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  #61  
Old 05-19-2014, 07:32 AM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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Originally Posted by milkie62 View Post
I realize that it is cheaper to live down south than it is in the north but there must be some things that are equal.Vehicles---unless you are buying old there is no way making $31k/yr can you afford a new vehicle.Even buying Walmart clothing it will be pennies difference nationwide.The price of a Pepsi is the same nationwide as is a Dunkin donuts coffee.Housing may be a bit cheaper in the south if they are not running a basement or dealing with frost issues,but........add a garage or shed and you will be paying the same as me at Home depot.

I am only a part-timer since my regular job is $70k plus OT which will vary.I have a few toys and my house is paid for.But I am not living on the high-end.Someone on a mowing crew here for $12 bucks an hr would be barely surviving.


There is a considerable difference in location and pricing. Most teachers in my state only make $30k per year(at least new teachers as my wife was a public school teacher). Most Laborers I hire never write more than $10/hr in the wage box of the application.

Your gas may be north of $4, mine isn't
I rent a small storage unit for $260, yours might be 500
I have an average 10 minute drive to first yard as my shop in right in town, yours might be 29 min outside of town
Housing cost will be way different there also... Purchase price at least.

Those things add up as a whole. That is why it becomes tough to talk pricing up here. Northern guys my get $45 per cut for the same lawn I get $35 for here.

Where I see a huge difference way up north is on application prices. You guys can get 8-10+ per k from what I've read up here. That just wouldn't work in my area.

If you were making $70k through a job here plus another $10-15k with lawns a year I bet a bank would approve you for a loan on one of the nicest neighborhoods in my city. If your wife(if married) had a job I guarantee it. You might even quit lawns and just relax here and enjoy your toys.
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  #62  
Old 05-19-2014, 07:44 AM
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gcbailey gcbailey is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milkie62 View Post
I realize that it is cheaper to live down south than it is in the north but there must be some things that are equal.Vehicles---unless you are buying old there is no way making $31k/yr can you afford a new vehicle.Even buying Walmart clothing it will be pennies difference nationwide.The price of a Pepsi is the same nationwide as is a Dunkin donuts coffee.Housing may be a bit cheaper in the south if they are not running a basement or dealing with frost issues,but........add a garage or shed and you will be paying the same as me at Home depot.

I am only a part-timer since my regular job is $70k plus OT which will vary.I have a few toys and my house is paid for.But I am not living on the high-end.Someone on a mowing crew here for $12 bucks an hr would be barely surviving.
I don't know, but I can give you some prices around here for reference...

I live right on the WV/VA border...

Gas in WV (87 oct) is $3.62/gal... VA $3.33/gal.

Diesel in WV $4.15/gal, VA $3.96

Grocery stores on Sunday's run ads for Pepsi/Coke 12 packs 4/$10....

A 3500 Dodge Diesel Larime SRW can be purchased for about $34k with haggling.

As far as other vehicles go you see a LOT of people buying Mitsubishi's, late model Suzuki's (before they went under), 1/2 Ford, Chevy... whatever.

You can search on realtor websites, I can give you zip codes if you'd like. Check out Mercer, Summers, McDowell, Wyoming, Monore counties in WV, and Tazewell, Bland, Giles, in VA... Now once you get about 30 miles from here toward Blacksburg VA (Montgomery county, home of VT) prices start going up considerably, also once you start going up north toward Beckly (Raleigh county) in WV.

But this immediate area is known as an extremely poor area by most standards across the county. Teachers starting out here are around $32k. I would say the average salary for full time jobs are between $12~$17 hourly.

My wife works in Nuclear medicine and makes around $80k per year before OT, she could go up north or south and easily make close to $100k, but again cost of living must be factored in.

Edit -
I will say that there are definitely our fair share of $500k+ homes and we service several of them. As I've stated in an earlier post, I changed the marketing aim of our residential accounts several years ago and it's paid off well. We try to aim for the sub-divisions with prices starting around $180k+. The people that are willing to pay $45+ weekly. It's also public knowledge released by the state that all hospitals have to release employee salaries of those making $55k+ yearly. I won't tell names but we have several doctors and staff admins making $150k+. They "live the good life". Where a cardiologist may make close to $1M elsewhere around here they make about $500K.

Last edited by gcbailey; 05-19-2014 at 07:50 AM.
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  #63  
Old 05-19-2014, 07:48 AM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcbailey View Post
I don't know, but I can give you some prices around here for reference...

I live right on the WV/VA border...

Gas in WV (87 oct) is $3.62/gal... VA $3.33/gal.

Diesel in WV $4.15/gal, VA $3.96

Grocery stores on Sunday's run ads for Pepsi/Coke 12 packs 4/$10....

A 3500 Dodge Diesel Larime SRW can be purchased for about $34k with haggling.

As far as other vehicles go you see a LOT of people buying Mitsubishi's, late model Suzuki's (before they went under), 1/2 Ford, Chevy... whatever.

You can search on realtor websites, I can give you zip codes if you'd like. Check out Mercer, Summers, McDowell, Wyoming, Monore counties in WV, and Tazewell, Bland, Giles, in VA... Now once you get about 30 miles from here toward Blacksburg VA (Montgomery county, home of VT) prices start going up considerably, also once you start going up north toward Beckly (Raleigh county) in WV.

But this immediate area is known as an extremely poor area by most standards across the county. Teachers starting out here are around $32k. I would say the average salary for full time jobs are between $12~$17 hourly.

