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Roto tilling price by sq ft ? or by the hour?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by apexlawn03, May 13, 2008.

  1. apexlawn03

    apexlawn03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    Hello I am looking for how to price roto tilling? What has worked best for you? I have two troy built tillers the horse and pony the horse is 20 inch tines and pony is 16 inch tines and I also have a FS 85 sthil with a small tiller head for mulch beds weeding etc. Most time I go through gardens twice and most take a couple of hours to complete. What I am wondering whats the best way to price to make the best money.:usflag:
  2. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    I would say charge hourly, you never know what is in the dirt. you could hit a pipe, rocks, etc... just have a minimum charge $XXX.00 for any garden smaller than XXsqft. Or any garden that you think will take you less than 1 hour to complete. JMO
  3. apexlawn03

    apexlawn03 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 105

    I was wondering what or how others charge. I have done it both ways and agree thanks.:usflag:
  4. yungman

    yungman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Calif.
    Messages: 1,274

    One year ago, I got an estimate of $1100 to kill the weeds, till and level my backyard which is about 2000sqft ( exclude one side yard). $1100!!!! They were my LCO all along!!!!

    Thanks to this, I bought a front tine tiller for $299 from Amazon, no tax, no shipping. I till my own!! I tilled 3 times since. It was so easy, I just till the whole thing and let it sit empty while we decide on what we are going to do. That was how I start the whole lawncare gig!!!! I let the LCO go and doing all the properties myself!!! Saving all the money to buy all the toys!!!! I am ahead by now!!!!:waving:

    Usually it is not cheap. LCO rent the tiller, last time when I had them put in grass on my front lawn which is about 2000ish sqft???? They charged me $2800 to till, level, springler, grass and Japanese Boxwood around two side.
  5. tras

    tras LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    A few years back i prepared a few gardens for customers i had at that time, used my John Deere 445 tractor with a pto driven tiller on the three point. I charged $100 per hour back then but now I dont hire out into odd jobs like that. Have had a few requests and just referred them to the local rental place.
  6. huskres

    huskres LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 283

    I have a mini tiller and I just charge them per hour, did one last week and pulled a brick up. Boy was that fun getting loose from the tines.
  7. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    You mean to tell me that you got: Ground prep, grading, irrigation, grass, and planters done on 2000 sqft, all for $2800 - and you can say "usually it is not cheap"? Am I missing something here?
  8. yungman

    yungman LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Calif.
    Messages: 1,274

    What I meant was it cost a lot to do landscaping, not that they charge me too much, we price that already. But I thought $1100 for tilling, leveling is a little high, so I did it myself. I don't know, it might not be high in your point of view, I just did it myself. It was hard labor the first time breaking the virgin soil, no mistake about it. Took me 3 days, 3 hours each to do just the tilling, then raking and leveling.

    Now is a lot easier, soil is still soft.
  9. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    if you had 9 hours into tilling @$65/hr, you have $585 just for the tilling - assuming the guy does not charge for equipment rental. Now he has to come back for another day to do the leveling/grading. Doesn't sound like too bad of quote to me. Granted, if you have the ability to do it yourself you can save a lot of money, but if you subtract out what you could have been billing your time at if you were working on your business at the time, all of a sudden it doesn't seem like so much.
    Don't forget too, that if he spent 2 days on this job, you are having to cover 10% of his monthly overhead. That's 10% of his liability insurance, bookkeeping and accounting fees, corporate taxes, truck payment, auto insurance, fuel bill, rental on his office, phone bill, etc... At the end of the day the guy probably had enough left over to take his wife out to dinner and maybe put a little aside for his kids new shoes.
    Of course, you got cheap and denied him all of that, so if you see an emaciated woman riding around in an uninsured car with shoeless kids in tow, take comfort in knowing that you helped make that possible.LOL
    That last part is just a joke, please don't think I am serious.LOL

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