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View Full Version : Hourly prices and hourly wages?


JShe8918
03-11-2008, 09:44 PM
Hi, I am 18 years old and have been mowing lawns since i was 14. Well i have been pocketing all of the money i made. Now that i own the equipment that i do i need to quit being the low baller around and make money not only for me but for my Company. I am liscenced and insured. I have been reading were crew leaders were making 20 per hour. So i am tring to perfect my hourly rate. See if this is about right:

15.00 my wage
3.50 gas
1.00 service and blades
4.50 replacement fund
1.00 insurance

TOTAL cost: $25.00

So i was figuring 40 per hour. Does this sound reasonable if i am doing a good job and hustling and not poking around. THANKS!!!!!

nemow
03-11-2008, 10:47 PM
You need to find someone on here in your area. Seems low but that could very well be the going rate in your neck of the woods. If your running the big mowers and the big trucks, you have to be spending more than that on fuel per hour. Again I dont know what your area charges or your fuel prices are down there. Up here fuel is pushing $3.50 per gallon and I think diesel is $3.60 something. My company makes just as much as I do per hour and my workers make $10-14 per hour (dollar raise per year starting at $10per hour)My company pays insurance fuel dumping fees breakdown costs etc. Never out of my pocket expenses, almost never. Good luck and make some money!!!

joshco84
03-11-2008, 11:10 PM
I dont know about alabama, but in kansas we can get 35 and higher for commercial, but play hell trying to get residential to pay that. Most people here think you should mow a corner lot with four thousand trees for 25 dollars. You just have to talk to the customer and kind of feel them out. If you feel they are cheap, shoot them a bid for 35, if you feel they want to pay, tell em 45. However i think a goal of 35 or 40 an hour is a good goal if you can hustle through some residential stuff. And with a 60 in z i think you should be ok!!

Josh

joshco84
03-11-2008, 11:11 PM
Also, set a minimum. Tell yourself you wont take a yard for less than say 35, and stick to it. It will help you weed out customers that you probably dont want anyways.

Josh

JShe8918
03-11-2008, 11:12 PM
Gas here is 3.15 and diesel is 3.89. I put $95 in diesel in my truck day before yesterday. I know i just don't want to get gready. About 30 miles away from me my mower dealer told me the cheapest he had heard was 60 and the most was 95 per hour and these were one person deals.

JShe8918
03-11-2008, 11:14 PM
35 has always been my minimum. See my dealer is only 30 minutes away and he said all of the companys down there were 60 per hour and up for a one man show!!! That is why i was wondering about everything.

joshco84
03-11-2008, 11:20 PM
Shoot if everybody is 60 an hour, just shoot for 40. You would be giving your customers a good deal, and still be making good money.

IN2MOWN
03-11-2008, 11:24 PM
]I dont know about alabama, but in kansas we can get 35 and higher for commercial, but play hell trying to get residential to pay that. Most people here think you should mow a corner lot with four thousand trees for 25 dollars. [/B]You just have to talk to the customer and kind of feel them out. If you feel they are cheap, shoot them a bid for 35, if you feel they want to pay, tell em 45. However i think a goal of 35 or 40 an hour is a good goal if you can hustle through some residential stuff. And with a 60 in z i think you should be ok!!

Josh



You are in the wrong part of Kansas!

joshco84
03-11-2008, 11:31 PM
yeah, thats why i am switching to mostly commercial. Plus commercial is less hassle in my opinion over residential. You can show a business owner how you are saving him money over doing it in house, and residentials just want it done cheap period.

dennys-lawn
03-11-2008, 11:41 PM
Hi, I am 18 years old and have been mowing lawns since i was 14. Well i have been pocketing all of the money i made. Now that i own the equipment that i do i need to quit being the low baller around and make money not only for me but for my Company. I am liscenced and insured. I have been reading were crew leaders were making 20 per hour. So i am tring to perfect my hourly rate. See if this is about right:

15.00 my wage
3.50 gas
1.00 service and blades
4.50 replacement fund
1.00 insurance

TOTAL cost: $25.00

So i was figuring 40 per hour. Does this sound reasonable if i am doing a good job and hustling and not poking around. THANKS!!!!!

