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lawnproslawncare
09-19-2008, 08:15 AM
Here's a little poll for the real guys out there in reply to the guy who's losing his rear end mowing lawns for 5 buck an hour.

Who here that is not a lowballer is charging at least a dollar a minute for mowing services?

IN2MOWN
09-19-2008, 08:22 AM
Dollar a minute?

So what happens in the spring when it takes you twice as long to do a yard? Do you charge more?

Or in the summer when it takes half the time? Do you charge less?

A "real guy" would know that in mowing you charge by the job not by the time.

lawnwizards
09-19-2008, 08:22 AM
you probably wont get alot of truth in your answers. as for me, i'm grossing $47 an hour with drive time included.

mississippiturf
09-19-2008, 08:29 AM
The question in this poll is like asking if a roofer in Georgia makes the same as one in California. If the roofer in Georgia makes less, is he a low-baller? Don't think so. Besides, the question implies that anyone making less than sixty bucks an hour is a low-baller. LCO's in this part of the country are doing good to get forty to fifty.

ALC-GregH
09-19-2008, 08:38 AM
what a useless thread.....

LushGreenLawn
09-19-2008, 06:12 PM
I average about $1.30 per minute. Less in the spring and fall, more in the summer. I have every minute tracked on a spreadsheet. Keep in mind this is time spent on the lawns only, this does not include drivetime or administrative time. On landscaping projects, I don't track as well, but for labor I am around $60 per hour, give or take on how good my time estimate was for that day.

billslawn89
09-19-2008, 07:34 PM
i wish i could make a dollar a minute here in florida! on some i might come close but others, LOL

shovelracer
09-19-2008, 08:18 PM
Lowest are at least a dollar. Tops is around 2.35. These numbers mean nothing though cause solo it is good, but if you have workers than 2.35 is low.

topsites
09-19-2008, 08:22 PM
Oh geez, and what if my cost of living and my cost of doing business is half someone else's
and I decide to price accordingly, does that make me a lowballer?

A "real guy" would know that in mowing you charge by the job not by the time.

We have a winner :p

what a useless thread.....

Not entirely disagreeing here, either.

...................................................
But you know what?
I need a certain amount of money to survive, and to cover all the costs, and to put some in the bank, etc...
So there is an amount that, if I gross at least that much per week, it really doesn't matter wth happens.

And so it has gotten to where, so long I gross what I need, maybe a little more over top...
I don't give a rat if I work from sunup to dark 6 days a week, how much I make per hour or per minute,
how many jobs get done per day or per hour or per week,
money is money and it just don't matter at that point.

Now if you feel you're not making ends meet then by all means raise your prices, if you can,
but if you're making ends meet and you got a little left over, who cares?

That's my attitude anymore, and if that makes me a lowballer then I hope to
lowball around a few hundred local Lco's right out of existence LOL

shovelracer
09-19-2008, 09:32 PM
A "real guy" would know that in mowing you charge by the job not by the time.

So if you think it will take an hour and price the "job" on that, but after doing it 10 times you average 1 hour 10 minutes you dont raise prices based on your time? Time does mean more than a lot of people think. I wish we could price by time. I could think of a few that we're too fast on.

IN2MOWN
09-19-2008, 09:47 PM
So if you think it will take an hour and price the "job" on that, but after doing it 10 times you average 1 hour 10 minutes you dont raise prices based on your time? Time does mean more than a lot of people think. I wish we could price by time. I could think of a few that we're too fast on.

Thats why I dont price on time. I price on the job which means pricing by square footage of the turf, edging and trimming and areas to blow off when done.

I raise my prices if I have to double cut/ and /or bag because of it growing to much in one week not because I did not estimate the time properly after giving the intial estimate.

Time means a boatload in this business but when it comes to mowing you cant do it by the clock.

I charge by the hour for fall cleanups and landscape maint. but not for mowing. For mowing its done by the job.

BUT... in the back of my mind Im still thinking how long it will take to get done with it. So I do agree there.

