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View Full Version : How Much Do You Chrarge Per Hour


Jcs Lawn and Landscape
06-04-2005, 09:46 PM
Can you give me a ball park of how much you charge per hour

PLM-1
06-04-2005, 09:53 PM
Try for a dollar per min.

Jcs Lawn and Landscape
06-04-2005, 09:55 PM
Try for a dollar per min.
is that for lawn mowing only or for yard work too because i would like to know both

liquidforcedude7
06-04-2005, 10:03 PM
I know Im a scrub but id say between 30 and 35 and hour. By myself and nothing out of the ordinary like huge hills and stuff. Thats for basic mow trim and blow.

PLM-1
06-04-2005, 10:05 PM
is that for lawn mowing only or for yard work too because i would like to know both

Mowing only. Other stuff is usually $45/hr, unless it's something that i don't want to do then i charge accordingly.

leeslawncare
06-04-2005, 10:38 PM
I try 1$ per minute.But i also try an walk all lawns with a stick .an charge 4$ per k

lawn_jockey
06-04-2005, 10:48 PM
I charge it out $33 per man per hour. I pay each man $9 but add in the over head of the job aka if you buy there lunch during the day or pay the employer income tax or whatever. Even if you have illegal workers I would charge like they are legal and you are having the normal cost of a legit biz. That way you don't have to change prices in the middle of the game when you grow or decide to go straight. I myself am dealing with this. I gave up on figuring out all my cost so I said 9/hr labor and 7.50/hr for hidden cost. Totally a wild guess. Plus I want to make money on that so i doubled my fee/hour and came up with $33/hr.

I charge this price for everything besides mowing. If it takes 15 minutes to plant a flat of seasonal color I double the price of my product and then add in the fee for labor of 15 minutes.

HighGrass
06-04-2005, 10:51 PM
I know Im a scrub but id say between 30 and 35 and hour. By myself and nothing out of the ordinary like huge hills and stuff. Thats for basic mow trim and blow.

So are you saying your work is only worth that? In essence you're saying your work is worth half of the industry standard is right? If your work is worth the industry standard (about 60/hr) and you're only charging 35, you're giving your work away. No matter how you look at it, you're turning yourself and the industry into a door mat.

shortgut
06-04-2005, 10:56 PM
$22.00 to $30.00 per man hr mowing and weed eating with a $35.00 min charge. New Holland TN75 tractor work $50.00 min charge then $30.00 per hr

allenh60
06-04-2005, 11:21 PM
I'm a newbie to this. I've worked for other companies for about 15 years and know the labor part of the business pretty well. A couple of months ago I decided to go solo and make a living like this for the rest of my life. Not doing so good at it yet but am still filled with faith and hope and motivation. Anyway, I only charge, for an average yard of just mowing and trimming and blowing 25 to 30 dollars a week. I figured when I started out, if I had only 20 customers at 25 dollars a week, I would be bringing in 500 dolars a week and thats more than I've ever brought home a week. I usually charge 5 to 10 dollars extra for extra work such as trimming bushes, pulling weeds, etc. That seems to be the going rate around here. Iv'e asked my customers that used to have another lawn care service what they were charging and it was 20 to 25 a week.

CuttingCrew
06-04-2005, 11:31 PM
When I estimate a job, I am shooting for $45 to $60 per hour depending on the degree of difficulty. I have spent an enormous amount of time figuring out what it cost me to be in business based on the amount of money I want to make and the amount of time I want to spend doing it.
At $45 on low difficulty jobs only $22 to $25 buck an hour is going to me and thats before income tax. The rest is back into the business for replacement cost advertising and so on. If your working for $30 per hour you will never have capital to expand and if something major breaks, your out of business.

Mike

LwnmwrMan22
06-05-2005, 12:31 AM
Over 17 years, I've been able to sort out the poor paying clients.

I've worked my way into averaging $75 - $100 / hour, including drive time by only doing commercial work.

