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View Full Version : Hourly rate for mowing and other services


b.lawncare
02-06-2009, 10:04 PM
i usually charge $25 per man hour for anything I do on a yard. Whether it be mowing, bed work, planting flowers, or picking up trash. Trees are a little different though. I was wondering if other peolpe charged differently for these things?

Turf Dawg
02-06-2009, 10:43 PM
I wish you were closer because I would sub you out and keep you very busy.:laugh::laugh::laugh: Do you mean if you mow,edge,trim and blow a lawn in 1 hour you charge 25?

DA Quality Lawn & YS
02-06-2009, 10:51 PM
blawn - raise them thar prices.....too dang cheap.

Tyler7692
02-06-2009, 11:00 PM
$25 an hour? Come on people. Please. Charge AS IF you had employees because hopefully your motive is to ONEDAY have employees if you don't now. If everyone did this, EVERYONE would make more money. Too many solos out there thinking that they are making a great living netting $15 an hour.

veck125
02-07-2009, 12:29 AM
$60 or more is the going rate for most of the guys around my area.

sweetz
02-07-2009, 12:41 AM
Hopefully this guys just giving us a line of B.S. to get us all tizzied up. Either that or he likes working for free.:hammerhead:

Woody82986
02-07-2009, 12:58 AM
Dude, you mst be the guy I lose a couple lawns to each year. The guy who "gave my client a price he couldn't refuse". Weatherford is an area that you can charge a lot more than $25 an hour for work. I don't get every bit f work that I estimate, but I shoot for $65.00 an hour for everything. Sure, I'll knock that down a little if I'm doing bed maintenance or something like that, but for anything that I use power equipment on, I charge what I can.

FYS777
02-07-2009, 01:26 AM
lawn part varies with size, all other work 45 per hour per guy in our area. 25 way to low.

Exact Rototilling
02-07-2009, 02:01 AM
I get really bummed out if my gross per hour dips to $35 an hour :cry: :hammerhead: usually bidding errors etc. :o

I try to keep it closer to $60 per hour. $120 per hour really isn't possible around here unless your Flash from the Incredibles Pixar Movie. Even then people will come out of their house and object because you're making $2 a minute.

Once you factor in drive time, maintenance, flyer and door hanger patrol, pondering and planning for and about the business, trying to stay profitable for 2009 with all the low ballers who have little to no overhead & don't forget Commercial insurance, license renewals, bond renewals etc.

.... working at Costco Wholesale is looking pretty good. Even the company that handles the food sample crew pays $11 / $12 bucks per hour flexible days the guy told me. I would feel bad about contributing to isle clogging while people stuff their faces with goodies. :nono: Really irks me especially on weekends.

Richard Martin
02-07-2009, 05:40 AM
You guys aren't taking a certain factor into this. Efficiency.

How much money you make per hour is very much dependant on how much work you can get done in an hour.

If one guy can only get one $25 lawn done in an hour then that's how much he makes.

If the next guy can get 2 $25 lawns done in an hour then he making twice as much per hour.

Not all lawn services are the same just like no two lawn services has the same overhead.

This proclaimed standard of $60 an hour set here is Lawnsite is bull poop. People's prices are all over the place and from what I've seen over the years, no two are the same.

As long as he is making a profit and is happy doing it then he's making enough money.

It's also not that hard to tell if you're making enough money. Just look at how many bills you are paying late (if any) and are you happy with your lifestyle.

Simple as that.

yamadooski
02-07-2009, 06:14 AM
First of all if anyone tells a customer what the hourly rate is you have to be a complete moron!!! We charge by the job and give a price for the job.
I make 85.00 hour plus materials. Why should I lower my standards. When was the last time any of you went to a car dealership?
How about getting your AC fixed on the house?
Or and electrician?
Please dont tell me that they are in fields that need college. Because you can learn to do all of that and fix your own stuff but people dont want to.
The same goes for Lawn care. The reason they call you is because they dont want to do it.
Take for example a friend of mine does irrigation. He only charges $45.00 hr.
Everyone else charge 75.-85. per hour. I do irrigation also and have told him to raise his price he says no. So I use him and charge my customers 75.00 and make 35.00 per hour while I do someting else.