Our minimum is $45.00 across the board just to mow 1/4 acre or less. Add employees, rent, workers comp, any advertising and utilities. Things to consider and allow for now if you plan to grow. It takes time and patience. Grow smart and slow. It is working well for us. Hope this helps.. :cool2:

kubotab7200
03-11-2008, 11:46 PM
i try to stay as resonable as i can, last year i was getting 40 to 60 $ an hour but this year i dont know what to do. gas is so high and diesel even higher, i have 2 mowers now and i cant decide to go up on hourly rates or suck it up and deal with high gas prices. one machine being a diesel im scared to see my monthly fuel bill this year.

sometimes i try to bid by the job and turns a bigger profit depending on the situation, now large yards (2-4 acre plus) i would probly go with an hourly rate
]

equiptment

2008 bad boy pup zt 50
1992 kubota b 7200hst
2004 lawn boy gold series
2 stihl weedeaters
1 mculloh blower
2008 top hat 16 ft trailer
2003 chevy 1500hd

JShe8918
03-11-2008, 11:55 PM
Diesel is actually cheaper for a mower than a gas. A. because you can get offroad diesel (Only difference is it is died red) B. It is easier on fuel than a gas mower. But i see where you are going with that.

kubotab7200
03-12-2008, 12:02 AM
the kubota diesel is a very strong engine i used it on nuisance properties for the city and it will mow what ever i drive into and goes a long way on fuel. i tried to buy offroad diesel last season and couldnt do it without a tax #
my new bad boy seems to go easy on the gas but i havent used it enogh to tell

are bad boys good mowers

P.Services
03-12-2008, 12:18 AM
Hi, I am 18 years old and have been mowing lawns since i was 14. Well i have been pocketing all of the money i made. Now that i own the equipment that i do i need to quit being the low baller around and make money not only for me but for my Company. I am liscenced and insured. I have been reading were crew leaders were making 20 per hour. So i am tring to perfect my hourly rate. See if this is about right:

15.00 my wage
3.50 gas
1.00 service and blades
4.50 replacement fund
1.00 insurance

TOTAL cost: $25.00

So i was figuring 40 per hour. Does this sound reasonable if i am doing a good job and hustling and not poking around. THANKS!!!!!


i think some of your numbers are low, you are saying you can drive to a lawn mow it whip it and blow it all on 1 gallon of gas??? crap my scag burns 2 gallons an hour!! i think the $1.00 for insurance sounds kinda low also also the $1.00 for blades and service sounds low also.

i started a thread awhile ago about a minute rate, you may want to check that out for alot of info.

nemow
03-12-2008, 12:18 AM
I know that in total I have to make $60 per hours to survive. If a lawn takes an hour and is not right next door to the next property on my list its a $65 lawn. I have only have one of those and they said it used to take thier old landscaper 3-5 hours to mow. By mid summer myself and two other guys had it down to 45 minutes and customer said it never looked so nice they were paying me $65 for the lawn. I will not do a lawn for under $30 but I average two an hour thru my entire lawn list. Some days I am making $90+ per hour. Its not gread its business. That was probably the most difficult thing I learned when starting a LCO. You have to charge for your work. Dont feel bad. I always knock a few bucks off for the older folks I dont advertise it I just do it. If you feel you can back your product(you) then you should have no problem charging for the service. The second season I was topped out on customers, I just wasn't comfortable taking on more than 25 with the setup I was running. A few times I quoted people higher prices than I thought would be excepted and every single time I got the job. Blew my mind. I topped out that year at 30ish and it enabled me to weed out some of the PITA customers on my list for the next season. The real key is being as efficient as possible while still providing the best service you can. Sounds lame or even over siplified I know but If you can do this it allows you to ease your prices and pick up customers at a better price than the next LCO. Good luck

JShe8918
03-12-2008, 12:25 AM
My insurance is not but 57 dollar per month. and if you get 20 hours out of your blades then that is paid for. That is why i am looking for help thanks guys. So what would you suggest then Picasso. i need to be critiqued but i also need to get input on what i should change.

