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View Full Version : What is the minimum you are charging for aeration this year?


david shumaker
06-21-2009, 10:15 PM
I saw ads for core-aeration last year for $60.00-$65.00 any size yard. Last year I charged a minimum of $65.00 for a small yard and price went up with size. Most of my yards are under 1/4 acre.

Even at $65.00 - $75.00, some people growl at the price.

Anyway, I was looking on the Rental Works website for Richmond and the cost to rent an aerator for 4 hours is $86.03 including taxes and insurance. This price is for customer pickup and return of the aerator. The total price if you want Rental Works to deliver and pickup is $161.03.

The point is, I could make more money renting my aerator than taking it to the customers house and doing all the labor. There would also be more money in delivering and picking up aerators. I've even heard of people doing aeration for $40.00 or $50.00.

Shouldn't the minimum for aeration be at least what it would cost to rent an aerator plus labor? It seems that I and maybe others are not charging enough for this service.

I make out pretty good if I have several yards together on the same day, but that doesn't happen all the time.

I think I'll try to go up on price this season. Aeration is too back breaking to do for less than rental rates.

delphied
06-21-2009, 10:59 PM
You guys can run your core aerators til hell freezes over for that kind of money.

mainstreet1984
06-21-2009, 11:06 PM
My price is price of the lawn cut times 8 or 10 depends on the difficulty (hills, ets.) If property is $40 for cut then aeration will run about $350 to $400 and for $50 $55 you can do my customers and I gonna sell my aerator...

david shumaker
06-21-2009, 11:26 PM
My price is price of th*trucewhiteflag*e lawn cut times 8 or 10 depends on the difficulty (hills, ets.) If property is $40 for cut then aeration will run about $350 to $400 and for $50 $55 you can do my customers and I gonna sell my aerator...

I won't take the aerator off the truck for $50.00 - $55.00, but I've seen classified ads in the paper for these cheap rates. I've been doing really small yards for $65.00 to $75.00 (aeration only...no seeding or fertilizer). I think this is too cheap if it would cost the customer $86.00 to rent their own aerator. That's why I was thinking of going up. I know my market wouldn't pay $350 to $400 for a yard that costs $40.00 to cut.

Exact Rototilling
06-21-2009, 11:51 PM
Before I started aerating I was convinced aeration should be...would be 2.5x times the mowing rate.

Now that reality has sunk in ... :hammerhead: it is at the 1.5 times to maybe 2x the mowing rate. Aeration is a good cash flow generator. Generally I prefer dealing with aeration customers vs. mowing because they actually care about their lawn and are not looking for the cheap cut can we go bi-weekly mowing as a necessity.

If I could go aeration only I would ... but I need the consistent cash flow from the mowing season to make the business worth while.

Senske and Truegreen have now dropped aeration prices to a level that makes me question how they can make much money at it with their overhead.

lawnproslawncare
06-22-2009, 01:10 AM
Sounds like we have another aeravator user on this forum!


You guys can run your core aerators til hell freezes over for that kind of money.

Exact Rototilling
06-22-2009, 02:54 PM
Parting thought on this.... if I had to do aeration with the old school beat you up aerators for only 1.5 to 1.8/2x the mow rate I'd quit offering aerations as stand alone service. You are better off leaving this service to your competitors who think this is a gold mine. Then focus on getting more mowing accounts lined up. Even though mowing can be less per hour....the mowing season will bring in more cash flow. Really depends if you are doing this full time or just part time - hired help or solo.

Since I already own a Plugr 850 Hydro that pulls more plugs per square foot than most other machines and is easier to operate unless you have tons of rocks - I will proceed with the service. I'm leaning towards getting a Lawn Solution WB unit for back up since it looks so blasted easy to use.

Stingray63
06-22-2009, 03:17 PM
My price is price of the lawn cut times 8 or 10 depends on the difficulty (hills, ets.) If property is $40 for cut then aeration will run about $350 to $400 and for $50 $55 you can do my customers and I gonna sell my aerator...

