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Good Morning everyone!
I have recently started up my own lawn service after owning my 1025r for about 2 years now. I love mowing my own property of about 4 acres and decided why not make some extra side money using it as well. Curious as to how many out there are using their 1025r for commercial and residential mowing, grading, tilling, etc. and what kind of hourly rate are you charging for your services?
Thanks to everyone for your input and am excited to learning and sharing what kind of prices you are getting for your services.
Travis
 

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No personal experience, but there is a local guy here that runs two 1025's all the time for his business, I see them about once a week.
 
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Hiya,

You will lose money if your cutting residential grass commercially with a sub-CUT, you can't match the quality of cut and the speed over the ground that a commercial zero turn or stander has. That's why you don't see anything else but on landscape trailers. You may have the same quality of cut on your 1 series however, the zero turns will have that same quality and cover the ground 2 to 3 times faster. (It's not just ground speed either, it's the turns at the ends of the rows and the closeness you can trim around trees and beds that makes them so fast per site as your trim time is close to zero)

The other aspect of using it for material, ground engaging work and such, yep, that's right in it's wheelhouse.

As far as the rates, you have to be competitive in your area and every area varies depending on the number of competitors, the value of the property, the square footage to be maintained, the quality level of the finished job and the distance to and from the site. What I'm trying to say here is that the rate is not going to be the same for 1 acre in the highest tax bracket area as it is for the retired couple on the wrong side of the tracks. The higher value property your going to spend more time there making sure it's showcase quality so the people next door will think about hiring you to work on their property whereas the lower value site your just going to mow and go.

Afterthought: If you do end up using your 1 series, make sure you know the location of any underground tanks or septic components. One danger for landscapers is plunge through of older underground vaults and tanks. Keep in mind that a 1 series weighs a lot more than the rider mower the owner was using and if you plunge through a tank, you may not survive the incident. (I say that as I have seen incidents of people losing their lives plunging through an old septic system vault with a large ZTR, last one I knew of was on Long Island a couple years ago)
 

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If you really want to make money, do a business plan. Figure out how much your fuel costs are for the tractor and the truck hauling it. Also determine what other costs you have to do this (maintenance etc,), how much an hour you need for your labor and then you can determine your rate. I have seen folks price it per lawn depending size or in the case of my MIL's neighbor she is charged by the hour.

The previous poster is correct the market will only bear so much of a price. Craigslist might give you some idea of what folks charge in your area.

If you are just looking to do side jobs of tilling, etc for beer money then it really depends on the size of the plot or the task. I see some folks charge a flat price for the first hour and then a hourly rate after that for tilling. I would think most gardens could be tilled in less than an hour. I know the one I did for my land lord only took about 30 minutes and it was probably a 20'x50'rectangle of virgin ground and I gave it probably 6-8 passes. I did it with my JD 400 GT with a 35 tiller. I am thinking a 1 series may have done it a little faster because it is more maneuverable than my old iron.

I think where you would make good money with your 1 series is clearing snow since you are in Nebraska. Doing driveways and small parking lots that truck plow can't do very well would probably be the niche market where the 1 series would do well. Not sure if you are set up for that or not. :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
If you really want to make money, do a business plan. Figure out how much your fuel costs are for the tractor and the truck hauling it. Also determine what other costs you have to do this (maintenance etc,), how much an hour you need for your labor and then you can determine your rate. I have seen folks price it per lawn depending size or in the case of my MIL's neighbor she is charged by the hour.

The previous poster is correct the market will only bear so much of a price. Craigslist might give you some idea of what folks charge in your area.

If you are just looking to do side jobs of tilling, etc for beer money then it really depends on the size of the plot or the task. I see some folks charge a flat price for the first hour and then a hourly rate after that for tilling. I would think most gardens could be tilled in less than an hour. I know the one I did for my land lord only took about 30 minutes and it was probably a 20'x50'rectangle of virgin ground and I gave it probably 6-8 passes. I did it with my JD 400 GT with a 35 tiller. I am thinking a 1 series may have done it a little faster because it is more maneuverable than my old iron.

