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View Full Version : $4.00 gal/gas. are you still charging same as 20 years ago?


Brianslawn
05-27-2008, 04:47 AM
when i was 10 i was getting $20/yard. as much as cost have gone up over the last 20 years... $80/yard should be the cheapest i hear of. yet i still hear of (not lil 10 year olds).... but grown men (with the mentallity of lil 10 year olds) charging $20/yard or less even.

what? are you on walmarts and taco bells non-rehire list or something? ive picked up homeless guys in front of home cheapo charging more than that to cut grass. the illegal mexicans wont even drive by your yard for under $60.

if you lawnboys are so dam desperate to make $1.00/hr... i'll gladly hire you.

swingset
05-27-2008, 05:19 AM
$80 a cut? Good luck with that. I'd lose almost every account I have if I made that my minimum. I guess there's places where it might work, but not in my world.

I'm at the middle of the pack in my area charging between $35-55 for a typical subdivision home, lots of guys on either side of that price but I'm keeping ahold of my customers. If I raise my prices, or lower my quality, I'm done.

MOW ED
05-27-2008, 09:01 AM
Brian I know that you have a good point but I know that you do not have any 3000 sq ft yards that you charge 80 bucks a cut. The sad thing is that it takes a "visable" event such as 4.00 a gallon gas to allow us to increase our prices without losing most customers to the cash only scrub that is in all of our markets.
Customers know that gas is rising by the week. We use gas in our mowers so when we tell the customer we need to charge more, most agree. That is an oversimplification but true. If you tried rasing rates to the same percentage 10 years ago you would be out and some kid or local cash only $hitbag would have that lawn as there was no visable event for the customer to see such as skyrocketing gas prices.
So as your thread title asks, No I am not charging the same as 20 years ago (only been in for 13) nowhere near but I can't justify a minimum of 80 bucks a cut. It would be great but I have a pretty good handle on my numbers and if I could convince all my customers to pay at this rate I would be making more that the neurosurgeon, without the degree or responsibility.
These times will (pardon the pun) weed out the ones who will survive and the ones who won't. Overall you have to know your numbers and take jobs that make you money. I am paying more for gas but I am not using more gas. That is an expense of mine but it isn't the defining factor of my pricing. Yes I have raised ALL of my rates for everything I do and I am still making money and getting customers. This is the art of owning and operating a business, anyone can mow a lawn. Not everyone can run a successful business.

Frue
05-27-2008, 09:06 AM
It makes me laugh that people living in other areas paint a broad stroke of pricing for all of america:hammerhead:

David Haggerty
05-27-2008, 09:10 AM
Yes, yes I am.


Someone told me when I started in this business in the 70's that to get schools, parks etc. I'd have to bid as low as $12/acre.
I said then I won't mow schools!

Someone posted on Lawnsite recently that they won a bid at $9/acre for wide area mowing!

With inflation that's like getting pennies on the dollar!

How can that be???

I blame equipment manufacturers. Equipment is just so much better now. And it's selling like hot-cakes! I get six different magazines just to sell me equipment.

And manufacturers really have no incentive to protect my income. They'd be content for me to go bankrupt. Then they could sell more to my replacement. There is no shortage of people trying to get into this business.

larryinalabama
05-27-2008, 09:22 AM
when i was 10 i was getting $20/yard. as much as cost have gone up over the last 20 years... $80/yard should be the cheapest i hear of. yet i still hear of (not lil 10 year olds).... but grown men (with the mentallity of lil 10 year olds) charging $20/yard or less even.

what? are you on walmarts and taco bells non-rehire list or something? ive picked up homeless guys in front of home cheapo charging more than that to cut grass. the illegal mexicans wont even drive by your yard for under $60.

if you lawnboys are so dam desperate to make $1.00/hr... i'll gladly hire you.

Ill work for 60$ per hour, even use my own equiptment.

topsites
05-27-2008, 09:37 AM
Ill work for 60$ per hour, even use my own equiptment.

And if you don't, someone else will.

My last month's electric bill: $50.91
Yesterday's cart full of groceries (and it was full): $66.47

Yes sir, I live the way I do so rich folks can exist, too.
They so get OFF on having a little lawn boy...
And I so get OFF when they treat me like I'm one of them.