FYS777
02-07-2009, 09:33 AM
Every thing has to do with efficiency,but if its commercials, depends on how big and how long it takes, if there no efficiency big money. more time in one place better. residential different story, wont work, unless you pay your helper 5 bucks an and your self 8 bucks an hour, but you have to pay everything else to, gas , insur. pay roll taxes, replacement, for equipment ,repairs, and all the other materials evolved, sorry but I disagree, its not bull-poo, :)

Tommy Boy
02-07-2009, 09:43 AM
On average, we use a crew of three and expect to receive $85.00 per hour residential and $95.00 to $120.00 for commercial.

FYS777
02-07-2009, 09:48 AM
On average, we use a crew of three and expect to receive $85.00 per hour residential and $95.00 to $120.00 for commercial.

Why would you charge different rates, :confused:

Tommy Boy
02-07-2009, 09:54 AM
Commercial accounts we find pay better in our market. The amount of work and "cush" is bulit in to cover items that come up. Works for us but I don't have a commercial account getting less than $100.00 per service hour, most are around $110 or higher, don't hate me, it works for us

FYS777
02-07-2009, 10:04 AM
Commercial accounts we find pay better in our market. The amount of work and "cush" is bulit in to cover items that come up. Works for us but I don't have a commercial account getting less than $100.00 per service hour, most are around $110 or higher, don't hate me, it works for us

Ya I quess Its how you have it set up with the customer, an were your at, ar

LawnGuy73
02-07-2009, 10:41 AM
For a solo operator with average overhead, a buck a minute is normally fair pricing.

sweetz
02-07-2009, 01:00 PM
First of all if anyone tells a customer what the hourly rate is you have to be a complete moron!!! We charge by the job and give a price for the job.
I make 85.00 hour plus materials. Why should I lower my standards. When was the last time any of you went to a car dealership?
How about getting your AC fixed on the house?
Or and electrician?
Please dont tell me that they are in fields that need college. Because you can learn to do all of that and fix your own stuff but people dont want to.
The same goes for Lawn care. The reason they call you is because they dont want to do it.
Take for example a friend of mine does irrigation. He only charges $45.00 hr.
Everyone else charge 75.-85. per hour. I do irrigation also and have told him to raise his price he says no. So I use him and charge my customers 75.00 and make 35.00 per hour while I do someting else.

I like this! I agree with you!

FYS777
02-07-2009, 01:10 PM
Soo what do you tell them when they won't to know your hourly charge, no do you think i'm a moron I'm not gana tell ya thats for me to know. LoL!!

sweetz
02-07-2009, 01:17 PM
Soo what do you tell them when they won't to know your hourly charge, no do you think i'm a moron I'm not gana tell ya thats for me to know. LoL!!

You're going not going to get many accounts. People will look at you in amazement when you tell them $60 or $75 per hour. They will be thinking that they went to college (you may not have) and are only making $25 per hour. They'll be thinking NO WAY. They don't care that you have the expense of ins, taxes, licenses, employees, equipment, gas, etc. They just see the $75 per hour.:waving: You tell them a price for the job.

FYS777
02-07-2009, 01:22 PM
You're going not going to get many accounts. People will look at you in amazement when you tell them $60 or $75 per hour. They will be thinking that they went to college (you may not have) and are only making $25 per hour. They'll be thinking NO WAY. They don't care that you have the expense of ins, taxes, licenses, employees, equipment, gas, etc. They just see the $75 per hour.:waving: You tell them a price for the job.

Soo what do you tell them when they ask. :confused::)

Woody82986
02-07-2009, 01:31 PM
I tell them that I my prices relate to the job as a whole and that it's not based solely on a per hour rate. I have a target rate that I use as a guideline but when I price work it's not just about that hourly rate. Difficulty of getting the job done and the PITA factor also figure in.

FYS777
02-07-2009, 01:55 PM
I tell them that I my prices relate to the job as a whole and that it's not based solely on a per hour rate. I have a target rate that I use as a guideline but when I price work it's not just about that hourly rate. Difficulty of getting the job done and the PITA factor also figure in.

things most be different here, mow, edge blow, is routine maint. set based price , all other work done on hourly, example, one block I do two places, in fall I set a price for fall clean up for one time, I do clean up, because everybody on street doesn't cleanup at same time, wind blows down the street, fills up the yard u just cleaned up, owner comes home calls up when are going to do fall clean up, already have , now you have to do it again for nothing, here you just don't know which way the winds going to blow, and on most things, your either shorting yourself or over charging the customer by set price, its diff, different places, my point,:waving:

TLS
02-07-2009, 01:57 PM
On average, we use a crew of three and expect to receive $85.00 per hour residential and $95.00 to $120.00 for commercial.