TNT LawnCare Inc.
09-19-2008, 10:15 PM
I dont charge by time,if your gonna charge a dollar a minute and work 9 hours a day thats only $540 if your solo maybe thats good for you, but to me thats a waste of my time . Example we have 7 yards on 1 block 50X165 . it takes us 1 hour and 15 minutes everytime. so your saying i should charge 75 dollars for the group, hence just under 11.00 bucks a yard ! i dont think so.

nemow
09-19-2008, 10:22 PM
This time of year Im taking in $80+ per hour. Spring a little less October first part of November a little less, but the rest of November and December I am taking in about $100 an hour maybe a little more for cleanups. From the time I get in the truck Monday morning (lunch, gas station, drive time) to Friday (dumping the truck going to the bank) I average $80 per hour.

Happy Frog
09-19-2008, 10:26 PM
That is a funny and unfair question.
Before I started my lawncare business I asked a local LCO how much he was charging per cut for the lawns in my community.
His answer was $20.00 per lawn because he had about 10 accounts there and has been cutting them for years.
Since I didn't want to "steal" his customers, I decided to charge the same and just made the residents aware through a note in the HOA newsletter that I was in business and would cut their yards for $20.00 a pop.
Doing these yards with my 21" Honda HRX (edge, trim, cut and blow) was taking me between 25 and 40 minutes, depending on the size and obstacles.
So, according to many here, I was a no good piece of scum lowballer scab :waving:
With my new Quick 36" Dually, it takes me between 10 and 18 minutes (when using the 21" for the back) and I have not yet received the Step Saver so I am cutting at about 3/4 of max speed.
Now, I am making more than $1.00 per minute, being a real pro in the eyes of the same people who where looking at me like a piece of dog crap... :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Ric3077
09-19-2008, 10:32 PM
The $1/min thing is ballpark only...also it is PER MAN...so a lot that takes 30 minutes with 2 men would be $60. Also you need to have a minimum (mine is $35), you wouldn't cut a lawn that takes one man 10 minutes and charge $10...I base my pricing on BOTH time AND SQ FT. Some small lots actually take LONGER than large lots due to lots of trimming, trampolines in the way, swing sets etc etc...

nemow
09-19-2008, 10:35 PM
That is a funny and unfair question.
Before I started my lawncare business I asked a local LCO how much he was charging per cut for the lawns in my community.
His answer was $20.00 per lawn because he had about 10 accounts there and has been cutting them for years.
Since I didn't want to "steal" his customers, I decided to charge the same and just made the residents aware through a note in the HOA newsletter that I was in business and would cut their yards for $20.00 a pop.
Doing these yards with my 21" Honda HRX (edge, trim, cut and blow) was taking me between 25 and 40 minutes, depending on the size and obstacles.
So, according to many here, I was a no good piece of scum lowballer scab :waving:
With my new Quick 36" Dually, it takes me between 10 and 18 minutes (when using the 21" for the back) and I have not yet received the Step Saver so I am cutting at about 3/4 of max speed.
Now, I am making more than $1.00 per minute, being a real pro in the eyes of the same people who where looking at me like a piece of dog crap... :laugh::laugh::laugh:


But do you do that all week long? You have to look at daily weekly and monthly average to figure out what you are really taking in per hour dont you?

Happy Frog
09-19-2008, 11:02 PM
But do you do that all week long? You have to look at daily weekly and monthly average to figure out what you are really taking in per hour dont you?

I do not do this as my primary income job and I do make more than $60 per hour on average with it.
I was merely pointing out that the amount you can charge for a job is more based on best practices for the task at hand than the time one would need to accomplish it

mowjoe666
09-19-2008, 11:59 PM
I'm sorry. I guess I am to new to this. $1 a minute? I thought i was doing real good by charging $20 for a yard that only takes me a little bit under an hour to do. Come on guys! $20 an hour is a lot more than what you would get paid working most other jobs.

RocketLab
09-20-2008, 12:21 AM
I'm sorry. I guess I am to new to this. $1 a minute? I thought i was doing real good by charging $20 for a yard that only takes me a little bit under an hour to do. Come on guys! $20 an hour is a lot more than what you would get paid working most other jobs.