Again, it's taken a while, but I don't even drop the gate on the trailer for less than $50.

topsites
06-05-2005, 12:36 AM
Well I'm at 40-45, heh. Better than last year's 35-40, the year before was 25-35 and you don't want to know my first year.

The thing that's got me excited of late is seriously lowering my own cost as this also increases profit (and without increasing the price).

txlawnking
06-05-2005, 12:48 AM
If you need to NET $20 an hr ( I don't mind that figure ), then charge what YOU need to charge, to cover your overhead, and still net $20 an hr..

Please don't fall into the trap of " I don't drop my gate for less than $xx an hr./job"...

KNOW YOU'RE expenses, and set your prices accordingly.
A lot of folks here may have different needs than you ( financially )...

Quick example, regional wage differnces: In TX, a crew leader/foreman is doing good to make $12 an hr ( and that's really on the high side )..In NY or Mass. the same dude might make $15-18 an hr..

yrdandgardenhandyman
06-05-2005, 12:54 AM
I'm a newbie to this. I've worked for other companies for about 15 years and know the labor part of the business pretty well. A couple of months ago I decided to go solo and make a living like this for the rest of my life. Not doing so good at it yet but am still filled with faith and hope and motivation. Anyway, I only charge, for an average yard of just mowing and trimming and blowing 25 to 30 dollars a week. I figured when I started out, if I had only 20 customers at 25 dollars a week, I would be bringing in 500 dolars a week and thats more than I've ever brought home a week. I usually charge 5 to 10 dollars extra for extra work such as trimming bushes, pulling weeds, etc. That seems to be the going rate around here. Iv'e asked my customers that used to have another lawn care service what they were charging and it was 20 to 25 a week.

Ah, but there's the rub. You didn't bring in 500 dollars a week. You must then deduct for insurance, taxes, fuel, equipment maintenance, purchase parts and equipment as it wears out and the list goes on and on. But, you've got to start somewhere.
On the same note :

>Topsite posted>>Well I'm at 40-45, heh. Better than last year's 35-40, the >year before was 25-35 and you don't want to know my first year.

>The thing that's got me excited of late is seriously lowering my own cost as >this also increases profit (and without increasing the price).


Shouldn't we get raises as we become more experienced, knowledgeable and become better known? Of course. Not many people can just jump from their boring job and start an immediately profitable business. Especially in our field. You have to start small with lots of PITA's and then work your way to the good reputation and better clients.

Richard Martin
06-05-2005, 05:16 AM
$45 to $50 an hour for mowing on average. $25 an hour for manual labor.

jcb287
06-05-2005, 07:09 AM
$30.00 per man hour.

geogunn
06-05-2005, 08:01 AM
Can you give me a ball park of how much you charge per hour

I charge ZERO (0) dollars/hour.

because I don't work by the hour.

GEO

SodKing
06-05-2005, 08:13 AM
Posted by liquidforcedude7
I know Im a scrub but id say between 30 and 35 and hour. By myself and nothing out of the ordinary like huge hills and stuff. Thats for basic mow trim and blow.


So are you saying your work is only worth that? In essence you're saying your work is worth half of the industry standard is right? If your work is worth the industry standard (about 60/hr) and you're only charging 35, you're giving your work away. No matter how you look at it, you're turning yourself and the industry into a door mat.

He is all of 13 years old...He is not a professional landscaper, so I would say he should be charging perhaps $10 - $15 per hour depending on whether he has to buy the gas to mow or his parents.


We have beat the hell out of this question in the past. YOUR pricing depends on your pricing strategy, your costs, whether you are a scrub (no taxes, insurance, real company, etc...), your experience level, and your market. If you are 13 you should be charging no more than $10-$15/hour IMO. If you are a professional landscape company, with employees, warehouses, inventory, insurance, etc... in the northeast then $75 to $165 is acceptable. My company charges $85 per hour for the supervisor, $75/ hour laborers, if I do a chemical/turf inspection at a golf course I charge $165 per hour just for the inspection.

Ax Man
06-05-2005, 08:18 AM
Over 17 years, I've been able to sort out the poor paying clients.

