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View Full Version : $60 per man, per hour.......


bobbygedd
08-21-2005, 07:15 PM
this is the goal, right? everyone seems to have a target of $60 per man, per hr, for mowing. company #1 has a $35,000 shiny truck, an enclosed trailer with fancy pictures on the side, 2 - $9,000 walkers. top of the line blowers/wackers/edgers/. a $600 edger. his target is $60 per man hour. company #2 has a 1991 ford f-150. a single axel open trailer. 2-48" walkbehinds purchased used. a couple of wackers/and blowers. an edger purchased at home depot for $200. HIS target is $60 per man hour. anything wrong with this picture?

Lost Pine
08-21-2005, 07:43 PM
this is the goal, right? everyone seems to have a target of $60 per man, per hr, for mowing. company #1 has a $35,000 shiny truck, an enclosed trailer with fancy pictures on the side, 2 - $9,000 walkers. top of the line blowers/wackers/edgers/. a $600 edger. his target is $60 per man hour. company #2 has a 1991 ford f-150. a single axel open trailer. 2-48" walkbehinds purchased used. a couple of wackers/and blowers. an edger purchased at home depot for $200. HIS target is $60 per man hour. anything wrong with this picture?

Let us NOT forget about talent ...? And reputation..The company with the new fancy equipment may just be smoke and mirrors.

wbw
08-21-2005, 07:47 PM
One of them is a businessman. The other, well, he cuts grass for a living.

Varsity L&G
08-21-2005, 07:53 PM
New does not make it more dependable or better at doing it's job.

I like company #2.

lawnworker
08-21-2005, 08:02 PM
Bobby company 1 needs to hump it a lot more to make $60.00 per hour, due to the over head. They have to bring in maybe 120.00 per man hour to make that 60, while 2 needs about 70.00 per hour to clear that 60.00

rodfather
08-21-2005, 08:21 PM
Don't know about Walkers other than I'll need one in like 20 years (what are they btw...mowers that is?). You are looking at one instance in B&W and the other in Color from my point of view.

bobbygedd
08-21-2005, 08:26 PM
Don't know about Walkers other than I'll need one in like 20 years (what are they btw...mowers that is?). You are looking at one instance in B&W and the other in Color from my point of view.
no, my point is, most companies look at a target of, gross, $60 per man hr. you are not going to get much more. but why is the high overhead company, and the low overhead company, both setting a target of $60 per man hour? i've never heard the lower end company say, "our target is $40 per man hour." shouldn't everything be relative?

rodfather
08-21-2005, 08:29 PM
no, my point is, most companies look at a target of, gross, $60 per man hr. you are not going to get much more. but why is the high overhead company, and the low overhead company, both setting a target of $60 per man hour? i've never heard the lower end company say, "our target is $40 per man hour." shouldn't everything be relative?

Nothing is relative in this business Bobby other than the price of fuel and the price of equipment. Period

trying 2b organic
08-21-2005, 08:36 PM
I do commercial maintenance, I spend the minimum on vehicles and mowers, thats, as little as i can not the most. I dont let my ego run my purchasing dept. I therefor, all things being the same, earn more money per hr than the people with the higher per hr overhead.

My minimum includes all commerical equipment and a well running proffesionl looking truck. Your point is well taken and very important when looking at the numbers and shooting for 60 per man per hr.

6'7 330
08-21-2005, 08:44 PM
Nothing is relative in this business Bobby other than the price of fuel and the price of equipment. Period

You got that right, what is relative in my business,might be completely irrelative for yours.

wbw
08-21-2005, 08:51 PM
no, my point is, most companies look at a target of, gross, $60 per man hr. you are not going to get much more. but why is the high overhead company, and the low overhead company, both setting a target of $60 per man hour? i've never heard the lower end company say, "our target is $40 per man hour." shouldn't everything be relative?

and $60 per man hour seems to be about what the market has settled on. Your job is to get what the market will bear (@ $60) while spending as little as possible. Some can earn $60 while spending only $10, some spend $30 while others spend $65. Guess who lasts the longest.

