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Old 09-04-2007, 03:42 PM
Tlvoskamp Tlvoskamp is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Midland, Tx
Posts: 48
$ per hour, different services.

Here is a question for all of you pros, I am wanting to make sure that I am quoting my jobs in the right neck of the woods for a professional LCO. In West Texas where I operate we have diifferent hourly values we place on different services and we try to quote our jobs to net a certain amount per hour. I was curious about three different areas.

1 Mowing.
2 Landscaping.
3 Chemical Application.

What is your per hour goal when you quote jobs for these areas. I guess you can say how much you hope to net per hour after employees get paid and other expenses get absorbed.


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Old 09-04-2007, 07:59 PM
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DillonsLawnCare DillonsLawnCare is offline
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Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
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well i think the old saying is that for labor $1 a minute is what it should be at!

ive never acheived that goal!! its too expensive for some.....
1997 Ford F-150
-6x12 Trailer w/ Racks
-2009 Scag Wildcat 26hp LC Kawasaki 52" Velocity Plus Deck
-1999 Scag SWZ Hydro Walk-Behind 17hp Kawasaki 52" Deck
-T230 Shindaiwa Trimmer w/ Speed Feed
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Old 09-04-2007, 08:53 PM
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nobagger nobagger is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Pa
Posts: 3,065
Sorry to say but if you are a "Professional" then you should know what to be charging.
J and B Lawncare:

On our own as of 2003. Proud to be a full time, legitimate company.

Equipment we use:
Ford trucks
Pro Line and GatorMade trailer's
Gravely, Exmark, Honda and Snapper mower's
Echo trimmer's and blower's
LittleWonder equipment
BillyGoat equipment
New Holland and Dresser loader's (snow removal)
Fisher snow plow's
DownEaster and Fisher salt spreader's
TurboTurf fertilizer tank
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:18 PM
Tlvoskamp Tlvoskamp is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Midland, Tx
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No bagger,

I have a pretty good feel, I am just researching to see if my approach is consistent with other markets. " The unexamined life is not worth living " I think the unexamined business is not worth running.
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Old 09-04-2007, 11:58 PM
topsites topsites is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Richmond Virginia
Posts: 21,659
I don't quote per hour anymore, I quote by the amount of work, how long it takes is then my problem. What takes me 2 hours one time could take all day another, there's just no solid ground to stand on here, quote a customer an hourly rate and I end up working twice the amount over... Don't ask me to quote per hour, it's $30 to start the timer, $2 a minute after that, $100 minimum, nobody asks me how much per hour anymore.

There's a system I use, it defines my prices, it simply costs this much for that, regardless of how and when I decide to do it, and regardless of how long it takes me in the end, x amount of work costs y dollars.

It's all worked out, things weren't always like that, but something to keep in mind for years 2-3 and 4.

As for what I gross, in the end, truck time and maintenance, deposits and paperwork and taxes, who knows for sure because I do a lot of work on days I don't get paid because I'm not out servicing any lots... But on a service day, from the time I leave until the time I sit down, the total amount billed / the total hours adds out to somewhere between 25-35 / hour, which is to say I estimate around $60 an hour if you want to look at it that way but don't assume a first or 2nd year Lco can go out there and quote $60 an hour, they'll give you the 'gimme a break' look, customers can see inexperience from miles away.

I work for my money, my machines run so good they never fail (well, almost never), they run and run and run all year on one oil change, I push them to their limit time and again, all the work that goes into them is what makes me efficient, no farking around.
What happens is I got 3,500 cuts under my belt, today I can look at a lawn and tell you what height to cut it at so you don't spend all day there and still make it look good, no bagging, wether it's 6 inches or 8-10 inches tall it's blam and shazzam lol.
Took 6 years to get there...

My first year I grossed closer to $30 an hour, mostly due to inexperience and lack of equipment, it used to take me dang near an hour to finish a 1/4 - 1/2 acre lot, nowadays I cut an acre in 45 minutes and I'm done in an hour, $55 for an acre lot, but if I want to use the 21" it's still $55...

Last edited by topsites; 09-05-2007 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:12 AM
Tlvoskamp Tlvoskamp is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Midland, Tx
Posts: 48
Top sites,

Thank you for your information. I appreciate the assistance.
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Old 09-05-2007, 12:37 AM
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steve5966 steve5966 is offline
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Location: omaha nebraska
Posts: 210
"they run and run and run all year on one oil change"

I don't know whether to laugh or just shake my head at you lack of mechanical knowledge.
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Old 09-05-2007, 01:00 AM
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txgrassguy txgrassguy is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: south enough that spanish is necessary
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Originally Posted by DillonsLawnCare View Post
well i think the old saying is that for labor $1 a minute is what it should be at!

ive never acheived that goal!! its too expensive for some.....
Then change your market strategy.
I have a charging rate for my employees, and it starts at $40 per hour for general landscape maintenance.
Tree trimming is $55.00/hour unless a ladder is involved then it goes to $75.00/hour.
Irrigation repair is a flat $65.00 per labor hour.
Chemical applications are almost entirely done by me and I will not quote an hourly as the chemical, degree of difficulty, amount of labor involved all adds up to a final amount far in excess of a per hour charge.
For instance, I applied a soil sterilent to school campuses to control for unwanted noxious growth in playgrounds and curb side. My cost for the 100 gallons of material was less than $125.00, I had less than four hours into the preparation, spray and decontamination of the tank and I charged over $12.00 per gallon applied. So do the math but it was a winner for me.
Long story short - if you have a "feel" for other markets you are not pushing the envelope in your area to it's potential = leaving money on the table.

All of this said, markets differ somewhat from area to area yet if you deliver a quality product with a reasonable assurance of accuracy and professionalism, you can charge essentially what you are worth not what a "market" will allow.
Nice Try = You Suck Spelled Differently
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