I've worked my way into averaging $75 - $100 / hour, including drive time by only doing commercial work.

Again, it's taken a while, but I don't even drop the gate on the trailer for less than $50.

This is where I'm trying to go.
I have raised prices across the board 10% the last 2 years, Now I'm going to select zones and raise them more. A benefit of having too much work, is that If you lose some, it won't really hurt.
In fact it may keep you motivated by opening time for more interesting and better paying jobs.

Flex-Deck
06-05-2005, 09:03 AM
I don't charge by the hr. I charge by the job.

grass_cuttin_fool
06-05-2005, 09:20 AM
I didnt read all the post and some one may have all ready said this. Different areas can demand or support higher per hour rates. Also you need to know what your cost are. I have a basic cost per hour to operate equipment from my dealer here they are and keep in mind these are close but your actual cost may be more or less
2 cycle trimmer $2.16 per hr
4 cycle trimmer $1.49 per hr
edger $4.39 per hr
handheld blower $1.39 per hr
bp blower $2.08 per hr
52'' wb mower $4.64 per hr
z master 60'' $7.97 per hr
push mower 21'' $2.02 per hr
rider mower not sure of deck size 38''? $9.85per hr
use these figures and how long you use each of these on the property and it will help you too figure what you need to cover the cost of the equipment and then you will know how much you need to live and and can bid it from there

MacPhersonlawn
06-05-2005, 09:26 AM
I also do not charge by the hour but I do figure the cost of a job by how long it will take to do it. You have to have some control of your time. If I judge a "job" will take an hour to do I charge $70. That is the income I need to support my business, pay my helper, and pay me. If I'm working alone I charge $45 to $50 per hour.

It has been said here many times but you do have to know what your costs are before you can figure what to charge. If your costs require you to charge more than the maket will bear, then you have to change your costs or you will not make it.

LwnmwrMan22
06-05-2005, 09:59 AM
I tried to look up the thread where about 5-6 months ago this was talked about extensively, charging by the hour or by the acre, and I went through the threads quickly back to July of last year but I could not find it.

Basically people were discussing whether you should charge by the hour, or by the acre, obviously.

I and Flex-Deck have some large(r) machines, therefore we get more per hour.

This also means that I charge more per hour for my 60" ZTR, since if a smaller account wants me to mow, that's taking my time away from running my larger mower, making more money.

It's just like snowplowing.

I charge $75 / hour whether I'm in my truck or I'm shoveling a sidewalk.

If you don't want to pay $75 / hour (usually takes about 15 minutes, so you're charged $20) for me to shovel your sidewalk, then fine, I'd rather be in the truck anyways.

Just because you're running smaller equipment doesn't mean you should charge less.

Obviously you cannot mow as fast with a 21" mower as you can with a 60" mower, but you're also not going to be tackling the same size properties with that 21" mower.

Everyone "charges" by the hour, meaning you're always going to know that this lawn takes you "x" amount of time, and you need to make "y" amount of money in time "x" to make a profit.

Just not everyone sends a bill each time stating I mowed for "x" hours and I'm charging you $53 / hour for that time.

Most people will send an invoice that charges by the job or month.

I have all my jobs contracted, including the snowplowing, which I charge $75 / hour / 18 snow events / season.

Last year I plowed 7 times, so if I were to send them an hourly bill it would have been $193 / hour. 3 years ago I plowed 22 times, so their hourly bill would have been $66.

Same thing with my mowing. I try to average between $75 and $100 / hour for 22 cuts / year.

Some years it's 18 cuts, some years it's 25 cuts on the properties that don't have irrigation.

