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View Full Version : Leaves - Walk Behind With Bagger vs Z With Vac System


Darryl G
10-31-2003, 11:40 PM
As some of you may know, I recently upgraded from running an Exmark 48 in. Turf Tracer HP w/ 17 Kawi and Accelelerator catcher to a 52 in. Lazer ZHP with the 23 Kawi and Ultravac. Clean-ups and definitely faster now. The problem is I don't know how much faster. I do almost all of my clean-ups by the hour and want to up my rate accordingly.

My question is, for leaf clean-ups, how much more productive do you think the Lazer & Vac is over the Turf Tracer? And how much more should I charge to bring it along on clean-ups?

I think it's up to 50% faster, but that doesn't mean I can raise my rate that much. I'll be too high on those properties where I'm using only blowers or have little use for it. But I don't want to charge too little and end up getting paid less than I did last year! And I really don't want to lump sum clean-ups.

I was thinking along the lines of $10/hr, bringing it to $55 for regular mow customers and $60 for non-regulars. That's what I've been telling people. And as a special bonus, they also get the 2003 Chevy over the 1985....I can't charge more for that too, can I? :)

stevo22
11-01-2003, 05:36 AM
you are wanting to charge $10/hr for leaf cleanup????why not charge the same rates you were charging w/ the w/b...now you will be getting done much quicker and can do much more volume...consider this scenario---say you charge 45 to cut a yard that takes you 50 to 70 mins to mow w/ a 21incher...you purchase say a 48-52 w/b and do the same yard in say 28-32mins...do you drop your price b/c less time is spent...not no but he11 no...object is to get the best/quickest equipment for the applications you have...i know if i had a leaf cleanup that took 4-5 hrs i would not touch it for less than 275-375...price by the job on leaves not by the hr...jmo...

David Haggerty
11-01-2003, 06:16 AM
Originally posted by stevo22
you are wanting to charge $10/hr for leaf cleanup????

Noooo....He's wanting to charge $10 MORE than he was. I just don't think it's enough.
If the ZTR is twice as fast as the WB, bill twice the old amount.

What you're going to have to do is what Maple City said in one of her posts. Quit using the "blanket cost" for your overhead. One price for the WB another for the ZTR. (With a little bit of "truck" in each one) :D

Look at my set up. I have two leaf set ups. A 36" WB with a mulch plate and a catcher. OR...I have a 16.5' Toro 580-D with a leaf mulcher attachment. I have to charge two different rates on the same job!

Dave

locutus
11-01-2003, 08:19 AM
Correct Stevo, Increased effeciency is neither given back to your customers nor charged to them, at least directly. If a leaf cleanup at a customers house used to take me say two hours for $100.00 and now I'm able to do it in one hour, do I charge them $200.00? I think I'd lose that client. Your increased efficiency benefits you due to the fact that you can now take on more work.:rolleyes:

MacLawnCo
11-01-2003, 10:07 PM
Originally posted by locutus
Correct Stevo, Increased effeciency is neither given back to your customers nor charged to them, at least directly.

Then please explain where it goes. I dont follow you and want to see your logic.

If a leaf cleanup at a customers house used to take me say two hours for $100.00 and now I'm able to do it in one hour, do I charge them $200.00?

the old rate was $50/hr, right ($100/2 hrs)? In the new situation, the total job would still be $100, but his hourly rate would $100. Why would he charge them $200???

locutus
11-01-2003, 10:22 PM
Mac, read darryl's post. Unless I am mistaken, this in a nutshell is what he is saying. He is able to do a lawn faster and wants to know how much more to charge. If I can do a lawn faster and still charge the same thing, I'm one happy camper. This leaves me more time to add to my client list. Maybe some of the confusion is coming about due to pricing stratagy,Hourly v/s by the job. This would make it a whole nother ball of wax completely.

mike9497
11-01-2003, 11:18 PM
i said my share on the other lawn site darryl lol

David Haggerty
11-01-2003, 11:42 PM
Originally posted by David Haggerty
Noooo....He's wanting to charge $10 MORE than he was. I just don't think it's enough.
If the ZTR is twice as fast as the WB, bill twice the old Rate .

What you're going to have to do is what Maple City said in one of her posts. Quit using the "blanket cost" for your overhead. One price for the WB another for the ZTR. (With a little bit of "truck" in each one) :D

Look at my set up. I have two leaf set ups. A 36" WB with a mulch plate and a catcher. OR...I have a 16.5' Toro 580-D with a leaf mulcher attachment. I have to charge two different rates on the same job!

Dave

Woops!! I apologize for messing up this whole thread. I should have wrote twice the old rate (as in costs per hour ) instead of twice the old amount (indicating twice the total costs of the job).

Thanks locutus for straightening it out.

Dave

2 man crew
11-01-2003, 11:53 PM
Customers like consistency. It would be in your best interest just to charge your customers a flat fee for clean ups. Maybe the same price you charged them last year on the hourly rate.:cool:
That way they don't see a rate increase. But you see the production increase.

Dr. Mow
11-02-2003, 12:23 AM
charge your customers what you charged them last year, your customers will not complain and you will make more money on each property and have time to add more clients.( more clients = higer net profits = new truck.

HOMER
11-02-2003, 12:25 AM
That's exactly why I don't quote an hourly rate. I bid the "JOB"! Now you have a delimma. I think from a customers standpoint they could care less how you do it or how much you have spent on equipment. You would be wise to charge what you charged last year and get the work done 50% faster thus making the extra dollars per hour.

Do it when they aren't home and they won't know the difference.......but you will!:p

PeterA
11-03-2003, 01:40 AM
I agree with Homer. Bidding the work by the job adds some risk but the reward is worth it. If you have data from the previous year's work as to how long the job took, your risk will be much less. At my old company (Yardmaster, we had several hundred residential accounts) people would have a fit about paying $40.00 per hour for labor, but would not flinch over a $300 charge for a job that took 6 hours. Lots of customers seem to think the entire hourly amount goes right into your pocket. This used to drive me crazy, but I had the last laugh when we switched to bidding the total job.

PeterA
Accelerator Industries

Darryl G
11-03-2003, 02:34 AM
Guys - Thanks for the replies. I'd really rather stay hourly than per job. Too many variables, mostly the weather. Unfortunately, I only did clean-ups on a handfull of my current accounts last year. I didn't have that many to begin with, but weeded some out, some moved, some died.

House lots are pretty big around here. If I'm bidding something like 5 or 10K square feet, it's no problem to give a set price, but when you're talking 2+ acres, the uncertainties are too much for my liking.

Homer, I wouldn't call it a dilema. Let's say I charge $10/hr more, but get done in 2/3 the time as last year. I'm happy, because I made more per hour, the customer is happy because it cost less, and now I can move on to the next job. The increased cost to run the Lazer is nowhere near $10/hr, probably more like $3.

PaulJ
11-03-2003, 01:03 PM
Darryl,
Dop you know how much more productive your lazer is in just mowing than your walkbehind? that's the difference I am using to figure how much more per hour to charge for the leaves. The difference in leaves cleanup pordictivity should be similar to the difference in mowing productivity.