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$35 per man hour

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, May 3, 2006.

  1. scott's turf

    scott's turf LawnSite Senior Member
    from NH
    Posts: 949

    I don't know where you get that $35/hr is standard where you are. I would figure it would be more down your way than up in NH. You are either low balling or don't have the right equipment for the job. Hourly rates and the right equipment go hand in hand. Any time that we bid on an hourly basis (which is rare) our minimum is $50/man hr. That is a figure that I am not really happy with but at least I know that I am going to get that risk free. I usually expect more per hour for mowing than mulching because mowing requires more overhead. Irrigation work has a minumum of $65/hr plus all the mark-up on parts. No one seems to have any problem with that rate.
  2. lawnartisan

    lawnartisan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 55

    if each of those guys made 10 buck an hour thats $4.16 each guy in wages gate to gate. $8.32 for both. that $26.68 left to cover his cost. if his route is tight it probably works out.
  3. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 609

    The more crew labor hours worked the less overhead burden per hour. In general fixed expenses will stay the same wether you employ 2 guys or 10 guys.
  4. GraZZmaZter

    GraZZmaZter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    bobby ... i just raised my lawn care services to 40.00 and hours this year .. it was 35.00 last year. I can make a comfortable living on that. Maybe you need to take a look at the books again. Do you have a Biz plan? CPA, Lawyer? Obviously your business isnt set up right if you cant make any money on 40.00/manhour.... and im NO amature....
  5. Evergreenpros

    Evergreenpros LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,155

    Because if you're solo and use that rate you'll only probably only generate 50k a year. Profit from that will only be about 35k a year, not very good.

    However, if you add another guy in the truck and keep them scheduled the revenue generated for that truck should jump to 100k. With the wages you'll have to pay of about 47k for the two employees that leaves 53k for profit, expenses and other outlays. If you had one truck with employees you'd probably only make about 15-18k. If you add more trucks, say 4 more for a total of 5, and each truck adds to the contribution margin of advertising, insurance, office space etc the profit per truck will go up slightly.

    Should be 20k per truck x 5 trucks is about 100k. That's if you can keep them scheduled. But here is the problem and this is why many just go solo: I guarantee you will work more hours for this 100k being a manager than profiting 100k being solo with a helper. If you can't keep them scheduled for almost all of the year then profit will go down to probably 70k mark, which is more reasonable. Well, 70k profit being solo is very doable with proper advertising, equipment and a decent growing season and you'll work less hours than being a manager making the same money.

    But the problem is when you sell the company the guy who has 5 trucks will get far more from his business than a solo guy will. So there's tradeoffs.
  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Thanks for the extra input Bobby.... now if I may borrow it...

    Now look you guys... this is not rocket science. All you have to do is figure the numbers with no fuzzy math involved to make yourself feel better about how the numbers look.

    This guy is doing better on extra services involving the small equipment than he is the larger stuff from mowing on up. Here's how it works out.

    Gate to Gate time-> 25 minutes x 2 men = 50 minutes

    Even if the route is pretty tight, at the end of the day, his route average for his $35 lawns will come in at 1 man hour per lawn at least. IOW $35 per man hour. With that said, he does worse on services from mowing on up, because the costs involved beyond labor expenses are a LOT higher than they are for two guys running a shovel/rake/blower/hedge trimmer.

    Anyways... take the $35 per man hour and subtract some REAL HOURLY NUMBERS instead instead of "$4.16 each guy per lawn".... because trying to make your numbers LOOK AND SOUND GOOD will not make them good in reality.

    Lets do it like this... (with simple numbers that work out even)

    Gross Route > $35 x 8 hrs = $280
    Direct Employee Wage > Crew leader + Helper x 8 hours = $200 per day

    That leaves $80 per day/ $10 per hour to cover everything else.
    (But you all consider this profit right?)
    Think that's going to cover it the expense? THINK AGAIN.

    What about:
    Employer burden?
    Truck expense?
    Trailer expense?
    Mower expense?
    Trimmer expense?
    Edger expense?
    Fuel expense?
    Mix oil expense?

    Stuff like 8 tires on the road, blades, belts, filters, oil, grease, repair parts, trimmer line, and other misc expenses... and we haven't even ventured into the fixed operating expenses.

    $80 bucks a day ain't going to cut it for covering the expenses, much less paying the owner a wage.

    Anyways, you guys should keep better records of your expenses.

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