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bobbygedd
05-03-2006, 08:17 PM
saw a competitors contract the other day. this "competitor" has 5 trucks, heavy equipment, top of the line stuff. his hourly rate on his contract was.....$35 per man hour. what a joke. how the hell do u people make any money?

wski4fun
05-03-2006, 08:21 PM
Live in Metrowest Boston, one of the most expensive places to live in the country, and 35/hr is usually max.

Brianslawn
05-03-2006, 08:21 PM
they dont. they just like to work their @$$ off for nothing, but just not for someone elses biz.

PGA
05-03-2006, 08:26 PM
saw a competitors contract the other day. this "competitor" has 5 trucks, heavy equipment, top of the line stuff. his hourly rate on his contract was.....$35 per man hour. what a joke. how the hell do u people make any money?



This is all conjecture below but look at this way.




3 guys at 9.00 per hour

1 hour job = $105.00 @ $35.00 per hour

$27.00 paid out for labor

$78.00 profit - expenses and taxes.

Whats the problem? Guys probably pulling in around $40.00 per hour profit.

Of course is all speculative and relative to how many guys are on the job and how much he is paying them. Unless you HAVE that info all you can do is make educated guesses.

bobbygedd
05-03-2006, 08:32 PM
pga- spoken like a true amatuer. those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, for the ride over? those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, when they have to stop and pee. those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, loading and unloading the equipment? matching taxes, accounting/payroll fees......smarten up kid.....$35 an hour will send you to the poor house

AintNoFun
05-03-2006, 08:34 PM
volume......

scott's turf
05-03-2006, 08:35 PM
Yeah $35/hr would make me cry. That is less than I get for my FT job. If I end up making $45/hr I'm really upset. I shoot for $60-$70/hr. You have to with all the expenses there are in this line of work.

bobbygedd
05-03-2006, 08:35 PM
volume......
ahhhhh, the old "allota a little".

PGA
05-03-2006, 08:37 PM
pga- spoken like a true amatuer. those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, for the ride over? those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, when they have to stop and pee. those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, loading and unloading the equipment? matching taxes, accounting/payroll fees......smarten up kid.....$35 an hour will send you to the poor house




Wow, my whole post went right over your head. :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

AL Inc
05-03-2006, 08:40 PM
No, I don't think it did...

Splicer
05-03-2006, 08:41 PM
I don't "make" money...I 'earn' it...

PGA
05-03-2006, 08:41 PM
No, I don't think it did...





Please explain then.

PGA
05-03-2006, 08:44 PM
Ok bobby, how much do you charge an hour when you go out on a job solo?

Splicer
05-03-2006, 08:45 PM
pga- spoken like a true amatuer. those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, for the ride over? those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, when they have to stop and pee. those guys are on the timeclock, aint they, loading and unloading the equipment? matching taxes, accounting/payroll fees......smarten up kid.....$35 an hour will send you to the poor house
Question #1...No
#2...No
#3...Yes

You better smarten up bobby...If they put 4 guys on the job for 1 hour that is $140/hr...Pay each man $10/hr and you just made $100/hr, well above your $1/minute...Damn near twice that...and he didn't have to lift a finger...top that:hammerhead:

Splicer
05-03-2006, 08:46 PM
Ok bobby, how much do you charge an hour when you go out on a job solo?
Does it matter? I charge (and get) $55/hr tho...:weightlifter: :usflag:

bobbygedd
05-03-2006, 08:47 PM
Question #1...No
#2...No
#3...Yes

You better smarten up bobby...If they put 4 guys on the job for 1 hour that is $140/hr...Pay each man $10/hr and you just made $100/hr, well above your $1/minute...Damn near twice that...and he didn't have to lift a finger...top that:hammerhead:
no YOU BETTER smarten up. unless u have those guys working non stop on site all day long, every day, you''ll get your but whooped

bobbygedd
05-03-2006, 08:49 PM
Ok bobby, how much do you charge an hour when you go out on a job solo?
when i go solo? it can vary anywhere from $50-$150 an hour. BUT, genius, on myself, i don't pay- matching payroll taxes, workman's comp, or payroll fees. when u get employees, you'll understand, till then, don't even try

PGA
05-03-2006, 08:50 PM
Does it matter? I charge (and get) $55/hr tho...:weightlifter: :usflag:




Obviously it does. Youre charging $55.00 an hour. How much are you bringing home? You can drop over 30% of that right off the bat for taxes. IF youre doing it legally. Now your down to $38.00. Then knock off expenses like gas, insurance, maintenance. Your probably bringing home $25.00 an hour.

