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View Full Version : What am I worth?


tropicallawn1
11-25-2011, 10:07 PM
Hello friends, after 26 years as an owner/operator I learned the "all your eggs in one basket" lesson the hard way. I went to work with a much larger company and run a crew of six and service 450 addresses (HOA) weekly. Other duties include: dealing with clients, open/close shop, irrigation repairs, equip. maint., material purchase, etc, ect. I am being paid a salary of $600 and am averaging 55 hours per week. Please don't get me wrong, i'm happy to be working and am 100% dedicated to what ever I do. My question, am I worth more to a larger company? p.s I did keep all my equipment.

Thanks for any input!

Patriot Services
11-25-2011, 10:13 PM
I would say you are grossly underpaid.
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knox gsl
11-25-2011, 10:14 PM
What happened to your customer base, should have some good ones after that long.

tropicallawn1
11-25-2011, 10:26 PM
I was servicing twelve shopping centers under two property managers for over ten years. Well, when the economy went south so did they. Jobs went out to bid and lost it all.

THEGOLDPRO
11-25-2011, 10:29 PM
You should be making atleast $800 per week with the responsibilities you have

tropicallawn1
11-26-2011, 12:38 PM
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stang2244
11-26-2011, 12:44 PM
Aren't there laws against salaried employees consistently working over 40 hours? I don't know for sure but this is what I've heard in other areas on this site. I would be EXTREMELY happy to have my main guy working 55 hours a week and it only costing me $600. That would cost me $937.50 with overtime with what I'm paying my main guy right now. I would think long and hard about how much responsibility you have and how many hours you are working for what you are being compensated.

tropicallawn1
11-26-2011, 12:49 PM
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Thanks for your opinions guys, they are exactly what I was thinking. I'm considering saving this thread and using it for ammo in the spring. A couple more responses would really be appreciated. BTW, I recently alerted her of a 100k install job which looks promising, I can sell too! Thanks! Trop
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Landscape Poet
11-26-2011, 01:01 PM
I would say you are grossly underpaid.
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True but what is also accurate is that he is most likely working for one of the larger operations. I have heard VC is bad, Brickman pays like dirt.


Assuming he is working the full 55 hours and he is not including his lunch breaks etc. He is close to $11 a hour

I can tell you from personal experience recently - he is most likely about average for a lead.

I put a craigslist ad up this summer for help. $8.50 a hour. I had 55 applicants the first day. Included were a guy who had 8 years in as a assistant golf course super, a couple of guys that had over 10 years in on property maint. at the theme parks or with larger crews that did some of the more well cared for resorts in the area.

The guy I have now - $8.50 a hour - works 4 10's and is happy as hell not to be unemployed after 2 years of it or driving all the way to orlando for slightly better pay if better at all. Has over 15 years in with theme parks as well as some of the larger area companies so came equipped with knowledge of how to function the equipment and the conditions we work in, shows up on time, usually 15 minutes early to be exact. Does not ***** about much, job related anyways. The best part was his Dad was a head horticulturalist at one of the local gardens - so he has gained a good amount of knowledge from him over the years and can be trusted to properly prune and take care of customers landscape.

The economy sucks - until that changes - who ever has the cash rules. What the OP's boss like it or not is what is happening all over America. High unemployment means a steady flow of quality applicants ready to work. In many corporations - they have essentially eliminated many positions - this work was therefor just passed on to those who remained. The company is essentially just as profitable many times but blames the economy and this allows them to justify lowering their overhead. Sad fact yes :rolleyes: but reality YES. :rolleyes:
The reality is that most likely this workers will essentially continue to do the work once done by two employees, be happy to do so as long as they have a job, and do so until the economy changes again and the labor demand goes up and the supply goes down and companies at that time will pay more to attract the additional help or someone who will have no issues doing the additional work at the same rate or slightly higher.

ed2hess
11-26-2011, 06:27 PM
Aren't there laws against salaried employees consistently working over 40 hours? I don't know for sure but this is what I've heard in other areas on this site. I would be EXTREMELY happy to have my main guy working 55 hours a week and it only costing me $600. That would cost me $937.50 with overtime with what I'm paying my main guy right now. I would think long and hard about how much responsibility you have and how many hours you are working for what you are being compensated.
I think the idea of putting the main guy on salary is to give him some security that he gets a pay check 52 weeks a year. This guy didn't tell us he is working 55 hours year round but it doesn't matter. And I think salary in Florida is probably close to Texas so I would say you are getting about the average.

Darryl G
11-26-2011, 06:38 PM
Aren't there laws against salaried employees consistently working over 40 hours?