Does your price also include raking up the plugs and fertilizing the lawn. I know my market wouldn't support 350 to 400 per average size yard. I can understand if the yards are bigger than I would head for those figures. What size are the yards that you're charging for those prices? If you can get it, GREAT! I know my area wouldn't pay those prices.

Stingray

crazyman
06-22-2009, 09:11 PM
My people would laugh at me if i charged those prices

Danscapes
06-22-2009, 09:18 PM
Does your price also include raking up the plugs and fertilizing the lawn. I know my market wouldn't support 350 to 400 per average size yard. I can understand if the yards are bigger than I would head for those figures. What size are the yards that you're charging for those prices? If you can get it, GREAT! I know my area wouldn't pay those prices.

Stingray

What the hell?!?!?!:laugh::dizzy::hammerhead:

Stingray63
06-22-2009, 09:25 PM
What the hell?!?!?!:laugh::dizzy::hammerhead:

Yes, some of my customers want the plugs raked up too. I tell them that the plugs will go back into the ground. But, some still want' em raked up. I know I'd be saving alot of time if my employees didn't have to go through all the trouble.

Stingray

david shumaker
06-22-2009, 10:21 PM
Parting thought on this.... if I had to do aeration with the old school beat you up aerators for only 1.5 to 1.8/2x the mow rate I'd quit offering aerations as stand alone service. You are better off leaving this service to your competitors who think this is a gold mine. Then focus on getting more mowing accounts lined up. Even though mowing can be less per hour....the mowing season will bring in more cash flow. Really depends if you are doing this full time or just part time - hired help or solo.

Since I already own a Plugr 850 Hydro that pulls more plugs per square foot than most other machines and is easier to operate unless you have tons of rocks - I will proceed with the service. I'm leaning towards getting a Lawn Solution WB unit for back up since it looks so blasted easy to use.

I saw the Lawn Solutions aerator video. The machine looks easy to use. The yard in the video doesn't exist for me. Most of my yards have slopes, trees with roots sticking out, hard spots, etc. I have a Plugr that would be easy to use if all my lawns were flat and easy like the one in the video.

Has anyone on here used the Lawn Solutions aerator? I couldn't find anyone that owns one. I would like to know how they like it.

Briley1975
06-22-2009, 11:40 PM
after getting drug around my 1/3 ac lot today- i would have gladly paid someone to do it for me. It was about $65 to rent for 4 hours but geez I'm beat

Exact Rototilling
06-23-2009, 12:43 AM
Yes, some of my customers want the plugs raked up too. I tell them that the plugs will go back into the ground. But, some still want' em raked up. I know I'd be saving alot of time if my employees didn't have to go through all the trouble.

Stingray
What do you charge for plug rake up?

I had one customer push me on the plug clean up but he finally agreed to let them stay on the lawn. I did get stuck running around marking sprinklers as he advanced each zone. Lets just say this was my lowest profit margin aeration of 2009 thus far. :hammerhead:

whoopassonthebluegrass
06-23-2009, 12:58 AM
Man, I charge a $40 minimum, and that's $15 more than most of my competitors! Aeration is worthless out here. If it weren't so important/expected, I wouldn't even bother with it.

AI Inc
06-23-2009, 07:39 AM
Im at $100 minimum. If someone told me to rake the plugs , I would tell em Im not interested in aerating for you.

ryde307
06-23-2009, 06:41 PM
Im at $100 minimum. If someone told me to rake the plugs , I would tell em Im not interested in aerating for you.

X2 Same on price and the raking

Whitey4
06-23-2009, 11:39 PM
I can understand why customers with heavy clay soils want the plugs raked in... clay plugs can take a long time to break up. I've read dragging a piece of cyclone fence around works pretty well for that, but I have sandy loam. The plugs disappear within days.

Mowing prices here are well below the national average with all the day workers, illegal companies and low ballers, so my price for aeration is 3X's mowing. If that is $75 for 3 to 4k of turf, overseeding is another $40-50 on top.


I will, WILL one way or another get a Lawn Solutions aerator this year, either rental or buy. I an DONE with Ryans and the rest.

