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Grass Gator
12-22-2004, 01:15 PM
Greetings All -

We're looking at adding lawn aeration to our service offerings in 2005 and wanted to get some idea on pricing for such work. Do you all charge by the hour, sq. foot, etc? Also, do you remove the cores from the property all together or leave to dissolve back into the soil?

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

out4now
12-22-2004, 01:19 PM
We used to bust ours up but if you go with a hydro injection model you wont have any cores. The one we had was a towable Toro with open spoons and weights. Deere brought out hydro jet model and encouraged us to look at shooting Terrasorb ( the finer granule type) when we did our aerations. I left not long after that so I don't know if they bought it. Demo worked well though.

bsmithalc
12-22-2004, 01:20 PM
we usually charge double the mowing price depending on hill and obstacles.

we also leave the cores on the turf unless owner specifically wants them removed

Soupy
12-22-2004, 01:34 PM
We charge $12 per 1,000 sq. ft. We sometimes charge $10 per K if we run a special. We also charge $12 per K extra if they want seed.

If you are going to price by what you charge for mowing. Then you would come closer by charging 3x.

We don't do anything with the cores.

cklands
12-22-2004, 01:37 PM
We charge by the sqft and no we do not remove the plugs

lawncare3
12-22-2004, 01:42 PM
It's around $35 here YES i said $35 but that because mile-HI aeration owns the area they bring in about 25-mil a year on ONLY aerations. But it's very profitable. Most lawns here are 2-3ksf so u can get em done i about 20-30 mins. I got my aerator preowned from Matt (walker-talker) thenaks matt. I also think he has one currently. I paid for it in a week.

Soupy
12-22-2004, 02:22 PM
25 million a year doing $35 aerations. I highly doubt that. they would have to do 714,285 aerations a year.

It would cost the home owner more to do it theirself.

lawncare3
12-22-2004, 03:15 PM
25 million a year doing $35 aerations. I highly doubt that. they would have to do 714,285 aerations a year.

It would cost the home owner more to do it theirself.

Considering there is 5k houses per 2 miles. They cover about 50miles with other areas having as much as 10,000 houses in a 3mile radius. and the list goes on and on. All I know is about every 3rd house has their sign in the yard. They hire a bunch of people that use their own vehicles and a company trailer and aerator. each crew roughly (30) each do 35-40 aerations a day. Get paid $15 a hour and use their gas and go and do em. Ask anyone around here and they can tell what a pricing problem they have caused. And about every 3rd house has their sign in the yard. I just telling you my calculations because that what my friend said (he use to work for them. Now I am only telling you what I have seen and heard I will end now. :)

lawncare3
12-22-2004, 03:18 PM
Btw yes it does cost the homeowner more to do it themself. That's why they hire Mile-HI aeration. I will try and post one of their fliers if I get a chance.

Soupy
12-22-2004, 03:38 PM
Btw yes it does cost the homeowner more to do it themself. That's why they hire Mile-HI aeration. I will try and post one of their fliers if I get a chance.

I guess at that price everyone would have it done. Probably twice a year too. just think, if they raised their price to $40 they would make an extra 3.5 million. I still find it hard to believe.

Grass Gator
12-22-2004, 04:44 PM
10,000 houses in a 3 mile radius!!???? Are you kidding? I'd love to see those plat maps.

lawncare3
12-22-2004, 04:49 PM
I guess at that price everyone would have it done. Probably twice a year too. just think, if they raised their price to $40 they would make an extra 3.5 million. I still find it hard to believe.

And yes, everyone does it twice a year. Plus on top of that some even have it done 3 times a year.

I'm not trying to start a fight here. I was just telling you what I have seen and heard.

lawncare3
12-22-2004, 04:58 PM
Here is a area with the least houses for the most bit of a area.

lawncare3
12-22-2004, 05:02 PM
Another of the neighborhood

lawncare3
12-22-2004, 05:05 PM
One More for now.

rodfather
12-22-2004, 05:12 PM
Holy moly. Glad I don't drink anymore (or less)...wouldn't be able to find my way home LOL.

