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How to Estimate Bush Hogging Jobs

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Bush hogging is the act of clearing brush out of an area of land. This may be one way of clearing land for agricultural use; companies building on a piece of land may also hire someone to bush hog it to make it ready for development or landscaping. The bush hogger uses a bush hogging machine attached to a tractor to clear around trees and rocks that are to stay in place.

Find out how much bush or brush hogging services go for in your area. In some rural areas, it is a highly needed service and in others, people tend to do their own bush hogging. Your nearest agricultural extension service office may be a good source of information.

Set an hourly wage for yourself. Choose a number that seems fair and reasonable but also adequately compensates you for your work and time. Think about how much you'd be willing to pay someone if you needed a similar service.

Consider the time of year when estimating a bush hogging job. Clearing brush out in the early spring will involve much less work overall than clearing brush in the summer, when weeds and saplings are at their tallest and most lush.

Walk the land you are being hired to bush hog. If it's especially rocky or difficult to navigate, you will have a harder time than if it's a flat field. This should be factored into your estimate.

Factor in the type of brush that is being cut. You will need to work harder and longer to clear thick brush, weeds and saplings than thick grass.

Determine how long it will take you to do the job overall, how much gas you will need for your equipment and your hourly wage. Write up the estimate for your customer. If you're still not sure, call another bush hogger in another area and ask how much he might charge to do a similar job. Many people are glad to help, especially if you're not a direct competitor.


Michelle Hogan is a writer and the author of 13 books including the 2005 bestselling memoir, "Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America." Hogan studied English at American University and has been writing professionally since 1998. Her work has appeared in "The New York Times," "Redbook," "Family Circle" and many other publications.

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