Garden rototilling,bidding?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GLM, Feb 27, 2001.

  1. GLM

    GLM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I just looked at a rototilling job and need some ideas on pricing. What is the general ballpark price to rototill an existing garden about 1000sq. ft.?(4hp.tiller) A freind just picked up this yard and doesn't till, I have a tiller but never got in to it, to busy mowing, but I figure the guy wants it done three times a year and it will give me something to do next week and help out a friend who gives me extra work. Any hints on pricing would be great, I don't want to do it for free but I don't want to over charge either.
  2. cleancut

    cleancut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    I would charge $40 - $50 an hour...Just be sure to charge a minimum and if you have alot of travel time, include that into your price...Derrick
  3. Ssouth

    Ssouth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

  4. GLM

    GLM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    Thanks for the info guy's!
  5. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    IMHO--never, never quote an hourly price! ever! 40 bucks or so is not great money for running equipment in this situation.

    good luck.


    SRKROTOTILLING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    I have been tilling commercially for two years now...and what I have learned, and have to learn over again several times a year is that I never know for sure what is involved in a tilling job until I fire up the tiller and start busting up the soil. No matter how straight forward a job looks, you just don't know what is under the soil. Hard clay 3 inches below loose topsoil? Hidden rocks, concrete, old pipes, garbage. Sod is probably the worst, sometimes it is easy, other times it requires a lot of extra time to break it up before tilling more deeply into the soil. One job I did this summer I kept running over chunks of woven fence... disentangling them from the tines added about an hour or more to the job.

    Anyway, I allways give an estimate, but make it clear to the customer that I BILL hourly and cannot be held to an estimate. Tilling can be a good way to make money... just make sure you are well paid for it.
  7. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    SRKRototilling, what equipment do you use? I haven't been asked to do a garden but have a 36" tiller for our '93 Wheel Horse 520H (20hp Onan twin, Hydrostatic) that does a great job in my 1/10th acre veggie garden. Any idea how much per hour this rig should bring in per hour? Rototilling does not seem to be a big thing around here, not a whole lot of people have gardens. I also have a 18" Craftsman rear tine self propelled tiller that does a good job in one pass (it has a 3.5hp Tecumseh but this is a fluke good engine :confused: always starts first pull and pulls like a 5hp or more engine!, it's an older tiller like early 90's).

    SRKROTOTILLING LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    BushHogboy.... I would charge at least 50/hr. I use a 9 hp BCS tiller with a 26" tiller box... so you can probably work faster than I can. I charge 40-50 hr. I also use a Craftsman rear tine 6.5 hp for tight areas. Actually a really good tiller for certain work. I would like to add a small 4 wheel tractor someday, but not a financial reality for me right now.

    Also... only about 1/2 or less of my business is gardens. Lots of folks want tilling for lawn prep and other landscaping. You can get tilling work spring, summer, and fall in many areas.

    The only complaint I have about my Craftsman is the engine... a Briggs Intek that has a viscious kick back when starting. No problems at all with my 9 horse Briggs Vanguard, but the intek is dangerous.

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