As for the poster who said that the lawns in the Turf Solutions video did not resemble his lawns.... I saw that video.... the guy is on a slope using ONE hand! Do you aerate roller coasters, or what?

david shumaker
06-24-2009, 09:11 PM
I can understand why customers with heavy clay soils want the plugs raked in... clay plugs can take a long time to break up. I've read dragging a piece of cyclone fence around works pretty well for that, but I have sandy loam. The plugs disappear within days.

Mowing prices here are well below the national average with all the day workers, illegal companies and low ballers, so my price for aeration is 3X's mowing. If that is $75 for 3 to 4k of turf, overseeding is another $40-50 on top.


I will, WILL one way or another get a Lawn Solutions aerator this year, either rental or buy. I an DONE with Ryans and the rest.

As for the poster who said that the lawns in the Turf Solutions video did not resemble his lawns.... I saw that video.... the guy is on a slope using ONE hand! Do you aerate roller coasters, or what?

The video I watched for the Lawn Solutions AERATOR shows one of those flat easy yards. This video is not on their website. The link to the aerator video is on one of the posts. I think the video you saw is for the Lawn Solutions REVITALIZER. There are slopes and the machine looks easy to use, but it's a seeder, not an aerator. Maybe there is another video I haven't seen that shows the aerator on slopes.

I'm thinking about getting one too. It does look easy to use. I have a Plugr now. The Plugr is not real tough on me on flat lawns and pulls good plugs in good conditions. I have the 800 model and the hardest part is pushing it up on the trailer. The Plugr video makes it look easy, but they use easy turf in the video.

mainstreet1984
06-26-2009, 12:30 AM
well, I can tell for sure, 1/4 acre I did for $200 then another customer around $150 but she ordered seeding and fert, so I lowered the price for aeration. I got my aerator from crags list for $25 bucks :dancing:clean it painted fixed some things:hammerhead: and it earned me around a $1000 so far.:usflag:

Plug It Lawn Aeration
07-11-2009, 12:50 AM
I just purchased one this week. I haven't used it yet. (waiting for Fall season) I did, however perform a hands on demo of the unit. Night and Day in comparison with every other unit I've used. I have a Pluggr 800 and wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
07-11-2009, 01:17 AM
We have clay soil around here in MN, and every time I pull plugs in the fall and leave them lay, they never last long, break down pretty quickly - esp. if you mow once or twice after plugging, chops them right up.

QuadRacer041
07-14-2009, 10:32 PM
When is the best time to do aerations?

topsites
07-15-2009, 01:29 AM
My people would laugh at me if i charged those prices

Hell yeah same here!

Oh I have a Classen TA-26 Walk behind solid axle work horse.
With that I knock out a full acre in 90 minutes and I can do two of those side by side in one fell swoop.

Takes practice :p

david shumaker
07-15-2009, 08:57 PM
When is the best time to do aerations?

I start at the end of August and continue through Oct. If overseeding, I try to get seed in by middle of Oct.

richonsa
08-27-2009, 10:26 AM
This is not a tag.

whoopassonthebluegrass
08-27-2009, 11:03 AM
This is not a tag.

You can subscribe to a thread without comments. In the bar above the first comment on the page is a "thread options" menu that allows you to "subscribe".

Mike Custom
08-28-2009, 12:00 AM
I use a 28" ryan lawnaire and charge an average of 400 dollars per core aeration. These are 20-25k sq ft properties and i normally dont aerate without seeding and fertilizer/insect control. So that brings my average take on a plugging around the golden coast of Connecticut to be around 750-800 dollars. Sometimes I can bang out 3 in a day but they'd be a little under average size.

As for raking up the plugs, DONT. The nutrients in the plugs are an excellent natural fertilizer and its foolish to take them out.

PLM-1
08-28-2009, 02:01 AM
I would scream if I had to use a small walk behind aerator. Aeravator all the way ... cores, what's a core!? :rolleyes:

Stillwater
08-28-2009, 02:56 AM
Yes, some of my customers want the plugs raked up too. I tell them that the plugs will go back into the ground. But, some still want' em raked up. I know I'd be saving alot of time if my employees didn't have to go through all the trouble.

