I'm in a rural area, so keep in mind that I don't have loads of competition to compare my prices to. Also, I often get my rates compared to 7th graders trying to make a few bucks on the side... With that said, here's how I plan to bid jobs: I figure that it's going to cost me approx. $12 per hour to operate my Grasshopper 928D based on the lease, maintenance, and diesel. By the time I figure in my mileage to job sites (my closest is 10 miles so far because that's the way it is out here in the boonies!), my operating expenses, and my wage (I would like to be making somewhere around $13 per hour), I figure that I'll need to bill right at $25 per hour for my big mower. So... I know most recommend not billing "by the hour" but how else can I figure out what I need to charge in order to make it worth my time?! Determining "what the market will bear" is way harder in a rural area.