Roto tilling

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by DavidsonLandscaping, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. DavidsonLandscaping

    DavidsonLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    just picked up a small roto tiller, was wondering if there is any work out there for it? i search almost all of my local landscaping companies and none seem to offer this service. if i was to offer what would be the going rate/ by job, hour, sqft?
     
  2. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    how small of a tiller you talking about
     
  3. DavidsonLandscaping

    DavidsonLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    if i had to guess, maybe 22-24" craftsman got it for free. i currently till my own two gardens both 10x10. just didnt know if it was worth putting the service out there, also have no idea how to charge..
     
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I offered tilling when I first started out and didn't think it was worth it. Most of the people who garden are old timers who want to pay $50.
     
  5. DavidsonLandscaping

    DavidsonLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    so in other words work demand is low, not worth the time, which explains why no one is advertising for the service. if someone had called how would i price?
     
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Depends how much you want to make, lol. The thing is that you really need to make a sales call and look at the job...there goes 1/2 hour. Then you need to load up, drive there, unload, fire it up...there goes another half hour. The average small garden is only going to take an hour or so to double till. What's a couple hours of your time worth?

    Oh yeah...then there's the people who put all their fall leaves in the garden...ever try to till a foot of wet leaves into a garden? lol Another problem is trying to work within a fence, as most have their gardens fenced. The handles of the tiller will hit the fence on corners, so you have to cut the corner and leave it untilled and either use a mini tiller or hand dig it. Then there's the tree roots that wrap up in your tines...gotta cut them out after each job and sometimes during them. Tree roots from large trees can be really long and end up in places you might not expect.

    I don't mean to discourage you but after a few jobs I stopped offering it... and if it's a front tine tiller it's pretty rough on the body. The rear tine ones are nice but kind of long, and make sure whatever you do that you don't lean on the handles of a rear tine machine...they will get up and take off like a bat out of hell!!!!!! I had a front tine Toro but have used the rear tine ones as well.
     
  7. DavidsonLandscaping

    DavidsonLandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 303

    lol i know what your saying darryl, ive worked both front and rear tine before. i like the rear tines better. im gonna advertise it in the spring see how it goes, if i get no calls for it, then i still have it for mine.
     
  8. C Jovingo Landscaping

    C Jovingo Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 436

    I do tilling for a couple clients only. I load tiller on trailer & do the job when I am there for regular maintenance. Only takes about 15 minutes to do their little garden patches (approx 4X15 & 6X10) & I charge them $25. I have also used it to get stump grindings loose, that have been sittin a while. Also to do jobs where someone may have had under ground work done. Most repair companies just pile the lumpy dirt back on the hole/trench that needs to be broke up & if time has gone by since repair, it needs loosened up to work with.
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  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I know this will sound strange to most people, but tilling through a "prepared seedbed" for a lawn is something that should be gotten back to... this business with LCOs using skidsters on decent topsoil lawns is really an indication that lawn prep is more lazy than professional...

    Somehow there got to be a twisted view of professionalism, in that "The Toys Make The Man", rather than "The Lawn Demonstrates Excellence"... the simple concept of compaction to the extreme is secondary to Mr. Pro, driving around a 4k lawn with a skidster looking like a real scaper...

    4" of good topsoil compressed onto the preexisting ground, is not remedied by 2-3" aeration plugs, even after 10 years... market excellence with the tiller,,, on lawns under 4k, it doesn't even make sense to haul a skidster on site, especially with trees or even the placement of the house, but a "Real Scaper" can't be seen using a tiller... how silly does that look to people who haven't bought in to the idea of bigger toys makes a better scaper???
     
  10. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,541

    doing gardens no with a 22''-24'' tiller I have a 6ft rear tiller for a tractor now tilling gardens are worth it I have 23 jobs range is 45 to 130 size gardens are 2k to 15k Im only around my town offer this service use to have around 100 at one time but money has got tight or they bought a cheap tiller and doing it there self
     

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