My wife works in Nuclear medicine and makes around $80k per year before OT, she could go up north or south and easily make close to $100k, but again cost of living must be factored in.
Similar to is but truck would be 10k more

Average home in my service area is 545k

Half hour away it goes down to 400. And then no matter which way you go it's back up to 500 lol

A 3 br townhouse is over 300
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  #64  
Old 05-19-2014, 11:16 AM
milkie62 milkie62 is offline
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Location: upstate NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcbailey View Post
I don't know, but I can give you some prices around here for reference...

I live right on the WV/VA border...

Gas in WV (87 oct) is $3.62/gal... VA $3.33/gal.

Diesel in WV $4.15/gal, VA $3.96

Grocery stores on Sunday's run ads for Pepsi/Coke 12 packs 4/$10....

A 3500 Dodge Diesel Larime SRW can be purchased for about $34k with haggling.

As far as other vehicles go you see a LOT of people buying Mitsubishi's, late model Suzuki's (before they went under), 1/2 Ford, Chevy... whatever.

You can search on realtor websites, I can give you zip codes if you'd like. Check out Mercer, Summers, McDowell, Wyoming, Monore counties in WV, and Tazewell, Bland, Giles, in VA... Now once you get about 30 miles from here toward Blacksburg VA (Montgomery county, home of VT) prices start going up considerably, also once you start going up north toward Beckly (Raleigh county) in WV.

But this immediate area is known as an extremely poor area by most standards across the county. Teachers starting out here are around $32k. I would say the average salary for full time jobs are between $12~$17 hourly.

My wife works in Nuclear medicine and makes around $80k per year before OT, she could go up north or south and easily make close to $100k, but again cost of living must be factored in.

Edit -
I will say that there are definitely our fair share of $500k+ homes and we service several of them. As I've stated in an earlier post, I changed the marketing aim of our residential accounts several years ago and it's paid off well. We try to aim for the sub-divisions with prices starting around $180k+. The people that are willing to pay $45+ weekly. It's also public knowledge released by the state that all hospitals have to release employee salaries of those making $55k+ yearly. I won't tell names but we have several doctors and staff admins making $150k+. They "live the good life". Where a cardiologist may make close to $1M elsewhere around here they make about $500K.
No way any diesel pickup is $34k new.I was referring to new prices.Yes we get the pepsi deals here also.But apples to apples a 2x4 at our HD will be the same at your HD.My pkg of socks at Walmart will be the same at your walmart.Gas here is $3.79/gal.I think diesel is $4.30/gal.I do live rural and my closet lawn is 10 miles and farthest being 20.I could give and have given a price of $40/cut and have ha guys do it for $25.My mother pays my son to do her lawn for some college money.Her lawn is a $40-45 lawn.She called a guy for a price and he said $25.She has a fair amount of trimming because of a ditch at the road.I am there for 40 minutes with my 61" ferris and he took just about an hr
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  #65  
Old 05-19-2014, 11:36 AM
Chilehead Chilehead is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Stockbridge, GA
Posts: 1,861
The focus for a crew of any size should be getting as tight a route as possible, and working on techniques/skills to complete each yard quickly but not so quick as to where quality suffers. The price of a maintenance service should be competetive to YOUR market and no one else's. The rate of production should be consistent with a daily gross income goal--not how many yards you finish. Yards vary in size and details like the colors of the rainbow. Focus on income goals, not number of yards.
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  #66  
Old 05-19-2014, 08:18 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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I'm targeting around $500 min per day gross on a 2 man crew. Tighter routes may produce more more spread out less. I would hope as the route fills up to get it as tight as possible.

I'm really trying to get guys to concentrate on weeds in beds, vines in bushes, etc as part of my customer list. Just getting them to spend a few extra minutes each mow. As they get everything under control that should speed things up..

Would like to move closer to a quality and not quantity concept.
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  #67  
Old 05-19-2014, 08:26 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grassmasterswilson View Post
I'm targeting around $500 min per day gross on a 2 man crew. Tighter routes may produce more more spread out less. I would hope as the route fills up to get it as tight as possible.

I'm really trying to get guys to concentrate on weeds in beds, vines in bushes, etc as part of my customer list. Just getting them to spend a few extra minutes each mow. As they get everything under control that should speed things up..

Would like to move closer to a quality and not quantity concept.
9-10 a nhour guys are not going to care about that no matter how much you ask.

You may be better off putting someone in another truck for "lansscape maintenance"
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  #68  
Old 05-19-2014, 08:42 PM
grassmasterswilson grassmasterswilson is offline
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Originally Posted by whiffyspark View Post
9-10 a nhour guys are not going to care about that no matter how much you ask.

You may be better off putting someone in another truck for "lansscape maintenance"
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I actually considered this and let him head up side work. He could run a day or two mow route, especially if we get behind.

Even thought about putting him with the two man crew to focus on the details and then help with clean up. We have some high end properties and some mow-blow-go types
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Last edited by grassmasterswilson; 05-19-2014 at 08:52 PM.
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  #69  
Old 05-19-2014, 09:13 PM
whiffyspark whiffyspark is offline
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Originally Posted by grassmasterswilson View Post
I actually considered this and let him head up side work. He could run a day or two mow route, especially if we get behind.

Even thought about putting him with the two man crew to focus on the details and then help with clean up. We have some high end properties and some mow-blow-go types
The trick is you have to find someone that enjoys that kind of work. They are worth their weight in gold if you find one.

A lot of people people just want to mow and go home. If you can find somebody that could run through your properties once a week and do detail work, take notes of possible upsell work, areas of concern that the crew missed etc. Eventually when you get bigger you could promote him into an account manager
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