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I use a Deere 2210 compact diesel with a 4' bush hog.
Not very big equipment, and only do small areas - up to 2-3 acres at most.
I've found that I have to charge by the hour, mostly because of unseen obstacles, and usually having to double cut most areas to get everything chopped up fine enough. Also, in some instances, the area being brush hogged will become regular lawn area eventually, so that sometimes takes even a third cut, plus cleanup.
I am in a very rural area, and pricing is tough. I try for $60 per hour, but that is sometimes hard when people can hire a backhoe w/operator for that same price around here.
On the other hand, I really don't have any competition in this area, unless someone is close to a farmer who will road a tractor to the area needed to be done. My setup is small (tractor), but at least I am mobile (on the trailer and go).
i use my bush hog all the time (4') but cut underbrush with it. usually all priors and small trees. little 16hp compact kubota takes a licking and keeps on ticking. i bid by the job and try to do so around $100/hr. sometimes it takes a bit longer and works down to about $75/hr but other times i make out much much much more. its different than doing a field though, im doing thick vine/prior areas that would take home owners days to do by hand so for them $500-$1000 doesnt look so bad and may only take me 3-6hrs
I have a flat rate price for shredding rough areas.
A initial price of $225 covers the first three hours including travel time.
Additional charges occur depending upon the terrain and size of the area shredded.
Minimum charges are $60.00/per hour after the basic minimum and have gone as high as $80.00 for really rough sites.
I based my charges on similar equipment rental pricing in my area and knowledge of the gross conditions.
What I have found is that the people who balk at my pricing schedule are the customers I don't want to begin with.
Shredding in 100*F+ heat is tough work and for me to do I will be paid accordingly.
Massey Ferguson 263 w/ a 6' bush hog. We charge $250 min for 3 hours, then $50-$75 an hour after that. We are very selective about the jobs we take as our $20K tractor is nearly new and we take great pride & care of our equipment, and don't abuse it to make a quick buck. You find people say there's nothing in that field and it was cut just last year......Thank god for stump jumpers.