:cry: :cry: :cry:

Remember, this is all if youre doing it LEGALLY.

And would you look at that. That 25.00 is less then the guy charging $35.00 a man hour in my other scenario.

Splicer
05-03-2006, 08:55 PM
Obviously it does. Youre charging $55.00 an hour. How much are you bringing home? You can drop over 30% of that right off the bat for taxes. IF youre doing it legally. Now your down to $38.00. Then knock off expenses like gas, insurance, maintenance. Your probably bringing home $25.00 an hour.

:cry: :cry: :cry:

Remember, this is all if youre doing it LEGALLY.

And would you look at that. That 25.00 is less then the guy charging $35.00 a man hour in my other scenario.
I'm legal buddy...insurance, workmans comp, the works:weightlifter: ...You obviously do not know what it takes to make a living. If you think a guy charging $35/hr is doing better than a guy charging $55/hr, you don't know math too well...not to mention that when you are legit expenses come out of the company, NOT my pocket...

Deductions, deductions, deductions...:cool2:

JJLandscapes
05-03-2006, 08:56 PM
bobbby first time im not agreeing with you

if he working 40 hours a week he mking "72k a year" not many jobs out there paying 72k a year and if he has 5 trucks all day im sure he making more money than you or I with only 1 route charging more hourly

not everyone for some reason is out there to become filthy rich they are happy making $50k a year and living a basic life

bobbygedd
05-03-2006, 08:58 PM
bobbby first time im not agreeing with you

if he working 40 hours a week he mking "72k a year" not many jobs out there paying 72k a year and if he has 5 trucks all day im sure he making more money than you or I with only 1 route charging more hourly

not everyone for some reason is out there to become filthy rich they are happy making $50k a year and living a basic life
50k is poverty buddy.

PGA
05-03-2006, 08:59 PM
I'm legal buddy...insurance, workmans comp, the works:weightlifter: ...You obviously do not know what it takes to make a living. If you think a guy charging $35/hr is doing better than a guy charging $55/hr, you don't know math too well...not to mention that when you are legit expenses come out of the company, NOT my pocket...

Deductions, deductions, deductions...:cool2:





Slow down buddy. I never said you werent doing it legally. Im not attacking you at all. Im trying to explain how this is working. There is nothing wrong with my math. Go back and reread what I posted. All scenarios and companies are different.

PGA
05-03-2006, 08:59 PM
50k is poverty buddy.





Actually its not. I believe the poverty line is somewhere around $9,000 a year.

Splicer
05-03-2006, 09:01 PM
excuse me? you charge the client hourly, FOR THE TIME SPENT ON THIER PROPERTY, not the travel time, etc. smarten up
Again, you are no business man charging to get to the job. You are a thief when that happens. You are robbing the client...

Lets see it takes FIVE minutes to get there from here...lets stop, have lunch on the way and stop at the equipment dealers place (which is also on the way) and chat for about 1/2 hour and by the time we get to the clients property (wich SHOULD have taken only 5 minutes) we can charge an additional HOUR...

One word...THIEF...one more word...LIAR...saying it took you an hour. You are very unethical and it is fools like you that are bringing this country to its knees...:hammerhead:

JJLandscapes
05-03-2006, 09:03 PM
50k is poverty buddy.


yea maybe in beverly hills but if husband and wife both making 50k a year they making 100k total incase ur math is a lil bad


you can live in any state in the US with a combined 100k a year or who knows maybe his wife is a lawyer making 250k a year and he doesnt like seeing her ugly a$$ and would rather cut grass 12 hours a day

i live in the 13th richest town in the US in 2005 and the avg household income was either 113 or 130k a year

bobbygedd
05-03-2006, 09:03 PM
yea, whatever. you girls argue amoungst yourselves. i need a bath, and few more brewskies, then mom's gonna clip my toenails, which usually leads to...well, you know. the girl just finds my toes irresistable, what can i say. later

JJLandscapes
05-03-2006, 09:05 PM
Again, you are no business man charging to get to the job. You are a thief when that happens. You are robbing the client...

