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View Full Version : How Far Will You Travel To Cut A $40 1/4 Acre Lawn?


SoloSulkySurfer
04-23-2011, 02:25 AM
How far will you travel one way inorder to cut a single 1/4 acres property for $40 a week? Just curious how far other guys are willing to travel to cut a single property, the high gas prices have me asking myself this question more and more.

Golfpro21
04-23-2011, 07:26 AM
depends if we are in expansion mode...if we do not have any properties in the area but want to have some, we would drive a bit further because we know within a month we will have a couple more properties there............if not we do not renew

topsites
04-23-2011, 08:42 AM
Once again we are at that crossroads with folks thinking they can snub certain customers over others all in favor of that
proverbial profit, all the while forgetting not only the economy and the past several years, but also what and who got us here.

40 dollars is a lot of money kid, what do you want, top dollar for unskilled labor, too?

Now I won't say drive any distance, but at least 5 and really up to 10 miles, hell 40 dollars is 5-10 dollars over what most folks
in my necks will pay without us pulling teeth so you're getting paid for driving, granted it ain't much but then driving isn't hard work?

You do what you want but I have watched a big new car dealership buckle and almost crack under the resulting pressure,
it's more like they almost went out of business for trying what you're thinking of doing and they even changed their name
after 20+ years and they're hardly the only ones... I've been there too so unless you have one great tolerance for lack of
work and you can deal with going hungry every day for a number of years, I am guessing you can figure out what my
suggestion would be.

brianslawncare
04-23-2011, 08:49 AM
do what u have too do. i would do it, you might get more work in that area? 40 is better than nothing.

a clear difference lawn
04-23-2011, 08:49 AM
Well I guess I would have to travel outside Florida because nobody here is getting $40 for a quarter acre. I seriously wish that I could charge what some of you guys do - I would be rolling in the $$$$$:laugh: But alas, I have to live with the reality that if I quoted anyone in the greater metro Orlando area $40 for 1/4 acre they would laugh in my face. At that price every single customer I have would drop me in an eyeblink.

rkeguy
04-23-2011, 09:45 AM
Since I am just starting up and need the money pretty badly I'd travel 5-10 miles for a $40 dollar job. It depends on the market and how bad you need the money. I just did a 5500 sq ft job for $25 which was 7 miles from my house, and won the bid on a 14,500 sq ft property for bi-weekly service at $62 and the house is 8 miles away from me. I like to think I'm in the middle range for my pricing compared to others in my area. I only have a few accounts but I haven't had a customer yet bargin down the price.

After giving one customer my price they asked if I used my own equipment, so little confused about that one. I carry my business license and copy of insurance policy in my clipboard but have not had any customers ask to see them.

32vld
04-23-2011, 10:08 AM
Depending on the type of driving my jeep or yukon xl can go 15 to 20 miles on a gallon. That's $4 there. $4 back. A 1/4 acre is going to use another $2 gas in the equipment.

To make $30 it would be worth it.
That's another $840 at the end of the season, plus the potential for extras: aerate, fall seeding, fall clean up, fert, lime, etc.

The big "if ?"

Operating at capacity?

Operating below capacity?

Area want to expand into?

Area don't want to expand into?

jsslawncare
04-23-2011, 10:10 AM
It costs me .27 per mile to operate my truck when gas is $3.69. I don't travel outside my county. $40 sounds good to me.

ALC-GregH
04-23-2011, 10:18 AM
Since I am just starting up and need the money pretty badly I'd travel 5-10 miles for a $40 dollar job. It depends on the market and how bad you need the money. I just did a 5500 sq ft job for $25 which was 7 miles from my house, and won the bid on a 14,500 sq ft property for bi-weekly service at $62 and the house is 8 miles away from me. I like to think I'm in the middle range for my pricing compared to others in my area. I only have a few accounts but I haven't had a customer yet bargain down the price.

After giving one customer my price they asked if I used my own equipment, so little confused about that one. I carry my business license and copy of insurance policy in my clipboard but have not had any customers ask to see them.

First in bold, sounds like your prices are on the low side. If you're getting every job chances are, your pricing is too low and you're leaving money on the table.

Bold #2, you probably will never have a residential customer ask you for proof of insurance/business license. Even a lot of commercial places won't bother asking.

I drive over 30 miles to cut one place for $50 a week. The thing is, I do a ton of other work for them that more then makes up for the distance driving.

Darryl G
04-23-2011, 10:27 AM
I voted for 3 to 5 miles but it depends where it is too. Some areas are kind of congesting around me in the summer since I'm down on the shore, so I avoid some areas entirely. Not only can it be time consuming to get there, once you get there parking with a trailer becomes an issue.

rkeguy
04-23-2011, 01:40 PM
[QUOTE=ALC-GregH;3999741] Sounds like your prices are on the low side. If you're getting every job chances are, your pricing is too low and you're leaving money on the table.

Thanks for the feedback. To figure out my prices I contacted small lawn care service to bid on 7200 sq ft yard which they priced at $25 wkly, then I contacted large company to bid on same yard and they priced at $35 wkly. So I divided price by sq ft for each bid and came up with multiplier, then added those two multiplers and divided by 2 and came up with .0042. So when I go to lawn and use my surveyor wheel to determine sq ft, I then multiple sq ft by .0042. I then will add to price if lot has alot of items to trim around.

I was helped by another member on this site on how to get the multipler and I think it's a good starting point while learning how to bid.

I'm still learning the bidding game but glad to be making something at this point. I'll take all the advice I can get so all information that I've been provided with on this site is much appreciated.