Nope, not anywhere I know of anyway. You do whatever is necessary to get the job done on salary. I wish I only worked 55 hour/wk when I had a salaried job!

Patriot Services
11-26-2011, 06:51 PM
The FLSA website is chock full of facts regarding labor laws. A salaried employee has no legal limit to the hours he can be required to work. A salaried person by definition has to be a high level position supervising at least two subordinate workers. Guys that try to salary regular crew members are asking for a lawsuit.
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tropicallawn1
11-26-2011, 08:12 PM
Honestly I really don't mind the hours, as a previous owner I fully understand how salary works. And Michael, point well taken. The company I'm with employees around twenty and is absolutely ran better than most. I like the idea of working with a rapidly growing business than going with the VC's.
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M & L
11-26-2011, 10:59 PM
Did I miss something???
If the 11$ an hour math is right im payin my guy too much.

I pay him 12$ an hr.

He can complete any lawn maintenance service and knows the route.

However he cant drive truck and trailer combo and doesnt supervise.

So he doesnt even come close to what it sounds like you can do.

A friend of mine has a kid for 15$ an hr. Same thing but he can drive truck and trailer.

of course im in the ridiculous new england area

I cant even find good help for 10$ hr

every wants to start at 20$ with zero knowledge


Curious, why did you give up your own route?

lawnman_scott
11-26-2011, 11:09 PM
Aren't there laws against salaried employees consistently working over 40 hours? I don't know for sure but this is what I've heard in other areas on this site. I would be EXTREMELY happy to have my main guy working 55 hours a week and it only costing me $600. That would cost me $937.50 with overtime with what I'm paying my main guy right now. I would think long and hard about how much responsibility you have and how many hours you are working for what you are being compensated.

The only law is that a salaried employee has to at least make min wage.

CrimsonMaintenance
12-25-2011, 09:25 PM
Supers are only worth what the company is willing to pay them. Keep in mind that $12/hr is quite different amounts in areas with different cost of living. Crew leaders here get $10/hr and are guaranteed 40 hrs and average 50. Crew get $7.50-8.50.

xclusive
12-26-2011, 12:12 PM
I think you deserve more, but you have to remember every area has different cost of living. By me its hard to find some one with experience using equipment that is legal for less than $12/hr with no drivers license. Even people with no experience think they should get more per hour in this industry.

PROCUT1
12-27-2011, 02:12 PM
Depends on the area. When I was in NY, a mow/trim guy was in tthe 10-12 range.

Now in TN, 7.50-8 all day long. A guy supervising 4 crews or so may get 12

weeze
12-27-2011, 05:55 PM
yeah down south here a crew lawn person barely makes more than minimum wage which is $7.25 i think....they make about $8 per hr on average. a good job not requiring a degree around here pays in the $10-$12 range and a lucky few make $15-$18 per hr in a job not requiring a degree.

nepatsfan
12-27-2011, 07:27 PM
You would make $16-$22 an hour here. Bare min $800 a week on salary for those kind of hours.

Landscape Poet
12-27-2011, 08:11 PM
You would make $16-$22 an hour here. Bare min $800 a week on salary for those kind of hours.

But I am sure his housing cost along with many other of life's other major expenses will tend to be much higher too. Central FL has a affordable cost of living compared to much of the eastern cost of the U.S - the down side is that wages are generally lower.

To the OP. My advice for you would be to maybe start back on your own picking up accounts close to home that you can knock out during your off days if they are consistent and would allow you to do these accounts in a proper manner.

Then when you can break back out on your own - and you have these accounts to at least help while you get reestablished. Sounds like you got burned before as you said with all your eggs in one basket, so maybe stick with residential where there is a little more loyalty and if you lose one account it is not going to send you back out of the business.
I feel if you are willing to give it another go - you will and I would bet that you know that you can far exceed your current salary in a years time, although the getting established period will be rough, I have no doubt that you can do it if your have good salesmanship and good service to back it up.

straightlineland
02-16-2012, 10:48 PM
Maybe i misunderstood something here. But you said you were an owner/operator. Therefore you are getting paid by each account. I believe labor laws generally do not apply owners. You almost sound like a sub-contractor.

With that being said, if you were are an employee, we start foreman at $600.00/week and go up from there based on performance, crew size, length with company, etc. They average about 45 to 60 hours a week during the season. They get health insurance, 1 week paid vacation, and company cell phone. They also work year round in the shop during the winter and plowing. They average 30hrs a week in the winter at their normal pay rate. They also get paid for plowing time.

Our foreman also are included in management discussions regarding company policy, etc. they choose crew members, they discipline crew members, which are all legal requirements if they are too be "salaried".