Lets see it takes FIVE minutes to get there from here...lets stop, have lunch on the way and stop at the equipment dealers place (which is also on the way) and chat for about 1/2 hour and by the time we get to the clients property (wich SHOULD have taken only 5 minutes) we can charge an additional HOUR...

One word...THIEF...one more word...LIAR...saying it took you an hour. You are very unethical and it is fools like you that are bringing this country to its knees...:hammerhead:
ethics are for poor people lol jk

PGA
05-03-2006, 09:07 PM
yea, whatever. you girls argue amoungst yourselves. i need a bath, and few more brewskies, then mom's gonna clip my toenails, which usually leads to...well, you know. the girl just finds my toes irresistable, what can i say. later






Is it Wednesday already?

Splicer
05-03-2006, 09:09 PM
Awww bobby...stay here and play...:hammerhead: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

olderthandirt
05-03-2006, 09:10 PM
saw a competitors contract the other day. this "competitor" has 5 trucks, heavy equipment, top of the line stuff. his hourly rate on his contract was.....$35 per man hour. what a joke. how the hell do u people make any money?

What was his Machine Hr rate? Operator in the skid is being billed at $35 an hr and probable another $60 an hr for the machine. Man hrs don't mean anything because man with out machines are useless. :) :drinkup:

AintNoFun
05-03-2006, 09:25 PM
ahh solid $10 an hour. someones either paying cash or doesn't know the cost of doing business!!!!!




You better smarten up bobby...If they put 4 guys on the job for 1 hour that is $140/hr...Pay each man $10/hr and you just made $100/hr, well above your $1/minute...Damn near twice that...and he didn't have to lift a finger...top that:hammerhead:

bobbygedd
05-03-2006, 09:37 PM
tell him aintnofun! these people are in fairy land. in a perfect world, $35 pmh would be fine, so long as all day, is spent on that time clock. but, condsider travel time, rain slowdowns, and unexpected stuff (breakdowns, etc) that $35 turns into china mans pay real quick

MJM
05-03-2006, 09:52 PM
Don't know Bobby......

My billable is $35/hr....I seem to be doing pretty good for myself.

Mark

Splicer
05-03-2006, 09:59 PM
ahh solid $10 an hour. someones either paying cash or doesn't know the cost of doing business!!!!!
And apparently that someone is you... MY equipment, MY trucks, MY fuel, MY insurance...$10/hr is fair wage to ride a mower for a 17 year old that has no expenses...

Splicer
05-03-2006, 10:00 PM
tell him aintnofun! these people are in fairy land. in a perfect world, $35 pmh would be fine, so long as all day, is spent on that time clock. but, condsider travel time, rain slowdowns, and unexpected stuff (breakdowns, etc) that $35 turns into china mans pay real quick
bobby!!! You decided to not get your toenails clipped tonight!!!:laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

CutInEdge Lawn Care
05-03-2006, 10:03 PM
I compare it to driving. Speed limit is 70 but with all the lane changing, grandmas, etc.. by the time you get to your destination you averaged 55. If you shoot for $80/hr by the time you drive, eat, pee, return calls, go on estimates your averaging $45-5o/hr. If he is billing $35/hr he is selling labor only. I guess I didnt see in the orignial post where he was billing per man per hour. The ad came across to me that he was charging a flat $35/hr no matter how many gringos were unloaded. Just my .o2stupids

CutInEdge Lawn Care
05-03-2006, 10:07 PM
And apparently that someone is you... MY equipment, MY trucks, MY fuel, MY insurance...$10/hr is fair wage to ride a mower for a 17 year old that has no expenses...


What do you mean no expenses. You listed equipment, trucks,fuel, ins. Do these things grow on trees where you live. If so can you send me one of those trees. Been looking all my life for one of those. Oh if you happen to have a money tree send one of those too. Thanks

Splicer
05-03-2006, 10:07 PM
I compare it to driving. Speed limit is 70 but with all the lane changing, grandmas, etc.. by the time you get to your destination you averaged 55. If you shoot for $80/hr by the time you drive, eat, pee, return calls, go on estimates your averaging $45-5o/hr. If he is billing $35/hr he is selling labor only. I guess I didnt see in the orignial post where he was billing per man per hour. The ad came across to me that he was charging a flat $35/hr no matter how many gringos were unloaded. Just my .o2stupids
The topic title...:hammerhead:

Splicer
05-03-2006, 10:09 PM
What do you mean no expenses. You listed equipment, trucks,fuel, ins. Do these things grow on trees where you live. If so can you send me one of those trees. Been looking all my life for one of those. Oh if you happen to have a money tree send one of those too. Thanks
:hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead: READ man READ :hammerhead: :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

I said the guy PAYS $10/hr to a 17 year old that has NO expenses. ALL expenses come out of my poc...aaaaah, whats the use:dizzy:

AintNoFun
05-03-2006, 10:15 PM
so your actually paying the 17 year old $6 plus an hour AFTER you pay your 30+% labor burden?


