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Well I'm going to be starting my bush hogging business here soon and I needed some advice. I'm wanting to use an old tractor hopefully diesel of course. I'm also wanting to restore one so I would like to find an inexpensive one that needs some repairs..any suggestions of where I could find one? I've been told to not buy a "tricycled wheel" tractor for bushhogging. Is this because they are more prone to flip over? Also what are some decent rates I should charge. Any more advice would greatly be appreciated. I always like a second opinion.
2001 F350 7.3 SCLB 4x4 Off-Road SRW
- DP Tuner, Tymar intake, 35" BFG Mudders on 16x10 Mickey T's, Superlift 6" lift, DiPricol 3 gauge Pillar, 4" SS DP to 5" sidepipe to 6" Chrome tip, WW, Panasonic Deck with 4xInfinity References, Overboost Elim., CCV
Theres alot of up's and down's in brush hogging, and alot of stobs, holes, hills, etc. I would get a nice old diesel tractor, and spend money on some heavy duty tires, stobs and lots of thorns, limbs etc. will tear up tires in a heart beat. My suggestion on price would be 50$ an acre,+ or - depending on difficulty.
1993 F-250 5-speed 4x4 7.3L Non-turbo Silver/White Standard cab longbed, American Raching 16.5" wheels, brush guard,Loud duals.
Definitely stay away from a tricycle tractor. They'll roll on you in a heartbeat. I don't know how hot it gets in Ohio, but in Georgia an enclosed cab with AC would be very nice. In the sun with the engine heat blowing back on you, you'll cook (or at least I do). The pastures around here are hilly and terraced so 4wd is nice. Go ahead and spend the money on a heavy duty Bush Hog brand rotary mower. It'll pay for its self in the long run. I can't tell you how much to charge, I've done it for free and I do it for me but not for hire.
Be safe, Joe
2002 F350, Crew Cab, 4WD, ISSOPRO Gauges,
3.73, Auto, 2wd low range mod, No door dinger,
Interior lights off switch, Zoodad Mod,
Extra Trans Cooler, Before coolers trans fltr,
Coolant fltr, Crimestopper remote start/alarm
Oil Guard Bypass, Air horns
Definately find a good old heavy bushhog. One with laminated tires. I'm indifferent to size, but I think 8' would be as big as I would want to go. And I do favor 3 pt hitch bush hog because of the way you can control them. You don't have to worry about turning to sharp with them, you can back them into whatever, don't have to worry about falling off the side of the ditch, etc.
Pricing. I'd charge $10 per bush hog ft per hour. 5 ft bush hog = $50 per hour. 10 ft bush hog = $100 per hour, etc. And I also recommend around 9-10 hp per bush hog ft for power. Be sure and get a bush hog that's wider than your tractor. Makes trimming so much easier.
Go slow and do a good job. Sharpen your blades every once in a while. Maybe offer trimming with a weed whacker.
Don't forget to walk/drive the property first also. You'll discover all those blade killing obstacles like chunks of concrete, tree stumps and other Discovery Channel items of nature. Nuttin like watching a blade wrinkle like it's been in an overloaded washing machine....
Some of my co-workers encountered and learned the hard way so at least a drive thru for a quick overview.
2003 7.3 CC XLT Sport short box 2wd dark shadow gray ,AIS Intake Kit, MBRP 4" w/3.5" D/P & 5" SS tip;Wicked Wheel ;Ultra Duty Aluminum Diff.cover JNB kit "HUTCH MOD" and Dahl 100 fuel filter. Silverstar lamps,203 T-stat w/Red billet housing. Fumoto DV w/nipple, AIH mod, Zoodad, Amsoil BMK-11 Oil ByPass Kit,fuel reg. shim @ 0.055 for 65-68 psi. Harpooned tank,Hx Mod, Coolant Filter, Po'man's Fx mod,CCV mod & 6.0 tranny cooler! Pull Rite Super Glide 14k Hitch.
Saved by Grace, not by choice
6 turning, 2 burning-Love the smell of JP-4
CH-47C Super 'C' 73'-75'
I agree with not using a NFE but for different reasons than the tractor can roll-over easier. This is a hotly debated topic on all tractor forums and unless Your working slopes You have great difficulty WALKING up You can drive a NFE tractor up & down them as long as Your rear tires are slid out on the wheels or axles approriately. The closely spaced front tires knock down the weeds & grass Your trying to mow and a day after You've mowed it stands back up and looks bad. Only way around this is to mow again a day or two later in a different set of tracks or different direction.
Buy a BUSH HOG brand of cutter...they're the heaviest-duty made. My Buddy bought a twin spindle 8 ft Bush Hog pull-type a year ago. It's built REALLY heavy. He uses a 50-55 HP Allis Chalmmers D-17 diesel to run it and it has it's hands FULL in anything much over a foot tall. He's looking for something Orange (Allis) in the 80-90 HP range and LOW Profile to pull it with now. He has some SERIOUS hills & ditches on the 100 acres He mows.
With todays $2.75/$2.95/gal. diesel fuel the idea of $10/hour per foot of cut is a good place to start on costs. Say You get a 60-70 HP tractor, and a 7 ft 3-point hitch cutter, and can run about 4 mph while doing a good job mowing You can cover about 3 acres/hr. In lighter cover You can run faster, normally up to 6 mph and cover almost 4-1/2 acres/hr. But Your burning depending on load probably 4 gal. of fuel/hour. Plus Your time, grease & oil for the equipment, the inevitable repairs.
