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$65 and acre, how do you get that?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by FatherandSon, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. FatherandSon

    FatherandSon LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    Started mowing in the early 1970's. Mowed for 12 years than had to give it up due to job responsibilities, got promoted in the Police Department.

    Son and I started up again in 2000 when I retired. We live in a very wealthy area, supposedly the 3rd richest in the country. Hunterdon County New Jersey. However, our best paying lawn right now is 2 1/2 acres for $55.

    I continously read how guys are getting $65 and up per acre. We haven't been able to do that. As a matter of fact each year we lose a couple customers because other LCO's under cut us by a couple of dollars. Getting discouraging. We provide reliable good service but can't get any where near that $65 per acre.

    Anyone have any suggestions. We have never, and never will take another LCO's lawn by undercutting him in price. As a matter of fact the only time we take another lawn is if the LCO goes out of business or moves.

    I envy those of you that are getting the price you should be.
  2. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Not real sure what to tell ya Don. I'm 10 minutes north of you in Clinton. Actually, I don't price by the acreage...only by how long it takes us. And I DO get $65 an hour for straight mowing. Presently we're mowing in Warren, Hunterdon, Somerset, and Northampton Counties. Like you, I don't low ball and only get new business by referral or if someone drops out of the game.

    BTW, I think I saw you once. You have a Scag Z by chance?
  3. mh1314

    mh1314 LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 133

    Just a suggestion, but we have the same problem around here. The larger the property gets in the wealthier areas, the people don't like to pay a reasonable price compared to smaller properties. You might want to look into smaller props which will pay a higher fee per minute on site. Just clump a bunch together in the same area. I've got some 2-3k props which pay $30 for 20-25 minutes work.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Take a good hard look at the demographics in NJ and you will see why. The fact is high wage earners are moving out of NJ at a high rate. That in and of itself is a bad thing. Even worse is super low wage earners are moving into NJ at almost twice the rate that the high wage earners are leaving. You can figure the rest out for yourself.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    Richard I am not disputing your information but am curious as to where you are getting it. Or is this heresay and/or opinion?
  6. Ol'time Lawncare

    Ol'time Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Posts: 497

    prizes are different every were, dont give up father and son, sometimes i feel the same way. it pays off tho, look in AC i get 150 for a half acre!but in vineland im lucky too get 55 for the same
  7. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,656

    Look at it this way .If you mow a 6000 sq. ft. lawn for $20 thats $140 an acre.
  8. little green guy

    little green guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 955

    I don't get $65 an acre either, but I don't price by the acre. Some of my stops are up over 100.00 an hr. I think the thing is that alota guys talk about what they get an acre, to alota guys an acre is a big lawn when most of thier properties are 1/4- 3/4 of a acre. To us around here, a big lawn is 10 acres.

    It's also not hard for a few idiots to ruin the pricing a a certian town. 55.00 for 2 acres seems realy low though.

    Richard Martin- I'm also curious as to where that info is coming from because it sure dosn't seem to be the case in my area.
  9. cklands

    cklands LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Posts: 360

    I have found that you get more money from the average homes and 12000 sq ft lawns then you do out of the high end stuff with the lare yards. The ones with the huge houses tend to worlk for ther mortgage payment where as the average homes have a litle money to play with. I get $55 for some properties that are only 12 or 15 K. I don't really look at home much per acre but more at the per hour rate. I average anywhere from $55-$125 per hour.
  10. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    Pardon me if I am wrong, and I have been wrong many times, but I think you have seen a lot of posts saying $65 per hr.

    I think every area of the country has their rates. What I mean by that is that in SE. Iowa, a 10K yard brings $25. If you mow it with a push (21 inch lawnboy) and it takes 1/2 hr, you have just made $50 per hr. If you mow it with a 9 1/2 foot mower (Pic below) and it takes 12 minutes, you have just made $125 per hr.

    I mow a 6 acre John Deere Dealership - have to mow around a lot of equipment and lines of mowers that are for sale etc, and it takes 1 hr. 10 minutes, and I get $110 to mow it. Am I doing OK-I think so - I am solo - one machine.

    My fee schedual is as follows. -
    $15 per acre - (if it is 1.1 acres, it is $30)
    $20 unload fee - this pays for truck, unload time etc.
    therefore, the Jd dealership is 6 x 15 = $90 + 20= $110.

    On the small yards, I have a minimum of $15 + $20 unload = $35.
    and if they are over one acre, just add 15 per acre.

    Here is a pic of the monster mowing machine -

    wide mower-back yard-dry grass.jpg

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