P.Services
03-12-2008, 12:40 AM
My insurance is not but 57 dollar per month. and if you get 20 hours out of your blades then that is paid for. That is why i am looking for help thanks guys. So what would you suggest then Picasso. i need to be critiqued but i also need to get input on what i should change.

oh i was thinking insurance would be a little more then that, on the maintenance i was thinking along the lines of... cost of blades, sharpin the blades, grease, oil change and filters, tires,air filters, equipment breaking, i was looking alot larger then just blades.

dennys-lawn
03-12-2008, 12:40 AM
You have general liability insurance or just equipment only?

P.Services
03-12-2008, 12:42 AM
You have general liability insurance or just equipment only?

and does that include truck insurance?

BeautifulBlooms
03-12-2008, 12:43 AM
By mid summer myself and two other guys had it down to 45 minutes and customer said it never looked so nice they were paying me $65 for the lawn.


Does this mean it took 3 people to do this lawn in 45 minutes and you only made $65? Thats only $28.88 per hour per person???

JShe8918
03-12-2008, 12:49 AM
No.... No.... no..... That is $1,000,000 liability insurance and no it doesn't include truck insurance. This is going to sound bad. My mom pays for it because i can't afford it and my other payments. my insurance is HIGH. Full coverage is right at 900 every three months. Speeding tickets will do that. Especially when one is a reckless endangerment and another is an alluding the police. Long story. made short. Did a burnout pulled over behind a bunch of trees in a parking spot of a ambulance service and cut my lights off... anyway back on topic. I didn't think of all the advertising, the other stuff. And the other payments i am speaking of is for my Rincon and Ranger.

BeautifulBlooms
03-12-2008, 12:53 AM
Are you the guy doing wheelies on his stander mower on YOU TUBE!?!?!

JShe8918
03-12-2008, 12:56 AM
What? No... I think i remember that movie. That is just a good way to loose a customer and also a good way to know your deck out of wack. Make it cut uneven and just cause more work. I have learned your equipment will only treat you as good as you treat it.

P.Services
03-12-2008, 12:57 AM
oh i thought your mommy might pay it!!!! haha just joking. my insurance agent told me that that kind of stuff doesn't matter when a vehicle is insured under a company name. my dad paid mine for awhile at $1800 a year, then i started paying under my company and it is under 500 a year. might want to look into that some more. and just because mom pays your insurance doesn't mean you should charge less for your work.

well see mrs.robinson my mom was paying my insurance before but now that i am paying it i have to raise your rate 20%!! just messin with you

P.Services
03-12-2008, 12:58 AM
Are you the guy doing wheelies on his stander mower on YOU TUBE!?!?!

hahahah :laugh::laugh:

nemow
03-12-2008, 01:00 AM
Does this mean it took 3 people to do this lawn in 45 minutes and you only made $65? Thats only $28.88 per hour per person???

Right, and the 21 yards of mulch@105 per yard we threw on a friday in five hours door to door added nicely to my overall income from that property last summer, and the $900 for the fall cleanup that took us 3 hours.
Im not saying that my price on that lawn is great by any means. In the over all average of things I think I am doing pretty good. I have some lawns that take me around ten minutes and I am making $40. Notice I said to survive I have to average $60 per hour, or one dollar per minute. I live comfortably Im not just surviving. :)

CreativeEdge
03-12-2008, 01:02 AM
I currently own a landscaping business in Atlanta and previously I had a business in South Carolina. I strive for $90/hr w/ a minimum of $50/cut. I will not drop my gate and unload for less than 50, with gas prices it is simply not worth it. You need to decide what your minimum must be for you to make money, and accept nothing less than this. Also, in your contract, you need to have something stating that your yearly contracts automatically renew and there will be a 5% increase on the contract price per year unless otherwise noted by either party. If you really truly do good work, you will get the money that you need out of your customers.

