View Full Version : How much per man hour for mowing?

06-21-2001, 08:40 PM
On commercial mowing jobs how much do you charge per man when looking to give an estimate? I know most charge around $35 per hour for labor jobs... Is it the same for mowing?


06-21-2001, 08:53 PM
I think $35 per man hour is about right for mowing (from $25 to $40 down here depending on overhead)...Just labor (without equipment) is a little lower down here.

Again it all depends on your overhead...

06-21-2001, 09:01 PM
Damn... Someone told me $15 so I went with it. I screwed up my first commercial bid!!!

06-21-2001, 10:12 PM
Depends on the work being done,also. If you are
just going to trim shrubs,that's one thing. But I
have done jobs where I am lifting heavy things all
day like block or soil, and I would think at the end
of the day, "man, I wish I would have been mowing!"
I believe you should make more. My buddy who has a
big operation does mowing on 3 days, then landscaping
on the other 3. He says the "other 3" is how he makes
his big bucks! You would be surprised how much.Therefore
I really do not tell them how much I charge per hr. Just
estimate the time and give 'em a price. I like to shoot
for $50.00/hr.

Fantasy Lawns
06-21-2001, 10:36 PM
a great rule of thumb is to charge the amount of $$ per hour which you must make to live ......compare to YOUR LOCAL cost of living ....in MD I'd say the cost of living must be high (close to DC) ....as far as daily living, rent or owning a home, taxes, etc.

if you make $15 per hour 40 hours week that's $600 ....take out your daily expenses, taxes, cost of equip, fuel,phone, advo, n all the other things which cost us to operate ....after all that from your $600 is approx take home pay ....

what if you charge $25 well that $1000 ....$35 whould be $1400.00 (now we can put food on the table)....this all assumes that one has a full week of work ....of course with a 50 hr week @ $35 ...is even better

still chaulk it up to experience ...if your not super busy ....do the work ($15 n hour is better than watching the bills pile up)....... attempt to do the work ....until it places a burden on your weekly schedule ....than tell em you need more ...good luck ;->

06-21-2001, 10:52 PM
Okay... Hope we are not confused...

I'm talking about additional men not including yourself. For example: A job will take you and another man 'x' amount of hours... $50 per hour for yourself and how much per hour for the other man?

06-21-2001, 11:03 PM
They are still using your equipment...You have to pay them and the taxes that come with it. You need to make a profit even with the extra persons work. The rates should be the same. The commercial property does not know how much each employee of yours makes on the job. So you should get the maximum for each man hr ,that is accomplished by your company, that the market will allow. If you need to charge MORE for yourself that is great, but do not LOWER the rate for another. (Saying if the rate is $35 per man hr..and you want more for yourself then have it at $45 per man hr for yourself and $35 per man hr for employees)

CSRA Landscaping
06-21-2001, 11:12 PM
IMO, sounds like that's not too bad, $15 for the other guy ... depending on wht he's gettin' paid.

PrimeGreen Lawn
06-22-2001, 12:11 AM

When you heard $15/hour for your employees that is always ABOVE what you charge yourself. It all depends what you are doing. I have gome as high as $110./hr for myself on my bobcat, and any extra "help" I use (shoveling, raking..) would be between 15-25/man. For lawn cutting, it's just whatever the bid is. The employees make it so much easier on me, and opens up more time to get more jobs done. What did you finally decide to bid at?


06-22-2001, 02:10 AM
if hes running a piece of your equipment or wether hes not that man should be making you almost twice as fast - i charge the same - $40 - $50 per man per hour weather its mowing, weedeating, pulling weeds , whatever - the client dont like it then they can have fun themselvs getting calused hands and feet and sore back and ankles - keep in mind that in this line of work its short lived unless you expand enough to manage a business from a air conditioned desk as im sure some of you do already - some are luckier than others -im not there yet - for me and who works with me its nose to the grind stone - blood ,sweat, and tears - hope you ate your wheaties.

06-22-2001, 08:09 AM
TSG - Fall guy has a good point. Charge the same per man hour! You still have business to run, you have to pay for the extra overhead.

Others have mentioned about charging per man hour for mowing: If you have a 60" mower then charge $1.00 per minute. 72" mower then charge $1.25 per minute.

Hopes this helps!

PrimeGreen Lawn
06-22-2001, 12:47 PM
I like the charging by the minute...never thought of it that way,.


