2 Man Crew Pricing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ztrguy, May 14, 2003.

  1. ztrguy

    ztrguy LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE FL
    Posts: 466

    - 2 Man Crew Pricing -

    52" ZTR
    21" Push Mower
    (2) Trimmers
    Back Pack Blower

    Lets say it takes a 2 Man Crew to do a job in 2 hours with the equipment listed above. I usually work the ZTR while my partner does the trimming. When I get done with the mowing, I grab the other Trimmer and get to work. Then finish it off with the Back Pack Blower.

    * How much should you charge for a 2 hour job with a 2 Man Crew?

    * How much should you charge per hour for a 2 Man Crew?

    I was thinking at least $20/person/hr. Which means a 1 hour job would be $40 for a 2 Man Crew. What are your opinions on this?

  2. lawncare3

    lawncare3 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,981

    At LEAST $30 per man hr.
  3. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    The FIRST step in setting YOUR price is determine YOUR costs.

    How about posting all of your costs (item & $) for a month, to show you have considered them ALL (we'll be glad to remind you if you've forgot any) and then divide by the hours you will work in a month & year.

    If you show us your cost per hour it will be real EASY for anyone to tell you a price per hour.

  4. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    I agree with Mark, that's probably the best way to do it. But I've never got that technical in all the years I've been doing this. And I don't know that it's totally necessary. Furthermore, I think it's best to charge as much as you can get away with charging and still keep busy. I don't know what your market will bear, but around here we usually get $35 per hour for any kind of maintenance work. So for 2 guys at $35 per hour at 2 hours, we'd charge $140 for that job. But often, I make more than that. This morning I sent 2 guys off for a job that will take them 1.5 to 2 hours. And we're getting $160 for it.
  5. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    yes, it's always best to charge as much as the market will handle. BUT even at that point if you don't list your expenses by writing them down you don't know your exact profit, you don't know your exact hourly rate, and you don't know how much room you have to wiggle if you want to come in with a lower pricing strategy.

    You might determine your net profit after taxes hourly rate is $7/hr even if you do charge $35 per man hour. Damn, you might want to try a different business or you can determine you need to charge $40 to make it viable for YOU.

    Everyone can complain about low-prices but it IS a legitimate strategy to get into a market. BUT you have to do it right. For example "The price is $140 and we are running a special this month for new accounts of 10% off." Or "it's $140 and we're offering your 4th cut free for new accounts" These tactics can be used to close the deal for people sitting on the fence.

    If you don't know your costs you have no idea what that discount is doing to you.

    You can either let your pricing and profit fall as them may OR you can plan and manage them.

    Again, work up a budget and you will answer your own question much better than any of us can.
  6. a1 lawncare

    a1 lawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 153

    sounds a little low to me, other things to consider are the terrain and obstacles encountered, mine and jims figures are very close, i'm going on the time factor your using, must be a pretty good size property or a lot of obstacles. if its an easy property i might cut them a little break, wide open, few trees, and a little landscaping. but if its a rough 2 hours i'd tax'em. i don't want every job. once on here a guy gave his formula for figuring props, he used something i have really grown to like, a factor for difficulty 1x easy 2x difficult 3x extremely difficult.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Mark, I totally agree. But I am just saying that's a lot of extra time and headache to try to figure out and if you're really into getting technical and dissecting every little aspect of your finances and business, then great! By all means - do it this way. It's a great system.

    But not every LCO is THAT technical and that into micro-finance. And I am just saying you don't HAVE to be in order to run a successful and profitable operation. I've never done it and yet we still make a decent profit when all is said and done at the end of the year. So I know it can be done without taking the time to figure out this complex system.

    I also know that if I give a new customer a 4th cut free or whatever that I am losing money doing that. I don't need to boil it down to figure out exactly HOW much money I'm losing. But I also don't need to boil it down to figure out that whatever I lose initially will be made up for over and over again by having a year-round customer for years and years to come.

    Finally, I also know that I can get a pretty good estimate of my costs without going into too much detail listing every single little expense I might incur over a month. I know the basics. I know that labor burden is, say $13 per hour per man. And that gas costs me about $35 every two days. I know that it costs me about $3.60 per day to dump the debris from the back of the truck. That's only about $16 per hour and we've already counted the big things. And I've still got another $19 / man hour to work with. I don't need to figure out all the rest of my expenses to understand that if I make $35 an hour that's plenty enough to cover round-up, fertilizer, broken tools, repairs, etc. and still make a profit.
  8. Green in Idaho

    Green in Idaho LawnSite Senior Member
    from Idaho
    Posts: 833

    Based on your experience you already know most of your budget. Ztrguy doesn't have that experience or that information.

    I'm not saying it has to be technical or micro-detailed. No one said anything about a complex system.

    For a new operator to list the top ten expenses they expect for a month of operation to come up to an hourly cost is not difficult.

    Jim, Your three things were labor,gas and dump and then said those were the big things. ???

    How about a short list of:

    Truck payment
    trailer cost
    equipment cost

    gas & maintenance
    disposal fees

    cell phone & office exp
    others &misc

    Throw a dollar on each one for a month and divide by the hours worked.

    This is important also becaus a part-timer is going to have the same equipment costs (initial purchase) as a full-timer but less time to apply the costs for it.

    Someone buying a $5,000 mower for 12 hours/week has different cost per hour than someone using that mower for 50hrs/week. One is profitable, the other is not.
  9. nelbuts

    nelbuts LawnSite Bronze Member
    from SW, FL
    Posts: 1,053

    My additional work is billed out at $35.00 per man hour. If it is mowing I get $1.00 per minute per mower. Two men, two mowers $2.00 per minute....etc. That is what I came up with after costing out all of my costs.
  10. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

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