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wolfe04
01-30-2012, 02:26 PM
Looking over last years numbers. I put out alot more in wages last year than the year before with only modest increases in profit. I need to tighten something up!! Wondering what you guys pay your workers per hour? I have been paying my foreman $12 and other worker $9 (first year for both of them). Is that too high or am I about in line?

orangemower
01-30-2012, 02:31 PM
That's about right. You can't go backwards with a employee wage. I wouldn't look there, I'd look at what you charge to cut a lawn with 3 guys working.

wolfe04
01-30-2012, 02:37 PM
I will be starting with new employees this season. Assuming they dont have much experience, what would you start them at?

orangemower
01-30-2012, 02:42 PM
What happened to the other two guys? You should be trying to hold on to guys if they are working out OK. I'd be at what you already said. $9-12hr. Who wants to work their butt off in the sweltering heat for $300 a week (if you're working 40hrs a week)? I know I don't. I make more in two days then I did in a week turning wrenches!

meets1
01-30-2012, 06:08 PM
Location will determine alot of where your wages are. I struggle with this as well. I had a kid/guy for for us off and on - he helped this year with snow removal -shovel crew. I usually pay my guys more for snow cuzz its balls to the wall - alot of accounts, commerical, residential drives, alot of uptown businesses with walks only, steps, etc. Anyway - he is at $10 $8.50 during summer, he wanted $15 or forget it. I said thanks but c ya. Now this person is always on a phone, never goes down the list, never wants to drive, there are even times when I show up - crossing paths - I help out he is sitting in passenger seat sleeping cuz he's tired. I told him the other day, our local grocery store is hiring - starting min wage - he said good at least he can slack off there.

Az Gardener
01-30-2012, 06:39 PM
The question you should really be asking is what % of your revenue was paid to labor, and what are others %, and what is the industry average. You also need to be comparing apples to apples. A maint only company that is just selling labor will have a higher labor % than a design build company that purchases lots of product to put in the ground. This should overcome the regional differences in wages. I would be curious to know what those %'s are myself. My goal for next year I believe will be 30% labor average. I am still working on how to make that happen. I was way over that last year.

Glenn Lawn Care
01-30-2012, 06:45 PM
Around here guys with no experience start at $10/hr which is fair. When
I was a foreman for a company I was making $14/hr. I have a buddy who runs a mowing crew and last I heard he was getting $17/hr. Another buddy who works for the same outfit ran a landscape crew and he was getting over $20/hr.

Bunton Guy
01-30-2012, 06:46 PM
I've found just like many things you get what you pay for. Pay higher wages and maybe you will find more qualified workers. I won't hire anyone without some sort of past history working in our industry.

bj1bmx
02-12-2012, 11:24 AM
i pay my brother $17 an hour to run the lawn crew in NJ. he drives the truck and rides/pushes the mower. he has been with me for 6 years.

the other helper(s) uses the weed wacker. these guys have been with me for 3+ years. they get $15 an hour.

all of this is on the books and is a huge expenses relative to gross income when you factor in workers comp, payroll taxes, etc. but it has given me the time to pursue another full time job. i completely trust these guys and would not be able to pay anyone less for the same service...

you can start guys at $10-12 an hour around here but they're not going to last more than a season. the work is too hard for the wages..

CUSTOMLAWN10
02-12-2012, 01:05 PM
Istart at $7.50 per hour for high school/inexperianced/seasonal, but i use sales incentives to increase bonus packages for increases sales. My highest paid guy in maintnencace makes 15.00, but there are criterea for that. Chem lic, cdl, equipment expeirance, certification etc.

Higer paid employees only get back what they put in. I, like everyone, else is looking for longterm people who make our business their highest priorty, so make there job a personal, spiritual, fulfilling experiance.

WHIPPLE5.7
02-12-2012, 02:01 PM
Someone worth having around and is reliable is worth $12. If you can't pay that there is a problem with your program. Anyone not worth $12 needs to get on down the road to Taco Bell. $8-$10 is BS for continous labor. I'm solo but on the occasions where I needed some help I paid them about $15ish because I knew I couldn't get it done without them. I had a couple kids give the run around on show time or even the day of the week to do the job and they got axed faster than you blink. Got no tolerance for that crap. Someone who doesn't play little games and produces is worth $12 easily.

Flex-Deck
02-12-2012, 03:39 PM
We pay the employees $13/hr from the time they leave AM until they return PM and my wife and I are paid $15/hr. Counting Wages, Workman's Comp, SS match, the wages total 33% of gross. I am happy with that, and they are happy with their wage, and thus are very loyal.