Soupy
12-22-2004, 05:22 PM
3 aerations a year from everyone in town should be telling the CEO something. "I am pricing way to low, what am I thinking. No wonder I only made 250,000 profit out of 25 million in sales."

yrdandgardenhandyman
12-22-2004, 05:57 PM
Where do they have room for a yard??? :eek:

brinlee lawn
12-22-2004, 06:01 PM
I dont think there is that many houses in Oklahoma!!!!!!!!!

Soupy
12-22-2004, 06:10 PM
even if they do an average of 2.5 aerations per home. The still would need 285,000 homes. What is the population of Oklahoma?

I'm not calling anyone a lier, and I do beleive they do offer $35 aerations. I just don't think they do 25 million a year. But I bet they do very high volume.

out4now
12-22-2004, 06:14 PM
Prety much looks like here in AZ. All new sub divisions are like that and they just keep building more.

cutnedge
12-22-2004, 06:15 PM
Holy moly. Glad I don't drink anymore (or less)...wouldn't be able to find my way home LOL.
LOL. A horse could do it for you.......................but I'm sure you'd be the talk of the neighborhood.

Grass Gator
12-22-2004, 08:18 PM
Maps remind me of Georgia.....never a straight road to be found. Here in Okla 90% of the roads run N/S or E/W. Makes navigating very easy.

Lots of kidding around going on here....$12.5 million just on aeration. Are you serious!?

PR Fect
12-22-2004, 08:32 PM
$10 per K here, or $11, $12, $13 per K if its hilly or lots of planting beds and trees.

work_it
12-22-2004, 08:43 PM
This last year I was getting $12/1000K. Since I was renting the aerator I would split that cost over the total properties I could do in a day and add that on to the subtotal which would usually average $12. Seed and fert. was an additional charge.

TurfGuyTX
12-22-2004, 08:58 PM
I charge $12 per 1k with a $75 minimum.

Soupy
12-22-2004, 09:38 PM
Here is the flyer we use for aeration. It brought good results this Fall. I made this in word.

Soupy
12-22-2004, 09:46 PM
well I tried to load it as a picture and it still appears as a file. So here is the actual file I made it with. Feel free to modify it to fit your needs. It has some color in it because I used stuff off my website and my lawn signs to make it. But as you can see from the files above. I printed it in greyscale on yellow paper.

Smithers
12-22-2004, 10:10 PM
Lesco has 100 fliers for about $8. this way you can include them in their invoices. it works great and you dont pay additional postage. of course, that's for your existing customers only. but it's still cheaper and pre-printed.

Soupy, why do you need 60" of clearance to enter their yard? When you mention seeds, do you use a power rake to reseed?

Soupy
12-22-2004, 10:29 PM
Lesco has 100 fliers for about $8. this way you can include them in their invoices. it works great and you dont pay additional postage. of course, that's for your existing customers only. but it's still cheaper and pre-printed.

Soupy, why do you need 60" of clearance to enter their yard? When you mention seeds, do you use a power rake to reseed?

We use a tow behind aerator. We also use Ryan walk behind, but we up the price if we have to use that on the back lawn.

Up-selling with invoices is a good idea. We up-sell all the time with invoices, but we use the open area on the invoice to include special promotions. We also put an area on the remittance stub for the customer to check off if they want the service performed. I might have to give the Lesco flyer's a try also.

We use a Lesco spreader to seed. We aerate once, then seed, aerate again, then apply starter fert.

RedWingsDet
12-22-2004, 10:32 PM
If I remember correctly, I charged $50 this spring, and they were 3k-5k sk feet. Took about 20 minutes, if that. Hardest part was wrestling with the damn machine to turn it (rented it from HD)!!!!

Soupy
12-22-2004, 10:48 PM
If I remember correctly, I charged $50 this spring, and they were 3k-5k sk feet. Took about 20 minutes, if that. Hardest part was wrestling with the damn machine to turn it (rented it from HD)!!!!