Hold on! Let me grab some popcorn!

stevenf
09-20-2008, 01:20 AM
Per minute of lawn work is worth $1.00. After expenses and drive times divided in a work day, Im at or above $40.00 per hour profit. This is going to have to change once I get my new mower.

02DURAMAX
09-20-2008, 01:35 AM
Depends on the howbig teh hows is but i dont make less then $1.50 at minute!!

Big C
09-20-2008, 01:38 AM
I'm sorry. I guess I am to new to this. $1 a minute? I thought i was doing real good by charging $20 for a yard that only takes me a little bit under an hour to do. Come on guys! $20 an hour is a lot more than what you would get paid working most other jobs.

O.K...now subtract the following:
1) Gas
2) Insurance/ license fees
3) Taxes
4) Money for repairs/upkeep
5) Equipment payments (if you have them)

It cost me about $18/hr to operate....and all of my equipment is paid for.

$20 /hr for someone who is legal with half way decent equipment, is a waste of time.
Working a regular job at $20/hr has very minimal overhead, so you can't compare the two.

lawnproslawncare
09-20-2008, 01:58 AM
Well this turned out to be an interesting thread I started.

topsites
09-20-2008, 02:08 AM
That dollar a minute crap doesn't work like that!

If it did I would just quote 8 hours x 60 = $480 dollars for an acre lot,
then take lots of short breaks and use a 21" and mow in 1st gear.

Better yet, I just leave the mowers at home and grab the nail clippers.
And why not?
Sure, I get paid by the minute :p

..........
btw, I just quoted $50 on an acre'ish lot.
Oh well, I won't do it for less but I need the work!

lawnwizards
09-20-2008, 08:15 AM
I'm sorry. I guess I am to new to this. $1 a minute? I thought i was doing real good by charging $20 for a yard that only takes me a little bit under an hour to do. Come on guys! $20 an hour is a lot more than what you would get paid working most other jobs.

quit clowning around bobbygedd.

punt66
09-20-2008, 08:20 AM
That dollar a minute crap doesn't work like that!

If it did I would just quote 8 hours x 60 = $480 dollars for an acre lot,
then take lots of short breaks and use a 21" and mow in 1st gear.

Better yet, I just leave the mowers at home and grab the nail clippers.
And why not?
Sure, I get paid by the minute :p

..........
btw, I just quoted $50 on an acre'ish lot.
Oh well, I won't do it for less but I need the work!

arnt you brilliant. It does work as a basis for estimating. A one man crew with professional equipment mowing, trimming and blowing should bill at a minumum of $60 per hour. I average out higher than that but thats what i use to estimate. But thnks for your always witty responses.

IN2MOWN
09-20-2008, 08:56 AM
arnt you brilliant. It does work as a basis for estimating. A one man crew with professional equipment mowing, trimming and blowing should bill at a minumum of $60 per hour. I average out higher than that but thats what i use to estimate. But thnks for your always witty responses.



Witty? No.

Common sense? Yes.

And no, it does not work as a basis for estimating.

nemow
09-20-2008, 09:06 AM
That dollar a minute crap doesn't work like that!

If it did I would just quote 8 hours x 60 = $480 dollars for an acre lot,
then take lots of short breaks and use a 21" and mow in 1st gear.

Better yet, I just leave the mowers at home and grab the nail clippers.
And why not?
Sure, I get paid by the minute :p

..........
btw, I just quoted $50 on an acre'ish lot.
Oh well, I won't do it for less but I need the work!

Then I could come in and do the acre lot for $65 dollars because it will take a half hour, figure my drive time to the next job...If its neighbors with 1 acre each then yeah they get a good price at $65 each and Im bringing in $130 that hour if the next drive time is a bit longer (mine are within minutes of eachother for the sake of argument,) say a half hour away then Im still up over $80 an hour for my guys to sit in the truck on the way to the next property. So who is going to get the job the guy slacking with a pair of scissors and a six pack or the guy that can make it look nice at a better price? Now $20 is great an hour but after expenses $2 an hour is not so good...Someday you guys will realize you are paying to work at peoples houses, thats nice of you.

