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Thread: Contractors rates too high.

  1. #61
    Senior Member WoodenHead's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Some farmers and estates are too fickle. They'll look to use out of area guys when their regular contractors are tied up elsewhere because of weather delays or just because Mr NewBloke offers a lower price.

    To me rather like the NFU's 'Make it Local' there is alot to be said for supporting these local guys that maybe do have a few acres but not enough to make a living off so contracting is their main income stream.

    Yes we all need to keep an eye on costs and sure we don't want to pay someone in a knackered Ford, brain in neutral, listening to Radio 2 taking hours longer hedgecutting than it should - but with good dialogue between customer and contractor - there should be no reason why the relationship should not be mutually beneficial.

    The couple of contractors we have round here + hedgecutters and fencers are part and parcel of our community and wider village. They are helpful guys, professional and with risk assessments coming out of their ears. We support them when we can and don't bullsh*t them when we can't, have an issue or can do the work ourself if we need to.

  2. #62
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bumble Bee View Post
    It would be interesting to know what contracting services you use.

    I hope that gives you a bit of an insight into the real world of contracting in a wet season like this. Not a rose tinted one.


    Bumble Bee
    Thanks for the excellent factual posts BB - for 25 years I relied on contractors, in fact one contractor, who did all the heavy HP work for me. I didn't have a shed full of machinery - he had it instead. We worked well together, judging crops and land conditions. I paid on time, and he arrived on time. He knew the farm and there was 100% trust. I knew it was a good relationship at the time, and still think so today.

  3. #63
    Senior Member Bumble Bee's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by farmideas View Post
    Thanks for the excellent factual posts BB - for 25 years I relied on contractors, in fact one contractor, who did all the heavy HP work for me. I didn't have a shed full of machinery - he had it instead. We worked well together, judging crops and land conditions. I paid on time, and he arrived on time. He knew the farm and there was 100% trust. I knew it was a good relationship at the time, and still think so today.
    You have hit the nail on the head there. There has to be trust and respect between a customer and a contractor (or any other person you do business with) for it to work. When I do work for our customers I think of it as a partnership. Not who can screw the most out of each other. In fact I have been known to suggest way of doing things to customers that actually mean that we earn less, but save the customer money.
    I find that it usually take 2 years to gain the full trust of a customer. So that If I say that I am turning up on Tuesday, they know it will be Tuesday not Friday (unless it rains of course)

    I have found that there are 2 types of customer.
    1. Those that think you should be grateful to be give the work.
    2. Those that are grateful you have done the work.
    Luckily we have quite a few of the later. But obviously the truth lies in the middle. We both need each other.

  4. #64

    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by WoodenHead View Post
    Some farmers and estates are too fickle. They'll look to use out of area guys when their regular contractors are tied up elsewhere because of weather delays or just because Mr NewBloke offers a lower price.

    To me rather like the NFU's 'Make it Local' there is alot to be said for supporting these local guys that maybe do have a few acres but not enough to make a living off so contracting is their main income stream.

    Yes we all need to keep an eye on costs and sure we don't want to pay someone in a knackered Ford, brain in neutral, listening to Radio 2 taking hours longer hedgecutting than it should - but with good dialogue between customer and contractor - there should be no reason why the relationship should not be mutually beneficial.

    The couple of contractors we have round here + hedgecutters and fencers are part and parcel of our community and wider village. They are helpful guys, professional and with risk assessments coming out of their ears. We support them when we can and don't bullsh*t them when we can't, have an issue or can do the work ourself if we need to.
    nothing wrong with a contractor running older well maintained kit , the best / most profitable ones I know run well maintained older gear and make a nice living and do a good job , how can you put 120 k fendt trimming hedges and make a profit ?

  5. #65
    Senior Member v12cat's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by claas860 View Post
    nothing wrong with a contractor running older well maintained kit , the best / most profitable ones I know run well maintained older gear and make a nice living and do a good job , how can you put 120 k fendt trimming hedges and make a profit ?
    Buy the Fendt when someone else has taken the depreciation.

    Basically I agree with you.

  6. #66
    Member Danube's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Use contractors when needed. Do work for others if we can. Same cost for both 86 per hour for combining. Literally millions with a tractor run round plough, discs, planter all cost the same 20 per hectare. Never use them, millions do.