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-21-2005, 09:08 PM
You didn't mention company #3 with the F150 and no trailer carring a WB, trim mower, string trimmer and blower. But I'm only trying to get $1.00 a minute :D

wbw
08-21-2005, 09:11 PM
not try to get $2.00 per minute? It seems to be the going rate.
. But I'm only trying to get $1.00 a minute :D

OnMyOwn
08-21-2005, 09:13 PM
You get whatever the client will pay. Never leave money on the table. The market is set on geographic area, presentation and follow through. In other words, price is fixed and profit is a derived from overhead management. I have donwsized incredibly since the first of the year. My profits have increased 300% since I decided to stay with the small dogs on the porch. :blob3:

Kelly's Landscaping
08-21-2005, 09:15 PM
60 an hour is not so important the only time I ever saw that is when someone was sick or quit and I had to work solo. What matters more is keeping your costs down. My guys are very happy with 11 an hour I never got any better employees paying 15 so I stopped. My rams have 318s not hemies very high teens for mileage while towing beats 9 miles per gallon. My mowers are tailor bought for the lawns I intend to use them on I have 2 21s a 36 hydro 44 ztr 48 belt 52 ztr 60 ztr. We use the equipment that makes the job go fastest and saves on labor and gas. We own our equipment so there is no interest payments. My insurance I shopped for months this past winter saved me more then 6 grand a year. My advertising is nearly done I am cutting out the yellow pages and all but a post card blitz first thing in spring. In other words my cost per hour are much lower then when I started and lastly I work as long as I can in a day which lowers the cost of everything but the labor. A truck working 60-80 hours a week is far more useful then one working 30-40 hours a week. When you add in drive time loading and unloading the truck and trailer dumping the grass from the pick-ups and lunchtime. I only average around 30-40 dollars per man hour sounds awful well that still works out to 700-800 a day per 2 man crew.

Lake Claire Lawn Ranger
08-21-2005, 09:43 PM
not try to get $2.00 per minute? It seems to be the going rate.
Just don't want to appear greedy.

Kelly - sounds like you've got a good plan that works for you - congratulations

Scottish LScape
08-21-2005, 09:43 PM
[QUOTE=Kelly's Landscaping] My insurance I shopped for months this past winter saved me more then 6 grand a year.
Kelly>
Would you like to give out the name of this insurance company. I'm in CT as well & every payup you can save is payup in my families pocket. Thanks
PS. We get $55/hr/man & about $1.50/min for mowing. It depends on the day (travel time)

Tom-N-Texas
08-21-2005, 09:47 PM
$60 per hour per person? lol That would be $240 per hour for a 4 man crew. a 10 hour day would be $2400. That might happen occasionally but there's no freaking way the average company can keep that type of profit up all day long...unless they've got a good stream of kickass over-priced commercial accounts.

My 4 man crew works its ass off and I gross $1,000 on a decent day.

jimslawns
08-21-2005, 09:52 PM
"My 4 man crew works its ass off and I gross $1,000 on a decent day"

Oh #$#@ I hope you mean nets 1K per day.


I have one day a week that would gross that with 2 people. Granted that is a really good day for my small operation but....After you pay fuel, people and other expenses with 4 folks out there it doesn't leave much room for profit ;)

jaybird
08-21-2005, 10:06 PM
tom in texas you are about right.

CuttingCrew
08-21-2005, 10:28 PM
no, my point is, most companies look at a target of, gross, $60 per man hr. you are not going to get much more. but why is the high overhead company, and the low overhead company, both setting a target of $60 per man hour? i've never heard the lower end company say, "our target is $40 per man hour." shouldn't everything be relative?

Everything is relative for the most part.

The guy with all the shiny new equipment, at some point, will need to replace his equipment when it's not shiny and new anymore and when repair costs begin to out pace replacement costs.

The guy with the old beater pick-up and open trailer would probably like to replace his equipment with shiny new equipment someday. If he wants to be successful in that venture he better be putting some cash aside to do so.

