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View Full Version : Stupid question, but it has to be asked.


capnsac
08-05-2008, 07:12 PM
I have a guy I subcontract work from and he uses all 21" toro ProLine mowers to do homeowners associations. We're talking 98 lawns in one homeowners association, and 140+ lawns at the other. I have a 34" Dixon Black Bear with a mulching kit and gator blades attached. This thing can move at around 6-7 mph and is rated at 2.2acres an hour. I know the acres per hour is inflated, because that is in ideal conditions with flat land and minimal obstacles. So lets say I can do 1 acre per hour with my machine.

I have offered to help him since I have this machine and his crew is growing smaller by the day. I figured since I am already there might as well help him out and make some extra dough. So what I am getting at is what do you think a fair hourly rate for the use of my machine on these properties would be? Keep in mind I can do the work of 2 maybe 3 of his guys on 21's, plus it will free those guys up to trim/blow etc. His guys are working at $10 an hour. I have a rate in my head that I think would be fair, I just need to see if I am somewhat close. Thanks in advance!

Sac

Ooomwizard
08-05-2008, 07:27 PM
2 x labor pay. Pay you, pay for your machine. He buys gas too.

GL

Big C
08-05-2008, 07:53 PM
I would charge him what I would normally charge any other customer to the same job....it should have nothing to do with what he pays his workers.....let him figure out the rest and pass the cost on to the customer being that you are doing sub-work for him,,,JMO

coolluv
08-05-2008, 08:05 PM
I would charge him what I would normally charge any other customer to the same job....it should have nothing to do with what he pays his workers.....let him figure out the rest and pass the cost on to the customer being that you are doing sub-work for him,,,JMO

Good Answer!

Dave...

capnsac
08-05-2008, 09:12 PM
I would charge him what I would normally charge any other customer to the same job....it should have nothing to do with what he pays his workers.....let him figure out the rest and pass the cost on to the customer being that you are doing sub-work for him,,,JMO

I like that idea, I really do. I try and make $1 per minute, however that doesn't seem reasonible for the job that I'm doing. I would say $40 an hour is reasonable though?

AJ Lawnscapes
08-05-2008, 09:14 PM
That's a lot of pushmowing, I hope he bid that profitably.

Anyway, since you have to take your truck, trailer, rider and self to the jobsite, you have to account for Time, Gas/Fuel, insurance of vehicle/business/etc.

Lawn Pawn
08-05-2008, 09:33 PM
I cut as a subcontractor and charge about 70% of my normal rate. This is billed straight through from my leaving home until I return. It works out for me... maybe not for somebody else. I do have a waiver of liability signed by the person I sub for!!!!!!

MysticLandscape
08-06-2008, 09:14 AM
I charge $70 an hr for me, truck an equipment, an one guy. Ill do whatever you want me to, clock starts when I leave my house and I want a check at the end of the day. Works out fine for me and the few people I have done it for in the past.

lawnwizards
08-06-2008, 10:07 AM
I charge $70 an hr for me, truck an equipment, an one guy. Ill do whatever you want me to, clock starts when I leave my house and I want a check at the end of the day. Works out fine for me and the few people I have done it for in the past.

around here, subs dont start getting paid until they reach the job site.

BartonLawn
08-06-2008, 10:25 AM
I have a guy I subcontract work from and he uses all 21" toro ProLine mowers to do homeowners associations. We're talking 98 lawns in one homeowners association, and 140+ lawns at the other. I have a 34" Dixon Black Bear with a mulching kit and gator blades attached. This thing can move at around 6-7 mph and is rated at 2.2acres an hour. I know the acres per hour is inflated, because that is in ideal conditions with flat land and minimal obstacles. So lets say I can do 1 acre per hour with my machine.

I have offered to help him since I have this machine and his crew is growing smaller by the day. I figured since I am already there might as well help him out and make some extra dough. So what I am getting at is what do you think a fair hourly rate for the use of my machine on these properties would be? Keep in mind I can do the work of 2 maybe 3 of his guys on 21's, plus it will free those guys up to trim/blow etc. His guys are working at $10 an hour. I have a rate in my head that I think would be fair, I just need to see if I am somewhat close. Thanks in advance!

