I have explained this before and it fell on deaf ears. But thats OK, You cost per man hours is fine $60 to $70 per hour for 1 man with one mower. A $30 to $45 per man hour for any one doing trimming, blowing and aiding in the mowers is about right.
But for a job like this you have to know what your doing now with the equipment you have. There is now way for a computer program to calculate this big Veronese. SO Your best bet is to find you average now. Do this on as many of the properties you have now, Hopefully you know how long it takes to mow them. Go out on all your large lawns and a few smaller one as well. Start a stop watch and walk the perimeter of the property, now walk only the larger obstacles, the house, garage, drive-ways. Anything that is larger than automobile. Do not walk flower planters or trees unless it is large. Now walk back to your truck, find this time in hole minuets. What you want to find is it took you 12 min to work the area and it takes me 30 min to mow said property. Do this with as many lawns you mow now, remember to walk about the speed that you mow at. Then average the time on each lawn by the number of minutes you walked the perimeter and the actually mowing time. This will give you something to base your productivity on. Example here is 12 min to walk perimeters / 30 min to mow lawn = 2.5 The 2.5 should for all intensive purposes give you your time to mow a big lawn that you are looking at. If there is a ton of trees and small stuff within a new big property it might be OK to add a few minuets to your walking time when biding. But be careful, remember there was tress and small obstacles in the smaller lawns you used to get your starting point.
It dose not mater if you come up with 1.8 or 3.4 in your basic walk to mow time. This is you with what equipment you have. You need to find this basic number and feel confident with it. Over time you can tweak the basic number to better fit your productivity. This is a good way to evaluate new equipment saved productivity as well. If you change equipment used it would be wise to remember the walking perimeter will not really change but the time to mow is going to change. So you can update your basic productivity accordingly.
I know you have heard of guys that will do a first mow for free to see how long it takes and then to know what to charge. How silly and un-professional that is. But you can do the same thing but only walk there outer perimeters of property and permanent large obstacles, it looks professional as well. OK so it may take you 45 minuets to wall this big lawn you are asking about. We can not see under all those trees, around the building to see if there is hidden drives, sidewalks and so on. If you only walk on the grass need to be mowed you will have a basis number to work from..
Good luck and remember you heard it from me the old guy.. The guy that makes more money before noon than most of his competition makes all day.
Last edited by dhardin53; 02-03-2013 at 02:04 PM.