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View Full Version : What is your man hour rate?


K.Carothers
09-21-2005, 07:45 PM
When I bid a job, I calculate the amount of man hours it will take plus add a disposal fee(if needed) and materials. Currently I charge $50 pmh. Does anyone do it for more or less? Does a certain job change the per man hour rate?

Thanks

gl1200a
09-22-2005, 09:45 PM
Mine is $39.00 per hour, but be aware that that is very average for our area and I am not undercutting. $40.00 is the charge by the large firms here.

Lawn-Scapes
09-22-2005, 11:22 PM
Anywhere from $50-100 depending on the task at hand. Aerating & seeding can bring in $200 per hour.

walker-talker
09-23-2005, 05:21 AM
Anywhere from $50-100 depending on the task at hand. Aerating & seeding can bring in $200 per hour.
Agreed, depends on the service. Mowing brings in the lowest while overseeding and scalping brings in much more. Then there is chem apps that is in a league of it's own, but that doesn't really get billed by the hour of course. For just mowing I get an average of around $50 an hour, but that is from the time I leave the house to the time I get home.

PMLAWN
09-23-2005, 10:02 AM
Labor rates are at $40.00 per
This does not include equipment rates so cost to customer will be higher

Flex-Deck
09-23-2005, 05:05 PM
I bid by the job, and at the end of August, I Totaled mower hrs, and gross income, and it came out averaging $62.33 per hr. That would include trimming time also.

eruuska
09-23-2005, 05:28 PM
I rarely work by the hour, but when I'm quoting a job, I figure $45.00 per hour for hand work, and $60.00 per hour for anything involving power tools. Also, if ladders are involved, I shoot for at least $60.00 per hour.

I like it, though, when I bid high. I got a trimming job last week, quoted $20.00 per shrub (x6), $20.00 per flowering crab (x4), and $40.00 for a weeping cherry. I was done in 1.5 hours, including cleanup, so I knocked 20% off the bill, made $192.00, which comes to $128.00 per hour. Not bad, I'll take jobs like that when they come.

Az Gardener
09-27-2005, 07:50 PM
I do upscale residential maintenance. Mine is variable depending on the man hours per visit. Less than 3 M/H is 48.00 3-6 M/H is 45.00 6+-9 M/H is 43.00 and over 9 M/H is 40.00 I then use a % number for dumping and incidentals depending on plant density. Typically 10% covers the dumping etc.There is a lot of discussion at the local green industry events about rates. They range from 28.00 on the low end to mid 30s on avg. Commercial rates here are in the low 20s and there are a handful of guys like myself that are in the 40-50 per hour range. I would expect things to change next year as the cost of living here has gone through the roof. A 200,000 home 2-years ago is now 500,000 investors have invaded the town. Also ALCA that may be PLANET now or something else by tomorrow, used to put out an operating cost survey that divided the country by regions and listed costs,margins hourly rates etc. They were based on people like up filling out surveys so keep that in mind when looking at the numbers.

gman44
09-27-2005, 08:15 PM
Im at 35.00 - 55.00 per hour for most ground work or clean up jobs . If its hazardous or a hard to access work area it can be more . I dont charge extra for disposal , I figure it in to job and let customer know that removal is included in price.

DJ Contracting
09-27-2005, 08:21 PM
Now when you say man hours is it per man, say you have a crew of three to four, is that for each person, or is it an average for the job? Cause we just did a driveway (seal coat) two people and got paid $800.00 for 4.5 hrs of work.

Precision
09-27-2005, 09:49 PM
as others have said it depends on the task.

mowing I estimate at $60 for me and $45 for helpers.

For clean up work I estimate at $100 - 150 depending on difficulty, plus dump fee of $75 per trailer load

Install work, I estimate at $100 per hour of design / customer interaction $100 for my site time and $60 for helpers.

Anything I really don't want to do gets charged a 25-50% surcharge. So if they bite, then at least it was worth it.

these rates include everything. I don't itemize it. if it looks like 6 man hours I figure 2 for me at my rate and 2 for 2 helpers at their rate, add dump fee or PITA factor. Adjust up or down as I see fit (usually up) submit bit with 40% down clause.

Precision
09-27-2005, 09:53 PM
I dont charge extra for disposal , I figure it in to job and let customer know that removal is included in price.

I used to do that but found that I was leaving money on the table. Disposal fee is like destination charge when you buy a new truck. It just is. Nothing to be done about it.

Now I show them the final price, say $800 then back them thru what it includes. Cutting this and that, trimming the hedges, spraying for weeds and right here the disposal fee. So you won't have that mountain of stuff by the curb for a week or two killing the grass.

Pause just long enough for them to absorb. then, So when would you like us to get started, we have next Friday available. Would that work for you?

Precision
09-27-2005, 09:55 PM
Now when you say man hours is it per man, say you have a crew of three to four, is that for each person, or is it an average for the job? Cause we just did a driveway (seal coat) two people and got paid $800.00 for 4.5 hrs of work.

man hours means 4 men at 2 hours each is 8 man hours. So in your example, 9 man hours or just under $90 per man hour.

brucec32
09-29-2005, 07:33 PM
Remember, apples to apples.....

An hour's worth of work performed by a motivated owner/operator is not the same as an hour's work from a wage earning employee. I routinely outperform two man crews from the big boys. They are the turtle to my hare, however, since I can't sit on one job and toil away for 6 hours at a time like they can. But in/out 1-2 hour jobs, I am a bargain at $60/hour vs. them.

Mattitude
09-29-2005, 08:28 PM
$50 per hour worked well for me and one employee. Once I started working more in the office and less in the field, $50 per hour didn't quite get things done, had to up it to $80 to cover fuel, WC, UEI and Self Employ Tax!

new2nash
09-30-2005, 07:10 PM
I bid at $1.50 per minute (for 2 guys) no matter what the task or equipment and I always bid for a helper to be included so my minimum bid right now is $90/hr. Tasks I really hate like a really crappy leaf job or whatever are $2 or sometimes $2.25 per minute. Once I get a job, be it mowing or whatever I time it to ensure I'm at that rate. If not, and it's repetitive, it gets raised or dropped (I try to be as ruthless in this regard as the customers are when they try to get away with "skipping a week" by paying so late you cut them off, then suddenly paying before you drop them entirely (doesn't work, btw, as I put them on advance-payment-only status then back charge them full price for that lost week) and the many other tricks they'll play on the lawn guy in a heartbeat.

This area has a lot of competition so I don't get a lot of the work I bid, especially the hand work, but when I do, it's worth it. My way of thinking is "Why should I do hand work for less when I could be out mowing or doing some other machine type work generating a high gross per hour. If I can't get that rate I'd be better off to spend my time either doing higher rate stuff or marketing higher rate stuff." Many people act like I just shot them when I bid on certain tasks, but the ones who reply to my bid with, "Okay, when can you do it?" are slowly making me a very rich man.

logan
09-30-2005, 10:29 PM
I used to bid a dollar a minute while on property but now a dollar a minute including drive time. I am a maintenance only company. I bid by the month and I price the lawns for May growth which can be a foot sometimes. The viburnum hedges will grow about a foot a week sometimes too.