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View Full Version : aerating worth it?


redsoxvin
05-03-2006, 11:14 PM
im 15 and i get my license in the fall, so thats why i was thinking of this. what if i rent an aerater during the week for the non weekend price. line up a bunch of people ahead of time. get like 50-100 bucks a pop, make a $1000 in a week., how does that sound. what about pricing, how much should i charge? also, how much would it cost to rent the machine? im guessing like 150 for mon. to thurs.?

mike lane lawn care
05-03-2006, 11:44 PM
around here it costs $90/day for renting an aerating, it doens't take too long to do and you could have one busy day doing 10 customers. this would be your best bet, but if you have never used an aerator before, then make sure you try it on your lawn first, and read the manual. what kind of equipment do you have? i can recomend some very good low cost tow-behind aeraters. i'm, currently 16 and am getting my license next week, i use a tow behind aerater and could easily get 10, 1.5 acre properties in a day. the key is schedule all of your clients close by.

P.S. how big are the props? my min is $70 for aerating

grassmanak
05-03-2006, 11:49 PM
70 dollars for aerating that seems high, i charged 25.00 for aerating for new customers, can do around 15 in a easy day, and rental was 66.00 for the day, ive seen a couple of cardboard signs taped on light poles that said 20.00 aerating.

mike lane lawn care
05-04-2006, 12:00 AM
70 dollars for aerating that seems high, i charged 25.00 for aerating for new customers, can do around 15 in a easy day, and rental was 66.00 for the day, ive seen a couple of cardboard signs taped on light poles that said 20.00 aerating.

the average lawn is at least 1.5 acres around here

Killswitch
05-04-2006, 12:05 AM
70 dollars for aerating that seems high, i charged 25.00 for aerating for new customers, can do around 15 in a easy day, and rental was 66.00 for the day, ive seen a couple of cardboard signs taped on light poles that said 20.00 aerating.


I wouldn't even start the aerator and shut it off for 20 dollars.

:rolleyes:

Soupy
05-04-2006, 12:05 AM
70 dollars for aerating that seems high, i charged 25.00 for aerating for new customers, can do around 15 in a easy day, and rental was 66.00 for the day, ive seen a couple of cardboard signs taped on light poles that said 20.00 aerating.


No.... your prices are real low. Not that it's your fault but somebody in your area really set the bar low on aerating. Why would anyone offer a service cheaper then what the customer could do it for themselves. Your minimum should be slightly higher then the rental of an aerator and that should be for under 5,000 sq ft. Aerating is a lot harder then mowing and your prices are more in line for mowing.

Around here the legitimate companies charge $15-$20 per 1,000 sq ft with a $60 minimum. Not that we don't have a few low priced guys here. A friend of mine was quoted $40 for a 13k lawn while I was at $195 and Scott's quoted $215.

METRO 36
05-04-2006, 12:31 AM
I git 15 per thousand, will give a discount for lawns over 15k for existing customers then i will aerate for 12 per thousand square feet, 25.oo is low unless thats the going rate in your area. but on average in my area its 10-15 per thousand.

and yes it is profitable i probaly make more money in the spring aerating than i make mowing the first month of the season, matter of fact i know i do

S3Scooter
05-05-2006, 10:56 PM
Just did one to day. 13,000k, $13 per1000, it took me less than an hour. I own the machine (Classen TA-26) payup good $$$. If I had to rent it It would cost me $75 for 4 hours, or $110 for 24 hrs. I would have to take it for 24hrs. from where I am to the rental house, with the fuel their and back. Minimal profit. If your going to rent, have at least 5 or 6 jobs lined up, and your profit should be good. I have only had a call for three this season, and they were not close together, so rental would have been out of the question. Do you have a ride on tractor? If so maybe look in to a tow behind unit, they are more affordable, and that way you can have it on hand for when your customer asks for it. They don't do as good of a job as the commercial units, but it will get you started, and you can save up and upgrade later.

If you rent one though, I agree that you should try it out on your lawn first. They are a lot to handle, about 200-300lbs. when the drum is full, and they pack quite a kick. Watch out for underground utilities, sprinkler systems, and hills. They recommend that you call Miss Utility before using one.

Hope I didn't ramble to much, Just wanted to make sure you had enough info to get started. Good luck brother.