Another piece of advice on the tractor, a Row Crop tractor is taller and the heat from the engine & rearend effects the operator MUCH less on hot days but a low profile utility tractor is more stable, normally smaller, shorter, & lighter but on hot days will fry You like egg.
'96 F-250 Reg. Cab 4X4 5-sp POWERSTROKE
298,500 mi & NO Problems, LUK Clutch
A front end loader is not a bad idea when you're mowing unknown parts/fields. Kept low, they will prevent the front end from dropping into a ditch, and they can also be use to push/bulldoze obstacles that might be hiding in the weeds. Every time I've started a new field I went slow with the loader close to the ground, and twice now I've found hidden trees and a complete tire & wheel that otherwise would have made for an expensive repair.
The Bush Hog brand of mowers is solid, with wide dealer support. However, if you want indestuctible, I'd suggest either the Brown or Rhino brands. Brown's Shredder models, as well as the 600 series of cutters, are absolute beasts, and Rhino offers mowers capable of cutting material up to 6in in diameter. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/eek.gif[/img]
Oops, forgot to add about travel....I'd suggest calling local rental yards and tractor dealers and asking how much they charge to deliver equipment. That would give you an idea of the going rate in your area, and you can price your travel charges accordingly. Jsut make sure to factor in the time, fuel, insurance and wear/tear on your tow rig & trailer.
Another suggestion since You mentioned using an older tractor....Don't get one Too old....Antique prices are HIGH....parts are scarce, and You definitely want power steering, live PTO & hydraulics. Anything from say about 1960 & newer in the 70-100 hp range should have these options in the major AG manufacturers.
'96 F-250 Reg. Cab 4X4 5-sp POWERSTROKE
298,500 mi & NO Problems, LUK Clutch
You gotta make at least $30 per hour - and you can charge the fuel usage to and from the site and for the tractor.
Like was said - do not believe land owner that there is nothing in field.
let me say this again....
DO NOT believe the land owner that there is nothing in field.
Have a slip clutch on the shredder and still carry extra drive pins.
I have even put a seat belt on - when you are cutting 4' high weeds on a side hill and can't see the hole coming up - it can be a clencher - so don't worry about changing up your pattern for safety - most people don;t ask you to come out till it;s too late.....
Anyway - good luck and save up for a canopy.
99.5 F-250 CC LB 4x4 7.3 Red
Trail Boss Replacement Bumpers, Tool Box, Headache Rack, Full Length Running Boards, BFG AT/KO 285/75x16E, 2003 Cup Holder, Marinco Heater Plug, Weather Tech Rain Vents / Hood Guard, B&W GN Hitch, X-Springs, Rear 4" F350 Blocks, Hellwig front and rear sway bars, Airlift / Wireless, Duraflaps
A good comfortable seat, safety belt, rollover bar and power steering along with the above other suggestions will make it a fun job. Definately not a tricycle tractor, they can flip in an instant in rough terrain, even turning to fast. Don't forget about our rotten Ohio sales tax on services, different tax in different areas--ie. cities,counties and townships. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/warmsmile.gif[/img]
99.5 F350 XLT Lariat 4X4 4R100 4.10 DW CC LB Centurion conversion Garret Turbo, Radio SD &Tape, SP Performance 40-60-80 chip, 100 Gal.Transfer Flow W/Trimax Control Aux. fuel tank. ScanGaugeII, Boost, EGT, Trans. Temp. Oil Temp. Build date 03/99
92 F350 2WD 7.3 IDIT E4OD CC LB dually Banks turbo US Gear O/U
Have AutoEnginuity W/Ford enhanced. Lima OH area.
My mind works lightening fast.
One Flash and it's gone forever.
As far as a brush hog goes, go with a chain style cutter. If you go blade the first rock you hit wipes out the seal in the unit and you are dumping gear lube in there all the time.
A chain goes over the rocks and flexes v/s a rigid blade.
1996 F-250 extended cab long box five speed. Home made Tymar, 203 Stat, 60 gal in bed fuel cell, 315/75's, no muffler, ebpv welded open 3" to 3" DP, Babies. 290K, still chugging, and still smoking when cold.
UPDATED 1/1/09 Replace so far. 1 LUK flywheel+clutch, 2 thermostats, 2 set of brakes, 1 set of calipers, 5 CPS, 3 sets of tires, 2 Transfer pumps, 1 Injector modual, 1 Computer, 2 Alt, 2 sets of batteries, 1 Water pump, 6 Belts, 1 PS hose, 2 Sets ball joints, 2 set u-joints, 2 carrier bearing, 2 Speed sensors, 1 oil pres sender, 1 temp sender, 4 sets of e-break cables, 1 front fuel tank, 2 rear fuel tanks, 2 set of glow plugs, 7 Glow plug relays, Oil galley o-rings, Turbo pedistal o-rings, EBPV o-rings, 3 sets of Injector O-rings, 1 Vac-pump, 1 new carpet, 1 total paint job.Total $$$ in repairs v/s miles driven = 4.6 cents per mile. Add fuel to that it jumps to 16.5 cents per mile over the life of the truck.