kubotab7200
03-12-2008, 01:02 AM
how much is the 10000000 $ insurance ive been thinking of gettin it or might stick with 100000

i wont drop my gate for less than 45 and im in oklahoma where gas is a little cheaper

P.Services
03-12-2008, 01:03 AM
im shooting for $96 an hour for a two man crew. maybe a little more im going to run some more numbers right now

P.Services
03-12-2008, 01:04 AM
how much is the 10000000 $ insurance ive been thinking of gettin it or might stick with 100000

not as much as you would think, mine is 1.5mil for less then 600 a year

kubotab7200
03-12-2008, 01:05 AM
do u think im cuttin my own throat at 60 an hour for two machines

P.Services
03-12-2008, 01:06 AM
do u think im cuttin my own throat at 60 an hour for two machines

YES!!!!!! i think i may be a tad low even at 96 an hour

kubotab7200
03-12-2008, 01:08 AM
well i need to figure out what to do cuz most of the jobs i do are all bid by the job and i gotta bid smart to get the job becuase theres 4 or more people biddin against me

kubotab7200
03-12-2008, 01:12 AM
well i need to figure out what to do cuz most of the jobs i do are all bid by the job and i gotta bid smart to get the job becuase theres 4 or more people biddin against me

would it be unreasonable to add a fuel charge in as well

id like to get equiptment insurance but i dont know what company to use

CreativeEdge
03-12-2008, 01:30 AM
As a customer, i wouldn't want to see a fuel surcharge added in on my quote. 60/hr for 2 machines is lco suicide. If you are going to lose your butt because you have to outbid 4 other contractors....IS IT WORTH IT? I mean, if you really need the business and every dollar counts then it might be worth your time...after all you will get your name out there.

JShe8918
03-12-2008, 12:04 PM
I think after all of this i will shoot for 55 or 60 per hour and for two people 100 per hour.

BeautifulBlooms
03-12-2008, 02:35 PM
Right, and the 21 yards of mulch@105 per yard we threw on a friday in five hours door to door added nicely to my overall income from that property last summer, and the $900 for the fall cleanup that took us 3 hours.
Im not saying that my price on that lawn is great by any means. In the over all average of things I think I am doing pretty good. I have some lawns that take me around ten minutes and I am making $40. Notice I said to survive I have to average $60 per hour, or one dollar per minute. I live comfortably Im not just surviving. :)

10 minutes for a lawn and you charged $40? I would not be a happy customer in that situation. Why don't they hire the neighbor kid with his pushmow to do it? I have a minimum also but I don't think I have a single lawn that would take me less than 25-30 minutes on average.

$900 for a fall cleanup and it only took you 3 total man hours? I am not trying to be rude but it sounds like you need to hone your estimating skills. I am not saying you cut corners here, but for anyone else reading this post don't cut corners in one area to make up for a bad bid somewhere else, that will shoot your image real fast!

I can estimate a lawn mow job (an acre and under) within about $5 everytime. Fall cleanups always are a crap shoot so I just bid those time and materials, its the fairest for all concerned. The customer can cap my fall cleanup hours if they want to but I have yet to have anyone do that!

nemow
03-12-2008, 04:43 PM
10 minutes for a lawn and you charged $40? I would not be a happy customer in that situation. Why don't they hire the neighbor kid with his pushmow to do it? I have a minimum also but I don't think I have a single lawn that would take me less than 25-30 minutes on average.

$900 for a fall cleanup and it only took you 3 total man hours? I am not trying to be rude but it sounds like you need to hone your estimating skills. I am not saying you cut corners here, but for anyone else reading this post don't cut corners in one area to make up for a bad bid somewhere else, that will shoot your image real fast!

I can estimate a lawn mow job (an acre and under) within about $5 everytime. Fall cleanups always are a crap shoot so I just bid those time and materials, its the fairest for all concerned. The customer can cap my fall cleanup hours if they want to but I have yet to have anyone do that!