Mountain Peak
06-05-2005, 12:05 PM
For a two man crew I try to bill 80 to 100 an hour. Gotta make enough to make the whole thing worth your while and pay insurance....

jtrice11
06-05-2005, 01:26 PM
I try and get $90 an hour, I usually have one guy with me, sometimes two. I have one lawn that takes me an hour and twenty minutes and I charge $110 bucks per. Too many guys out there thinking they can stay in business mowing for next to nothing.

drmiller100
06-05-2005, 10:52 PM
i figure out what the job is worth to the customer. then i figure out if i can make money at that rate. if not, then i figure out how to get more efficient on that job.

if the answer is still no, then i tell teh customer the dollar number of what i need, and explain why their job is so tough.

i send my employee off. he bills 400-600 a day by himself. takes him 9 hours, but i can do it in 7.

that doesn't take into consideration screw ups.

almost all of my expenses are fixed except mowing gasoline and labor and trimmer line, so i don't understand the cost per hour of runtime on equipment.

topsites
06-05-2005, 10:57 PM
I know Im a scrub but id say between 30 and 35 and hour. By myself and nothing out of the ordinary like huge hills and stuff. Thats for basic mow trim and blow.

Well no that's not that bad, I get 40-45 and I got an ad in the Yellow pages and a brand-new 2005 48" proline with deck-balancer kit and all. So maybe we're both scrubs, I can only guess the 60'ers are either up north or they got ZTR's.

Oh, and I still got customers whom I charge 30-35, they been with me for years (some from the very first day) and if they don't voluntarily pay me more, I keep them because they are very special to me.

Peace

topsites
06-05-2005, 11:01 PM
So are you saying your work is only worth that? In essence you're saying your work is worth half of the industry standard is right? If your work is worth the industry standard (about 60/hr) and you're only charging 35, you're giving your work away. No matter how you look at it, you're turning yourself and the industry into a door mat.

Well then maybe I'll just keep running 40/hour just to piss on the 60'ers and if things get nitty-gritty, I'll drop to 35, then 30. No I think we're in 2 different worlds here, just like it costs more in NYC for a pack of cigs than it does here.

I mean let us all consider what we're running for equipment AND where we live. Here in Richmond VA, 40-45 / hr is a LOT of money for grass-cutting unless you got a ZTR and even then it has 2 be a BIG yard for you to make more.

topsites
06-05-2005, 11:17 PM
This is where I'm trying to go.
I have raised prices across the board 10% the last 2 years, Now I'm going to select zones and raise them more. A benefit of having too much work, is that If you lose some, it won't really hurt.
In fact it may keep you motivated by opening time for more interesting and better paying jobs.

Now THAT is correct, lets forget the actual per-hour figures everyone makes and just take some basic bs:

Lets say I got 30 yards at 30 dollars each. Cut these 3 / month each, errrr, 2700 dollars. Now each yard is, say, 1 hour equipment time (to keep math simple). So, 30 yards 3 times = 90 hours equipment wear-and-tear.
...
Raise your prices 5 bucks/yard and 30% leave. Ok well you gotta be careful, sometimes you can lose 90% your customer base if you really push the 5 dollars but lets say I end up with 20 yards in the end, 35 bucks each.
...
20 x 35 x 3 = 2100 (600 dollar loss, or 25 percent roughly).
AND 20 x 3 = 60 hours equipment time (wow, 33% less wear-and-tear).
So, a 25 percent cash-flow loss but a 33% gain on how much less you are driving your stuff into the dirt AND less work! Am I really losing money? Maybe a little, but I'm also working less AND I get paid more when I DO work AND my equipment suffers less so it looks less scrubby.

I like it, I like it :-)

Now here's more bonus:
- You have less maintenance cost, thus more money in the bank.
- Now you can buy newer, better equipment OR at least pay for those parts you never could buy before.
- Now you have time to go out and advertise some more, do all that maintenance, get caught up, whatever AND you feel better, too!
Yeah, all this helps.

Only thing to consider is, you need to give it back to your customers as in: Do NOT take the extra money you're earning to drink it up at the bars but instead buy that brand-new WB and deck-balancer kit (ok, striping kit) and start turning out some kick-butt yards so:
- The customers who stayed with you benefit as they become the envy of the neighborhood.
- AND you will now get even MORE work because you are the BEST!
- Oh yeah: Suddenly with your new equipment, you now get the SAME yards done in 45 mins instead of an hour, so even thou you're charging the same money, you're now getting paid $35/hour every 45 mins, so to speak.

