Large area bid and brush hogging?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by qball98, Feb 29, 2008.

  1. qball98

    qball98 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    I have an opportunity to bid on a large industrial site that totals about 65 acres. About 15 of it is normal mow and trim every week and I have no problem bidding that.

    I would like some input on the other 50 acres of brush hog work that they want done about every 2 weeks.

    The area is about 60% relatively flat ground that should go fairly easy. The other 40% has has large drainage ditches and a retention pond that will be slower going because of the hills and ditches. It is not steep enough to be dangerous just enough to slow you down because the ditches break it up into smaller areas.

    Anybody have any idea what kind of time this would take?

    They told me the current guy takes about 35 hours to brush hog this but he is using a 25-30 hp tractor and a 5' hog and he is a company employee on the clock so I am sure he is in no hurry because this is all he has to do.

    For equipment I am thinking of using at least an 8' pull behind hog but can go bigger if needed. The tractor I have will handle up to a 15' bat wing hog if I decide it is needed.

    The going rate for this area is $55 -$65 an hour for a tractor and a 6' hog. Not sure what the rate is once you start getting bigger than that.

    I don't do a lot of brush hogging so any advice would be help full as I don't want to underbid it.

  2. ffemt1271

    ffemt1271 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,285

    all i have is a 6 foot and i charge 65$/Hr. that comes out to $10.83 per hour per foot, so i would charge $162.50/Hr for the 15 foot. you'll be burning more diesel with a 15 foot too, and at over $3.50 a gallon that hurts:usflag:
  3. gusndemboyz

    gusndemboyz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    Keep in mind price difference between a 8' and a 15' is probably another 5 to 6 thousand dollars. I have been debating a 15' mower for sometime know but do not have the work yet to support it. I currently run a 8' pull behind and bid by the job not by the hour all though I do consider how long it will take me in my bid. All bushhogging is not the same and should be bid according to terrain (only my opinion).
  4. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    I have 30 acres we mow every 3 to 5 weeks (appx 8 cuts per season) Takes between 12 to 15 man hrs depending on amount of growth. some of it is open but most is broken up by hills, levies, and fence. Fence gets sprayed on seperate bid, but the rest gets trimmed (about 1.25 hrs included in the mowing hrs) I am mowing with a 9' disk mower on a 65 hp tractor and 72" ferris ztr. Your area sounds like a similar job just a few more cuttings per year. Hope this info might help. Good luck
  5. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    It's been a while but I would tell you to figure how long it will take you. if it is only 50 and it is broken up by retention pond and drainage ditches the 15 ft bat wing might bet you in trouble or slow you down. I prefer on these smaller areas to cut with a 10 ft cutter unless their is plenty of open foom for the batwing ot get in all the areas without an issue. if Iremember right you are lookig about1300-1500 a cut just on the 50 acres and another 320 on the 15 acres finish cut. If I am thinking right you will be out theri 2 days if you are solo cutting the full area. It has been along time since I have priced bush hog work though. say like since 1999. so my pric may be a little off on that but the finish cut should be close
  6. qball98

    qball98 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    So far you guys are confirming what I thought. Here is what I have been thinking I should bid it at.

    They want all the fences and some gravel parking areas sprayed with a soil sterilizer on a separate bid so there won't be much trimming on that part. They told me just get what I can with the hog around the pond and rocks in the ditches and it would be good enough. I have been leaning toward an 8-10 foot hog because of maneuverability. I figured it would take about 18 hours on the brush hogging alone. I figured the brush hogging should go for about $1350 per cut and the finish cut around the front will be done with a 72" front mount Grasshopper and should be about $625 per cut.

    I know there are guys around here who could beat me on those prices but non of them have the ability to do both and they are not licensed to spray so unless they hire a 3 separate companies I should have a good chance. If they get a bid from someone who can not spray it should be a lot higher because they are going to have to trim almost 2 miles of chain link fence.

    Thanks for the help if your have any more input please let me know.
  7. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,445

    I maintain 13 miles of right of way for a pipeline starts a the Mississippi, I charge per hour $100.00 period. I am running a Kubota MX6800 56 PTO hp 4x4 with a 7ft landpride bushhog you live in Arkansas, If the johnson grass is like the grass here in Memphis your underbidding it. I move every other week and cannot keep up with the growth sometimes in section. Is their tractor 25-30 PTO hp.
  8. qball98

    qball98 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    Yes it is in the 25-30 HP range.

    If it was all Johnson grass you would be right about underbidding that stuff is a royal pain. Of the 50 acres I would say probably 40% of it has very little grass or anything on it. The other 60% has a mix of Johnson grass, Bahia grass, some types of swamp grass and misc. weeds. Anywhere from 3-5 acres will never be cut because it is under water.

    Do you think I am about right on the 18 hours with an 8-10' hog?

    I will probably go up on the brush hogging price I almost always add some to what I am thinking when I actually sit down and write up the proposal. I would rather be too high and not get it than hate going there every time because I am not making enough.

    What do you think of the Kubota mx6800 and the Landpride hog? I looked at some Landpride brush hogs but have never known anyone that owned one.
  9. nosparkplugs

    nosparkplugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,445

    It's a monster love the bevel gears on the front axles for tight turns, sips diesel, the only down side its heavy my operator got it stuck up to the axles in a sink hole last summer, it took a John Deere track hoe to get it out. Wish it was turbocharged & intercooled, can overheat if you let the radiator screen get plugged with debris. I like the land pride bushhog just replaced the gearbox in October 715.00. when we started the contract there was growth over the hood, hit many a stump, car tires on the rims bent the rims like they were sheet metal, anything bigger would be tough to transport daily. We have pushed over large trees with the loader had to work at it, powerful tractor Kubota diesels are worth the money it has variable valve timing so when it lugs down it can increase the HP & torque without any throttle adjustment, again the turbo & intercooled model would be my next tractor for the performance in the high heat. I would try to get a "open" Hour contract thats what I have no time limit Bushogging requires expensive equipment and is slow going I would stress that point. The first time is always harder than you bid it, even when you think your high with bushogging
  10. gravedigger5

    gravedigger5 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    Thats the truth! I try to shy away from one time jobs or bid extra high for that reason.

    qball98, Just don't under bid the job. And don't freak out after the first cut and way over on time. If it is broken up like you said it will take several cuttings to become efficient at that property especially if you are going to be using a new piece of equipment your not quite comfortable with yet.

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