If the $60 per hour goal is a profitable scenario for your business plan, great. For me, based on my market, cost of doing business and future plans, $45-$60 will keep me in business and allow me to expand in the future.
(with shiny new equipment :D )

Mike

bobbygedd
08-21-2005, 10:35 PM
a 4 man crew, grossing a grand a day, is poverty, do the math

grassmanvt
08-21-2005, 11:33 PM
$60 per hour per person? lol That would be $240 per hour for a 4 man crew. a 10 hour day would be $2400. That might happen occasionally but there's no freaking way the average company can keep that type of profit up all day long...unless they've got a good stream of kickass over-priced commercial accounts.

My 4 man crew works its ass off and I gross $1,000 on a decent day.

not uncomon to do 1k with a 2 man crew, solo, as mush as 7-800, thats a good day when things go right though and I don't do it every day but 1k with a four man crew just seems really low.

DynaMow
08-21-2005, 11:40 PM
this is the goal, right? everyone seems to have a target of $60 per man, per hr, for mowing. company #1 has a $35,000 shiny truck, an enclosed trailer with fancy pictures on the side, 2 - $9,000 walkers. top of the line blowers/wackers/edgers/. a $600 edger. his target is $60 per man hour. company #2 has a 1991 ford f-150. a single axel open trailer. 2-48" walkbehinds purchased used. a couple of wackers/and blowers. an edger purchased at home depot for $200. HIS target is $60 per man hour. anything wrong with this picture?

I am guy #2. Guy #1 goes faster then me (equipment dictates that somewhat). Now if has a property that takes him 2 hours he should charge $120, that same property would take me 2.5 hours. How many times do I get that account if I am at $150? If I want to get to $60 my equipment must be equal. So I need to be at $45 - $50.

Next point. My $45 - $50 equals his $60. Bottom line

He produces more accounts (speed) = more gross
He has more debt (equipment) = less gross

Bobby tell me if I am wrong.

Brianslawn
08-21-2005, 11:41 PM
company one probably pays a lot less in taxes with those shiny deductions

imdawrlus
08-22-2005, 12:12 AM
company one probably pays a lot less in taxes with those shiny deduction

thats assuming that company 2 is paying taxes...

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 06:49 AM
I am guy #2. Guy #1 goes faster then me (equipment dictates that somewhat). Now if has a property that takes him 2 hours he should charge $120, that same property would take me 2.5 hours. How many times do I get that account if I am at $150? If I want to get to $60 my equipment must be equal. So I need to be at $45 - $50.

Next point. My $45 - $50 equals his $60. Bottom line

He produces more accounts (speed) = more gross
He has more debt (equipment) = less gross

Bobby tell me if I am wrong.
i believe you are correct, kind of, again, this all depends on where we are from. i know, in my area, the common property is roughly 4,000 sq ft. company #1 is using a $9,000 machine to mow this, company #2 is using a $1,000 machine. no way #1 is getting done any faster.

YardPro
08-22-2005, 07:27 AM
no, my point is, most companies look at a target of, gross, $60 per man hr. y


no you're dead wrong.....

anyone who only looks at gross as a business indicator is o there way out of business...
most SUCCESSFUL companies look at the NET not gross.....

also larger companies NEED the tax deductions and expenses of newer vehicles, etc.....

we are to the point in size that equipment/ vehicles being down are not an option.

New equipment every few years is a necessity.....

vehicles, are different... as long as they LOOK neat and clean, and are VERY reliable they are fine.

since we sell appearance, our apperance has to mach what we sell.....

jerryrwm
08-22-2005, 07:44 AM
thats assuming that company 2 is paying taxes...

Sooo...Is it a fact that companies without new vehicles, using an open trailer with used equipment is actually not paying taxes? Or is that just an assumption based on intuition?

bobbygedd
08-22-2005, 09:00 AM
no you're dead wrong.....

anyone who only looks at gross as a business indicator is o there way out of business...
most SUCCESSFUL companies look at the NET not gross.....

also larger companies NEED the tax deductions and expenses of newer vehicles, etc.....

we are to the point in size that equipment/ vehicles being down are not an option.