S3

topsites
05-06-2006, 01:09 AM
70 dollars for aerating that seems high, i charged 25.00 for aerating for new customers, can do around 15 in a easy day, and rental was 66.00 for the day, ive seen a couple of cardboard signs taped on light poles that said 20.00 aerating.

Whaaaa ?

I mean are y'all sure we're talking the same thing here? Because to me, aerating is about the hardest job there is in lawncare, besides maybe hauling loads and loads of brush with a tarp. Price-wise I charge cost of cutting + 10 for starters but once we get over 1/2 acre, the price hauls way ahead of cutting all the way to $100 for a full acre lot and that's still cheap!

Is it worth it? Well it more than doubles the germination rate of seed, and at a cost of $100 / 50 pounds of seed, if I aerate for an extra 50 dollars then that is a lot cheaper than putting down another 50 pounds of seed at $100.

Are your lots that small or are you guys using bs aerators? I use a Classen Ta-26 walk-behind 5hp till-driven machine and the solid axle ain't no joke in the turns, that thing wears me out. Now my lots are mostly 1/4 acre and up and I can do an acre in 2 hours solid but it wears me out nice, I might can do two acre lots in a day but that's all she wrote. As for 1/4 acre or smaller lots, maybe 4 or 5, 6 max by myself, that aerator is some piece of work. I might can do a few more, but not if I intend on working the next day lol.

Still, 4-6 lots anywhere from 45 - 75 or so means 200 - 300 / day and it doesn't take all that long, but a grand in a weekend? Not with no walk-behind solid axle, I just don't see it. Now if you can rent the split-drive...

As for tow-behind aerators, those of you who use it may argue and I'll keep my mouth shut if you have acre+ lots (like 2+ acres) because I won't argue at that point but for smaller lots (acre and smaller) the walk-behind aerator does a far better job. It always does a better job, but on really big lots I can't see doing it with that kind of machine, is why I'd agree then.

cessnasovereign
05-06-2006, 01:29 AM
You think aerating is hard?? I've only done it a couple times at my own house using a HD rental, but it seemed pretty easy and heck that was years ago, I was probably 15 or 16 the first time I ever did it.

But I'm gonna buy a tow behind and sell the hell out of aerating this year!!!

Budget
05-06-2006, 11:46 AM
I use a tow behind for lots as small as a half acre, but will rent a walk behind for smaller jobs, and tight areas where you can't get a tow behind around.

6'7 330
05-06-2006, 11:53 AM
You think aerating is hard?? I've only done it a couple times at my own house using a HD rental, but it seemed pretty easy and heck that was years ago, I was probably 15 or 16 the first time I ever did it.

But I'm gonna buy a tow behind and sell the hell out of aerating this year!!!

Try a 10 hour day behind a Ryan LA IV OR V.Our workers are dogged tired to the bone.

Aeration is worth it in terms of our pocketbook, and in terms of it is part of proper cultual practice for all lawns, and beneficial for the turf. We provide it in a full service package.

cwlawley
05-06-2006, 12:50 PM
70 dollars for aerating that seems high, i charged 25.00 for aerating for new customers, can do around 15 in a easy day, and rental was 66.00 for the day, ive seen a couple of cardboard signs taped on light poles that said 20.00 aerating.

$25.00?!? Are you serious? There must be a huge difference in prices between here and there. I do mostly 1/4 acre lots, if that and my base price is $60.00 no exceptions. I stay busy all year with them.

To answer the initial question, there is a lot of money in aeration.

cessnasovereign
05-07-2006, 03:42 AM
$25.00?!? Are you serious? There must be a huge difference in prices between here and there. I do mostly 1/4 acre lots, if that and my base price is $60.00 no exceptions. I stay busy all year with them.

To answer the initial question, there is a lot of money in aeration.

What times of the year do you aerate and when it is most busy.. How many did you do last year?