WHIPPLE5.7
02-12-2012, 04:06 PM
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martinlawn29
02-12-2012, 05:13 PM
top guy 20 per hour
crew leader 16 per hour
mowers 12 per hour

Grzube
02-12-2012, 08:43 PM
We pay our foreman $18/hr+bonus
crew leader $16/hr
labourer/11.50-13/hr

Set Apart Lawn Care
02-12-2012, 09:01 PM
I pay first year guys with little to no experience 8-9 an hour, 2nd years or guys with experience $12, and crew supervisors get $15-$20.

My dad works for me and he gets $16 as a crew supervisor. I pay him that even when he is on my crew. When it is just he and I we can cut around $700 in a 9-10 hour day. I had to new guys on a crew with me last year paying them each $10 an hour and we could only cut $600 in the same amount of time. Doing the math that is a $150 gross loss PER DAY! Moral of the story, it pays to pay guys who can think a couple steps ahead and have some umph in their step!!

I am struggling right now with adding another guy to my crew or starting a new crew. It seems like you make the highest profit per man with 1 two man crew. The third guy doesn't seem to add that much net profit and there a lot of expenses to starting a 2nd crew.

Grzube
02-12-2012, 09:14 PM
We only run 2 man crews, more profit, the 3rd guy at the end of the day, well you might save 1.5 hrs. The only benefit to a 3 man crew is on 40.000 sq ft lots and larger.

Minister Bob
02-17-2012, 10:09 AM
You guys are all in the ballpark, regional differences adjusted. 33% is the chunk that wages should be. Most of you seem to know how not to waste them. Two man crews for sure are best except for those very big jobs. Each lawn should flow with work from start to finish. That is each person should know his assignment and where to pick up the slack. Let each one know your mission goal which should be "We all finish at the same time." "Rest time is when we're riding between jobs." I hope this helps you folks.

Patriot Services
02-17-2012, 10:25 AM
Looking over last years numbers. I put out alot more in wages last year than the year before with only modest increases in profit. I need to tighten something up!! Wondering what you guys pay your workers per hour? I have been paying my foreman $12 and other worker $9 (first year for both of them). Is that too high or am I about in line?

It sounds like you are at the point of saturation. The guys have reached their physical limits of output. Are you looking at other things that can cause diminished returns, such as higher overhead?:usflag:

Wright48
02-17-2012, 02:50 PM
i pay all helpers 10 minimum or they wont stay because they can go to a deli or resturant and make 9 and its less work. I usally pay guys with experiance like 12 -14 and the forman makes 16. If you dont pay they wont stay.when you get good workers you gotta keep em because there hard to find

meets1
02-17-2012, 05:58 PM
That is true. One of our summer helpers quit. I gave him $8.50. He is going to grocery store. Miin. wage. He said then I dont have to work as hard, I can slack off, and he really didnt care. Good help is golden but I hate it when they play the I need a raise card 4 months into the work and then threaten or else I go elsewhere. After all were dealing with mower help, my landscape/construction help gets more but they have the know-how, tools, etc.

gladi8r
03-03-2012, 03:38 AM
Gotta be able to see the situation from 'outside the box'. How much would you be willing to work for, as hard as *we* need to work to DO IT RIGHT *and* make a profit? $10/hr? 12/hr? 15/hr?

The answer is easy- at $10/hr or less, you're gonna get what you pay for- entry level people who aren't going to be there for very long. All those hours you spent training them how to do it 'your way'? Wasted.

Simply put, if you're going to run a *professional* LCO, you have to find and/or train qualified professionals and pay them what they're worth. Too much overhead? Time to raise prices.

That's the long and short of it- you'll never find someone as dedicated to *your* company as *yourself*. You'll never find a more profitable way of doing it than doing it *yourself*. Once you accept this, and adjust your prices to what they need to be at to be profitable, (or raise your standards to justify the price if need be) then you can grow.

Very few people will work as hard as we do for the wages we can afford to pay. Period. Find them (or train them), pay them well, and adjust your business model to fit them in. The only other way to do it profitably is to do it yourself, with no help.

scotts lawn care
03-03-2012, 09:07 AM
I have always thought that people would rather work outside in the fresh air,

then be stuck inside a grocery store - for the same wages.

Patriot Services
03-03-2012, 09:08 AM
I have always thought that people would rather work outside in the fresh air,

then be stuck inside a grocery store - for the same wages.

Not in florida.:usflag:

scotts lawn care
03-03-2012, 09:29 AM
Not in florida.:usflag:
Good point, my parents live in winter haven, FL. They tell me about the 9 months

of heat down there - i dont know how they handle it! :dizzy:

meets1
03-03-2012, 01:52 PM
All said and true but I also think kids of this generation - age level 16 - 22 have no idea what work is, how to work, what to do or handle anything. Sure start them out at a higher rate - 12 - 14 / hour thinking if I pay more , they stay longer and will like the work/do good job/be decent employee - - NO. Mommy and Daddy have this and have that I got this and I got that - what they gave it to me - now you want me to work to what.......buy my onw things - no mommy and daddy do that for me.