Silver Landscaping
09-20-2008, 09:10 AM
The way I see it is I figure out what I need to make a living (usually a by the week figure) For me and my location that figure is about 700 a week. From there I figure out an average of what I will make a lawn usually a low figure that I will make no less than X ammount for whatever lawn I cut. From there I figure out how many lawns I will need to mow per day to achieve that number. I figure out if that number is realistic. If my low average figure is $20 a lawn then I will need to cut approx 7 lawns a day 5 days a week to achieve the desired results of $700 WK. What are my fuel costs? I will figure in a high number that is more than enough to cover my weekly expenses. Let's just say I spend $400 a week on fuel that's an additional 4 lawns a day. What are my parts and maintenance costs I figure a high average weekly number if it turns out being less great that's gravy but I keep a $2000 slush fund to cover emergencies that may arise. My ending total is 11 yards a day 55 yards a week. If I do no less than this I will be okay. After I do all of my estimates I find that I make considerably more money than this however I use it for a guideline of success which ensures my end state which is to take care of my family is met without question. If I couldn't make money at a business I would drop it like a hot potato. The whole joy of mowing and running a landscaping business is being self employed. If the customers aren't paying you what you're worth it's the same as if your boss wasn't paying you at work. If you're boss at work didn't pay you I don't think that you would stay around long so why keep cutting lawns basically for free? Everyone want's a bargain and want's something for free if you give it to them it's your fault they don't expect to go to the mall and spend $5 on a pair of Nike sneakers no if you want quality you have to pay for it just like everyone else. Go after senior citizens don't price gouge them but do them a solid deal and the word of mouth that they generate for you down at the senior center will be worth it's weight in gold. Not only are they great free advertising but they usually have a whole slew of extra jobs that need attention and if you charge them fairly they will give them to you. Now granted I know what a lot of you are saying old people they're fussy and more trouble than they are worth. They are not stupid in most cases they know what a fair price is and will try to get the upper hand in business try living through the great depression and not be cheap most of them love to haggle a price it's like crack to them. Can't blame them for trying but usually I find that if you do them fair and throw something in to make them think that they are getting something for free even if it only takes you 5 minutes they are happy. Lastly if you're out mowing for beer I won't hate you just why not make sure that you actually make enough for beer why not have you're customers pay you in beer and collect a few bucks for gas at least you are achieving your end state. Lowballers bother me a little but hey it's a free country and free enterprise is guaranteed to us so I won't hate the one season wonders I'll get your customers next year and your $10,000 lawn mower at the pawn shop for $2000 after you fold and go back to the factory.

IN2MOWN
09-20-2008, 09:11 AM
Paragraphs please.

Silver Landscaping
09-20-2008, 09:26 AM
The way I see it is I figure out what I need to make a living (usually a by the week figure) For me and my location that figure is about 700 a week. From there I figure out an average of what I will make a lawn usually a low figure that I will make no less than X ammount for whatever lawn I cut. From there I figure out how many lawns I will need to mow per day to achieve that number. I figure out if that number is realistic. If my low average figure is $20 a lawn then I will need to cut approx 7 lawns a day 5 days a week to achieve the desired results of $700 WK. What are my fuel costs? I will figure in a high number that is more than enough to cover my weekly expenses. Let's just say I spend $400 a week on fuel that's an additional 4 lawns a day. What are my parts and maintenance costs I figure a high average weekly number if it turns out being less great that's gravy but I keep a $2000 slush fund to cover emergencies that may arise. My ending total is 11 yards a day 55 yards a week. If I do no less than this I will be okay. After I do all of my estimates I find that I make considerably more money than this however I use it for a guideline of success which ensures my end state which is to take care of my family is met without question. If I couldn't make money at a business I would drop it like a hot potato. The whole joy of mowing and running a landscaping business is being self employed. If the customers aren't paying you what you're worth it's the same as if your boss wasn't paying you at work. If you're boss at work didn't pay you I don't think that you would stay around long so why keep cutting lawns basically for free? Everyone want's a bargain and want's something for free if you give it to them it's your fault they don't expect to go to the mall and spend $5 on a pair of Nike sneakers no if you want quality you have to pay for it just like everyone else. Go after senior citizens don't price gouge them but do them a solid deal and the word of mouth that they generate for you down at the senior center will be worth it's weight in gold. Not only are they great free advertising but they usually have a whole slew of extra jobs that need attention and if you charge them fairly they will give them to you. Now granted I know what a lot of you are saying old people they're fussy and more trouble than they are worth. They are not stupid in most cases they know what a fair price is and will try to get the upper hand in business try living through the great depression and not be cheap most of them love to haggle a price it's like crack to them. Can't blame them for trying but usually I find that if you do them fair and throw something in to make them think that they are getting something for free even if it only takes you 5 minutes they are happy. Lastly if you're out mowing for beer I won't hate you just why not make sure that you actually make enough for beer why not have you're customers pay you in beer and collect a few bucks for gas at least you are achieving your end state. Lowballers bother me a little but hey it's a free country and free enterprise is guaranteed to us so I won't hate the one season wonders I'll get your customers next year and your $10,000 lawn mower at the pawn shop for $2000 after you fold and go back to the factory.

