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anothertractor
08-05-2005, 09:39 AM
Hey everyone,
I am new to the pesticide part of the business. Before you ask, yes, I have my commercial applicator license and insurance. I have acquired my first job and want to make sure I price accordingly. I am going to spray a clients yard (about 85000 feet) with a broadleaf weed killer. With this volume, I am thinking that a hose end sprayer might be my best bet. Please advise if you feel differently. I have a 4 gallon backpack sprayer but I figured that my coverage might be spotty. Is there a ballbark per 1000 feet that I should use for a project like this? Thanks for your resonses.

Mscotrid
08-05-2005, 10:42 AM
What is your market competition? Price will vary due to market demand. Price yourself according to your competition for your area. Hose end sprayer? Not my first choice. Do you plan on using a garden hose and attach to the customers house? I've heard of applicators carrying potable water and attaching a hose end to their spray systems if changing chemicals throughout the day. As a hole that's not an industry standard.


With all that being said I would probably charge $175.00 - $200.00 if they wanted me to just drag a hose on their property. That's herbicide only no fert or other chemicals.

kcchiefs58
08-06-2005, 04:30 PM
I think you need to know a couple of things. First figure your product cost. Say a herbicide costs about $30 a gallon which is about 24 cents an ounce. How much product will you use? 1 1/2 oz. per thousand would cost 36 cents per thousand. To spray 85000 feet that would be about $31 in product cost. What is your time worth and what kind of overhead is there. If you figure your time, expenses, overhead is worth about $150 per hour. A spray rig sprays 3 gallons per minute and every minute you can spray 1000 sq. ft. that would take 85 minutes to spray 85000 feet. Cost in time would then be about $213 add product which would total to be $246.
In my area I don't care if someone is cheaper,I know what all my costs are and that is how we figure our rates, not by what the market is at. If you are in it to make money figure out what it costs you first and foremost!!

MrBarefoot
08-06-2005, 09:21 PM
I think you need to know a couple of things. First figure your product cost. Say a herbicide costs about $30 a gallon which is about 24 cents an ounce. How much product will you use? 1 1/2 oz. per thousand would cost 36 cents per thousand. To spray 85000 feet that would be about $31 in product cost. What is your time worth and what kind of overhead is there. If you figure your time, expenses, overhead is worth about $150 per hour. A spray rig sprays 3 gallons per minute and every minute you can spray 1000 sq. ft. that would take 85 minutes to spray 85000 feet. Cost in time would then be about $213 add product which would total to be $246.
In my area I don't care if someone is cheaper,I know what all my costs are and that is how we figure our rates, not by what the market is at. If you are in it to make money figure out what it costs you first and foremost!!

You sir, have hit the nail on the head.

If you price according to keep up with the low ball companies, then you will be a low ball company.

Find your costs, then set your price accordingly otherwise you will not make money.

Runner
08-06-2005, 09:47 PM
How could or WOULD someone not have done their homework to see if it is even feasible before they go and get their certifications, insurance, and licensing? I don't get it.
I mean,....why would you even go through all that if you didn't know what the costs and numbers were?

JBird
08-07-2005, 11:34 PM
JOE,....You Read My Mind, the clues are there if you look.

gorknoids
08-07-2005, 11:36 PM
85K' is a big lawn, and time being what it is (money), you'd do well to head to Northern Tool and Equipment (Virginia, right?) and purchase a 15 gallon spray rig (with carriage), 100' of hose, and a variable nozzle. The benefits will be realized in reduced mixing time, more accurate mixing, more consistent and faster application, and less wear/tear on yourself. Chemicals of all sorts are very expensive, so using the very minimum to get the job done (correctly) is very important.
kcchiefs58 knocked it out of the ballpark. All I would add is that you need to factor overtime into bids. All the big outfits do it because they HAVE to pay it, so after you've figured in overhead, materials, MH's, consumables and all, determine if it will put you over 40 for the week.

Runner
08-08-2005, 01:25 AM
JOE,....You Read My Mind, the clues are there if you look.

I'm sorry, and I certainly don't mean to be cynical, but I am more and more inclined to believe that a good way to get through alot of the "grey" would be to do like another site does, and offer an actual Certified status to those that have them. The people send (E-mail) a copy of their Cert and License to the site administrator, and it is put on their avatar. I am tired of giving info out to potentially endangering situations. I cannot do it in good consience if I don't know for sure. Don't get me wrong, I love to help people out, but it is different when there are so many on here that are NOT educated, and are still blasting stuff all over. I'm not going to be a part of making this part of the industry into what the mowing industry is now.

...and Anothertractor, don't take this wrong, because it is NOT directed at you.

anothertractor
08-08-2005, 10:33 AM
After reading all of the replies, first of all I want to thank you all for your input. The responces looked odd so I went back to look at my original question. This was supposed to be 8500 feet, not 85000. I am so sorry that I have wasted your time on a totally irrelevant question. I am sure that the application changes with the footage involved. Any way, I did this project over the weekend and I want to make sure that I do not undercut anyone. This customer is very happy with my work and has deep pockets. I do not want to overcharge him and take a chance on losing him but I do not want to under charge him and leave money on the table/ bring down the price. I am sure that this one job will not affect the market price but I plan on getting more involved in this. I have decided to charge $15 per 1000 feet, making the total $127.5. Any input will be appreciated.