Didn't mean to hijack this thread but wanted to give example of my bidding so I can learn from it by everyones feedback.

Darryl G
04-23-2011, 01:55 PM
Multiplier smultiplier, lol. I try to figure out how long it will take. Thats depends on a lot of factors...access, density of the grass, amount of obstacles, amount of trimming and blowing etc. I have a 1 acre lawn priced at $55 and a 5k square foot lawn priced at $40. The one acre lot does have a small fruit tree grove but otherwise it's wide open mowing. The 5k lawn is tight maneuvering, has lots of trimming and the customer is very picky. If i used your multiplier I'd be at $168 for the 1 acre lot and $21 for the 5k lawn.

So basically I'd caution against using a flat multiplier unless you're going to also use a difficulty factor or other multiplier to account for other variables.

NJT
04-23-2011, 02:06 PM
I haul my 8 foot trailer with my Honda Civic, so I'd go pretty far.

rkeguy
04-23-2011, 04:18 PM
Multiplier smultiplier, lol. I try to figure out how long it will take. Thats depends on a lot of factors...access, density of the grass, amount of obstacles, amount of trimming and blowing etc. I have a 1 acre lawn priced at $55 and a 5k square foot lawn priced at $40. The one acre lot does have a small fruit tree grove but otherwise it's wide open mowing. The 5k lawn is tight maneuvering, has lots of trimming and the customer is very picky. If i used your multiplier I'd be at $168 for the 1 acre lot and $21 for the 5k lawn.

So basically I'd caution against using a flat multiplier unless you're going to also use a difficulty factor or other multiplier to account for other variables.

That you for the feedback Darryl. I will take into account the number of obstacles and factor that into pricing.

Wiedmann
04-23-2011, 05:14 PM
I travel between 20 and 30 miles for a $35 yard. In doing so I hope they recommend me to other family or friends so i can possibly gain more accounts in that area.

weeze
04-23-2011, 05:20 PM
well if i drove 20 miles there and 20 back home that would be 2 gallons of gas in my truck which is close to $8...so i would still make $32 and maybe use $2 of gas for the mower/trimmer/blower....i would say 20miles would be the limit but that is really my limit no matter what unless it's like 5 yards all in the same day or some bigger commercial type job or something

M&SLawnCare
04-23-2011, 05:47 PM
I travel between 20 and 30 miles for a $35 yard. In doing so I hope they recommend me to other family or friends so i can possibly gain more accounts in that area.

30 miles? Thats 60 round trip. At over 4.00 for diesel and 10 mpg, thats 24 bucks just in gas traveling. Add in your other expenses and you'll make more working at wallmart.

As Darryl said though forget the square foot multiplier idea. Walk the property and come up with an idea of how long its going to take you, then use that times your hourly rate to figure out a price (don't tell the customer your hourly rate or time estimate, just the final price). I try and keep my route to under 5 miles for basic mowing unless its a larger job.

Darryl G
04-23-2011, 06:13 PM
well if i drove 20 miles there and 20 back home that would be 2 gallons of gas in my truck which is close to $8...so i would still make $32 and maybe use $2 of gas for the mower/trimmer/blower....i would say 20miles would be the limit but that is really my limit no matter what unless it's like 5 yards all in the same day or some bigger commercial type job or something

I guess you don't value your time?

Wiedmann
04-23-2011, 06:39 PM
[QUOTE=M&SLawnCare;4000300]30 miles? Thats 60 round trip. At over 4.00 for diesel and 10 mpg, thats 24 bucks just in gas traveling. Add in your other expenses and you'll make more working at wallmart.


I get better than 10 mpg in the truck i used.. I figure you have to start some where and if this yard that i travel farther for opens more doors then why not do it? I can go in and win all the yards i bid because of low ballers so i have to sometimes take what i can get. Id rather travel a little than sit at home and do nothing.

SLMGT
04-23-2011, 07:05 PM
I would tie the $40 job in with other jobs to minimize the distance I travel to any job. Any new clients put my crews in a new area which means new potential to grow. We have done work at break even prices just to get into the right sub-division for the exposure.:usflag:

Jims Lawncare
04-23-2011, 07:51 PM
15-20 miles...still clear $30 and possible pick up several more accounts in the area.

rain man
04-23-2011, 10:23 PM
Depends on where you're at. 5-10 miles beats sitting at home all day. You're at least being seen and you might build a route.

On the other hand...5-10 does not beat 2-3 blocks.

weeze
04-24-2011, 01:05 AM
I guess you don't value your time?

right now i have spare time so it's not an issue...if my schedule was full then i wouldn't take any new jobs no matter what lol...well now that i think about it i probably wouldn't do it...for some reason i was thinking 20miles round trip

justanotherlawnguy
04-24-2011, 02:01 AM
Is the job 40 miles away and the sole reason for driving so far?

40 miles is far, that's like Tampa to spring hill here locally. That's a loooong way to drive to make no money. After spending $20 bucks on gas and 2 hours of time, sounds like a loser deal all the way around. As far as taking a job that far and hoping that it brings in additional accounts, I wouldn't hold my breath.

I have accounts that ive done for years in particular places where it's the best looking lawn on the street and have never even gotten a call from any neighbors. No big deal, but other jobs we do are close by.

I would rather sit at home or work out then waste the time and effort to do 1 yard 40 miles away. Why is it even a question? It's just common sense, plus its bad business, your setting yourself up for failure with this kind of a vision.
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