Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Topping  (Read 2307 times)

Isla

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
    • Facebook
Topping
« on: June 27, 2018, 03:53:49 pm »
Been quoted £25 per acre for topping. Thatís from someone very local (2 miles?) but he hasnít seen the land in question. Thought it seemed pricey? But maybe itís because I only have 3 acres! Sheep and goats arenít making a dent on the grass. I donít want any more livestock. Maybe I should hire or buy equipment and do it myself?

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Topping
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2018, 04:23:44 pm »
We've just done five acres using a walk-behind mower.  Believe me, if I could have got it done for £125, I'd have jumped for joy!!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

Black Sheep

  • Joined Sep 2015
  • Briercliffe
    • Monk Hall Farm
Re: Topping
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2018, 04:39:35 pm »
http://www.naac.co.uk/userfiles/files/NAAC%20CONTRACTING%20CHARGES%20GUIDE%202018%20final.pdf

Suggests you're paying about double the rate, but for the small acreage where the set up time etc has to be absorbed over a shorter job, may not be unreasonable.

juliem

  • Joined Aug 2014
Re: Topping
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2018, 08:02:02 pm »
plenty of people round my way who have old tractors...but the access to the toper is the difficult thing?
I begrudged paying £180 for 6 hrs work to have my hedge cut...but he did have the state of the art hedge cutter which must have cost thousands .Perhaps he has to hire the topper ?

Isla

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
    • Facebook
Re: Topping
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2018, 10:04:55 pm »
Jeepers just had alternative quote. £210.

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Topping
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2018, 06:37:25 am »
I would expect a minimum rate to be at least £20 to cover man and machine for that acreage at that distance from home.  Often it is not the time taken to do a small job that lifts the price but the wasted time getting to and from them.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Topping
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2018, 07:25:06 am »
well it would be many years before those costs would pay for the equipment Ö.  tends to be £20 an hr going rate round here Ö. but you would be lucky to find anyone currently Ö too busy hay making,
Linda

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honeyend

  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Topping
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2018, 07:43:18 am »
Last time I had an hourly rate it was £25 per hour for a man and a tractor, but if its not a big area its not worth them coming.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Topping
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2018, 08:36:10 am »
plenty of people round my way who have old tractors...but the access to the toper is the difficult thing?
I begrudged paying £180 for 6 hrs work to have my hedge cut...but he did have the state of the art hedge cutter which must have cost thousands .Perhaps he has to hire the topper ?


£30/hour... about right for man tractor and machinery when you think about the wage he has to take, upkeep of machinery, diesel costs?


I think if you can find a farmer thatís able to do your topping now then bite his hand off as everyone is crazy busy at the moment. Unfortunately people with small acreage are not at the top of the things to do list at this time of year.

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Topping
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2018, 09:27:54 am »
3 acres at £25/acre is only £75, which doesn't buy very much nowadays.  Particularly when you take into account the time taken to set up his machine, drive to/from you, pay for the fuel and maintain his kit.  If he has to raise an invoice as well then it will take him even longer. 

Personally I would rip his arm off if he was available to do my fields!

To buy your own kit:
Quad, say £4k
Flail, say 3k
Fuel, £??
Maintenance, £??

So he could top your fields 106 times for your outlay of machinery cost, ignoring your time, fuel and maintenance costs.  If you topped your fields twice a year say, they that is over 50 years worth of topping before you have covered your outlay!  If you want to top your fields every other week, it would be a different story of course.   


Isla

  • Joined Aug 2015
  • Aberdeenshire
    • Facebook
Re: Topping
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2018, 12:16:48 pm »
Thanks, all. Think heís fresh out of school and using Dadís gear. Always good to support a neighbour.

Has made me reconsider how much I charge for my own work though - never occurred to me to take travel time or equipment into account when I come up with my prices.

Maysie

  • Joined Jan 2018
  • Herefordshire/Shropshire Border
Re: Topping
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2018, 01:07:57 pm »
Thanks, all. Think heís fresh out of school and using Dadís gear. Always good to support a neighbour.

Has made me reconsider how much I charge for my own work though - never occurred to me to take travel time or equipment into account when I come up with my prices.
Time is Money! 

It can be very hard to value your own time properly and many people struggle to do it.   
In my experience, everyone else (well, most anyway), will always think you are too expensive, so it is your self-belief in the job that you do and the price that you charge for doing it, to prove they are wrong.  Easier said than done though.  There will always be people who value your work and others who think you are a charity and don't need to make a living. 

pgkevet

  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Topping
« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2018, 07:35:13 am »
I sometimes use a chap from the village to drive for me. I pay him £10/hr cash in hand. He uses my tractor + kit and fuel and generally causes some damage to the stuff.. anything from broken wingmirrors to punctures, did break a glass door once (free on insurance), once bent the topper cutters and so on. £25/hr with none of those costs and liabilities is good value.Mr farmer cuts and takes my hay (gratis). Compared to me having a contractor in, storing and then selling it then potentially i'd make £1500 profit from it. BUT in exchange he maintains my 1/2 mile of roadside hedges and trees, tops the slopes once a year (nearly 20 acres), pulls me out of swamps and is generaly available if there's an emergency. Frankly that's well worth the hay value.

 

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