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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The small tract post is also mine. I would like to know how far y'all are willing to road or haul equipment to do 5 to 10-acre fields and how do you recover your expense of moving your equipment? As I mentioned in the other question I had a woman ask me to come 55 miles to do a 10-acre field of what she called winter grazing mix whatever that may be. I already use google earth pro to get a very good idea of the acreage as a lot of people do not know how much land is really there or they try to save a few dollars saying it is less than what it is, it also makes their BPA look better. I am just trying to get a feel for what the SOP is for the small tracts. I try and have a layout of the folks I work for so I do not mind going a little out of the way to cover good paying people. The woman 55 miles away I do not know her and I have no one down that way I work for now. Just curious how far y'all are willing to go to help people get their hay up?
 

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Do you mean driving the tractors & equipment down the road or trailering it on a big trailer? It all depends on the profitability of the land. This is kind of my life as a mulch king farmer. I have to road equipment to less than perfect fields. I was offered a 18 acre field 25 miles away and politely turned it down. As I get more local fields, I take fewer distant fields.
As of now, I'd probably cap my "tractor on the road" distance at 10-12 miles for a 10 acre tract.
I no longer trailer equipment anywhere to do hay. I do trailer my tractor & 15' bush hog to mow fields if the money is right.
 

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I’ve travelled to hay 15 acres of good ground about 12 miles away after I was done all my own ground. There’s a travelling guy that goes up to 50 miles around here but his solution to the lost profitability is working under the table and not paying his bills. Only does round bales, has a pair of trucks and 40 ft flatbeds to move equipment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
SLOWSUKI I am not interested in having to operate like that. That is why I am asking how to go about keeping my neighbors on good terms and still turning a profit.

Aaroncboo when you get down there it is mostly ranch land and people just farm the bottoms and the ones that do have more cultivation do their own and it is a little clannish down that way.

JD3430 I can truck my tractor and little square baler but my rake and round baler and haybine I have to move with my truck.

HiTech I am at that point, if I charge enough to make a dime on the job they will think I am overcharging
 

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I would politely tell her to find someone closer. 5 to 10 miles max and it would have to be more and better fields just for that. If it was 100 acres in a good field maybe then you could give it some thought. Would you be doing the hay for them or yourself? Basically like farming at a second location you would need a building to use for hay and equipment storage.
 

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I travel about 25~30mi from home to various hay fields. The farther away the field is the bigger and better it needs to be for it to be profitable.

3 years ago I traveled 50 miles for a 40 acre piece. The field was square and smooth and the hay was great. Moving equipment wasn't bad, it was the hauling many hundreds of 4x5 bales home that was the kicker.

10 acres 55 miles away would be a no thinking NO from me.
 

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Last year I did 35 acres that was 25 mile away. It took me three hours to run my swather down the road, and a 1.5 hours for the tractor and baler. I made decent money, but the field was pretty rough. Lots prairie dog mounds. I am not sure I will do it this year unless he replanted it; I bet he didn't. For 10 acres 55 miles away, I would not even walk out my door for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I never could put a reasonable rate together that I was happy with so it was a no brainer. Sometimes you just have to say NO! Went to the store this morning a man I have seen around town but did not know told me a friend of his told him about me but had misplaced my number told him what I drove and a basic description he turned me 30 acres of wheat to bale and said if this goes well he has some coastal fields. As it turns out they are about a mile from my south coastal fields. If I would have just gone to look at the 55 miles away crap I would have left out 2 hours before I went to the store this morning and missed this guy. So it works out well most of the time. Thanks for the input.
 

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One thing I would add to the "traveling show" concept and turning it down or accepting it:

I was offered a hay mowing job and I plotted it out on the Mason Dixon line on which I live. It was 10 miles. I decided I'd take it, knowing it would be hours lost and more worn rubber on the tractor tires. Did the job and it was ok, but nothing great.
The following year, I got a call from a property owner about 1/2 way between me and the 10 mile away farm. Now I do their farm, too.
Before you say "no", look at the possibilities in between the customer and your tractor shed.
 

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I've hauled everything 60 miles for a big job. I can't imagine hauling for a small job. The only way I would consider going more than a few miles is if there are multiple fields and I can catch one while I'm in the neighborhood.
 

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55 miles for 10 acres is insanity. I can't even comprehend that. I ditched 10 acres that was 5 miles away from me because it was too big of a PITA. I'm doing 45 acres of squares this year and everything is within two miles of me. That's even after turning down another 20 acres within the same distance.

I'm just a one man show with a full time job and single tractor, and some hard working teenagers who stop at nothing to show up on baling day to stack the wagon.
 

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I'm making hay on a 7 acre field 9 miles away. It takes me 15 minutes to haul equipment there with the truck, and 40 to move equipment with the tractor (I have a slow tractor). If I wasn't getting it for free, I wouldn't do it. It's decent hay too now that the weeds are controlled.
 

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I'm making hay on a 7 acre field 9 miles away. It takes me 15 minutes to haul equipment there with the truck, and 40 to move equipment with the tractor (I have a slow tractor).
15 minutes to haul equipment 9 miles won't be taking into account for attaching trailer to truck.loading/unloading equipment or chaining/booming equipment!! I've hauled more equipment than i care to remember when I was employed for 21 yrs at a farm equipment dealership so I have a lot of experience hauling farm equipment.
 

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Back in the day I had went about 30 miles for big fields. If is was in the area I would do little fields but would not go that far. I had a 10 acre patch I went 30 miles to bale but he was the CFO of the company that I bailed all there hay fields for tax exemption purposes. When we parted ways I was asked to do his 10 acres and I respectfully declined.
 

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When I’m haying this field, the trailer stays hitched to the truck. It takes me less than 10 minutes to load and chain the tractor down. I might ted several times, so I just leave it on the trailer. But yeah, if I had a tractor that had a higher road speed, I wouldn’t bother with the trailer.
 
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