So thats $28 to $40/man hour. :confused:

What do you pay your men? :rolleyes:

sweetz
02-07-2009, 02:12 PM
Soo what do you tell them when they ask. :confused::)

You've got to figure in a lot. You need to know what price YOU need per hour to be profitable, you need to estimate how long the job will take YOU, you've got to figure in the price of any consumables you are going to use, drive time (is the house just around the corner or is the house an hours drive away), estimate time (did you only spend 1/2 hour giving the estimate, or did you have to spend time researching things, pricing things, etc), etc. There is no simple way that ANYONE can tell YOU how or what to charge. This is why everyone's price on things is different. You need to cover YOUR expenses and make the kind of lifestyle for YOU that YOU want. I'm not trying to be rude at all, just realistic. This is why a lot of startup lawn companies only stick around for one season.

yamadooski
02-07-2009, 03:30 PM
Ok I see you do a lot of clean ups. Cant you look at the yard and say I can do that in 4 hours. I need 80 per hour so that is 320. No I need to go to the dump and they charge 50. not its up to 370.
So you tell them 370. and if takes you all day and you figured wrong you lose.
No on the other hand if you get it done in 3 hours you win.

Take for example I do landscaping we put in palms up to 30 feet tall.
I tell Mr Smith his new 20' Sylvester is $2,000. He says ok..
My price is 900. + 100 for gas and supplies + 1,000 bacause I double the wholsale price on big trees. 2 hours for pickup and installation. That is 500 per hour and I work alone. Wife does bookeeping.

Now for you if you did your way by the hour. Tree would be 900. + 100 for gas and supplies 2 hours for labor at 25 per hour you only make 50.

I never tell anyone that I make over 85. per hour. They will get someone else.

yamadooski
02-07-2009, 03:33 PM
Sorry for the gramatical errors forgot to proofread, in a hurry to catch Gasparilla downtown.

FYS777
02-07-2009, 04:02 PM
i usually charge $25 per man hour for anything I do on a yard. Whether it be mowing, bed work, planting flowers, or picking up trash. Trees are a little different though. I was wondering if other peolpe charged differently for these things?

I think we all got off track, and I think you miss understood me, every one knows that you figure in time and materiel, etc. thats a nobrainer, say if the costumer has all the materials and all you do is labor, and think it will take 3 hours, and it takes 4 you lose, should have done it by the hour, if you say 3 hours get done in 2 the costumer, thinks the get ripped, so why not do it by the hour and be right on with price, and back to the ? its called estimating, :laugh::laugh::laugh::waving:

Woody82986
02-07-2009, 04:14 PM
I think we all got off track, and I think you miss understood me, every one knows that you figure in time and materiel, etc. thats a nobrainer, say if the costumer has all the materials and all you do is labor, and think it will take 3 hours, and it takes 4 you lose, should have done it by the hour, if you say 3 hours get done in 2 the costumer, thinks the get ripped, so why not do it by the hour and be right on with price, and back to the ? its called estimating, :laugh::laugh::laugh::waving:

If it works for you then by all means go for it. Personally, I don't do any work where the client provides all the materials and all I do is provide the labor. Through trial and error and the sheer numbers of estimates I have done, I have gotten to where I am pretty darn near spot on with my time estimates. The few times I have relented and actually given a per hour price, I was laughed at.

FYS777
02-07-2009, 04:35 PM
i t finally come out what b.lawn care wanted to know when yamadooski broke it down a formula of sorts, to give him an Idea of how to charge differently, I think we got to the bottom of it yahoo, me to woody, hitting pretty on, but I'm not prefect by any means.:):)

cantoo
02-07-2009, 07:31 PM
Tommy boy, are you going to respond to this? Or do you charge $85 per man?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Boy
On average, we use a crew of three and expect to receive $85.00 per hour residential and $95.00 to $120.00 for commercial.

Asked by TLS
So thats $28 to $40/man hour.

What do you pay your men?
__________________

Big C
02-07-2009, 07:46 PM
I think we all got off track, and I think you miss understood me, every one knows that you figure in time and materiel, etc. thats a nobrainer, say if the costumer has all the materials and all you do is labor, and think it will take 3 hours, and it takes 4 you lose, should have done it by the hour, if you say 3 hours get done in 2 the costumer, thinks the get ripped, so why not do it by the hour and be right on with price, and back to the ? its called estimating, :laugh::laugh::laugh::waving:

I have found that most customers want a flat "out the door" price before the work starts....that is why I calculate the estimate by the hour plus a little cushion, plus materials..etc....but present it to the customer as a flat price. If I did my homework I should hit my estimated time dead on or finish sooner which is good for me.....if I am off the mark on my time estimate then that tells me I need to further sharpen my estimating skills. I am still learning myself....but slowly getting better.