...$10/hr is fair wage to ride a mower for a 17 year old that has no expenses...

Soupy
05-03-2006, 10:24 PM
tell him aintnofun! these people are in fairy land. in a perfect world, $35 pmh would be fine, so long as all day, is spent on that time clock. but, condsider travel time, rain slowdowns, and unexpected stuff (breakdowns, etc) that $35 turns into china mans pay real quick


Maybe he pays low wages and is busy enough not to worry about down time. he's obviously happy with what he is bringing in or he would raise prices. It doesn't sound like he is a newbie.

In my area I charge top dollar but the work comes in a lot slower. A company doing 100 lawns with 2 guys charging $60/man hour will make less then a man sitting in the office while his 10 employee's go out and bring in $35 man/hr on a continuous basis. Plus he doesn't waste as much time giving high dollars bids that are tossed in the trash the minute he pulls away. You have to look at each truck as a crew. each truck isn't going to have anymore downtime then you or anyone else, but if he pays a lot less in labor and has tighter routes with more work he can make some money in volume.

The fact is no one really knows what this guy is making and you can't assume anything until you have been there and tried it. I wonder how many lawn companies are charging $60 man/hr and have 5 or more crews running at full schedule?

HighGrass
05-03-2006, 11:33 PM
saw a competitors contract the other day. this "competitor" has 5 trucks, heavy equipment, top of the line stuff. his hourly rate on his contract was.....$35 per man hour. what a joke. how the hell do u people make any money?

I wouldn't rake leaves for $35.00/hr.

Envy Lawn Service
05-03-2006, 11:35 PM
Well, $35 per man hour is the industry average they say in reports.

But I'm here to tell you, $35 per man hour billing ain't no money.
NOT FOR A LEGIT OUTFIT ANYWAYS.

By the time you cover your direct expenses, payroll and employer burdens, there might be enough left to cover the rest of the expenses. Maybe.

Most are just trading equity in there equipment for pocket money. By considering that profit, they are able to sustain just enough cash flow to 'finance' themselves in business.

Hermanator
05-03-2006, 11:45 PM
saw a competitors contract the other day. this "competitor" has 5 trucks, heavy equipment, top of the line stuff. his hourly rate on his contract was.....$35 per man hour. what a joke. how the hell do u people make any money?

Company here charges $25.00 per man hour on all per hour stuff....... this is not bidding work, just hourly work. They charge more when they bid, but the customer does not know what they are charging per man hour in a bid for sure. Did 25 to 30 million in gross last year. Was just sold for $13 million.

wski4fun
05-03-2006, 11:52 PM
35 a man hr is standard around here. of course mowing brings in more than that a so does fert and mulching. when I estimate a job I use the 35 per hr. If it takes me less time then I make more. If I underestimate then I stop at the price and say that's what the price gets you. No one would stay in business around here if they told thier cust they are charging 45 or more per hr for maint. If I end up making that on avg. so be it but I could never tell the cust. that.

SWD
05-03-2006, 11:52 PM
I am at the rare point where I agree with Bobby -gasp!
Hourly rates start when the employees butts hit the seat - travel included.
Lunch comes out ot heir pockets though.

Envy Lawn Service
05-04-2006, 12:09 AM
Well Bobby, I have concluded that a lot of people in the green industry have been out in the sun a little too long if you know what I mean.

I am by no means trying to be mean spirited here... just trying to knock on a few foreheads to see if anybody is home. Here is the challenge...

Take any job you billed at $25, $30, $35 per man hour.
Itemize all the expenses.
The subtract the line items.
Then show me a NET subtotal of your Net Profit.

Yep, show me how you are making money and I will bring it to your attention how you are really not making what you think you are by suggesting everything else you forgot to subtract.

Just think about it a minute for God's sake...
Put one employee on one mower and you are already in the red just right there.