Yea, if I had to use a walk-behind my price would double. This fall we charged $12 per k up to 5 k. That was our minimum (and our regular price) but we offered every K after that for $10. This yields around $180 per hour and that includes drive time. Oh, I forgot to include that I cheat a little and measure the whole lot in most cases. I figure the house, shed, etc actually makes it harder so why deduct for it. The only time I don't measure the whole lot is when the house and driveway takes up 1/3 the lot.

Smithers
12-22-2004, 11:23 PM
soupy,

when you use the tow behind aerator, doesn't it bounce up and down the pavement/concrete when you tow it? doesn't it make marks on the cement?

Soupy
12-22-2004, 11:29 PM
soupy,

when you use the tow behind aerator, doesn't it bounce up and down the pavement/concrete when you tow it? doesn't it make marks on the cement?

We don't drive it on the concrete :) It has wheels on it for transport.

out4now
12-23-2004, 12:27 AM
Ours had a bottle jack hydralic on it to raise and lower the wheels.

captaingreen
12-23-2004, 01:14 AM
The average in my area is about $18/thousand sq. ft.. I'm going to get a little more aggresive with aeration/reseeding sales next year.

Smithers
12-23-2004, 11:14 AM
oh, ok...that makes sense....

every time i see pics of those big heavy steel drums, they just have the spikes ready to go into the ground. that's why i thought that there are no jacks, wheels to transport it to the lawn area. i thought it makes hols, or at least dents on the way there, including the trailer as well.

Soupy
12-23-2004, 11:43 AM
oh, ok...that makes sense....

every time i see pics of those big heavy steel drums, they just have the spikes ready to go into the ground. that's why i thought that there are no jacks, wheels to transport it to the lawn area. i thought it makes hols, or at least dents on the way there, including the trailer as well.

We don't use drums with spikes. We use aerators with spoon type tines. here is a cheap entry level tow behind. http://www.wikco.com/Turfvent.html These pull good cores but they aren't built as strong as the more expensive ones. What ever you do, don't ever try using the ones you find at Lowe's or Home Cheapo. They don't have enough tines and will not pull enough cores.

captaingreen
12-23-2004, 12:03 PM
We don't use drums with spikes. We use aerators with spoon type tines. here is a cheap entry level tow behind. http://www.wikco.com/Turfvent.html These pull good cores but they aren't built as strong as the more expensive ones. What ever you do, don't ever try using the ones you find at Lowe's or Home Cheapo. They don't have enough tines and will not pull enough cores.
Looks like a good product Soupy, thanks. I'm going to get a pull behind to put on the Tiger Cub next year, looks like a good candidate. :waving:

Smithers
12-23-2004, 12:41 PM
We don't use drums with spikes. We use aerators with spoon type tines. here is a cheap entry level tow behind. http://www.wikco.com/Turfvent.html These pull good cores but they aren't built as strong as the more expensive ones. What ever you do, don't ever try using the ones you find at Lowe's or Home Cheapo. They don't have enough tines and will not pull enough cores.


soupy, so the prices are $399-$499? not bad....how do you manuever it? is it easy with the ZTR? how do you avoid the sprinkler heads? Do you have to put weight on the grate? And if "Yes", how much weight do you put?

i like how you said, "Home Cheapo"...hehe...

Soupy
12-23-2004, 01:06 PM
The 48" is $499 and is the one I bought a couple years ago. It still works good but the the latch that hold the wheel arms down are very week. If you are good with a welder these aerators can be reinforced easily.

The most important thing to look at is how many tines and how far apart are they spaced. That is why you don't want the really cheap ones that the hardware store sell.

Yes you do add weights. depending on the condition of the soil, I add 4 descent size (rectangle) patio blocks. and one or two large concrete slabs on top of those.

You should always mark sprinkler heads and other objects with flags. You can turn your head back and get a good view of the aerator tines and were they are going. The aerator trailers behind the mower just like the trailer on your truck does.

Edit: Yes we use a ZTR.