTe
  3. I'm doing $250 an hour. Have to cover my butt if I hit somthing or if I have to rent.
  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Just don't get to many irons in the fire to quickly. It takes time to load and unload. It can take away from you mowing business if your not careful.
  5. southside

    southside LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 790

    I work off $50 per hour. ($AUD).I've been doing this for about 6
    years. NEVER EVER tell your customer your hourly rates. Just use
    them to work out your fixed price. I work on a worst case
    scenario of an acre an hour for really heavy regrowth. (Chest
    height and above.) You really need to have some power to be
    able to do the job quickly. For a 5' slasher you'd need 45-50 hp
    to do it properly and be able to handle all situations. You'll
    also need a decent sized truck to carry the machine. 45-50 hp
    tractor/slasher will need around 19-21' of space.

    Hope this helps.
  6. Charles

    Charles Moderator Staff Member
    Posts: 7,884

    I agree with those on here. Bushogging can be very time consuming and take away from grasscutting. Going out and giving estimates and loading and unloading and drive time to and from the jobsite can make bushogging less profitable than grasscutting. It can be dangerous too because alot of the time you cant see what is under the brush. I have had my frontend fall into a well. The whole tractor fell into a gully last year and had to be towed out. Running over objects that are not visible can be costly. YOu are looking at 50$ plus to replace a tube in a rear tire. You will need tube because objects will punture the rubber. Flat tire out in a field or woods and you are in a mess.
    I dont know about giving a fixed price unless I can see the plat and even then part of the land may not be part of the job. People generally lie about their acreage. Lost of old timers out there doing it for beer money make it hard to get top dollar. I agree with southside that 40hp plus tractors are desirable for doing a good job at a high speed. 4 wheel drive will be needed if you do fall in a hole
  7. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    we are largely rural here and everyone knows someone with a bush hog...so there is no money there.

    but in the nearby metropolitan areas, especially the ones with codes enforcement, you can make good money by the job cutting lots for people that are about to get cited for codes violations on tall growth.

    I have done some of this.

    but you gotta ask for big money to come out.

    the bill the city sends after they bush hog a lot is a killer and results on liens being placed against the property if not paid so these people are usually in panic mode.

    good luck.


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