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Do I need to raise my Rototilling rates?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    Last season I rototilled for the minimum fee of $49 and that covers up to the first hour. Even if it only took 35 min my charge was still $49. It's fairly difficult to bid on jobs due to the large rocks we have in our area. Those rocks are really hard on the machine and me. Anti-vibration gloves are required IMHO. Anyhow I've never had anyone say I was too expensive. Fact is several people paid me more than my quoted rate. If the job runs over an hour they are prorated based on the $49 rate. Many of these are one time never see again customers who own a smaller less capable tiller, their tillers in the shop, uncle Joe usally does it but is in the hospital etc. I expect business to very brisk again. Every tilling customer will get my flyer for my other services: mowing, aeration, clean-up and some light landscaping etc.

    In comparison I have no plans on aerating a lawn for anything less than 2x the rate for mowing with a Plugr 850HD or a Ryan 28. If they have sprinklers or other buried hazards the rate will be 2.5x to 3x the mowing rate. If a customer asks me why do I charge so much for aeration over a $100 for 45 min worth of work when I tilled their garden last month for $49 and it took me 55 min? I need to have some sort of consistency or am I comparing Billy goats to ping pong balls here?

    For 2008 I'm considering raising rates to a $59+ minimum this year. There are low ballers who advertise $35 per garden in my area [ask for Pete etc.] with who knows what equipment.

    My customers are super happy with my work especially when they've had someone else rototill for them in the past. Apparently there is huge difference.

    My concern is loosing business if my rates are too high.

    Any input? :waving:
  2. DavidR

    DavidR LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    There is an easy answer to this question. How much did your tiller cost vs. how much a Plugr or Ryan cost? My guess is that this would be the diffrence, not your labor.

    As for your tilling rates, I have no idea.

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