New equipment every few years is a necessity.....

vehicles, are different... as long as they LOOK neat and clean, and are VERY reliable they are fine.

since we sell appearance, our apperance has to mach what we sell.....
you need to know what your product can sell for, at its maximum, this, is gross. i don't care how high your overhead is, your product CAN ONLY sell, at what the market will bear. you don't NEED tax deductions. by spending alot on your overhead, to gain a tax deduction, is foolish. if i have $100,000, and i have a choice, spend it on unnecesary equipment, so that it comes off my bottom line, or put it in my pocket, after paying tax on it, the outcome is the same. buying unnecesary equipment, is "pissing it away" , just as paying tax on it, is pissing it away. it all depends on where you choose to piss it. a NECCESARY purchase is a wise investment, an UNECCESARY ONE , is a foolish one. and i got news for ya , your appearance will not get you more money for a lawn. the market is set, there is a maximum the consumer will pay for different levels of service, i don't care if you pull up in a rolls royce wearing a tuxedo, or you pull up in sanford and sons old truck, wearing cuttoffs and a backward baseball cap. the market will bear, what the market will bear. i'm living proof. i'm gaining new clientelle, week by week, and i don't have anything by the way of shiny trucks or equipment. WHAT I DO have, is exactly what i need to do the job, nothing more, nothing less. the guys with the fancy rigs here are getting smoked, and by 2010, i will have total control over every blade of grass within 100 miles of me, and i'll do it, using junk for equipment. play your cards right, and i'll let you be lead pooper scooper

DynaMow
08-22-2005, 09:30 AM
you need to know what your product can sell for, at its maximum, this, is gross. i don't care how high your overhead is, your product CAN ONLY sell, at what the market will bear. you don't NEED tax deductions. by spending alot on your overhead, to gain a tax deduction, is foolish. if i have $100,000, and i have a choice, spend it on unnecesary equipment, so that it comes off my bottom line, or put it in my pocket, after paying tax on it, the outcome is the same. buying unnecesary equipment, is "pissing it away" , just as paying tax on it, is pissing it away. it all depends on where you choose to piss it. a NECCESARY purchase is a wise investment, an UNECCESARY ONE , is a foolish one. and i got news for ya , your appearance will not get you more money for a lawn. the market is set, there is a maximum the consumer will pay for different levels of service, i don't care if you pull up in a rolls royce wearing a tuxedo, or you pull up in sanford and sons old truck, wearing cuttoffs and a backward baseball cap. the market will bear, what the market will bear. i'm living proof. i'm gaining new clientelle, week by week, and i don't have anything by the way of shiny trucks or equipment. WHAT I DO have, is exactly what i need to do the job, nothing more, nothing less. the guys with the fancy rigs here are getting smoked, and by 2010, i will have total control over every blade of grass within 100 miles of me, and i'll do it, using junk for equipment. play your cards right, and i'll let you be lead pooper scooper


you are right on the money, I am solo and I operate with a 93 dodge ($2000), 48 hydro (Lesco-$1800), 48 belt (Snapper-$1200), trimmer (Kaw-$210), edger (Echo-$110), and 2 blowers (Echo - $50 and $80). Less then $6000 for all. They work everyday, run beautiful, GET MAINTAINED, all cash.

I can compete at any level. More to bottom line.

And yes Bobby we are equal in time to the ZTR's on smaller props.

jtrice11
08-22-2005, 10:31 AM
One of them is a businessman. The other, well, he cuts grass for a living.

hahaha...bingo!

arborist-28
08-22-2005, 10:55 AM
One of them is a businessman. The other, well, he cuts grass for a living.
having nicer things doesn't make someone a business man ...c

smullen
08-22-2005, 11:03 AM
One of them is a businessman. The other, well, he cuts grass for a living.



hahaha...bingo!

So how exacly do you two define (A.)A Businessman (B.) Some who cuts Grass for a Living??? I'd really like to read about this...



Also, Do shiny things make a better businessman or better financial descisions?