Az Gardener
05-04-2006, 12:28 AM
Well I wondered how long it would take before all the solo operators figured this out. You are already paying all your expenses and trying to generate revenue off one person.

Lets say your expenses are 6-K per month, you have to earn 36 bucks per hour just to cover expenses. With 3 guys in that same truck now your only talking 11 per man hour to cover expenses, now you add the labor and your up to 23-25 per hour and your making 10 bucks per man hour, multiply that times 5 crews and you can see being a solo is not so attractive. Yes I know there is the windsheild time but you should still be able to bill for 85% of the work day. With that many crews there are supervisor expenses etc too. But you should get the gist of the economics, it is done all over with very profitable companies. Commercial rate around here is 25 per hour. Residential 30-35 for most.

Think about it, how much more will your expenses go up if you add one or two laborers to your operation, As long as you can efficiently manage your labor you may have to buy another mower maybe get a bigger trailer but the truck, insurance and fuel are your big expenses and they don't change with one or 3 employees in the truck, the cost only changes significantly when you put another truck on the road.

No disrespect, but if you are solo you own a job. If that makes you happy great. I had lots of jobs, I don't want to own a job.

Soupy
05-04-2006, 12:28 AM
Well Bobby, I have concluded that a lot of people in the green industry have been out in the sun a little too long if you know what I mean.

I am by no means trying to be mean spirited here... just trying to knock on a few foreheads to see if anybody is home. Here is the challenge...

Take any job you billed at $25, $30, $35 per man hour.
Itemize all the expenses.
The subtract the line items.
Then show me a NET subtotal of your Net Profit.

Yep, show me how you are making money and I will bring it to your attention how you are really not making what you think you are by suggesting everything else you forgot to subtract.

Just think about it a minute for God's sake...
Put one employee on one mower and you are already in the red just right there.

This guy runs a much larger business then you or I. Plus I doubt the 35/man hr is for mowing. I have never seen anyone charge mowing by the hour it is usually per cut, month, or year. If he has a few guys on a mulch, pruning, etc. type jobs then he can make decent money with cheap tools and cheap labor. The lower price keeps them busy so he can easily make it up in volume. These type of business owners usually don't do the work themselves so they look at what the bottom dollar amount is and not the per man hour profit.

At this point we are all assuming to know what this guys expenses and profits are. For us smaller companies to say he is or is not making decent money is just assumptions.

Soupy
05-04-2006, 12:32 AM
Well I wondered how long it would take before all the solo operators figured this out. You are already paying all your expenses and trying to generate revenue off one person.

Lets say your expenses are 6-K per month, you have to earn 36 bucks per hour just to cover expenses. With 3 guys in that same truck now your only talking 11 per man hour to cover expenses, now you add the labor and your up to 23-25 per hour and your making 10 bucks per man hour, multiply that times 5 crews and you can see being a solo is not so attractive. Yes I know there is the windsheild time but you should still be able to bill for 85% of the work day. With that many crews there are supervisor expenses etc too. But you should get the gist of the economics, it is done all over with very profitable companies. Commercial rate around here is 25 per hour. Residential 30-35 for most.

Think about it, how much more will your expenses go up if you add one or two laborers to your operation, As long as you can efficiently manage your labor you may have to buy another mower maybe get a bigger trailer but the truck, insurance and fuel are your big expenses and they don't change with one or 3 employees in the truck, the cost only changes significantly when you put another truck on the road.

No disrespect, but if you are solo you own a job. If that makes you happy great. I had lots of jobs, I don't want to own a job.

Well said, but we all know Bobby can't see past the dollar in front of him.

Envy Lawn Service
05-04-2006, 12:49 AM
This guy runs a much larger business then you or I. Plus I doubt the 35/man hr is for mowing. I have never seen anyone charge mowing by the hour it is usually per cut, month, or year. If he has a few guys on a mulch, pruning, etc. type jobs then he can make decent money with cheap tools and cheap labor. The lower price keeps them busy so he can easily make it up in volume. These type of business owners usually don't do the work themselves so they look at what the bottom dollar amount is and not the per man hour profit.

At this point we are all assuming to know what this guys expenses and profits are. For us smaller companies to say he is or is not making decent money is just assumptions.

Oh, but most guys are quoting a man hour rate x their best guestimate of man hours involved.

