Advice for Dethatching?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by nwlandscaping, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. nwlandscaping

    nwlandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    We're getting ready to do our "Special" for core aeration and de-thatching, but I have limited experience with the latter. Does anyone have any helpful advice on how to price and properly dethatch? We plan on renting each machine; the power rake (I think thats what its called) has a bag on it so it should eliminate some of the raking right? Last year, we just raked it up with a rake, but thats way too time consuming. Pricing is what has me confused. Dethatching is always more costly than aerating correct?

    SILVERSTREAK INC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 295

    ive charged before 9 cents a square foot for overseeding, and 22 cents for dethatch, which normally has to be done before a proper slit seeding, we always had to rake up the thatch into piles, then get rid of it...on a small 60 by 50 lawn id have almost a stakebody full of thatch on a 5 year old bluegrass lawn.

    that was while i worked for a large chain corp that starts with a b

    i always thought those prices were way to cheap for the amount of work involved....

    what kind of pricing do you use for aeration btw?
  3. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    The spring clean-ups I do are pretty well what you describe. Aerate, power rake and pick it all up. Extras for us include picking leaves from last fall, edging, pruning and lots larger than 5000 sq ft.

    On average, we'll do a yard with the basics in about 1 hour, 3 guys, so that's 3 man hours + 1/2 hr travel for 3.5hrs @ $20/hr cost per man hour for labor. Total is $70.00. If a person choses no extras, we charge $159 if it's less than 5000 sq ft. One team of 3 will do about 8 to 10 a day. It's profitable, not great but a good filler for the in between season spring clean-ups are. That's residential, condo's pay twice the profits or more. But hey, it's money right. :) :rolleyes:

    So, just price in the power raking in there. Usually they won't ask for raking to be taken out, it's a given they want it. :)

    I forgot to mention the raking. The power rakes with the bags, they don't pick up a lot so you'll have to rake. On bigger properties we use small john deere tractors with JD pull behind power sweepers with hoppers to pick up tatch, but on small lots I just tested an agri fab walk behind 26" sweeper. It works well, and I believe we'll be able to fit a large garbage bag over the existing hopper and the bag will fill up then take it out and voila.. tie it and throw it... so there are options to just raking although it can't be eliminated totally.

    I someone says only aerate I'll charge $90 for regular lot. Takes about 1/2 hr. Power rake only, same thing, but no pickup, if pickup, then it'll be like $110 because of the pick up hassle... hope this helps.

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