I think where you would make good money with your 1 series is clearing snow since you are in Nebraska. Doing driveways and small parking lots that truck plow can't do very well would probably be the niche market where the 1 series would do well. Not sure if you are set up for that or not. :cheers:

Believe it or not we don't get that much snow and when it does snow it doesn't last long. Not really worth the time for plowing around here. But great thought and I appreciate it.
 

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Believe it or not we don't get that much snow and when it does snow it doesn't last long. Not really worth the time for plowing around here. But great thought and I appreciate it. The cost of running the unit, paying overhead and additional expenses and myself I came up with and hourly rate depending on job, terrain, etc. is between $50-$65 per hour using the 1025r.
Around here you can hire a full size backhoe with operator for that price.
 

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Believe it or not we don't get that much snow and when it does snow it doesn't last long. Not really worth the time for plowing around here. But great thought and I appreciate it. The cost of running the unit, paying overhead and additional expenses and myself I came up with and hourly rate depending on job, terrain, etc. is between $50-$65 per hour using the 1025r.

The lawn company I use for the house in TN charges a $110 flat fee for my yard, they bring two guys on Z turns, mow and trim for close to two hours. The gentleman that maintains the driveway uses a 90 HP tractor and can do the 1/2 mile drive in about an hour or less for $125. Just some things to consider.

What part of Nebraska are you in? The market in Scott's Bluff will be a lot different than Omaha or Lincoln. If you know what your operating costs are, and you know how long it takes you to do your property, call and get some estimates to see what your competition would charge to do your property. If it takes you two hours and everyone quotes you $80, the rate is easy to figure out. Then you just have to decide if you can run your equipment and make a profit for that price.
 

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Here's my take: I've seen 1 and 2 family tractors used commercially for light landscaping work with a front loader, which is how I'd use one. For cutting grass professionally, you need and want a commercial grade zero turn mower, like a Toro, Scag, or perhaps a higher end John Deere, but something designed for daily work. Good luck!
 

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With that tractor I'd get at least a $100 an hour if you can.
I've been getting $40 an hour just with my X540. I'm still having to use my walk behind & Stihl combo tools.
 

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Hiya,

You will lose money if your cutting residential grass commercially with a sub-CUT, you can't match the quality of cut and the speed over the ground that a commercial zero turn or stander has. That's why you don't see anything else but on landscape trailers. You may have the same quality of cut on your 1 series however, the zero turns will have that same quality and cover the ground 2 to 3 times faster. (It's not just ground speed either, it's the turns at the ends of the rows and the closeness you can trim around trees and beds that makes them so fast per site as your trim time is close to zero)

The other aspect of using it for material, ground engaging work and such, yep, that's right in it's wheelhouse.

As far as the rates, you have to be competitive in your area and every area varies depending on the number of competitors, the value of the property, the square footage to be maintained, the quality level of the finished job and the distance to and from the site. What I'm trying to say here is that the rate is not going to be the same for 1 acre in the highest tax bracket area as it is for the retired couple on the wrong side of the tracks. The higher value property your going to spend more time there making sure it's showcase quality so the people next door will think about hiring you to work on their property whereas the lower value site your just going to mow and go.

Afterthought: If you do end up using your 1 series, make sure you know the location of any underground tanks or septic components. One danger for landscapers is plunge through of older underground vaults and tanks. Keep in mind that a 1 series weighs a lot more than the rider mower the owner was using and if you plunge through a tank, you may not survive the incident. (I say that as I have seen incidents of people losing their lives plunging through an old septic system vault with a large ZTR, last one I knew of was on Long Island a couple years ago)
When I mowed my 5 acres - yard and pastures - with the SCUT myself, the job took me about an entire day every week. My wife finally made me stop, and hired a commercial outfit. What took me a day takes them about ninety minutes using two zero turns and one walk-behind. They also weed whack the whole fence line (around 3500 feet) and around the barn. Since my wife writes the check, I have no idea of cost, but I get to ride my horses two more days every week - the old mowing day, and the following too-bushed-to-ride-day. Plus, their mowers do a much better looking job than I did with the 60D MMM. :shhh:
 
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