nemow
09-20-2008, 12:49 PM
Paragraphs please.

How much do you make per hour as an English teacher? :nono:

IN2MOWN
09-20-2008, 06:37 PM
How much do you make per hour as an English teacher? :nono:



Gimmie a break. It wasnt a bash. Its just easier for people to read when there are sentences and paragraphs.

Lighten up.

stevenf
09-20-2008, 07:14 PM
Do you guys realize the cost of living is different depending on the area? I went to New York last summer and there minimum wage was $7.25 and hour. We still have a handfull of jobs at $5.50-$5.75 an hour.... where the cost of living is cheaper, labor will be cheaper.
This doesnt justify for the $20.00 an hour lowballer though.

brucec32
09-20-2008, 10:31 PM
Dollar a minute?

So what happens in the spring when it takes you twice as long to do a yard? Do you charge more?

Or in the summer when it takes half the time? Do you charge less?

A "real guy" would know that in mowing you charge by the job not by the time.


He's referring to what your avg on-site time is for a property. They're not out there writing invoices for 34 minutes one week and 55 the next!

brucec32
09-20-2008, 10:36 PM
I dont charge by time,if your gonna charge a dollar a minute and work 9 hours a day thats only $540 if your solo maybe thats good for you, but to me thats a waste of my time . Example we have 7 yards on 1 block 50X165 . it takes us 1 hour and 15 minutes everytime. so your saying i should charge 75 dollars for the group, hence just under 11.00 bucks a yard ! i dont think so.

key words in your post are "we" and "us". Isn't it patently obvious that a crew needs to make more than a single worker for their time?

TNT LawnCare Inc.
09-20-2008, 11:23 PM
key words in your post are "we" and "us". Isn't it patently obvious that a crew needs to make more than a single worker for their time?

Yes it is but why leave money on the table,get paid for your hard work . Why charge a buck a minute if your Solo. If a solo guy can knock down a 1/4 acre for example in 25 minutes would you feel 25 bucks wast good money .including the drive time and your gas and overhead Bruce. That 1/4 acre is worth 40 easily ! not 25 .

cpel2004
09-21-2008, 12:07 AM
How about this.... the guy who started this thread is immature?

Silver Landscaping
09-21-2008, 02:39 PM
Geez man I could mow a small subdivision in the time it would have took to include paragraphs. If I could write good I'd be working in an air conditioned office at the Washington Post instead of pulling a lawn trailer. You caught me though my mother is a teacher she wouldn't have let it go lol.

2low4NH
09-22-2008, 10:10 PM
i make around 75 cents a minute and im a low baller i make what i feel is fair if the lawn can be done in an hour or less with just me on it i charge 35-40! oh yeah i even have a 25 dollar lawn which is a sin on this site but i can mow the whole thing trim and blow in 15-20 minutes so you should charge whats fair for you and the customer.

lawnproslawncare
09-23-2008, 10:47 PM
O.K...now subtract the following:
1) Gas
2) Insurance/ license fees
3) Taxes
4) Money for repairs/upkeep
5) Equipment payments (if you have them)

It cost me about $18/hr to operate....and all of my equipment is paid for.

