Aerating pricing

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Joel B., Sep 5, 2005.

  1. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 458

    How much would you charge to aerate a lawn (using a pull behind 40" aerator behind a garden tractor) that you charged $40 to mow/trim/blow?

    Joel B.
     
  2. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    What kind of tow behind is it? If it's one of those cheap home depot models, then I wouldn't charge much. If it's a quality tow behind then you will find many prices by following this link http://lawnsite.com/search.php?searchid=499120&pp=25&page=1

    I use a 48" tow behind and charge $12 per 1,000 sq ft. In most cases I measure the whole lot, unless it's a big home on a small lot. My reasoning is, it just as hard to aerate around things as it is to aerate an open lot. I double the price if they want seed applied. I also have a little 19" Ryan walk behind that I occasionally use on very small lawns.
     
  3. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 458



    Thanks for the reply. So you would charge $120 to aerate a 10,000 sq. ft. lawn. How much would you charge to mow/trim/blow the same yard?
     
  4. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    Out her the price of aerating is double the price of what it would be to do the lawn. A $100 lawn would be $200 to aerate.
     
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    $35-$45 for a 10K lawn depending on layout of lawn. $120 for aeration and another $120 to apply seed (Lesco transition blend).

    I guess you could use the 3-4 times cut cost. This would depend on your pricing structure though. If you are a lowballer cutting 10K lawns for $20, then you would still be a lowballer aerating that same lawn for $60-$80.

    Around here we got guys aerating for $50 using a cheap tow behind from Home Depot or Lowe's. The customer is getting what they pay for.
     
  6. Joel B.

    Joel B. LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Posts: 458

    Why is aerating so much more than mowing? It doesn't take any longer to aerate plus you don't have to trim or blow. The equipment is cheaper (compared with mowing where you need commercial W/B or "Z", blower and trimmer), you can pull an aerator with an old garden tractor. Yes, aerators are expensive but so are commercial mowers, blowers and trimmers.

    Maybe I'm missing something but how can you charge more for something that doesn't take any longer or use more expensive equipment, compared to mowing?

    I'm not trying to get on anyone's case, just trying to understand.

    Thanks,

    Joel B.
     
  7. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,889

    If you are doing the job properly it takes a lot longer. :D
     
  8. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Try using a walk behind aerator all day compared to a lawn mower. It is a specialty service that everyone does not have the equipment or know how to do it right. It cost more then the average mow just to rent said equipment. It is a seasonal service and you are not doing 15 every day all season like you might with a lawn mower. Just to name a few......

    Besides it does takes longer if you use a walk behind, and the tow behind is putting ware and tear on two pieces of equipment.

    What kind of aerator do you own? Do you have a walkbehind aerator to compliment your tow behind?
     
  9. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    That's not entirely true. I can do a great job with double passes on many properties in about the same time. Some properties take a lot of time to trim, edge and blow. I agree with you if you are doing double pass with a walk behind unit. My tow behind uses the same tines as my Ryan, so it does just as well and in many cases better because I can add as much weight as needed.

    Edit: some do take longer, so I'm not saying you can actually aerate any lawn in the same amount of time. all and all it would take me longer to complete all my routes doing aeration then it would for a typical mow week.
     
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    Here are a few plugs pulled by my tow behind. As you know it's hard to pick up plugs without them falling apart, so the actual hole is probably a little deeper, 3" is acceptable.
     

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