Remsen1
08-22-2005, 11:10 AM
this is the goal, right? everyone seems to have a target of $60 per man, per hr, for mowing. company #1 has a $35,000 shiny truck, an enclosed trailer with fancy pictures on the side, 2 - $9,000 walkers. top of the line blowers/wackers/edgers/. a $600 edger. his target is $60 per man hour. company #2 has a 1991 ford f-150. a single axel open trailer. 2-48" walkbehinds purchased used. a couple of wackers/and blowers. an edger purchased at home depot for $200. HIS target is $60 per man hour. anything wrong with this picture?

Company #2's prices will be higher to gross $60 per hour because their equipment is less efficient. For example a 30 minute yard (15 minutes with 2 guys) for company #1 wil be a 45 minute yard for company #2. If they're both targeting $60 per hour #1's price will be $30, #2's price will be $45. So is the yard a $30 yard or is it a $45 yard? Is company #1 undercharging or is company #2 over charging? The price can't be deterimined by the LCO's goals. The price is determined by the going rate, or whatever the customer is willing to pay.

IMO the more efficient you are the more you CAN charge per hour. A $30 yard is a $30 yard is a $30 yard. It doesn't matter if you're running a 61" and getting it done in 10 minutes or a 21" and getting it done in 90 minutes.

If one guy can gross $60 per hour using a 21", then theoretically if the same guy switched to a "61 and became 300% more efficient he should gross $180 per hour.

txlawnking
08-22-2005, 12:10 PM
One thing I gotta say: IF all you ever want to do is mow grass for a living, you'll do it.
IF you want to create an asset out of a LCO, you will be a business man first, and a lawn mower second...

jtrice11
08-22-2005, 12:23 PM
So how exacly do you two define (A.)A Businessman (B.) Some who cuts Grass for a Living??? I'd really like to read about this...

Also, Do shiny things make a better businessman or better financial descisions?

Its a personal preference I guess. I am a firm believer that your company image is important. Alot of consumers think image is important too. Its the first thing they see. The QUALITY of work may be the same, no doubt about it. If you look at any large successful outfit (wether it be construction, lawn care, plumbing, blacktop whatever), you will see that they maintain what would be considered a professional apperance. Newer equipment, logo'd trucks, company uniforms or shirts etc...Why do they do this? Because they know that their image is important, and also probably because they can afford to. So to answer your question, unfortunately I do believe that shiny things make a better business (not necessarily a better businessman), otherwise Sears service men would be running around in all different colored vans that are 20 years old and wearing ratty t-shirts.

wbw
08-22-2005, 12:36 PM
So how exacly do you two define (A.)A Businessman (B.) Some who cuts Grass for a Living??? I'd really like to read about this...



Also, Do shiny things make a better businessman or better financial descisions?

A.) Well, he cuts grass for a living

B.) Is a businessman. He is looking at return on investment, fixed cost, the ability to weather a downturn in the economy.

I am not saying this to insult anyone, but, if you purchase any depreciating asset on the basis of its being a tax write-off, well, you cut grass for a living.
The businessman will purchase an appreciating asset (real estate) and get the tax advantages while building equity.

trying 2b organic
08-22-2005, 12:45 PM
Def the guy who obsesses about the bottom line and spends the least possible to make the most money is the buisness man.

I do belive the least possible includes important appearance factors. My appearance causes customers to belive what i say, and not argue price, and accept a higher price. but still, focusing hard on the space between gross income and net income.

I think the point is that prices can remain static or even go down and bobby will be making decent dollars per hr. If you can get by with a 150 but put a 350 on the books just cause you MIGHT need the extra power a couple times a yr, thats not being a smart buisnessman.

wbw
08-22-2005, 01:03 PM
Another way to look at this.....If gas goes to $8/gal. Bobby won't complain anymore than he already does. He will still be making money. He will never have to sell his high dollar equipment for 20 cents on the dollar just to get rid of the payment. Cash is king in any business. Growth can be very expensive, especially if you think you need 1-ton duallies and 20' enclosed trailers to move mowers. Bobby could fully equip 2 more crews tomorrow if he so chose.

