Do these contractor hedge-cutting rates make the ‘cut’?

Earlier today, we brought you news that the FCI (The Association of Farm & Forestry Contractors in Ireland) is believed to be compiling an ‘agricultural contracting charges (prices) guide’.

Also Read: Contracting body set to publish national charge-out rates ‘guide’?

It is believed that the association is intending to publish a list of prices as a “guide” and not a recommended price listing.

Figures are currently under discussion for a range of contractor services, including: baling and bale handling; cultivations; drilling/sowing operations; seed cleaning; complete cultivation work; fertiliser application; spraying; combine harvesting; beet harvesting; hedge-cutting; silage and willow harvesting; zero-grazing; slurry and muck spreading; as well as plant and tractor hire.

Rate/hour for hedge-cutting

There’s scarcely a full week left for hedge-cutting (before the closed period comes into force), so let’s not delay in delving into these.

A ‘guide’ price of €45/hour (plus VAT) for a flail-type hedge-cutter has been suggested – as a draft figure.

Image source: Shane Casey

This figure would rise to €60/hour in the case of a saw-type (saw-head) machine. In the further instance of the use of a hedge-cutter on a tracked excavator, a ‘guide’ price of €70/hour (plus VAT) has been circulated for debate.

A figure has also been put forward for mulching of hedges (and similar growth); that ‘guide’ price is believed to be €50/hour (plus VAT).

Other charge-out rates

Interestingly, other charge-out rates (prices) have been bandied about too. A ‘draft’ rate of €60/hour (plus VAT) is noted for a 13t excavator (all these prices include an operator); that drops to €40/hour for a backhoe loader (i.e. a JCB 3CX or similar).

Image source: JCB

The ‘draft’ rate for a tractor and 14t dump trailer is €45/hour (plus VAT). For a teleporter (telescopic handler) or a 10t loading shovel, it’s €50/hour (plus VAT). Again, all of these rates include an operator.

Image source: Shane Casey

Tractor hire (with an operator) is ‘guided’ at a price of €40/hour (plus VAT) for a 100-150hp model. That climbs to €50/hour for a larger 150-200hp machine.


The aforementioned ‘prices’ are believed to be average, guide-line prices – surveyed from FCI members. They may also change before the ‘guide’ is finally agreed by the membership.

Also Read: How do these agri contracting ‘prices’ shape up?

In all cases, they are apparently based on a (green) diesel price of 70c/L.