Ain't it great? You got rid of your scrub equipment, all your stuff is shiny AND it turns out yards FASTER and BETTER so now you can handle more accounts than before! Send them on, come on in, we got room for plenty more.

Yup.

drmiller100
06-05-2005, 11:36 PM
[QUOTE=topsites]Lets say I got 30 yards at 30 dollars each. Cut these 3 / month each, errrr, 2700 dollars. Now each yard is, say, 1 hour equipment time (to keep math simple). So, 30 yards 3 times = 90 hours equipment wear-and-tear.

hmmm. i have a 54 inch ztr. that means i do all 30 yards in 9 hours, or 27 hours per month.
which gives me 4 days a week to steal more customers from overpriced competition, learn to landscape, and play with my kids.

so i have an extra 200 bucks payment each month. that is 45 bucks a week, or about 2 new customers. I can do 2 new customers in 4 days.

MMLawn
06-06-2005, 12:05 AM
I think there is a difference in what you can charge as a kid that only turned 15 two months ago whose dad drops him off at his accts and what a true professional trained, licensed, insured and bonded landscaper, lawn service can charge as you will be talking about two totally different qualities and levels of service. Clients will know that also and those that are willing to hire a kid are only looking for cheap, cheap labor just to get the job done and they will only pay as little as possible and those that hire a professional company are looking for a quality job and are willing to pay for that service.

Scapegoat
06-06-2005, 01:09 AM
I charge what I need to in order to cover all business cost and make a nice profit on top of it.

I don't need to make near as much as some peeps here with a family, but that works to my advantage. I charge the same rate and get to keep more money!

If you're solo, you can clean up if you charge the going rate. Don't lowball even if you can, cause it's not necessary. Plenty for all!

Richard Martin
06-06-2005, 04:13 AM
almost all of my expenses are fixed except mowing gasoline and labor and trimmer line, so i don't understand the cost per hour of runtime on equipment.

It's simple. Take your equipment cost, add in expected fuel, oil, maintenance and repair costs and divide that by the expected lifetime in hours. I think grass_cutting_fool's numbers are about 30% to 50% on the high side but you get the idea.

grass_cuttin_fool
06-06-2005, 06:28 AM
It's simple. Take your equipment cost, add in expected fuel, oil, maintenance and repair costs and divide that by the expected lifetime in hours. I think grass_cutting_fool's numbers are about 30% to 50% on the high side but you get the idea.
And that may include replacement of that piece of equipment in 2500 hours, I cant remember, that might be why its on the high side.

surfisher211
06-06-2005, 07:42 AM
mowing i get 30 $ per hour and any other work i charge $45.00 per hour and if i have a guy with me i charge for him as well but im mostly solo :waving:

Precision
06-06-2005, 09:16 PM
I charge ZERO (0) dollars/hour.

because I don't work by the hour.

GEO

Amen

But my calculations are at $60 per hour mowing.

$75-125 for trimming

$150 for sod work

for helpers I charge $45 for mowing

$60 -125 for trimming

$150 for sod work.

The most important thing is that the higher priced things suffer the least resistance to my pricing schedule.

Lawn-Scapes
06-06-2005, 10:18 PM
As much as I can........

Nice post LwnmwrMan22. I charge the same or more (than mowing) for any side work.. even if it only requires a shovel or a pair of hand snips.

lawnrangeralaska
06-06-2005, 11:17 PM
charge by the job... if the job is like a 60 dollar mow job and you get 60 dollars an hour and it only takes you thirty minutes why only bill them for 30 when you could be making 60... ???

South Florida Lawns
06-07-2005, 01:08 AM
Depending on the services that we carry out.

gunner27
06-07-2005, 01:15 AM
I charge ZERO (0) dollars/hour.

because I don't work by the hour.

GEO
Thank you sir, employee's get paid by the hour.