Anyways, I used the "put one employee on a mower" analogy as an example everyone can understand. And to put it bluntly, putting a guy on a mower is a pretty small time feat for putting an equipment operator in the field.... but put a guy on a tractor, skid steer, backhoe, trackhoe, wheel loader, dozer... well I'm certain you understand the obvious. I've been there, done that, and there is a lot of cost involved.

I always looked at the man hour profit. That's how I could tell what my company cleared per man hour and total on the job.

Evergreenpros
05-04-2006, 12:55 AM
$35 an hour with an efficiency rating of 75% (total hours vs income generating hours) with a 2 man crew is over $100,000 revenue a year per truck.

If you can't make money doing landscape maintenance clicking 100k a year per truck there is a problem.

Granted a solo wouldn't touch those numbers but if you had 5 trucks it would be 500k in revenue a year.

Wages at $10 an hour with everything included is less than 47k per truck. Making 20k profit per truck it leaves 32k for other expenses or higher wages.

Looks like a healthy company to me.

Envy Lawn Service
05-04-2006, 12:58 AM
Well I wondered how long it would take before all the solo operators figured this out. You are already paying all your expenses and trying to generate revenue off one person.

Lets say your expenses are 6-K per month, you have to earn 36 bucks per hour just to cover expenses. With 3 guys in that same truck now your only talking 11 per man hour to cover expenses, now you add the labor and your up to 23-25 per hour and your making 10 bucks per man hour, multiply that times 5 crews and you can see being a solo is not so attractive. Yes I know there is the windsheild time but you should still be able to bill for 85% of the work day. With that many crews there are supervisor expenses etc too. But you should get the gist of the economics, it is done all over with very profitable companies. Commercial rate around here is 25 per hour. Residential 30-35 for most.

Think about it, how much more will your expenses go up if you add one or two laborers to your operation, As long as you can efficiently manage your labor you may have to buy another mower maybe get a bigger trailer but the truck, insurance and fuel are your big expenses and they don't change with one or 3 employees in the truck, the cost only changes significantly when you put another truck on the road.

No disrespect, but if you are solo you own a job. If that makes you happy great. I had lots of jobs, I don't want to own a job.

Well, that might be true 'IF'...

1) One was paying wages under the table
2) Had no multiplied operational expenses involved


Also, insurance is an example of a fixed MONTHLY expense.
The majority of the rest is debt repayment, so lets call it what it is... debt.
And the interest on that debt is an additional monthly expense.

But anyways, thanks for the great example you gave so I could illustrate the typical mindset.

Envy Lawn Service
05-04-2006, 01:08 AM
$35 an hour with an efficiency rating of 75% (total hours vs income generating hours) with a 2 man crew is over $100,000 revenue a year per truck.

If you can't make money doing landscape maintenance clicking 100k a year per truck there is a problem.

Granted a solo wouldn't touch those numbers but if you had 5 trucks it would be 500k in revenue a year.

Wages at $10 an hour with everything included is less than 47k per truck. Making 20k profit per truck it leaves 32k for other expenses or higher wages.

Looks like a healthy company to me.

But the cost of putting five trucks on the road with 2-man crews, tools to use and keeping them busy with work costs a heck of a lot more than a flat $10 per man hour....

T.E.
05-04-2006, 01:17 AM
Originaly quoted by turfdude:
It is a numbers game. A lot has to do with your location, cost of living, equipment set-up, OVERHEAD, etc...

IF an average employee is paid $ 9/hr, and you're paying him benes, vacation, sick, figure in workman's comp, etc... then he's realling costing you $14-$15/hour. Then you must figure fuel charges, equipment costs, all other insurances (vehicle, business operating), equipment replacement, and all other fixed and variable costs. Finally you have to add your gross profit %. If you say you must make $60-$100 per man hour to make a profit then I say that your overhead costs are OUT OF CONTROL.

With the above given secinario, you should be able to make a decent buck at a rate much lower than that. Otherwise what you're really saying is that you need to make that money all year round mowing et.al., or conversely your prices for these services are too low and you now must make up your losses w/ extravagant leaf fees.
Once again, I don't mean to knock our industry, but in general we're not going to generate the same $/hr as an automechanic repair shop, electrician or plumber.
I have spoken to different people who claim to make $60 or so per manhour, but when you ask them what their 2 man or 3 man crew grossed that day, it ranges from $30-maybe $45/manhour.
I have found that I have been on a higher clean-up rate per manhour in my areas than a lot of others. We've all been around for 5-15 years. Not one of us comes close to this kind of rate per hour. Not one of us is a scrub. We all make a good living, pay our help well and make a nice profit.
To each his own I guess.

