View Full Version : How much does it cost to cut a lawn?

09-16-2001, 02:54 PM
I have my costs down to $17.53 per yard for basic mow, edge string trim and blow.I would like to know how much it costs you to mow the 75x125 yard.Thanks

09-16-2001, 03:59 PM
I see you looking but no one will answer? Lets here from the big companys.Lets here from the two man crews. Lets here from all 3500 members. This is what its all about.Can we make money or not.

09-16-2001, 04:07 PM
But this is where the posts here need to start heading!! This is the important stuff that can make or break your company. I think not a lot of people are answering because they haven't stopped to figure out their costs down to the penny like some obviously have.

I wish we got more participation on posts like this around here.

Who remember's when Ray (Kirby) used to post pictures of sites and have everyone come up with an estimate. He made it fun like a game, but it was seriously an awesome eye opener for some who had some serious issues with their estimating / pricing methods.

I wish these were the posts that got 100+ replies, not the ones that have a billion replies as to which mower is better ExMark or Scag. It can on;ly be debated so many times, but a subject like this can go forever and actually help you 10 x more than half the B.S. thats posted here.

09-16-2001, 04:41 PM
9375 sq/ft

$17.53 Tell me how you came up with that #
You said per a lawn.
Not by the hour
My cost per an hour is about $10 more than what you said per a lawn.

Hard to give you a price with no pic


09-16-2001, 06:05 PM
that is my cost without labor or profit.Just to keep things going.Basic 1.15 yards per hour. I would like to know what your costs are. Not a hard question. Let us all look at the solution to lower costs and make a BUSINESS that can continue.

09-16-2001, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by LAWNGODFATHER
My cost per an hour is about $10 more than what you said per a lawn.


About $27 a man hour. thats cost no profit yet

but when you put 6 houses next to each othe at $40 a pop and it takes 2 guys to them in an hour. You do the math.

09-16-2001, 06:19 PM
I would love to add, but all I can do is ask a question.

When you add or subtract a customer (lawn) doesn't that change the cost per lawn across the board (taking into consideration consistant expenses like auto/insurance, licenses, phone, etc.

With that said, I will agree with Guido that it is fun to do a comparisson


LGF who asked how can you give a cost per lawn when all lawns are different sizes and take different amounts of time ?


09-16-2001, 06:26 PM
Originally posted by curlawngreen
I have my costs down to $17.53 per yard for basic mow, edge string trim and blow.I would like to know how much it costs you to mow the 75x125 yard.Thanks


I don't have a 75'x125' lawn. Thats why I asked how did he get that #


09-16-2001, 07:08 PM
I was saying I agree with you LGF.

I have a few that size and they take less time than a postage stamp that I have with alot of trimming, edging, and sidewalk/driveway to blow.
Also have a couple of 20,000 that take less time than the 75x100 because of no sidewalk and stone driveway and hardly any trimming.



09-16-2001, 07:29 PM
No problem.

That would be the shortest post I have ever made so I had to type this too.


09-16-2001, 08:08 PM
I don't get out of the truck for less than $25 now, thats my minumum. The basic charge is one dolar per minute cut trim and blow most of my lawns are in the $30 to $50 range with some larger. This price is for a "36 mower my perminute price goes up with deck size. Don't under price yourself. You have to figure your time to get to that small lawns unload, work and reload every thing.

09-16-2001, 08:29 PM
I make an estimate on how long I think it would take to mow this particular lawn with a 21" handmower. If I think it will take me 1.5 hours, then I will charge approx, $50.00 rounded off at $35.00 per hour. *(I think most people like the numbers rounded off, instead of 52.50 you say $50.00) Now we run walkers and obviously it's gonna take alot less than 1.5 hours to mow that lawn, but the machine itself is $9200.00 and if it takes me 15 minutes to mow, so be it. It may seem odd, but it seems to work for me. Ps, I don't think I even own a handmower.
Also while we're at it, does anyone ask a potential customer what they were paying *(provided they had a lawn service) the last company they had ? Just curious on the ethics of it.

09-16-2001, 11:49 PM
LGF, Do you know how much it costs to do those 6 in row?Just simple questions.

Edited by Eric ELM

Those numbers alphanumerically spelled out words that nobody wants to hear, here.

09-17-2001, 12:06 AM
Thats a tuffie. But lets see

61" Chariot purches price $7000.00 will last 2000 hours 3.50
echo trimmer 320.00 with tax 300 + hours 3.00
blades for mower 1.00
line for trimmer 1.00
insurence $580 per year part time so lets say 1.00
gas for mower $1.65 per gal 1.5 gph 2.50
gas for trimmer $2.15 per gal .50
maintance and repairs ??? 3.50
totel $15.00

Thats my cost for equipment not counting truck, wages or taxes.
Did I miss anything?

so if I gross around the $50.00 per hour figure with a helper Ill be doing ok I usually to do more though.

