View Full Version : Price Ok!

03-07-2004, 11:51 AM
I have the chance of having a large cemetary to do for the city this year. The guy (former chief of police) that did it last year charged by the hour 18.00 dollars. I am planning on charging 22.00, what do you guys think of this price, what do some of you charge by hour? I plan on it taking me and helper 30 hours or more!

03-07-2004, 12:06 PM
I assume your using your own equipment? I couldn't do it.
Is the 22.00 an hour for you AND your help? (assuming the cop was doing it for 18.00 an hour with no help)
If your using your equipment, figure 10.00 an hour to run a mower & trimmer. Down to 12.00 an hour. Then throw in ALL the other expences....... how much left over? I would rather be in the A/C flipping burgers while someone orders into the clown's head.

03-07-2004, 12:14 PM
Seems a bit low to me. Are you going to be using your equipment? What size are yuor mowers?

03-07-2004, 12:29 PM
Costs me $105 PER DAY (every day) to run my truck, trailer, 2 riders & walk behind, trimmer & blower. JUST THE EQUIPMENT FOR EACH CREW. That doesn't include EMPLOYEE PAY, INSURANCE, ADVERTISING, TAXES, RENT and other overhead.

If you are only charging $22 per hour, one or/both of the following apply.

1) YOU DON'T KNOW YOUR COSTS. You need to figure them out!

2) You are UNINSURED, UNLICENSED, NOT PAYING TAXES on you and/or EMPLOYEE. You need to get LEGAL or it might bite you!

Are you a full time LCO, or is this an "extra money" gig. Because if it is full time, at $22 per hour I don't see how you can pay for health insurance, house payment, etc., and come out better then what you would make working some A/C job.

Finally, my experience with MUNICIPAL jobs are that they are SLOW PAY and a PITA.


03-07-2004, 12:31 PM
Think you summed it up pretty good, Mike.

03-07-2004, 12:48 PM
I'm going to be honest to you guys (which most on this site are not) I am a solo operation, I'm 19 yrs old, and I am not insured, i only have 20 or so yards, so I see no point, unless your a big operation in having insurance, license etc. The 22 an hr is for me and my brother who may help out a little. I also work for a contractor 2 days a week in the summer, this is some extra hustle. I'll get about 660/week. How much do you guys think I should charge an hour?

I appreciate any help/suggestions!


03-07-2004, 12:50 PM
Oh and I was considering a 27hp 52inch lazer, but with the amount of yards I got, and this cemetary, I am going to get a Lazer Z HP 44 in. 20hp kohler.

03-07-2004, 01:04 PM
You should charge what full time professionals would charge in your area. Probably ranges from $35-$55/hr. If you decide to do this full time you will then realize that you were not charging enough.
Keep in kind that these retired people that do this kind of work are usually getting retirement/pension checks every month so the mowing is just for spending money. I had an 80 yr. old guy in my town that drove all over town on his new JD 455 mowing for half of what a professional charged. He got fired a lot because he would hit rocks and water meter covers and then try to get the homeowner to pay for the damage to his deck.

03-07-2004, 01:08 PM
$22 per hour is too cheap in my opinion. What happens if the first time you mow it, it takes 12 hours. Then the next time, because you now know the layout from the first mowing only takes you 11 hours. Already you are screwing yourself out of money if you are charging hourly. Or what happens if you upgrade to a larger mower and now it only takes you 10 hours.

03-07-2004, 01:10 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by GrassBustersLawn
[B]Costs me $105 PER DAY (every day) to run my truck, trailer, 2 riders & walk behind, trimmer & blower.

Could you break that down for me? It just seems like a lot of money.

03-07-2004, 01:10 PM
I charge a dollar a minimum. Works out quite well.

03-07-2004, 01:13 PM
I give you credit for being honest. (I would have to believe that the vast majority on this site ARE honest....all grown men (and women, too) that have no reason to lie....just my opinion)
Best wished for the 04 season. Insur. is cheap, in the big scheme of things, so live your life with that in mind. It's the freaky off-the-wall acidents that get ya. (1 rock putting out someone's eye, is a terrible thing, even with insurance)
Good luck, and again give you credit for being honest. (charge enough to atleast cover expences......and a Big Mac 3-4 times a week)

03-07-2004, 01:15 PM
"He got fired a lot because he would hit rocks and water meter covers and then try to get the homeowner to pay for the damage to his deck." LOL!!!!!!!!!!!

03-07-2004, 01:17 PM
jwingfield2k, A DOLLAR MINIMUM? J/K I'm sure you meant a dollar a minute. (what I get myself)

03-07-2004, 01:28 PM
A reason for insurance. Greenmachine. your mower kicks up a rock and hits a customer or anybody else, they lose an eye. Now you get sued , you have no insurance , they get no money ,but they get a judgement , this means 8 years from now when you hit the lottery , that person gets paid before you see a cent. Or when you go to buy a house and you have a judgement against you you wont get a loan. Or you go and buy a truck for cash they can go to court and have the truck siezed and sold at auction.

03-07-2004, 01:28 PM
1 rider 5.00 per hr
1 rider 5.00 per hr
1 WB 5.00 per hr
1 trimmer 5.00 per hr
1 blower 5.00 per hr.

25.00 an hour X 8-10 hrs = big $ for maint.

Not that all are running for an hour, but does not include the truck, and trailer, PLUS all the rest. I can see 105.00 a day, easy.
(not to answer the question that was meant for you, Mike)

03-07-2004, 01:44 PM

$22/hour isn't much for two people plus equipment costs. I'm not an LCO (excavation contractor), but I usually bid labor around $50/hour depending on the who, what, where and when stuff. The lowest I've bid labor at was about $25/hour and that was because it was a young guy with a family and I wanted to help him out. If he had some experience, I would've bid at my going rate.

Since this is a city cemetary, I'd check to make sure you don't need a business license and insurance. Around here, if the city hired an unlicensed/uninsured business, the chips would hit the fan bigtime!

Unfortunately no one can tell you what to charge since this is based on operating and labor costs. Not to mention the amount you want to make for business growth and any additional business costs. You might want to spend some time at the library and find some books on operating a business. I've read some really good books (sorry, don't remember the titles) that helped me out a lot. Good luck with your business.

03-07-2004, 01:51 PM
Insurance is the most important thing to get in this business. Before you get a mower or a trimmer please get some insurance. Its like playing the lottery in reverse, most won't win but if you do it will ruin the rest of your life.