Sac

I'm not connecting with something here, this guy has 238 lawns to do and has only bought 21" push mowers? WTF? :confused:

MOturkey
08-06-2008, 11:58 AM
Remember you are going to be running the mower only, which, although a lot easier, it is also the most costly to operate. I figure $12 per hour (fuel, maintenance, depreciation, blades, tires, etc.) minimum to operate my mower. Could be as high as $15 per hour, especially if the fuel is high in your area (we're at $3.36 right now), so add whatever you feel your time is worth.

capnsac
08-06-2008, 04:38 PM
I'm not connecting with something here, this guy has 238 lawns to do and has only bought 21" push mowers? WTF? :confused:

heh, yep. I don't feel too bad for the guy. The one account with 140+ lawns he also does the snow removal for. He totals over 100,000 a year for that account alone. All with 7 or 8 21's at $1000 a piece. He is a smart smart man I must say!

brandtb1
08-06-2008, 09:10 PM
How bad do you need the work? If it is between watching Oprah or making some money, I would give him a break and cut for 25-30 an hour, he buys the gas. If your schedule is full, I would let him worry about his stuff. Making some money after the cost of the mower and your time is better than nothing.

ed2hess
08-06-2008, 09:26 PM
I'm not connecting with something here, this guy has 238 lawns to do and has only bought 21" push mowers? WTF? :confused:

What it says is that if you cut these small lots with 21" units you can make money. Justmowit showed us how.....now many are taking up the idea.

TimsLawnCareVA
08-06-2008, 09:29 PM
heh, yep. I don't feel too bad for the guy. The one account with 140+ lawns he also does the snow removal for. He totals over 100,000 a year for that account alone. All with 7 or 8 21's at $1000 a piece. He is a smart smart man I must say!

Not very smart at all. With what he spent on those 21's he could have bought 2 used zero turns, got rid of some of his help, and made more money in less time. He doesn't sound too bright too me.

thartz
08-06-2008, 09:31 PM
Have you factored in your subcontractor costs ? You have your own insurance and overhead costs to consider . Don't sell yourself short . You don't want to be working for free at the end of the year . You may think he is a smart business man but : how many of us would tackle those lawns with a 21" mower ?

BUMBLE BEE
08-06-2008, 10:52 PM
when i worked for another contractor i got payed 12.50 for his equement and 35.00 for mine

GravelyNut
08-06-2008, 11:25 PM
I'm not connecting with something here, this guy has 238 lawns to do and has only bought 21" push mowers? WTF? :confused:
There's one factor missing in the formula. What size the yards are. All yards are not created equal. You can mow a 20'X40' yard with a weedeater. I wouldn't suggest trying to do it on a 3 acre yard.

TPendagast
08-06-2008, 11:49 PM
Not very smart at all. With what he spent on those 21's he could have bought 2 used zero turns, got rid of some of his help, and made more money in less time. He doesn't sound too bright too me.


Maybe the ZTRS wont fit?
These are likely inky dinky lawns
Also getting ajerk to run apush mower is easier than getting a jerk to tear up a lawn on a ZTR

capnsac
08-07-2008, 02:20 PM
Maybe the ZTRS wont fit?
These are likely inky dinky lawns
Also getting ajerk to run apush mower is easier than getting a jerk to tear up a lawn on a ZTR

Exactly, it's next to impossible to screw up these lawns with 21's. There's no side discharge to blow any clippings anywhere, you don't rut anything out, and really you can't run into anything hard enough to mess it up. Especially with the turnover ratio this guy has, it's no wonder he's stuck with the 21's.

He might of been able to keep some of his help if he didn't use 21's, but then again he might not of. He always errors on the side of safety, and when I mean always, I mean ALWAYS! He's a cheap ass, but it works for him.

He has a $500,000 a year lawn business, I saw his tax returns so I know that's legit. Not many of us can say that. Before the age of 40 he has every single piece of his equipment paid for, his 300,000 house paid for, and I'd venture to guess a 1/4 of a mil left over in his business account to reinvest, not to mention what he has in his own savings account.

I'd say all in all this guy is extremely well setup and I take his advice at any chance I get. In fact I ask for it, and every time I follow it. Anything the guy touches spreads positive word of mouth for his business. He uses zero advertising, nothing, nada, zip. No logo, no signs on the truck, no big fancy enclosed trailer, nothing! This guy has to turn away work because he doesn't need it. I can't say that, and I don't imagine many of us LCO's can either. He doesn't have to go out looking for bids, people call him with prices and they ask if he will do it for that. It's insane the reputation this guy has built.