Tommy Boy
02-07-2009, 07:50 PM
Tommy boy, are you going to respond to this? Or do you charge $85 per man?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tommy Boy
On average, we use a crew of three and expect to receive $85.00 per hour residential and $95.00 to $120.00 for commercial.

Asked by TLS
So thats $28 to $40/man hour.

What do you pay your men?
__________________

That is a 2 person crew residential and 3 for commercial. I will float a guy for more work or clean ups

Tommy Boy
02-07-2009, 07:55 PM
So thats $28 to $40/man hour. :confused:

What do you pay your men? :rolleyes:

Entry Level P/T Seasonal Equipment Tech = $9.00 / $10.00

Full Time Equipment Tech = $10 / $12 per hour

Senior Crew Member = $12 / $14.00

Crew Leader = $15 / $18 per hour

godjwood
02-25-2009, 09:56 PM
i try to charge fixed rate whenever possible. it works out to $60-$120/hr when mowing lawns.

if i dont know what to charge then i bid high

TheCanadianLawnRanger
02-25-2009, 09:59 PM
we use a 2 man crew and try to get $25/man hr so $50/hr

luckydooley
02-25-2009, 11:42 PM
I have found that most customers want a flat "out the door" price before the work starts....that is why I calculate the estimate by the hour plus a little cushion, plus materials..etc....but present it to the customer as a flat price. If I did my homework I should hit my estimated time dead on or finish sooner which is good for me.....if I am off the mark on my time estimate then that tells me I need to further sharpen my estimating skills. I am still learning myself....but slowly getting better.

Right on here also. I cant get away with an hourly rate with an estimated time. My customers want flat rate out the door. If I get it done quicker than estimated I win. If slower than estimated I lose, but win valuable estimating experience.

TheCanadianLawnRanger
02-26-2009, 07:59 AM
I know $25 is way to low..But what can i do If i raise my price on the residential I'll lose everything. there are huge companies with crews of 8 or nine guys that just undercut all of the smaller companies like me.

yardatwork
02-26-2009, 08:28 AM
You're charging $25 an hour, but how long did it take you to get to that lawn? How long is your drive to the next lawn? What was your fuel expense to, during, and from that lawn? You're also eating away your trimmer line while you're there (this isn't much, but a few cents here and there adds up over a season). There are more variables in making $25 an hour working for yourself with overhead vs. $25 an hour working for someone else when you have no overhead. RAISE THOSE PRICES!

CoupesCuts
02-26-2009, 08:52 AM
At least its $25 Canadian dollars! I don't know he laws up there, but with all the licensing, insurance and other hoops you have to jump through here in the US you have to charge at least $40 and hour. The only guys that charge less are running illegally, at least in my area. Then, there are also the guys that have no ins. or licenses and trying to get the smae rates. Definitely, go crunch your numbers. Make sure you are making money.

PeakLawnCare
02-26-2009, 09:01 AM
I only do flat rate jobs. Then there is no ? about the total. It makes it easyer for me and my customers.

CoupesCuts
02-26-2009, 09:21 AM
I only do flat rate jobs. Then there is no ? about the total. It makes it easyer for me and my customers.

Yea, but don't you have an hourly rate you figure the flat rate from? How do you come up with a price if you don't know how much you need to make per hour to turn a profit?

Exact Rototilling
02-26-2009, 11:14 AM
I always try to steer clear of telling a residential customer how much my rate is per hour is for any service. Better to stick with a minmum charge and work from there.

You don't want to give the profit Nazis any ammo. There are far too many people out there who think you should be working for peanuts and you're making too much and you mowed in this amount of time. First time you cut their lawn with a 21" it took you 45 min. You showed up with a Quick 36 and you did it in 25 min. Now they are irked because they are paying you the same for less work.

FYS777
02-26-2009, 11:31 AM
I charge flat rate for mow, edge and blow. All other work by hourly rate. unless asked for bid.

IMAGE
02-28-2009, 05:29 AM
I know $25 is way to low..But what can i do If i raise my price on the residential I'll lose everything. there are huge companies with crews of 8 or nine guys that just undercut all of the smaller companies like me.