Why would any customer not hire the neighborhood kid. I dont know why you think you can compare me to anything you do. We mow fast and are high quality. Why would a customer want a landscaper on thier property for longer than they have to be? My customers like that we dont hangout for 45 minutes. The same $40 lawn, may take the neighbor hood kid 2.5 hours, maybe that kid is your competition but Im a professional company.
I think if your lawns are taking you 25-30 minutes and your only charging your minimum what $30-40, you need to rethink your pricing. Remember this started out as I didn't charge enough and now its I charge to much? We mow with 2 61" mowers or with a 52" and a 61". My parents house is one acre corner lot, with a small ranch house on the property. If I were to charge them it would be $45. ( of course I dont charge them) The lawn takes me 8 minutes, it started as a joke that we could do it under 10 now it takes 8 minutes. Mowed, trimmed and blown off (beds drive and walks) I guess we could hang around for 22 more minutes admiring our work or whatever it is you do. When I was a kid (neighbor hood kid) with a push mower it would take me an hours and fifteen minutes. I dont know what you do on a lawn but you have no Idea what I do.
Fall cleanups two 8150's and an 8 horse pusher. I have one rake and thats to load the leaf sucker. My prices are just fine thanks, the above example property would have taken me 2 days with the setup I started with(rake barrell pickup and two blowers). You can take your rake and barrel and spend the day to do whatever you do for all that time on a property. What image is this again? How am I cutting corners? Bold statement from someone who seems to have no idea what other companies are doing. Not only are you rude your a Joker.

BeautifulBlooms
03-12-2008, 05:26 PM
Wow.

I am a professional also. I don't need to defend myself and you are right I don't know what you are doing and please take comments with a grain of salt knowing that noone on here can KNOW what you do exactly. Don't get pissy and defensive just state the honest facts.

I am curious how much turf area is there on your 1 acre lot? If it takes 8 minutes I cant think it is any more than 10,000 sq. ft.

I only add my input if I think I can be helpful, obviously you took ym comments as insults and got defensive about it. I hope you are doing well and I hope you are profitable, but if I chime in, it is not only because I think something can be done better, more efficiently, or because someone else maybe could learn from my comment. Trust me I don't know anything nor have I ever claimed to, but what I do know I like to share with people if I can help.

I would gladly welcome a further discussion of this via Private Message if you wanted to, I have a feeling you misunderstood some things I said or I misunderstood your way of describing things.

Anyways, best of luck.

Your Friend Joker

nemow
03-12-2008, 10:56 PM
"I am not trying to be rude but it sounds like you need to hone your estimating skills. I am not saying you cut corners here, but for anyone else reading this post don't cut corners in one area to make up for a bad bid somewhere else, that will shoot your image real fast! Don't get pissy and defensive just state the honest facts."

How did I take any of this the wrong way? If you spoke down to me as you have in your post and we were face to face, I would take your little gardening gloves and smack you across the face with them. I was trying to help out the nice guy who started this thread. You questioned my high prices then you question my low prices. I dont see how any onf your post helped the person that started this thread, you just singled me out and picked away with out adding anything at all to the conversation. If I want your opinion I will buy your company. If you want someone to PM, Im sure thier are websites for that. Good luck princess, hope we dont cross paths again on here.

krisuk80
03-12-2008, 11:23 PM
"I am not trying to be rude but it sounds like you need to hone your estimating skills. I am not saying you cut corners here, but for anyone else reading this post don't cut corners in one area to make up for a bad bid somewhere else, that will shoot your image real fast! Don't get pissy and defensive just state the honest facts."

How did I take any of this the wrong way? If you spoke down to me as you have in your post and we were face to face, I would take your little gardening gloves and smack you across the face with them. I was trying to help out the nice guy who started this thread. You questioned my high prices then you question my low prices. I dont see how any onf your post helped the person that started this thread, you just singled me out and picked away with out adding anything at all to the conversation. If I want your opinion I will buy your company. If you want someone to PM, Im sure thier are websites for that. Good luck princess, hope we dont cross paths again on here.