OR I have things priotized - new guy starts with shovel, trimmer, blower, wheelbarral, etc. They are not a machine, drive a truck, or go runn errands - there the new guy who needs to learn something - but now they cry - when do I get to drive truck, skid, tractor, or as some say it when do I get a "*****" to work under me. Attitude my friends. I don t care if mommy has a new car, daddy has a new boat - there 50+ yrs old now sure go for it but you are a little wimpersnapper that needs a kick in the asc.

Patriot Services
03-03-2012, 01:56 PM
Sense of entitlement seems to be a common attitude with all ages these days.
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Salcido Lawn
03-04-2012, 10:17 AM
I pay my guys per day. I start my guys out at $80 per day (I only hire guys with experience!) My lead foreman makes $104 a day. It took a little convincing to switch them over to this pay scale, but they really like it in the winter, because I pay them for 5 days of work, even when they only work 3!
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meets1
03-04-2012, 10:51 AM
Ya no I was talking with a past employee over the weekend about this issue. I asked what he was making now, if he cared to shae which he did not. He then told me me that if I was to hire a college educated person he should get $14 - $20 an hour cuz they have an education. High school grad $8 - $14 but never no more. Well in the mix was a contractor friend who has 12 guys employyed, he starts guys out at $10 with no expereince and they work the concrete forming crew, the roofing crew, grunt work till he see's there true value. He didnt care if they had a PH D or GED. The past employee thought we were cheats doing it this way. I would much rather have the hard working drop out kid cuz they have a point to prove that they can. College kids may need to make loan payments but suddeenly think there worth gold. ITs like during the summer I would rather hure the city kid to work than a farm kid cuzz farm kids are to used to the easy life with dad on the farm with big equipment, running equipment and going to drink coffee. Gone are th days of shoveling out the barn, balinig hay or walking beans. There to used to the money and ease of life that is what they expect when they work with us. A famer recently asked me to hire his kid this summer - I said gee 10K acres, roughly 5000 head cattle at one location, and thats what I know about I said why - he said his kid needs to learn the value of hard work and not riding a four wheeler all day just looking at cattle. Entitlement is big part of this I beleive.

Salcido Lawn
03-04-2012, 10:59 AM
I could care less about education. I know a lot of educated dummies! I would rather hire a high school drop out with a good work ethic and integrity.
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205mx
03-04-2012, 12:13 PM
All said and true but I also think kids of this generation - age level 16 - 22 have no idea what work is, how to work, what to do or handle anything. Sure start them out at a higher rate - 12 - 14 / hour thinking if I pay more , they stay longer and will like the work/do good job/be decent employee - - NO. Mommy and Daddy have this and have that I got this and I got that - what they gave it to me - now you want me to work to what.......buy my onw things - no mommy and daddy do that for me.

OR I have things priotized - new guy starts with shovel, trimmer, blower, wheelbarral, etc. They are not a machine, drive a truck, or go runn errands - there the new guy who needs to learn something - but now they cry - when do I get to drive truck, skid, tractor, or as some say it when do I get a "*****" to work under me. Attitude my friends. I don t care if mommy has a new car, daddy has a new boat - there 50+ yrs old now sure go for it but you are a little wimpersnapper that needs a kick in the asc.

I'm 20 years old man. I live in Brentwood, TN, my parents live down on the south side of birmingham alabama, thats 3 hours away. I have no daddy or mommy doing anything for me. I moved here because I saw the potential for work here and to chase a girl. (fiance) I have no debt and dont borrow money. Im offended by your statement. my rent is 1200 / month. I work 50 hours per week and take 5 courses at the university. We arent all bad workers. It has to do with the type of father you have. If you have a weak father you have that type of lazy kid. My dad made me work. always. NEVER gave me money even though we lived in a $400,000 home. Not all kids are rich and lazy.

Id be willing to bet that I can out work most 30+ year olds

Salcido Lawn
03-04-2012, 12:28 PM
Don't get me wrong, I didn't say that I wouldn't hire a college educated person. I was simply stating that a lot of them have an attitude of entitlement. I'm college educated, but I worked HARD for everything that I have!! I have had a full time job since I was 13 yrs old. I HAVE hired college educated people in the past. All I'm saying is, I won't hire someone, just because they have a college education. If someone without a college education is more qualified, I would hire them.
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meets1
03-04-2012, 03:53 PM
Daddy boy statement in general my friend. Out work 30 year olds - well game on I guess. In my area that is the norm. I have 3 boys. I see first hand how that is done. If yur that good - best of luck. No offense taken 205mx.
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