Kelly's Landscaping
08-22-2005, 02:17 PM
[QUOTE=Kelly's Landscaping] My insurance I shopped for months this past winter saved me more then 6 grand a year.
Kelly>
Would you like to give out the name of this insurance company. I'm in CT as well & every payup you can save is payup in my families pocket. Thanks
PS. We get $55/hr/man & about $1.50/min for mowing. It depends on the day (travel time)


Sure thing takes a while to get in with them but well worth it saved more then 3 grand a year just on the auto and I have much better insurance now 500k per on all 3 trucks full coverage including a ton of extras I never would have thought of.

http://www.hortica-insurance.com/

Scottish LScape
08-22-2005, 05:30 PM
Thanks Kelly :)

DynaMow
08-23-2005, 06:14 PM
[QUOTE=jtrice11]Its a personal preference I guess. I am a firm believer that your company image is important. Alot of consumers think image is important too.

new equipment is not the only thing that dictates professionalism.

Let me try to explain something to you idgits.
My truck and equipment is always clean, reliable, and professional. That should be a given.
Here is where it goes a little deeper. I always where claen, neat clothing. White t-shirts with co. logo. Professional billing and letters. Professional quotes document in a professional way. Nothing stupid done on property. And last, the required insurances and licenses.

Your expensive trucks IMO do nothing but tell the customer they are paying for more then property maintanence. Equipment should be dictated by the accounts you are trying to service.

Ramairfreak98ss
08-24-2005, 12:09 AM
I personally try for the 60hr mark, when i first started out, i was close to that range, and did lawns slower than i do now, ive also improved my cut quality, purchased larger equipment and can do things neater and faster. I just MAKE more then since i can do things faster.. with walking behind a 34" mower it took me 1.3hrs to do a yard that was 1.4x acres. I go FAST too, as fast as the machine lets me go mowing that lawn. Now i got $60 for that, i made about $45-50hr then. With a 61" 10mph mower i can cut that time down to 25% of 1.2hrs. so figure closer to 25 minutes i can be done the whole lawn, i am still going to get $60 and that is more like $120 an hour if say i did two next door to each other. You dont want to work and use your equipment for under $50 hr.. plus you have to drive to their house/lawn so thats time of yours as well.

Its nice to have all the fancy stuff, ive realized, buy GOOD items to begin with and they will last a very long time. I have a 91 f150 actually in great condition lol speaking of that. It doesnt look like a beater but would be cool to tow a 24' trailer around with a 2005 f350 super duty deisel too :) Of course paying that much for the truck at $60 per lawn say my highest one at the moment is about 760 of those 1 acre lawns to cut before id pay off the truck PLUS financing etc lol. I would probably not use it for getting dirty right off the bat either b/c of the cost and how new it would be. Its one thing if your pos truck is rattling and falling apart, its another if its just old, fords/gms i feel personally run forever, and many dodges with cummins.

jtrice11
08-24-2005, 05:18 PM
[QUOTE=jtrice11]Its a personal preference I guess. I am a firm believer that your company image is important. Alot of consumers think image is important too.

new equipment is not the only thing that dictates professionalism.

Let me try to explain something to you idgits.
My truck and equipment is always clean, reliable, and professional. That should be a given.
Here is where it goes a little deeper. I always where claen, neat clothing. White t-shirts with co. logo. Professional billing and letters. Professional quotes document in a professional way. Nothing stupid done on property. And last, the required insurances and licenses.

Your expensive trucks IMO do nothing but tell the customer they are paying for more then property maintanence. Equipment should be dictated by the accounts you are trying to service.

Your comparing professionalism to image, they are apples an oranges. I've seen guys in all their fancy stuff slaughter a lawn, smoking cigarettes while working, and acting like idiots. I agree that you can have "older" stuff and run a very professional AND profitable business. Our stuff is new because WE are new. In 4-5 years I'm sure we'll have the same equipment, hopefully paid off and proft margins will increase. I'm not the kind of guy who needs to trade in all his stuff every year just for sh*ts and giggles.

rodfather
08-24-2005, 05:23 PM
[QUOTE=Leslein Lawn] I'm not the kind of guy who needs to trade in all his stuff every year just for sh*ts and giggles.

LOL...haven't heard that one in a long while.