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View Full Version : residential lawn mowing pricing in upstate ny


cntryboymc
06-14-2003, 05:09 PM
i am a part time lawn landscaper.i have late model john deere and stihl equipment.i feel that i do very good work at a reasonable price. my problem is this:how do i know if im charging to little or too much.mowers in my area charge from $20-$40 hr.i try to look at how along a yard will take and estimate from there.i am asking this because i recently mowed a lawn for a surgeon who had about an acre of lawn.the lawn had a lot of landscaped beds,a pool,and fencing to deal with.not to mention grass was extremely high.i charged $85 and it took2.5 hrs.this included picking up debris,mowing,string trimming,blowing off driveway,and raking up excess grass clippings.any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

brucec32
06-18-2003, 02:48 AM
I've heard some things here and there that indicate that the economy isn't too hot there. But here in Atlanta, with a ZTR, not a lawn tractor or wb, 2.5 hours on-site would be more like $120, at least. And I haven't had to rake clippings up in years. Try to arrange it so you get back in time to be able to disperse them with your mower as you mow. Much faster.

Ax Man
06-18-2003, 08:18 AM
I'm in a more depressed area than you, and get about 50% more.
You have a few things to do.
Keep a log of time on each job.
Measure each job completely.
Figure what your costs of doing business are.
Some math, and you should be profitable.
It's tough working in an area where people figure they can make a little money to help pay for thier new mower. But I can tell you for sure that at 20 per hour you won't even have enough to pay the tax man after you get done with imediate expenses, let alone your self.
Drop me a line if you need more help. I'm only an hour away.

AztlanLC
06-18-2003, 01:18 PM
I think the price was right, is only the equipment that you used that will keep you from getting more per hour.

New york weather is really hard for this type of business, most times at the beggining of the season you so much grow that you find yourself double cutting or even worse bagging, the along comes july-august when it gets real hot and grass doesn't grow to the point that they don't want you to mow it, again we're in september-october and grass star to grow a lot, same deal that april-may and part of june.

If we had a real steady season with moderate rain and and not so hot weather we would acchive about 28 cuts per season, plus spring clean up and fall clean up, but we don't in 9 year that I have been doing this kind of bussiness we usually average 20 to 23 cuts per season, that's is the reason that I only take customes by contract, set price for the whole year, if I double cut at the beggining of the season and it takes longer I'll make up in the summer months when I spot mow or I don't mow at all, I base my prices on the 28 cuts.



"We only have 8 months on the season, then july-august doesn't grow that leaves me with six, I pay my bill and feed my family for 12 months on a year, not six, I can only take full time customers. For couple of years I had over 100 customers and I was making lot less money than now that I have 100, the ones that didn't want to become yearly contracts I just told'em good bye, some came back some didn't but that was the best decision that I have made in my business.

cntryboymc
06-19-2003, 12:21 AM
ok guys,let me give you my situation.im 23 years old,live at home,no wife ,kids,etc.i mowed lawns since eighth grade as a job.i went to college after high school and became an auto mechanic at a ford dealer.i currently mow 10 lawns and plow the same number of driveways.im cautious to take on more work due to my first job.i would love to mow,plow,etc full time.i feel that i have a good supply of late model equipment and a good work ethic.any thoughts/suggestions/risks?what should i look at as far as health and liability insurances go?how do you claim for income tax?what is the best way to bid on jobs? any help would be greatly appreciated!

pottstim
06-19-2003, 02:24 AM
Countryboy,
Your situation is very similar to mine. I see that you live in Auburn, NY, what a small world. I'm from Elmira, NY originally, but I live Tennessee now. Almost 2 years ago, I spent about 10 days with some good friends just outside of Auburn in Niles. We went down to the famous "Swabbys" in downtown Auburn for a beer, and I got to see the famous electric chair. :D Pretty cool place. Just though I'd share that with you. Best of luck.

cntryboymc
06-20-2003, 01:57 AM
where are you from in tn.?i went to college in nashville and visit the bristol area for nascar races.

pottstim
06-20-2003, 11:37 PM
countryboy,
I live in the Jefferson City/Morristown area, which is 30 miles or so NE of Knoxville. This area is about 90 miles to the SW of Bristol Motor Speedway. I also go to the Winston Cup races at Bristol when I can get tickets. Did you go to Nashville Auto Diesel College? Holler back at me sometime.

cntryboymc
06-23-2003, 12:04 AM
yes i did go to nadc.pretty good school,but ive learned a lot more in the field.do you mow full time?any thoughts suggestions on going full time?

pottstim
06-23-2003, 12:53 AM
countryboy,
Right now, I'm just doing this part-time. I work a full-time job at a newspaper as a pressman. Right now I'm just concentrating on getting my feet wet and learning all I can. If things go right for me, there is a chance I may do this full-time in the future. I've been mowing lawns on and off since I was 13 years old, and I still enjoy doing it. So, I figured what the heck and went out and bought a commercial walkbehind and a trailer all in the past 2 weeks. So far, I'm doing 3 yards, and I had 2 more inquiries this week. Things are going pretty decent. Being as I'm working full-time, I've set my limit at around 7 lawns. The single best thing about my full-time job is the Blue Cross/Blue shield health insurance. It is 100% paid by the company. That would be the only disadvantage in going into the lawn business full-time. I do believe that I need more experience in the field before I can do this full-time. That way, I can provide my customers the best service I can, and establish a good, stable business for myself.

brucec32
06-23-2003, 07:48 PM
Originally posted by cntryboymc
ok guys,let me give you my situation.im 23 years old,live at home,no wife ,kids,etc.i mowed lawns since eighth grade as a job.i went to college after high school and became an auto mechanic at a ford dealer.i currently mow 10 lawns and plow the same number of driveways.im cautious to take on more work due to my first job.i would love to mow,plow,etc full time.i feel that i have a good supply of late model equipment and a good work ethic.any thoughts/suggestions/risks?what should i look at as far as health and liability insurances go?how do you claim for income tax?what is the best way to bid on jobs? any help would be greatly appreciated!

I'm curious. What's wrong with working at Ford? Seems like you've already done the hardest part, learning how.

cntryboymc
06-26-2003, 02:10 AM
working at ford is ok,but the money i make mowing and plowing is a lot better.