$20 /hr for someone who is legal with half way decent equipment, is a waste of time.
Working a regular job at $20/hr has very minimal overhead, so you can't compare the two.

Ok, I want to clarify if that 18 an hour to operate is also what is going to give you the down payment on the next upgrade in equipment or expanding the business?

nemow
09-23-2008, 11:05 PM
i make around 75 cents a minute and im a low baller i make what i feel is fair if the lawn can be done in an hour or less with just me on it i charge 35-40! oh yeah i even have a 25 dollar lawn which is a sin on this site but i can mow the whole thing trim and blow in 15-20 minutes so you should charge whats fair for you and the customer.

60 minutes in a hour...15-20 minutes for a lawn and you charge $25 ...So do you charge more or less than a dollar a minute on that lawn?? If you are doing those lawns side by side , a lawn for $40 in less than an hour and a lawn for $25 your charging about 1 dollar per minute...So what are you talking about?

2low4NH
09-24-2008, 07:30 AM
sorry i average about 75 cents a minute

nemow
09-24-2008, 07:56 AM
sorry i average about 75 cents a minute

Yeah I missed that part of your post. It seemed like you were disagreeing with the thread. It was a real question. I think you are right in the ballpark. Its the people that charge $20 for the property that takes about an hour and $10 for the property that takes 20 minutes. Those are the ones loosing thier shirts. A solo making .75 a minute is making pretty good money with low overhead. The lco with three guys in a truck charging .75 a minute is loosing his shirt.

HOOLIE
09-24-2008, 10:17 AM
It's not so much I 'charge a buck a minute' but more like, I only take on lawns that I can make good money on. This means, using a 36, I avoid lawns much larger than 5k feet like the plague. Like someone mentioned before, the market is somewhat set as far as what people will pay, at least if you're mowing in a typical suburban area.

2low4NH
09-24-2008, 05:56 PM
i mow strictly with a 48 WB and a trimmer because thats all i can afford at the moment you cant really charge more then a dollar a minute unless you have the big high end toys! if you have a rider that will cut at 10mph compared to a WB with out a sulky or slider on it you can only go maybe 4mph that slows you down no matter how you look at it a 40 dollar lawn is a 40 dollar lawn. it may take me an extra 20 minutes compared to the guy on the rider but he has a much higher overhead then i do too! you charge a fair price and dont get stuck with a lawn that you will lose money on. i can make a dollar plus a minute because i dont pay out workers comp i dont have to pay anybody else and i dont charge myself overtime when you get a rainy week all these things add up and its part of the job. If you under cut yourself its your problem and you only have yourself to blame.

punt66
09-24-2008, 07:10 PM
i mow strictly with a 48 WB and a trimmer because thats all i can afford at the moment you cant really charge more then a dollar a minute unless you have the big high end toys! if you have a rider that will cut at 10mph compared to a WB with out a sulky or slider on it you can only go maybe 4mph that slows you down no matter how you look at it a 40 dollar lawn is a 40 dollar lawn. it may take me an extra 20 minutes compared to the guy on the rider but he has a much higher overhead then i do too! you charge a fair price and dont get stuck with a lawn that you will lose money on. i can make a dollar plus a minute because i dont pay out workers comp i dont have to pay anybody else and i dont charge myself overtime when you get a rainy week all these things add up and its part of the job. If you under cut yourself its your problem and you only have yourself to blame.

My z cost me $3700 and 3 years and 62 weekly clients later its been paid for for over 2 years. The overhead isnt much different and you get to be alot more productive. Im not wiped out at the end of the day and can mow at like 10 mph. I average over $1 per hour in my area as a solo. If i had a wb as you said it would be lower.

punt66
09-24-2008, 07:11 PM
oh the z was a trade and came with a 1 year warranty with 220 hrs on it. its a 05 and bought it in late 05.

2low4NH
09-24-2008, 09:51 PM
i hope your making more then a dollar an hour!!!!