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Advice needed: 1.5 hours for a lawn

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by MiguelTX, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. MiguelTX

    MiguelTX LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Hey everyone,
    I timed myself the other day and hit "start" before touching any equipment and "stop" when it was all put away. I took me right at 90 minutes... here are the specifics:

    The land area is 10,630 sq ft, the home is 1990 sq ft so there's 8640 sq ft of St. Augustine to mow (corner lot). Lots of pine trees (about 15) to work around. There's a strip of grass between the curb and sidewalk that has to be mowed/edged too.

    My equipment: 21" w/b push mower, Echo trimmer, Echo edger, gas handheld blower.

    My technique: mow front and back (bag all clippings), trim around house, trees, fence, etc, edge, blow clippings into a pile at end of driveway, sweep up blown clippings/pine needles into garbage bag and finish it off with a quick blow to get rid of dirt/tiny clippings that I couldn't sweep up.

    I had to roll up the garden hose in the back yard, I would sip on some cool water when I had to empty the grass catcher. Besides getting a 32" (or bigger) mower, how in the world can I cut down my time?!? As a solo operator with a 21" mower, is 90 minutes about average? :confused:

    Thanks in advance for any and all replies.
  2. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    What you didn't list was your pay?

    how much did you get paid ?

    there may NOT be any need to tweek your Process..
  3. MiguelTX

    MiguelTX LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    It is my own property. We had 2 different LCO's stop by a few months ago and they both quoted $35 mow, trim, edge, blow. If I were to charge that amount as a solo operator that would only be $23.33/hour.
  4. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,704

    Well, my guess is those LCO's who quoted you weren't doing it solo and if they were it wasn't with a tiny push mower.
  5. MiguelTX

    MiguelTX LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Correct. They both had big trailers with a lot of gear on board. I guess the bottom line, as a solo operator, would be to just bite the bullet until I could afford a 32" to make up some time.
  6. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,214

    Use Round-Up to spray rings around your trees. Save yourself a ton of trimming time and protect the trees. Just scalp out the dead grass once the Round-Up has done its work - so it isn't an eyesore.
  7. MiguelTX

    MiguelTX LawnSite Member
    Posts: 68

    Hmmm... never thought of that! Walking circles around all those trees with my trimmer literally makes me dizzy! I go around one, turn around and do another, take 4 steps and knock out another... :dizzy:
  8. FYS777

    FYS777 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,305

    try this: edge and trim first, and sense you have pine needles, blow them in the lawn along with clippings, then mow, you will bag all that up sense your bagging, and pack a couple of heavy plastic yard bags on your mower, that way you wont have to walk so far to empty the mower bag, and start your mowing to the farthest point and work towards your truck mowing, this will save a little also, you should be able to save tweenty minutes.
  9. Bob_n_weave

    Bob_n_weave LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    I work solo with and have a few yards that take 90 min. So what ? Don't stress over it and you will enjoy your work alot more. Are you trying to win a race ? Just make sure you are charging accordingly.
  10. golfnpreacher

    golfnpreacher LawnSite Member
    Posts: 123

    I know you said $23 something... let's say you can tweak it to $25 an hour, that's around $52K a year. That's more than a lot of people are looking at.

    (yes I know we don't work 52 weeks a year)

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