I hope there are no huge companies charging less then $25/hr. If they are they will be small or gone soon. Or they are padding thier invoices with extra hours - like billing for 3 employees when there were only 2 there.

Trust me, there is no profit paying an employee to work and only charging $25/hr for thier time. Companies don't get 'huge' charging a break even price.

$25/hr would be the bare bones minimium for a business paying employees just to break even. Would probally be losing money actually depending on what supplies they use up in a day, and how many non billable hours they are paying each day.

clipperslawnservice
02-28-2009, 08:46 AM
I also do flat rate bids, but they are based on 40.oo to 50.oo per hour.
After taxes, ins. fuel, parts, etc., there is nooo way you can make a
decent profit @25.oo hr. I live in podunk tx. pop. around 3000 and i
can still charge these rates, so dont be affraid to raise your prices.
customers will pay for a really nice job., and try to do something extra
w/ no charge, trim a branch, shovel dirt from the curb. trust me, it
goes a long way!!

TheCanadianLawnRanger
02-28-2009, 10:54 AM
I know what you are al saying. I agree with the minimum like i wont cut a yard for less then $30 even if it takes me 15minutes. It is not worth my time to drive there unload and cut for any less.

TheCanadianLawnRanger
02-28-2009, 10:57 AM
You're charging $25 an hour, but how long did it take you to get to that lawn? How long is your drive to the next lawn? What was your fuel expense to, during, and from that lawn? You're also eating away your trimmer line while you're there (this isn't much, but a few cents here and there adds up over a season). There are more variables in making $25 an hour working for yourself with overhead vs. $25 an hour working for someone else when you have no overhead. RAISE THOSE PRICES!

Most of my yards are in groups.. so i drive work for 2-3 hrs. Drive 15 mins do the same.

I have all of them broke into certain areas so i don't move alot. When i first started out i was jumping all over the place. That is 1 thing new start ups need to avoid.

also like i siad there is a $30/ yard at least charge. I wont cut for any less.

FYS777
02-28-2009, 11:02 AM
Most of my yards are in groups.. so i drive work for 2-3 hrs. Drive 15 mins do the same.

I have all of them broke into certain areas so i don't move alot. When i first started out i was jumping all over the place. That is 1 thing new start ups need to avoid.

also like i siad there is a $30/ yard at least charge. I wont cut for any less.

I agree, mapping routes is a money saver, by mapping routes cut my fuel bill by 3k when I did that, min 30 .

lwelve
02-28-2009, 11:48 AM
It`s very simple to find out what your costs are per hour.
Add up your total expenses for last year and divide by the total number of hours you worked , including travel time.
This is your cost per hour just to operate.
Figure what percentage of profit you want, and add that to your hourly cost, this will tell you what your hourly rate should be.
I doubt you are making any profit at $25.00 per hour, especially with fuel costs, maintenance and repair, insurances etc.
Our cost per hour (w/ three people) is about $35.00.
My hourly rate per man is now at $48.00 and I`m only at this because of the economy.
Last year I charged $55.00/ hour per man.
You are to low on your hourly rate. RAISE IT!
Good Luck.

ExclusiveLawnCare
03-01-2009, 11:11 PM
for $25 an hour crap Im gonna Sub out all my work and still make alot of money people stop be so low and make a good living from this landscaping/lawn business.
Try to make at least 45-50 an hour and the best is to be at the $1 a minute.

PeakLawnCare
03-03-2009, 07:01 PM
I bid every job flat price. I just make sure I always know what Iím getting in to. Trust me there are times went I wish I would have done hourly, but It works better for me most of the time (almost always ) to do one flat rate.
I always get paid never any questions about work done or time it took.
The way I think of it is I wouldnít want some guy coming to do my pluming and say it may take 1-4 hours at $100.00hour. I always go for the guy that can till me the price upfront. Some time I know it doesnít always work that way, but like I said I always like to know what Iím getting in to. As a customer or as the provider.

grasschopperofchicago
03-03-2009, 08:45 PM
My hand won't turn the key to ignition to acc for less than $30 and that is usually a 20 minute job. I ran $1.58 per minute last year total with all considerations. I run very effective and have a well mapped route...11 commericial all in a row with 1 reload. I just got a Bass Pro shop that will take about 3.5 hours to cut/trim/blow/edge...Yearly contract with them is $12,500 for 30 cuts