Whether this increases my chances of going to heaven, that I could not tell you.
Because you don't even want to know lol.
But, I have my faith.

larryinalabama
05-27-2008, 09:53 AM
And if you don't, someone else will.

My last month's electric bill: $50.91
Yesterday's cart full of groceries (and it was full): $66.47

Yes sir, I live the way I do so rich folks can exist, too.
They so get OFF on having a little lawn boy...
And I so get OFF when they treat me like I'm one of them.

Whether this increases my chances of going to heaven, that I could not tell you.
Because you don't even want to know lol.
But, I have my faith.

60$ per hour at 50 hours = 3k per week, at 3k I can run my aircon, and eat steak and use people shampoo. Just a thought

LawnBrother
05-27-2008, 10:01 AM
Granted I'm no long term veteran, but it seems to me that lawn service started out as a luxury that only the rich could afford. As time went on prices barely went up and more and more people could afford it, so it is still a luxury item but one that more people can afford. So I think low prices spurred growth in this industry. I guess if it keeps up like this, eventually lawnboys will be netting $300 a week and everybody in the country can have their lawn cut for $10 a cut, LOL. Wait, maybe that's not funny...........

topsites
05-27-2008, 10:14 AM
60$ per hour at 50 hours = 3k per week, at 3k I can run my aircon, and eat steak and use people shampoo. Just a thought

Because, the economy is just bad, and fuel eats everyone's spare cash, it digs into my electric and grocery bills, yes because my truck gets 11.5 mpg's and there's nothing I can do about it... And if a customer WANTS to pay me more I am very grateful but more than a few of mine can hardly afford it any more than I can, and you might think I can just get the rich customers but the simple fact is the middle class outnumber the rich 10 to 1.

The only part that makes me sick is by me being thrifty I'm actually undermining the economy in ways, too.

Granted I'm no long term veteran, but it seems to me that lawn service started out as a luxury that only the rich could afford. As time went on prices barely went up and more and more people could afford it, so it is still a luxury item but one that more people can afford. So I think low prices spurred growth in this industry. I guess if it keeps up like this, eventually lawnboys will be netting $300 a week and everybody in the country can have their lawn cut for $10 a cut, LOL. Wait, maybe that's not funny...........

No doubt but every year there's more, and more...
And more, and more, and more, and more...
And still more...

larryinalabama
05-27-2008, 10:33 AM
Topsites were all struggling, I was just saying that 3k per week would be nice.

Lawn Enforcer
05-27-2008, 10:52 AM
Man, $80 a cut. If $80 were a minimum for me, I'd be working at the manufacturing plant that I mow at! I have one commercial property that is over $80. My area sucks for pricing, but I only have 2 professional lawn companies within 15 miles of my house. I don't make a lot, but I don't have to deal with much competion. Not a lot of competition, but I have to deal with more of the elderly peoples kids coming back to mow for ma and pa because they could save their parents some money, but the kids usually end up paying me to mow it in the end anyway.

MJB
05-27-2008, 11:00 AM
Raise your prices as much as the market will let you, and become more efficient. I don't know how long this will work I seem to be more efficient with my equipment, but each year my body becomes less efficient :cry: I just need to mow 1 or 2 more lawns than last yr. Thats what I use to do but now I've hit a wall, there is no more time in a day, and my body says thats enough, now what with even higher gas prices?? I know I'll get a night job at Burger King. $50 hr during the day $5 per hr at night, who needs sleep?

Sad thing is that is where things are heading each yr it gets tougher to make a living. When was the last time gas prices and groceries, went down significantly?

J&J Customs
05-27-2008, 02:25 PM
hahahaha $80 a lawn? i mow 3 acres for $100 and making good money on that one, i usually go with a $5 fuel surcharge on normal lawns more depending on size

lawnman_scott
05-27-2008, 05:20 PM
I am going to go over things this weekend and figure out how much everyone will have to increase. The price of gas will make it easy to do, that and the fact that I am starting the new rate July 1st. In summer everyone is swamped and many don't even call back people looking for an estimate.