Stingray

Your failing at your job to effectively communicate/educate these customers on the importance of leaving the plugs where they fall. I with little effort have never failed in convincing customers to leave the plugs where they are. Their are live grass plants in allot of those plugs and a good amount will survive to thicken the lawn. Removing the plugs is essentially taking their lawn and top soil and throwing it away let alone the microbes in those plugs that will melt into the thatch and assist in composting and breaking it down. They need to be told why "they" do not want you to do this.

jimmyzlc
08-29-2009, 01:29 AM
I charge $300 a yard for core aereation and slit seeding in my area for avg. yard and up from there. When I core the yard i always drag the yard to break up the cores after I overseed then fertilize 3 times after that for maximum growth. I try and do them all in a 2-3 day span to max my profits.

dvog
09-07-2009, 10:16 AM
I would sell my business and pump gas at a local gas station before i raked up one plug from anyones yard.

Mike Custom
09-07-2009, 02:25 PM
If the customer's willing to pay enough, ill rake 'em up and eat the damn things.

Never say no to money, fellas.

Stillwater
09-07-2009, 02:48 PM
If the customer's willing to pay enough, ill rake 'em up and eat the damn things.


Things that bad in CT.?

sven1277
09-07-2009, 08:00 PM
I have a 3 point aerator for the tractor. It is definitely easier than using a walk behind. I charge 3x the mowing price. It's a good add on service for me.

Stingray63
09-08-2009, 06:29 PM
I would sell my business and pump gas at a local gas station before i raked up one plug from anyones yard.

The only way to do that is charge the customer for your time to rake the plugs up and figure in a dump fee as well. Plus add another 30 to 40 bucks to make the trip to your local compost recycling yard. If you have multiple customers lined up for the day than it would be worth your time to offer that added service.

Stingray

Stingray63
09-08-2009, 06:30 PM
if the customer's willing to pay enough, ill rake 'em up and eat the damn things.

Never say no to money, fellas.

exactly!!!

Stillwater
09-08-2009, 06:31 PM
The only way to do that is charge the customer for your time to rake the plugs up and figure in a dump fee as well. Plus add another 30 to 40 bucks to make the trip to your local compost recycling yard. If you have multiple customers lined up for the day than it would be worth your time to offer that added service.

Stingray

you totaly missed the point

Stingray63
09-08-2009, 06:37 PM
Your failing at your job to effectively communicate/educate these customers on the importance of leaving the plugs where they fall. I with little effort have never failed in convincing customers to leave the plugs where they are. Their are live grass plants in allot of those plugs and a good amount will survive to thicken the lawn. Removing the plugs is essentially taking their lawn and top soil and throwing it away let alone the microbes in those plugs that will melt into the thatch and assist in composting and breaking it down. They need to be told why "they" do not want you to do this.

I couldn't agree with you more! Believe me, I educate my
customers everyday on the benefits of leaving the plugs where they fall. But, I still have some customers who insist on me raking the plugs up as well. What can a guy do??

Stingray63
09-08-2009, 06:43 PM
What do you charge for plug rake up?

I had one customer push me on the plug clean up but he finally agreed to let them stay on the lawn. I did get stuck running around marking sprinklers as he advanced each zone. Lets just say this was my lowest profit margin aeration of 2009 thus far. :hammerhead:

I will usually head for an hourly figure on that service. Like 35 dollars per man hour, plus a dump fee figured in as well.

Craig3
09-13-2009, 04:12 PM
I couldn't agree with you more! Believe me, I educate my
customers everyday on the benefits of leaving the plugs where they fall. But, I still have some customers who insist on me raking the plugs up as well. What can a guy do??

plug then mow? I've read in quite a few places that breaks em up quicker. Just a thought, good luck.