06-22-2001, 11:06 PM
This is one of those questions everyone wants answered but noone wants to fess up on their rates.
For us, it depends. Big jobs,say its a $35000.00 a year account. To me, volume deserves a price break. $30.00 an hour is our lowest rate.$50.00 about our top end. We only mow commercial stuff. If it does'nt pay well, I'm not interested.
I hear guys on here talk about $15.00 an hour. Even with a very modest overhead and taxes, they might as well consider working at Burger King.

06-22-2001, 11:25 PM
No, at least a Burger King you get free food and $6.50/hr. By us charging $15/hr we would be LOOSING about $20/hr!!!

06-23-2001, 04:11 AM

I had an accountant set up my biz plan after I expanded to to truck 8 years ago

once you add salery,truck,depreciacion,taxes,ins.,equipment,shop,phones,advertising,uniform,repairs,payment,bank expence,your salery,ETC......

you gota charge at least $35 an hour easy for a guy to show up in a truck empty-handed and you will get it

I gota get at least $65 an man hr mowing and i get it

I know some of the big lawn co.'s out he charge $22 an hour mowin with latino's then they are over $100 an hr for every thing else looks good on paper just an idea for you

$50 an acre for res mowing
$45 an acre comm mow
thats if light trimming. you can start from there
with my equipment line up and location and minamal drive time about 25 mile a week per a truck (great when you have to fill them once a month) I can make over $65 an man hour mowing,trimming and blowing with exalent quality
as far as pruning and other work I start from at least $45 an hour

yes you can get it if you do good reliable work. get known and an acrediable name an you'll fight the away with a stick

talk to an accountant spend a couple of bucks and let him help you set a good biz plan and my buddy (a judge) in bankrupsy court won't see you
he will also help set prices

lllllllllooooooooooooooooooootttttttttttttttttttt''''''''''''''sssssssssss of luck

06-23-2001, 08:17 AM
I think a big factor is what your market will bear. You may think you deserve $30-50 per hr, but if the market will only bear $20, then what can you do. I try to get $20-25 per hr no matter what I do and usually get it (usually, not always). The general wages down here are VERY low, so I make REALLY good money compared to what I could be making working for the man. There are things down here (I feel) that make up for what you lack in wages.

06-23-2001, 04:01 PM
what do you mean people dont want to fess up to thier rates - im telling what i charge and i get it or else they can get some loballer with a crapsman and a homelite and no blower to do it - and excuse me for saying it - i know you may be lucky to even be mowing right now in FL, due to your drouts up till recently, TJLC, - but at $20- $25 dollars per hour - whatever you do? - your not only hurting yourself by under biding yourself your destroying the market for all your fellow LCO's - and what can make up for your lack of wages ?- do they give you free gas and free equipment ?- free repairs and free blades ? - the only way i would charge $20 - $25 a hour is if i didnt have any equipment at all and the home owner provided all equipment all repairs and all gas - id be thinking about my future if i was you - mowing grass is already a short lived expierience before your health becomes a problem - and for that matter how are you going to pay for health insurance tacked onto all the other every day expenses you have? :confused: If it was me id move where the economy could afford my luxury.;)

Kent Lawns
06-23-2001, 04:09 PM
It costs TWICE as much to live in certain parts of the country than other parts.

Some markets mow for 10 months, others only 6 months. Kinda makes a difference in paying the bills.

I know of guys who have all the good help they want at $6/hour. They are profitable charging $25.

Our company starts pay at $11/hour, we need to charge $35/hour to be profitable.

What about equipment? Our Toro 455's will out-mow your average garden tractor.

PLUS, one guy may be able to perform another using the same equipment.

06-23-2001, 04:42 PM
Much respect to anyone with a better setup than i have but here goes, I have a 92 GMC truck $6000- customised trailer $3000- a 2000 52in cut snapper z rider $7800 - a 2000 36in snapper walkbehind with a jungle gym attachment $2200 - a myuriama edger w/weedeater attachment as well $450 - A Kawasaki weedeater $360 - a echo backpack blower (heavy duty one with the metal frame)$400 - shindiawa hedge clippers $360 - and about $1000 worth of garden accesories i.g. wheelbarows - shovels - rakes - wiggle hoes and such . Now i dont know what the rest of you are running - but if i wasnt making $45 - $50 per hour then i would close shop - go back to work as a engineer and just have a lovely assortment of toys for my personal lawn. This isnt a hobby of mine - it grew into a job- one i enjoy much better with alot less stress.:)