Mscotrid
08-08-2005, 02:16 PM
You charged him 127.50 for a weed control only app on 8,500 sq ft?? On 8,500 sq ft you should have only used about 13 oz of herbicide. Even if you paid 40$ a gal.( which would be high but you may not buy enough quantity to get much a break) that's less then 5$ worth of chemical. And even if you backpacked the whole thing you could have it done in 1/2 hour. That was an outragous charge. Thats about what I would charge for an acre!

anothertractor
08-08-2005, 02:30 PM
You charged him 127.50 for a weed control only app on 8,500 sq ft?? On 8,500 sq ft you should have only used about 13 oz of herbicide. Even if you paid 40$ a gal.( which would be high but you may not buy enough quantity to get much a break) that's less then 5$ worth of chemical. And even if you backpacked the whole thing you could have it done in 1/2 hour. That was an outragous charge. Thats about what I would charge for an acre!
Thanks,
This is what I am looking for. I do not want to overcharge him. I want to be fair but competitve on my pricing. Does anyone else have any input? I have not sent him the invoice yet so I can still change it.

Thanks

Mscotrid
08-08-2005, 02:33 PM
The way I usually figure out my pricing on a standard application is to start with a 25-30 dollar charge for the trip out. I dont care if your in the nieghborhood or not it cost you that in gas, oil,liscence,insurance, taxes,etc.
and then I add 2-2.50 per 1,000 after that. I might go a little less if they are a six app a year customer. But this is only after countless hours pricing product and investigating what your competition is charging.

Grassmechanic
08-08-2005, 03:16 PM
I get $4/k in my area. I've been told I'm high by some people, low by others.

Mscotrid
08-08-2005, 03:43 PM
We'd be real close. Take a 10,000 sg ft lawn, you would be 40$ and I would be 45$, The reason I have done it this way is say now we are each doing a 3,000 sq ft lawn. You would be 12$ and I would be 31$. I just wont do a lawn for under 30$ Even with small lawns and dense routing it is hard to get more than twenty or twenty five lawns a day. I just think there has to be a minimum charge

Runner
08-09-2005, 11:03 AM
I agree. Ours are formulated with a stop fee, plus square footage. It all works out perfect. You have to have a minimum.

Grassmechanic
08-09-2005, 01:06 PM
We'd be real close. Take a 10,000 sg ft lawn, you would be 40$ and I would be 45$, The reason I have done it this way is say now we are each doing a 3,000 sq ft lawn. You would be 12$ and I would be 31$. I just wont do a lawn for under 30$ Even with small lawns and dense routing it is hard to get more than twenty or twenty five lawns a day. I just think there has to be a minimum charge
I also have a minimum - $30.

DUSTYCEDAR
08-09-2005, 02:43 PM
i bumped up my min to 40 bucks this year
pay or call someone else i am tired of fixing others screw ups for to little

GrazerZ
08-09-2005, 05:10 PM
I have a minimum of $55 here. I do do a couple tiny lawns for $35 for a landscaper I know, I would charge $55.

turf hokie
08-09-2005, 07:55 PM
My miniumum to a Scraper is 35 and to a H/O 45.

I don't get less than $7.50 per k on anything to a H/O and I got called a lowballer the other day.

Grassmechanic
I get $4/k in my area. I've been told I'm high by some people, low by others.

It is all what the market will bear.

anothertractor
08-10-2005, 09:32 AM
Thanks for all of your help guys. I am going to price according to all of your recommendations.

jajwrigh
08-11-2005, 07:21 PM
With that kind of pricing, you'll be lucky to get any business...

ThreeWide
08-11-2005, 07:38 PM
Not trying to be a jerk about this topic but.......

If one cannot sit down and determine what to charge by considering labor, transportation, product costs, overhead percentage, and markup how on earth can you know what your pricing should be?

Product costs change constantly, but if you use what is typically your most expensive round (pre-emergent normally) everything should work out.

Without knowing the above, you don't even know what your profit is per application.

I personally don't care what other companies charge for the same services. Everyone's cost structure is different, so basing your pricing against others is a recipe for disaster.

Sorry about the rant...a customer got under my skin this afternoon.

lawnboy33
08-11-2005, 08:47 PM
Here we go again! Well first of all if you sprayed at even a 1/2 gl per 1000 sq ft you wouldn't be able to do anything over 8000Sq ft with a 4 gallon back pack sprayer. Definately over charged him!!! I will spray a lawn that size for around 37.95 Thats spraying weed control only!! With fert and if its hilly about $47.95 My suggestion is invest in a 200-300 gallon spray unit! That will pay itself off within a year! I hope you know what you are doing because It's much more difficult than it seems. I have a set price up to 60 000 sq ft and anything more than that $2.00 per every 1000 sq ft