GrandMaster
08-04-2010, 07:10 PM
Here in Utah most guys will beat you to it for 20-30 bucks a 5000sqft home. So I see it as a good advertising and selling point for me (fertilizing, mowing, Maintenance etc.) I'll get 25-30 bucks a 5000sqft yard only here. We do alot though and volume makes big bucks this way. Cant charge more or wont get the job. SUCKS!

dgw
08-04-2010, 08:19 PM
minimum of $700 a lawn

2 thousand to rake the plugs

another thousand to fert and overseed

Glenn Lawn Care
08-04-2010, 08:50 PM
I start at $65.

johnclark023
08-07-2010, 01:23 AM
Price depends on size of the lawn

Aeration only @ 1000sq/ft starts at $150
Up to 1 Acre @ $2000.

Adding Seed or Seed, Fert, Lime will adjust the cost- typically I sell a package- I try not to sell Aeration only as it's a pain to do alone, and isn't cost effective enough.

Exact Rototilling
08-07-2010, 02:29 AM
Price depends on size of the lawn

Aeration only @ 1000sq/ft starts at $150
Up to 1 Acre @ $2000.

Adding Seed or Seed, Fert, Lime will adjust the cost- typically I sell a package- I try not to sell Aeration only as it's a pain to do alone, and isn't cost effective enough.
:confused:.....:dizzy: that would be sweet... an acre lot I'm doing good to get over $250

JFGauvreau
08-07-2010, 08:44 AM
Around here the rental for the aerator is roughly 40-45 bucks, so I can't really charge more then that.

For lawns that are about 2500sq feet I can only charge 50-55$, takes you 20mins to do the work.. so if you can bang 10-15 of those in one day, your still making money. Aeration is very profitable, only takes you 1-3 days to pay out your aerator.

Will P.C.
08-07-2010, 08:40 PM
The yards around my house on my street are $50-75 to mow. I live in a suburb of South Atlanta.

We normally have a kid(20years) that will pick up a aerator for $70 for the whole day and knockout 7-8 yards at 35 dollars a piece. He does it mainly just to cover the costs for his parents yard, but also makes a little money as well.

He takes a full day for him to do these yard and is usually cramping bad at the end of the day.

I am a DIY type guy with my yard, but I cannot beat this price. He marks the sprinkler heads with flags and leaves the plugs on the ground. They contain microorganisms that go back into the ground.

The fert and squirt companies charge around $125.

Honestly, most homeowners could care less whether they get their yard aerated or not as it adds another expense that they think is unnecessary. These are 450,000 dollar houses as well. We have people on the street who refuse to water, fert, etc. and try to stretch out their cuts for 2 months

Az Gardener
08-08-2010, 02:08 AM
I think its important to compare apples to apples so the question is what is the process for core aeration? For me its...

Run through sprinklers and flag all heads that are not on a border.
Aerate the yard so there are at least 8-10 holes per sq ft.
Run over the cores with a fixed blade verti-cutter or dull reel mower to break up cores.
Apply Gypsum at 15 lbs per 1-K
Apply 21-7-14 1/2 lb of actual N. per 1-k
Run through sprinklers one more time to be sure we didn't puncture any lines or bust any heads.
Wash off aerator and any other equipment used, followed up with a 25% bleach spray down to be sure we are not transferring any pests to other lawns.


That carries a minimum $200 charge. This is our first year aerating and it seems to be going OK at those rates. We seem to be in the .05 per sq ft range overall.

AzLawnMan
08-08-2010, 04:17 AM
That carries a minimum $200 charge. This is our first year aerating and it seems to be going OK at those rates. We seem to be in the .05 per sq ft range overall.

I start off right around $275. Gotta pay for that $3,200 Walker attachment!!

Az Gardener
08-08-2010, 04:00 PM
Oh now I have to come see that in action. I have been asking my dealer about that but he said he didn't know it was even available and would have to look into it :dizzy: He probably thinks I am a pita :laugh:

I have been using a pos bluebird. So now that I know clients do value the service I will probably pick one of those up for next year. How often do you aerate?

AzLawnMan
08-08-2010, 05:22 PM
Twice per year. March and July-August. To be honest, its nice cause you can sit and run it but for the money I dont think it is worth the money. But it is nice to have.