  7. #67
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Not sure if this is normal but the amount I pay just breaks even and I keep the sfp.

  8. #68
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray C View Post
    Your 100% right about contractors being as bad because their's always one smart arse that can always do it cheaper but do not take into account that their machines they operate now will more than likely cost 15/30% more when it comes to replacing in 3 years time" the way I always looked at it was if you couldn't make a profit then leave the machine parked in shed.
    what annoyed me was certain customers that would tell me my rates were to high & get the cheapest to do the job but surprise surprise you would get the phone call from that same customer saying the other contractor couldn't make it as they were too busy & expected you to drop everything & come running!! Would just say sorry but I was busy.

    yip some farmers do pay stupid money for rents as I just don't understand how it pays
    Its the same in most industries, to make a start and get off the ground you must have a better service or go in at a chaeper price, its usally price that does it though. Around here a few young lads have set up and to get the work they have to be competitive, It's not the price they want but the price has to compete with matie boy down the road wanting to drive a new john deere/fent or massey.


    imo It the farmers missing the trick and not getting more work done by them, but each bussiness if different

  9. #69
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    had dung spread on our farm, young guy starting off 2 year old tractor and brand new dung spreader. 30/hr. my oul boy brought him in sat him down worked out his costings for him. and paid him 45/hr. and gave a talk ive heard a million times about selling yourself short, no point working for nothing etc etc. not to many men will do that for you!!

  10. #70
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    So,If you buy 1 tractor and 1 machine at a cost of 120,000 ,and charge 35 an hour you would have to do around 3500 hours flat out just to pay for the kit.that doesn't include fuel,servicing,repairs,wages etc.the contractor has to buy most of the latest kit to be able to survive and have most of it standing idle for three parts of the year.So by that way of thinking,60 an hour should be somewhere near the right price if they want to make a decent living and be able to re-invest in new kit..Are contractors rates too high.??You decide.

  11. #71
    Senior Member Recycled's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by plant hauler View Post
    So,If you buy 1 tractor and 1 machine at a cost of 120,000 ,and charge 35 an hour you would have to do around 3500 hours flat out just to pay for the kit.that doesn't include fuel,servicing,repairs,wages etc.the contractor has to buy most of the latest kit to be able to survive and have most of it standing idle for three parts of the year.So by that way of thinking,60 an hour should be somewhere near the right price if they want to make a decent living and be able to re-invest in new kit..Are contractors rates too high.??You decide.
    you would think thats the way it should be but contractors work out there rates on depreciation not the actual cost of buying the kit . ie there kit always has some value and they can sell it .

  12. #72
    Senior Member Zetor's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by v12cat View Post
    Buy the Fendt when someone else has taken the depreciation.

    Basically I agree with you.
    Good advice! I have zero depreciation on my 716 and my biggest cost is tyres, i have tried ag contracting but i couldn't make it pay, the work i now do now is profitable and more important i have time for my family!

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  13. #73
    Senior Member v12cat's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zetor View Post
    Good advice! I have zero depreciation on my 716 and my biggest cost is tyres, i have tried ag contracting but i couldn't make it pay, the work i now do now is profitable and more important i have time for my family!

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    I'd love to be able to justify a new tractor but the fact is, even at over 2K hours per year, the figures don't get even close to what my 716 costs me.

  14. #74
    Senior Member Tullyvernon's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zetor View Post
    Good advice! I have zero depreciation on my 716 and my biggest cost is tyres, i have tried ag contracting but i couldn't make it pay, the work i now do now is profitable and more important i have time for my family!

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    If you take into account the cost of your replacement tractor your 716 will have depreciated as much as any other

  15. #75
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zetor View Post
    Good advice! I have zero depreciation on my 716 and my biggest cost is tyres, i have tried ag contracting but i couldn't make it pay, the work i now do now is profitable and more important i have time for my family!

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    What work you doing now zetor that is profitable if you dont mind me asking

  16. #76
    Senior Member Zetor's Avatar
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by JumpingJag View Post
    What work you doing now zetor that is profitable if you dont mind me asking
    Click on link below

  17. #77
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    Re: Contractors rates too high.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zetor View Post
    Click on link below
    Immpressive outfit you have there, you must be in agood horsey area. we do alot of fencing along with ag contracting, have also done a few areanas

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