"If I want your opinion I will buy your company" :rolleyes:

nemow
03-13-2008, 12:03 AM
:usflag:
I was just being silly. Im happy on the east coast. :rolleyes:

BeautifulBlooms
03-13-2008, 12:39 AM
WOW that was amazing!

BeautifulBlooms
03-13-2008, 12:57 AM
I am sorry if I started a pissing match, and I am sorry I apparently insulted someone to the point they felt like getting personal. I hate that about this site, I just wish comments could benefit everyone reading the site.

bruno_rs
03-13-2008, 01:51 AM
:usflag:
I was just being silly. Im happy on the east coast. :rolleyes:

hey nemow, where you at on the east coast? i'm in northwest jersey. if i'm not billing at least 60 per man hour i might as well stay home. i don't know about some of the rates i've seen on here... did i read in one tread, of the guy who started this forum, that some guys down south (alabama?) are charging 60-95/hr?

i don't recall if it was you, or beautiful blooms, but someone was saying fall cleanups are usually a "crap shoot"? i will tell you what has worked well for me and customers always like to hear about substantial fees BEFORE the fact. NOTHING is worse than hearing, after you busted your b@lls AND equipment... "oh, i would have done it myself if i knew you were gonna charge that much!" disputes after the fact NEVER seem to work in the laborers' favor.

fall clean ups are approximately 10x' s the normal weekly lawn fee. this does NOT include cutting and catching after blowing and removing leaves... that must be added. usually i will be out 3-4 times during the fall for each customer. an example 100/wk lawn... 3-4 visits blowing/disposing leaves on site (removal extra charge) = 1,000 cleanup + 3-4 cutting/catching = 300 - 400 for a total of 1300 -1400 (complete) fall cleanup costs. keep in mind this does not apply to someone who lives in the woods, a property without a tree in sight, or an ANAL and/or wealthy customer but, i'd say it works well for 95% of MY customers.

unfortunately, everything about my state (nj) is expensive and i'd love to be paying the insurance rates i've seen here. moreover, for the past 2 years, nj landscapers and painters were hit with a 33% insurance increase (06 and 07...haven't received 08 bill yet). i thought it was a mistake and when i contacted my agent, all he could tell me was it was for real and said it was an attempt by the insurance industry to help THEM recoop some of losses paid out for the "natural disasters" such as katrina... nice, huh? try "passing" that one along to your customers. i had to take on 6 new customers just to make $ i was making a few years previous... 1 step forward 3 steps back.

well, good luck to all you guys (and girls... if so applies) this season.

nemow
03-13-2008, 07:54 AM
"hey nemow, where you at on the east coast? i'm in northwest jersey. if i'm not billing at least 60 per man hour i might as well stay home. i don't know about some of the rates i've seen on here... did i read in one tread, of the guy who started this forum, that some guys down south (alabama?) are charging 60-95/hr?"

Im on the east coast of MASS. $30-40 per lawn around here is the norm. Lawn mowing around here is a rough and tumble business. I stated earlier that I have to make $60 per hour (not man hour) while mowing to survive. Thats just my bread and butter, and keeps the employees working and coming back season to season. If Im doing cleanups or mulch I dont charge by the hours I charge by the job. I point out the cost of debris disposal to my customers when it comes to leaf cleanups, many of them think I dump for free at the local landfill , oh how I wish that was true. I have yet to loose a cleanup because of my price but I figure $40 per man hour and disposal fees. That $900 price above was for a very large cleanup that the customer was amazed we were in and out so fast (as was I) but also new it took the last LCO a day and a half I think he said (I was told this prior to the cleanup hence the price for 3 hrs work). Im sure he payed the last LCO at least that much for the amount of time it took them. That was also the final cleanup with an aweful lot of leaves. Thats the problem with this biz, any customers that changed LCO see a completly different setup and different way of doing the same job and we somehow have to come up with the same price. People see the equipment and realize they would not be able to bust out the cleanup themselves in a day so they dont mind paying for it. OH landscaping. Maybe the property I used as an example earlier wasn't the best becuase it was not the norm but landscape prices have a huge spectrum across this country. It still amazes me sometimes.