BTW, if all of the "other companies" bosses jumped from a bridge, I hope they wouldn't necessarily expect me to follow.
__________________
Bob
If you fail to plan ..... you plan to fail.

SOMM
05-04-2006, 01:47 AM
thats when competitor u know bobby, corrects and tells customer they read it all wrong, and that it's $35 per man per hour X 5 men minimum (includes equip) = $175 per hour.

or if its one man = $35 per quarter hour (incl. equip) would be better.

Envy Lawn Service
05-04-2006, 02:04 AM
And another thing.... (and I swear I'm not picking on you)

But take this statement for example:
Well I wondered how long it would take before all the solo operators figured this out. You are already paying all your expenses and trying to generate revenue off one person.

Lets say your expenses are 6-K per month, you have to earn 36 bucks per hour just to cover expenses.

Now, just for example, if you have figured out you can't make money at $35 per man hour solo.... what on God's green earth makes people think they can all the sudden make money if the hire employees to duplicate themselves in the field at the same man hour rate?

Really.... what makes people think they can take the product of a failing formula, multiply it and come out better somehow?

Envy Lawn Service
05-04-2006, 02:17 AM
Now... in my opinion, the bottom line is this....

There are too many people who treat their business finances like their personal/household expenses. Or they just intigrate it.

In other words, what I mean is, for instance... if during one month they came to the shop or came home with a total of a few thousand dollars in checks and cash, to them this is their income, as it would be if they had a common job. They then take their earmarked paycheck and pay up all their bills just like they were an employee. To them, gross business income = net employee income.

IOW, they think "Hey I made $30 and hour today" and so long as they can make their business debt and personal debt payments they are happy

lawnartisan
05-04-2006, 05:24 AM
Me and my single 21" toro proline i bought used for $250 which I work out of the back of my 4 cylinder pick-up truck sure seems simple compared to all these considerations.
I cant wait to build clients to the point i can afford to hire and start exploiting lower wage employees to put money in my pocket. But hey, this is America, land of the free, home of the capatalist.
Im just starting out and heck I barely make $35 by myself before all my cost which are almost non existent.(because my route is very tight and i drive a 4cylinder.) Now I suppose alot of you bigger established guys who have all your cost figured out and make bank think $35 is a joke, but I feel $35 an hour on paper per man hour seems reasonable even for a large company. Not everyone has all there clients in Beverly Hills. Mowing takes certain learned skills, and you can put much pride in your work, but lets face it, its not rocket science. IMO $60 or more per hr on paper, not piece-work mind you, would seem to have you lose majority or your bids to your competitors. This is where price seems to affect the volume of work you can bring in-house to pack a schedule and hire some heads and to start having them put money in my pocket without having to lift a finger. In conclusion, Im looking forward to this day.

bobbygedd
05-04-2006, 06:14 AM
the $35 per man hour, was for labor on work like leaf cleanup, trimming of shrubbery, etc. as far as the mowing, he bid less than us by about 12%. while talking to him, he said his lawns are all priced at about $35 per mow. each mow takes his 2 man crew about 25 minutes gate to gate (for u geniouses, that's gate down, when stopping, to gate up, when leaving).

scott's turf
05-04-2006, 06:40 AM
35 a man hr is standard around here. of course mowing brings in more than that a so does fert and mulching. when I estimate a job I use the 35 per hr. If it takes me less time then I make more. If I underestimate then I stop at the price and say that's what the price gets you. No one would stay in business around here if they told thier cust they are charging 45 or more per hr for maint. If I end up making that on avg. so be it but I could never tell the cust. that.

I don't know where you get that $35/hr is standard where you are. I would figure it would be more down your way than up in NH. You are either low balling or don't have the right equipment for the job. Hourly rates and the right equipment go hand in hand. Any time that we bid on an hourly basis (which is rare) our minimum is $50/man hr. That is a figure that I am not really happy with but at least I know that I am going to get that risk free. I usually expect more per hour for mowing than mulching because mowing requires more overhead. Irrigation work has a minumum of $65/hr plus all the mark-up on parts. No one seems to have any problem with that rate.

lawnartisan
05-04-2006, 06:45 AM
if each of those guys made 10 buck an hour thats $4.16 each guy in wages gate to gate. $8.32 for both. that $26.68 left to cover his cost. if his route is tight it probably works out.

allinearth
05-04-2006, 07:33 AM
The more crew labor hours worked the less overhead burden per hour. In general fixed expenses will stay the same wether you employ 2 guys or 10 guys.