06-23-2001, 05:18 PM
We shoot for $100 per hour for a two man crew. Some jobs we are a little less and some jobs are a little more. We don't actively solicit mowing jobs. We let them come to us. There are 3 things that a perspective lawn must have in order for us to take it. It must be in close range to another lawn we mow, we must be able to get the price we want for it, and the mowing crew must want to take it on. Their input is important. If they aren't happy neither am I. So what they say goes. (most of the time)

John Allin
06-23-2001, 09:11 PM
"What the market will bear" type pricing is a surefire way to have an opportunity to work for someone else..... soon.

Not one successful contractor I interact with uses that philosophy. Lots of guys that have gone under did it that way.

06-23-2001, 09:16 PM
you need to find greener pastures and people to afford your luxury.

08-26-2006, 01:41 AM
I need to figure out if i am charging a fair amount and not losing out on the jobs

Should i charge them every visit or for the hourly visit

Some times i feel as if i do more work for what i get paid


08-26-2006, 04:45 AM
:waving: hello, 40--- 60 $$$$$$$$/ hr boss or worker. This is typical.
35 $$$ minimum charge eg very small lawn
These prices are base line never cheaper even if the jobs are next to each other.
Discount of 5--10 % if cust spends $2000. plus per mth.[maybe]

08-26-2006, 06:19 AM
Around here we go for $60 an hour as the starting rate for lawnmowing and $35-$40 for simple weeding.

In my town some people faint at $20 an hour so i work down the road in a better area i quote $40( for weeding) there no problems, today i did a job simple weeding got $250 home early, in you are in a bad area for money do not work in your town if you can help it, target aa new estate etc, i drive 25 km and make twice as much as i would in my own town. :)

08-26-2006, 06:22 AM
Dusting off an old one eh?

08-26-2006, 06:25 AM
Whoops 2001 , yeah a bit old half this guys are out of business now :laugh:

08-30-2006, 11:18 PM
hello i did a yard today it was a small lawn front a back a weed in the bed i go two time of month for one small charge my question is should i charge every time i go

Fantasy Lawns
08-31-2006, 01:16 AM
Wow .... memory lane .... some older members posted on this one .... last one I've seen in a long time with JA .... or LGF fore that fact .... some others Lone Star n CSRA .... but Lawn Scapes still around n he started it ....not that TLS or TJLC isn't still posting

08-31-2006, 08:51 AM
$35.00 per hour ,per man .

09-04-2006, 04:08 AM
I got alot of jobs in my home town. but the yards are not that big . so how can i movie to a different area . so i can get those big job . Im one good worker got the right tools the truck so whats going on . my way to lean the trand .if someone show me haeds on. so pleasa help me lean more about getting more yards if you guys now anying good tips to start a small buses.

think very much

09-04-2006, 04:33 AM
[QUOTE=mikeo]I got allot of jobs in my home town. but the yards are not that big . so how can i movie to a different area . so i can get those big job . I'm one good worker got the right tools the truck so whats going on . my way to lean the trade .if someone show me head's on. so please help me lean more about getting more yards if you guys now anyone good tips to start a small buses.

think very much

Brendan Smith
09-04-2006, 06:12 AM
my target labor rate is $60 per hour. at the most, i have one person who helps me. hard labor and pinstraw/mulch replacement target labor rate is $75 per hour, plus profit from material markup and delivery.

09-04-2006, 08:33 AM
I am in a good market, I find for big commercial jobs I am able to get minumum 100$ per hour for 2 men crew and on smaller jobs we can get 120$ to 180$ for a 2 man crew. You have to make those kind of profits to have a growing business. I have lot's of experience so we make 90 % of the other outfits look stupid in being efficeint so I get those rates easy but that is with me doing the ground work if it was not for that with a normal clown crew my profits would be much lower. NO MEXICANS! as of yett.

09-04-2006, 09:25 AM
Our hourly rate for mowing is less than lets say for installs and more than weeding. Just depends on what kind of work but those are some of our basic rules of thumb. I cant justify charging some one $30.00 per man hour to weed out their flower beds.

09-04-2006, 12:56 PM
I cant justify charging some one $30.00 per man hour to weed out their flower beds.

Why not? During that time you COULD be making your full $/hr, but instead your stooping lower because of the work involved?

Especially weeding....who wants to do that?