He has done it all with 21's too, which makes it laughable at best when you see him rolling in on a property. It looks very good though when finished, not as good as if walkbehinds with velkies or ztrs would make it look, but it looks good all-the-same. I will take some pictures of the 98 property housing association we do after it is completed tomorrow. Till then

Capnsac

BartonLawn
08-07-2008, 02:58 PM
What it says is that if you cut these small lots with 21" units you can make money. Justmowit showed us how.....now many are taking up the idea.

Which is fine, as long as I'm not the one walking behind the 21" mower, in the sun, all day, every day. :hammerhead:

KatKutter
08-07-2008, 09:57 PM
I'm not connecting with something here, this guy has 238 lawns to do and has only bought 21" push mowers? WTF? :confused:

lmao,,,,, yeah no kidding

capnsac
08-07-2008, 11:57 PM
Okay, okay, I sub out all the big parts, so technically he only has 238 fronts/sides of lawns to do. He might have 20 back yards that he has to do as well with the 21" mowers. I have introduced him to the wonderful world of a 34" ztr dixon black bear with a mulching kit, and he is amazed at how quickly this can work through these lawns. I want to get a 36" WB, that new dualie quick 36 looks like a sweet choice, and see what kind of quality that thing can't produce.

Ahhh, so many possibilities. I love this business.

LushGreenLawn
08-08-2008, 06:51 AM
Okay, okay, I sub out all the big parts, so technically he only has 238 fronts/sides of lawns to do. He might have 20 back yards that he has to do as well with the 21" mowers. I have introduced him to the wonderful world of a 34" ztr dixon black bear with a mulching kit, and he is amazed at how quickly this can work through these lawns. I want to get a 36" WB, that new dualie quick 36 looks like a sweet choice, and see what kind of quality that thing can't produce.

Ahhh, so many possibilities. I love this business.

I can't wait to buy a 34" Dixon mower now! It will cut so much faster than the standard 60" commercial mower that everyone else buys!

capnsac
08-08-2008, 03:38 PM
I can't wait to buy a 34" Dixon mower now! It will cut so much faster than the standard 60" commercial mower that everyone else buys!

Congratulations on winning the jack ass award. With that prize comes ignorance and a swift kick in the a$$. You can show your mom, dad, and girlfriend, because if they didn't know you were a jack ass already, they will now! :hammerhead::hammerhead:

It must take some kind of stupid to think that I don't have a bigger unit as well as a 34". I was speaking generally about what hourly rate I wanted to charge this guy for using my 34" black bear on small front lawns. I already use my 60" Tank for the already sub-contracted work.

Let me ask you a question, if you use a 60" mower on small lawns, like the ones I will use my 34" mower on, what do you think will happen. I'll bet overspray into flower beds and the like! You know how I know that? The last idiots that had this account f'ed it up being smart like yourself and using a 60" mower on these small lawns. Yayyyyy for you! :clapping::clapping:

Do you have anything else smart you'd like to add, or would you like to add something of worth to this thread instead?

LushGreenLawn
08-08-2008, 04:54 PM
Calm down dude, it was a joke! I have a 48" for smaller lawns, and it works well. I was responding to your "I introduced him to the wonderful world of the dixon 34"... comment" Again, a friendly joke among peers.

capnsac
08-08-2008, 05:30 PM
Calm down dude, it was a joke! I have a 48" for smaller lawns, and it works well. I was responding to your "I introduced him to the wonderful world of the dixon 34"... comment" Again, a friendly joke among peers.

Sorry fella, I just know that some people on this site tend to like to ridicule others for little or no reason. I guess I was the dumb one though. :hammerhead::hammerhead: I'm gonna go drink some brew and relax. Have a good weekend :waving::drinkup::waving:

LushGreenLawn
08-08-2008, 08:12 PM
Yeah, there are emoticons, but its still hard to convey something said with a smile on here. I joke around to much in person also...

Ooomwizard
08-10-2008, 08:32 PM
Not to mention, going through backyard gates.

Pristine PM
08-10-2008, 08:52 PM
We pretty much only cut town homes and one of the reasons we do well is that they like us using the 21's on their front lawns. A company accross the street does small lawns with a 61 Sentar and the quality sucks. Lot's of scalping, lots of grass in the gardens. Sometimes 21's make a huge difference in quality. We don't have any ztr btw. Only 36 inch Sentar Sports and 48 inch walkbehinds for common areas, so I am biased that way.