GraZZmaZter
05-04-2006, 09:49 AM
bobby ... i just raised my lawn care services to 40.00 and hours this year .. it was 35.00 last year. I can make a comfortable living on that. Maybe you need to take a look at the books again. Do you have a Biz plan? CPA, Lawyer? Obviously your business isnt set up right if you cant make any money on 40.00/manhour.... and im NO amature....

Evergreenpros
05-04-2006, 10:44 AM
And another thing.... (and I swear I'm not picking on you)

But take this statement for example:


Now, just for example, if you have figured out you can't make money at $35 per man hour solo.... what on God's green earth makes people think they can all the sudden make money if the hire employees to duplicate themselves in the field at the same man hour rate?

Really.... what makes people think they can take the product of a failing formula, multiply it and come out better somehow?


Because if you're solo and use that rate you'll only probably only generate 50k a year. Profit from that will only be about 35k a year, not very good.

However, if you add another guy in the truck and keep them scheduled the revenue generated for that truck should jump to 100k. With the wages you'll have to pay of about 47k for the two employees that leaves 53k for profit, expenses and other outlays. If you had one truck with employees you'd probably only make about 15-18k. If you add more trucks, say 4 more for a total of 5, and each truck adds to the contribution margin of advertising, insurance, office space etc the profit per truck will go up slightly.

Should be 20k per truck x 5 trucks is about 100k. That's if you can keep them scheduled. But here is the problem and this is why many just go solo: I guarantee you will work more hours for this 100k being a manager than profiting 100k being solo with a helper. If you can't keep them scheduled for almost all of the year then profit will go down to probably 70k mark, which is more reasonable. Well, 70k profit being solo is very doable with proper advertising, equipment and a decent growing season and you'll work less hours than being a manager making the same money.

But the problem is when you sell the company the guy who has 5 trucks will get far more from his business than a solo guy will. So there's tradeoffs.

Envy Lawn Service
05-04-2006, 11:16 AM
Thanks for the extra input Bobby.... now if I may borrow it...

the $35 per man hour, was for labor on work like leaf cleanup, trimming of shrubbery, etc. as far as the mowing, he bid less than us by about 12%. while talking to him, he said his lawns are all priced at about $35 per mow. each mow takes his 2 man crew about 25 minutes gate to gate (for u geniouses, that's gate down, when stopping, to gate up, when leaving).

Now look you guys... this is not rocket science. All you have to do is figure the numbers with no fuzzy math involved to make yourself feel better about how the numbers look.

This guy is doing better on extra services involving the small equipment than he is the larger stuff from mowing on up. Here's how it works out.

Gate to Gate time-> 25 minutes x 2 men = 50 minutes

Even if the route is pretty tight, at the end of the day, his route average for his $35 lawns will come in at 1 man hour per lawn at least. IOW $35 per man hour. With that said, he does worse on services from mowing on up, because the costs involved beyond labor expenses are a LOT higher than they are for two guys running a shovel/rake/blower/hedge trimmer.

Anyways... take the $35 per man hour and subtract some REAL HOURLY NUMBERS instead instead of "$4.16 each guy per lawn".... because trying to make your numbers LOOK AND SOUND GOOD will not make them good in reality.

Lets do it like this... (with simple numbers that work out even)

Gross Route > $35 x 8 hrs = $280
Direct Employee Wage > Crew leader + Helper x 8 hours = $200 per day

That leaves $80 per day/ $10 per hour to cover everything else.
(But you all consider this profit right?)
Think that's going to cover it the expense? THINK AGAIN.

What about:
Employer burden?
Truck expense?
Trailer expense?
Mower expense?
Trimmer expense?
Edger expense?
Fuel expense?
Mix oil expense?

Stuff like 8 tires on the road, blades, belts, filters, oil, grease, repair parts, trimmer line, and other misc expenses... and we haven't even ventured into the fixed operating expenses.

$80 bucks a day ain't going to cut it for covering the expenses, much less paying the owner a wage.

Anyways, you guys should keep better records of your expenses.