Is that what you wanted?


09-17-2001, 12:10 AM
Yes I think things like these will help myself and others understand why we charge and pay our help what we do.
Thanks. Tim

David Gretzmier
09-17-2001, 12:16 AM
the only way to truly find the cost per hour is take all of your expenses from the previous year and divide by the number of hours worked. this can be done on a cash basis, figuring payments for equipment and trucks plus all other cash expenses to get your" net operating cost" or figure your deprieciation and interest separately to figure your"actual cost" per hour. If you cant figure how many hours you worked, take a look at your machine hours and try to figure what you put on them, and work from there. most lawn guys I know may work 40-60 hours per week, but thier mower only sees 20 hours of duty if they are a one man show.

I did a post where I figured erics operating cost on that 3500 hour dixie he had, and since it was exclusive of taxes and insurance, truck, advertisin, storage costs, and labor, it really only showed his ownership cost of the machine.

most of us would freak to know that our actual overall operating cost, driven down to the hours we are actually on the jobsite, are probably in the 20-25 dollar range. you gotta be charging 35-50 per man hour to make any real bucks in this business. Dave g

09-17-2001, 04:19 AM
My cost per lawn is $11.58 as solo. With helper that goes us a bit.

09-17-2001, 08:06 AM
That is the average lot size here (80x125). I charge 20.00 to cut, edge, trim and blow. That is what my peticular market will bear for that size property.

09-17-2001, 10:27 AM
All things being equal, I come up with $249/month for a lawn that size. Most of my yards in the area are 3000 sq. ft. or smaller so my formula lends itself to profit on smaller properties. There's always as much time spent on edging, trimming, and cleanup in my area as there is in mowing, so if a lawn takes me 30 minutes to cut, it tends to take me an hour to complete. A lawn that size would probably take me an hour and a half to two hours each visit with a 36" mower, stick edger, trimmer, and backpack blower. That time figures that the lawn is growing reasonably most of the time, which is a fair constant in the mild climate I live in (considering the lawn is irrigated and fertilized regularly and properly).

It seems that most operations on here charge a minimum (20-35/cut) so they charge a lot more for smaller lawns than I do and a lot less for larger lawns. I've always found that strange, but that's a different topic...


09-17-2001, 11:50 AM
Like David says, you really need to back track to the previous year to get any numbers which mean anything.

I approximate my costs are averaging around $18.00 / hr - not including any labor.

Labor has to come from what you want to net per year working in this business. Then figure out how many billable or production hours per year you can get depending on your climate.

Then put a margin on it for the business itself to make money.

Add all this in and most people are gonna be between $35.00 - 65.00 per hour.

I think the best way is figuring monthly per 12 months - is how I do my bids now, I don't show a per cut price anymore.


09-17-2001, 07:10 PM
BUT, when I started to do the numbers I came up with three figures;

Max Annual Income, Desired Annual, Minimum Annual Income.

I divided those figures by the weeks and hours I planned on working and came up with my hourly rate...

And I'm not far off from what I've read here.

09-17-2001, 11:48 PM
9375 sq. ft
It takes me, on average, 1.25 minutes to cut 1000 sq ft. So this job, without trimming or edging, would take 11.71 minutes. I always round it up to the nearest 1/4 so say 15 minutes.

My costs using a 44" Toro Z Master, including labor, repairs & maint., oil & gas, depreciation and overheads are $26.70/hr. This includes expenses for my truck and trailer. If I was using trimmers and edgers it would be an additional $4.30/hr. I then add on 15% and multiply that by the hours and minutes it would take to do the job.

So for this example, without trimming and edging, the charge would be $7.67. But, having said that, I don't take my mower off the trailer for anything less than $25, so the calculation is purely academic.

Island Lawn
09-21-2001, 10:49 PM
Job Costing Primer


(Go to vol. 10)

09-24-2001, 12:13 PM
neighbors kids cost is plus 5 dollars. daddy bought mower an gas.
an momma gives him 5 to cut his music off an get out o the house.:D justkidding ,but it probably happens.

09-24-2001, 06:09 PM

... I've been asking that on myself for the past 11 years. I'm not sure if there is a exact answer. We all buy different mowers for different amounts (new or used equipment). Not all of us have liability and/or medical insurance. Fuel prices vary by where we live. So does what we pay our help (FT or PT).

But that doesn't mean you have to operate your business and live in a vacuum.. i use QuickBooks Pro 2000 to help me manage my business. The reports section of this software is most helpful...especially the P&L and Cash Flow Statements.

As for how much does it cost to cut a lawn, I use this "rule of thumb". I charge $55/acre or $65/hour (which ever is more). And that will most likely go up in 2002. Hope that helps.


09-24-2001, 10:20 PM