J and E Landscape
09-29-2006, 04:09 PM
After reading some of these threads about aerating, its no wonder the average Landscaper won't crack $50,000 per year. HOW THE HELL can you charge $10 per 1000 Sq. Ft.?????? Try this... Hit the customer w/ $40 per Sq. Ft., and if they cower @ the price, then recommend they get an over the phone estimate from a large Fertizing Co. like Natural Lawn of America. They charge $2300 per Acre! Then call them back and knock a hundred bucks off if you need to. If you spend a day aerating there's know reason that you can't NET $2500. Stop trying to undercut everyone and eventually all our Profit Margins will increase!!:hammerhead:

topsites
09-29-2006, 09:25 PM
I wouldn't even start the aerator and shut it off for 20 dollars.

:rolleyes:

Same here.... The thread starter's profile indicates a north carolina location and I'm in virginia, here are my prices for walk-behind aerating:

$40 minimum, and I don't care.
1/4 acre = $40
3/8 acre = $50
1/2 acre = $60
5/8 acre = $75
3/4 acre = $90
7/8 acre = $105
Full acre = $120

As for how many lots I can do? It takes 2 FULL hours of non-stop walking and manhandling that machine (NO breaks, none at all) to do one entire acre.
I can do 4-5 maybe 6 1/4 acres, but if I do two acre lots in one day, I would amaze myself (I usually aerate 1/2 day, then take off to go grass-cutting).

It's hard work, you can make money but I would consider buying a used aerator vs. renting: I paid $1,000 for mine and it's held together for 5 years with maybe $100 in parts and bs, there isn't much to the machines so there's not much to break down.

Tn Lawn Man
09-29-2006, 09:59 PM
Those prices are still low.

To rent an aerator around here it is $60 for a day.

You still have to go pick it up, take it to your house, USE IT, clean it, and then take it back.

I think that a $60 minimum charge is worth it to the home owner. So, that is where my prices start...$60

PMLAWN
09-29-2006, 11:04 PM
Thread starter is in Concord. soil is concrete!!!!
$60 is Min here. and that is very small lot.
I have a Pluger but it is bad on hills so I also rent a Ryan IV.
Very hard work with either. Charge a lot. and than add a little

DoetschOutdoor
09-29-2006, 11:39 PM
Costs $80 a day from HD here for 24 hour rental. I was aerating and overseeding/fertlizing and did 14 yards in two days with my cheapest lawn being $75 and my most expensive being 200. All lots were 1/4-1/2 acre and took about 1 hour to aerate and spread whatever. $75 is my minimum bc aerating is too much work for any less. It took me about 3 days to recover and you are crazy if you are doing aerating for $25 bucks.

topsites
09-30-2006, 09:11 AM
Costs $80 a day from HD here for 24 hour rental. I was aerating and overseeding/fertlizing and did 14 yards in two days with my cheapest lawn being $75 and my most expensive being 200. All lots were 1/4-1/2 acre and took about 1 hour to aerate and spread whatever. $75 is my minimum bc aerating is too much work for any less. It took me about 3 days to recover and you are crazy if you are doing aerating for $25 bucks.

No doubt but I had an idea late last night which will drive down the cost for large lots (at least 3/4 acre but really acre+) which is to hook a tow-behind to the Z, then cut + aerate at the same time and just charge double the price of the cut and voila.

btw, walk-behind aerators always do a better job than tow-behind... But for large lots and / or customers who just want cheap...

The other thing that helps keep price down is BUY your own aerator. They are very low maintenance, the few things that can break are not that expensive or hard to replace, it's a simple machine. On mine, in 5 years I broke a belt and 2-3 tines and also a $25 weld was required once (I bought it used lol)... Change the oil once or twice a season (use a synth) and voila.

Oh, and remember: You need to aerate in the 3-4 days following a nice rain. In that time you will get a good feel of what nice, moist soil does with an aerator, a guide which you can use for years to come as people will call you for aeration when the soil is bone dry (and you need to, at this point, let them know that it's not worth it but wait until it rains). I find with temps in the 70's and 80's, the soil stays moist enough up to 4 days after a nice rain, by the 5th day the plugs get way small.

The thing is, you want to pull some DEEP plugs:
http://stonecreektreeservice.com/core_norm.jpg

MarcSmith
09-30-2006, 09:58 AM
Just remember, every other landscaper in town is aerating at the same time....so you will need to call ahead to reserve the thing....If possible make sure the soil is somewhat damp as well, that way you can pull some good cores.

But aeration in and of itself is good, but when you add seed and starter fert to the mix you end with wonderful results...