Brianslawn
05-27-2008, 10:01 PM
hahahaha $80 a lawn? i mow 3 acres for $100 and making good money on that one, i usually go with a $5 fuel surcharge on normal lawns more depending on size

$33 an acre? hmmmm..... how open is your schedule? i'll pay you half what i get an acre to do some large proprties with your stuff. just as long as you can keep up with them when school starts back this fall.

meets1
05-27-2008, 10:42 PM
I here ya. Lost another condo ( 6-plex unit ) to a low life scrub sucking craftsman mower roybi trimmer man. He is getting less than I was 8-9 years ago.

Lost a bank this as well. There charging less than I ever did. 2 hours of mowing. Z with 52 deck and a 21 on the islands - new price $32.50 / mow. All bagged, trimmed, edged weekly. I was 2'xs that amount.

I honestly think I was making more, keeping more money and better off as the kid down the street, the high school boy mowing, the college student who needed $ and now family and employe (s) and expanding to other services, I think mowing is lossing money. My pricing has not kept up over the years -

jsaunders
05-27-2008, 10:57 PM
2 hours of mowing. Z with 52 deck and a 21 on the islands - new price $32.50 / mow. All bagged, trimmed, edged weekly. I was 2'xs that amount.

-

$65 for 2 hrs of work:confused: I will stay home-

tacoma200
05-27-2008, 11:03 PM
With inflation in the food and fuel getting so out of hand the news is full of stories of people cutting back in every area possible. I wonder how high lawn care is on their priorities compared to getting fuel to go to work, food for the table. People are cutting back eating out, shopping, etc. This has got to affect our business. I have customers putting vacation homes up for sale saying it is just getting too expensive to travel and keep up two homes. As you can see I bought a 40 mpg auto to use in my non business travel. It's had an effect on me, I am watching me routes very closely, turning down customers that are too far out of route, etc. Just a note, I'm having a good year but it has been expensive getting started. My fuel bill was double last years so far. I'm just thinking out loud, I'm not sure how much this adds to the disscussion. People are lining up to by small car's I can tell you that. The bottom is dropping on the value of large SUV's. So where is the money go give the lawn care guy a raise? Maybe the kid next door would do it for less?

meets1
05-27-2008, 11:09 PM
new hampshire vs Iowa - things are a little different I would say. Shop rate is anywhere from $38.50 - 46 / hour. Construction rate hourly - around 30 - 40 depends who you are. Going rate in a few factories around me - 12 - 18 / hour. Maybe if you were here - you'd be home alot!

STIHL GUY
05-27-2008, 11:25 PM
i have a bunch of accounts on the same streets near my house so i dont charge as much because they are less than a mile away

jsaunders
05-27-2008, 11:43 PM
new hampshire vs Iowa - things are a little different I would say. Shop rate is anywhere from $38.50 - 46 / hour. Construction rate hourly - around 30 - 40 depends who you are. Going rate in a few factories around me - 12 - 18 / hour. Maybe if you were here - you'd be home alot!


:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Shop rate around here is $65 min.
My guys are payed $17-20

Different areas different pay- I'm sure the house prices are fairly reasonable out there as well.

tjc47
05-28-2008, 11:52 PM
Alright, I can't take it anymore. All you people do is ***** and complain. Maybe if you got off your ass and out from behind the computer you will be successful. This is my first year running my own business. I started in March, I have acquired 50 weekly accounts in the past few months, and I am getting calls constantly. I will be quiting my full time accounting job, which I currently have at a public accounting firm, at the end of June to do this full time.

Are prices the same as 20 years ago? Maybe, but with the advances in equipment how much more efficient are we now? We are cutting more yards per hour than 20 years ago. Everything does not rise in prices equally. 16 years ago my dad bought a S10 pickup, 4 cylinder for $14,000. I recently purchased a V8 Sierra, so by your calculation I should pay about $60,000, but I only paid $15,000 Are you complaining that car prices have not risen. 20 years ago a VCR cost around $1,000 would you buy a VCR for that amount today? No. Technology advances, and competition arises and drives prices down.

Survival of the fittest. While you guys are complaining about prices and doing nothing to advance in this business to set yourself apart, I am out working, implementing new advertising techniques, working on ways to lower costs, and increase efficiency, thus leading to lower prices to the customer. This will ultimately lead to more accounts and more money for me.